Mortgage & Finance

 Index of Mortgage & Finance Information

The Mortgage Loan Process  (estimated timeline) 15 Great Calculators  (mortgage, rent v. buy, refinance, debt consolidation, credit card payoff, household budget)     
Mortgage Loan Types  (what are your choices?) Settlement Resources (what each party's role is in the process, new HUD-1, Title Insurance)
Current Mortgage Interest Rates  (from various sources) Avoid Foreclosure (how to save your home or pursue a Short Sale)
Lender's Good Faith Estimate (GFE)  (estimate of your settlement costs & monthly mortgage payment) Best Overall Mortgage Resources
Loan Application Documents   (documents your lender will need from you; printable checklist offered for your quick reference) Best Mortgage & Finance Articles  (my selections) 

 Current Mortgage Interest Rates

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By Mortgage Rates @ FRU.



By FHA Mortgage Rates @ FRU.



By Jumbo Mortgage Rates @ FRU.


Other Mortgage Calculators


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  • 100 Largest US Banks (by Deposits;  with Links to each Bank)
  • US Prime Rates & Averages (compared to a list of Foreign Prime Rates)

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Mortgage Financing: Best Overall Resources: 


Mortgage Loan Types

Conventional Loans (All loans except FHA, VA or RHS loans)
Mortgage loans offered by non-government sponsored lenders.  Loan types include:
  • Fixed Rate (i.e., 15 year, 30 year Fixed = set interest rate for 30 yrs)
  • Adjustable Rate (ARMs): Fed Reserve Hanbook
  • Combination (Hybrid)
  • Balloon Mortgages &  Pledge Asset loans
  • Jumbo/Construction Loans
  • Reverse Mortgage
Conforming Loans
2010 Conforming Loan Limits: N.Va County Limits = $729,750.     Also See:  National Loan Limits by State/County.
FHA Loan Mortgage loan guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority
VA (Veterans Admin) Loan Mortgage loan offered to American veterans by the US Dept of Veteran Affairs
RHS Loan Programs  
State & Local Housing Programs  
Jumbo Loans Loans for more than $729,750 (DC Metro)  Jumbo Loan Basics
B/C Loans  
Location Efficient Mortgage (LEM)  
Fixed Rate Mortgage
Mortgage loan with an interest rate that does not change throughout the duration of the loan (i.e., 15 or 30 years)
  • 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage:  Payment on a $200,000  Loan at 4.875% and 70% loan-to-value (LTV) is $1058.42 (PIwith 1.375 points due at closing. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 5.048%. Payment doesn’t include taxes and insurance.
  • 15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage:  Payment on a $200,000 1 Loan at 4.25% and 70% loan-to-value (LTV) is $1504.56 (PI) with 1.25 points due at closing. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 4.526%. Payment does not include taxes and insurance.
  • PI = Principal & Interest.  Your monthly mortgage payment will include PITI (Principal, Interest, RE taxes & Hazzard Insurance)
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Mortgage Interest rate that varies ("floats") over the term (i.e., 30 yrs) of the loan, usually in response to changes in the Prime Rate or Treasury Bill Rate. Purpose = reduce the short term interest rate for a several years (i.e., 1, 3, 5, 7 yrs).  There is a ceiling/maximum interest rate which can be reset annually.  Advatage of ARMS: (1) Interest rates are going down (not the case in 2010+); and (2)  Buyer will live in home for less than 5 years (If true, an ARM might be fine in 2010+)
ARMs have the following features:
  • Index
  • Margin
  • Adjustment Frequency
  • Initial Interest Rate
  • Interest Rate Caps
  • Convertibility
Index:  ARMs increase or decrease based on publicly published indexes.  ARM indexes include:
  • US Treasury Bills (T-Bills)
  • 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI)
  • London Interbank Offering Rate Index (LIBOR)
  • 12-Month Treasury Average (MTA or MAT )
  • Cost of Savings Index (Wells Fargo COSI )
  • Bank Prime Loan (Prime Rate)
Combined/Hybrid ARMs  

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Favorite Calculators:

Great Index of Many Calculators: Mortgage, Credit Card, Auto, Retirement & Investment, Savings, College Finance.  Calculators provided by

Mortgage Loan Calculator (PITI):  Determine your monthly mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance payment (PITI) and amortization schedule.

Mortgage APR Calculator:   Find the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) on your mortgage.

Loan-to-Value Calculator:   Do you have enough equity in your house to refinance

Required Income For Mortgage Calculator:  Determine how much income you need to qualify for a mortgage and how different interest rates affect your required income.

Maximum Mortgage Calculator:  Determine your maximum mortgage and how different interest rates affect your how much you can borrow.

Mortgage Tax Savings Calculator:  Determine how much your mortgage could save you in income taxes.

Mortgage Points Calculator:  Should you buy points to lower your interest rate?

Rent vs. Buy Calculator :  Should you buy or rent?

Bi-weekly Payments Savings Calculator for an Existing Mortgage:  Determine possible savings by starting to pay your current mortgage with bi-weekly payments, instead of monthly payments.

15 Year vs. 30 Year Mortgage Calculator:   You can save a lot of money in interest over the life of the loan with a 15-year mortgage. But, it will cost you a chunk of extra money each money to do it.

Re-finance Interest Savings Calculator:  Determine how much interest you can save by refinancing

Re-finance Breakeven Calculator:  Determine when you will breakeven if you refinance your mortgage.

Home Equity Debt Consolidation Calculator

Credit Card Payoff Calculator 

Household Budget Calculator


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Documents (copies) Your Lender Will Need to Approve Your Loan


  • Copies of  your last two paychecks.
  • Copies of  your last two years W-2’s.
  • Copies of last two years Federal Income Tax returns.
  • A copy of last months bank statement(s).
  • A copy of last month’s 401-K statement(s).
  • A copy of last months Investment statement(s).
  • A copy of Homeowners Insurance front page
  • A copy of your Drivers License.
Current Homeowner:
  • A copy of your last closing statement,... if refinancing.
  • A copy of last month’s mortgage bill/statement.
  • A copy of your real estate tax bill.
  • A copy of the last appraisal on your home if available.
  • A copy of your Divorce Decree.
  • A copy of your Child Support Agreement.


Good Faith Estimate (GFE)


Lender's estimate of your total closing costs & monthly mortgage payment which you have a right to know before you are legally obligated to go through with the home purchase.  it is highly recommended that you ask for, and receive, a GFE or Estimated Cost of Settlement (essentially the same as GFE) prior to writing an offer on home.


  • What is it & How do Lender Fees Correspond to the HUD-1 (Settlement Statement) ?


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Settlement Resources & Information





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Karen Davidson, REALTOR®    Direct: (703) 927-4448   ♦  Toll Free Fax:  1 (866) 429-8851   Licenced in Virginia

SAMSON Properties - Alexandria / Kingstowne   ♦   6408 Grovedale Drive  ♦  Suite 204  ♦  Alexandria, Virginia  22315   ♦  Office: (703) 378-8810

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