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Adjustable Rate Mortgages - The Basics

An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) has an interest rate that fluctuates periodically. This is in contrast to a fixed rate mortgage, which always has the same interest rate.

Every ARM has basic components:

  1. An index
  2. A margin
  3. Adjustment Period
  4. An interest rate cap
  5. An initial interest rate

The Index

An ARM’s interest rate is tied to one of many economic indices, some examples of which are the 1-year constant maturity Treasury security, the Cost of Funds Index, or the London Interbank Offered Rate. Different indices move at different rates so know the characteristics of the index used for your ARM.

The Margin

The interest rate for your ARM will be calculated by adding a margin to the interest rate from the index. The margin is basically the markup charged by the lender that allows them to make a profit off of your loan, such as adding 2% to the index, where the 2% is the margin. The margin of your loan usually does not fluctuate.

The Adjustment Period

The Adjustment Period controls when and how often your interest rate changes. For example, if your ARM has an adjustment period of 1 year, your interest rate will be subject to change at the end of each year and your monthly mortgage payment will be recalculated to reflect this change.

The Interest Rate Cap

Interest rate caps are built into the loan to protect the borrower from drastic interest rate fluctuations. The caps limit how much the interest rate or monthly payment can change at the end of each adjustment period. An ARM can also have a cap for the life of the loan. For example, during the life of a loan, the interest rate can only be increased by 5%.

The Initial Interest Rate

The Initial Interest Rate is the interest rate that you start with at the beginning of your loan period. The length of time your loan stays at this rate is built into the loan. For example, you may stay at the initial interest rate for 1 year, 5 years, or another length of time depending on your specific mortgage. This type of ARM is generally referred to as a Hybrid ARM. The initial interest rate for an adjustable rate mortgage is generally lower than that of a fixed rate mortgage.

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Assist2Sell
Piele Realty LLC

Chris Piele | 720.628.2625
CPiele@WeBuySellColorado.com
2851 S. Parker Rd. Ste PH20
Aurora, CO 80014

Testimonials

We tried to sell our home in Aurora by ourselves to avoid the high commissions that all the realtors were asking for. Frankly the process was very draining on us, trying to do our own marketing, open houses and all the stuff that comes with selling a home. I received a letter from Chris Piele at Assist2Sell and after sitting down with him, we decided to hand the task of selling our home over to him. We chose Chris because of his knowledge of “old school” and current methods of selling homes. And we felt he had the negotiation skills necessary to assure we would get the most money possible out of our home. Chris and his team quickly took care of everything needed to get the home listed and marketed, then within a just couple of days the showings to prospective buyers came in very consistently. He managed to sell our home in just one week and for the price we wanted. And did all that for a flat fee versus the high commissions all the other agents wanted to list our home. Better yet, he found us a buyer who did not have an agent so we did not have to pay a buyer’s agent commission. Frankly, we were THRILLED. If you want to save a ton of money in selling your home, and you want to sell it without a lot of brain damage, then we strongly recommend Chris Piele and his team. David and Marie Galegor
Chris Piele and his Real Estate Team were great to work with.  He helped us purchase a home in Aurora, Colorado.  He and his staff were always professional and very helpful.  I would recommend him when you buy or sell your next home.  It was a very positive experience. I would use Chris Piele for my next real estate transaction. Ronnie and Drake Davis
It was a pleasure to work with Chris in the sale of my mother’s home. He took great care of us. Our situation was unique in that my mother doesn’t own a computer…she doesn’t even have an email address. We received a generous, above asking price offer. Chris literally drove across town to her house to hand deliver the offer, explain everything, and get a signature before the deadline. He saved us thousands of dollars in commissions and provided excellent service. Chris and his staff were prompt, pro-active, professional, and in constant communication with us through the entire process. Renae Powell
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