Fixed vs. Adjustable

One of the first choices a homebuyer will need to make is whether you want a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage loan. The bulk of loans will fit into one of these two categories, however, there is a third option that will allow you to “hybrid” the two.

• An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): The interest rate of the mortgage adjusts periodically based on market conditions. For example, your payment will go up if rates go up and go down if rates go down.

• Fixed-rate Mortgage: Unlike an adjustable-rate mortgage the interest rate is set at the time you take out the loan and will not change. Fixed-rate home loans can be 10 years, 15 years, 20 years or 30 years fixed. 30-year fixed is the most common because it allows your mortgage payment to be the lowest.

• Hybrid ARM: Features an initial fixed interest rate for a certain amount of time and then becomes an adjustable-rate for the remainder of the term. Standard terms are 3, 5, 7, or 10 yrs.