Whether you're buying your first home or you've been through the process before, home buying can be a tricky business. From finding out how much you can afford, to searching for the perfect home, the journey to finding and buying a new home, including all the steps to finance and close your purchase is a complicated, expensive multi-step process requiring smart, laser-focused information every step of the way.
The most challenging step in the process is generally securing your mortgage, and understanding which mortgage is best for you and your current financial situation. Understanding that the lowest mortgage rate isn't always the best deal can be a big advantage. Comparison-shopping with a company like LendingTree can often times be your best ally. In a recent LendingTree study, consumers who shopped and compared mortgage rates saw an average of $16,441.20 savings over the life of a 30-year fixed loan.
The annual percentage rate (APR) isn't the only factor that can drive up your projected new monthly payment, or the overall cost of your mortgage.
- Private Mortgage Insurance, aka PMI, and the term of the loan can also make a big difference in what you pay each month. So that lower interest rate loan you've been offered – adjusting for mortgage insurance and a shorter-term loan – will actually make for a higher payment. If you put less than 20% down on your loan, the bank requires PMI, which will increase your monthly payments, so try to put at least 20% down if possible.
- Adjustable Rate Mortgage, aka ARM, generally come with a lower rate. This isn’t necessarily your cheapest option in the long-term. After 5 years, the rate changes based on future interest rates. With rates near historic lows, now’s a great time to lock in a low interest rate for the life of your mortgage. Your monthly payments may be a little higher with a fixed-rate but could be much less than rates in 5 years.
- Mortgages often come with fees, which are usually small, but can sometimes be quite substantial. It’s important to be sure that upfront fees aren’t outweighing the benefit of a low rate.
So how do you find the best mortgage without stress?
To help you shop low rates, LendingTree's free service helps you easily connect with lenders. In a few minutes, you could get a side-by-side rate comparison from multiple lenders and find out what loan offers feature the best terms and rates for you. The service works with lenders throughout the country to help you locate matches tailored to your specific needs. LendingTree's study revealed an average savings of $45.67 per month by comparison shopping.
That’s savings of more than $16,000 just by comparing loan offers over the life of your mortgage.
When you consider that LendingTree's service is free, there are no obligations, and it only takes minutes to complete, the decision seems pretty simple. They match you with up to five competing loan offers by answering a few simple questions.
With almost 20 years of experience, LendingTree has taken the headaches out of shopping for a loan, and combined with the huge benefits of comparison-shopping, it's easy to see why so many Americans are saving money on their mortgage with LendingTree. Shouldn't you be one of them?