Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Are A Relative Bargain Today

January 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

Comparing 30-year fixed to 5-year ARMFor buyers and refinancing households throughout Kentucky , adjustable-rate mortgages are a relative bargain as compared to fixed-ones.

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of more than 125 banks nationwide, Madeira mortgage applicants electing for a conventional ARM over a conventional fixed-rate mortgage will save 105 basis points on their next mortgage rate.

“Conventional” loans are loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Today’s average, conventional 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate is 3.91% plus points and closing costs. The average rate for a comparable 5-year ARM is 2.86%, plus points and closing costs.

In other words, for every $100,000 borrowed, a conventional 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage will save you $58.15 per month, or $698 per year.

That’s a 12 percent savings just for choosing an ARM.

12 percent is a big figure that adds up over 5 years — especially for households that plan to sell within those first 60 months anyway. There is little sense in paying the mortgage rate premium for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage when a 5-year ARM is perfectly suitable.

For the reason why adjustable-rate mortgages continue are so much lower than their fixed-rate counterparts, look no further than the U.S. economy. ARMs reflect Wall Street’s short-term economic expectations; whereas fixed-rate mortgages reflect medium- to long-term expectations.

In the short-term, analysts expect the U.S. economy to grow slowly, with low levels of inflation. This supports the U.S. dollar, the currency in which mortgage bonds are denominated. When the dollar is strong, demand for mortgage bonds tends to increase.

This supports lower interest rates.

Conversely, over the longer-term, inflation is expected to return, which devalues the dollar and everything paid in it (e.g.; mortgage-backed bonds). This is why inflation is linked to higher mortgage rates. When inflation is present in the economy, mortgage bonds lose value, driving mortgage rates up.

Adjustable-rate mortgages aren’t perfect for everyone, but in the right situation, they can be a big money-saver and a helpful tool for stretching a household budget. Given today’s rates, the money-saving potential is larger than usual.

Before you choose an ARM, discuss your options with your loan officer.

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Mortgage Payments Fall 12% Since February 2011

December 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

Mortgage payments in 2011

As mortgage rates drop, so do housing payments. It’s a good time to consider refinancing your home, or making an offer on a new one. Mortgage payment affordability has never been so high in history.

According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate is now 3.94 percent — an all-time low — with an accompanying 0.8 discount points. This means that in order to get access to the 3.94 percent rate, Mason  homeowners and home buyers should expect to pay a loan fee equal to 0.8% of the borrowed amount, plus “normal” closing costs.

Last week, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was 3.99 percent with an accompanying 0.7 discount points.

Mortgage rates in Kentucky have been in decline for most of the year. Since peaking in early-February, the average home owner’s principal + interest payment on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage had now dropped by 12.2 percent.

Here is how mortgage payments compare, then and now, not accounting for your individual tax-and-insurance escrow :

  • February 10, 2011 : Payment of $539.88 per $100,000 borrowed
  • December 15, 2011 : Payment of $473.96 per $100,000 borrowed

For existing homeowners, the dramatic drop in payments is reason to reach out to your loan officer. A refinance could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan — especially if you chose to refinance your mortgage into a 15-year program.

The 15-year mortgage, says Freddie Mac, is also at an all-time low, registering 3.21 percent with 0.8 discount points, on average.

For home buyers, today’s low rates present an interesting opportunity.

Mortgage rates are the key factor in determining your monthly housing payment so, with average mortgage rates below 4 percent, it’s no wonder home affordability is cresting. However, the housing market is showing signs of recovery. Home supplies are dwindling, buyer demand is rising, and the economy appears to be mending.

Home prices are expected to rise in 2012 and, as they do, they’ll take housing payments with them. The best time to buy a home may be now; before the recovery completes.

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Reduce Long-Term Loan Costs With A 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

December 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

Comparing 30-year fixed rate mortgage to 15-year fixed rate mortgages

For as low as 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates are in Kentucky today, 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates are even lower.

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey, the average 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate is now 3.27% nationwide with an accompanying 0.8 discount points. 1 discount point is a closing cost equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

The current 15-year fixed rate reading is just one tick above the all-time, 15-year fixed rate mortgage low of 3.26% set in October 2011.

If you’ve ever thought of “going 15”, it’s a terrific time to talk to your lender.

