Tips to get a good mortgage
by Mo Johnson
(Montclair, VA )
1. Shop around. There's no substitute for this and it's easy today to do it on-line. Just use one of the mortgage shopping sites and you'll have lenders coming to you, via e-mail, with offers.
2. Focus on the expenses. Many people only care about the loan rate. But, also important are the fees and/or points the lender may, or may not, tack on. All of these are negotiable. To help you shop and compare apples to apples, you might start by saying, "ok, what rate can you give me for a no-cost mortgage"? So, that would be a loan where the bank pays all the costs. That's a simple way to compare what different banks can offer and hopefully avoid finding out about "hidden fees" too late.
3. You will need to think about how long you plan to stay in the house. The longer there, the more a lower rate will benefit you. In that case, it may be worthwhile to pay a point or two or even more to get a reduced rate.
4. A point is normally equal to 1% of the loan amount.