Is an ARM Right for You?

If you haven’t considered an ARM before, you certainly should. The short checklist below will help you to determine if some form of ARM might be for you. Just check any that apply:

  • My job has required more than one transfer in the past ten years
  • I bought / am buying a “starter home”
  • I’m planning on having more children / occupants than my home has bedrooms
  • I’m single, young and buying a condo or apartment
  • I’m a potential retiree in the next ten years
  • I think rates will fall in the next few years
  • I have trouble qualifying for a fixed rate mortgage at today’s rates
  • I expect to move or expand my home within seven years
  • I’m getting a jumbo mortgage
  • I have elderly relatives whose care I may be responsible for soon

A checkmark on at least some of these questions indicates that you probably won’t be holding a 30-year FRM for anywhere near 30 years. You may expand your home, move, refinance, retire and move or want more productive cash flow. All of these argue in favor of some form of ARM.


What are the differences between No-cost and No closing cost refinance?

No-cost refinance

With this type of loan, the new mortgage cannot be more than the existing principal balance. The lender typically pays closing costs and prepaids associated with this loan transaction.

No closimg cost refinance

Similar to a no cost refinance, the new mortgage cannot exceed the existing mortgage balance. However, only the closing costs are absorbed by the lender. The borrower assumes responsibility for the pre-paids and escrows, both of which are paid at settlement. The primary goal is to lower the interest rate without increasing the loan balance.

No closing cost的来龙去脉


而mortgage broker 从银行手中拿到的则是wholesale的利率。和银行一样,mortgage broker 给您做贷款时,也会向客户收取费用,这笔费用叫broker origination费。如果客户想拿到wholesale的利率的话,就要支付这笔broker origination费用,再加上银行的underwriting fee及其他各项贷款费用,这些费用综合起来,就是通常所说的closing cost。

为了鼓励broker把wholesale的利率卖给客户,银行通常都会配以很高的credit给这些wholesale的利率。Broker把除去自身费用的剩余部分都反馈给了客户。当您的利率达到了一定的高位时,credit足以用来支付broker,银行及其他的各项贷款费用时,您的贷款利率就成了no closing cost。换而言之,the closing costs 是被银行全部承担下来。

No closing cost对很多人来说太有吸引力了,因为它所省下来的费用是立竿见影的,因此在心理上形成了巨大的优势。但是它是以较高的利率作为代价的。如果一味的推崇no closing cost,而不加以冷静的分析,对很多客户而言不仅不省钱,而且有可能损失的更多。

No closing cost的误区(一):从自住房转到出租房

很多房主一生当中都会买几次住房,直到有一天住进她自己的dream house。一般来说,房主的第一个房子面积都会偏小。当她搬完新家后,原来的小房子不是被卖掉就是被转换成投资房。今天所谈的no closing cost误区之一就是针对这种投资房的贷款。

先看这个例子,罗在2000年花了28万买了第一个自住房。2004年上半年,罗在知道自己不久之后即将搬到3000呎的新房之前,所做的明智之举是为当时还是自住房的小房子做了次重新贷款:$200K, 15年固定, Rate=5.0%,no closing cost。罗的不明智之处是他为了省几千块钱的closing cost,而没有把利率做成4.5%。搬家之后,罗把小房子出租,变成了投资房。

利率从去年到今年一直在低点徘徊,15年的固定利率早就降到了4%以下,罗也询问了自己的出租房能否拿到较低的重贷利率。20万的贷款如今只剩下13万左右,因为投资房的cost及rate要比自住房高出很多,再加上loan amount 太少,如果他做no closing cost 的refinance的话, 利率在4.5%左右而不是4%以下。一年只省几百块的利息,却又变成15年后才能还清,罗觉得不值,于是就此打消了为投资房做重贷的念头。

现在,我们来分析一下。假设罗在2004年时愿意付$4,000作为closing cost从而选择了4.5%而不是5.0%的利率的话,那么他在当时有两种选择:第一种选择是在closing时自己就付掉这$4,000 cost;第二种选择是把这$4,000的 closing cost打到贷款总额中去。让我们通过下面的table来看看savings的结果:

Present Plan-1 Plan-2
Loan Amount $200,000 $200,000 $204,000
Interest Rate 5.0% 4.5% 4.5%
Closing Cost 0 $4,000 $0
Total Interest $84,685 $75,397 $76,905
Savings $0 $5,288 $3,780

从table来中可以得出,无论是哪种选择,都比罗当初的5.0%的n0 closing cost的利率要省钱。

  • Plan-1: $84,685 – $75,397 – $4,000 = $5,288
  • Plan-2: $84,685 – $76,905 – $4,000 = $3,780


