30-Year Fixed: The Most Popular Mortgage Loan in Washington

November 4, 2022
Last updated:
November 4, 2022
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When it comes to mortgage loans, home buyers in Washington State have a lot of options. One of those choices has to do with the length or “term” of the repayment period. While there are different term lengths available, the 30-year fixed mortgage is the most popular among home buyers in Washington.

Meet Washington’s Most Popular Mortgage Loan

Most home buyers who rely on mortgage financing end up using the 30-year fixed-rate home loan. It’s by far the most popular financing option, at least when it comes to the repayment term.

What makes them so popular? Let’s start with a definition and proceed from there.

True to its name, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan allows home buyers to spread their payments out over 30 years. During that time, the interest rate will remain the same, regardless of what market rates do. This is true for as long as you keep the loan.

The “fixed” part of the label is important because it differentiates these products from adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs. An ARM loan works differently from the standard fixed-rate mortgage. With an ARM, the interest rate can change or “reset” over time.

Most of the adjustable loans available today start off with a fixed rate for a certain period of time. But they all reach an adjustment stage down the road, during which the rate can fluctuate.

As mentioned earlier, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular financing option among home buyers in Washington and nationwide. While the statistics can vary over time, 30-year home loans tend to make up around 90% of total market volume. Let’s shift gears and talk about why this is so…

What Home Buyers Like About the 30-Year Fixed

So, what is it about the 30-year fixed mortgage that makes it so popular among borrowers?

This financing option offers several important advantages, but the biggest one is that it helps you reduce the size of your monthly mortgage payments. When you choose a home loan with a longer term, you’re spreading the payments out further. This results in a smaller monthly payment, compared to a mortgage loan with a shorter term.

The 30-year fixed also appeals to Washington home buyers who prefer long-term stability and predictability. With this mortgage option, you know that your interest rate will never change for as long as you keep the loan. So there won’t be any “surprises” down the road.

Those are the two main advantages offered by Washington’s most popular loan option:

You can reduce the size of your payments by spreading them out over a longer window, while avoiding the long-term uncertainty of an adjustable-rate mortgage.

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The Trade-Off: You’ll Probably Pay More Interest

Like most mortgage options, the 30-year fixed home loan has some advantages as well as disadvantages. Though it might be more accurate to call it a “trade-off,” rather than a disadvantage.

The trade-off here is that you will likely pay a higher interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage, when compared to the shorter 15-year fixed or an ARM loan. Thirty-year loans usually carry higher interest rates than these other financing options.

But statistics show that many folks are happy to accept this trade-off. Across the state of Washington, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remains the most popular financing option, despite the higher rates they can bring. That tells us that many home buyers place a priority on having a smaller monthly payment, rather than minimizing their total interest costs.

Summary of Key Points

We’ve covered a lot of information with this article. Here are some of the key points you’ll want to take away from this:

  • The 30-year fixed mortgage is the most popular loan in Washington State.
  • It gives borrowers the benefit of long-term predictability and stability.
  • It also allows you to reduce the size of your monthly payments.
  • The interest rate stays the same, no matter how long you keep the loan.
  • Thirty-year mortgages tend to have higher rates, compared to shorter loans.

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What’s the Right Financing Option for You?

Choosing between a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage or a loan with a shorter term is just one of several choices you have, as a borrower. There’s an ideal type of home loan for just about any home-buying scenario. The key is to choose the right product for your particular situation.

The good news is, you don’t have to make this kind of decision alone. Our experienced staff can answer any questions you have and help you explore your financing options. Located in the Seattle metro area, Sammamish Mortgage serves the entire state of Washington and offers a broad range of home loan products.

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