What Is A Floating Interest Rate?

What Is A Floating Interest Rate?A floating interest rate, also known as a variable interest rate or an adjustable rate, is an interest rate that can change over time. Unlike a fixed interest rate, which remains constant for the entire duration of a loan or investment, a floating interest rate fluctuates periodically based on certain factors or benchmarks.

The advantage of a floating interest rate is that it can offer flexibility. When interest rates are low, borrowers can benefit from reduced interest payments. However, if interest rates rise, the cost of borrowing will also increase.

How Does A Floating Rate Work?

A floating interest rate works by adjusting periodically based on a predetermined formula or benchmark. Here’s a general overview of how a floating rate typically operates:

Selection of a Benchmark: When entering into a loan or investment agreement with a floating rate, a benchmark or reference rate is chosen. Common benchmarks include the prime rate, LIBOR, or a government bond yield. The benchmark serves as a starting point for calculating the interest rate.

Margin or Spread: In addition to the benchmark, a margin or spread is set. The margin remains constant throughout the loan or investment term and is added to the benchmark to determine the final interest rate. For example, if the chosen benchmark is 3% and the margin is 2%, the floating interest rate would be 5%.

Periodic Rate Adjustments: The frequency of rate adjustments is specified in the loan or investment agreement. The interest rate may be adjusted annually, quarterly, monthly, or even daily, depending on the terms. At each adjustment period, the interest rate is recalculated based on the current value of the benchmark.

The Pros And Cons Of Using A Floating Rate Mortgage Loan

Using a floating rate mortgage loan, also known as an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), has both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider:


Initial Lower Interest Rate: One of the main advantages of a floating rate mortgage is that it often starts with a lower interest rate compared to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Potential for Future Savings: If interest rates decrease over time, borrowers with a floating rate mortgage can benefit from lower monthly payments.

Flexibility: Floating rate mortgages often provide more flexibility than fixed-rate mortgages. Depending on the terms of the loan, borrowers may have the option to refinance or sell the property without incurring significant prepayment penalties.


Uncertainty and Rate Fluctuations: The main disadvantage of a floating rate mortgage is the uncertainty associated with rate fluctuations. The interest rate is subject to periodic adjustments based on market conditions, which means the monthly payment can change over time.

Potential for Higher Costs: If interest rates increase significantly during the loan term, borrowers may end up paying more in interest over the long run compared to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Limited Predictability: Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, where the monthly payment remains constant throughout the loan term, a floating rate mortgage introduces uncertainty.

Refinancing Risk: If interest rates rise substantially, it may become more challenging to refinance the mortgage or obtain a new loan with favorable terms.

It’s essential for borrowers to carefully evaluate their financial situation, risk tolerance, and future plans before opting for a floating rate mortgage. Assessing the potential impact of rate fluctuations and considering long-term financial goals can help borrowers make an informed decision.

Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage professional is recommended to fully understand the implications of a floating rate mortgage and determine if it aligns with your needs.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of ‘No-Deposit’ Mortgage Deals For First-Time Buyers?

What Are The Pros And Cons Of 'No-Deposit' Mortgage Deals For First-Time Buyers?“No-deposit” mortgage deals for first-time buyers refer to mortgage options that allow buyers to purchase a home without having to put down a deposit or a down payment. Here are the pros and cons of such deals:


Lower upfront costs: The most significant advantage of a no-deposit mortgage is that it eliminates the need for a substantial upfront deposit. This can be beneficial for first-time buyers who may struggle to save a large sum of money for a deposit. It allows them to enter the property market sooner.

Increased affordability: With a no-deposit mortgage, first-time buyers can purchase a home with a smaller amount of savings. This can make homeownership more accessible, especially in areas where property prices are high.

Potential investment opportunities: By utilizing a no-deposit mortgage, first-time buyers can allocate their savings toward other investments or use the funds for home improvements. This flexibility may provide opportunities for additional financial growth.


Higher borrowing costs: No-deposit mortgages typically involve higher borrowing costs, including interest rates and fees. Lenders often consider these deals riskier, so they may offset the risk by charging higher interest rates or requiring additional insurance or guarantees.

