What Is Mortgage Rate Buy Down?

This BLOG On Mortgage Rate Buy Down Was UPDATED On June 5, 2017

How Does Buying Down Mortgage Interest Rates Work?

  • A mortgage rate buy down is paying a percentage of the loan, also known as discount points, to reduce the mortgage rate from the original mortgage rate that is being quoted to borrowers. 
  • When mortgage borrowers apply for a mortgage loan, the mortgage loan originator will give borrowers several options. 
  • As an example, say a mortgage borrower applied for a mortgage loan and the best mortgage rate the mortgage loan originator can offer the borrower with no points is 4%. 
  • Borrowers who feel that they intend on keeping the home for a while and feel that mortgage interest rates are low may want to explore in buying down the mortgage interest rates by paying upfront points.
  • Borrowers have the option to get lower mortgage rates by paying discount points.
  • Maybe by one percent of the loan amount, mortgage rate buy down, the new interest rate might be 3.75% and maybe paying 2 points the mortgage rate might drop to 3.5% (This is a hypothetical case scenario).

Mortgage Rate Buy Down With Points

  • Mortgage borrowers who decide to buy down mortgage rates, it will be classified as a discount fee on mortgage disclosures. 
  • The discount fee is normally tax deductible.
  • Mortgage loan borrowers can buy down their mortgage rates by paying upfront points.
  • Buying down mortgage rates is recommended only for mortgage loan borrowers who plan on living in their home for long term and not refinancing their home loan in the very near future.
  • One point is equivalent to one percentage point of the mortgage loan amount.

Reducing Mortgage Rates By Paying Points

Buying down mortgage rates varies with different lenders.

  • Sometimes, mortgage rate reduction might only be 1/8 of a percent for a one point mortgage rate buy down and it might not be worth it. 
  • Other lenders might reduce your mortgage rate by 0.50% for a one point mortgage rate buy down which will be worth paying the points.
  • There is no set price on how much your mortgage rates will get reduced by paying points because it also depends on the mortgage markets and where the interest rates are.

Is Mortgage Rate Buy Down Beneficial?

Mortgage interest rates depends on the risk the lender takes on the borrower.

Here are what determines mortgage rates:

  • Credit Scores: The lower the borrower’s credit scores, the higher the risk the lender has so the higher mortgage interest rates.
  • Loan To Value: The lower the LTV, the less risk the lender has because the borrower has more skin on the game therefore larger down payments (lower LTV) means lower mortgage interest rates.
  • Types of properties: Condominiums, townhomes, and two to four unit properties are classified as higher risk than single family homes so there is normally a mortgage interest rate adjustments on non-single family homes.
  • Discuss buying down your mortgage rates and whether buying down mortgage rates makes sense  with mortgage loan originator to see if it will be worth to pay the upfront point for the reduced interest rate. 
  • Homeowners who are only planning on staying in their home for a short while, it might not be worth it. 
  • However, homeowners who intend on staying in their homes for more than 5 years, it might be well worth while to pay points for a mortgage rate buy down. 
  • A loan officer can assist with the pros and cons and go over a chart on the amount of savings versus the points that homeowners will be paying for the mortgage rate buy down.

Sellers Concessions For Mortgage Rate Buy Down

Sellers Concessions is when a home seller will give a home buyer either a percentage and/or set amount to cover their closing costs.

  • Any overages of sellers concessions normally goes to pay down the mortgage interest rates.
  • Overages in sellers concessions cannot go to the home buyer and needs to go back to the seller under mortgage regulations.
  • Most loan officers just use the overages in sellers concessions to buy down the rate for the borrower.

Here are the maximum amounts of sellers concessions allowed on various loan programs:

  • 6% sellers concession is allowed on FHA Loans
  • 4% sellers concessions is allowed on VA Loans
  • 6% sellers concessions is allowed on USDA Loans
  • 3% sellers concessions is allowed on Conventional Loans for owner occupant properties and second homes
  • 2% sellers concessions is allowed on Conventional Loans for investment properties
  • Most NON-QM Loans will accept up to 6% in sellers concessions

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The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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