The concept of a mortgage is quite simple. It’s basically a loan for a home wherein the property itself is used as collateral. Securing a mortgage, however, can be complex. The process may take more than a month, as several parties – from the escrow officer to the loan underwriter – work behind the scenes to put it all together. A trusted real estate agent can recommend a reputable mortgage broker or lender and help you navigate through the process.
There are many different types of mortgages available to home buyers. They are all thoroughly explained on this website. But here, for the sake of simplicity, we have boiled it all down to the following options and categories.
Usually, a conventional mortgage is a 30-year fixed rate loan. That means it has a fixed interest rate for the 30 year term of the mortgage. Conventional mortgages also typically require at least a 20 percent down payment. Conventional loans can offer fixed and adjustable rates.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance program is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is a department of the federal government. FHA loans are available to all types of borrowers, not just first-time buyers. The government insures the lender against losses that might result from borrower default. Advantage: This program allows you to make a down payment as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. Disadvantage: You’ll have to pay for mortgage insurance, which will increase the size of your monthly payments.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a loan program to military service members and their families. Similar to the FHA program, these types of mortgages are guaranteed by the federal government. This means the VA will reimburse the lender for any losses that may result from borrower default. The primary advantage of this program (and it’s a big one) is that borrowers can receive 100% financing for the purchase of a home. That means no down payment whatsoever.
A commercial mortgage is a mortgage loan secured by commercial property, such as an office building, shopping center, industrial warehouse, or apartment complex. The proceeds from a commercial mortgage are typically used to acquire, refinance, or redevelop commercial property.
Commercial mortgages are structured to meet the needs of the borrower and the lender. Key terms include the loan amount (sometimes referred to as “loan proceeds”), interest rate, term (sometimes referred to as the “maturity”), amortization schedule, and prepayment flexibility. Commercial mortgages are generally subject to extensive underwriting and due diligence prior to closing. The lender’s underwriting process may include a financial review of the property and the property owner (or “sponsor”), as well as commissioning and review of various third-party reports, such as an appraisal.