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STORM SEASON
Important Note:

June through November our agency may become prohibited from binding coverage should a “Tropical Disturbance” enter the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

In these cases we may be unable to bind new coverage quoted in open proposals until the storm leaves our area and our binding authority has been restored.

Please arrange your coverage protection early to avoid this type of delay. While we regret any inconvenience, the carriers impose these restrictions on all agencies.

What’s the Best Mortgage for You?

The traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is among the most affordable loan products available today. The longer term allows for a lower monthly payment than that found with a 15-year or 20-year mortgage. The fixed rate makes it more stable than an adjustable rate product; the monthly payment on the loan will never go up. In addition, few 30-year fixed-rate mortgages come with pre-payment penalties. This makes them flexible; you can pay off your mortgage earlier of you want.

That said, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is not always the best choice for every homeowner. There are a number of alternatives that could be a better fit for your financial goals.

Cash – While the many of home buyers may have been unlikely to consider an all cash offer in the past — that trend is changing. In 2014, 43% of all home purchases were cash offers, according to Realtytrac data. That’s nearly half — and if you can afford to go the all-cash route, there are a few benefits. First, you’ll avoid the hassle of applying for a home loan. Second, now that the real estate market is again on an upswing, you may earn a better rate of return on your investment than you will if you leave the cash in CDs or other low-interest savings vehicles. Finally, a home seller may be more likely to give you a discount on the purchase price in exchange for the ease of a closing facilitated by cash.

Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgage – If you have the means to make the larger monthly payments required by a 15-year fixed-rate loan and want to be mortgage-free sooner, this is an attractive alternative to the traditional 30-year product.  It and the 20 year fixed rate mortgage are increasingly becoming a preferred loan option for refinancing. Because you’re paying a larger portion of the principal each month, you’ll build equity in the property at a much faster rate. This product often has a lower interest rate than a traditional 30-year loan as well—which can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.

Five/one adjustable-rate mortgage – Adjustable rate mortgages (or ARMs) got a bad rap during the mortgage crisis. However, a 5/1 ARM is still a viable loan option for homebuyers and refinancers who are comfortable with some degree of risk and don’t plan to live in their properties for long. The product offers a low fixed interest rate for the first five years followed by annual adjustments for the remaining loan term. The lender will calculate the rate adjustment based on a variable rate plus a fixed margin. Most of today’s 5/1 ARM loans include limits on how much the rate can adjust in a single period and the maximum rate possible over the life of the loan.

Mortgage interest rates are still quite low, making it a great time to buy or refinance for many Americans. If you’ve been dreaming of lowering your mortgage payment, reducing your loan term, or buying a new home, contact your mortgage professional to discuss your borrowing options including these 30-year fixed-rate mortgage alternatives.