Sign up to get new listings emailed daily!SIGN UPLOG IN

Mortgage 101


In the midst of the concern and confusion, what’s the best mortgage strategy today for you?  Understanding common mortgage products before you see a lender, gives you the added knowledge of your options.  This comfort level knowledge may allow you the borrower, to better listen to the benefits and potential pitfalls of each, and most importantly, for whom they’re best suited.  Mortgage knowledge can help you make the best financial decision.


Helping you learn about your Mortgage


30 Year FIXED

This mortgage has an interest rate that does not change during the 30 year life of the loan, and is the most common type of mortgage. Since the interest rate does not change, it provides stability and security for the borrower.

A closer look - the borrower's credit score affects the interest rate a lender will offer.  Lower scores/higher rate and this is a 30 year fixed loan that will not change even if the rates go down and credit scores go up.

Best for home buyers wanting a stable long term predictable monthly payment and planning to stay in the home for an extended period.


ADJUSTABLE rate mortgage -This mortgage has a fixed interest rate for a set period.  The fixed portion can range from as short as one month to 3 year, 5year, 7year and even 10 years.  This fixed rate will then adjust to reflect the current prevailing interest rate. Many include an interest only* payment feature.

A closer look - Although payments may be lower during the fixed time frame, the rate may adjust to a higher and unaffordable payment.

*Interest only loans are best for the disciplined borrower with variable incomes and significant investment strategies using monies saved for targeted wealth building. Borrower's wanting a lower payment by using the interest only option should be cautious.

FHA Loans

These are backed by the federal government with generous credit guidelines, allowing lower down payments for first time buyers. FHA loans offer a number of different loan products ranging from adjustable rate mortgages to fixed-rate mortgages.

A closer look –  FHA loan programs have lower down payment requirements and credit worthiness of the borrower is less stringent. This criteria may require boworrers to pay upfront mortgage insurance premiums as well as monthly insurance premiums.

Best suited for the first time home buyer and those with limited monies for a down payment.

VA Loans

Veteran loans are available through most lenders and are available to some veterans, active service, reservists and some members of the Public Health Service.

A closer look - VA loans require no down payment and lender fees are limited by the government but a one time funding fee of 1.25%-3% is usually rolled into the loan.

Best for veterans with limited or no down payment.


The piggyback mortgage combines the use of a first and second mortgage when purchasing or refinancing a home. Not all piggybacks are 100% financing.  Borrows choose the piggyback loans to avoid the mortgage insurance requirement imposed on loans with less that 20% down.  Typically the borrower will finance 80% of the sales price and the remaining 20% in a second mortgage, or another version depending on the available funds for a down payment.

A closer look - Credit worthiness has been tightened, with scores typically over 740 being required, a fixed rate on the first mortgage and eliminating the second mortgage eventually.  Additionally, in most cases the payment on the second mortgage is lower than the mandatory monthly mortgage insurance.

Best for borrowers with good credit and the potential of future funds available to pay off the second mortgage.

Real Estate Short Sales and pre-forclosure information 

What you need to know now!  Read on...