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Monday, March 2, 2009

Top Reasons to Get a Fixed Mortgage

By Mortgage Wizard

Of all the loan products that are available here are a few tips (possibly opinionated tips) on what loans you should be looking at for your new home or refinance.

Security: Let it be a lesson for us who have bought a home with money down and got into an adjustable rate mortgage that was fixed for a teaser period of 3 to 7 years. There are no guarantees in life and especially right now in the real estate market. Many homeowners home values have plummeted and left them with loans that will adjust and leave them unable to refinance into another fixed loan. Like I have said before your mortgage will most likely be the biggest financial obligation of your lifetime. Play it safe!

Cheap Money: If you got into an adjustable rate loan with a teaser fixed portion in the last decade you were probably enticed by the significantly lower rate that what was being offered on fixed rate loans. The current market is offering fixed rate loans as cheap and cheaper than adjustable rate loans. Also, rates are great right now.

Protection Against Market Swings: Even if your plan is to stay in the house for 5 years when you get your loan by getting something fixed that you can afford you have a built in safety net if things change 4 or 5 years later and you need to keep you current loan. We all hope that we have the foresight to see the trends in the real estate market but sometimes things happen that are out of our control so it is better to just be safe from the beginning.

Paying Off Your Mortgage Balance: Remember the days when people actually paid off their loans?!? The way they did was by getting an affordable fixed rate loan on a mortgage amount that was in their comfort zone and holding on to the loan until they paid it off. I have said this before but I feel compelled to reminder people; mortgage interest is frontloaded. This simply means that the mortgage lender piles the majority of the interest on your loan onto the first few years of your payment. Interest is NOT spread out evenly over the life of the loan. Here is a simple example. If you have a $2000 mortgage payment in your 1st payment about $1980 dollars will be applied towards interest. On your last payment $1980 will be applied towards your principal balance. The moral of the story is to get into a fixed loan so you only pay the first few years of interest heavy payments once. If you keep getting short term ARMs and refinancing you are starting all over every time you do that.

There are a few independent instances when a fixed rate mortgage may not be the best option for you. Those instances are very few and far between so sticking with this mindset when you are investing in real estate will cover you in any market situation.

Good luck with your home financing!

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