Revealing No-Closing-Cost Mortgages: A 2024 Guide to Determine If It’s Your Best Choice

No Closing Cost mortgage

Understanding No-Closing-Cost Mortgages

What Sets No-Closing-Cost Mortgages Apart?

A no-closing-cost mortgage, as the name suggests, is a financial arrangement that relieves homebuyers from the burden of upfront closing expenses typically associated with securing a home loan. Traditional mortgages often come with closing costs that encompass fees for appraisals, title searches, and various administrative expenses. In contrast, a no-closing-cost mortgage provides an alternative avenue by incorporating these costs into the overall loan structure.

The Mechanics Behind No-Closing-Cost Mortgages

When opting for a no-closing-cost mortgage, homebuyers are presented with two primary options. The first involves negotiating with the lender to roll the closing costs into the loan amount, spreading the financial impact across the mortgage term. The second option is the lender absorbing the closing costs in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate on the loan. Both approaches offer financial flexibility, allowing homebuyers to manage their immediate cash flow while still accessing the benefits of homeownership.

How No-Closing-Cost Mortgages Work

Almost every person buying a home has to deal with closing costs. These costs cover things like the home inspection, home appraisal, title fees, taxes for deeds or mortgage registration by the municipality, and recording fees. There are also additional costs related to the mortgage process itself, such as underwriting, processing, and originating fees. On average, nationwide closing costs were around $6,905 as of 2023, according to ClosingCorp.

  • Rolling costs into your loan balance:  Let’s assume you’re seeking to borrow $250,000, and your closing costs total $8,000. That means your mortgage principal — the amount you’ll actually borrow — is $258,000.
  • Paying a higher interest rate on your loan: Say you qualified for a 30-year mortgage at a fixed rate of 6 percent. The lender might offer to up your interest rate to 6.5 percent (50 basis points higher) to cover your closing costs.

Points To Consider Before Choosing A No-Closing-Cost Mortgage

Interest Rate Dynamics

While the allure of avoiding upfront costs is undeniable, it’s crucial for homebuyers to carefully evaluate the long-term implications of a no-closing-cost mortgage. Often, these mortgages come with a slightly higher interest rate to compensate for the absorbed closing costs. Homebuyers must weigh the immediate financial relief against the potential long-term expense of a higher interest rate.

Duration of Ownership

The decision to opt for a no-closing-cost mortgage should align with your anticipated duration of homeownership. If you plan to stay in your home for an extended period, the higher interest rate may accumulate significant costs over time. On the other hand, if you foresee a shorter tenure, the immediate financial benefits may outweigh the potential long-term expenses.

Difference Between No-Closing-Cost Mortgage vs. Traditional Mortgage

No-closing-cost mortgages are attractive because they allow you to buy a home without having to pay thousands of extra dollars upfront, a relief when you’re likely already dealing with expenses like the down payment and moving costs. However, it’s crucial to consider the long-term implications. The higher cost associated with a zero-closing-cost mortgage will be something you’ll be paying for over many years, whether it’s a 15-year, 30-year, or any other mortgage term.

Let’s consider an example: You plan to purchase a $500,000 home with a 20 percent down payment, which means you’ll need to borrow $400,000 to finance the purchase. You receive two loan quotes for 30-year terms – one for a traditional mortgage at 7 percent interest and another for a no-closing-cost loan at 7.5 percent.

Assuming closing costs for the traditional mortgage amount to 3 percent of the principal, which is $12,000, the monthly payment on the traditional loan would be $2,661, while the payment for the no-closing-cost loan would be $2,797.

Pros & Cons Of A No-Closing-Cost Mortgage

Pros of No-Closing-Cost Mortgages

  • Less upfront cash: According to Daniel Hill, CFP and president of Hill Wealth Strategies in Richmond, Virginia, one significant benefit is the avoidance of additional fees using readily available funds. This means you won’t have to deplete your savings accounts or sell stocks to come up with a large sum upfront, reducing the risk of financial strain associated with homeownership.
  • Increased liquidity in the future: The money you save on closing costs can be redirected towards building an emergency fund, establishing a home-maintenance fund, contributing to general savings, or even investing. This provides greater flexibility and financial security down the road.
  • Convenient payments: Another advantage is the ease of managing your finances, as closing costs are spread out and incorporated into your mortgage payments over the entire loan period. This simplifies your budgeting and payment processes, making homeownership more manageable.