The primary benefit of using a 15-year fixed rate mortgage as opposed to a 30-year fixed rate one is that a 15-year fixed rate mortgage dramatically cuts the long-term interest costs of your loan. The downside is that monthly payments are relatively large.

At today’s mortgage rates, per $100,000 borrowed :

  • 15-year fixed rate mortgage : $704 principal + interest monthly
  • 30-year fixed rate mortgage : $477 principal + interest monthly

So, for homeowners opting for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, the monthly principal + interest payments will be 48% higher as compared to a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of the same loan size. Long-term, however, because the 15-year fixed rate mortgage interest rate is lower and because it pays off in half the time of a 30-year loan, a homeowner will save $45,000 in interest costs per $100,000 borrowed.

$45,000 per $100,000 borrowed is a huge amount of savings. It’s monies that can be used for college tuition, home improvement projects, retirement savings, or anything else. 

That said, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage is not ideal for everyone.

Because it requires higher monthly payments, a 15-year fixed rate mortgage may add stress to your household budget. Furthermore, once you commit to a 15-year loan term with your lender, you can’t revert back to a 30-year loan term without a refinance and refinances can be costly.

Therefore, be sure of yourself when selecting a 15-year fixed rate loan. The rewards are great, but the risks can be, too.

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Reduce Long-Term Loan Costs With A 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

December 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

Comparing 30-year fixed rate mortgage to 15-year fixed rate mortgages

For as low as 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates are in Ohio today, 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates are even lower.

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey, the average 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate is now 3.27% nationwide with an accompanying 0.8 discount points. 1 discount point is a closing cost equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

The current 15-year fixed rate reading is just one tick above the all-time, 15-year fixed rate mortgage low of 3.26% set in October 2011.

If you’ve ever thought of “going 15”, it’s a terrific time to talk to your lender.

The primary benefit of using a 15-year fixed rate mortgage as opposed to a 30-year fixed rate one is that a 15-year fixed rate mortgage dramatically cuts the long-term interest costs of your loan. The downside is that monthly payments are relatively large.

At today’s mortgage rates, per $100,000 borrowed :

  • 15-year fixed rate mortgage : $704 principal + interest monthly
  • 30-year fixed rate mortgage : $477 principal + interest monthly

So, for homeowners opting for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, the monthly principal + interest payments will be 48% higher as compared to a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of the same loan size. Long-term, however, because the 15-year fixed rate mortgage interest rate is lower and because it pays off in half the time of a 30-year loan, a homeowner will save $45,000 in interest costs per $100,000 borrowed.

$45,000 per $100,000 borrowed is a huge amount of savings. It’s monies that can be used for college tuition, home improvement projects, retirement savings, or anything else. 

That said, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage is not ideal for everyone.

Because it requires higher monthly payments, a 15-year fixed rate mortgage may add stress to your household budget. Furthermore, once you commit to a 15-year loan term with your lender, you can’t revert back to a 30-year loan term without a refinance and refinances can be costly.

Therefore, be sure of yourself when selecting a 15-year fixed rate loan. The rewards are great, but the risks can be, too.

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Have Mortgage Rates Bottomed Out?

December 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

Mortgage Rates Bottomed Out?

Mortgage rates have troughed. Or, so it seems.

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 4.00 percent nationwide — roughly the same rate as it’s been for 5 weeks. 

During that times, rates have ranged between 3.97 and 4.02 percent with an accompanying 0.7 discount points, plus “typical” closing costs. Closing costs vary by state and 1 discount point is equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

In other words, to get the weekly, published Freddie Mac rate, borrowers in Kentucky should expect to pay a complete set of fees to their respective lenders. The larger the loan, the higher the costs. “Low-fee” and “no-fee” loans are available, too — typically in exchange for a slightly rate.

A breakdown of the Freddie Mac survey shows that interest rates and discount points vary by region. Typically, states in the West Region offer the lowest rates but with the highest costs. East Region states work in reverse; rates are often highest but the accompanying points are fewest.

