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Highlands Residential Mortgage Resources

What is a Mortgage?

By: Highlands Residential Mortgage

If you’re looking to purchase a home – you’re probably also looking to get a mortgage. A mortgage is simply a type of loan that is used to purchase a home. When you take out a mortgage, you borrow money from a lender (usually a bank or a mortgage company) to buy a house or a piece of property. The mortgage is secured by the property itself, which means that if you can’t pay back the loan, the lender can take possession of the property and sell it to recoup their money.

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will consider your credit history, income, and other financial factors to determine whether you are eligible for a loan and how much you can borrow. They will also look at the value of the property you are buying to make sure it is worth the amount you are borrowing.

Once you are approved for a mortgage, you will make monthly payments to the lender over a set period of time (usually 15 or 30 years). These payments will include both the principal (the amount you borrowed) and the interest (the cost of borrowing the money). The interest rate on your mortgage will depend on a number of factors, including your credit score and the current state of the housing market.

This rate can be fixed or adjustable, which means it can stay the same for the life of the loan (in the case of a fixed rate) or it can change periodically based on market conditions (in the case of an adjustable rate).

There are a variety of loan programs available for homebuyers in the US. Some of the most common programs include:

  • Conventional: These are loans that are not insured or guaranteed by the government. They typically require a higher credit score and down payment than government-backed loans, but may offer more flexibility in terms of loan terms and property types.
  • FHA: These are loans that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. They are designed to make home buying more accessible to first-time buyers and borrowers with lower credit scores. FHA loans typically require a lower down payment than conventional loans, but may have higher mortgage insurance premiums.
  • VA: These are loans that are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are available to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and their families. VA loans typically offer more favorable terms than conventional loans, including no down payment requirement and no mortgage insurance.
  • USDA: These are loans that are guaranteed by the US Department of Agriculture. They are available to borrowers in rural and suburban areas who meet certain income and other requirements. USDA loans typically offer low or no down payment options and may have lower interest rates than other loan types.

Over time, as you make your mortgage payments, you will build equity in your home. Equity is the difference between the value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage. If you ever need to borrow money in the future, you may be able to use your home equity to take out a home equity loan or line of credit.

When you make a mortgage payment, there are typically four components that make up your total payment:

  • Principal: This is the amount of money you borrowed to purchase the home. Each payment you make will go towards paying down the principal balance of your loan.
  • Interest: This is the cost of borrowing money from the lender. The interest rate you pay will depend on a variety of factors, including your credit score and the type of loan you have.
  • Taxes: Depending on a few factors, your mortgage payment may include property taxes. These taxes are paid to your local government and are based on the assessed value of your property.
  • Insurance: Your mortgage payment may also include homeowners insurance, which is designed to protect your home and property in the event of damage or loss.

Don’t let all of this overwhelm you! We are here to help you every step of the way. If you have questions – just reach out to one our outstanding loan originators for more details!

Thanks for reading!