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.Back to Table of Contents
The information displayed on this page is confidential, proprietary, and copyrighted information of Heartland Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (Heartland MLS).© 2019, Heartland Multiple Listing Service, Inc. Heartland MLS and Platinum Realty do not make any warranty or representation concerning the timeliness or accuracy of the information displayed herein. In consideration for the receipt of the information on this page, the recipient agrees to use the information solely for the private non-commercial purpose of identifying a property in which the recipient has a good faith interest in acquiring. The data relating to real estate displayed on this website comes in part from the Heartland Multiple Listing Service database compilation. The properties displayed on this website may not be all of the properties in the Heartland MLS database compilation, or all of the properties listed with other brokers participating in the Heartland MLS IDX program. Detailed information about the properties displayed on this website includes the name of the listing company. Information last updated on 2019-06-20. Terms of Usage Agreement