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Finding your best mortgage?

For many people, buying a home is one of the biggest and most important financial decisions they'll ever make. One of the most crucial aspects of that decision is finding the best mortgage rates available. A mortgage is a significant financial commitment that can last for decades, so it's important to find a rate that works for your budget and lifestyle. In this article, I'll explore some tips and strategies for getting the best mortgage rates possible.

1. Improve your credit score

Your credit score is one of the most important factors lenders consider when determining your mortgage rate. A higher credit score generally means you'll qualify for a better rate. If your credit score is less than great, take steps to improve it before applying for a mortgage. Pay your bills on time, pay down debt, and avoid applying for new credit cards or loans in the months leading up to your mortgage application.

2. Shop around

Don't settle for the first mortgage rate you're offered. Shop around and compare rates from multiple lenders. You can do this by contacting several different lenders directly, or by working with a mortgage broker who can help you compare rates from multiple lenders at once. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples by asking for quotes on the same type of mortgage with the same terms (e.g., 30-year fixed-rate mortgage).

3. Consider a shorter loan term

While a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most common type of mortgage, it's not always the best option for everyone. A shorter loan term, such as a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, can often come with a lower interest rate. Plus, you'll pay off your mortgage faster and save money in interest over the life of the loan. Keep in mind, though, that your monthly payments will be higher with a shorter loan term.

4. Have a higher deposit

The more money you put down on your home, the lower your mortgage rate is likely to be. This is because lenders see borrowers who put more money down as less risky. Plus, if you put down at least 20% of the home's purchase price, you won't have to pay mortgage insurance (MI), which can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly mortgage payment.

5. Consider variable-rate mortgages (VRMs)

A variable-rate mortgage (VRM) is a mortgage with an interest rate that can fluctuate over time. VRMs typically start with a lower interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage, which can save you money upfront. However, the interest rate can go up or down over time, which means your monthly payment could change. If you're considering an VRM, make sure you understand how the interest rate is calculated and how often it can change.

6. Get pre-approved

Before you start shopping for a home, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you a better idea of what you can afford and help you narrow down your search. Having a pre-approval letter in hand can make you a more attractive buyer to sellers. When you're pre-approved, the lender will give you a specific interest rate, which can help you compare rates from multiple lenders.

7. Consider working with a mortgage broker

A mortgage broker can help you compare rates from multiple lenders and find the best mortgage for your needs. Brokers typically have access to a wider range of lenders than individual borrowers, which means they may be able to find you a better rate than you could on your own. Keep in mind, though, that brokers charge a fee for their services, which can be a percentage of the loan amount or a flat fee.

8. Don't forget about stamp duty and legal costs

When you're comparing mortgage rates, don't forget to factor in the stamp duty and legal costs. Closing costs add up to thousands of dollars.

Keep in mind that every borrower's situation is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to do your own research and talk to multiple lenders to find the best mortgage for you.

Remember, a mortgage is a significant financial commitment that can have a big impact on your financial future. Finding the best mortgage rates can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, so it's important to take the time to do your homework and shop around.

In addition to the tips above, there are other things you can do to improve your chances of getting the best mortgage rates. For example, having a stable job and income, a low debt-to-income ratio, and a sizable deposit can all make you a more attractive borrower to lenders.

The key to getting the best mortgage rates is to be informed and proactive. Don't be afraid to ask questions, compare rates, and negotiate with lenders. With some effort and persistence, you can find a mortgage that fits your needs and helps you achieve your homeownership goals.

Note – I, Sam Wilks am not a financial adviser, I have been in the Real estate industry for over 23 years and have a range of real estate experiences that I share with others for them to be better educated in making the decision right for them.

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