Finding the right mortgage can be a struggle. There's a wide array of mortgage products on the market, and you don't always need to get a mortgage through your bank – and with so many options, it's hard to know which one is your best bet.
Your ideal mortgage will depend on your own individual financial situation, but when you understand how different kinds of mortgages work, it's easier to choose the right one. Here's what you need to know about mortgage types.
Fixed-Rate Mortgages: Home Financing At A Guaranteed Rate
A fixed-rate mortgage is exactly what it sounds like: A mortgage with a fixed interest rate. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate is locked for the life of the mortgage loan and cannot change.
When interest rates are at historical lows, a fixed-rate mortgage is an ideal financing option. By purchasing a fixed-rate mortgage at a low interest rate, buyers lock in low payments and are protected from sudden rate increases. However, fixed-rate mortgages are more difficult to qualify for when interest rates are high.
Variable-Rate Mortgages: Lower Rates And Larger Loans
A variable-rate mortgage is a mortgage wherein the interest rate fluctuates over time. Typically, the interest rate will stay constant during a set period of time near the start of the mortgage, and then start to vary. These mortgage rates rise and fall in line with the prime lending rate.
The major advantage of a variable-rate mortgage is that its lower initial rates and payments allow buyers to qualify for larger homes. Buyers can also take advantage of falling interest rates without having to refinance. However, variable-rate mortgages can quickly become expensive if interest rates see a sharp rise – and while some mortgages put caps on the maximum annual increase, these caps don't usually apply to the first rate change.
Interest-Only Jumbo Mortgages: Flexible Terms For Wealthy Buyers
An interest-only jumbo mortgage is a specialty mortgage designed specifically for wealthy buyers purchasing luxury homes. The major advantage of this kind of mortgage is that borrowers can make interest-only payments for the first 10 years of the loan. However, interest-only mortgages are typically only available to well-heeled buyers who can afford a hefty down payment and prove that they have large cash reserves.
Finding the right mortgage can be a challenge. That's why it helps to consult with a mortgage advisor who understands the terms and rates, and can negotiate a great deal for you. For more information, contact your trusted real estate professional.