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The Key To a Mortgage Is Finding a Credible Lender

This will involve some research, but is well worth the time. A great place to start is the Better Business Bureau and Yelp for business ratings and consumer reviews. Don't underestimate the power of social media—check out the company's Facebook or similar sites. We recommend our preferred partner Guaranteed Rate.

When shopping for a mortgage professional it's perfectly acceptable to interview several prospects. Your mortgage professional, using their extensive experience, can set the stage for your ideal mortgage process. Look for someone who is experienced, responsive, and a straight communicator.

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What Are Some of the Costs Associated With Buying a Home?

The fees you'll typically be charged when purchasing a home are simply a consequence of attaining a mortgage. The only fees your lender can control are points charged on behalf of the lender to attain your loan. Other fees charged can include: credit, appraisal, title, and, in some cases, state, county and municipal taxes.

When shopping for lenders by reviewing fees there are two documents you can use to compare costs:

  • Good Faith Estimate (GFE) - The initial GFE is an estimated itemization of all of your costs associated with attaining your mortgage loan—basically the cost of doing business.
  • Truth-in-Lending (TIL) - The initial TIL will include your annual percentage rate (APR); this represents your estimated closing costs as a percentage. This percentage includes your quoted rate, mortgage insurance (if applicable), prepaid finance charges, closing costs, and your estimated fees as a percentage. Both documents will show a rate discussed at the time of your quote request; this does not mean your rate is locked or that the rate will be available when you are ready to lock.

How Do Mortgage Bonds Impact Mortgage Rates?

Quite simply, if bonds rise then mortgage rates fall, and if bonds fall then mortgage rates rise. Additionally, the bond market typically moves twice per day—this means rates also move. What's important here is that when a mortgage professional quotes a rate, it is accurate for that moment. The bond market could possibly shift later in the day. While mortgage shopping can be time consuming, your research can help to ensure a smooth mortgage transaction.

How Does This Relate To Mortgage Rates?

Understanding the relationship between mortgage rates and the bond market will allow you to make an educated decision about available rates and the best time to lock in your rate.

When mortgages are sold and purchased by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae on the secondary market, they offer mortgage-backed securities (bonds) as payment. It is the mortgage-backed bond market that drives mortgage interest rates.

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