Manage Your Mortgage!
Here are a few tips on what you should consider about your mortgage to ensure that you make an educated decision when the time comes.
- Calculate in advance the maximum mortgage that you can afford!
- Here are some variables that you should consider when doing such calculation: your household income, your down payment and your monthly debt payments and other related expenses like property taxes as well as your new planned mortgage. Most local banks and credit unions provide you with tools that will allow you to calculate your monthly mortgage payments. Here is the link for 1st National Bank’s mortgage calculator for your reference:
http://1stnationalbankonline.com/home/help_calculators.html (please note that we have added the preceding link only for information purposes. We do not recommend or support one financial institution over another)
- Consider getting a smaller mortgage than the maximum amount that you can afford.
- By taking a smaller mortgage rather than the maximum amount that you can afford gives you the flexibility that you might need as your future financial picture might not be the same as it is today. Flexibility gives you the peace of mind to manage your other obligations and to deal with any unforeseen situations that might surface in the future.
- Evaluate impacts of rising interest rates.
- A rise in interest rates could have a significant impact on your monthly housing costs. For instance, if your mortgage is $250,000, a 2% increase in your interest rates could potentially mean that you would have to fork out an extra $300 every month. Evaluating your flexibility if there is a rise in interest rates will help you avoid potential financial difficulties later.
- Become mortgage free faster by reducing your amortization period.
- Yes, this might increase your monthly payments but it will also save you money from the amount of interest that you would have to pay over the life span of your mortgage. Choosing to make lump some payments, an accelerated payment option or increasing your regular payment amounts will all contribute to reducing your amortization period and make you and your family mortgage free sooner rather than later.
For any more information on any other aspect of owning, maintaining or buying a home here in Saint Lucia, please feel free to ask us!