Getting a Mortgage for Your House

While some people can afford to buy their house and pay for the price of the home using their own savings and help from family/friends, most individuals in California must go to the bank and receive a loan for the price of the home minus their down payment. These loans, or mortgages, allow for potential homeowners to borrow money from the bank or other lenders and then based on a mortgage rate and chosen financing program, the homeowner will pay back the loan in a series of installments.


When receiving a mortgage, the borrower of the money (this does not necessarily have to be the person who will reside in the property) must sign a promissory note. This note creates a written document that states the borrower will return the money they have borrowed and have accepted the terms and conditions of said mortgage.


Based on the interest rate and conditions chosen, mortgages can look different from one another. Generally, the typical mortgage can have a term that lasts between 15 to 30 years and includes paying the principal and applicable interest. While the percentage can increase, the borrower must provide at least a 5 percent down payment (and this can increase to a minimum of 10 percent down). Furthermore, it is important that the borrower meets the required FICO score of the lender.


There are a variety of mortgage programs that cater to certain sectors of the population. Many people are not aware that they may qualify for a mortgage program that is better catered to their financial situation. For example, those who are considered to be California Veterans can apply to have a 0 percent down payment loan through the VA Mortgage program. Associated conditions will apply. Other programs include the USDA Rural Housing Loan, CalHFA, and Adjustable Rate Mortgage programs. Therefore, borrowers must choose a mortgage that is best suited to their needs.

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