In loan terminology a "balloon" is the unpaid loan balance that must be paid in full on a specified due date. Federal savings and loan associations are permitted to make balloon mortgages with as little as five percent down and monthly payments that are smaller than the amount needed to fully amortize the debt. On the due date, which may be only a few years after the loan was made, the balance must be paid off or the loan must be renegotiated. Balloon borrowers must be cautious and plan carefully to avoid overlooking balloon payment obligations. It is easy to be lulled into complacency by the easy monthly payment terms.
Today's complex economics have produced a wide variety of options for potential borrowers, who are often surprised by how much house they can afford to buy. Loan approval is ultimately in the lender's hands, but your real estate agent can help you to determine your real buying power.
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