Bigger Mortgage将支出更多

美国房屋贷款中,目前普遍流行的Super Conforming Loan(又称为Jumbo Conforming Loan 或者 High-cost area Conforming Loan)的loan limits将从10月1日起调低。因为眼下这种贷款的Loan limits将在今年的9月30日到期。,为了避免较高的支出及较少的产品选择,建议借贷人,不管是做新贷款还是做Refinance,应该在8月中就开始申请贷款,以确保有充足的时间在10月1日之前申请下贷款。

调低loan limits意味着有larger mortgage - jumbo loan的借贷人将会支出更多:不仅需要支付更多的头期款,而且相应的利息也比一般的高出大约 0.5%至 1%;同时,要qualify做larger mortgage的借贷人还要面对更加紧缩的银行guidelines。

目前的Super Conforming这种贷款的loan limits要高于两房Fannie/Freddie及FHA的Standard Conforming loan limits (贷款额<=$417,000) 。大西雅图地区(Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue )的King, Pierce, Snohomish Counties目前的Super Conforming loan limit是<= $567,500。

新Conforming loan limits:

• 美国的大多数counties的conforming loan limits是$417,000

• 美国有206个high-cost housing的郡县loan limits 相对要高些。一些房价比较高的Counties的loan limits 将会从$729,750调低至$625,500或者更低,例如Los Angeles 及 New York City。其他的counties的loan limits也将会调低在$417,000 和 $625,500之间。

• 其结果,一些借贷人将不再符合Conforming loan,只好以larger mortgage – jumbo loan代替。

King,Pierce 及Snohomish county的Jumbo Loan的新起点

从10月1日起,King , Pierce 及Snohomish county的Jumbo Loan的起点下调至$506,000,San Juan调到$483,000,其他的counties调至$417,000。这意味着所有贷款额超过这个数字的将被视为Jumbo Loan来处理。Jumbo Loan的利率比Conforming Loan的利率要高。


How to clean up your credit (1)

Whether you believe your credit report to be pristine and unmarred by financial indiscretions, the ideal time to check it out for yourself is up to a year before buying a home.Go to to get your yearly free credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Make sure you get reports from all three. The information they contain can vary wildly.

The credit reporting agencies do charge a fee if you want to know your credit score. Lenders look at all three scores and use the middle one.

Consumers should be on the lookout for any information that doesn’t belong on their credit report or that is incorrect. In 2007, a survey by Zogby found that 37 percent of consumers find errors when they check their credit reports.

Scour everything from the way your name is spelled and previous addresses to checking that each and every account is yours and reported correctly.

Sometimes people will quickly glance over their information and that’s it. But you should take the time and look at the account numbers.

If the account is closed, make sure that is accurately reflected on the credit report.

Dispute any errors you find. All three credit bureaus make it very easy to begin the process with online systems.

If everything is correct, pay down balances and let time do the rest.

How to clean up your credit (2)

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future, try not to apply for new credit. Though it’s not always avoidable — for instance, if you need a car loan or college financing — you should resist opening several new lines of credit at once.”A couple in a year is fine. Four or five in a year will start to have an impact. The best way to think of it is that you don’t want to appear credit hungry, so you don’t want to apply for a lot in a short period of time,” says Katz.

If you’ve done all you can to hike up your score and still are not happy with the interest rate lenders offer, you may be able to buy down your rate.

For homeowners planning to stay in their home for a long time — five years or more — it can be well worth the savings.

The typical range is 1 percent to 3 percent of the home loan amount, expressed as percentage points.

What you’re doing is paying upfront, prepaid interest to the bank and in exchange they’re willing to give you a lower interest rate.

Another way to get a premium interest rate is with a big down payment. Understandably, banks feel less jittery about your prospects of defaulting on the loan with a down payment of 25 percent or more.

The down payment is the second most important criteria after your credit score because that is one of the mechanisms the bank uses to gauge how risky the loan is. If you put down 40 percent, a lot of the banks will give preferred interest rates for that

Transforming your credit report won’t happen overnight, but with time and consistency anyone can get to the elite levels of mortgage pricing and save a ton of money in the long run.


  • 提高deductible: 将deductible从$500提到$1000有时可以节省到大约25%
  • 捆绑保险:如果你从同一家保险公司买几个保险,可以节省5%到15%
  • 对房屋加以适当的改进:比如说换上新的屋顶,改善供暖系统,改善供水和电力系统,加上报警器等安全装置,给后院的蹦蹦床或游泳池围上栅栏
  • 保持很高的Credit Score
  • 经常查看最新的保险政策:比如说如果你所在的地区最近刚刚从乡村划归到城市,并且提供防火保护,那么你可能节省60%到70%
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