This story is sponsored by Goldenwest Credit Union. Learn more about Goldenwest Credit Union.
Spring is finally upon us and, as the weather heats up, so does the season for buying and selling homes. Home sales in Utah continue to be robust, especially with the recent dip in mortgage rates.
As a homeowner, you don’t necessarily have to be in the market for a new house to benefit from lower interest rates. If the current interest rate is lower than your existing mortgage, a refinance can be a sound financial decision.
Refinancing to a lower rate means lower monthly payments and perhaps a chance to pay off your home faster. Many homeowners refinance to a loan with a shorter term, or they simply continue paying the same monthly amount toward their mortgage, meaning more money goes toward the principal.
If you currently carry mortgage insurance on your home, there’s even bigger news: rising values mean more equity in the home. If your home has increased in value, a refinance might make it possible to free yourself from that additional monthly burden, lowering your monthly payment even further.
Refinancing is easier than ever before: online mortgage applications, scanned documents and the use of digital signatures means you can handle most of the process right from your PC or mobile device. Usually, only closing documents must be handled and signed in person.
Whether you’re buying a new home or looking to refinance, there are two ways to save money when shopping for a mortgage — interest rates and fees. Here are five key things to consider when choosing a lender:
1. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Request a binding loan estimate from each lender with a complete outline of the fees. (The binding loan estimate is different than simply asking your lender for an estimation on fees.)
All lenders throughout the mortgage industry must disclose fees in the same way on a loan estimate, allowing you to easily compare. And, once you have an official loan estimate, the lender is bound to the fees presented.
2. Shop around for the best interest rate. Interest rates vary from lender to lender, anywhere from 0.125% to 0.25%. While such a small percentage might not seem like much, it can equate to a homeowner paying $100,000 or more in interest over the life of a 30-year mortgage loan.
3. Don’t forget to ask about the origination fee. The origination fee is based on the loan amount, and typically varies from 0.50% to 1.00%.
4. Look for “junk” fees and mark-ups on other fees. Your lender should be able to explain the purpose of every fee to you in the loan estimate.
5. Other things to consider. While interest rates and fees are the primary ways to save, they are not the only things to look at when considering a mortgage. Other items to keep in mind are private mortgage insurance, total loan cost and total monthly payment. By comparing these items, you can choose the best mortgage for your financial situation.
As a local, not-for-profit, lender Goldenwest Credit Union never marks-up or tacks on additional fees, and our origination fee is usually on the low end of 0.50% for most mortgages. Our mission is to save our members money with minimal fees and lower interest rates while providing the best possible service.
In 2018, Goldenwest Credit Union originated just under $265 million in secondary market mortgages. We have built an excellent reputation with local builders and real estate agents for being timely and meeting deadlines. And, since we’re locally-based, we can help you get through the loan process more efficiently: from application/contract to funding is around three weeks.
About 43% of all mortgage applications received by Goldenwest Credit Union are submitted through our online application platform, which was recently enhanced to create a better experience for both the buyer and the originator. Our goal is to make the process as easy and efficient as possible.
If you are considering a new mortgage, let the team at Goldenwest Credit Union save you money and show you just how easy the loan process can be. Call us, send us text or an email, or contact us through an online chat. We have 36 experienced mortgage originators, located from Logan to St. George, just waiting to answer any questions you have.