How to shop for a mortgage


Shopping for a mortgage is almost guaranteed to save you money because all mortgage companies offer different rates to different borrowers. And if you know what you’re doing, it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.

Here are the main things you should know about shopping for a mortgage:

  • You should get quotes from at least 3-5 lenders
  • Compare interest rates and lender fees. Look out for discount points
  • You have to get preapproved to know your “real” rate
  • You’ll fill out an application and provide supporting documents
  • You can use competing offers to negotiate your rate or fees

This involves a little more work than just comparing advertised rates online. But knowing how to shop for a mortgage is worth it. Putting in a few hours of effort could save you thousands in the long run.


7 Ways to Save Thousands on Your Mortgage

When you’re ready to buy a house, it’s easy to get so excited about purchasing a new home that calculating the money you’ll pay in interest on a mortgage loan isn’t at the top of your list. It should be, though.

Depending on the interest rate and size of the mortgage, over a 30-year loan term, you could pay more than $100,000 in interest alone. And you’ll pay a lot more interest than that on loans for several hundred thousand dollars. With the right strategies in place, however, you can save thousands of dollars on your mortgage loan.

1. Shop for a lender

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends comparing quotes on mortgage loans from three or more lenders. Before you choose a lender, compare official loan estimates again, since interest rates can change between the original estimate and the date you take out the loan.

Don’t hesitate to bargain by asking one lender to match a better rate offered by another lender.

2. Improve your credit score

If your credit score isn’t in the good to excellent range, it’s generally harder to get a mortgage loan, and if you do obtain a loan, you’ll probably pay a higher interest rate.

Don’t be in a hurry to buy a house if you’re still working on bumping up your credit score to a more creditworthy rating. Wait until your credit score improves to save thousands over the term of the loan with a lower interest rate.

3. Put down a larger payment…


Tips And Tricks To Fund Your Down Payment

How To Save Money For A House

Now that you know how much money you need to buy a home, it’s time to start saving. Whether you’re just starting to save or you already have some cash in the bank, you can use these strategies to start saving for your future down payment.

1.   Build A Better Budget

The first step in the saving process is budgeting. If you don’t know where your money goes every month, it’s impossible to divert money to your down payment.

First, make sure you know how much money you’re bringing home each month, and include income from a spouse or partner if they’ll also be contributing to your down payment. Then, sit down with your bank statements and all your credit card payments. Look at where you’re spending the most money.

Note how much you spend on necessities like rent, student loan payments, and utilities. Then consider how much you spend each month in nonessentials like entertainment, restaurants, etc. A budgeting app can help you automate this process if you’d like to avoid calculating your expenses yourself. If it all still seems overwhelming, enlisting the help of a financial advisor can help you get a better idea of what your budget should look like.

After you categorize your expenses, look for areas where you can cut back. Set a definite (yet realistic) budget for each category and stick to it. Make sure you budget a certain dollar amount to put away for your down payment each month. Consider your savings a non-optional expense.

2. Consider Downsizing…


Ralene Nelson, REALTOR®

FOR SALE – 623 California St, Rio Vista

2 bed/1 bath/934sqft/4,792sqft lot

$415,000 – Adorable cottage/bungalow, 2 bedroom, 1 bath and has been updated. Larger backyard with patio & raised garden beds for your vegetables. The kitchen has been remodeled & there is an inside laundry & single car garage. Convenient location, walk to town for breakfast, snack, and/or dinner. READ MORE

JUST LISTED – 275 Harvest Hills Ln. Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1,853sqft/6,050sqft lot

