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

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21053 N 110th Way Scottsdale, AZ 85255

$27,500,000
6 Beds
8.5 Baths
15,000 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6142312
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 4.7 acres within the guard-gated Upper Canyon of Silverleaf. This extraordinary 15,000+ sq ft. architecturally designed by visionary Dale Gardon & built by award winning Salcito Custom Homes offers French limestone & French Oak flooring throughout. Sophisticated bathrooms feature heated flooring & steam showers. Fantastic fully equipped guest house includes washer / dryer, dual custom walk-in closets & private outdoor oasis. Large gym & 6 car airconditioned garage bays. Spectacular outdoor spaces cater to every whim; deep diving pool, spa, firepit, kitchen, multiple sitting areas w/ fireplaces & ceiling heaters guarantee stunning Arizona living & entertaining!!

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

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 19-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.

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.

New River AZ 85087

$16,000,000
4 Beds
2 Baths
19,161 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 5584412
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO OWN 32 ACRES TOTAL NORTH OF ANTHEM OUTLETS. BORDERS I17 FRONTAGE ROAD. C3 Zoning. Fantastic location. Please DO NOT bother anyone on property. Seller firm at 16 million dollars. Seller will finance! Thank you.

20724 N 112th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85255

$15,600,000
5 Beds
5.5 Baths
12,132 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6111974
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
The living is easy in this sophisticated, modern masterpiece located in the Upper Canyon of Silverleaf. Spanning over 12,000 square feet on an elevated lot, this cosmopolitan residence features ever expanding views from all rooms. The sleek, cutting edge kitchen is clad with premium finishes and fixtures including custom Italian Armony cabinets. Walls of glass showcase the views while opening the home to the awe-inspiring upper terrace and outside living space, which can be seen from the kitchen, dining and living room. The lower level is an entertainers dream with a walk-in glass wine cellar, an expansive media/game space, separate home theater and an inside half basketball court. Large covered patios flow to the exquisite outdoor spaces and infinity edge pool.

5335 N Invergordon Road Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

$14,990,000
6 Beds
13 Baths
25,851 SqFt
Status Active
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.

5021 E Arabian Way Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

$12,950,000
6 Beds
9 Baths
16,083 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 5826956
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
Timeless Classic Elegant Masterpiece! Surround yourself in complete tranquility and luxury on almost 5 spectacular acres enveloped by mountains, lush grounds and magnificent gardens. This prestigious residence has been masterfully remodeled to be one of the finest estates in Paradise Valley. With over 16,000 square feet comprising 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, this exquisite home boasts a stunning grand entrance, soaring uniquely decorated ceilings, large scale rooms with finest architectural features including sophisticated finishes throughout with details sourced the world over and a floorplan that is formal, yet creates a comfortable and inviting ambience. Other luxury amenities include; formal living and dining rooms, family style great room and open chef's kitchen,

5950 E Valley Vista Lane Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

$12,750,000
7 Beds
10 Baths
12,295 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6151640
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
With state-of-the-art 2019 renovations and upgrades by John Schultz, a beautifully re-envisioned and chic interior by Donna Vallone, and pristine landscaping by Berghoff Design, this 2 1/4 ACRE Very Private Estate exudes cool sophistication and boasts stunning FULL CAMELBACK MTN VIEWS! Multiple French doors frame Camelback Mtn and open to the HUGE Backyard with expansive green lawns, a fully tiled pool, cabana, sport court, putting green, private jogging path + flower gardens. Highlights include 16-Ft ceilings, a FULL 2BDRM GUEST HOME, SEPARATE EXERCISE BLDG (or 2nd guest house), 2 family rms, White Designer Chef's Kitchen, an elegant 2 story library, white Carrara marble bathrms, 2 huge outdoor entertainment patios, + groin vaulted ceiling in hallways. Upgrades include New Cabinetry,

250 Enchanted Way Sedona, AZ 86336

$12,500,000
7 Beds
14 Baths
15,000 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 6091601
Property Type Single Family - Detached
Price Type --
Vista Rossa is a sprawling 10-acre estate that is cradled in the Red Rock mountains of Sedona, Arizona featuring sweeping views and a private, resort-like setting. The scale of this 15,000 square-foot, seven-bedroom and 14-bath home was designed to match the grandeur of the red rocks it borders. Nestled against the Coconino National Forest. Designed by one of Arizona's top builders, Morris Fine Homebuilding, this extraordinary estate was planned specifically for its elevated location and borders the national forest offering residents the ultimate in privacy and recreation.The estate begins with a scenic drive down the 1/4 mile gated and tree-lined entry to the valet-style courtyard with five garages.Perfect for entertaining, the open floor plan includes a two-story great room with

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