I can't tell you how often it happens where I have to break the bad news to someone: something they saw on TV or the internet just isn't real. I know, real shocker. But just like the clickbait articles you see online, banks and online home search websites are just misleading and often leave consumers feeling had. I'm going to share with you here a few things to be aware of if you do decide to peruse the internet for your real estate advice, which you shouldn't be doing anyways.
Every time I walk into my bank, I see their mortgage rate advertising on the screens behind the tellers. It looks a little something like this:
While this is all fine and dandy, this doesn't tell the whole story. Banks are quick to show the lowest rates possible, but the fine print reads something along the lines of 'estimated based off 800 credit score and 20% down payment'. So while the rate is possible, the odds of it actually being your interest rate anytime soon is very slim. But, it did get you to inquire about it with their in-house lender, which is what they wanted in the first place. Always be careful when shopping interest rates. It's usually best to use a mortgage broker who can shop everyone's products for you and sell your loan to whomever is offering you the best interest rate when you close on your home.
The online real estate search engine is often misleading to their consumers not only about homes which are actually for sale (or foreclosed on, as it's been discovered), but payments for those homes. A sample of a home looks like this:
A first time homebuyer may not know any better and think they can get a nearly $250K home and just pay $920/month for it. Anyone who's bought a home before knows that's not true. What Zillow doesn't mention here is that's with 20% down, and it doesn't include your property taxes and homeowners insurance. Very misleading, and I know several mortgage lenders who've had to disappoint consumers who were led to believe this by not only Zillow, but other websites as well. Remember, there's more than just the house payment in your mortgage.
If it's too good to be true, it probably is. But it never hurts to ask a professional such as myself.
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