$599,000 – Don’t miss this opportunity to own this beautiful Reflect model located on one of the lakes & near the dog park. As you enter, you see beautiful tile floors, and the lake, which gives you a very peaceful feeling. A chef’s kitchen with granite counters, soft closing drawers, some pull-out drawers, 5 burner gas stove top & stainless appliances. The home has been upgraded with a double-sided fireplace, surround sound & built a den with desk & shelving. The main bath has been upgraded to a soaker tub & Corian walls surrounding the tub/shower. The primary bedroom has a bay window, providing a peaceful area to read a book & enjoy the lake. Landscaping is low maintenance with an extended patio & concrete sidewalks around. Prepaid solar & sellers have installed backup Telsa batteries for power outages (paid). So bring your toys & enjoy the amenities, such as the gym, tennis, pickle ball, bocce, golf and join the various club activities. Never a dull moment. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 1009 Diamante Dr. Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1439st

$475,000 – From curb appeal to beautiful upgrades, this Pebble Beach model is move-in ready. From white cabinets, granite kitchen with stainless appliances, to wood flooring to plantation shutters, this home is exceptional. 2 Bedrooms & 2 baths have carpet in bedrooms & double doors in the den, making this home very cozy. Upgraded landscaping to drought resistance and a patio with cover. Bring your furniture and join the numerous activities available & take advantage of the amenities your HOA fees include, tennis, bocce, billiards, 2 pools/spas, gym, and more.READ MORE

FOR SALE – 147 Gardiner Way, Rio Vista

PRICE CHANGE $515,000 – Custom Craftsman Cottage, w/detached carport, 70 ft driveway, workshop & studio on a shy 1/4 acre lot. 3 bedroom, possibly 4, with 2 baths, painted in vibrant colors. Laminate floors & white blinds brings out the artsy homeowner. Kitchen has painted cabinets & bead board walls/backsplash, Corian counters with added cabinetry. Main bath has a stall tile shower & separate tub, quartz counters with white cabinets. 2 bedrooms have built-in cabinets & new laminate floors/fans. The family room can be the 4th bedroom/bath also has a tiled shower. FM also has a wood burning stove w/built-ins. Sunroom can be a great entertaining spot along with the large patio that has room for a built in kitchen/BBQ. The workshop has wall air conditioner, dark room with grey water sink. The She craft/studio room can be utilized for crafting or potting area. Homeowner has built numerous planter boxes for the gardener. YES, room for your RV/toys, carport with garage door. Don’t pass up this home!! READ MORE

FOR SALE – 1536 Michigan St. Fairfield
3 bed/2 bath/1,260sqft/4,792sqft lot

$495,500 – This is a great starter or retirement home, close to shopping, Hwy 80 & Amtrack & perfect home for a commuter. This 3 bedroom & 2 bath home has new interior paint, carpets, laminate flooring, light fixtures, dual pane windows, tankless water heater & newer roof & air condenser. Master bath has new vanity & flooring. Kitchen has new flooring, appliances, stainless sink, painted cabinets, & resurfaced counter tops. Home has a large family room, perfect for entertaining. Patio is the length of home. Although 1 car garage, home has carport for at least 2 cars & RV parking on side. Larger lot & drought resistant front yard & shed. Just bring your furniture, home is move in ready. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 181 Cedar Ridge Dr. Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1,433sqft

$540,000 – Look no further!! This Clipper model is like a new home, completely renovated, from new sheet rock to all new cabinets throughout, new baths, laminate flooring, quartz counters, appliances, and new interior & exterior paint. Located on the 11th fairway, bring some patio furniture & enjoy the scenery. This model provides a living room/dining room & a nook/great room. Trilogy provides so many amenities, including 2 swimming pools/spas, bocce courts, billiards, tennis courts, pickleball, gym & more. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 404 Riverwood Ln. Rio Vista, 2bd/2bth/1391sf

$450,000 – Big Sur model & no rear neighbors!! Located in the Active Adult Community, Trilogy. Relax in this lovely backyard & watch the wild life. 2 bedrooms/2 full baths and den with double doors. Both master bedroom and den have bay windows that provides a more open feeling. Master bath has walk in shower & closet, double sinks, white tile counters, Dark kitchen cabinets, Corian counters w/tile backsplash, black appliances & tile floor. Stove is electric, however, is plumbed for natural gas. The dining area overlooks the backyard. Patio with all weather cover, great for BBQ in the rain. Garage has storage cabinets. Just bring your furniture and enjoy the activities, tennis, bocce, new gym, 2 pools & spas. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 731 Turnberry Ter Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1410 sq ft

