Home Buying

Applying for a Mortgage

Not much happens in the world until a lender says “Yes.” There’s no question, taking out a mortgage to buy a home is a big deal. Just like you probably shouldn’t buy the first house that you see, you might want to consider shopping around mortgages to get the best rate. What can seem like a small difference in interest rates can turn into thousands of dollars down the road. There’s more to a mortgage than the rate, too. Let’s look at “points” in a mortgage. Often times lenders will offer points — this is shorthand term meaning one percentage point of the total loan– to reduce the overall interest rate. With all of these different ins and outs of mortgages, it’s good to understand your options. Click here to learn the details.


Let’s look at some specific questions sent in by DearMonty readers from across the country. Read more Q&A articles about the “Negotiating” stage of the Home Buying process:

  1. How can I find the best mortgage loan?

    Reader Question: How can I find the best mortgage loan? Monty’s Answer: I answered this question several years ago, but it bears repeating. Comparing the cost of mortgage loans is a challenge for most mortgage shoppers. Do this before you look for your home. The most helpful lender may also have the best pre-approval letter. […]

  2. Do I need a mortgage if I'm downsizing?

    Reader ​Question: Monty, our current home, valued at $700,000+ has no mortgage, and we plan to purchase a replacement home for $650,000 or less. Because we are retired and our income is only $72,000, we do not qualify for a mortgage. We have failed to find a source for a ‘bridge loan.’ We do have […]

  3. What should I know about a mortgage?

    Find the money first Shopping at a price point over your maximum loan qualification is just one reason the importance of mortgage pre-approval is not taken for granted. Critical first step Even before you start looking for a home, have a mortgage loan officer pre-approve you. It is a critical first step. Here are the […]