Concerned About Rising Mortgage Rates? Borrowers Have Options

(StatePoint) While mortgage interest rates remain near historic lows, they have been slowly rising over the last year, increasing the cost of 30-year loans for borrowers.

mortgageHome buyers concerned about higher rates have other options to consider: an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), which provides an initial lower monthly payment, or a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, which has a higher monthly payment but reduces the amount of interest paid over the course of the loan.

A Shot in the ARM

An ARM typically starts out at a lower interest rate than the classic, 30-year fixed rate. After an initial period, typically five, seven or 10 years, the interest rate adjusts over the life of the loan.

There are several different types of ARMs, but one of the most popular is the 7/1, which stays at the same rate for the first seven years and then adjusts yearly thereafter.

“After the fixed period, the rate can increase each year, but the good news is that there are caps on how high that rate can go,” says Peter Boomer, head of mortgage distribution for PNC Bank. “The opposite may also be true: it’s possible the rate will decline if market forces are pointing that way. The best advice is to check with your lender for the details.”

What You Need to Consider

Boomer said it’s important to know how long you expect to be in your home.

“The national average is seven years before homeowners sell or refinance, which is why the 7/1 ARM is so popular,” he said. “If you expect to be in a home for fewer than 10 years, then you may want to consider an ARM.”

Boomer suggests talking with a mortgage loan officer about whether an adjustable rate may save you money. Many people like the idea of that lower rate to start, while others prefer the peace of mind of a stable rate.

For traditional mortgages, refinancing remains a viable option if interest rates fall in subsequent years.

“It’s important to remember that mortgage rates rise and fall over time. It may be worth considering an ARM because over time there may be savings, as opposed to the cost of refinancing,” Boomer says.

Look at your family, job, future and goals to decide whether this option makes sense. Your family may grow, you may get a new job and relocate, you may downsize for retirement or face other changing financial conditions.

15-Year Mortgage

Another alternative is a shorter term fixed-rate loan, the most popular being 15 years.

According to Boomer, while a 15-year mortgage will have a higher monthly payment than a 30-year fixed, the interest rate is typically lower and you pay back the principle faster, which means you can save money on interest over the length of the loan.

“The good news for consumers is that there are many financing options available. Talk to your loan officer to discuss which best fits your situation,” he says.

To learn more about borrowing options, visit pnc.com.

Owning a home is on the path to keeping your American dream alive, and exploring your options can help you more easily achieve it.   If you would like more information about homes in the West Essex area contact me and I will be happy to help you find the home of your dreams.

New Listing – 29 Francisco Ave West Caldwell

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29 Francisco Ave W. Caldwell

Classic 3 bedroom brick, slate roof colonial in desirable Presidential Section. Located on a quiet street with Francisco Park on  one end and a cul-de-sac on the other. The classic center hall layout directs traffic left to the spacious living room with fireplace and built-in bookcases, right into the formal dining room, or back to the jalousied porch. Be sure to notice the beautiful wide-plank hardwood floors. The kitchen includes a walk-in pantry and connected breakfast room complete with a wall of built-ins. A wood paneled den and powder room complete the first floor. The second floor features a huge master bedroom with bath, 2 additional bedrooms and a full bath. Your updates can turn this special house into the home of your dreams!

To see this property call me today  @ 973-349-6731

For more information visit 29franciscoave.c21.com

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How Much Home Can You Afford this Spring?

How Much Home Can You Afford this Spring?

Factors to Consider

house dream(StatePoint) The chicken or the egg? Which came first continues to fuel philosophical debates. But when it comes to buying a home, experts are pretty clear about the proper order of things — agreeing you should fit your mortgage to your finances, not to a house.

“Before you even start your search for a home this spring, it’s crucial to know how much you can afford to pay each month,” says Freddie Mac Senior Vice President, Christina Boyle, who stresses that there are a few important things to keep in mind as you calculate this figure.

Start by getting a handle on your finances. What do you earn? What do you spend? How much do you have in savings? Answering these questions will help you better understand how much home you can afford. Make a budget and use free online tools and calculators to determine how much you can afford.

Remember that your monthly expenses go beyond mortgage payments, so leave some room in your budget. Whether it’s a new roof or a leaking faucet, homeownership can mean unexpected expenses. Be prepared to pay for such items, as needed. General maintenance, combined with utilities (an expense that can vary by home depending on its size and other factors), are added expenses to consider. Some neighborhoods also have homeowners’ association fees to cover the cost of upkeep of common spaces.

Your lifestyle can also help you assess whether a particular home is right for you and your budget. Location is key in determining what you can afford. Some points to consider are whether you want to live in a suburban or urban setting, whether you need to be near specific schools and public transportation, and the potential length of your commute. These factors can affect the cost of a home and you should determine your priorities in advance of home and mortgage hunting.

Remember, getting pre–approved can help you act fast and make a confident offer, so talk to your lender now before you start shopping.

A full rundown on all things home buying, including free tools and resources, is available at myhome.freddiemac.com.

This spring, be sure to prepare yourself for the home buying experience by being well-informed and aware of what you can afford.

Is it time for you to make your move?  Email me at kim.fiore@century21.com  to get started.