The most recent mortgage rate breakdown by region shows :

  • Northeast Region : 4.00% with 0.7 discount points 
  • West Region : 3.96% with 0.8 discount points
  • Southeast Region : 4.06% with 0.9 discount points
  • North Central Region : 3.97% with 0.7 discount points
  • Southwest Region : 4.04% with 0.7 discount points

What’s most notable, though, is that in all 4 regions, rates are well below their 2011 highs. Since mid-April, mortgage rates have been in descent, dropping for 5 consecutive months before reaching to their current, “rock-bottom” levels in early-November.

Since then, however, rates have idled and the forces that combined to make rates low throughout Cincinnati are subsiding. The U.S. economy is showing signs of a rebirth; the Eurozone is edging closer to solvency; and the housing market is recovering.

So, if you’ve been wondering whether now is a good time to refinance, or whether higher rates will harm home affordability, the answer is yes. Get in touch with your loan officer to review your home loan options because, looking ahead to 2012, mortgage rates look poised to rise.

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Should I Refinance My Home?

October 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

With mortgage rates at all-time lows, you may be asking “Is now a good time to refinance?”. This short interview from NBC’s The Today Show offers good insight.

Refinancing a mortgage is about more than just “low rates”. For example, there are costs associated with giving a new mortgage and even with the average, 30-year fixed rate mortgage near 4 percent, the costs of a such a move can outweigh the benefits — both in the short- and long-term.

The video originally ran in September when mortgage rates averaged 4.09%. Rates are different today, but the offered advice remains relevant.

Some of the key points raised include :

  • The lowest rates come with the highest costs. Consider a slightly higher-rate option from your bank.
  • Falling home values may make it harder to qualify for a refinance in the future. Your best time to act may be now.
  • If you’re many years into a 30-year loan, you can consider switching to a 15-year mortgage to avoid “resetting” your term.

And, lastly, the interviewee makes a strong point that your refinance should save you enough money to make paying the closing costs “worth it”. Make sure the break-even point on your closing costs versus your monthly savings occurs within a reasonable time frame.

At 4 minutes, the The Today Show video is short, but dense with quality information. For follow-up on whether a refinance makes sense for your situation, be sure to talk with your loan officer.

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Freddie Mac : Mortgage Rates Sub-4 Percent

October 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

Freddie Mac PMMS average rates

Mortgage rates have dropped past 4 percent.

For the first time in more than 40 years, data from Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage falling below 4 percent, dropping to 3.94 percent nationwide. It’s the lowest average 30-year fixed reading in the survey’s history.

In addition, Freddie Mac shows the 15-year fixed and 5-year ARM making new all-time lows, too, falling to 3.26% and 2.96%, respectively.

It’s a great time to be shopping for a mortgage or buying a home in Mason. Because mortgage rates are dropping, housing payments are dropping, too. As compared to 8 months ago, for every $100,000 borrowed, homeowners now pay $66 less principal + interest each month.

On a $300,000 mortgage, that’s $71,280 saved in 30 years.

Mortgage rates have been lower for several reasons, some of which include :

  • U.S. economic growth has been slower-than-expected
  • Uncertainty surrounds Greece and the Eurozone
  • The Federal Reserve’s “Operation Twist

In general, demand for mortgage bonds has been high and that’s caused mortgage rates to fall. It should be noted, however, that although the 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell below 4 percent this week, the amount of discount points required to lock that rate rose by 10 basis points, or $100 per $100,000 borrowed.

Homeowners in Kentucky are paying bigger fees for these lower rates. If you plan to move within a few years, these fees may wipe out your low-rate savings.

As you shop for a mortgage, pay attention to more than just rates. Low rates are great, but not when they come with high costs. Talk to your loan officer for help with making a plan than works for you.

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Choosing A 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Over A 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

September 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

Comparing 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 15-year fixed rate mortgages

It’s not just 30-year fixed rate mortgages that are posting all-time lows these days. The 15-year mortgage has been plunging, too.

If you’ve ever considered a 15-year loan term, it’s a terrific time to talk to your lender. According to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey of roughly 125 U.S. lenders, at 3.30 percent, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage is at its lowest point in history.

The 3.30% rate doesn’t come for free, however. Based on average loan term nationwide, borrowers in Ohio choosing to “go 15” should expect to pay 0.6 discount points at closing. 1 discount point is equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

With low rates, 15-year fixed rate mortgage can be enticing; a primary benefit is the huge reduction in the long-term interest costs of your loan. The downside, though, is that monthly mortgage payments can be relatively large.

