real estate

Buying a home? Here's how to do it right

Shop wisely for a mortgage
Shop wisely for a mortgage | Monkey Business Images/

Shop wisely for a mortgage

When you compare mortgage deals, you'll focus on interest rates. But pay attention to fees, too.

You will get a three-page document called the Loan Estimate for every mortgage you apply for. If you apply for more than one mortgage (recommended), you can compare the Loan Estimates side by side. They contain the information you need.

The first page of the loan estimate describes the loan's basic terms: The amount, interest rate, estimated monthly payment, closing costs and how much cash you'll need at closing. The second page itemizes the loan costs.

Page 3 has a "Comparisons" section that has useful information. It tells how much each loan will cost over the first five years: closing costs plus 60 monthly principal and interest payments. It also tells how much principal will be paid off in the first five years. When you compare these numbers, it might be simple to identify the best loan offer.

SEARCH RATES: Found a home, even in a seller's market? Comparison-shop mortgage rates today.


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