80/20 Loans Explained
Nearly half of all first-time homebuyers financed the entire cost of their home, rather than paying a hefty down payment. And many of these zero-down buyers did so thanks to the so-called 80/20 mortgage plan. This is a relatively new type of loan that was especially designed to help buyers who want to avoid paying down payments. As housing prices have skyrocketed, more and more buyers with good credit and strong income find that they cannot afford a home because of the difficulty in saving up enough to make the large down payment. On a home worth $200,000, a 20 percent down payment is a whopping $40,000. To respond to this challenge, mortgage companies began offering the 80/20 option.
Sometimes the 80/20 is referred to as a “piggyback” loan, because in reality it is two loans working in tandem as one. The first part works in a conventional way, and is for 80% of the purchase price. The 2nd part – the smaller one – is a 20 % loan. So when you apply for your mortgage, the lender actually qualifies you for 100 percent of the purchase price of your home, and then divides the loan into two sections.
For example, if you want to buy a house worth $100,000, the down payment of 20 percent will cost $20,000. With an 80/20 mortgage, the lender gives you $80,000 at one interest rate, and then gives you the 20 percent down payment of $20,000 at a somewhat higher rate, for a grand total loan amount of $100,000.
The reason for splitting up the mortgage into two distinct parts is to help you qualify for the loan without a down payment. Normally you have to put 20 percent down to get a conventional 80 percent loan, so with this rather clever mortgage plan, the lender is letting you borrow your down payment. Then the same lender can turn around and let you borrow the rest of the loan.
Yes, it does sound a little bit contrived, and it is indeed a rather complicated way to arrive at a basic mortgage. But what really counts for those trying to avoid a big down payment is that it works, and helps to overcome the down payment hurdle.
You can expect to pay higher rates on the down payment or 20 percent portion of the loan. But the rates are still reasonable, and this loan arrangement allows you to buy without first saving massive amounts of money to use for your down payment. Later, if you decide to pay off the 20 percent loan to lower your monthly payments, that is an option available to you. Many homeowners refinance once they have had a few years to increase their equity, and convert their 80/20 into a more traditional type of mortgage.
Online forex forums connect traders around the world
Most forex trading is done online, with investors looking at forex charts, considering trends, and making decisions. There’s very little interaction, even via the Internet, with other human beings. That’s one of the reasons that many traders also spend time in forex forums, chatting with other investors and sharing tips.
There are dozens of forex-related forums and message boards on the Internet. Some are tied to brokerage firms, while others are just freestanding forums on forex-related sites. Since the market is active 24 hours a day, you can usually count on the forums being busy at all hours too.
As mentioned, one of the reasons for visiting forex forums is simply psychological: Humans like to interact with other humans, especially when their day jobs require them to be alone with a computer for hours at a stretch.
Furthermore, there are a lot of emotions involved in trading. It’s real money, after all, and often large amounts of it. Online forums give traders a place to discuss the psychological effects of long-term trading, how it can become addictive and nerve-racking, and what impact it has on everyday life. You could think of message boards as being a sort of support group for traders, or the equivalent of the office water cooler.
Forex forums have more practical uses, too, of course. Traders find the tips and strategies offered by their fellow traders to be invaluable. Forums are often rife with people more seasoned and experienced than the average person, which benefits the newcomers. And many experienced traders enjoy visiting the forums because it gives them a chance to share their wisdom with others.
Forex forums are also useful for gauging the general mood of the marketplace. The charts and rates give you the cold, hard facts. But many times making a decision to buy or sell comes from the gut, based not just on the numbers but on how the market FEELS. The forums are a place to see what other traders are thinking right now. Do they feel optimistic? Pessimistic? Are things looking up? Are they discouraged? All of this information can be taken into account when considering a trade.
ForexFactory.com and ForexForum.net are two very popular, widely visited message boards. There are dozens of others out there, too. All forex forums give traders a chance to connect with their colleagues and to learn from one another.
When it comes to smart investing, all world news is forex news.
Forex traders know one of the advantages of their field is that the forex market is open 24 hours a day, five and a half days a week. But a 24-hour marketplace means there’s forex news coming in constantly, too. With so much information coming from so many markets literally at all hours of the day, it can be hard to keep up with all the news available to you.
But at the same time, an informed trader is a successful trader. To make informed decisions on when to buy and sell currencies, you’ll have to keep an eye on all the news you can get your hands on. Many Web sites make it relatively easy for you by corralling the forex news into one place, often dividing it into subcategories for easy navigating. Any forex trader, whether new or experienced, should find a news source he likes and check it often.
Many of these forex news sites also offer commentary and analysis, beyond just a simple ticking off of the latest rates. Here you’ll find experts talking about the issues involved and perhaps offering insights beyond what you would have come up with on your own. Some news sites charge a registration fee for access to all their materials, but it can be worth it in the long run.
Aside from running 24 hours a day, another reason there is constantly a stream of forex news is that so many factors can influence a currency’s strength. Natural disasters, government actions and other things -- both foreseeable and not foreseeable -- can cause a nation’s currency to go up or down in relative value. An experienced trader will look at all this news and know how to predict what effect it will have.
Often, forex news isn’t labeled as such. Any economic news at all can affect the forex market; a sharp-eyed trader is on the lookout constantly for news that might impact his trading. In other words, a good trader will have to be an expert on world affairs, monitoring political, social and other developments in other countries. All of this, combined with the more specific forex news dealing with the details of exchange rates and so forth, gives you the information you need to be successful at currency trading.