There are several important factors you should consider before you refinance your mortgage this year, including current rates and your financial situation.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan is the most popular financing option among home buyers in Washington State. It’s more widely used than the 15-year fixed, the 5-year adjustable, and all other types of home loans. But why?
What Is a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage?
This type of mortgage loan has a fixed interest rate and a repayment term of 30 years. It is the most commonly used of all the different home loan types, and we’ll look at the reasons why in a moment.
One of the key features of this product is the fixed interest rate. When you use a 30-year fixed home loan to buy a house in Washington State, it will carry the same mortgage rate for the full 30-year term — or until you sell or refinance.
This is an important distinction because some types of loans have an interest rate that can change or “adjust” over time. But the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stays true to its name by remaining unchanged for the full repayment term. The question is, why do so many buyers favor this type of mortgage product? What are the perks of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage that make it so popular?
Benefits for Washington State Home Buyers
The 30-year fixed is the most popular mortgage option among Washington State home buyers, and for several reasons.
Here are the primary benefits.
- Payment stability: Fixed-rate mortgage loans offer the benefits of long-term stability and security. They are designed to protect borrowers from unexpected interest rate changes while they are holding the loan. This makes the 30-year fixed mortgage a good option for Washington State home buyers who prefer payment stability over the long term.
- Peace of mind: This is an extension of the first benefit. Borrowers who choose the 30-year fixed-rate home loan enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have a stable, unchanging mortgage loan. In contrast, borrowers who use adjustable-rate mortgages (or ARMs) face more uncertainty because their rates can change over time.
- Low monthly payment: Another benefit to using a 30-year home loan (compared to one with a shorter repayment term) is that you end up with a smaller monthly mortgage payment. By spreading the payments out over 30 years instead of, say, 15 years, you’ll reduce the size of your monthly payments.
- Lock in a rate: If interest rates are expected to go up in the near future, you have the opportunity to lock in a low rate today and hedge against the risk of rising rates. This could save you a great deal of money over the life of your loan.
- Widely available: As mentioned earlier, the 30-year home loan is one of the most popular mortgage options among home buyers in Washington State. They are in high demand. As a result, just about every bank and mortgage company offers them.
Those are the benefits. But there are some drawbacks as well, including the following:
Higher interest rate: One of the downsides to using a 30-year loan is that you might pay for that long-term stability in the form of a higher interest rate. On average, the interest rates assigned to 30-year loans tend to be higher than those assigned to shorter-term mortgage loans.
More interest paid overall: Since a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is paid off in a much longer time frame than shorter-term mortgages, more interest will be paid over the long run. Rather than paying off your mortgage off earlier with a shorter-term mortgage and therefore saving on interest, a longer-term mortgage like a 30-year mortgage will mean more interest paid overall.
Of course, many people who use 30-year fixed-rate loans sell or refinance their homes long before 30 years. So this might not be a major drawback in all scenarios.
Having said all that, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages tend to be more popular simply because they’re easier to manage for many consumers. The fact that the loan payments are much lower compared to shorter-term mortgages makes these types of home loan products much more attractive. Considering all the other debt that consumers need to pay for every month, having a smaller mortgage payment to deal with makes financing a lot easier.
Need a Mortgage in WA?
If you are ready to apply for a home loan in WA or just have questions about mortgages, call Sammamish Mortgage. We have been offering home loans to home buyers across Washington State, Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon since 1992, and we’d love to help you too. We are proud to offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria. Please contact us if you have any questions or are ready to apply for a home loan.