At today’s mortgage rates, a 15-year fixed rate loan carries a principal + interest payment of $705.10 per $100,000 borrowed — a 46% increase over a comparable 30-year fixed rate loan. If you can manage the bigger payments, though, you’ll reap $47,000 in interest payments savings per $100,000 borrowed in paying off your loan in full.

$47,000 per $100,000 borrowed is a huge amount of savings and those saved monies can be used to fund items such as college, home improvement, and retirement, among others.

That said, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage is not for everyone.

Because it comes with higher monthly payments, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage may add financial stress to your household budget. And, once you have committed to a 15-year loan term and its payments, you’re can’t “go back”. Your lender won’t revert your loan to a 30-year schedule without a refinance, and a refinance could be costly.

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Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Starting To Adjust Higher

September 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

ARM adjustments creeping higher

For the first time in a year, homeowners with adjusting mortgages are facing rising mortgage rates. The interest rate by which many adjustable-rate mortgages adjust has climbed to its highest level since September 2010, and looks poised to reach higher.

This is because of the formula by which adjustable-rate mortgage adjust.

Each year, when due for a reset, an adjustable-rate mortgage’s rate changes to the sum of fixed number known as a “margin”, and a variable figure known as an “index”. For conforming mortgages, the margin is typically set to 2.250 percent; the index is often equal to the 12-month LIBOR.

LIBOR stands for the London Interbank Offered Rate. It’s a rate at which banks lend to each other overnight.

Expressed as a math formula, the adjusting ARM formula reads :

(New Mortgage Rate) = (2.250 percent) + (Current 1-Year LIBOR)

LIBOR has been rising lately, which explains why ARMs are adjusting higher as compared to earlier this year. There has been considerable stress on the financial sector and LIBOR reflects the uncertainty that bankers feel for the sector. 

LIBOR last spiked after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 amid global financial fears. Analysts expect LIBOR to rise into 2012 because of bubbling concerns in the Eurozone.

Despite LIBOR’s rise, though, most adjusting, conforming ARMs are still resetting near 3 percent. For this reason, homeowners with ARMs in Ohio may want to consider letting their respective loans adjust with the market.

This is because an adjusting mortgage rate near 3 percent may be better than what’s available with a “fresh loan” — even as 5-year ARMs rates make new all-time lows. Unlike a straight refinance to lower rates, an adjusting loan requires no closing costs, requires no appraisal, and requires no verifications.

So, if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage that’s set to reset this season, don’t rush to refinance it. Talk to your lender and uncover your options. Your best course of action may be to stay the course.

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Mortgage Rates Bounce Off All-Time Lows; The Start Of A Trend?

August 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mortgage Rates 

Freddie Mac Weekly Rates

Low mortgage rates are terrific — if you can get them.

One week after posting its lowest mortgage rate in 50 years, Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by an average of 7 basis points nationwide this week to 4.22%. To get the rate, you’ll pay an average of 0.7 “points”.

This week’s rise in the 30-year fixed rate mortgage pulled rates off their all-time lows so either you locked last week’s rock-bottom rates, or you missed it.

Mortgage rates are rising.

As a refinancing homeowner or home buyer in Mason , rising mortgage rates are something to watch. This is because, as mortgage rates rise, so do the long-term interest costs of giving a mortgage, increasing your homeownership costs.

For example, if you failed to lock a rate last week when rates were bottomed, and then decided to lock-in only after rates had climbed 0.25 percent, at the new, higher rate, over the life of your loan, you would have responsibility for an extra $5,300 in interest costs for every $100,000 you borrowed.

Rising mortgage rates can be expensive.

For home buyers, rising mortgage rates pose a second problem — they erode your purchasing power. A home that fits your budget at today’s rates may not fit your budget at next week’s rates. And because mortgage rates change quickly, you can sometimes feel ilke you’re racing the clock.

The hard part about mortgage rates, though, is that we can never know what they’ll do next. On some days they rise, on some days they fall, and on some days they stay the same. Instead of trying to “time the bottom”, therefore, a good strategy can be to lock the first, low rate that fits your budget. Then, if rates are lower in the future, you can look to refinance at that time.

Mortgage rates remain at historical lows. It’s a good time to lock a rate.

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