According to a study conducted by Zillow, when it comes to understanding mortgages, buyers answered basic questions about terms, lenders and financing wrong one third of the time. The study of over 1,000 prospective and current buyers, which was conducted in April found that 34% didn’t know the meaning of the term “annual percentage rate,” 31% of buyers didn’t think that they could get a mortgage for less than 5% down, and 1 in 4 were under the impression you should close with the lender who per-approves your mortgage. It’s important for buyers to shop around and compare rates and reviews before finding the best loan for them. The results also showed that 34% of surveyors thought that lenders were required by law to charge the same fees to all clients for credit checks appraisals, etc, which is a false assumption. Fees will vary between bank to bank, and sometimes can be negotiated.
It can be difficult to choose which is the best deal for you, if you don’t understand what the various mortgage terms mean. The APR, or Annual Percentage Rate factors include fees, origination and underwriting fees, and other costs borrowers use to calculate the actual cost of loans. This lack of knowledge can really hurt your overall savings. Many buyers believe they need a down payment of 5% bare minimum, but loans given by the Federal Housing Administration can actually only require 3.5%. Many buyers also begin shopping around with financing in place so they’re able to move quickly on a home they really want, and according to the study, 26% of buyers believe once they’re pre-approved, they must honor that loan in closing, but that is far from the truth; there is really no obligation. If buyers see better loan terms available, they should take them! For more information for buyers and sellers, visit CNN Money.