Cons of No-Closing-Cost Mortgages

  • Limited options: While almost every mortgage lender provides traditional loans with closing costs, not all lenders offer no-closing-cost mortgages. This limitation means you’ll have fewer choices, making it challenging to explore various options and find the best deal.
  • Reduced home equity: Opting for a no-closing-cost loan means financing a larger amount of the home purchase. Consequently, you begin with a smaller outright ownership stake in your home compared to a traditional loan.
  • Higher interest costs: According to Rajeh Saadeh, a real estate attorney based in Somerville, New Jersey, choosing a no-closing-cost loan may result in a less attractive loan compared to what you could get with traditional financing. This could lead to higher overall interest payments over the life of your loan, especially if you stick with the no-closing-cost option for an extended period.

3 Best Mortgage Lenders Who Offers No Closing Cost Mortgage & Don’t Charge Origination Fees

Securing a mortgage often comes with an additional financial burden in the form of extra fees, making the homebuying process more expensive. Lenders commonly impose various charges, including an application fee, an underwriting fee, and an origination fee, collectively categorised as lender fees. Additionally, you may find yourself dealing with discount points aimed at reducing your interest rate. This results in an additional financial outlay beyond the initial upfront costs associated with purchasing a new home.

Origination fees, as the name implies, are fees levied by lenders for the initiation and processing of your loan. Typically ranging from 0.5% to 1.5% of the loan amount, these fees can translate to an extra expense of $1,000 to $3,000 for a $200,000 loan, exemplifying the potential financial impact on homebuyers.

1. PenFed Credit Union

Are you on the lookout for a mortgage that won’t break the bank? Look no further – PenFed has got you covered. They offer a range of mortgages, and here’s the best part – no lender fees, no origination fees. Yes, you read that right!

Mortgage Options Galore

PenFed goes above and beyond with a variety of mortgage options, tailored to meet your needs. Whether you’re eyeing a VA loan, conventional loan, jumbo loan, FHA loan, or an adjustable-rate mortgage, PenFed’s got you covered.

The Power Buyer Advantage: Your Key To A Smart Home Purchase

Enter the Power Buyer program – your secret weapon in the ever-changing world of interest rates. Imagine being pre-approved and locking in a great interest rate for a generous 60 days while you hunt for your dream home. That’s exactly what the Power Buyer program offers.

In a market where interest rates might play hard to predict, the Power Buyer program ensures you start with a low interest rate. Why does this matter? Because getting pre-approved before you start house hunting not only makes the process smoother but also helps you avoid missing out on that perfect property while you go back to get pre-approved.

Lender Credits: A Sweet Bonus for PenFed Members

As a PenFed member, the perks don’t stop at fee-free mortgages. Depending on your loan amount, you could be in for some serious savings with lender credits.

  • Borrowing up to $199,999? You could snag a $500 credit.
  • Need a bit more? Loans between $200,000 and $699,999 come with a tempting $1,000 credit.
  • Looking at a substantial loan of $700,000 or more? Brace yourself for a generous $2,500 credit.

Why PenFed Matters: A Lender That Has Your Back

PenFed: Your Trusted Partner in Homeownership

In a sea of mortgage options, PenFed emerges as a standout choice, going beyond fee-free mortgages to offer the distinctive Power Buyer program. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, PenFed stands by your side.

The Power Buyer Advantage: Navigating Unpredictable Rates

Seize control of your homebuying journey with PenFed’s Power Buyer program, a strategic move in the face of fluctuating interest rates. This initiative not only secures a robust position for you but also showcases PenFed’s dedication to transparency and financial empowerment.

More Than a Lender: PenFed, Your Financial Partner

PenFed transcends the conventional role of a lender. It transforms into a financial partner genuinely invested in your success. The promise of lender credits adds a tangible benefit, reinforcing the idea that PenFed is more than just a transaction – it’s a supportive guide on your path to homeownership.

Why Choose PenFed? Simplicity, Transparency, Empowerment

In conclusion, if you’re seeking a mortgage experience defined by simplicity, transparency, and financial empowerment, PenFed is your go-to. Consider PenFed not merely as a lender but as a trusted companion, steering you through the intricate journey of homeownership.

