Plan To Sell Within 5 Years? Consider An Adjustable-Rate Mortgage.

September 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm Leave a comment

Comparing 5-year ARM to 30-year fixed

Which is better — a fixed-rate mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage? It’s a common question among home buyers and refinancing households in Michigan.

The answer? It depends. 

Fixed-rate mortgages give the certainty of a known, unchanging principal + interest payment for the life of the loan. This can help you with budget-setting and financial planning. Some homeowners say fixed-rate loans they offer “peace of mind”.

Adjustable-rate mortgages do not.

After a pre-determined, introductory number of years, the initial interest rate on the note — sometimes called a “teaser rate” — moves up or down, depending on the existing market conditions. It then adjust again every 6 or 12 months thereafter until the loan is paid in full.

ARMs can adjust higher or lower so they are necessarily unpredictable long-term. However, if you can be comfortable with uncertainty like that, you’re often rewarded with a very low initial interest rate — much lower than a comparable fixed rate loan, anyway.

Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey highlights this point.

The interest rate gap between fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages is growing. It peaked 2 weeks ago, but remains huge at 1.16 percentage points.

On a $200,000 home loan, this 1.16 FRM/ARM spread yields a monthly principal + interest payment difference of $136, or $8,160 over 5 years, the typical initial teaser rate period.

Savings like that can be compelling and may push you toward an adjustable rate loan.

You might also consider a 5-year ARM over a fixed-rate loan if any of these scenarios apply:

  1. You’re buying a new home with the intent to sell it within 5 years
  2. You’re currently financed with a 30-year fixed mortgage and have plans to sell the home within 5 years
  3. You’re interested in low payments, and are comfortable with longer-term payment uncertainty

Furthermore, homeowners whose existing ARMs are due for adjustment might want to refinance into a brand new ARM, if only to push the teaser rate period farther into the future.

Before choosing ARM over fixed, though, make sure you speak with your loan officer about how adjustable rate mortgages work, and their near- and long-term risks. The payment savings may be tempting, but with an ARM, the payments are never permanent.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: ARM, Budgeting, Fixed Rate Mortgage.

Lock Now? Friday’s Job Report Expected To Push Mortgage Rates Up. Get Your Applications In : FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums Rising 0.25 Percent April 18, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Don Grimes

Click On Logo For More Info

Don Grimes
"Your Residential Mortgage Specialists"
Senior Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS: #130686

Michigan Mutual, Inc
Office: (517) 507-0151
Toll Free: (800) 521-1642
Mobile: (517) 927-8110
don@DonGrimes.com
www.DonGrimes.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,112 other followers


%d bloggers like this: