Cover image for Mortgages for dummies
Mortgages for dummies
Tyson, Eric (Eric Kevin)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Foster City, CA : IDG Books Worldwide, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxvi, 256 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG4655 .T97 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HG4655 .T97 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



For typical homeowners, the monthly mortgage payment is either their largest or, after income taxes, second-largest expense item. When you're shopping for a mortgage without the proper knowledge, you could easily waste many hours of your time in addition to the financial losses suffered by not getting the best loan that you can. Choosing the right mortgage can help you save money for more important financial goals such as higher education and retirement.

Mortgages For Dummies is for anyone who needs a loan to buy their first home or wants to refinance their existing mortgage. This book is also for those who would like to tap some of the value they have built in their home over the years. This friendly, easy-to-understand guide will help anyone to

Shop for the best home-purchase mortgage Overcome loan qualification obstacles Negotiate lower loan fees and closing costs Save by refinancing the house Increase retirement income with a reverse mortgage

Figure out how to select the right mortgage for you situation. Then explore, step-by-step, how to get the best possible deal. Mortgages For Dummies also covers the following topics and more:

Determining your borrowing power Qualifying for a mortgage Locating and selecting a loan Finding the best lender and options Tackling loan paperwork Refinancing and other money makers

For most of us, the mortgage field is jammed with jargon and fraught with fiscal pitfalls. It's up to you to seek the knowledge necessary to make your mortgage process more rewarding. This handy guide shows you everything you need to know to find your way through the home financing jungle and make the best decisions possible.

Author Notes

Eric Tyson MBA, bestselling author of five . . . For Dummies books, on home buying, personal finance, mutual funds, taxes, and investing. A nationally recognized personal finance counselor, syndicated columnist, writer, and speaker, his work has been praised and featured in hundreds of publications, including Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, and Kiplinger's, and on PBS, ABC, The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, and CBS.
Ray Brown is the coauthor of the bestselling Home Buying For Dummies and House Selling For Dummies. He is also a 25-year-veteran of the real estate profession and currently writes, consults, and speaks on residential real estate topics. He wrote a syndicated weekly real estate column for The San Francisco Examiner, was a real esate analyst for KGO, an ABC-TV affiliate, and currently hosts KNBR radio's weekly "Ray Brown on Real Estate" show. He has also appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, and in The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine.



In this part ... Buying (or refinancing) a home can -- potentially -- be a nail-biting, brain-baffling, perspiration-inducing experience. But take a deep breath and relax; we can help you prepare for this financial leap. In this part, we help you determine how much mortgage debt you can really afford. We explain how to analyze your monthly spending, likely home-ownership expenses, and financial goals. After you have the information you need to move ahead wisely, we help you figure out how to qualify for a loan. Chapter One Determining Your Borrowing Power In This Chapter * Understanding how much mortgage debt you can truly afford * Examining your monthly spending * Assessing your likely home-ownership expenses * Considering your other financial goals Do you feel less than fully informed about mortgages and related housing decisions? Well, you have lots of company. However, you are in a minority of people who recognize the gaps in their mortgage knowledge and who are willing to invest a little of their time and money to get smarter. We know that much about you because you're reading this book. You've made a wise decision to improve your mortgage and real estate wisdom. If Ken and Mary had done the same, they could have avoided some costly mistakes we know you won't make. Here, briefly, are their tales of woe. Mary was a first-time home buyer. She began going to open houses on Sunday afternoons and, in a relatively short time, fell in love with a home. Unfortunately, she had to mortgage herself up to her eyeballs to get into it. Not thrilled with her job, Mary continued to tough it out because she had that hefty mortgage to feed every month. She had to cut out travel and restaurant dinners with friends. Mary was miserable. To cheer herself up, she