Closing Costs: Advance charges associated with taking a mortgage. These include origination points (one percent of the loan amount} and discount points. Origination points are the bank's standard fee. Discount points are the extra points you pay to get a lower interest rate.
Effective Interest Rate: The amount of interest you're actually paying when you figure in the closing cost points.
Interest Rate: The lower, the better. You can lower your interest rate by offering to pay more discount points up front.
Monthly Payments: Anticipate your future financial needs, such as putting a child through college or your own retirement. Can you still afford the payments? Our Mortgage Payment Calculator can help you figure what they will be.
Prepayment Penalty: Make sure there's no penalty if you choose to pay off the loan early.
Term: The length of the loan. Conventional mortgages are available in terms of 15 and 30 years. You can save huge amounts over the life of the loan if you opt for the shorter period. Some banks offer a lower interest rate for a shorter term, as well.