Buying a home is an exciting experience, but it can feel a bit overwhelming if you don’t have the right information. Check out these helpful resources about the home buying process. When you’re ready, give The Lise Howe Group a call at 240-401-5577 to tour available homes in the Montgomery County and Bethesda areas.

Pros and Cons of a 30 Year Mortgage–And Is it Still the Reigning Mortgage Option?

homes near Walter Reed

For all those contemplating buying a home or an investment property, you may be wondering what type of mortgage is best for you. Well, the answer of course depends on your situation. Because that isn’t exactly helpful, let’s run through the pros and cons of choosing a 30 year fixed rate mortgage–which, to answer the question posed above, remains the most popular option among home buyers by far.

Pros:
Lower Monthly Payments: When your loan payments are spread out over 30 years versus 15, there is no surprise that the monthly cost is less. This is ideal if you don’t have a ton of leftover money each month after budgeting for all of your expenses.

A Nicer Home: Especially for first time buyers who may be earning less than people shopping for a second or third home, a longer mortage term allows you to buy a more expensive home (due to those lower monthly payments.) Of course, buying a larger, better located, or simply nicer place should result in a better return on investment when you go to sell. That being said, it’s never a great idea to buy the priciest home you can possibly afford–being a bit conservative and leaving money for a rainy day is always wiser.

Flexibility: First, ensure that your 30 year loan does not have penalities for making extra payments. Once that’s settled, you have the flexbility to pay off your loan more quickly and save yourself lots of money in interest! The great thing is if your financial situation changes–you suffer an unexpected job loss or something along those lines–then you can go back to your initial (smaller) monthly payments. If you have the option of paying more than you have to and the discipline to do so, then having a 30 year mortgage and paying it off in 15 can be the best of both worlds–it slashes the total interest you pay while also offering a fallback plan if your finances go downhill.

Now, onto the cons of a 30 year mortgage.

Owning Your Home Takes a Long Time: Simply put, getting a 15 year mortgage means that your home will be paid off in half the time of a 30 year loan. For those who can manage a shorter mortgage, it will mean you are in debt for many fewer years!

Saving Money: The issue with opting for a 30 year mortgage with intentions to pay it off in 15 and avoid massive interest is that good intentions don’t always translate into action. Choosing a shorter mortgage from the jump ensures that you will save boatloads of money on interest–whereas going with a 30 year leaves open the possibility that instead of paying it off more quickly you will submit to temptation and spend that extra money on clothes, a vacation..you name it!

More Equity More Quickly: With a 15 year mortgage, you pay down interest much more quickly than with a 30 year. As a result, more of your monthly payment goes to pricipal and less to the bank–certainly preferrabe if you can swing it.

All things considered, a shoter mortgage will save you more money over time. However, it may simply not be feasible depending on your situation. Whatever you choose, talk to a qualified lender for sound professional advice, as buying a home will be the biggest financial decision you make!

Please call Lise at 240-401-5577 if you’d like a referral to an experienced and knowledgeable lender!

Neighborhood Spotlight: Park View

Park View is an up and coming (or already arrived depending on your point of view) neighborhood in Northwest DC directly north of Howard University. Development in Park View really started heating up around 2009, and 10 years later there are now a plethora of great restaurants and shops. Park View offers easy walkability to hot neighborhoods like Shaw and also boasts 2 metro stops on the Yellow/Green line for access to the rest of the city (not to mention direct metro access to Reagan National airport.) Park View is a lovely place to stroll, and it offers both peace and quiet on residential streets with a thriving commercial section on Georgia Avenue. Without further ado, here is a list of the best things to do, places to eat and drink, and a little information on housing in Park View:

What You Should Know About New Construction

It is very exciting to buy new construction but you need to keep your eyes wide open. Here are a few things to keep in mind. Using an agent to represent you can actually save you money The price is set for that new construction and it includes a commission for the buyer agent. If … Continued

How to Save for a Down Payment

One of the most important steps in buying a house is saving enough money for a down payment and closing costs. Don’t believe what you read on some websites – there are mortgage programs that DON’T require you to put down 20%. (If you don’t believe me, we clearly need to talk!) It is a good thing … Continued

Affordable Homes for Sale Near Walter Reed

homes near Walter Reed

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) was established on November 10, 2011, as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act, which consolidated National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center on the grounds of the former NNMC campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The Medical Center combines the proud history and … Continued

All About Edgemoor in Bethesda –

Want to know all about Edgemoor in Bethesda? This very special neighborhood is found just west of downtown Bethesda and within walking distance of the metro, lots of restaurants and bars, shops and theaters, and easy access to the rest of the DC metro area.   Residents may choose to enjoy the Edge­moor Club, a private … Continued

Rents Are Rising!

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Rents are rising in the US for apartments across the country. According to a new report from RentCafé,  apartment rents have risen over the last year, including last month when there was an unusually large jump. RentCafe reported that the average U.S. apartment rent in June was $1,465, up 3.2 percent year-over-year. Rents are Rising in … Continued

What Happens Between Ratification and Closing?

What to do between ratification and closing

After looking at properties for days, weeks or months and finally choosing (or winning) the right one, you want to move in as soon as possible. Closing typically occurs thirty to forty five days after contract ratification. You may wonder what happens between contract ratification and closing. Here is a short summary of those important … Continued

Inventory May Be Improving

homes near Walter Reed

Inventory has been tight for the last few years. Homeowners are reluctant to sell because they know that they have only a few choices. What if they sell and then can’t find a home to buy? This may be about to change! After a bout of hesitation at the start of the year, more homeowners … Continued