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How to Keep Costs from Going Through the Roof

Being a homeowner is expensive. Buying a home is pricey, let alone taxes, insurance and maintaining a home, so why pay more than you have to for a home loan? These five home loan tips can help keep down the costs of a mortgage or a home equity loan.

1. Consider a fixed-rate loan
A fixed-rate loan adds certainty and stability to a big part of your loan payment, which can provide peace of mind not having to worry about future rate increases. It may be helpful to consider a fixed-rate loan even if adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) carry a lower initial interest rate. ARMs generally start with a lower interest rate, but the difference between ARMs and a fixed-rate is that ARMs can go up significantly in cost. Shop around and you may be able to obtain fixed-rate mortgage with payments comparable to the initial ARM price. This could save you money and prevent frequent interest rate increases.

2. Full documentation loans
There are mortgages that involve little to no documentation of your income but don’t be fooled, these mortgages may mean higher costs. These mortgages are meant for people that don’t have the time or patience for documentation, and can afford the higher loan cost. However, while these mortgages can save you time and are attractive if your source of income in unpredictable, the higher fees add up. If you are trying to cut costs and have an income that is easily documented, it’s probably not worth paying the extra costs. Ask about full documentation loans and compare the costs.

3. Pay off your mortgage sooner than later
A mortgage with a long repayment term can be very appealing because the monthly payments appear relatively small. This makes a more expensive home appear reachable. However, there is a downside of a long repayment mortgage. The monthly payments you are making can significantly increase the total interest costs. You can save thousands of dollars in interest by paying off your mortgage sooner than later and reducing the length of your mortgage. If you can afford an increase in monthly payments, paying off your loan faster is an easier way to save money in the long run.

4. Save money on your insurance
Since the value of your house is backing your mortgage, you are required to have homeowner’s insurance to cover damages that could potentially reduce your property’s value. Make sure you are getting the best coverage for your situation while managing your money.

5. Look for government incentives for low- or moderate- income families
Applicants that are eligible for government incentives can save money on the interest rate, closing cost, down payment and other loans they have. It is important to look for these incentives and see if you qualify for any of them. Some people never check and some don’t even realize these benefits exist. It can’t hurt you to look into it and check it out, hopefully it can end up saving you money.

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