started charging more on her credit card. The spending hangover that hit when her next credit card statement arrived made the enjoyment short-lived. Ken was a homeowner who was induced by an advertisement to refinance. He switched adjustable-rate mortgages without understanding how long it would take him to recoup the associated financing costs (nearly 10 years, which was longer than Ken intended to keep his home). The main reason Ken refinanced was that his previous adjustable-rate loan's interest rate increased rapidly when the adjustment index it was tied to rose sharply. A mortgage broker put Ken into an adjustable-rate mortgage with a much slower moving index right before rates started back down. He thus switched out of a faster moving loan after rates popped up, and he wasn't able to benefit nearly as fast when rates fell. Now, trust us when we say that Ken and Mary are not stupid. However, when it came to making important mortgage decisions, Ken and Mary were certainly not smart. Mary didn't understand what amount of mortgage debt she could truly afford. Ken didn't understand how to make refinancing decisions. In this chapter, we help you tackle the first vital subject to consider when the time comes to take out a mortgage -- how much mortgage can you really afford? Note: We intend this chapter primarily to help people who are buying a home (first or not) determine what size mortgage fits their financial situation. If you're in the mortgage market for purposes of refinancing, please also see Chapter 9. Only You Can Determine the Mortgage Debt You Can Afford Sit down and talk in person, by phone, or by e-mail with any mortgage lender, mortgage broker, or real estate agent, and you'll be asked about your income and debts. Assuming you have a good credit history and an adequate cash down payment, the lender can quickly estimate the amount of mortgage debt you can obtain. Suppose a mortgage lender says that you qualify to borrow, for example, $150,000. What a lender is basically telling you when it says it will lend you $150,000 is that, based on the assessment of your financial situation, $150,000 is the maximum amount that this lender thinks you can borrow on a mortgage before putting yourself at significantly increased risk of default. Do not assume that the lender is saying that you can afford to carry that much mortgage debt given your other financial goals. Your personal financial situation, most of which lenders, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents won't inquire nor care about, should help direct how much you borrow. For example, have you considered and planned for your retirement goals? Do you know how much you are spending per month now and how much slack, if any, you have for (additional) housing expenses including a (larger) mortgage? How are you going to pay for college expenses for your kids? Scrutinize Your Monthly Spending Unless you have generous parents, grandparents, or in-laws, if you want to buy a home, you're going to need to save money. The same may be true if you desire to trade up to a more costly property. In either case, you can find yourself taking on more mortgage debt than you ever dreamed possible. After you buy your first home or trade-up, your total monthly expenditures will surely increase. Be forewarned that if you had trouble saving before the purchase, your finances are truly going to be squeezed after the purchase. This pinch will further handicap your ability to accomplish other important financial goals, such as saving for retirement, starting your own business, or helping to pay for your children's college education. Because you can't manage the unknown, the first step in assessing your ability to afford a given mortgage amount is to collect and analyze your monthly spending. If you already track such data -- whether by pencil and paper or on your lightening-quick, six-gazillion-megahertz computer, you have a head start. But don't think you're finished. Having your spending data is only half the battle. You also need to know how to analyze your spending data (which we explain how to do in this chapter) to help decide how much you can afford to borrow. Collect Your Spending Data What could be more dreadful than sitting at home on a beautiful sunny day -- or staying in at night while your friends and family are out frolicking on the town -- and cozying up to your calculator, checkbook register, credit- and charge-card bills, pay stub, and most recent tax return? Examining where and how much you spend on various items is almost no one's definition of a good time (except, perhaps, for accountants, actuaries, and other bean counters who crunch numbers for a living). However, if you don't endure some pain and discomfort now, you could end up suffering long-term pain and discomfort when you get in over your head with too huge a mortgage. Now some good news: You don't need to detail to