Do You Know Your Mortgage Terms? 1 in 4 don't!

Home owners are getting better at understanding mortgage terms, but according to a GfK Roper random survey of homeowners and others, 26% still don't know if they have a fixed rate, ARM or other kind of home mortgage. Still, the numbers are better than last year where 34% didn't know.
What kind do you have; are you sure?

I recently helped a client who wanted to purchase a duplex, the client insisted on using a particular lender because the lender "took care of everything last time", and they had already talked to this lender and the lender had told them this new property would be no problem.
I like to shop my buyer's good faith estimates around to our local financial institutions just making sure they get the best deal. Why, because as the survey above points out, people don't get mortgages often, they don't understand terms, and additionally as a Realtor I believe it is a service I can and should provide. The mortgage on the previous duplex had some red flags, the payment didn't match the "terms" the client said they had (payment amount too low to pay off the loan in the stated time period, loan was a fixed rate).
They brought the mortgage documents in to my office and guess what - it has a balloon! They were not happy, and once they understood they were barely paying on the principle they started looking for a local lender to refinance. But, they had obviously signed the documents- so what happened. Had they just forgotten; I don't think so but it is possible. What is more probable however is that they were intimidated by the jargon and the paperwork and just signed and initialed where they were told to.

Maybe you should pull out that paperwork and take a good look at it again, and if you are thinking about buying go on line and learn, learn, learn. Also, ask a person who should be very familiar with the various mortgage products and programs - your Realtor.

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