Basics on Biweekly Payment Options

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Every mortgage situation is different, and due to the long-running nature of a given mortgage loan, we often don’t know exactly how our finances will be during the later stages. For people who do well in the intervening years, it’s common to look for ways to make mortgage payments faster and reduce the interest paid over the life of the loan.

At Altius Mortgage and our partners at Mortgage Ogden, we’re here to help. One great option here for many people is making biweekly payments instead of standard monthly ones – here are the basics of doing this, some cautions, and how it might benefit you.

The Basics

Biweekly payments are what they sound like: Instead of paying once a month, you cut your monthly amount in half and send that amount in once every two weeks. There are a few formats through which this might be possible:

  • Many lenders offer this option on their own
  • If not, a third party can make this payment on your behalf for a small fee
  • You can sometimes handle bi-weekly payment options on your own

Caution Areas

There are a few cautions here to check on in advance:

  • Be sure your lender allows biweekly payments, for starters. In addition, make sure they apply them to the principal balance rather than just holding the money until the second half arrives later in the month, then processing this all as a normal payment.
  • If you have to use a third party, be careful here. Check on their fees, and check for that same issue of paying toward the principal as we mentioned above.
  • If you plan to make these payments on your own, check with your lender to make sure there are no penalties and payments will be handled properly.

Benefits of Biweekly Payments

As long as your payments are processed as they are received, biweekly payments will lower your principal amount faster – in turn lowering the total amount you’ll pay over the life of the loan. This format will cause you to finish the year with 13 full payments made, rather than 12. In addition, paying every two weeks can be easier to budget for depending on when you receive paychecks.

Other Methods

If biweekly payments aren’t an option, there are a few other ways you can pay the mortgage down faster. You can set aside a monthly amount for an extra payment each year, being sure to specify this as a payment toward principal and not interest.

For more on paying a mortgage faster, or to learn about any of our available mortgages, speak to the staff at Altius Mortgage today.

How Condos Benefit First-Time Buyers

First Time Buyers Couple In Their New Home

If you’re a first-time buyer looking to enter the mortgage world, you have a lot of choices to make. Everything from location to price is important, but for many people, the very first question is this: What kind of property do I want?

At Altius Mortgage and our partners at Mortgage Ogden, we can help you get the best mortgage rate for a variety of property types. Some first-timers might benefit greatly from a condominium – what are some of the benefits of a condo for a first-time buyer?

Price and Down Payment

In many cases, condos are a more affordable option for someone just entering the market. Condos are often lower-priced in a given area than the average home, meaning you have to come up with less down payment money as well. Basic loan calculators can help here.

Customization Areas

Condos belong fully to the owner, and that means you can customize things inside without permission. This includes renovation areas, just as if you owned a house. You have far more control in a condo than you would be renting a property.

Investment Possibilities

In many situations, a condo can turn into a fantastic investment before long. If you’re ready to graduate from your condo into a larger house at some point along the line, you can either sell the condo or even consider turning it into a rental property for profit.

HOA Benefits

Condos are governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), and these bodies provide rules for each community. They go beyond this as well, though – for small monthly fees, they handle several areas of landscaping or maintenance. You don’t have to worry about any repairs in common areas or mowing lawns on weekends.

Community Areas

This will vary between condo communities, but most have similar amenities to a basic apartment complex. Things like pools, gyms, walking trails, or group recreation areas might be included, and these generally come at no additional charge.

For more on how a condo might benefit you, or to learn about any of our good mortgage options, speak to the pros at Altius Mortgage today.