$434,900 – NO BONDS-Spinnaker mod1:30el with private backyard. This 2 bedroom, 2 bath home feels like a very relaxing cottage for a retirement home. The patio provides a quiet place for morning coffee & afternoon beverage. Den has built-in book/curio shelves & bay window. The Master bedroom has a bay window, which creates room for a sitting area. New hot water heater. Enjoy amenities such as golf, tennis, bocce, pools/spas & a new gym, and more.  READ MORE

Events in Northern California this Week-End

Fall Fest and BBQ Cook-Off, Antioch

Sat, Oct 1, 11 AM – 4 PM
Willow Park Mercantile, 205 G St, Antioch, CA

Join us Oct 1st, 11 am-4 pm for our 5th Annual Fall Fest and BBQ Cook-Off.

Join the Party at Downtown Antioch’s Rivertown District with Live Music, Craft Vendors, Great Local Wine & Beer and of course Great BBQ! This is a Fun, Family Friendly Event with Free Entry and Parking.

Come Join the Fun! To Enter the BBQ Cook-Off as a Competitor or Sign Up as a Craft Vendor Please Follow the Below Links. READ MORE

Pumpkin Patch Express, W Sacramento
Oct 1, 4:30 PM – Oct 30, 5:30 PM
River Fox Train, 18095 Co Rd 117, West Sacramento, CA

Kids of all ages will have fun at the River Fox Train Pumpkin Patch Express. Trick-or-treat on board, pick the perfect pumpkin at our park and enjoy a one-of-a-kind fall experience. Costumes are highly encouraged! Please visit our website for more detailed information.

We will have concessions for Mom and Dad, including Wine and Beer. This adventure has something for everyone!

If you have any questions, please feel free to call our reservations number 800-866-1690.

2022 Lodi Street Faire
Sun, Oct 2, 8 AM – 4 PM
Downtown Lodi

The Lodi Street Faire is one of the premier events in the State, attracting vendors from throughout California. The Street Faire takes up a 14-square block area of downtown Lodi. More than 500 vendors participate in this biannual event, selling antiques, arts & crafts, and commercial items. While shopping, visitors can satisfy their appetite with their choice of over 25 food options serving everything from hamburgers to hot dogs, sausages to pizza, Mexican, Chinese, Filipino and otherworldly cuisine. Plus, no Faire is complete without sweet treats and cold drinks. So, bring the whole family for a day of shopping and fun! READ MORE

International Heritage Festival, Modesto
Sat, Oct 1, 10 AM – 3 PM
The Graffiti USA Classic Car Museum, 610 N 9th St, Modesto

The International Heritage Festival, the ultimate trip around the world, is coming to the Graffiti USA Classic Car Museum on Saturday, October 1st, 2022, from 10 AM-3 PM. This free event showcases the kaleidoscope of heritages from our local area. Festival guests travel worldwide, enjoying unique music, food, dance, and children’s crafts from around the world. Kids can explore a variety of countries and cultures, collect stamps and stickers, and have fun learning about geography, history, music, and art. READ MORE

Festival of Hope 209, Turlock
Sat, Oct 1, 10 AM – 6 PM
Stanislaus County Fair, 900 N Broadway, Turlock, CA

The Festival of Hope was a vision that came to life through the work of 2 women. This is not an event like any other. The mission behind this event is to help others, by giving them a safe place to connect with local outreach programs. Our community is filled with resources to help a variety of situations from human trafficking and abuse to pet adoption. Whether you are struggling with the loss of a loved one or are a pregnant teen who doesn’t know what your options are. We bring all of these resources to one location to connect you where you need it most.

We bring you a fun-filled day with live music, a carnival, a petting zoo, live entertainment including a hypnotist, so much delicious food to enjoy, and of course our local small business vendors to shop from. READ MORE

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