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: W. Troy Swezey
When looking for a mortgage to meet your needs, consider these key questions: Is your income expected to increase in the coming years? How long do you plan to live in your new home? And, which mortgage will provide the lowest interest rate?
While 15 or 30 year fixed-rate mortgages are the most popular, and Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) offers some interesting alternatives for home shoppers who plan to move again within four or five years. Although interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in 20 years, an ARM provides even lower interest rates during its introductory period.
An Adjustable Rate Mortgage is a home loan with an interest rate that fluctuations with market interest rates. Instead of paying the same rate of interest over the life of the loan, as you would with a fixed-rate mortgage, you usually pay a lower interest rate the first four or five years. Your interest rate then changes in accordance with certain rate indexes.
However, ARMS come with maximum caps on how much the interest rate can increase in a single period (usually a year) and how high the rate can go during the entire life of the loan. Usually, the overall maximum cap is six percentage points, and the annual cap is two points