How to Read a Mortgage

Back by popular demand – a quick report on how to read a mortgage!

Cincinnati mortgagesNo geese, no goats, no pay -no stay is the simplest way to explain multi-page fine print mortgage documents to today’s real estate buyer.

But chickens may be ok!

Buyers who are financing the purchase of a new home or condo sign multiple pages at the closing covering everything from the actual loan to the pages that comprise the  “mortgage instrument”.  And honestly, very few borrowers ever take time to read through every document.

The good news is that the majority of the documents you sign at closing are designed and regulated by various government agencies.  Do you want to read the fine print?  If you want to review blank copies of all the documents prior to closing, please tell the lender and/or your Realtor® during the loan process.  Usually, your lender has blank copies available for review. The final documents are not ready until closing. Don’t wait until you’re sitting at the closing table and decide to read the details.  

I’ve always told buyers the best way to understand the terms of the “mortgage instrument” is quite simple- “no goats, no geese -no pay, no stay”. In the simplest terms, mortgage fine print requires borrowers to follow the local laws, protect, take care of the property and make sure to make your mortgage payments.

The goats and geese pun comes from the fact that most neighborhoods and condo complexes outlaw raising farm animals or any type of livestock.  However, read the fine print because some areas are now permitting Chicken Coops.  It’s not uncommon to be showing expensive homes in Hyde Park only to walk outside and find a coop in the backyard and a few chickens wandering around.

Buyers need to research what’s allowed in their neighborhood as well as reading the fine print in all the HOA documents before making any decisions about where to buy.


 So two things to remember before you close on your next home:

  1. If you need to like to review all the closing documents (great if you have insomnia) notify everybody so they can provide documentation in a timely manner
  2. No geese, no goats, no pay, no stay pretty much covers the rules of ownership but be careful about counting your eggs before they hatch if you want to raise chickens on your property!