Best five years fixed rate mortgage
In determining what type of mortgage may be best for you, it is important to know that, with an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), you will receive a lower interest rate upfront, with a variable rate after that. This may enable you to afford more house initially, but could be problematic if the rate rises beyond a level you are comfortable paying. With a 5/1 ARM, your rate is fixed for five years. Afterward, if the market interest rate goes up, so does your payment. If you cannot afford the uncertainty of a rate that may fluctuate upward, you may want to go for a fixed-rate mortgage.
Do an ARM if you will be in your property for a limited time
As a rule, there is usually 0.5%-1.0% difference in rate for an ARM, which can be quite substantial in a monthly mortgage payment. The first 5 years of any loan, you are paying about 95% interest vs. principal, so it makes sense to utilize the lower rate and payment. Conversely, if you are concerned about paying down the principle of the loan sooner or being able to pay a potentially higher payment once the initial period of the loan passes, go with a fixed-rate loan, as the short-term savings may not be worth it to you.
Do an ARM to get the benefit of a lower payment
An adjustable rate mortgage is great to lower your payment for a temporarily fix period of time, normally 3, 5, or 7 years. A 5/1 ARM refers to your interest rate being fixed at one level for five years. But if you need to know what your payment will be beyond the initial period of an ARM or if you cannot risk not being able to afford a potentially higher payment later, then an ARM may not be right for you. A fixed-rate loan may be a better choice for you.
Do an ARM for a low start rate if you can invest your funds
If your start rate is 2.25% and you know you can make double that or more by investing it and getting a higher yield in the market, it makes sense to do an ARM. Still, if you will not actively seek to invest the difference (between what you are paying and what you could earn on the funds left in play) or you are not sure you can make up or “best” that difference, you may not want to pursue an ARM.
Do an ARM and get a lower rate if you have an early payoff plan
So, for instance, if you have a 5/1 ARM, meaning your rate will change – likely going up – after the initial five-year term, you don’t have to worry about that potential jump in the rate if you plan to pay off the loan prior to the five-year mark. The source of your anticipated payoff could be from any number of sources, such as the sale of another property or asset, bonus income, inheritance or such another influx of money necessary to cover the payoff of the loan. If you are not sure when or how you can pay off the loan and are not comfortable with the adjustment that can come after the first five-years of the loan, choose a fixed-rate mortgage.
Do an ARM in a falling interest-rate environment
With interest rates being low, it is highly unlikely that they would fall enough after the initial period of your ARM to make it worthwhile, that is, if it’s not already worthwhile for you for other reasons. A lower interest rate also allows you to have a lower mortgage payment without having to refinance further down the road. Rates are pretty low right now, so your rate is not likely to go down after the initial term of your loan. So, if you are starting with a relatively low rate anyway, even on a fixed-term loan, you may want to go that route, rather than an ARM.
Do not do an ARM if you are going to be in the property long term
Most ARMs come with a 5% life cap, so even if your start rate is low (i.e. 2.25%), you could end up with a 7% rate over a 30-year term. If you are going to be in the property long term and you can start out with a good rate on a fixed-term mortgage, that may be the best route for you.