Check Out These Things Before Choosing Your Mortgage

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 21 May 2024 00:00

“After closing, you can paint an ugly house, but you can’t paint over ugly financing.” Jo Garner

Real estate is still hot, and mortgage rates are still low.  When a home buyer gets his offer accepted, he had better be able to move –and fast.  As a mortgage loan officer, the best advice I can give anyone getting a mortgage is to get preapproved and compare more than one financing option.    When you sign the last paper at the closing table, you want the contented feeling of satisfaction, knowing that you made the very best decision.

Here are some general rules of thumb to consider:

1. If you plan on keeping the mortgage for over five years, strongly consider getting a mortgage with a fixed rate and not a variable interest rate.  You will enjoy the stability of a principal and interest payment with a fixed interest rate that never changes. Steer clear of variable rates and payments that can wreck your budget and lifestyle.

2. If you plan to have a mortgage less than five years, you can compare some mortgage products with lower-than-normal interest rates that adjust over time.   To lessen some of the risks of payments ratcheting up, look at mortgage programs with strong safety caps on how far the interest rates can move at each adjustment.   

Example:  Some loan customers want to save time and avoid providing lots of documentation by opting for a quick, variable-rate home equity line of credit instead of getting a more stable fixed-rate mortgage. It may be easier today to get the equity line to buy a home. It may be tempting to consolidate debt or fix up your home using quick variable-rate financing, but will you be paying the piper big bucks when the rates start going up again? 

If you plan to be in the home over five years, compare the equity line with its variable rate risk with a standard and stable cash-out fixed-rate mortgage.  The standard fixed-rate mortgage with no prepayment penalty can be a cost saver over time. 

3. If you know you will be getting a lump sum within less than five years to prepay the principal balance owed on the mortgage, take a look at how that lump sum prepayment will affect how much you will pay over the life of the variable-rate loan.   Depending on the large lump sum you can prepay against principal early in the loan, the variable rate might be your best bet on that scenario. 

4. For homebuyers paying less than ten percent as a down payment, compare the FHA loan program with the conventional program. Borrowers will pay less private mortgage insurance to the lender on the conventional loan program, but the FHA program is more forgiving for borrowers with challenged credit. 

5. For borrowers with little or no down payment, explore loan programs such as the VA 100% loan for veterans, the 100% Rural Housing loan, and programs using down payment assistance.

Our customers appreciate the opportunity to choose when it comes to their home and their financing.  As real estate and financial professionals, we earn the status of “trusted advisor” when we present sound options that help our clients feel good about their choice. 

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Jo Garner

 NMLS# 757308 (currently working with Sierra Pacific Mortgage, Inc Cordova, TN  NMLS # 1788 An Equal Housing Lender)

“Whatever YOUR  personal priorities are, my job is to help you get the mortgage terms that will give you bragging rights when you talk about it and help you score on  hitting your goals .”

As a mortgage loan officer, my job is to help you get to the  benefits you want from your financing terms.  What is most important to you? I can help you find the financing terms that will help you get to what you want.   What is your comfort level on a house payment? How much are you comfortable paying down,? What type of financing do you need to get the house you want to buy or refinance?

Different clients have different priorities in life—some are buying their first home with very little down payment funds.  Some are recovering from medical challenges, divorces or preparing to send children to college and some are embarking on a long term goal of buying properties to build rental income.”

Jo Garner is a mortgage officer with extensive knowledge in tailoring mortgages to her customers who are refinancing or purchasing homes all over the country.  She offers conventional, FHA, VA or other loan programs for refinancing and purchases. 

Jo can help you look at rent vs buy, when it makes sense to refinance, how to get the best deal on your home  purchase financing.  

Jo Garner  has been in the real estate/financing business for over 25 years.  She got her start in Portland, Maine where she first began her real estate career. She received her real estate education from the University of Southern Maine  and was personally mentored in San Diego, California  by Robert G. Allen, author of Nothing Down, Creating Wealth and The Challenge

On moving back to West Tennessee in 1987, she went into business buying and selling discounted owner-financed notes secured on real estate.  In 1990 Jo went to work for a residential mortgage company and has been a mortgage loan officer for over 25 years.  Her goal is to offer excellent, affordable service to her customers, tailoring the loan programs to the specific needs of her clients.  

In addition to her work in the mortgage field, Jo Garner is the primary sponsor and founder of Talk Shoppe in Memphis.

Jo Garner also host the radio show Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe airing on News Radio AM 600 WREC and iHeart Radio with podcasts and show notes published on

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Pick up her book “Choosing the Best Mortgage-The Quickest Way to the Life You Want on and .

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