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Years you plan to stay in the house
Recommended program
1-3
3/1 ARM, 1 year ARM or 6 month ARM
3-5
5/1 ARM
5-7
7/1 ARM
7-10
10/1 ARM, 30 year fixed or 15 year fixed
10+
30 year fixed or 15 year fixed

FIXED RATE MORTGAGES
Term Advantages Disadvantages
30 year fixed
15 year fixed
  • Monthly payments are fixed over the life of the loan
  • Interest rate does not change
  • Protected if rates go up
  • Can refinance if rates go down
  • Higher interest rate
  • Higher mortgage payments
  • Rate does not drop if interest rates improve
ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGES
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    Term
    Advantages
    Disadvantages
    10/1 ARM
    7/1 ARM
    3/1 ARM
    1 year ARM
    6 month ARM
    1 month ARM
    • Lower initial monthly payment
    • Lower payment over a shorter period of time
    • Rates and payments may go down if rates improve
    • May qualify for higher loan amounts
    • More risk
    • Payments may change over time
    • Potential for high payments if rates go up
    BALLOON MORTGAGES
    Term
    Advantages
    Disadvantages
    7 year
    5 year
    • Lower initial monthly payment
    • Lower payment over a shorter period of time
    • Many balloon mortgages offer the option to convert to a new loan after the initial term.
    • Risk of rates being higher at the end of the initial fixed period
    • Risk of foreclosure if you cannot make balloon payment or if you cannot refinance or if you cannot exercise the conversion option
    FIRST-TIME BUYERS PROGRAMS
    Term
    Advantages
    Disadvantages
    Varies
    • Lower down payment
    • Easier to qualify
    • Sometimes you may get lower rates
    • May be subject to income and property value limitations
    • Some programs which have government subsidies may have a recapture tax if you sell the house too early.
    STATED INCOME PROGRAMS
    Term
    Advantages
    Disadvantages
    Varies
    • Don’t need to verify income
    • Faster approval
    • Higher rates
    • Higher down payment
    NO POINTS, NO FEES PROGRAMS
    Term
    Advantages
    Disadvantages
    Varies
    • No closing costs
    • Less money required to close
    • Higher rates
    • Higher payments
    IMPERFECT CREDIT PROGRAMS
    Term
    Advantages
    Disadvantages
    Varies
    • Potential for reestablishing credit if you pay your mortgage on time.
    • When used for debt consolidation, you may be able to reduce your monthly debt payment
    • Higher rates
    • Terms may not be as favorable
    • Harder to get long term fixed loans
    • Loans may have prepayment penalties
    HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT
    Term
    Advantages
    Disadvantages
    Varies
    • You only borrow what you need
    • Pay interest only on what you borrow
    • Flexible access to funds
    • Interest may be tax deductible
    • Rates can change. The maximum interest rate is normally high.
    • Payments can change
    • Harder to refinance your first mortgage
    HOME EQUITY FIXED LOAN
    Term
    Advantages
    Varies
    • Fixed payments
    • Interest may be tax deductible
    • Higher interest rates than on 1st mortgages
    • Harder to refinance your first mortgage

    Other unique programs available:

    • Purchase a house with $0 down
    • Piggyback loans 80-10-10 or 80-15-5. No PMI payments even with 5% or 10% down.
    • Debt consolidation programs
    • Home Improvement loans
    • Qualify even if you may have been turned down before
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