Many features need to be considered when you plan to go for a mortgage. Choosing between adjustable and fixed mortgage rates is one key decision. Each has its own pros and cons that you need to consider. Ultimately, your financial move will be based on housing needs, risk appetite, and budget.
What is ARM [Adjustable Rate Mortgage]?
Adjustable Rate Mortgages are a type of home loan having a periodically changing interest rate. This means monthly payments may increase or decrease. Basically, the initial rate at the start is lower in comparison to a fixed-rate mortgage. The interest rate of adjustable-rate mortgage moves in the direction of an index is attached to, after the end of the fixed-rate period.
The market forces set the indexes, which gets published. The loan documents identify which index a specific ARM needs to follow. Therefore, rates of interest are unpredictable yet in the last few decades they tend to go up or down across the multi-year cycle.
The initial fixed-rate timing ranges from 1 month to a maximum of 10 years. For example, 1-month ARM means after the first-month interest rates adjust monthly, while 10/1 ARM means the first adjustment is after 10 years and then it gets adjusted annually.
Pros of ARM
- Low initial rates with same loan term length like in fixed-rate mortgage.
- Borrowers get a chance to make the most of declining interest rates without refinancing.
- Borrowers can save and invest more in high-yielding investments.
- A great option for those homeowners, who don’t plan to live for long in one place.
Cons of ARM
- There is a possibility of increase in rate over the loan term, which can dent your budget.
- Some lenders allow choosing an index on their loan products but remaining depend on one major index.
- ARMs are complex, Lenders gain the flexibility to determine adjustment indexes, margins, caps, and more. They get easily confused and locked in a strange loan condition.
What is a fixed-rate mortgage?
The fixed-rate mortgages have the same interest rate all across the loan term. This means monthly payments against interest and principal will never change.
Pros of FRM
- Constant rates even if the broader economic changes.
- It offers stability, which makes budgeting easy.
- First time home buyers find it simple to understand.
Cons of FRM
- If there is a decline in the interest rate, borrowers need to refinance to make the most of the situation but pay for the cost and borrowing fees once again.
- Hard to get an approval than ARM.
- Virtually, the same from one lender to another so cannot be customized.
Fixed or adjustable – Which mortgage to choose?
Now, you understood the difference between fixed and adjustable mortgage rates, so you can figure out the option that can work best for your situation.
Ask yourself the following questions –
- Do you plan to move to another house in several years? A few years means to choose a low-rate ARM to save funds for a big home.
- How often does ARM adjust? After the initial fixed term, the majority of ARMs adjust annually on mortgage anniversary. Some adjust frequently, which means a lot of volatility and if you are not comfortable then choose a fixed-rate mortgage.
Choose smartly and get an instant quote from Sammamish mortgage firm online!