Choosing among the many houses that may be available is hard enough–then you need to make a choice from the myriad of mortgages that are offered in today’s market. So many decisions! Take heart, though, since although there are literally hundreds of different mortgages available, they all fall into only a few basic varieties. Some may fit perfectly into your situation, others may be unwise or unattainable. By narrowing your choices, the process of picking the right mortgage becomes much easier.
Fixed Rate or Adjustable? One of your first decisions should be between a fixed rate (the interest rate remains constant through the life of the mortgage) or an adjustable (the interest rate is adjusted–either up or down–at specified times during the mortgage term). Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) will have an initial interest rate lower than fixed rates but will adjust upward (unless rates really fall!) usually after the first year. They may be a good choice if you are sure that you will not be owning the home for an extended period (more than 5-7 years) of time.