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.
Tim Tanz, CRS, GRI, ABR
1034 S Brentwood Blvd
St Louis, MO 63117
---We trusted Tim so well that we purchased a home through him simply by doing FaceTime with him at an open house. We lived in a different State and couldn't make it in time to a home that was having multiple offers and Tim made sure to put us first, thus guaranteeing our chance to make the successful bid that landed us our dream home! C. Haven -- 1201 Dunston Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63146
---We have purchased 2 homes and sold 1 home with Tim as our agent. If we have the opportunity to relocate back to the St. Louis area, our first call will be to Tim. When we purchased our first home through Tim, we didn't know anyone or very much about the St. Louis area. Tim took the time to show us many different areas which was very helpful in making our decision. He was very professional, detailed and walked us through the entire process. He made sure all the little details were taken care of. Tim has integrity and will tell you the truth about the market or about your home, even if you don't want to hear it. When we purchased and later sold our 2nd home, we didn't think twice about calling Tim. In my opinion, this one act put Tim way above the rest. During the sale of our last home, we had an issue with our moving company (basically they didn't show up the first day), so we had only one day to get our stuff out of the house and clean it up for the new owners. Tim came over and helped us with patching nail holes and cleaning. Not every agent would do that to help out their client. G. Allswede – 3476 Covington Parkway.