The 30-year Mortgage as a Popular Home-Buying Solution

30 year mortgage rates are offered on loans with terms of 30 years and vary from one bank to another. The fees, lock in period, and closing costs also vary. The average mortgage rate is around 4.2 percent.

Choosing between 30-year and 15-year Loans

The choice depends on factors such as the interest rate offered, the loan amount, whether additional principal payments are allowed, and others. As a rule, customers who opt for a mortgage with a shorter term pay less in interest charges. The downside is that they make larger monthly payments. The choice between both products also depends on charges such as settlement costs, origination charges, property insurance, property tax and tax rate, and others. There is also a choice between adjustable and fixed rate products, and the decision depends on whether the rates are expected to decrease, increase, or remain the same. Borrowers who opt for a fixed interest rate benefit from the fact that payments remain the same over the repayment term. This gives a degree of security as customers know how much they owe each month. The downside is that they will make higher payments in case the interest rate decreases. Customers who choose a variable rate loan save on interest charges when the rate drops.

Comparison Shopping and Tools Available

One way to go about this and choose the right product is to contact different loan providers. Another way is to use a loan calculator that compares 30-year and 15-year mortgages based on factors such as annual homeowner’s insurance and property tax, purchase price, points, term in years, loan amount, and interest rate. All things equal, a customer will pay about $16,000 less on a 15-year mortgage than a 30-year loan of $150,000. Some calculators also offer tables and graphs for convenience and ease of use. Graphs, for example, are used to show the cost differences and total cost at sale or payoff. Tables also come handy when comparing two products with different repayment terms. Once you plug in the numbers and the calculator shows results, you can click on a table that shows the maximum tax savings amount, cumulative interest paid, interest and principal paid, remaining amount, and payment per month. You will find two tables – one for the 30-year mortgage and another one for the 15-year loan. This is a good starting point for comparison shopping. Other tools that come handy include points, home value, and affordability calculators. In any case, when looking at 30 year mortgage rates, consider factors such as the total interest and payments, monthly payment amount, marginal tax rate, and others. In this case, the total interest charges will be calculated over a period of 30 years.

Factors That Play a Role

While 30-year mortgages are popular among borrowers, accounting problems and defaults are red flags. Experts warn that 30-year mortgages cost taxpayers a lot of money. With this in mind, there are factors to look into during the home-buying and application process. The closing costs are one example and include expenses such as survey and recording fees, inspection and appraisal fees, transaction stamps, title service costs, application fees, and others. In general, financial institutions are required to offer a good faith estimate for all mortgages offered. This happens when you request a quote or apply for a loan. Some financial institutions offer a worksheet instead, but it is best to ask for a good faith estimate because it obliges financial establishments to honor the agreement and terms offered. You may want to compare the closing costs with the GFE, including costs such as property taxes, inspection fees, points, home warranties, lawyer fees, and others.

It should be noted that the majority of 30-year mortgages are conventional meaning that they meet the criteria developed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While conventional loans come with affordable interest rates and terms, customers are asked to put between 5 and 20 percent down. There is a limit on the total amount to be borrowed. On the good side, a sizable down payment reduces the total amount to be paid and translates into more affordable monthly payments.

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