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What Is A Mortgage: The Recipe

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Tags: Home Buying & Selling, First Time Home Buying

Your mortgage loan is the final result of a recipe that requires several carefully measured ingredients. Just as you might wonder how your Great-Aunt Gertrude makes her irresistible lemon cake, you also might be curious as to the separate ingredients that make up your home loan. While Wyndham Capital Mortgage may not have the secret recipe to your great-aunt’s lemon cake, we most certainly know the makings of a great mortgage.



One Cup of Principal and Interest

Principal and interest work a lot like oil and vinegar, they’re often paired together, yet they never mix. A percentage of your mortgage is devoted to paying the original balance of your loan, which is known as the mortgage principal, as well as the interest the loan accrues over time. At first, most of your payment tilts towards your interest, but you’ll start to notice more is paid towards your principal as time goes by. It’s best that you make extra payments toward your principal whenever you can to reduce the length of your loan and lower your total interest payments.


Related: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Mortgage Rates



One to Two Sprinkles of Insurance

You can expect to see homeowners insurance included with your mortgage loan, which most borrowers are required to have until they’ve paid their loan in full. The amount you can expect to pay for insurance varies according to whether you live in an neighborhood that’s prone to crime, the chances of flooding in your area and the likelihood of your property catching fire. This means that you have a degree of control over how much you have to pay for insurance and the type of coverage you need.

Related: Be prepared for emergencies with our eBook Unexpected Costs of Owning a Home

In addition to traditional home insurance, you may also have to pay PMI, AKA Private Mortgage Insurance. Such policies are common for borrowers who are considered to be credit risks and those who don’t put down a sizable down payment on their homes.  



A Generous Teaspoon of Taxes

Much like everything else, you have to pay taxes on your mortgage loan. The percentage of your loan that takes care of taxes can vary from month to month. Determining factors include the overall value of your home and the tax policy for your geographic location. To get a better idea of how mortgage tax works, take a look at your statements, which you can get from your lender.


Here is where we should mention something about your real estate taxes and your private mortgage insurance. Lenders often establish a special escrow account for borrowers’ mortgage insurance and taxes. Note that an escrow account is essentially a savings account. Taxes and mortgage insurance may only be due once a year, and mortgage escrow accounts are used to slowly gather those amounts until they need to be paid.

Related: Do You Understand Your Loan Estimate? 


A Stick of Down Paymentbutter.jpeg

Your down payment is where you want to go absolutely bonkers with saving and planning. Every penny and dollar you can put back for your down payment equals a penny and dollar you can save on your interest payments. The more you pay up front, the less you have to borrow, which does wonders for your loan-to-value ratio as well as your interest rate. Your loan-to-value ratio is essentially the amount you’re asking to borrow compared with the total value of the property you’re looking to buy. The lower your LTV, the better for you and your lender.


Treat your mortgage like the delicate dish that it is, and it’s sure to leave a sweet taste in your mouth, and in your wallet.

Ready to start cooking up your mortgage? Get started below!

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Tyler Voigt
By: Tyler Voigt

Resident Marketing Specialist and Millennial at Wyndham Capital.