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Debra W. Shultz
Broker/Owner

Shultz Realty Inc.
4137 NW Alpine Drive
Gainesville, FL 32605
Phone: 352-214-4994
Fax: 352-395-6410
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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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Debra W. Shultz
Broker/Owner
Short Sales & Foreclosures Resource Certified
Home Staging Expert
CAM
Shultz Realty Inc.
4137 NW Alpine Drive
Gainesville, FL 32605
Phone/Cell: 352-214-4994
Fax: 352-395-6410
Email: Shultz.rdc@cox.net

Testimonials

Having the right real estate agent means having an agent who is committed to helping you buy or sell your home with the highest level of expertise in your local market. This means also to help you in understanding each step of the buying or selling process. This commitment level has helped me build a remarkable track record of delivering results. 

Nothing is more exciting to me than the gratifying feeling I get from helping people meet their real estate needs. You can count on me to always do what's in your best interest. I pride myself on being honest, trustworthy, and knowledgeable in the real estate market. I know how important it is to find your dream home or get the best offer for your property. Therefore I will make it my responsibility to help you achieve those goals. 

Whether you are an experienced investor or a first time buyer, I can help you in finding the property of your dreams. Please feel free to browse my website or let me guide you every step of the way by calling or e-mailing me to set up an appointment today.
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