Navigating the mortgage maze

first_img 42SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John San Filippo John San Filippo is the founder and president of OmniChannel Communications Inc. He has nearly 40 years of experience in financial services and technology. He’s written for every major … Web: www.financialfeed.com Details Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth home, your finance options can be confusing. That’s because many types of mortgage loans are available, with varying rates and terms. However, the basic difference in mortgage loans boils down to these differences:Whether the interest rate is fixed or adjustable.Whether the loan is government insured.Fixed or adjustable?As the name implies, a fixed-rate loan is a mortgage loan with an interest rate that never changes. Since the interest rate never changes, the monthly payment amount never changes, either. That means, for example, if you get a 30-year fixed rate loan and keep the loan for that long, you’ll make 360 identical payments to your lender (give or take a few dollars on the final payment).Many consumers like the predictability and stability of a fixed rate mortgage. And over time, as your income presumably grows, that fixed payment amount will seem smaller and smaller. When rates are historically low, like they are now, fixed rate mortgages are a good deal.If you’re looking for the lowest possible initial payment and you’re confident that your income will rise over time, you may want to consider an adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM. With an ARM, your initial rate is a) typically lower than the rate on a fixed rate loan, and b) locked in for five years. That means that your ARM will behave like a fixed rate loan for the first five years.But what happens after five years?Your rate will start adjusting – as often as annually and as infrequently as every five years, depending on the terms of your specific loan. It should come as no shock that ARM rates generally adjust up rather than down. And every time your rate goes up, your payment goes up, too. This can come as quite a shock to a fragile budget.Rates are expected to increase over the next several years, so if you opt for an ARM, keep in mind you may experience some serious sticker shock in five years when your rate adjusts … and it will adjust higher.Conventional or government insured?A conventional loan is one that involves just you and your lender. Pretty simple, eh? So why would you want to get the government involved in your mortgage loan?It depends on which government insured loan program we’re talking about. These loans come in three flavors: FHA, VA and USDA.An FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan can be a good choice if you don’t have much money to put down – it only requires a down payment of 3.5 percent, while most conventional loans require a down payment between 5 and 20 percent. An FHA loan can also be helpful if your credit is less than stellar. Since your loan is insured by the government, your lender may be willing to make what may seem like a riskier loan, because the government will guarantee the bank will be repaid, at least in part, if you can’t.The rub? The FHA doesn’t insure these loans just to be nice. You actually have to pay for that mortgage insurance yourself, an amount that’s tacked to your monthly mortgage payment. However, if you get a conventional loan and have less than 20% for a down payment, many states require that you pay mortgage insurance, called PMI.If you’re a veteran of any branch of the U.S. military, you should consider a VA loan. The VA loan program is administered by the Department of Veteran Affairs. A VA loan works a lot like an FHA loan, except for one extremely important difference: A VA loan doesn’t require any down payment whatsoever. That can be huge for a cash-strapped family looking to own their own home.Finally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a loan program for low-income families living in rural areas. To qualify for this program, your family can’t earn more than 115 percent of the average median income for your county.The loan types described here cover the vast majority of U.S. mortgage loans, but there are many, many subtle variations. If you have questions, your best bet is to ask a mortgage expert at your credit union.last_img read more

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ESForce acquired by Mail.Ru for $150 million

first_imgESForce, one of the largest esports companies has been sold to Russian internet giant Mail.Ru for $150 million (~£107.8m) according to ESPN reports.ESForce continues to own SK Gaming and Virtus.Pro after relinquishing media rights to Natus Vincere recently. In addition, the company owns a broader portfolio of companies operating in esports including the tournament series EPICENTER, the sites CS:GO and Dota 2 Lounge, the Cybersport and RuHub media network as well as the recently built Yota Arena and even merchandising shop Fragstore. The report suggests a whole fresh ownership change, although previous owners “USM” are amongst the biggest three shareholders in Mail.Ru. USM hold shares in the Mail.Ru group through a holding in MegaFon, and the three biggest shareholders in Mail.Ru are MegaFon, MIH and Tencent. The other two significant investors in USM Holdings, are Russian billionaire businessman Andrei Skoch and part owner of Everton F.C Farhad Moshiri. The initial report from RNS suggests that investments in ESForce have amounted to around $60 million in total, yet the company still continues to return a negative EBITDA at $15 million, and revenue for 2017 is approximated for around $19 million – a growth of 150% year on year. The report also suggests that investors expect that the revenue of ESForce in 2018 will have year-on-year growth of 80% – 100% going forward. Effectively, the deal seems to be a substantial investment into ESForce. One would suggest that it will not change an awful lot with the way the company operates and the question marks over multiple-team ownership in Virtus.pro and SK Gaming remain. Due to the public nature of Mail.Ru and the filing obligations that come with the company, the esports audience will likely get a rare, more transparent look at a company’s financials as and when the annual report is released.Esports Insider says: Big money move as ESForce is engulfed by an absolute giant in Mail.ru. It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything – changes after the investment as there’s still a lot of common factors.last_img read more

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