Back to Table of Contents

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.

Back to Table of Contents

Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. We have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. We would love to hear from you and tell you how we can serve all your real estate needs.

Tom Scrocco And Randy Isaacs
Realtor - Associates
Coldwell Banker Sunset Strip
 PLEASE CALL US ANYTIME:
310-259-7355 and 310-435-1494

RandyAndTomHomes@gmail.com
BRE: 01245433, BRE: 01252713

Testimonials

From our first meeting Tom and Randy presented a perfect combination of professionalism and personal warmth. Their knowledge of the real estate business is comprehensive, and their concern for my particular needs was exemplary. They guided me through the entire process in language that made things clear to me, and through the entire process to the closing of escrow were available with expert advice and instructions. I cannot recommend them highly enough. C. Steven Smith, Producer
Randy and Tom- “It was a pleasure doing business with you. You made a difficult situation easy and painless! And we couldn't be happier with the price you obtained. Very good job!! We've already recommended you once and will certainly do it again. You were professional, caring, understanding and supportive. We thank YOU from the bottom of OUR hearts! Thank you for getting the best deal for us, including the 60 day stay. We could not have asked for more!” David and Rachelle, Producer
Tom/Randy/Cameron: Thank you all for handling the sale of my parents house in such a professional manner. The Escrow went extremely smoothly without any hitches at all. The personalized attention and advice I got throughout the entire process was second to none.You guys truly are the best. When the time comes for me to sell my own property, I will definitely know who to call. A special thanks to Randy for listening to and working with me through all the “family drama” regarding the sale. Thanks again. Cheryl Marlowe, Traffic Manager KTLA
Tom and Randy...Thank you for the BRILLIANT job you did selling our duplex!...You two possess a unique combination of razor-sharp professionalism and comforting human warmth. You were the best advocates anyone could ever want, and you obtained a better sale than we could ever have imagined. Kristin and Patrick
When we decided to sell our house we met with several real estate agents and it was clear from our first meeting that Randy and Tom were the right choice. They were professional, courteous, and extremely familiar with the local real estate market. During our time working with them on selling our house we found them to be honest, reliable, informative, persistent and always professional. We would use them again in a heartbeat and highly recommend them to anyone looking for a professional real estate partner. Megan Riley Grant, Executive Producer Monster, Andrew Grant, Writer
View All