CHAPTER 8 Shopping for a Home Loan
The decision to buy a home puts you into a realm full of things you have not dealt with prior, especially if you used to rent your home, whether an apartment or house. Owning a house brings a whole new experience. For example, consider taxes and mortgages. When you’re looking to purchase a home, it’s important to understand what can be deducted and what can’t. A powerful piece of information many home buyers overlook is the effect of mortgage interest on their federal income tax payments. Mortgage interest is deductible and a powerful financial planning tool. Calculate the amount of mortgage interest deduction and include that in your annual financial planning. Then, make a point of checking Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1098 from the lender at the end of the year. This form shows the amount of mortgage interest that you’ve paid. Some of the nondeductible items include home repairs, general closing charges, homeowners’ association dues, as well as property hazard insurance premiums. Getting a loan to purchase a home can be a tricky business and there are terms one might find hard to understand — e.g., the term “mortgage points,” which refers to the interest that’s been prepaid. It’s possible to lower your mortgage loan’s interest rate by “buying points.” Mortgage points, or discount points, are fees paid directly to the lender at closing in exchange for a reduced interest rate. This is also called “buying down the rate,” and will decrease your monthly mortgage payments.
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