A variable-rate mortgage or adjustable-rate mortgage is a mortgage loan that typically locks in a lower fixed interest rate over a shorter period of time like 3, 5, 7, or 10 years and then adjusts based on the market. Market conditions may affect a number of different financial factors, which, cause the interest rates on an adjustable rate mortgage to rise and fall. Adjustable rate mortgages van use different indexes to establish the rate of the adjustable rate mortgages like the 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the 12-month Treasury Average Index (MTA), the Constant Maturity Treasury (CMT) and the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate.
The monthly payments on an adjustable-rate-mortgage may be usually lower during the initial fixed period of the loan making more expensive properties more affordable. However, the rates on adjustable mortgage are short-term. Short term rates are usually lower than fixed-rate mortgages resulting in lower monthly payments for the fixed period of the ARM. ARMs allow a home buyers to purchase a more expensive home. ARM are also a great loan option for short-term real estate investments of 3 to 10 years.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), have monthly payments that start lower that a fixed-rate mortgage but can move up and down as interest rates fluctuate. The rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are usually based on other leading financial and market indexes. To check the most current rates on an ARM, contact a US Mortgages Personal Mortgage Advisor for the latest rates.
The rate for an ARM adjusts after a given time after the fixed rate period ends. It’s commonly known as know as the “adjustment period.” The most common adjustment periods for ARM loans are 3,5,7, or 10 years. After the initial fixed period the adjustable-rate-mortgage will adjust annually. This means that once a year, the loan rate adjusts to the financial index plus the margin.
A fixed-rate mortgage is a home loan with an interest rate that stays the same over the entire length of the loan. The benefit of a choosing fixed-rate mortgage is that your P&I payment (principal and interest) will stay the same and will never fluctuate regardless of the changes in market rates.
The most popular repayment terms for a fixed-rate mortgage is either 30-years. Another common term is 15 years and typically used by older borrowers who want to pay the home off prior to retiring or savvy borrowers who want to save the interest over time and who can handle a larger monthly payment. 40 and 50 year mortgages are also now available and are most commonly used in areas with higher priced homes to keep homeownership in reach for qualified borrowers. If you're refinancing and would like to keep your remaining prepayment period the same, you should consider the US Mortgages Goal Keeper Refinance™ which allows you to customize the term of your loan from 8 year up to 29 years without a higher interest rate.
The interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage will vary from borrower to borrower based on loan size, location, your credit score, the length of the loan, the amount of down-payment on a purchase, and whether or the mortgage loan product is either conventional, FHA, or a VA home loan. No lender can accurately quote you a rate without verifying this information.
To know which loan option is better for you, a fixed rate or an adjustable rate mortgage is a subjective question and really depends on your personal preference and tolerance for risk. The difference between a fixed rate and an adjustable rate mortgage is quite simple. With a fixed-rate mortgage the interest rate is set for the life of the loan and will never change. With an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rate may be lower initially but may go up or down depending on what the index that the interest rate is tied to and where the market is at the end of the initial fixed term and beyond.
A jumbo mortgage loan, sometimes referred to as a non-conforming loan, is a mortgage that exceeds the "conforming” loan limits and usually have a slightly higher interest rate to offset the additional risk. Conforming loan limits were established in 2006 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and new, higher limits were established in 2018 to accommodate for the increase in home prices. The current conforming loan limit for a single-family home is $453,100. This means that any loan of more than $453,100 is considered a jumbo or non-conforming loan. That limit can vary however, depending on the state and county the home is located in. There are roughly 200 counties in the U.S. where the loan limits are higher due to higher home prices. There are 18 counties in Colorado that exceed the threshold of $453,100.
You can talk to a Personal Mortgage Advisor to find out what your conforming limit is or use this link for a map detailing each state’s individual requirements: https://fhfa.gov/DataTools/Tools/Pages/Borrower-Assistance-Map.aspx
In addition to financing single-family homes for your primary residence, you can also utilize a non-conforming or jumbo loan to buy a second home or even a personal investment property.
Fannie Mae has made some changes recently to the down-payment requirements for purchasing property with a high balance mortgage. The amount of equity required for a refinance is lower than it is for a purchase. The down payment for a conventional jumbo loan is typically 20% but you may qualify for a lower down payment with an FHA or VA loan if you're eligible.
Several different factors are used. We suggest getting started by contacting a US Mortgages Personal Mortgage Advisor who can walk you through the qualification process for buying a home and answer any additional questions you might have including: