First Mortgages

What you need to know

So, your thinking about buying your first home? This is a big step and a Major Investment of your life. The question is what do you need to do?

What is a first mortgage?

This refers to the primary lien against the real estate you wish to buy. Although most people have never taken out a mortgage before when they apply for their first one, it always refers to the property itself, not your level of home buying. Your mortgage is a security blanket for the lender. It tells them that you will repay your loan over a period of time and they do not have to worry about you running away without paying your loan in full. Should that happen, they will be allowed to sell the property and recover the loaned monies.

Paying your Mortgage

Your mortgage payments are usually due monthly, either in one lump sum or bi-weekly. At first, the bulk of your payments are split between the interest (money paid regularly at a decided rate when money is lent) and the principal (the amount you borrowed from the lender). In the beginning, most of your payments go towards interest. Your principal will only decrease by a small amount at first. However, over the life of your mortgage your principal will decrease significantly. The amortization period for first mortgages are usually between 25-30 years, which may seem like a lifetime but in truth, it is an ideal amount of time to have pay off your mortgage in full

What you need to know

  • There are two types of mortgages: open and closed.
  • Closed mortgages usually have lower mortgage rates than open ones.
  • A prepayment privilege allows you to make extra payments towards your mortgage at certain agreed upon times in a closed mortgage, or whenever you feel like it in an open mortgage.
  • The amortization period is the amount of time it takes for you to pay off your mortgage completely.
  • The mortgage term refers to the length of time your agreement and interest rate is in effect, usually five or more years
  • At the end of each term you are able to renew your mortgage.
  • Interest rates can be fixed or variable but there does exist a hybrid rate that is not generally recommended for your first mortgage.