All About No Closing Cost Home Mortgages

Have you seen any of those banners on the Internet, “No Closing Cost” home mortgages? Do you question whether or not they too good to be true? Believe it or not, sometimes they are true. I did one of these a few years back. Usually the deal is that you need to be refinancing your existing home mortgage, so your home mortgage company can roll the costs of the loan into your new home mortgage.

Typically you can qualify for this type of arrangement without closing costs when you are refinancing for less than your house is worth. Bottom line, the lender wants to make sure that there’s some equity in the property, in order to minimize their risk. When the home mortgage company completes this type of loan, they actually get to increase the amount of the loan by a little, which are the closing costs that you aren’t paying. So technically you have closing costs with this type of loan, money just isn’t coming out of your pocket at closing.

Alternatively, your home mortgage company may mean that they are waiving their fees for the closing. Although this would save you money, you still have to pay the appraiser, the closer, etc. So, my recommendation is it’s best to ask if you will have to bring money to the closing for anything.

If you are purchasing a home, a “No Closing Cost” home mortgage may mean something different. It may mean that your home mortgage company waives their fees, but you still have to pay the appraiser, the lawyer, the home mortgage broker. This may mean that you have to bring a few thousand dollars or more to the closing.

These days, it really is not enough to rely on the good faith estimate for your home mortgage. Once you get it, call an attorney who handles home closings. Have the attorney figure their estimate for closing costs. Unless you’re practiced at reading the good faith estimate, you may find that the difference between this estimate and what you actually pay at closing may be $3,000 or more. I have experienced this at closing mostly because of the timing of the home closing. If the closing is at or near the beginning of the month, the prepaids (interest, insurance and taxes) may be much more than if closing were completed at the end of the month.

There are some “No Closing Cost” home mortgages that have everything rolled into them. With these mortgages, the only money you will need is for owner’s title insurance. All lenders require you to buy an insurance policy called Title Insurance for them. That means that if someone sues you claiming that the property is really theirs, the insurance company will have to pay. This policy really just protects the lender. To protect yourself, you need owner’s title insurance. It is very cheap, and now often comes with some identity theft protection. I recommend that you ask about it. Most of the time it cost less than the carpet in one room to protect your investment.

Technically for either definition, the closing isn’t really free. Even if you aren’t paying the home mortgage company, there will always be some other people to be paid. Question is, do you want to pay now or later. In my experience, the closing costs are so little in comparison to a home mortgage that it can make sense to roll them into a home mortgage. So ask if this is possible.

Thanks to advances in technology and changes to banking laws, the cost to get a home mortgage is dropping. Eventually, rates will rise and No Closing Cost home mortgages will go the way of 0% financing for car loans. Take advantage of the great deals while they are around.

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