Limited mortgage options: No-deposit mortgage deals are not as widely available as traditional mortgages. Lenders may have specific eligibility criteria or restrict the types of properties that qualify for these deals. The limited options can make it more challenging for first-time buyers to find a suitable mortgage arrangement.

Negative equity risk: By not providing a deposit, buyers immediately start with little or no equity in their property. If property prices decrease, there is a higher risk of falling into negative equity. Negative equity occurs when the outstanding mortgage balance exceeds the value of the property. This can be problematic if the buyer wants to sell or remortgage the property in the future.

Stricter eligibility criteria: Lenders offering no-deposit mortgages may impose stricter eligibility criteria. They may require a higher credit score, proof of stable income, or additional financial commitments. First-time buyers with a limited credit history or irregular income may find it more difficult to qualify for these deals.

Long-term financial implications: Opting for a no-deposit mortgage means taking on a higher level of debt. Buyers must carefully consider their long-term financial situation and ensure they can comfortably afford the mortgage repayments. Failing to do so could result in financial strain or difficulties in meeting future financial goals.

It is essential for first-time buyers to thoroughly research and assess their individual circumstances before committing to a no-deposit mortgage. Consulting with a mortgage advisor or financial professional can provide further guidance and help make an informed decision.

3 Ways To Avoid Mortgage Insurance

3 Ways to Avoid Mortgage InsuranceWhen you are buying a home, you may run into a number of hurdles to complete the purchase. One of the items that you may be asked to purchase is called private mortgage insurance, often shortened to PMI. This is a unique insurance policy that your lender, such as the credit union or bank, may ask you to buy in order to protect themselves. In this insurance policy, the bank protects themselves against losing money if you end up defaulting on your loan.

Unfortunately, if you are asked to purchase PMI, this will increase your monthly mortgage payment. Therefore, most people try to avoid it. Fortunately, there are a few ways to do this.

Increase the Size of Your Down Payment

Typically, the lender will ask you to purchase PMI if your loan to value ratio is off. In most cases, the lender will ask you to buy PMI if you put down less than 20 percent. It is important to remember that this is still handled on an individual case-by-case basis and each lender handles this differently. 

Invest in a Piggyback Mortgage

Another option to avoid PMI is to invest in something called a piggyback mortgage. In this case, you are splitting your mortgage into two policies. For example, if you put down 10 percent, you would need to take out a mortgage for the other 90 percent.

When you take out a piggyback mortgage, you split this 90 percent loan into one mortgage for 80 percent and the other for 10 percent. The drawback of this policy is that the second loan might have a higher interest rate than the first. This can help you avoid having to take out PMI.

Try Building the PMI Into the Loan

Finally, the last option is to roll them into the cost of the loan. In this case, the lender avoids asking you to purchase PMI and instead charges you a little bit more money for the loan. You won’t have a section on your bill for “private mortgage insurance” but you will have a slightly higher monthly payment anyways. Remember that you can refinance to a lower rate later, saving some money; however, it might be harder to eliminate PMI.

Avoiding Mortgage Insurance

These are a few ways that you can avoid purchasing PMI. This will help you keep your monthly payments low. As always, speak with your trusted mortgage professional for personal advice on your specific situation.

What Do Appraisers Consider When Valuing a House?

What do Appraisers Consider When Valuing a House?Appraisers consider several factors when valuing a house to determine its fair market value. The goal of the appraisal is to provide an unbiased and accurate assessment of the property’s worth.

Here are the key factors appraisers consider:

Location: The location of the property is one of the most critical factors in determining its value. Proximity to amenities such as schools, shopping centers, parks, public transportation, and the overall desirability of the neighborhood can significantly influence the value.

Size and layout: The square footage and layout of the house play a crucial role in its valuation. Larger houses generally have higher values, but the layout and functionality of the space also matter.

Condition: The overall condition of the property, including both the interior and exterior, is essential. Appraisers look for signs of wear and tear, structural issues, and the general maintenance level of the house.

Upgrades and renovations: Recent upgrades and renovations can positively impact the value of a house. Appraisers take into consideration improvements such as kitchen upgrades, bathroom remodels, flooring changes, or any other updates that enhance the property’s appeal and functionality.

Comparable sales (comps): Appraisers use comparable sales data from recently sold properties in the same or similar neighborhoods to establish a benchmark for the subject property’s value. They compare factors like size, age, condition, and location to determine the market value.

