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Adjustable Rate Mortgages - The PROS & CONS

Now that you know what an ARM is and how it works, you may be wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are. So let’s explore that issue.

Offering adjustable rates allows lenders to transfer part of the interest rate risk from themselves to the borrower. If you get a fixed rate mortgage and the interest rate then goes up, it costs the lender money. However, if you have an adjustable rate mortgage, as the interest rate goes up, so does your payment, thus compensating the lender. Adjustable rate mortgages are particularly useful when unpredictable interest rates make fixed rate loans hard to get.

One of the main advantages of an adjustable rate mortgage is that the initial interest rate is lower than that of a fixed rate mortgage. A lower rate means lower payments, which may help you qualify for a larger loan. This is an important detail if you expect your future earnings to rise. In this case, the ARM will allow you to qualify for a larger loan amount earlier rather than later.

However, this information should only be used with care. If you use an ARM to qualify for a larger loan amount than a fixed rate would allow you and the interest rate then rises drastically or your income doesn’t rise, you may not be able to afford the larger monthly payments, thus causing you to default on your loan.

A situation in which an adjustable rate mortgage makes sense would be if you are only going to keep the house for a short period of time. If you are only planning to own your house for only a few years, the risk of the interest rate rising goes down. This means that you will get a better rate with an ARM, making it a good choice. However, if you plan on staying in your home for a long period of time, a fixed rate may be a better option.

The lesson here is to have a plan. Know what your goals are in purchasing a home and plan for all eventualities. Do your research when shopping for an ARM and consider the worst-case scenario.

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Marilyn Messenger, REALTOR
CRS®, ABR®, GRI®,CLHMS, Broker
Direct: 508-596-3501
MarilynMessenger@realtor.com

Home Buying & Selling
Concord, Wayland, Sudbury, & West of Boston

 
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Marilyn did an excellent job in first helping me to buy my condo a few years ago. Then when it came time to sell it, she was there to provide a stellar experience once again. I can't stress enough how much it meant to me that she took charge and streamlined the whole process. She knew exactly how to price and advertise the property, and it sold before I even knew it was gone. If you want an agent that sees the sale through to closing, promptly and professionally, choose Marilyn! Andrew Bays
She knows how we feel about her high quality of work ethics, professional attitude , knowledge, ability to follow through on things, .....everything. After all, this is the SIXTH time she has successfully helped us with buying and selling houses! We hope it will be our last, but if it isn't, we will call her to represent us. Thanks Marilyn! Sally Sack
Marilyn Messenger is thoughtful, responsible, kind, genuine, very knowledgeable and one of the finest brokers I have EVER worked with. It was a real pleasure to work with Marilyn and she made my purchase of a condo at Deer Hedge Run Condominiums very very easy. I would recommend her and commend her knowledge and services! Magdaline Q.
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