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5/1 ARM

What is A 5/1 ARM?

A 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage brings together particular elements of a variable rate based mortgage and the fixed orientation. The 5 in the moniker illustrates the interest rate of the loan is going to be the same for the initial five years of the loan. After their conclusion, the rate is going to adjust one time only up to the time the loan has been fully cleared. The value by which the rate is going to change is flexible. It may go up or down depending on the rate index the loan is attached. The nature of these indexes also implies they fluctuate depending on the market conditions, economy, and several other factors, which means there is no means of predicting the way the 5/1 loan is going to change.

How the 5/1 ARM loan functions

The bulk of these loans are hybrid mortgages, and that means there is a fixed interest rate at the start for a particular duration. Then the interest rate is adjusted and can fluctuate depending on the set periods. Following the initial alterations, the rates change with predetermined frequency each year.

As such, 5/1 ARM has similar terms to the 30-year fixed rate loan with the exception the first five years have a set interest rate which changes afterward for the remaining 25. During the first five years, the interest is not going to change in terms of rate. After that, it may adjust upwards or downwards, and that is where the ‘1’ comes in because it can only be changed one time per year. The hybrid ARM is partially fixed and partly adjustable. Though not as popular as the 30-year fixed rate, it is still a popular mortgage product. It is quite versatile in its use, considering it is an alternative for conventional, FHA and VA loans, which means the borrower should not have any problems getting it through those seeking long term plans should consider them. This is particularly true if the borrower plans to still live within the home after the five year time. If the borrower has intentions to sell or refinance in the initial fixed rate phase, it would be possible to avoid the risk of the adjustment periods.  

Large Potential for Savings

When considering the average rate for the five year ARM, there is a high potential to save. The rates for the adjustable mortgages are usually smaller as compared to the ones provided by fixed mortgage loans. If one was to compare the average rates for fixed mortgage loans to that of a five or even one year ARM, there is a full percentage point difference. If the borrower were to go with the adjustable mortgage, they would have less regular fees during the initial five years. However, after that, the five year ARM would begin to adjust, and that is where the uncertainty lies. As such, it is not all roses with the short term ARMs. There is a tradeoff between the short term rewards of attaining lower rates and the risks which come with the adjustments of the rates. So if there is surety the residence will only be for a few years, then the 5/1 ARM is a good alternative. However, if the plan is to remain within the house for a longer time, then the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the best avenue to choose.

Pros and Cons of 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage

The ARMs sometimes get a bad rap because they present a significant risk to the borrower in terms of the interest rates following the five year grace period. Others claim the ARMs are the best alternatives for short term mortgage seekers. The following illustrates the positives and negatives of ARMs.

Pros

Lower rates assist the purchaser in building equity faster

The advantage of the adjustable rate mortgage is they have lower interest rates during the fixed period. During this time, the lowest rate advertised on the mortgage platform for 5/1 ARM averages at 3.1% compared to 3.8% which is offered for 30 year fixed mortgage rates the difference may be almost a percentage point in figures, but it does make a difference in the payment. There may be upwards of a $100 difference in the payments per month.

Rates may also go downwards after the five years

The hook of the fixed rate mortgage is the stability it provides. Should the tariffs go upwards, then the purchasers weather the storm. If the rate goes downwards, then there is still the option of refinancing to negotiate for a better deal. Now in the case of the five year ARM, should the rates go down after the first year, then they get to do nothing and watch the fixed rate mortgages refinance.

It is beneficial for the short term buys

For those who seek to live in the home for only ten years at a time, this is the best solution available because the 30-year fixed term loan with these plans will result in complications and loss. The five year ARM allows the buyer to save thousands of dollars in interest and equity when they decide to sell the house.

Cons

High-Interest Rate

The main disadvantage lies in the potential for the interest rate to climb upwards. Unfortunately, the economic situation in the country has proven extremely volatile in the past decades. The subprime mortgages of the early 2000s were hedged on the same bet the interest rates would remain low indefinitely. Unfortunately, their sudden rise prompted the foreclosure of thousands of properties and the spiral of the economy, which kick-started the global financial crash. This option is not going to be especially popular considering the broader population has recently been burned with hopeful experimentation on interest rates.  Customers would sooner go for the 30-year fixed mortgage rate because of the surety of the interest regardless of the financial season or the politics that surround elections.