Your pursuit of a home is more than a transaction; it’s a significant life step. With PenFed, it becomes a journey guided by expertise, transparency, and a commitment to your financial well-being. Choose PenFed, and let your homeownership dreams become a reality.

PenFed Credit Union

2. Navy Federal Credit Union

If you’re a current or retired member of the Armed Forces or an immediate family member, Navy Federal Credit Union has tailored its mortgage benefits just for you. Let’s explore the perks that come with being a part of the Navy Federal Credit Union family.

Membership Matters: Who Can Benefit?

Navy Federal Credit Union shines brightest for active or retired Armed Forces members who have embraced the advantages of a Navy Federal Credit Union membership. The benefits extend not only to the service members themselves but also to their immediate family members.

VA Loans: A Path to Affordable Homeownership

For those eyeing a home purchase, Navy Federal Credit Union offers VA loans with a unique proposition – a 0% down payment option and the flexibility to contribute up to 4% of the home’s value towards closing costs. This not only makes homeownership more accessible but also provides financial relief during the crucial closing phase.

Military Choice Mortgage: Tailored to Your Needs

Navy Federal Credit Union goes further with the Military Choice mortgage, mirroring the benefits of VA loans. No private mortgage insurance (PMI) and a 0% minimum down payment are just the beginning. What sets it apart is the option for sellers to contribute up to 6% of the home’s value towards closing costs, offering an additional avenue for savings.

RealtyPlus Program: Cash Back on Your Home Purchase

As part of its commitment to empowering homebuyers, Navy Federal Credit Union introduces the RealtyPlus program. This innovative initiative allows homebuyers to not only secure a new home but also receive up to $9,000 in cash back. It’s a significant financial boost that can make a real difference.

Fee Structure: Balancing Costs and Benefits

While Navy Federal Credit Union acknowledges the presence of fees, they present a unique proposition. Homebuyers have the option to waive the origination fee, provided they accept a 0.25% increase in their interest rate. It’s a thoughtful approach, giving applicants the flexibility to tailor their cost structure based on their preferences.

Navy Federal Credit Union

3. Ally Bank

If you’re in the market for a mortgage without the usual barrage of fees, Ally Bank could be your ideal financial partner. Let’s delve into the details of what makes Ally Bank a standout choice for homebuyers.

No Fees, No Fuss: Understanding Ally Bank’s Approach

Ally Bank distinguishes itself by steering clear of application fees, origination fees, processing fees, and underwriting fees. While some charges like appraisal fees, recording fees, and fees related to title searches and insurance may apply, Ally Bank’s commitment to transparency is evident.

Swift and Simple: Seamless Application Process

The allure of Ally Bank goes beyond fee transparency. Imagine getting pre-approved for a loan in a mere three minutes online. Yes, you read that right. And if you have all your documents ready, submitting your application can be done in just 15 minutes. Ally Bank understands the value of your time, making the entire process quick and hassle-free.

HomeReady Mortgage: Bridging the Gap for Homebuyers

Ally Bank caters to the dreams of low- to mid-income homebuyers through its HomeReady mortgage program. This program, available to both first-time and repeat buyers, allows for a down payment as low as 3%. While generous, there are a few stipulations. Applicants must maintain a debt-to-income ratio below 50%, have income equal to or less than 80% of the area’s median income, and ensure at least one borrower completes a homeowner education course.

Jumbo Loans and Flexible Terms: Choices for Every Homebuyer

Ally Bank doesn’t stop at simplicity – it offers versatility too. While FHA, VA, and USDA loans are not on the menu, customers can explore the jumbo loan option. The bank also lets you choose between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, with 15-, 20-, and 30-year loan terms available. This flexibility empowers you to tailor your mortgage to your unique financial situation.

Ally Bank

How To Decide If A No-Closing-Cost Mortgage Is Right For You

No-closing-cost home mortgages come with both benefits and drawbacks, and they may not be the ideal choice for everyone. This type of mortgage is typically more suitable for individuals purchasing a starter or short-term residence that they plan to leave within approximately a decade, rather than those buying a forever home. Alternatively, it can be a viable option for individuals facing financial constraints, where making a substantial upfront payment is a significant challenge.

Before opting for a no-closing-cost arrangement, carefully assess your intended duration of stay in the home and evaluate how much upfront cash you are prepared to part with.

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