5 Mortgage Rules You Should Know by Heart

If you’re buying a house or refinancing your loan, here’s what you need to know.house_f4nehsc_large_large

For millions of Americans, a mortgage is the biggest debt they’ll ever have to repay. Unfortunately, as anyone who’s ever gone through the process can attest, mortgages involve pages and pages of legal documentation that can be nearly impossible for most people to comprehend. To simplify mortgages, there are some basic guidelines that anyone can learn and commit to memory. Below, we’ll go through five useful rules about mortgages.

Rule 1: Keep your mortgage payment to 25% or less of your income.

Housing costs are typically the largest expense item in your household budget, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to break the bank. Lenders look closely at your income to determine how much you can truly afford to pay for a monthly mortgage payment, and one simple guideline they use is to take your available income and multiply it by 25%. If a mortgage would require larger payments than that, after taking into account both the loan itself and associated payments like property taxes and insurance, then a lender will generally be less comfortable in giving you the loan.

Rule 2: Avoid private mortgage insurance by making a 20% down payment.

Mortgage lenders typically require borrowers to obtain private mortgage insurance or PMI if they make a down payment that’s less than 20% of the value of the home. PMI protects lenders against the risk that the value of the home will fall below the outstanding principal balance on the mortgage, leaving the borrower “underwater” on the loan. For borrowers, however, it’s an added expense that essentially provides no value to them. As difficult as it can be to save up a 20% down payment, the hundreds of dollars in PMI that it will save you could make the difference between being able to afford a slightly more expensive home and having to settle for less.

Rule 3: Understand how adjustable rate mortgages work and what risks are involved.

Fixed mortgages are easier to understand because the interest rate that they charge never changes, so you can count on monthly mortgage payments remaining constant throughout the lifetime of your loan. That’s not the case with adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs, which only remain fixed for a set period. Most lenders refer to ARMs with two numbers, such as 5/1. The first number refers to how long the initial rate remains in place. The second number describes how often the rate adjusts after the initial rate ends. For a 5/1 ARM, the initial rate stays in place for five years, and then changes every year after that. When rates change, they’ll also change your monthly payment, so make sure you understand the illustrations that your mortgage documents will provide so you don’t get a nasty surprise at the end of the initial term.

Rule 4: Know whether you’ll actually be able to deduct your mortgage expenses.

Many people look forward to being able to deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and other key expenses of owning a home. But one thing to keep in mind is that all of these tax breaks are only available if you itemize deductions on your tax return. If the cost of your interest and taxes isn’t enough, when combined with other itemized deductions, to exceed the standard deduction you’re entitled to receive, then buying a home won’t do you any good from a tax perspective. That shouldn’t necessarily stop you from making a purchase and taking out a mortgage loan, but it should inform you as to the true cost of doing so.

Rule 5: Be careful diverting retirement money toward a home purchase.

The tax laws governing retirement accounts allow you to make withdrawals from an IRA of up to $10,000 toward a first-time home purchase without having to pay the typical penalties for early withdrawal of your retirement savings. However, just because you can use IRA money toward a home purchase doesn’t mean you should. First, even though you won’t owe penalties, you will owe income tax on the money you withdraw, potentially leaving you with a big tax shortfall at the end of the year. More importantly, diverting that money from your retirement savings will leave you in a less favorable position in the long run with the size of your nest egg. As a potential source of down payment money, tapping an IRA can seem like a smart move, but be aware of the long-term consequences before you pull the trigger.

Buying a home will probably be the biggest purchase you ever make. Being smart about the debt you incur to buy your home is essential to avoid the mistakes that so many homeowners made during the financial crisis. Keeping these rules in mind will take you a long way toward a better understanding of the mortgage process and your mortgage loan.

 

Source:  http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/05/28/5-mortgage-rules-you-should-know-by-heart.aspx?source=iedfolrf0000001

27780 W Ox Ranch Road Congress, AZ 85332

$25,000,000
5 Beds
4 Baths
2,328 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6016821
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
The O.X. - Little Horse Ranch is an approximately 95,000 +/- acre ranching operation including the 65,620 +/- acre O.X. farm and ranch including 2,292+/- deeded acres located in the high Sonoran Desert 15 miles North of Wickenburg, AZ and the 29,072 +/- acre Little Horse Ranch located in the pine-covered country along the I-17 freeway beginning 3 miles south of Flagstaff, AZ. The 140-year old O.X. Ranch, which is regarded by many as the finest desert ranch in the Southwest, extends from the town of Congress, AZ, at a 3,000 ft. elevation, to the pine-covered peaks of the Weaver Mountains at almost 6,000 feet. The three perennial streams that converge at the headquarters, together with a spring that produces several hundred gallons of water per minute, a 30ft. water table, and a 13 ACRE LAKE

