It interests me how many Realtors are suggesting new home buyers pick slightly lower interest rate home loans that those of more than 15 years.
The rational is that the interest rate for 15 year loans is slightly less than that for those of longer periods.
And that the buyer will pay off his home up to twice as fast.
The same is true for refinancing existing loans. Not only will the rate for the new loan be substantially lower than the old one, but it also gives the homeowners the opportunity to pick a loan that amortizes faster.
From a strictly financial sense, the logic is lousy. When mortgage interest rates are very cheap, as they are today, and the value of homes is seriously diminished and with no recovery of sizable consequence, there is a much better avenue.
Go with the 30-year loan and invest the difference in the payments each month into an appreciating asset, like a mutual fund.
Here’s an example:
$200,000 @ 4% for 30 years = $ 955 per month
$200,000 @ 4% for 15 years = $1,479 per month
The average home buyer stays in his home for 7-years before he sells and relocates. Assuming that’s true, at the end of 7-years, he would have invested $44,016 in his mutual fund account. If his mutual fund’s share value only doubled in 7-years, he would have $88,000.
In 2019 the loan balance based on the 30-year loan would be $171,350. So you would have accumulated $28,650 in equity plus $88,000 in mutual fund value, for a total of $116,650.
Had you done the straight 30-year loan for 30 years, at the end of the 7th year you would owe $120,292. Your equity would be $79,780.
That’s a difference of $36,870 that, in this example, it cost you to do a 15 year loan rather than a 30-year loan, investing the difference.
BILL CHERRY, REAL ESTATE BROKER