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Mortgage Madness (1/3): BBC2 - 29/10/2003

Original broadcast (UK): Wednesday 29 October 2003, 7.30pm, BBC TWO. [00:00 - 09:01 of 00:27:00] Part 1 00:00 - 01:10 : Introduction. 01:10 ...

How to finally pay off your mortgage

But when you sit down and really think about paying off a loan that big for that much time, you start to realize just how many thousands - if not tens of thousands - of dollars you're wasting on interest payments that go directly into the bank's coffers.

7 ways to pay off your mortgage faster

Fortunately, there is a simple way you can speed up that process.

If you have a higher income or more cash on hand than when you applied for your loan - or simply want to own your home outright in less time - you can make additional principal payments each month to pay off your mortgage faster.

Before you make any changes to your payment schedule, however, find out if there are any prepayment penalties associated with your loan. In most cases, these penalties apply if you pay off your entire mortgage balance in a short period of time - three to five years - but can also be assessed if you pay off a significant chunk of your balance at once. Not all mortgages have prepayment penalties - if there is one attached to your loan, you agreed to it when you closed on your home. Check with your lender if you're unsure.

Do I need a real estate agent to buy a home? | Mortgage Rates ...

Could easily make a mistake with these documents. Mistakes can cause deals to fall apart or (worse) make you liable for an inadvertent breach of contract. (A licensed agent will have errors and omissions insurance to limit this risk.)

An experienced agent will make sure that everything that needs to take place -- counter-offers, extensions, appraisal, inspection, walk-through, loan approval -- happens when it's supposed to and how it's supposed to.

Do you have crazy negotiating skills?

A good agent should have a wealth of sales and neighborhood data to help you negotiate the lowest-cost deal.

A seasoned pro knows what you can buy in your area with your budget, and what constitutes a good deal. He or she knows how to formulate tempting offers, when to play hardball, and when to walk away. This expertise is especially helpful in neighborhoods where home values vary widely from block to block – or in seller’s markets.

Most home buyers think agents are

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