the penny where your money goes. What you're interested in here is capturing the bulk of your expenditures. Ideally, you should collect spending data for a three- to six- month period to determine how much you spend in a typical month for taxes, clothing, meals out, and so forth. If your expenditures fluctuate greatly throughout the year, you may need to examine a full 12 months of your spending patterns to obtain an accurate monthly average. Later in this chapter, we provide a handy table that you can use to categorize your spending. First, however, we need to talk you through the specific and often large expenses of owning a home so that you can intelligently plug those into your current budget. Determine Your Potential Home-Ownership Expenses If you're in the market to buy your first home, you probably don't have a clear sense about the costs of homeownership. Even people who presently own a home and are considering trading up often don't have a good handle on their current or likely future home-ownership expenses. That's why we include this section to help you assess your likely home-ownership costs. Mortgage payments As we discuss in detail in chapter 3, a mortgage is a loan you take out to finance the purchase of a home. Mortgage loans in our fair country are generally paid in monthly installments over either a 15- or 30-year time span. In the early years of repaying your mortgage, nearly all of your mortgage payment goes toward paying interest on the money that you borrowed. Not until the later years of your mortgage do you begin to rapidly pay down your loan balance (the principal ). As we say earlier in this Chapter, all that mortgage lenders can do is tell you their own criteria for approving and denying mortgage applications and calculating the maximum that you're eligible to borrow. A mortgage lender tallies up your monthly housing expense , the components of which the lender considers to be the mortgage payment, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. Understanding lenders' ratios For a given property that you are considering buying, a mortgage lender calculates the housing expense and normally requires that it not exceed 28 percent of your monthly before-tax (gross) income for conforming loans and 33 percent for jumbo loans. (Some lenders allow the percentage to go a bit higher.) So, for example, if your monthly gross income is $6,000, your lender won't allow your expected monthly housing expense to exceed $2,000. If you're self-employed and complete IRS Form 1040, Schedule C, mortgage lenders use your after-expenses (net) income, from the bottom line of Schedule C (and, in fact, add back noncash expenses for items such as depreciation, which increases a self-employed person's net income for qualification purposes). This housing expense ratio completely ignores almost all your other financial goals, needs, and obligations. It also ignores maintenance and remodeling expenses, which can suck up a lot of a homeowner's dough. That's why you can never assume that the amount a lender is willing to lend you is the amount you can truly afford. In addition to your income, the only other financial considerations a lender takes into account are your debts. Specifically, mortgage lenders examine the required monthly payments for other debts you may have, such as student loans, an auto loan, and credit card bills. In addition to the 33 percent of your income that lenders allow for housing expenses, lenders typically allow an additional 5 percent of your monthly income to go toward other debt repayments. Thus, your monthly housing expense and monthly repayment of nonhousing debts can total up to, but generally not exceed, 36 percent of your gross monthly income for conforming loans and 38 percent for jumbo loans. Figuring your mortgage payment amount After you know the amount you want to borrow, calculating the size of your mortgage payment is straightforward. The challenge is figuring how much you can comfortably afford to borrow given your other financial goals. This chapter should assist you in this regard, especially the previous section on analyzing your spending and goals. Suppose that you worked through your budget and determined that you can afford to spend $2,000 per month on housing. Determining the exact size of mortgage that allows you to stay within this boundary may seem daunting because your overall housing cost is comprised of several components: mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Using Appendix A, you can calculate the size of your mortgage payments based on the amount you want to borrow, the loan's interest rate, and whether you want a 15-year or 30-year mortgage. Property taxes As you're already painfully aware if you're a homeowner now, you must pay property taxes to your local government. The taxes are generally paid to a division typically called the County Tax Collector. (If you make a