6015 E Cameldale Way Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

$22,500,000
7 Beds
14 Baths
15,736 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6214376
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
A work of Art - first time on the market and situated on one of the most commanding homesites in Cameldale, this Grand Estate graces 4.27 acres with stunning views at the base of Camelback Mountain. Created by the vision of its' owner and the professional talent of the Superfecta: Candelaria Design, Inc. (Architect), Desert Star Construction (Builder), Vallone Design, Inc. (Interiors), and Berghoff Design Group (Landscape), every detail exudes an ambience that is grand, yet warm and comfortable for an unequaled Lifestyle. Through the gated entry to the charming arrival, the warmth of a French countryside setting draws you in to handsome stone dwellings with compliments of wood and iron that are the main house, additional garages, a two bedroom, two bath, complete Guest House, ....

7620 N Red Ledge Drive Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

$20,000,000
9 Beds
14 Baths
18,000 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6097421
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
EXTRAORDINARY CONTEMPORARY MASTERPIECE BY CP Drewett! UNPARALLELED VIEWS, PRIVACY, AND LOCATION! This spectacular, fully customizable, contemporary build-to-suit home, perfectly situated on a 16.4 acre mountain top Paradise Valley estate lot, presents the most discriminating individual an opportunity to have it all. Located within a guard-gated community, and behind its own private gate, the privileged owner of this extraordinary home will possess a unique level of privacy and seclusion rarely found, especially when considering the area's best fine dining, shopping, and entertainment are within 15 minutes drive, and both the Phoenix Sky Harbor International and Scottsdale Airports are only 20 minutes away. This remarkable property offers two breathtaking building pads. Must Watch Videos

15860 E Rio Verde Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85262

$19,500,000
4 Beds
8 Baths
8,744 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6106214
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
A coveted Modern West lifestyle awaits in the glorious Sonoran Desert at MorDo Ranch. Located just minutes from all the amenities Scottsdale has to offer, this 101+ acre horse ranch offers both luxury home living along with superb horse facilities. The main residence, designed after an Argentinian Estancia, displays Kitchell commercial building expertise tailored to a magnificent and welcoming estate home, with open floor plan, private his and her offices, two separate guest suites and intimate entertaining areas. Among the estate grounds are a 10-stall barn, two corrals, and four 5-acre pastures. Closer to the main residence are two managers homes, greenhouse and both pool and tennis court.

10719 E Rimrock Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85255

$18,750,000
6 Beds
8 Baths
13,111 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6144446
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
Backdropped by the magnificent McDowell Mountains, this incredible Silverleaf estate boasts dramatic views of the vibrant golf course and the twinkling city lights of the Valley below. Designed and built for the most discerning, the home features qualities authentic to a timeless California-style estate with a private gated entrance leading to an extended driveway and grand motor court. Impeccable attention to detail, the finest materials and unparalleled craftsmanship were executed perfectly throughout. Strategically placed on a 9-acre signature homesite is the 13,111 square foot, 6-ensuite bedrooms, 8 bath, timeless home with a detached 1,789 square foot, two-bedroom guest home. This was the first home built in Silverleaf to achieve LEED certification for energy efficiency.

8100 N 68th Street Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

$18,000,000
5 Beds
7.5 Baths
17,912 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6194320
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
The Hacienda of Paradise Valley; an exclusive palatial Mediterranean style estate. Experience the master class in what can be achieved when worlds finest artisans and materials create the unlimited, without a budget in mind or in sight. Designed by Juan Sandoval following the format of 17th Century Colonial architecture, but with every modern convenience. This magnificent home is unparalleled in its construction quality and architectural precision. Every 2 acre part of this estate was designed and built in over a ten year period. Two spectacular central courtyards. One for gardens and fountains, the other for a stunning 60X60 foot pool. The design of the home guarantees beauty from every room, and a level of security unmatched by even the most advanced technology. Watch its motion Vide

