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Mortgage Interest Rates Keep Steady

Aug 11, 2008
Mortgage interest rates were virtually unchanged this week. The 30 Year rate stayed even at 6.52. The 15 year rate moved up a little from 6.07 to 6.10 and the 5 year arm moved down from 6.07 to 6.05. The only rate that moved much was the one year are which fell from 5.27 to 5.22. The one year Arm had the biggest fall last week as well. So in total for the last two weeks the 1 year arm has fallen from 5.49 to 5.22 while the other 3 major mortgage products have not fallen more than .11. Why the one year ARM is looking so good is another question. A high percent of the foreclosures the country is currently dealing with are from ARM based mortgages. So it seems odd to encourage ARMs when they are partially responsible with the current mess we are in. Of course the people in charge of the various mortgage companies didn't lose billions in shareholder wealth in just two years by making prudent decisions. So who knows what their current strategy is. Here are mortgage interest rates for the major mortgage products for the last few weeks.

August 7,2008
30-yr 6.52 15-yr 6.10 5-yr ARM 6.05 1-yr ARM 5.22

July 31,2008
30-yr 6.52 15-yr 6.07 5-yr ARM 6.07 1-yr ARM 5.27

July 24,2008
30-yr 6.63 15-yr 6.18 5-yr ARM 6.16 1-yr ARM 5.49

July 17,2008
30-yr 6.26 15-yr 5.78 5-yr ARM 5.80 1-yr ARM 5.10

July 10,2008
30-yr 6.37 15-yr 5.91 5-yr ARM 5.82 1-yr ARM 5.17

As always what do all these crazy numbers mean. To put these numbers in perspective lets see what these rates translate into for a mortgage on a 200k house.

August 7th
30-yr $1266.76
15-yr $1698.53
5-yr ARM $1205.53
1-yr ARM $1100.69

July 31th
30-yr $1266.76
15-yr $1695.28
5-yr ARM $1208.11
1-yr ARM $1106.88

July 24th
30-yr $1281.28
15-yr $1707.22
5-yr ARM $1219.75
1-yr ARM $1134.32

On the one hand I am usually pretty against ARMs. But a difference of 166.07 a month is pretty hard to ignore. If you are thinking of getting a 1 Year ARM this my advice. 1) Make sure you have 12 months of mortgage payments in a liquid account. 2) Watch the rates over the next year and wait for rates to come down a bit. If they don't come down and instead come up make sure you can afford to refinance at a higher rate. 3) this should be obvious from point one and two but if you are getting a 1 Year Arm dont get anywhere near your maximum loan amount. So if you are approved for a 300k loan it might be ok to get a 1 Year ARM if you are buying a house that is 150k-200k. If you are approved for a 300k loan and get a house for 280k get a 30 Year loan its simply not worth the risk. With an ARM your mortgage rate will simply start to flucuate after a year unlike a balloon where you are forced to refinance.
About the Author
Escapeso Realty is a small brokerage in Austin Texas. Their site provides updated graphs on mortgage interest rates. They provide a free mortgage calculator along with a mortgage rates widget
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