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The "Double Agent" Judy Hall, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES
RE/MAX All Stars Realty
1225 Roanoke Rd
P. O. Box 39
Daleville, VA 24083
Home Office: 540-473-3066
Text: 540-309-9244
Home Office Fax: 540-473-2814 
Email: judy@judyhall.com
Website: www.JudyHall.com
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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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Testimonials

Richard and Judy have helped us on both sides of the equation. They helped us on TWO of our home purchases and ONE of our home sales. They helped make the sale of our home in short order at a reasonable price and they helped us settle on a pleasing purchase price for our current home. Both Richard and Judy are superb professionals. Jay R.
She has been in the real estate business since 1984 and knows her stuff. If you want an agent who will be there to protect your interests, look no further. She is an "i dotting" and "t crossing" kind of person who will make sure that your contract is binding and will cover everything you have required. In today's market, real estate can be tricky and you need someone who will get the job done, and right the first time. T.H.
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Each RE/MAX® Office is Independently Owned and Operated.
Licensed in Virginia.
Information Provided by Seller is Deemed Reliable, but Not Guaranteed.

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