If you are planning to buy a home or refinance your existing home loan, the latest edition of "The Mortgage Kit" is a great place to start. Author Thomas C. Steinmetz explains the pros and cons of virtually all mortgage alternatives in easy-to-understand words, charts and graphs.
As an experienced mortgage lender who now specializes in mortgage software, Steinmetz knows his subject and has a knack for explaining mortgages in simple, understandable terms.
An interesting new feature is an Internet directory of mortgage sources, including the author's comments on each. Details on FHA and VA loans, even credit scoring, are now readily available.
The appendixes are especially informative; they include sample loan application forms, monthly payment calculation forms, prequalification worksheets and even a loan shopping list for each lender's loan offerings. Of course, there are loan amortization charts too.
If you just want a home loan and aren't interested in the details--such as understanding your mortgage alternatives, how to find the best loan for your situation and overcoming qualification glitches--you don't need this great book. But the rest of us, who want to understand our home loan choices, will greatly benefit.
The only section that's weak deals with reverse mortgages for senior citizens. Also, Steinmetz doesn't emphasize the importance of getting preapproved, as opposed to merely prequalified, for a mortgage before shopping for a home.
Whether you are a home buyer looking for an acquisition mortgage, a homeowner planning to refinance or a real estate agent seeking to help your clients obtain a mortgage, this is the right book for you. It is easy to understand, and well-organized, with valuable facts and information.
"The Mortgage Kit" by Thomas C. Steinmetz (Real Estate Education Co., Chicago), 1998, $19.95, 157 pages plus appendices. Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores or in public libraries.