smaller down payment -- less than 20 percent of the home's purchase price -- you may have an impound account . Such an account requires you to pay your property taxes, and often your homeowners insurance, to the lender each month along with your mortgage payment. The lender is responsible for making the necessary property tax and insurance payments to the appropriate agencies in your behalf.) Property taxes are typically based on the value of a property. Because property taxes vary from one locality to another, call the relevant Tax Collector's office to determine the exact rate in your area. (You should be able to find the phone number in the government section of your local phone directory.) In addition to inquiring about the property tax rate in the town where you're contemplating buying a home, also ask what additional fees and assessments may apply. As you shop for a home, be aware that real estate listings frequently contain information regarding the amount the current property owner is currently paying in taxes. These taxes are often based upon an outdated, much lower property valuation. If you purchase the home, your property taxes may be significantly increased based on the price that you paid for the property. Tax write-offs This is a good point to pause, recognize, and give thanks for the tax benefits of homeownership. The federal tax authorities at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and most state governments allow you to deduct, within certain limits, mortgage interest and property taxes when you file your annual income tax return. You may deduct the interest on the first $1,000,000 of mortgage debt as well as all the property taxes. (This mortgage interest deductibility covers debt on both your primary residence and a second residence.) The IRS also allows you to deduct the interest costs on second mortgages known as home equity loans or home equity lines of credit, HELOCS, (see Chapter 9) to a maximum of $100,000 borrowed. To keep things simple and get a reliable estimate of the tax savings from your mortgage interest and property tax write-off, multiply your mortgage payment and property taxes by your federal income tax rate in Table 1-1. This approximation method works fine as long as you're in the earlier years of paying off your mortgage because the small portion of your mortgage payment that is not deductible (because it is for the loan repayment) approximately offsets the overlooked state tax savings. Insurance When you own a home with a mortgage, your mortgage lender will insist as a condition of funding your loan that you have adequate homeowners insurance. The cost of your insurance policy is largely derived from the estimated cost of rebuilding your home. Although land has value, it doesn't need to be insured because it wouldn't be destroyed in a fire. Buy the most comprehensive homeowners insurance coverage you can and take the highest deductible that you can afford to help minimize the cost. As a homeowner, you'd also be wise to obtain insurance coverage against possible damage, destruction, or theft of personal property such as clothing, furniture, kitchen appliances, audiovisual equipment, and your collection of vintage fire hydrants. Personal property goodies can cost big bucks to replace. In years past, various lenders learned the hard way that some homeowners with little financial stake in the property and insufficient insurance coverage simply walked away from homes that were total losses and left the lender with the loss. Thus, nearly all lenders, especially those that sell mortgage loans in the financial markets, now require you to purchase private mortgage insurance if you put down less than 20 percent of the purchase price when you buy. Maintenance costs In addition to costing you a mortgage payment monthly, homes also need painting, roof repairs, and other types of maintenance over time. Of course, some homeowners defer maintenance and even put their houses on the market for sale with lots of deferred maintenance (which, of course, will be reflected in a reduced sales price). For budgeting purposes, we suggest that you allocate about 1 percent of the purchase price of your home each year for normal maintenance expenses. So, for example, if you spend $180,000 on a home, you should budget about $1,800 per year (or about $150 per month) for maintenance. With some types of housing, such as condominiums, you pay monthly dues into a homeowners association, which takes care of the maintenance for the complex. In that case, you're only responsible for maintaining the interior of your unit. Check with the association to see how much the dues are running. Home improvement, furnishings, you name it! In addition to necessary maintenance, also be aware of how much you may spend on nonessential home improvements such as a deck, kitchen remodeling, and so on. Budget for these nonessentials unless you're the rare person who is a super saver, can easily accomplish your savings goals, and have lots of slack in your budget. The amount you expect to spend on improvements is just a guess. It depends upon how finished a home you buy and your personal tastes and desires. Consider your previous spending behavior and the types of projects you expect to do as you examine potential homes for purchase. (Continues...) Copyright © 1999 Eric Tyson and Ray Brown. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
