PITI: Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance In regards to Home Loans

Pronounced the same as pity, the acronym PITI is a common term when dealing with home loans. The letters in PITI stand for principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. The term, however is typically used as a blanket term that covers the monthly sum of the total debt service (principal and interest), homeowners insurance, property taxes, mortgage insurance, and homeowners association fees.

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What is a Growing Equity Loan?

A growing equity loan is a type of mortgage with a fixed rate where the amount paid monthly is increased over time in accordance with an agreed-upon pay schedule. This translates to more money applied to the principal of the loan, shortening its life and accruing less interest on the loan while increasing the equity in the home. Since the growing equity loan initial payment amount is higher than the monthly amount required to pay off the loan over time, the payments ensure that there would never be negative amortization of the loan.

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What Is the Mortgage Credit Certificate?

A Mortgage Credit Certificate (referred to as the MCC) is a federal tax credit that allows first-time home buyers to save money each year by receiving a conversion of a percentage of the annual interest paid on their mortgage into a dollar a tax credit. This program was created to assist first-time home buyers to qualify for a home loan by decreasing their tax responsibility. Typically this program is for low- to moderate-income families.

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What is the NHF Grant?

The grant, dispersed through NHF-approved lenders, is meant to assist homebuyers with down payments and/or closing costs that the home loan agreement may accrue. The NHF DPA Grant allows homeowners to build equity faster, and carry less of a financial burden by avoiding secondary mortgage options that are usually offered to cover the same costs, and involve pesky property liens.

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What is the Prepayment Penalty on a Mortgage?

There are clauses in mortgage contracts that stipulate penalties for repaying the loan too fast. That's right, you could get charged extra for paying back what you owe ahead of schedule. This can include paying off the loan through refinancing, or selling the home. Of course, the fee charged must clearly be stated in the loan agreement, as well as the period of time that prepayment fees may be applied. The details of the clause vary by lender, and not all mortgage agreements have prepayment penalty clauses.

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What Does a Mortgage Broker Do for You?

Mortgage brokers act as intermediaries whose job is to help connect buyers with investors and banks. Essentially, they collect your information and shop around for relevant mortgage options based on the information they collect from you. Mortgage brokers take care of all of the dirty work, so you don’t have to deal with the stress of finding lenders, getting quotes, and sitting in those highly uncomfortable waiting areas that most banks have.

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What Is a Floating Rate Loan?

A floating interest rate is also known as an adjustable or variable interest rate. The name comes from the fluidity of the interest rate that borrowers must contend with, as the interest percentage fluctuates throughout the life of the loan (for hybrid ARMs, the rate fluctuates after the introductory period ends). The interest rate is affected by the market’s margins or mortgage index.

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What is an FHA 245 Mortgage Loan?

Under section 245 of the FHA home loan program, home buyers with low income who expect their monthly earnings to increase may be eligible for a growing equity home loan. These home loans are designed to cushion the upfront costs for home buyers that may not be able to afford them. This is especially well-suited for first-time home buyers.

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Can you refinance a VA loan to a conventional loan?

If you have a VA loan on your current home, you can refinance it into a conventional loan-- but it might only make sense in a few, very particular situations. Since conventional loans typically have higher interest rates and charge monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums, you probably wouldn’t want to refinance your VA loan just to save money on your mortgage payments.

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Can you refinance a VA home loan?

If you have a VA loan, can you refinance it? The answer is a resounding yes. There are several reasons why a borrower might want to refinance their VA loan, including trying to get a lower interest rate, increasing or decreasing the term of their mortgage, and tapping the equity in their home in order to get some cash.

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Can you do a cash out refinance on a VA loan?

Unlike typical cash out refinancing, a VA cash out loan actually allows you to take out cash with a 100% loan-to-value ratio (LTV). That means you can take out all of the equity in your home and convert it to cash. For example, if you have a $300,000 home and you owe $200,000 on it, you could get the entire remaining $100,000 in equity at closing (minus any closing costs.)

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What is a Balloon Home Loan?

A balloon loan is a type of mortgage that doesn’t fully amortize over the life of the loan, leaving a large “balloon payment” due at the end of the mortgage. Home loans with balloon payments have lower monthly payments in the years leading up when the balloon payment is due, but the size of many of these payments often makes it difficult (or impossible) for borrowers to pay them off. For example, many balloon loans have a term of 5 to 7 years (after which the balloon payment is due), while the regular, monthly mortgage payments are based off a 30-year loan term.

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What are Graduated Payment Mortgages?

Graduated payment mortgages (GPMs) are a type of home loan with payments that start smaller and get larger as time goes on. These kind of mortgages have a fixed interest rate, and the payments often increase between 7-12% each year until a maximum payment amount is reached, which will continue for the rest of the life of the loan. Most GPMs are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

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Can You Refinance An Investment Property?

If you own an investment property, you might be wondering whether you can refinance it like your primary residence. The answer is yes-- but it might be somewhat more expensive to do. Since investment property home loans are considered high-risk than primary home loans, you may have to jump through a few hoops to get a lender to go through with your refinance.

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Cash-Out Refinance in Relation to Home Loans

A cash-out refinance allows you to take out a mortgage that’s larger than your current home loan-- and you get to keep the difference, in cash. For example, if you own a $400,000 house and owe $150,000 on the current mortgage, you have $250,000 in home equity. If you needed $40,000 to pay an expense like medical bills or a child’s college tuition, you could potentially take out a loan worth $290,000.

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When to Consider a Reverse Mortgage

Reverse mortgages can be a useful tool for seniors and retirees for a variety of reasons. Much like with social security, the value of a reverse mortgage increases the longer you can hold out. The benefit of aging is qualifying for more money from your reverse mortgage. After all, the maximum amount you are eligible to borrow uses your age as one of the determining factors.

You must be 62 years of age or older to be eligible for a reverse mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you should jump at the opportunity right after blowing out your birthday candles. Remember, it pays to wait.

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30-year FRM: 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages Explained

What’s it mean to have a 30-year mortgage? Simply put, your loan rate, plus the principal and interest payments, are secured for 30 full years. Because your loan amortizes, it will be paid in full on that last payment in year 30. You’ll never have to pay another cent to the mortgage company after that. Your insurance, homeowners’ association fees, and taxes may continue to slowly climb, but those are the only expenses you’ll have to worry about if you never refinance or take out a second mortgage.

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What Is the Prime Mortgage Rate?

The Prime Rate is often confused with the Federal Funds Rate, a rate at which banks lend money to one another and is determined by the Federal Reserve. This is what you hear about on the news when the Fed meets. It’s not the same as the Prime Rate, though the Prime Rate often follows the Federal Funds Rate.

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Where Can I Find a Mortgage Consultant?

Just like finding a mortgage broker or mortgage banker, finding a mortgage consultant can start online or in the fleshy real world. Check out your favorite bank first to see if they have a Certified Mortgage Consultant on staff. Many banks provide access to these professional consultations for free if you’re interested in a mortgage loan. If you want to look at mortgage brokers who have on-staff consultants, your Realtor may be your best resource. There are lots of small brokerages, so digging through their websites to see what job titles are in their offices can be real drudgery.

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