The traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has a constant interest rate and monthly payments that never change. This may be a good choice if you plan to stay in your home for seven years or longer. If you plan to move within seven years, then stable-rate loans are usually cheaper. As a rule of thumb, it may be harder to qualify for fixed-rate loans than for adjustable rate loans. When interest rates are low, fixed-rate loans are generally not that much more expensive than adjustable-rate mortgages and may be a better deal in the long run, because you can lock in the rate for the life of your loan.
This loan is fully amortized over a 15-year period and features constant monthly payments. It offers all the advantages of the 30-year loan, plus a lower interest rate and you’ll own your home twice as fast. The disadvantage is that, with a 15-year loan, you commit to a higher monthly payment. Many borrowers opt for a 30-year fixed-rate loan and voluntarily make larger payments that will pay off their loan in 15 years. This approach is often safer than committing to a higher monthly payment, since the difference in interest rates isn’t that great.
Hybrid ARM (3/1 ARM, 5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM) in Charlotte, NC
These increasingly popular ARMS also called 3/1, 5/1 or 7/1can offer the best of both worlds: lower interest rates (like ARMs) and a fixed payment for a longer period of time than most adjustable rate loans. For example, a “5/1 loan” has a fixed monthly payment and interest for the first five years and then turns into a traditional adjustable- rate loan, based on then-current rates for the remaining 25 years. It’s a good choice for people who expect to move (or refinance) before or shortly after the adjustment occurs.
An ARM is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage. Unlike fixed rate mortgages that have an interest rate that remains the same for the life of the loan, the interest rate on an ARM will change periodically. The intial interest rate of an ARM is lower then that of a fixed rate mortgage, consequently, an ARM maybe a good option to consider if you plan to own your home for only a few years; you expect an increase in future earnings; or, the prevailing interest rate for a fixed mortgage is to high.
The 2/1 Buy-Down Mortgage allows the borrower to qualify at below market rates so they can borrow more. The initial starting interest rate increases by 1% at the end of the first year and adjusts again by another 1% at the end of the second year. It then remains at a fixed interest rate for the remainder of the loan term. Borrowers often refinance at the end of the second year to obtain the best long-term rates. However, keeping the loan in place even for three full years or more will keep their average interest rate in line with the original market conditions.
With this loan, the interest rate is recalculated every month. Compared to other options, the rate is usually lower on this ARM because the lender is only committing to a rate for a month at a time, so his vulnerability is significantly reduced.
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John Israel | Expert North Carolina Mortgage Loan Consultant | NMLS# 1059883