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Understanding Your Mortgage Payment: Breaking Down the Basics

May 20, 2024

Understanding Your Mortgage Payments: Breaking Down the Basics

When you take out a mortgage, you're committing to a long-term financial obligation. To make informed decisions, it's essential to understand the components that make up your monthly mortgage payment. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key elements:

1. Principal

The principal is the actual amount you borrowed to purchase your home. If you took out a $200,000 loan, your principal starts at $200,000. Over time, as you make payments, this amount decreases. Paying down the principal reduces the total interest you will pay over the life of the loan.

2. Interest

The interest rate on your mortgage is the annual cost of borrowing money, expressed as a percentage. This rate plays a significant role in determining your monthly payment. For example, if you have a 4% interest rate on a $200,000 loan, you’ll pay interest on the remaining balance each month. Initially, a larger portion of your payment goes toward interest, but as you pay down the principal, the interest portion decreases.

3. Property Taxes

Property taxes are levied by local governments and vary widely depending on your location. These taxes can range from 5-10% of your monthly mortgage payment. It's essential to consider this when budgeting for your home, as property taxes can significantly impact your monthly costs. Typically, your lender will collect property taxes as part of your mortgage payment and pay them on your behalf.

4. Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance protects your home and personal property against damage or loss. This insurance generally covers:

  • Dwelling: The structure of your home.
  • Other Structures: Detached structures like garages or sheds.
  • Personal Property: Your belongings inside the home.
  • Medical Payments to Others: Covers medical expenses for injuries sustained by others on your property.
  • Loss of Use: Costs associated with living elsewhere if your home is uninhabitable due to damage.

Having adequate homeowner’s insurance is crucial for safeguarding your investment.

5. Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance (MI) is required if your down payment is less than 20% of the home's purchase price. It protects the lender in case you default on your loan. The duration of mortgage insurance depends on the type of loan:

  • Conventional Loans: MI is typically required for the first 11 years of a 30-year loan term if your down payment is less than 20%.
  • FHA and USDA Loans: MI is required for the life of the loan, regardless of your down payment amount.

Understanding the duration and cost of mortgage insurance can help you plan your finances more effectively.

Being well-informed about the components of your mortgage payment can help you manage your finances better and avoid surprises. By breaking down your monthly payment into principal, interest, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and mortgage insurance, you can get a clearer picture of where your money is going and make more strategic decisions about your mortgage and overall financial health.

Have questions about your mortgage or the financing for a Manuel Builders home? We're here to help, and so are our preferred lenders. We've partnered with experts to ensure our homeowners receive the best possible lending options.



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Manuel Builders is a family owned company that has been in business for over 64 years. We build residential homes on your lot and develop outstanding communities. We build in Lafayette, Carencro, Broussard, Youngsville, Erath, Kaplan, Ville Platte, Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, Moss Bluff, Iowa, Dequincy, Duson, Scott, Maurice, Anchorage, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Baton Rouge, Scotlandville, Merrydale, Monticello, Central, Covington, Mandeville, Houma, Thibodeaux, Morgan City, Montogomery county, Conroe, the Woodlands, the greater Houston area, and surrounding cities in Louisiana and Texas. Manuel Builders reserves the right to make changes to speculative homes under construction. Colors, exterior finishes and square footage may vary from pictures, plans, and virtual tours. Elevation Renderings could include optional features that are not included in the base price. Prices also subject to change without notice.

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