Mortgage Matters: Getting a mortgage? A specialist can help

By Jim Gay
For The New Mexican

We should all do mortgage planning before we purchase or refinance our homes. This is a process of evaluating our mortgage options in the context of our overall financial goals. Remember, your mortgage is probably your largest liability, and for many, their home is their largest asset. This type of analysis will pay financial dividends. How do we do it and can we get assistance with the analysis?

I received my analysis from a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist, and there are very few in New Mexico. You don’t have to be mathematics major or a genius on the computer. The concepts and calculations used in mortgage planning are common sense. All homeowners need to look at a mortgage analysis that gives them the following information:

What are the tax benefits and implications of a home mortgage?
How do these benefits change if the size of the mortgage changes?
What are your cash-flow goals? How does a mortgage fit with the goals?
What term of a mortgage fits your financial situation best?
How do your retirement and investment goals fit with your mortgage?

Your tax accountant and your financial adviser can answer some of these questions. Their answers might, however, contradict each other. That is why I like the advice of a certified mortgage planner for clients. All the tools and answers are in one person. Even homeowners who are not wealthy can benefit from this analysis. You don’t need to have millions to plan carefully for your financial benefit.

Let’s look at some examples. A person buying a $500,000 home with income of $150,000 per year and savings in an IRA and a stock account has questions. Does he get an 80 percent loan or does he put more as a down payment? Maybe he wants to borrow more than 80 percent and get the extra tax deduction. Someone needs to help him calculate the options and make the best financial decision.
Mortgage planning is a specialty. Dirk Gray of Mortgage Planning Strategists says, “My mission is to help you improve your life by the proper use and consideration of various mortgage options.” So how does a homeowner answer such questions as: 1) If I borrow an extra $50,000 on my mortgage, will the tax benefit help me? or 2) If I retire in 10 years, does a 15-year mortgage make the most sense?

Well, a trained mortgage planning specialist can help answer such questions. In today’s complex financial world, it is best to get some precise calculations and advice prior to securing a mortgage.

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