4 Scenarios for Adjustable-Rate Loans

A 30-year, fixed-rate home loan isn’t right for everyone. Depending on your plans, it might actually cost you more in the long run.

Though they’re less common, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are a better fit for many homebuyers. They may offer a more affordable monthly payment and cost less in interest throughout the life of the loan.

Are you thinking of buying a home or refinancing your current one? Here are some scenarios in which you might want to consider an adjustable-rate loan:

  1. You only plan to live there in the short term. ARMs are a great option if you only plan to be in the house for a few years. They usually come with lower rates than long-term, fixed-rate loans for the first five, seven or even 10 years.

  2. You expect to make more money down the line. These loans tend to come with low rates upfront. Then, after a few years, your rate can change — which means a possible increase. If you know you’ll have the income to support a higher payment down the road, then an ARM might work for you.

  3. You’re comfortable with refinancing in a few years. Another option would be to refinance to a fixed-rate loan during the initial period of your ARM. It would be similar to going through the home loan application process again, but you could end up with a new low rate for the long haul.

  4. You plan to pay off your loan early. If you’re able to pay off the loan before your rate can rise, you may save overall. Some loans do carry prepayment penalties, but you’ll learn if your loan is one of them early in the process.

ARMs are a bit more complex than fixed-rate mortgages, so make sure to reach out for more personalized guidance.

What You Should Know About Rate Locks

Mortgage rates are near all-time lows right now, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way forever.

That’s where a rate lock can come in. Rate locks guarantee you a certain mortgage rate for an extended period, protecting you from the possibility of rising interest rates while you complete the homebuying process.

Are you shopping for a home? Here’s what you need to know about mortgage rate locks:

Q: What is a rate lock?
A: A rate lock guarantees your initially quoted mortgage rate for an extended period of time. Your rate can’t rise at any point during your lock period (even if market rates rise), giving you plenty of time to close the loan.

Q: How long does it last?
A: The length of a rate lock depends, though it’s usually 30, 60 or 90 days. In some cases, you may be able to pay for a longer lock period if you need more time.

Q: Why would you want to lock your rate?
A: Rate locks are smart if interest rates are very low or fluctuating. They’re also a good move if you have a unique situation — like being self-employed — and it could take a bit longer to close your loan.

Q: Are there any risks?
A: In the event market rates drop, there’s a chance your locked-in rate could be higher than what newer applicants are being quoted. You can pay for a “float down” option when you lock, which essentially means you’d get the lower market rate if they do fall.

Do you have more questions about rate locks? Are you ready to sort out your home financing? Get in touch so we can discuss your options.

Add a Touch of Warmth to Your Home

As the days get shorter and temperatures begin to drop, indoor living becomes the norm. But just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your home’s interior has to be chilly, too!

With a little imagination — and redecoration — you can create a cozier living space and enjoy a warmer winter hibernation.

Here are four ways you can use decor to add warmth to your home:

1. Use area rugs to divide larger spaces.
Airy, open rooms with sparse furniture arrangements can often feel cold and lonely. By simply adding an area rug or two, you can break these spaces into smaller, more well-defined living areas. A corner area rug could offset a small office area, while a larger rug could tie together an informal dining area.

2. Arrange furniture to create a sense of intimacy.
Always choose and arrange furniture with the purpose of your room in mind. If your furniture is spaced too far apart, it will make conversations awkward and strained. And you wouldn’t want the furniture in your reading nook to be uncomfortable.

3. Take advantage of natural materials.
If your home boasts natural woods or exposed brick, these are elements that can be tastefully incorporated into your design plan. Imagine how a natural wooden coffee table could be used to complement vaulted ceilings with exposed wood beams.

4. Get creative with color combinations.
A touch of color can immediately impact the perception of a room. If you’re looking for a warm, autumnal feel, go with a variety of rich red and orange tones. Use throw pillows, blankets and other textured accents to make the room pop. A basket full of quilts can be both convenient and aesthetically pleasing.

Want to make a more substantial change to your home, such as installing a brand-new fireplace? Reach out to discuss your financing options.

Get Your House-Hunting Checklist

There’s a lot to consider when you’re searching for a home. You have to ask important questions: Which features are must-haves and which ones are simply desirable? How far are you willing to commute to work, grocery stores and other frequently visited places?

Some of the decisions you have to make during your home search are a little bit more fun, like which architectural styles you prefer and what fixtures and finishes you’d like to have. And it’s important to note these details.

So once you’re preapproved for a mortgage, start your search off on the right foot with a house-hunting checklist. Bring it with you while touring homes, checking things off and taking notes so you can more easily compare each option.

Get the checklist below to make your next home search go smoothly.

Click here to get your checklist.