Mortgage Questions & Answers

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions.

If you have additional questions that aren't listed below, contact us at 608-834-5000. You can also email us at .

There are many programs available today that require less than 5% down payment. Call us and we can find the right program for you.

Yes, every mortgage loan we propose and close is customized to our clients’ mortgage needs specifically to maximum the loan benefits and accomplish their goals. Call us today and let us show how we can make a difference in your life.

Yes, withdrawals and loans from 401k plans and IRA accounts are allowed on all of our loan programs. You will need to check with your 401k administrator or financial planner about the rules regarding these options to make sure this makes financial sense to do so. We often have lower down payment options available to avoid disrupting your retirement plan. Call us today to discuss in detail.

With a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate and the amount you pay each month remain the same over the entire mortgage term, traditionally 15, 20 or 30 years. With an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), the interest rate fluctuates per the indexes. Initial interest rates of ARMs are typically offered at a discounted interest rate, or teaser rate; lower than a fixed rate mortgage. Over time, when initial discounts are filtered out, ARM rates will fluctuate as general interest rates go up and down. Different ARMs are tied to different financial indexes, some of which fluctuate up or down more quickly than others. To avoid constant and drastic changes, ARMs typically regulate (cap) how much and how often the interest rate and/or payments can change in a year and over the life of the loan. Several variations are available for adjustable rate mortgages, including hybrids that change from a fixed to an adjustable rate after a period of years.

What are your short- and long-term plans? Depending on what interest rates and mortgage options are available when you're buying a house, your view of the future (generally, high inflation will mean ARM rates will go up and lower inflation that they will fall), and how willing you are to take a risk will determine the type of mortgage loan that is right for you. When mortgage rates are low, a fixed rate mortgage is the best bet for most buyers. Over the next five, ten or thirty years, interest rates may be more apt to go up than further down. Even if rates could go a little lower in the short run, an ARM's teaser rate will adjust up soon and you won't gain much. In the long run, ARMs are likely to go up, meaning most buyers will be best off to lock in a favorable fixed rate now and not take the risk of much higher rates later. Keep in mind that lenders not only lend money to purchase homes; they also lend money to refinance homes. If you take out a loan now, and several years from now interest rates have dropped, refinancing will probably make sense.

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums are required on all Conventional Mortgage Loans when the loan is for more than 80% of the purchase price or appraised value. Premiums may be paid monthly, upfront as a single premium, or added into the interest rate. We always analyze and discuss the pros and cons of these options with our clients to make sure this requirement is structured as smartly as possible.

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