If you’re purchasing a home for the first time, you may not be aware of other costs associated with buying a home in addition to monthly mortgage payments. One of those costs is private mortgage insurance, commonly referred to as PMI. For many homebuyers who have not been able to save for a big down payment, PMI can help them to still purchase a home instead of having to pay rent. Let’s look at homebuyers’ commonly asked questions
about private mortgage insurance, what its purpose is, and when and how you can stop paying it.
Historically low interest rates — which hovered under 3% in the last week of 2021 — have lots of homeowners wondering if they should refinance their home. And in fact, home refinance became increasingly popular last year as more Americans elected to stay in their current homes rather than enter a highly competitive home buying market.
If you own a home, you may have imagined more than once what it would be like to say, “My house is paid off! I don’t have a mortgage anymore!” Go ahead: Add in a little happy dance, and maybe throw a few fist pumps in the air, because paying off a mortgage is a big deal. According to 2020 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 38% of owner-occupied homes are owned free and clear; for homeowners under age 65, the share of paid-off homes is 26.4%.
Congratulations on wanting to take the plunge and become a first-time homeowner in Beloit. Maybe you’ve already done some looking. And just maybe you’ve started wondering how you’re going to afford that dream home. The fact is most people don’t buy a home outright with all their own cash. Typically, you save up enough to make a healthy down payment and then borrow the balance from a lender in the form of a home loan. The amount you borrow is called a mortgage, and you’re responsible for making monthly mortgage payments to pay the loan back.
Buying a new home is probably the single largest expenditure most people make in their lifetime. It’s thrilling, but it can also be stressful. A good place to begin is to consult an online mortgage calculator to see how much home you can actually afford. Other important considerations include having a good to excellent credit score and a healthy debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Both indicators provide lenders with a picture of whether you’re a good lending risk and how much you’ll be able to afford to borrow — and comfortably pay back.
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