I was just thinking that it was about this time of year six years ago when Chris and I started hunting for, this, our very first home. I did most of the house hunting with our real estate agent as Chris worked really long hours on the other side of town back then and he couldn’t get home in time to go out with us. If we’d always scheduled viewings that included him we either would have seen far fewer houses or our hunt would have taken a lot longer. As it was, I went armed with a borrowed digital camera so I could show pictures to Chris of the houses that I saw, and it still took about two months to find this nice solid house.
Having said that, and knowing that many other people are out there house hunting right now since it’s Spring … the best time to buy and sell a house, I’d also imagine that for many home owners it’s also time to think about your Mortgage, and perhaps begin to hunt for companies that specialize in Remortgages. I don’t envy any of you!
I can remember what it felt like when we applied for our first mortgage. You have to do that first when you start house hunting so that you know what kind of price range you can look for in a home. It was at that time that I discovered I still had a few listings in my credit report, that if I hadn’t managed to clear up in time, would have caused us a lot of trouble in securing a mortgage. We might have had to hunt for one of those bad credit mortgages as a result.
Luckily it was stuff that I’d payed off in the past, but hadn’t been removed from my credit report. I got the report cleared and we got an estimate of what kind of mortgage range we could afford and we were off to house hunt, or rather as I explained above I was off house hunting.
Still the whole experience was nerve wracking. I don’t like borrowing money from people or banks, and I don’t like owing money either. Of course when it comes to something like a mortgage, unless you won the lottery chances are you are going to owe a lending institution some money if you want to get a house.
We really lucked out with our first mortgage. Interest rates were at an all time low and we decided to take a variable interest mortgage. You know how good our mortgage was? We paid zero interest the first 6 months and then half a percent below prime which at first was as low as only 2% interest each month. We saved a lot of money on interest in our first five years of owning the house!
Last year we had to remortgage the home since our five year mortgage contract was ending. I hummed and hawed about it for at least a month before I started to seriously look for institutions with good mortgage rates. Once I had some figures I called up our current mortgage broker and discussed renewing our mortgage and when I told our agent that I’d found lower prices with another company I ended up lowering our mortgage rate by a whole percentage.
I discovered that I was a better negotiator than I’d thought I was! Still … the nerves, the stress!
My advice to anyone that’s seeking a new mortgage or is about to remortgage their home is to do some research like I did, and also make sure that your credit report is clean too. As my husband would say – Knowledge is power. Use it well.