Make sure you understand the fine print!
It’s a great time to buy or refinance a home. Interest rates are extremely low (As of Jan 2009 a no points, 30 year fixed, mortgage rate of 5% is very common). While this great interest rate opportunity creates a terrific chance to lower your monthly payment, it also can create confusion. The confusion lies in understanding the good faith estimate (GFE) and the HUD closing statement.
The GFE is the proposal the lender sends to you outlining your projected closing costs and the new mortgage payment amount. So often people will only look to the bottom line of their GFE to determine their new monthly payment and disregard the closing cost and fees. This can be a big mistake!
You must read the fine print, or have someone who understands these documents read it for you. Once you are comfortable with the information on your good faith estimate, you should request to review the actual closing statement a day or two before the closing. If you find mistakes, ask to have corrections made.
Closing costs and fees make buying or refinancing a home a very expensive process. The costs and fees associated with the transaction are thousands of dollars. You are paying these costs, so make sure you understand what you are paying for. If you don’t understand, ask for clarification.