Use the following tabs to switch between current local ARM rates & our calculator which estimates adjustable rate mortgage loan payments.
This calculator will help you determine what your monthly payment would be under a adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) plan. First enter your mortgage loan amount, the beginning interest rate, and the loan term. Then enter the number of months before the first adjustment and the number of months between adjustments. Finish up by inputting expected adjustment percentages and an interest rate cap.
Press “Calculate Mortgage Payment,” and you’ll receive a breakdown of the costs associated with your ARM. For a printable amortization schedule, click on the available button and a new browser window will open.
The above calculator estimates core principal & interest loan payments, along with many other costs of home ownership like PMI, homeowner's insurance & property taxes. The only major expense categories which are not included are property maintenance & the initial loan closing costs. Here is a description of expenses frequently associated with homeownership.
Home Repairs: 0.5% to 2% of the home's value each year. These expenses can be lumpy with major repairs like roofing replacement or septic tank issues coming up once per decade or so. Older homes tend to cost more to maintain than newer homes, but multi-unit dwellings that are built near the peaks of bubbles often end up having quality issues which get reflected into higher HOA fees.
HOA fees: For home located inside an association these fees vary widely. Factors include amenities, build quality, building age & location. Anywhere from $150 to $800 a month can be common.
Closing Costs: fees associated with verifying the property title, loan documentation & originating the loan. These can be paid upfront or rolled into the loan & typically range from 2% to 5% of the property value depending on factors including things like how many discount points you purchase and local governmental record keeping fees.
Property Taxes: National average of around 1.25% of the property price. Hawaii is the lowest state at 0.32% while New Jersey is the highest state at 2.31%.
Homeowner's insurance: Roughly 0.35% of the home's value, ranging from about $300 to $1,000 per year. Homes with a high risk of flooding or earthquake damage likely require additional policies which cover those risks.
Property Mortgage Insurance: Required on conforming loans where the loan-to-value (LTV) is above 80%. This cost ranges from about 0.22% for 15-year loans with at least 15% down up to 0.62% for 30-year loans with 5% down. The reason the above calculator includes the home price field is if the LTV is at or below 80% we calculate the PMI value as zero.
Find Great ARM Mortgages
This Table helps homebuyers explore their mortgage options. You can click on the refinance button to switch away from purchase loans to refinancing options & other loan features are included in the filter section which let you change the loan amount, the home's location, the downpayment on the home, the loan term & more.
Understanding Adjustable Rates
The decision to purchase a home is a huge step, and it opens up a host of other choices that you must make before you pack your boxes and make the move. What neighborhood do you want to live in? Do you want a turnkey home or a fixer upper? How many rooms will you need? Should you apply for a fixed rate mortgage or an adjustment rate mortgage (ARM)?
That last question has left many homebuyers scratching their heads. What is exactly is an ARM, and should you choose it over a fixed rate mortgage?
Fixed rate mortgages are fairly straightforward; the interest rate remains constant throughout the entirety of the loan's term or until you finishing repaying the debt. A fixed rate mortgage doesn't throw unexpected surprises at homebuyers, and people with good credit can usually secure a fixed rate loan with a decent interest rate.
An ARM, on the other hand, has an adjustable interest rate. Usually, with ARMs, the interest rate remains the same for a set period of months or even years. When the time period ends, the interest rate may rise or fall. Basically, an ARM is a series of short-term fixed rate loans.
Buyers who choose an ARM and want longer periods of stability may end up paying more. For example, if the rates on an ARM are adjusted every five years, the initial interest rate is likely to be, on average, higher than the rate for an ARM that is adjusted once a year.
Interest Rate Caps
Most ARMs have caps on how much the interest rate can fluctuate. This protects you from getting slapped with enormous changes in your monthly housing payment. It is common for ARMs to have two caps: a cap for any single adjustment, and an overall cap for the term of the loan.
ARM loans have multiple adjustment caps.
