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Choosing the Right Mortgage - What You Should Know

No two houses are identical and neither are mortgages. The type of mortgage you need is determined by your individual needs, rather than what the mortgage broker or bank is trying to sell you. A good lender is knowledgeable enough to review your credit report, your employment history and your assets and determine the best options for you.

A fixed rate mortgage refers to how the interest rate is calculated on the borrowed money. Standard fixed rate mortgages extend 10, 15, 20, 30 or as many as 50 years and throughout that period the interest rate will not change. While the steadfast interest rate provides stability in mortgage payments, it also can mean if interest rates drop, you will not benefit from it unless you refinance your home.

An adjustable rate mortgage allows the interest rate to fluctuate throughout the term of the loan. The readjustment period is predetermined, typically on an annual basis, and most adjustable rate mortgages include minimum and maximum rate caps for each adjustment. Before you decide to go with an adjustable rate mortgage, make sure you know how often the rate will be adjusted.

An interest only adjustable rate mortgage, often called an interest only loan, requires you to only make payments on the interest on the loan rather than the interest and the principal amount owed. This option is typically chosen by homebuyers who do not plan to stay in a home for long, or for neighborhoods in markets that are appreciating quickly. Before choosing an interest only mortgage, make sure you are able to pay for both portions of the loan since at some point you will have to begin making payments on the principal as well.

A convertible adjustable rate mortgage is an adjustable rate mortgage that is converted to a fixed rate mortgage after a predetermined amount of time. This is a viable option for borrowers who anticipate refinancing their home to a fixed rate mortgage, but convertible adjustable rate mortgages typically have a higher interest rate.

For more information on selecting the right mortgage for your home buying needs and for mortgage lender recommendations in the Washington DC metro area, contact Michelle Buckman today. Representing W.C. & A.N. Miller and Christie's Great Estates in Chevy Chase, Northwest Washington DC, Capitol Hill, and the Trinidad DC neighborhood, Michelle works with a full range of clients, and is ready to answer your real estate questions.

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Michelle Buckman Real Estate

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