When To Shop For Mortgage Rates

Shopping for Mortgage Rates. A mortgage is a long-term financial obligation, and the mortgage rate you pay substantially affects the overall cost of your new residence. A 0.5% difference in interest rates (which determines the size of your monthly payments), for example, can save or cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.

But average applicants can get the best rates, too. Because you can make up for a less-perfect package by shopping aggressively. In fact, mortgage rates among lenders vary on average by .25 to .5 percent every day. So a lazy shopper with a perfect package may not do any better than an average but determined applicant.

But in fact, if the property will only be kept for a few years, you can be perfectly safe with a 5/1 hybrid mortgage — and pay about 1 percent less in interest. On a $400,000 mortgage, that difference in the interest rate is over $250 a month! Indeed, shorter loan terms can get you a lower rate.

The biggest takeaway is shopping around, since you can’t really determine if a mortgage rate is any good without comparing it to others. Many prospective and existing homeowners simply gather one quote, typically from a friend or real estate agent’s reference, and then kick themselves later for not seeing what else is out there.

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“After all, the recent sharp decline in mortgage rates has made home-ownership much more attractive. The average quoted rate.

How to shop for mortgage rates When shopping for offers, always look at the annual percentage rates, or APR. This is the most accurate reflection of the total mortgage cost, and it includes the interest rate, late fees, lender fees, interest points and even personal mortgage insurance, when required.

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The time period over which you can rate shop under these models without feeling the effect of multiple inquiries can vary and is often from around 14 days to up to 45. Beware that a single inquiry could still have a somewhat negative effect on your credit.

Calculate how much you can afford to pay every month and choose your terms. Terms may be for 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. Obviously, a 15-year program lets you buy the house outright in half the time, but the monthly payment is higher.