Which Mortgage is Right?
In all my mortgage shopping, I debated a number of different types of mortgages in trying to find what one would be right for me.
- 3/1 and 5/1 ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) Here I was very tempted to go with the lower rate and allow for the variable rate since it could very well be lower in 5 years. After all, the rates have been going up for over a year now and seem likely to end soon. The Fed could very well of overcompensated causing some economic problems and be forced to lower rates in the future. Looking at long term rates, it seems many think the same way. I also figured I could just pay the whole thing off in 5 years if I had to (assuming current investments not taking any major hits). My parents cautioned me though that they could remember the days when 7% and higher was common and even times of double digit interest rates, and I usually give serious consideration to my parents advice.
- 15-year fixed Here was a decent rate, but high payments. The higher payments didn't bother me too much though. For me it seemed about right for what I could be comfortable with. A broker asked me why not the 10 year, but although I could swing that as well I just didn't see the need to stress my payments. I'd rather have a bit of flex room in my budget.
- 30-year fixed The rate is not that great until you look at it historically. The low payments for this was attractive, but also had to consider how long I really wanted to pay for the mortgage. Some said I could just increase my monthly payments, but why do that at a higher rate instead of going with the 15 year?
- Inflation is your friend
As one older coworker pointed out to me. To have these payments over the long haul, they'll just look smaller over the long haul especially under a spat of inflation. Your house meanwhile can offer protection against inflation.
- Historically low rates
Rates have been going up quite a bit lately, and even after locking in a few weeks ago I now feel glad I decided on this route seeing the long term rates rising. I can invest probably even in bonds soon at a higher rate than my mortgage, not to mention longer term type gains in stocks (invested in large cap, small cap, and international).
- Tax deduction
Anything to lower my tax bracket is something that would be good to keep while I'm continuing to work. No need to play the game with ARM and risk having to possibly try to pay off earlier due to a higher rate.