Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Your MOST Important Mortgage Question

Posted in Financial,Mortgage info by Jeff Dowler on June 24, 2008
Tags: , , , , ,

As a new buyer you will have a zillion questions. You should. And you should ask them. Don’t ever feel badly about asking questions, even if you think you know the answer. You won’t learn otherwise, and you might make some serious mistakes. EVERYONE is a first time buyer some time. EVERYONE.

As far as financing is concerned, this is one area that confuses many buyers, who often have little clue about what questions to ask, who to talk to, who best to get their mortgage from, and on and on. Perfectly normal.

I submit that perhaps THE most important question you should ask is WHAT IS MY MORTGAGE PAYMENT (i.e., how much is whatever mortgage I qualify for going to cost me per month).

Many feel that the most important thing to know about is interest rate. This is not to say that is not important, but you can’t make your buying decision based on interest rate. Working with a reputable lender and selecting the type of mortgage, and terms, are also important. Lenders will tell you all about their great programs, the terrific rates, fees (be careful about these – sometimes you DON’T get the full skinny on all the fees that can add up, so ASK for this in writing – you NEED the Good faith Estimate so you have a break down of everything the loan entails).

The most important you need to know so you can make the decision that is right for your financial situation is what the monthly payment will be. Don’t get excited that you qualify for $X, which is more than you thought and which will enable you to buy one of those brand new ultra-cool condos you visited over the weekend. So what if the bank says you can borrow a half million.

I would encourage you to START with the issue of what you can afford in your monthly budget, and find out WHAT THAT MONTHLY $ AMOUNT translates to in terms of a mortgage (plus the other fees…like home owner’s insurance, HOA and condo fees, utilities). If you can afford $2000 tops, it won’t do you much good to learn from the lender that you (lucky you) are qualified, based on all the financials (loans and credit card debts, assets, income), to borrow a half million, since that amount will FAR exceed $2000 per month.

Think about this for a moment. Doesn’t this just make cents to you (pun intended!!)?


If I can provide more information about Carlsbad and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360
or email me at

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All content copyright © 2007 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits


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