CNN Money: Homebuyers clueless about mortgages

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The housing market is heating up, yet many house hunters are not prepared to take on the biggest purchases of their lives.

When it comes to mortgages, homebuyers answered basic questions about terms, how to choose a lender and financing wrong nearly one-third of the time, according to an April survey of more than 1,000 current and prospective homeowners by real estate website Zillow.

Among the survey's findings, 31% of buyers don't think it's possible to get a mortgage for less than 5% down; 34% don't know what the term "annual percentage rate" (APR) means and one in four believe you must close with the lender that pre-approves your mortgage.

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"All too often buyers focus on negotiating a lower home price and ignore the importance of finding the right loan," said Erin Lantz, director of mortgages for Zillow. "Buyers should always shop multiple lenders and compare rates and fees and read lender reviews in order to find the best loan for their situation."

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Thomas Boyd

Thomas Boyd, Portland, Oregon, USA