Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Question button

red calculator and handP & I stands for Principal (P) and Interest (I).

Most, but not all, mortgage loans are “amortizing” and consist of payments that include both principal & interest.

When people refer to “mortgage payments”, they generally mean the total P & I amount.

Sometimes the “mortgage payment” also includes an escrow item (e.g., real estate taxes), as well.


Category: Mortgages

PMI private mortgage insurancePMI is the abbreviation for Private Mortgage Insurance.

Mortgage lenders generally require borrowers to pay PMI if they put less than 20% down on their home purchase.

The premium is paid monthly & protects the lender, not the Borrower.

The monthly premium is taken into consideration when lenders qualify you for your mortgage on your home.

In some circumstances, once your home equity builds to more than 20% of market value, you may be able to have the lender lift this monthly payment requirement.


Category: Mortgages

Costs Benefits

Points are sometimes paid up front as a way to reduce your mortgage interest rate. They are also known as Discount Points, because they “discount” your mortgage rate.

A Point is 1% of the mortgage loan amount.

So on a $100,000 mortgage loan, one Point would be $1,000. By paying points to the Lender at closing, the Lender will reduce your interest rate on your loan.

Reducing the interest rate saves money over the term of the loan and also may help you to qualify for your loan because the monthly payment is lowered due to the lower interest rate.

In order to know whether or not it is financially advantageous to pay points, you would need to analyze the total savings you realize due to the rate decrease and also estimate how long you expect to live in the property to determine if it is a smart move.

Paying Points increases your cash out of pocket at closing when buying a home, so that is also a consideration.


Category: Mortgages

calendar with words pay mortgageEscrow accounts are used to save for estimated future homeowner’s insurance and real estate tax payments.

These escrow accounts are analyzed annually to see if the monthly payment amount is too high or too low to cover these expenses for the next 12 months.

Based on the balance in the account and the estimated cost of insurance and property taxes in the upcoming year, the lender will change the monthly payment as required.


Category: Mortgages

home appraisal illustrationA real estate appraisal is a formal & documented estimate of the market value of residential or commercial real estate performed by an expert in the field.

Professional appraisers use recent sales data, market trends, current property condition and other types of data to appraise a home or commercial property. Appraisers are licensed professionals.

Mortgage lenders require an appraisal by a professional appraiser of their choice prior to making a commitment to lend money on a property.


Categories: Mortgages, Real Estate

model house and calculatorBoth handle mortgage transactions. A mortgage broker generally works with a variety of different lenders and matches borrowers with lenders. Mortgage broker fees are usually paid by the lender and are disclosed on the closing statement.

A mortgage banker generally works for the lender directly and therefore places mortgage loans with only that lender.

In most states, Mortgage Brokers must be licensed and pass an exam. Mortgage Bankers are usually employees of a mortgage banking company.


Category: Mortgages