94% of purchasers last year opted for a fixed-rate mortgage at some of the lowest rates in home buying history. Yet, some of them will pay more in interest than necessary based on the time they’ll own the home.
If a person only plans to be in the home a few years, the adjustable-rate can offer significant savings.
Not only is the interest rate on the adjustable-rate lower than the fixed in the initial period, amortization on a lower interest rate amortizes faster than a higher interest rate.
In the example shown below, a $200,000 mortgage for 30 years is compared using a 4.25% fixed-rate to a 3.25% 5/1 FHA adjustable rate. The first five years of the ARM generates a $113.47 a month savings which accumulates to $6,808.20. In addition, due to faster amortization on lower interest rate loans, the unpaid balance at the end of five years will be $3,001 lower on the ARM for a total savings of $9,801.
Assuming the adjustable-rate mortgage was to escalate the maximum allowed at each period, the breakeven would occur in 8 years and 6 months. If a person were to sell the home prior to this point, the ARM would provide a lower cost of housing for the homeowner.
To make projections using your individual numbers, see the Adjustable Rate Comparison.
While you can do some basic calculations to help you decide it is always best to talk with an experienced loan officer to review actual rates and mortgage options since not all variable rate mortgages work the same way. If you would like a recommendation for a loan officer/mortgage representative who can help you purchase a home in Wayland, Sudbury, Concord or any of the towns west of Boston, contact me anytime. There are lots of online mortgage options, however, working with a lender who knows the local market can make the process go a lot more smoothly for you.
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