Scott Gottlieb, CPA


105 Maxess Road, Suite N116
Melville, New York 11747

Office: 631-574-4484 or 631-253-CPA2
scott@gottliebcpa.com

 
 
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NEWS BYTES
February 2009

Mortgages ABC's - Mortgages Are Not Created Equal

The term of the mortgage -- This describes the amount of time it will take you to pay off the loan's principal and interest. Although short-term mortgages typically offer lower interest rates than long-term mortgages, they usually involve higher monthly payments. On the other hand, they can result in significantly reduced interest costs over time.

The variability of the interest rate -- There are two basic types of mortgages: those with "fixed" (i.e., unchanging) interest rates and those with variable rates, which can change after a predetermined amount of time has passed, such as one year or five years. While an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) usually offers a lower introductory rate than a fixed-rate mortgage with a comparable term, the ARM's rate could jump in the future if interest rates rise. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, it may make sense to opt for the predictability and security of a fixed rate, whereas an ARM might make sense if you plan to sell before its rate is allowed to go up. Also keep in mind that interest rates hovered near historical lows in recent years and are more likely to increase than decrease over time.

Points -- Points (also known as "origination fees" or "discount fees") are fees that you pay to a lender or broker when you close the deal. While a "no-cost" or "zero points" mortgage does not carry this up-front cost, it could prove to be more expensive if the lender charges a higher interest rate instead. So you'll need to determine whether the savings from a lower rate justify the added costs of paying points. (One point is equal to one percent of the loan's value.)

How Much Would You Save?
A homeowner with a 30-year, $200,000 mortgage charging 8% interest would pay $1,468 each month. The table below illustrates the potential monthly savings and the various break-even periods that would result from refinancing at different rates.


Rate After Refinancing New Monthly Payment Monthly Savings Months to Break Even*
7.5% $1,398 $70 29
7.0% $1,331 $137 15
6.5% $1,264 $204 10
6.0% $1,199 $269 8
5.5% $1,136 $332 7
5.0% $1,074 $394 6

*Assumes $2,000 closing costs. Rounded up to the next highest month.


A Closer Look at Mortgage Fees
Using data collected during 2003, researchers at Bankrate.com determined the average fees charged to consumers who borrow money to buy a home. Based on a loan of $180,000, the fees broke down as follows:


Average Lender/Broker Fees
Administration fee: $336
Application fee: $205
Commitment fee: $498
Document preparation: $194
Funding fee: $228
Mortgage broker fee: $839
Processing: $320
Tax service: $73
Underwriting: $269
Wire transfer: $31
Third-Party Fees
Appraisal: $327
Attorney or settlement fees: $445
Credit report: $29
Flood certification: $17
Pest & other inspection: $68
Postage/courier: $45
Survey: $174
Title insurance: $605
Title work: $200
Government Fees
Recording fee: $76
Various taxes: $1,339

reprinted from Yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

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The materials on this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as accounting advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a CPA-Client relationship. You should not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a Certified Public Accountant