If you are in the market for a new home – or looking to refinance your current mortgage – then here are 4 tips to ace your mortgage in 2017:
1. Live within your means
Buying a home is an exciting life event, and your home is likely your largest asset.
However, when purchasing a new home, make sure that you are not spending your life savings.
When you own a home, there are plenty of other expenses for which you need to account: utilities, home maintenance, home improvements, insurance and other costs. In addition to your home, you have other life costs.
Remember: while your home can appreciate in value over time, your home is not a liquid asset – meaning it cannot easily be converted to cash. You can’t decide to buy your home in the morning and sell it in the afternoon.
Keep this in mind when you choose your loan amount and interest rate.
You can use the Make Lemonade Mortgage Calculator to calculate your monthly payment, total interest and total payment when you borrow a new mortgage or refinance an existing mortgage.
Take Action: For a good night sleep in your new home, have a cash cushion in your savings account as well as an emergency fund.
2. Consider the best loan options for your financial situation
When it comes to a new mortgage or refinancing your current mortgage, you have several options (among others) from which to choose.
Choose the loan option that makes most sense for your personal financial situation.
There is no universal rule for every homeowner.
Everyone’s financial profile is unique. That means that your financial situation is specific to you.
For example, a married couple with children may prefer a 30-year fixed mortgage because they expect to be in the same home for the long-term, and want the peace of mind to pay the same interest rate (regardless of interest rate changes).
A newlywed couple without children may prefer a shorter-term, adjustable-rate mortgage – which initially has a lower, fixed interest rate – because they expect to sell their home (and buy a larger one to make room for their children) before the interest rate converts to a variable interest rate.
Take Action: Don’t necessarily choose what your neighbor does or what your grandparents did. You need to decide what is best for your life circumstances and financial goals.