If you’re not comparison shopping when looking for a home loan, you’re probably losing money when you take out a new mortgage.
Half of home buyers look to only one lender when buying a home, according to a survey from NerdWallet.
And that is a mistake, according to the personal finance website. If you compare rates between five different lenders, you could stand to save $430 in interest in the first year on a 30-year fixed-rate $260,000 mortgage.
“That savings would accumulate and compound for every year that they had the loan,” said Holden Lewis, home expert at NerdWallet.
If all Americans did this, they could save $776 million in one year across all home sales, according to NerdWallet’s calculations.
Comparison shopping shouldn’t stop there.
Prospective home buyers should also use an online home affordability calculator to better understand how their salary and monthly debt payments will affect their bottom line, according to Lewis.
In addition, you should be sure to ask plenty of questions when looking at a new neighborhood and home, he said.
“Ask a real estate agent and fellow home owners in that area, ‘How much should I expect to pay for taxes, insurance, maintenance and repairs?'” Lewis said.
Doing that research ahead of time will help avoid what you don’t want: a case of buyer’s remorse.
NerdWallet’s survey found that 25 percent of homeowners said they felt financially insecure after buying their current home. First-time home buyers were more likely to lack confidence, with 34 percent agreeing with that statement.
NerdWallet’s most recent home buyer survey was conducted online in January. It included 2,029 adults ages 18 and up.