Fees and Cost FAQs
What is the difference between a fixed-rate and an ARM mortgage?
A fixed-rate mortgage offers an interest rate that is steady throughout the life of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages offer the security of always knowing exactly what your monthly loan payment will be. The interest on ARMs can fluctuate (up or down) periodically. The interest rate on ARMs offers an opportunity to save on interest costs. However, you are protected from rates getting too high, because a safe ARM has annual and lifetime rate caps, which limit how high your rate may go.
How do I know if it is best to lock my rate or let it float?
This a decision you must make. Here is one way of looking at the question: If you can afford the payment and are comfortable with all the other terms, it makes sense to go ahead and firm it up IN WRITING. Do not be overly concerned if rates fall after you lock. If your objective is to purchase the property, you have eliminated one uncertainty. If you are refinancing, locking the rate guarantees that you will reduce your monthly payments or be able to obtain cash you need for home improvements or other worthwhile goals.
Where can I lock my rate?
You can lock your rate at application, while your loan is being processed and approved, or any time shortly before closing.
What are my rate lock options at Finance Home America?
Finance Home America offers lock periods up to six months on some loan programs.
What is private mortgage insurance (PMI)?
PMI is required for conventional loans with a down payment of less than 20th of the value of the home. You can avoid paying PMI by making a down payment of 20 or more of the value of the property you want to buy.
When can I cancel PMI?
PMI will be automatically terminated when the loan-to-value ration is scheduled to reach 78 assuming all payments are current. Borrowers can request cancellation of PMI when the loan reaches 78 assuming all payments are current. Borrowers can request cancellation of PMI when the loan reaches an 80 loan-to-value ratio, assuming the loan is current.
How do I know whether the house is in a flood zone, and if so, how can I determine how my insurance premium?
Finance Home America will order a flood certification before loan closing, as required by federal law. However, if you would like to find out if the property you are purchasing is in a flood zone, you can contact your insurance agent or check the local library for updated flood maps. FEMA determines flood risk by comparing your lowest floor level to flood levels from the past 100 years. FEMA bases flood insurance premiums on this information. You may need to get a slab elevation if you are unable to obtain this information from the seller or your local permit office.
What is APR and how is it figured?
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a calculated interest rate that reflects the overall cost of a loan on an annual basis. APR includes interest payments, origination fees, discount points, and other specific costs of getting a loan and is, therefore, usually higher than the interest rate. APR can be useful for comparing different types of loans. However, while all lenders are required to calculate APR based on guidelines provided by the Truth in Lending Act, not all lenders include the same costs in the calculation. This can make it difficult to compare the APR for loan programs from different leaders.
What are points?
Points, also known as “discount”, are funds paid at closing so that you can get a lower interest rate for the life of the loan. For example, you may be quoted a rate of 7.375 with 0 points or 7.000 with 1 point. One point is equal to 1 of the mortgage amount.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are expenses paid, by both buyers and sellers, at the closing meeting. Closing costs include pre-paid taxes and insurance, discount points, origination fees, title insurance, and other fees that may apply to your loan.
What are pre-paids and how are they calculated?
Pre-paid items are hazard/homeowners insurance, taxes, and pre-paid interest. Most insurance is paid in advance, so you will be required to pay for your homeowner’s and flood (if required) insurance policy for the first year in advance. Also, the lender will require you to make a deposit of up to 2 months of payments in order to establish an escrow account.
Can I pay my own taxes and insurance?
Many loan programs require that the lender pay the taxes and insurance on behalf of the borrower. Your loan officer can determine if the option to pay taxes and insurance yourself is available on the loan program that is best for you.