Initial Adjustment Cap: Loans can typically adjust by 1 or 2 percent on each individual rate adjustment. In some cases the allowable adjustment on the first rate reset is higher than it is on subsequent adjustments.
Subsequent Adjustment Cap: This caps how much rates can move on any individual adjustment after th first one.
Lifetime Adjustment Cap: Most ARMs typically can't ajust more than 5% to 6% above the initial lending rate throughout the duration of the loan. This means there is a contractual maximum rate which will not be exceeded no matter what happens to underlying interest rates across the economy.
Different Types of ARMs
Most consumers think of ARMs as being supremely complicated. However, they are not as complex as they seem at first glance. Understanding the different types of ARMs can ease much of the confusion.
If you have a traditional ARM, your interest rate will change at regular intervals. The interval can be anywhere from six months to five years. One-year ARMs are the most common.
Monthly ARMs start out with a fixed interest rate that lasts just a few months, usually three to six months. From there, the rate changes with every payment you make. It is unusual for a monthly ARM to have a cap for individual adjustment rates, but they do have lifetime caps. They may also have payment caps, which protect you from huge increases in your payments from year to year. Monthly ARMS may seem like a roller coaster ride, but big changes in rates are rare.
Hybrid cars are all the rage, and so are hybrid ARMs. A hybrid ARM starts out with a fixed rate for the first several years -- anywhere from 3 to 10 years. After that, the loan shifts to being a regular one-year ARM.
The first adjustment rate on a hybrid ARM is often the largest. There is a cap on it, but home buyers may still receive a shock when they see the numbers for that first adjustment. Hybrid ARMs are so popular because many homebuyers plan on either selling their house or refinancing sometime within the first decade of owning a home, so they may never have to confront fluctuating interest rates.
The Factors for Determining Interest Rates
Loan expert Dan Rahmel writes, "The rates of all adjustable rate mortgages are determined by using a mortgage index… These indexes are used by lenders to determine the rates of adjustable mortgages. Popular indexes include the index of U.S. Treasury Bills, LIBOR, COFI, and COSI. Indexes are not controlled by the lender."
Different indexes apply to different types of ARMs. For example, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) often applies to monthly and other ARMs with adjustment periods that last less than a year. The Treasury Constant Maturities index is commonly used on traditional one-year ARMs and hybrids.
The indexes aren't the only thing that goes into determining your interest rate. Lenders will assign a markup, otherwise called a margin, to you and add it to the index. A good credit score will help you score a lower margin and lower rates.
Why Borrowers Choose ARMs
Ups and downs in the economy can make the rates on ARMs go on a wild ride. Fixed rate mortgages are stable and may seem like the better option. However, ARMs do come with some perks. The initial interest rate is usually lower than what it is for a fixed rate mortgage. Also, because of low initial payments, some homebuyers who do not qualify for a fixed rate mortgage may be able to gain approval for an ARM.
With an ARM, you could ultimately end up paying less for your home than you would with a fixed rate mortgage if your interest rates stay within a reasonable range. Buyers who are likely to quickly rehabilitate a home & flip it to another person also prefer ARM loans since the house will be paid off before rates reset. One thing to be aware of is some ARM contracts for subprime borrowers can have pre-payment penalties during the initial teaser rate period.
Is an ARM for You?
If you plan on purchasing your forever home, it's possible that a fixed rate mortgage is the better option for you. You won't have to confront the ups and downs of the housing market indexes, and planning out your budget will be easier because your payments will stay consistent.
However, if you are purchasing a starter home or do not mind the prospect of possibly refinancing in the future, a hybrid ARM may be a smart choice. You can enjoy a low rate and may never have to face an increase. An ARM is also a viable option if you want to go big when you are buying your home; you may be able to get approval for a larger loan if you opt for an ARM over a fixed rate mortgage.
The type of mortgage that is best for you depends on your family's circumstances, your future plans, and current conditions in the housing market. Talk to your real estate agent and your lender and weigh all the details of any deal before you sign anything.