Real Estate

What Is a Mortgage? Basics for First-Time Home Buyers

What Is a Mortgage? Basics for First-Time Home Buyers

What is a Mortgage?

A Mortgage is a legal agreement by which a bank, building society, etc. lends money at interest in exchange for taking the title of the debtor’s property, with the condition that the conveyance of title becomes void upon the payment of the debt.

It could also be said to be a type of loan that is used to invest in real estate or property with contracts typically for 25 years, but they might be shorter or longer. The debt is secured against the market value of the home if it is paid off. If you miss a payment, your lender will take possession of your home and sell it to recuperate their losses.

It is important to note that there are different types of mortgage, therefore when shopping for a mortgage, do due diligence on the interest rate and fees as well as the type of mortgage you desire and that fits your plan.

Types of Mortgage

With that said, there are two main types of mortgage, fixed and variable, and five subtypes to examine under variable type. Understanding each one can assist you in making better decisions for your home.

Fixed mortgage

The interest rate on this type of mortgage remains consistent for the term of the loan, regardless of interest rate changes, which is the whole point of fixed-rate mortgages. You’ll come across terminology like ‘two-year fix’ or ‘five-year fix,’ as well as the interest rate paid throughout that period.

What’s fantastic about such a mortgage is that you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your monthly spending will be constant, making budgeting easier. Fixed-rate mortgages, on the other hand, are often relatively expensive than variable-rate mortgages, as such when interest rates fall, you lose money.

Therefore, when taking out a fixed-rate mortgage, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Because you are locked in for the length of the patch, there are fines if you want to stop the contract early. Two or three months before the fixed period ends, you should begin to look for a new mortgage deal, lest you be switched automatically to your lender’s variable rate, which would be higher.

Variable mortgage

The interest rate on this sort of mortgage varies from time to time and as a result, you must ensure that you have sufficient funds set aside to handle any increases in your payments if interest rates rise. Variable-rate mortgages are available in a variety of shapes and sizes such as:

Mortgages with fixed rates

This is the usual interest rate charged by your mortgage lender to homebuyers, and it will remain in effect for the life of your loan or until you refinance. The rise or fall of the central bank’s base rate can cause changes in the interest rate.

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What’s nice about this is that you have complete control over how much you pay and when you depart. The sole disadvantage of a standard rate mortgage is that your interest rate can be changed at any time during the loan’s term.

Mortgages at a discount

This is a temporary concession in the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) that lasts for two or three years. It does, however, pay to do some research because it would be dangerous to assume that a higher discount equates to a lower interest rate, as SVRs differ per lender.

The lower cost of this mortgage is one of the advantages. The interest rate starts low, which means cheaper monthly payments. If the lender lowers its SVR, you will likewise pay less per month. Budgeting is difficult because the lender can increase the SVR at any time. If the central bank raises interest rates, the discount rate will likely rise as well.

This mortgage should be handled with caution because you will be charged if you leave before the discount period finishes.

Mortgages with a rate cap

With a capped rate mortgage, your rate moves in lockstep with the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR). The limit, on the other hand, specifies that the rate must not exceed a specified threshold. The benefits of this form of mortgage are certainty and affordability, meaning that the rate will not go above a specific point. You must, however, ensure that you can afford repayments if the amount exceeds the cap.

Mortgages with a negative amortization

These work by connecting your savings and deposit accounts to your mortgage, allowing you to merely cover the difference in interest. You continue to make your monthly mortgage payments as usual, but your savings act as an overpayment, helping you to pay off your mortgage faster.

Finally, be mindful of the cancellation fees as well as the exit penalties while evaluating these packages, and make sure not to overextend yourself if you fear you’ll have difficulties making payments.

Also, take into account the continuous expenditures of owning a home, such as electricity bills, property taxes, insurance, and upkeep. Lenders will want to see proof of your profits, expenses, and any obligations you may have. They’ll ask about home expenses, child support, and personal expenses. Lenders want proof that you’ll be able to keep up with your payments even if interest rates rise.

The Author

Ajisebutu Doyinsola

Doyinsola Ajisebutu is a journalist and prolific writer who takes a special interest in Finance, Insurance, and the Tech world.