The Eric Tyson/Ray Brown Differencep. 1
Your Treasure Mapp. 2
Part I Fine-Tuing Your Financesp. 3
Part II Locating a Loanp. 3
Part III Landing a Lenderp. 3
Part IV Refinancing and Other Money Makersp. 4
Part V The Part of Tensp. 4
Part VI Appendixesp. 4
Let Our Icons Guide Youp. 5
Part I Fine-Tuning Your Financesp. 7
Chapter 1 Determining Your Borrowing Powerp. 9
Only You Can Determine the Mortgage Debt You Can Affordp. 10
Scrutinize Your Monthly Spendingp. 11
Collect Your Spending Datap. 11
Determine Your Potential Home-Ownership Expensesp. 12
Mortgage paymentsp. 12
Understanding lenders' ratiosp. 12
Figuring your mortgage payment amountp. 13
Property taxesp. 16
Tax write-offsp. 16
Insurancep. 17
Maintenance costsp. 17
Home improvement, furnishings, you name it!p. 18
Consider the Impact of a New House on Your Financial Futurep. 18
Acting upon your spending analysisp. 21
Establishing financial goalsp. 22
Making down-payment decisionsp. 24
Considering the tax impactp. 24
Ruling out other optionsp. 25
Chapter 2 Qualifying for a Mortgagep. 27
Getting Preapproved for a Loanp. 27
The worst case scenariop. 28
Loan prequalification usually isn't good enoughp. 28
Loan preapproval is generally the way to gop. 29
Evaluating Your Creditworthiness: The Underwriting Processp. 30
Traditional underwriting guidelinesp. 31
Integrityp. 31
Income and job stabilityp. 32
Debt-to-income ratiop. 32
Property appraisalp. 32
Loan-to-value ratiop. 32
Cash reservesp. 33
New underwriting technologyp. 33
Automated underwritingp. 33
Credit scoresp. 35
Predicament-Solving Strategiesp. 36
Not enough cash for a down paymentp. 36
Excessive indebtednessp. 39
Insufficient incomep. 40
Credit blemishesp. 41
Low appraisalsp. 42
Problem propertiesp. 45
Cooperative apartmentsp. 45
Fixer-uppersp. 46
Part II Locating a Loanp. 47
Chapter 3 Fathoming the Fundamentalsp. 49
Loan Basics: Principal, Interest, Term, and Amortizationp. 49
Mortgage Mumbo Jumbop. 51
So . . . what's a mortgage?p. 51
How to scrutinize security instrumentsp. 52
Mortgages as security instrumentsp. 52
Deeds of trust as security instrumentsp. 53
Classic Mortgage Jargon Duetsp. 54
Fixed or adjustable loansp. 54
Government or conventional loansp. 55
Primary or secondary mortgage marketp. 56
Conforming or jumbo loansp. 57
Long-term or short-term mortgagesp. 58
The Punitive Psp. 59
Prepayment penaltiesp. 59
Private mortgage insurance (PMI)p. 61
Chapter 4 Selecting the Best Home Purchase Loanp. 63
Three Questions to Help Pick the Right Mortgagep. 63
How long do you plan to keep your mortgage?p. 64
How much financial risk can you accept?p. 64
How much money do you need?p. 66
Fixed-Rate Mortgages: No Surprisesp. 67
Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)p. 68
How an ARM's interest rate is determinedp. 70
Start with the Indexp. 70
Treasury bills (T-bills)p. 71
Certificates of deposit (CDs)p. 71
The 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI)p. 71
The London Interbank Offered Rate Index (LIBOR)p. 72
Add the Marginp. 72
How often does the ARM interest rate adjust?p. 73
What are the limits on interest rate adjustments?p. 73
Does the loan have negative amortization?p. 74
Hybrid loansp. 75
Fine-Tuning Your Thought Processp. 75
Finding fundsp. 76
Making the 30-year versus 15-year mortgage decisionp. 76
Getting a Loan When Interest Rates Are Highp. 77
Chapter 5 Special Situation Loansp. 79
Home Equity Loansp. 79
Using home equity loansp. 80
Operating instructionsp. 81
Considering tax consequencesp. 82
125-Percent Home Equity Loansp. 82
Co-Op Loansp. 85
Understanding the legal structure of co-op loansp. 85
Dealing with deal-killing directorsp. 86
Tracking down a loanp. 87
Balloon Loansp. 87
80-10-10 financingp. 88
Using 80-10-10 financing to avoid private mortgage insurancep. 89
Playing with the numbersp. 90
Shrinking jumbo can slash your interest ratep. 91
Bridge loansp. 92
Construction loansp. 94
Part III Landing a Lenderp. 95
Chapter 6 Finding Your Best Lenderp. 97
Separating the Best Lenders from the Restp. 98
Mortgage Broker or Lender Direct?p. 98
Considerations when using brokersp. 98
How brokers are paidp. 99
Do brokers add to your costs?p. 99
Developing a list of brokers and lendersp. 100
Collecting referralsp. 100
Using lender listsp. 101
How to interview and work with mortgage brokersp. 102
How to interview lendersp. 103
Seller Financing: The Trials and Tribulationsp. 105
Considering/soliciting seller financingp. 105
