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May
23

If you're applying for a mortgage for the first time, it may feel like you're learning a second language. All of the terms and regulations can seem daunting. One that doesn't need to be is "amortization," which is just the act of paying off debt in regular installments over a period of time. "When you amortize a loan you basically pay off the principal by making regular installment payments," says Michael LitznerBroker of Century 21 American Homes, who explains that this process typically takes place gradually over several years. Another term you may be hearing is "negative amortization." What is the difference? When your monthly payment isn't enough to cover the loan interest, then your loan principal increases rather than decreases. This is called negative amortization, otherwise referred to as "deferred interest." Monthly Payment Chart for Loans "Negative Amortization causes the loan balance to increase rather than decrease," says Litzner.  This often happens with adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Negative amortization has to be repaid, which means your payment will rise in the future. "The larger the negative amortization, the more you will be required to amortize the loan in full," says Litzner. So you may be wondering, why would anyone use a negative amortization loan? "The main reason people use negative amortization loans is to lower monthly payments," explains Litzner. "Some homeowners use loans with negative amortization to purchase a house they otherwise can't afford, resting on the idea that in the future, they will have more income and can make larger payments." "With negative amortization, a persistent rise in interest rates reduces the equity in the house unless the negative amortization is offset by house appreciation," saysLitzner. As a result, some use negative amortization if they believe that the house will be worth much more in the near future. For more information on home ownership, please contact Century 21 American Homes at 800-270-6318. Century 21 American Homes is one of the fastest growing real estate brokerages serving Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn. To find out more about an exciting career in real estate contact us at careers@c21amhomes.com.
August
8

Home loans can be confusing, and finding the right type of home loan for your particular circumstances can be a frustrating process. "Knowing the difference between the two basic home loan types can help you make a confident decision, and ensure your buying process goes smoothly," says Michael Litzner, Broker of Century 21 American Homes. Conventional Loans A conventional loan-also known as a conforming loan-is one not insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (VA), both of which make homeownership affordable and accessible. "Conventional loans require a higher credit rating, and even for those who do qualify for a conventional loan may be better off with an unconventional one," explains Litzner. "This is because the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate will be." Unconventional Loans (FHA) An unconventional loan, or non-conforming loan or FHA loan, can be obtained through a bank or private lender. The FHA has helped millions of homeowners purchase property who would have been otherwise unable to do so. These loans are ideal for lower-income borrowers or those with less than perfect credit. However, unconventional loans have insurance requirements, which tend to be relatively inexpensive and can be built into your loan. "In general, unconventional loans are a great choice for homeowners," says Litzner. "The main drawback is that the loan limit is lower, and if a higher price is needed for a home loan, then the buyer must put down a larger down payment." "If you're on the fence about which loan is right for you, try making a list of the pros and cons," says Litzner. Conventional loans carry more restrictions, and generally unconventional loans are often more attainable. However, the circumstances are different for every homeowner. Take time to think about which loan option is best for you.

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