The fallout from the financial crisis will be felt all over the world for years to come. This crisis high lights how important it is for homeowners and would-be homeowners to manage their mortgages intelligently. Consider the following tips:
- When thinking about buying a house, determine how much you can afford to pay. Remember to include costs like property taxes, insurance, HOA dues, and a fund for repairs.
- When looking for a mortgage, stick to your budget, and borrow only what you can afford to pay.
- Shop around, and find the best interest rate. Also pay attention to fees; with rates low, many lenders make their profit from these fees.
- Once you have a mortgage, make your payments on time.
- Start a “rainy day fund” so you can make your mortgage payments even in tough times.
- Keep all other required payments current, including taxes and insurance.
- If you receive a letter from your lender, read it carefully, and make sure you understand what is required. It may tell you your loan has been sold and that payments need to be made to a new company.
- Beware of mortgage-related scams. Remember: If it looks too good to be true, it probably IS.
- If you are struggling to make your payments, contact your lender immediately. They may be able to help.