Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 9/18/2016

Do you know the difference between adjustable-rate and fixed-rate mortgages? An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) includes an interest rate that will change periodically based on market conditions. In many cases, homebuyers prefer fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs), as these mortgages enable homebuyers to pay the same monthly mortgage payment for the life of their loan. Conversely, an ARM may start with lower monthly payments but could rise over an extended period of time. This means that an ARM is likely to result in mortgage payments that vary over the years. Although an ARM may seem like an inferior option to its fixed-rate counterpart, there are several scenarios in which a homebuyer may prefer an ARM, including: 1. A Homebuyer Is Purchasing a Residence for the First Time. A first-time homebuyer may enter the real estate market with lofty expectations. But upon realizing there are few housing options that meet his or her needs, this buyer may settle for a house that represents a short-term residence. In this scenario, a homebuyer may be better off selecting an ARM. With an ARM, a first-time homebuyer may be able to make lower monthly payments in the first few years of homeownership. And then, when a better homeownership opportunity becomes available, this buyer may be able to work toward upgrading from his or her starter residence. 2. A Homebuyer Expects His or Her Income to Rise. The economy may fluctuate at times, but those who are assured of a higher income over the next few years may be better equipped to handle an ARM. For example, a student who is enrolled in a medical residency program may be a few years away from becoming a doctor. At the same time, this student wants a nice place that he or she can call home and may consider an ARM because it offers lower monthly payments initially. After this student completes the residency program, he or she likely will see a jump in his or her annual income as well. Thus, this homebuyer may be best served with an ARM. 3. A Homebuyer Is Facing an Empty Nest. Will your children soon be moving out of the home in the next few years? If so, now may be a great time to consider an ARM if you'd like to move into a new residence. Parents who are facing an empty nest in the next few years may be better off living in a larger residence for now, then downsizing after their children leave the nest. Therefore, with an ARM, parents may be able to buy a nicer home with lower monthly payments. And after their kids move out, these parents always can look into downsizing accordingly. Deciding which type of mortgage is right for you can be challenging for even an experienced homebuyer. Fortunately, lenders are available to answer any concerns or questions you may have, and your real estate agent may be able to offer guidance and tips as well. Explore all of the mortgage options at your disposal before you purchase a new residence. By doing so, you'll be equipped with the necessary information to make an informed decision that will serve you well both now and in the future.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 5/12/2013

To lock or not to lock that is always the question. If you are shopping for a home loan or refinancing a mortgage, your mortgage lender will require you to lock your rate on the amount borrowed no later than five days prior to closing. Locking a rate guarantees the interest rate for a set period of time. The decision to lock or not is a question of timing your purchase or refinance with the market. Consumers can get in trouble with a rate lock because there is a deadline on when escrow needs to close. Borrowers should comparison shop loans considering the mortgage rate locks vary in time length. If you are unable to meet the deadline the costs can accumulate. Here are some common options: 15-day lock: Is the “lowest-cost rate” available. The loan needs to be approved by underwriting to take advantage of this lock. 30-day lock: This is the fair market rate and is most commonly used for interest rate locking upfront before loan approval. 45-day lock: Used for transactions taking longer, whether the loan is approved or not. 60-day lock: Can be used in circumstances where the loan is prolonged. This option does not usually offer the best interest rate for the consumer. Interest rates can vary by as much as 0.25 percent on the longer rate locks compared against 30-day and 15-day rate locks. The bottom line, the longer the lock, the more risk the lender takes and the slightly more costly the loan.    





Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/7/2011

Mortgage rates have been at all time lows but if you haven't taken the plunge it may now be time to refinance. This week the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4 percent. Just a few weeks ago the lowest rate ever was 3.94 percent, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.31 percent from 3.38 percent. Four weeks ago, it too hit a record low of 3.26 percent. Rates are dropping in reaction to the financial turmoil in Europe and homeowners with rates over 5% should may want to research refinancing. You can check out daily mortgage rates here. Make sure to consult with a mortgage professional who can evaluate your personal situation.




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