Before you even pick up the phone to call a lender, give some thought to your financial situation and needs, both today and in the future. No lender can provide the best mortgage for you without understanding your needs. And they’ll never understand your needs unless you can explain them clearly and specifically. Since there’s a lot of meat on these bones, I’ll start with the issues, and in my next blog post I’ll give you a great checklist that you can use with any lender before you get started.
What I’d suggest is that you sit down with your spouse and consider some of the following issues. Only then will you be able to answer the questions any responsible lender will ask in order to help you choose the right mortgage, rate and features.
• How long are you planning to live in this home?
• How are your finances likely to change over the next few years?
• Which are you more comfortable with: mortgage payments that always stay the same OR payments that rise and fall with the treasury rate?
• How soon would you like to be mortgage-free?
• When will your children be entering college or university?
• When are you thinking of retiring?
OK, now that you have your needs and goals in mind, you’re ready to start making some calls. As I said, any responsible lender will ask you a lot of questions in order to narrow down the options and select the right mortgage for you and your family. But if you want to make sure you’re getting the very best deal available—after all, that’s exactly what you deserve—you have to ask some questions too.
Stay tuned for a detailed checklist on what to ask your lender when you shop for a mortgage…