By Charity Ohlund, Director of Marketing
The 30-year conventional mortgage is far and away the most popular and well-known product out there. In fact, they account for about 75 percent of all new mortgages every year.
But don’t feel like you have to follow the masses to get a smart home loan. In fact, doing that could cost you more money – sometimes A LOT more – if used incorrectly.
If you’re thinking about buying a home or refinancing your existing mortgage, we want to make sure you’re making the right choice for your unique situation. Consider putting one of these three mortgage products on your radar:
- USDA loans
Perhaps you feel more at home surrounded by pastures than pavement. If so, buying a home might be well within your reach thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture mortgage program. Though these loans are subject to income limits for borrowers – check the chart here – and USDA loans are technically reserved for homes in “rural” areas, you’d be surprised at how much of America actually qualifies for these mortgages. It’s reportedly around 97% of all U.S. landmass!What’s so special about a USDA loan? Well, the biggest benefit is that no down payment is required. If you can find a home in a USDA-eligible area, you’ll definitely want to consider giving a USDA loan a serious look. Considering most loans require anywhere from 3% to 10% down at minimum, this can mean serious savings from the start.
Other benefits include lower interest rates and reduced mortgage insurance costs — called guarantee fees in this case. When you put it all together, it means savings, a significantly easier path toward homeownership, and of course, fresh air.
- 15-year mortgages
The 30-year mortgage might be the standard model for most borrowers, but you should consider it’s shorter-term little brother, the 15-year loan. These mortgages come with lower interest rates, a quicker payoff time, and the opportunity to build equity much faster than 30-year loans.Yes, the monthly payments are a bit higher, but they’re WELL worth it if you have room in your budget. At today’s average rates, you’d save more than $80,000 in interest by choosing a 15-year mortgage over a 30-year one on a $275,000 loan amount. (And who couldn’t use an extra $80,000 in the bank?)
- Streamline refinances (if you have an FHA or VA loan)
Both FHA and VA loans come with a streamline refinance option, which essentially means a fast-tracked path to a new mortgage loan. You often won’t need a credit check, home appraisal or much paperwork, and you can close on your loan in just a couple of weeks.They usually come with lower closing costs, too, making them a great way to save both time and money.
It doesn’t stop there
There are plenty of other mortgage options out there, too, so be sure to talk with one of our talented loan officers at Fountain Mortgage for a free consultation and a little guidance. They can point you toward a loan that fits your specific needs and budget, as well as your long-term goals as a homeowner.
This weekly Sponsored Column is written by the employees of Fountain Mortgage. Located in Prairie Village, Fountain Mortgage is dedicated to educating, and thus empowering, clients to make the best financial decision possible for their situation. Contact Fountain today.
Mike Miles NMLS ID: 265927; Fountain Mortgage NMLS: 1138268