What Is an Assumable Mortgage?

Jul 24, 2023

An assumable mortgage can be an attractive and lesser-known alternative mortgage option for homebuyers. They offer a unique opportunity for buyers to take over the existing mortgage terms from the seller, potentially saving them time and money. 

But how do assumable mortgages work exactly, and are they for everyone? Let’s delve into what an assumable mortgage is, how it works, and what buyers should know about them.

What is an assumable mortgage? 

An assumable mortgage is a type of home loan that allows a buyer to take over the seller’s existing mortgage agreement. In other words, instead of applying for a new mortgage, the buyer takes over the seller’s original mortgage contract, including their loan balance, interest rate and terms.

How does an assumable mortgage work?

When a home is put up for sale with an assumable mortgage, the process involves the following steps:

1) Qualification Assessment: The buyer’s creditworthiness and financial stability are evaluated to determine if they are eligible to take over the existing mortgage.

2) Negotiating Terms: Once approved, the buyer and seller negotiate the terms of the property sale, including the loan assumption.

3) Assuming the Mortgage: At closing, the buyer assumes the seller’s mortgage, taking on the responsibility for the remaining loan balance.

What are the benefits of assumable mortgages?

  • Potentially Lower Interest Rates: If the seller’s mortgage carries a lower interest rate than current market rates, the buyer can save money in the long term.
  • Faster and Easier Approval Process: Since the buyer is assuming an existing mortgage, the approval process can sometimes be faster than applying for a new loan.

What are some potential cons of assumable mortgages? 

  • Seller’s Approval Required: Even if the buyer is qualified, the seller may decline the assumption based on their wants and needs.
  • Assumption Fees: Some lenders charge fees for the assumption process, which can add to closing costs. 

Have questions about your loan options? Reach out at any time.