5800 N Yucca Road Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

$16,800,000 - 8Br/11Ba - Home for Sale in Jokake Camelback Properties Tract A, Paradise Valley
New
$16,800,000
8 Beds
11 Baths
21,379 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6222976
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
On 4.62 acres in exclusive Cameldale, with full Camelback Mtn views, sits this incredible French-inspired country chateau currently UNDER AN EXTENSIVE RENOVATION. A lantern-lined long driveway with hand-built stone wall, expansive lush lawns, and a Monet lily pond introduces the estate. The compound totals 21,000 sqft and includes a guest home, a 6,500 sqft game house with indoor 1/2 basketball court, gym+ 300 person club rm, bar, kitchen, home theatre + antique fireplace. The beautiful main home has 7 bedrooms including full attached guest quarters, wine rm+ large tasting rm, library, slate roof, 7 car garage and more. The grounds also feature a tennis court, an English-built Hartley greenhouse, vegetable garden, citrus grove, rose garden , courtyards+ playhouse with playground

41927 N Saguaro Forest Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85262

$16,500,000
5 Beds
5.5 Baths
9,860 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6012791
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
The Bacon House at Desert Mountain is a stunning classically modern 9,860 square foot home, designed by Master of the Southwest Architectural Designer Bob Bacon. This south-facing, five-bedroom, open plan home and gallery will be built in Desert Mountain, a secure, gated, private club and recreation-oriented master planned community in Scottsdale, Arizona. The capstone of a storied career, Bacon has created a true masterpiece of livable architectural art destined to be one of the finest homes anywhere; replete with the most advanced technology (including being solar powered) and 5,550 SF of climate-controlled collector's galleries for the safe display of prized possessions such as automobiles, art, or sculpture. A Bacon curated collection of furnishings is also available separately.

20936 N 109th Place Scottsdale, AZ 85255

$16,500,000
6 Beds
11 Baths
16,976 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6202608
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
Never before listed! This magnificent private estate awaits a most discerning owner! Situated behind its own private gates on nearly 3 acres within the guard-gated Upper Canyon of Silverleaf. Sophisticated 16,000+ sq ft. custom luxury retreat offers 3 full en-suite master bedrooms each with washer/dryer and safe rooms attached. Two separate guest suites above the garage. An additional 3 offices, 2 of which can be converted to en-suite bedrooms for a possible total of 8 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. Multiple living and entertaining areas including a fully equipped state-of-the-art theater room. Spacious chef's kitchen with double islands and exceptional custom crafted cabinets. Beautiful, gated motor court with six garages....

5335 N Invergordon Road Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

$14,990,000
6 Beds
13 Baths
25,851 SqFt
Status Active W/contingency
MLS # 5892742
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
This fabulous gated 25,000 sq ft. estate built in 2013 has views of Camelback Mountain overlooking a beautiful terraced cascading pool + grounds. The residence has exquisite mahogany ceilings and cabinetry, 6 automated pocket doors to the outside, a 2 story high living rm, 2 bedrm master suite w sitting rm 2 master baths + 2 closets. There is a gourmet kitchen w 2 large center islands and marble floors opening to a 1,750 sq ft family rm, an extraordinary two-story library, a 12 seat theatre, wine rm, a lounge bar, 2 offices, an exercise rm with glass steam rm + sauna + an attached guest home.The main rooms: kitchen, master suites, office and library are on the main floor. This home was built to commercial standards. There is also a 25 person elevator, add'l elevator + shooting range.

10944 E Whistling Wind Way Scottsdale, AZ 85255

$14,950,000
7 Beds
9.5 Baths
11,794 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6175522
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
Renowned architect Bing Hu is creating another masterpiece in the Upper Canyon of the prestigious and highly acclaimed Silverleaf community. This 11,794 SF estate is a modern adaptation of the Prairie style of architecture, perfectly situated sitting on the high foothills of the McDowell Mtns with panoramic city lights, mountain and valley views. The superb quality of the finishes and the amenities included are sure to please the most discerning: 5 ground floor bedrooms and 2 bedroom guest house, 11 car garage, spacious gym, sport court and pickleball court, media room and separate golf simulator room, large negative edge pool, spa and lounging pool - Certainly everything you'd expect in a home of this stature. All artist renderings are conceptual and subject to changes

8185 E Alameda Road Scottsdale, AZ 85255

$13,950,000
5 Beds
11 Baths
17,400 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6190244
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
This incredible, irreplaceable appx 10 acre residential/equestrian estate is located in the heart of Pinnacle Peak which makes it one of the most unique equestrian facilities in all of North Scottsdale. Main house features 3br suites incredible living, family, dining rooms & beautiful Kitchen. 8 seat theater , 5,000 SF pavilion that is done like no other 2 new separate guest quarters, 2 RV garages several out buildings to house all your cars and other toys. All this in addition to one of the most beautiful and quality equestrian facilities. It's everything you could ever need and there's still room for more if one wanted to expand. The photos and vitural tours will help tell the rest of the story of all the equestrian facilities. Equestrian amenities include

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