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Learn About Mortgages & Home Ownership

Visit our Financial Education Center for information on mortgages, guidance on home ownership, and essential knowledge for first time homebuyers.

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Mortgage FAQs

  1. What is the APR?
    APR stands for annual percentage rate and its purpose is to give borrowers a truer representation of the effective interest rate on their loan. APR factors in certain closing costs and fees and spreads these costs over the life of the loan to arrive at a more accurate annualized percentage rate than the note rate alone represents.
  2. What are points?
    A “point” is a one-time closing fee. One point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. Two points are equal to 2% of the loan amount. For example, 1 point on a $100,000 loan would equal $1,000 ($100,000 x 1% = $1,000).
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Mortgage Terms

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) - A mortgage loan with an interest rate is likely to change based on how the market is doing. An index (a rate based on market conditions) and a margin (a rate set by the lender before you apply for a loan) are added up to determine your ARM interest rate. Although an ARM may start with lower monthly payments than fixed-rate mortgages, they come with the risk that your payment will rise because the index changes.

Equity - The difference based between what is owed against a property and its fair market value.

FICO Score - The best-known and most widely used credit score model in the United States. The FICO score is calculated with information from a consumer's credit files. It provides a snapshot of risk that banks and other institutions used to help make lending decisions.

Loan to Value (LTV) - The percentage of your new home’s value that your mortgage will cover. For example, a home valued at $200,000 with a $160,000 mortgage has an LTV of 80 percent. This is one of the key factors lenders consider after appraising the home. The higher the LTV amount, the riskier it is for the lender to loan out the money.

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How can we help you?

Buying a home or borrowing on your equity is a major life decision. We’re sure you have questions. And our knowledgeable home lending specialists can help answer them. Please give us a call or schedule an appointment today.

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Mortgage Do’s and Don’ts