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Should you pay discount points?

2140642.mediumThe low mortgage interest rates that you find online or in the newspaper aren’t necessarily what you’ll pay when you apply for a loan. Why? Because banks will charge you “discount” points to get the best rate, which adds to the cost of the loan.

Points, or discount points, are expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. The point “discounts” the interest rate, that’s why it’s referred to as a discount point. If your mortgage is $300,000, then one “point” is $3,000. For each point you pay, your interest rate should be reduced by about ¼ percent.

On a 30-year mortgage loan at $300,000 and 5.00%, the monthly payment works to $1,610 without any points.Paying one point ($3,000) would reduce the rate to 4.75%, making your discounted payment $1,564 per month.

That’s a reduction of $46.00 per month. Now weigh the cost of $3,000. To get that, divide $46 into $3000. The result is 65. It will take you 65 payments to break even, nearly 5 ½ years. It’s worth it if you’re planning to stay in your home for 5 to 10 years or longer. If not, you’re far better off using the $3,000 to pay down your loan principal or buying furniture for your home.

There’s another way to get the best mortgage interest rate – that’s to have the best credit scores possible. Those with near or perfect credit are considered low risk by banks. As always, consult your financial advisor for more information about home loans.

134 Freeboard Drive Moneta, Virginia


Welcome to 134 Freeboard Drive, Moneta Virginia

A stunning Smith Mountain Lake home, where sunrises or sunsets can be seen from almost every room. Designed by renowned architect Danny Goins, this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home is perfectly situated on a level point lot, offering a truly unique waterfront experience. Panoramic views are delicately framed by rounded windows in the great room and billiard room above. Impressive finishes both inside and outside the home include a dockside bath pavilion with covered walkway, Pennsylvania Bluestone retaining walls, Brazilian Cherry plank flooring, African Mahogany cabinetry, and rare Mahogany Blue Eyes granite. Located in The Waterfront Golf & Country Club, just minutes to Westlake Towne Center. Complete details available, visit .

SML Real Estate Market Update – Quarter Three 2015

Much like the fall weather at Smith Mountain Lake, real estate activity in the third quarter of the year was brisk. Our quarterly SML Market Report breaks down the happenings with useful information for buyers and sellers. You may download the PDF version or sign up for my email list and I’ll be happy to send the market update to you so you’ll never miss a report.
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Market Headlines from Quarter 3 2015


Real estate sales at Smith Mountain Lake have been strong so we’ve seen a drop in inventory. However, there is still quite a bit for sale in the waterfront, water access and condo/townhome segments. If you want to increase showings and get your property sold in a timely manner, it’s important to price your home competitively. An overpriced listing won’t make your property stand out among buyers who are ready to make an offer.

Related content: Why autumn is awesome for listing your Smith Mountain Lake home.


The number of days Smith Mountain Lake listings stay on the market is declining. If you are serious about making a real estate purchase in 2015, it’s important that you stay on top of trends within the segment you wish to buy. Prices are coming down and listings are selling more quickly making for a more competitive situation for buyers.

Get insider access to the SML Market Report

My team and I compile detailed data for the Smith Mountain Real Estate market each quarter. For your convenience, it can be sent directly to your email address. The insightful reports are broken down by market segments, providing you with valuable details whether you’re buying or selling a Smith Mountain Lake property.

Download the PDF: Millehan and Shelton Q3 2015 Market Report