Overcoming borrower problemsp. 106
Negotiating loan termsp. 106
Deciding whether to provide seller-financingp. 106
Chapter 7 Maneuvering through the Options Mazep. 109
Selecting a Fine Fixed-Rate Mortgagep. 110
The point and interest rate tradeoffp. 110
Other lender feesp. 112
Avoiding Dangerous Loan Featuresp. 113
Prepayment penaltiesp. 113
Negative amortizationp. 114
Comparing Lenders' Programsp. 115
Fixed-rate mortgages interview worksheetp. 115
Adjustable-rate mortgages interview worksheetp. 119
Applying with One or More Lendersp. 124
Chapter 8 Tackling Loan Paperworkp. 125
Pounding the Paperworkp. 125
Filing Out the Uniform Residential Loan Applicationp. 127
I. Type of mortgage and terms of loanp. 128
II. Property information and purpose of loanp. 128
III. Borrower informationp. 130
IV. Employment informationp. 131
V. Monthly income and housing expense projectionsp. 132
VI. Assets and liabilitiesp. 135
VII. Details of transactionp. 136
VIII. Declarationsp. 136
IX. Acknowledgement and agreementp. 137
X. Information for government monitoring purposesp. 138
Continuation sheetp. 138
Introducing Other Typical Documentsp. 139
Your right to receive a copy of the appraisalp. 139
Equal Credit Opportunity Actp. 139
Part IV Refinancing and Other Money Makersp. 141
Chapter 9 Refinancing Your Mortgagep. 143
Refinancing Rationalesp. 144
Cost-Cutting Refinancesp. 144
Applying the 2-percent rulep. 145
Crunching the numbersp. 146
Refinancing's magic formulap. 146
Fewer points don't always great loans makep. 147
Restructuring Refinancesp. 149
Restructuring when you need top. 149
Getting a fixed-rate to avoid ARM phobiap. 150
Resetting ARM capsp. 151
Outwitting periodic adjustment capsp. 151
Limiting lifetime capsp. 152
Choosing the fast-forward mortgagep. 152
Cash-Out Refinancesp. 152
Expediting Your Refip. 154
Beating Borrower's Remorsep. 155
Phase I borrower's remorsep. 156
Phase II borrower's remorsep. 157
Chapter 10 Reversing the Processp. 159
Reverse Mortgage Basicsp. 159
How valid are common objections?p. 160
Can you lose your home?p. 160
Would a home equity loan or second mortgage work better?p. 161
Who can get a reverse mortgage?p. 161
How much money can you get and when?p. 162
When do you pay the money back?p. 163
What do you owe?p. 164
How is the loan repaid?p. 165
What's the out-of-pocket cost of getting a reverse mortgage?p. 165
What are the other reverse mortgage costs?p. 166
What is the total annual loan cost (TALC)?p. 166
How does the total cost vary?p. 167
Can you avoid risk?p. 167
How do reverse mortgages affect your government-sponso red benefits?p. 168
Shopping for a Reverse Mortgagep. 168
Making major choicesp. 169
Comparing credit linesp. 170
Examining all your optionsp. 171
Using the online calculatorp. 172
Working with counselors and lendersp. 173
Getting a personal reverse mortgage analysisp. 174
Asking questionsp. 174
Alternatives to a Reverse Mortgagep. 175
Resources for Finding Out Morep. 176
National Center for Home Equity Conversion (NCHEC)p. 176
Consumer counselors and materialsp. 177
Ken Scholenp. 177
Part V The Part of Tensp. 179
Chapter 11 Ten Issues to Consider Before Prepaying Your Loanp. 181
Different Strokes for Different Folksp. 181
Yes, You Do Save Interest Dollarsp. 182
However, You Miss the Opportunity to Invest Those Dollarsp. 182
Taxes Matter butp. 183
Have You Funded Your Retirement Savings Plan(s)?p. 184
Does Your Mortgage Plan include a Prepayment Penalty?p. 184
Are You an Aggressive or Conservative Investor?p. 185
Consider the Psychological and Non-Financial Benefitsp. 186
Are You Liquid Enough?p. 186
Does Refinancing Make Sense?p. 186
Chapter 12 Ten Tips for Using the Internet's Mortgage Sitesp. 189
Many Sites Are Glorified Yellow Page Listingsp. 189
Quality Control Is Often Insufficientp. 190
Affordability Calculators Are Highly Simplisticp. 191
Shop to Find Out about Rates and Programsp. 191
Saving Money Online Is Not a Givenp. 192
Government Web Sites Have Useful Loan Informationp. 192
Check out HSH Associatesp. 194
Check out E-Loanp. 195
Never Give Out Personal, Confidential Information Unlessp. 196
Be Sure to Shop Offlinep. 196
Chapter 13 Ten Mortgage No-No'sp. 197
Don't Let Lenders Tell You What You Can Affordp. 197
Never Confuse Loan Prequalification with Preapprovalp. 198
Avoid Loans with Prepayment Penaltiesp. 198
Don't Reflexively Grab a Fixed-Rate Mortgagep. 199
Steer Clear of Toxic 125-Percent Home Equity Loansp. 200
Watch Out for Mortgage Brokers with Hidden Agendasp. 200
Shun Adjustable-Rate Mortgages with Negative Amortizationp. 201
Don't Let the 2-Percent Rule Bully You When Refinancingp. 201
Don't Assume That All Reverse Mortgage Programs Are the Same or Badp. 202
Avoid Mortgage Life Insurancep. 202
Part VI Appendixesp. 205
Appendix A Loan Amortization Tablesp. 207
Appendix B Remaining Balance Tablesp. 211
Appendix C Glossaryp. 233
Indexp. 243
Book Registration Information