Take your pick: consumers have more mortgage choices

Would you like better mortgage options that would support all of your financial goals?

You may be in luck.

A lack of confidence in the stock market continues, and with real-estate value appreciation and more players in the mortgage business than ever, consumers get more mortgage-loan choices than ever before.

In his book “Practical Financial Planning for Professionals,” Certified Financial Planner Dr. Sid Mittra writes that the current profile has no norm or average: “Every person or family is in a unique financial position. Therefore, any course of financial action designed to serve the specific goals of each person or family must also be unique.

“Obviously, what is right for one person with a given set of circumstances may not be right for another with a different set of circumstances.”

Below are some of the mortgage products that have become available in the mainstream over the past few years. Properly utilized, they might help you hit your financial goals sooner rather than later:

  • Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMS), though not always popular with generations that remember the double-digit inflation of the 1970s and 1980s, have become much more competitive, have lower margins, rate-adjustment caps, and often even give a consumer a choice of which index the loan is based on;
  • Interest-only loans are now offered on everything from first mortgages that are paid like home equity lines-of-credit, to 3/1 and 5/1 ARMs with interest-only options, all the way to the new 30-year fixed-interest-only option, which has an interest-only option for the first 10 years, followed by a 20-year amortization of principle and interest;
  • Deferred-interest loans are popping up all over the place, sometimes with as many as four payment options and starting rates as low as 1 percent;
  • One-hundred-percent loans for first-time home-buyers with no down payment, or people wishing to take cash out of their property for other priorities, come in more sizes than every before;
  • Reverse mortgages are great for seniors who are equity-rich, but cash- and income-poor. A reverse mortgage, as the name implies, actually allows one to use the equity in the property to get a monthly check from the bank and supplement income;
  • Forty-year mortgages are the equivalent of the six-year car loan — stretch it out a little farther and the payment goes down a little more.

While none of these may be the type of mortgage your parents had, they may make good sense based on your particular situations.

While rates and fees are always important, equally important is your choice of a loan officer or mortgage broker to work with, someone who has knowledge in your area of interest, a proper understanding of properties and appraisals on Kaua’i, responsiveness, service, and integrity.

  • Jason Blake is a senior loan officer with Carteret Mortgage Corporation. He lives and works on Kaua’i, and can be reached at jason.blake@carteretmortgage.com, or 652-5210
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