Market trends: Appraisers consider the current real estate market conditions. If it’s a seller’s market with high demand and limited supply, the property’s value may be higher, and vice versa.

Age and condition of the property: The age of the house and its overall condition, including the age and condition of the roof, HVAC systems, and major appliances, will be assessed. Newer and well-maintained properties tend to have higher values.

Lot size and landscaping: The size and quality of the lot, as well as the landscaping and curb appeal, can influence the property’s value.

Views and natural features: Properties with attractive views or access to natural features like waterfronts, mountains, or green spaces may have higher values.

Environmental factors: Appraisers also consider any environmental issues or hazards that might affect the property’s value, such as proximity to industrial sites, flood zones, or other potential risks.

It’s important to note that the appraisal process may vary slightly depending on the specific regulations and guidelines in a particular region or country. Appraisers must remain objective and follow professional standards to provide an accurate and impartial valuation of the property.

Avoiding Becoming House Poor: A Path to Financial Security and Balance

Avoiding Becoming House Poor: A Path to Financial Security and BalanceAs the housing market continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly crucial for aspiring homeowners to tread carefully and avoid falling into the trap of being house poor. The dream of owning a home should not come at the expense of financial stability and overall well-being. Here are some essential tips to steer clear of this precarious situation:

Setting a Sensible Budget:

Before even considering purchasing a house, it’s imperative to create a comprehensive budget that includes all your income, expenses, and financial goals. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford, considering not only the mortgage but also property taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance.

Prioritizing Emergency Savings:

Building a robust emergency fund should be a top priority. Life is unpredictable, and unexpected expenses can arise at any moment. Having a safety net of three to six months’ worth of living expenses can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by financial burdens if an unforeseen situation occurs.

Saving for a Substantial Down Payment:

While it may be tempting to put down a smaller down payment to secure a house quickly, it’s wiser to save for a more substantial down payment. A larger down payment means borrowing less money and having lower mortgage payments, which can significantly reduce the risk of being house poor.

Consider All Costs:

Beyond the mortgage, homeownership involves additional expenses such as property taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance. Renters must consider renter’s insurance, utilities, and other costs.

Maintaining a Healthy Debt-to-Income Ratio:

Lenders often look at your debt-to-income ratio when considering your eligibility for a mortgage. Aim to keep this ratio as low as possible by paying off existing debts before taking on a mortgage.

Living Below Your Means:

It’s crucial to resist the temptation of purchasing the most expensive house you can qualify for. Instead, opt for a more affordable home that aligns with your budget and long-term financial objectives.

Anticipate Future Expenses:

Plan for the future and anticipate upcoming financial commitments such as career changes, education costs, and family planning. Being prepared for these events will ensure that your housing costs remain manageable even as your life circumstances change.

Shop Around for Mortgages or Rent:

If you’re in the market for a new home, don’t settle for the first mortgage offer you receive. Shop around and compare rates and terms from different lenders to secure the most favorable deal.

Avoid Making Big Financial Decisions:

Focus on stabilizing your housing situation first before taking on additional financial responsibilities.

Seek Professional Guidance:

If you’re uncertain about the process or worried about becoming house poor, consider seeking advice from a financial advisor or a reputable real estate professional..

Achieving the goal of homeownership or finding a suitable rental property should not come at the cost of your financial security and overall happiness. Remember, it’s not just about the house you live in; it’s about building a fulfilling life within your means.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 14, 2023

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 14, 2023Last week’s economic reporting included readings on inflation, consumer sentiment, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

Inflation Rate Holds Steady in July

Month-to-month inflation rose at a pace of 0.20 percent in July and met analysts’ expectations. There was no change in the pace of month-to-month inflation from June’s reading of 0.20 percent growth. The Consumer Price Index also reported that year-over-year inflation reached 9.10 percent, which was the highest reading since reaching a 40-year high in mid-2022.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel prices, was unchanged from June’s month-to-month pace of 0.20 percent growth. July’s month-to-month reading matched analysts’ expectations. Year-over-year core inflation dipped slightly to 4.70 percent in July as compared to June’s reading of 4.80 percent year-over-year inflation.

Federal Reserve leaders said that they would continue monitoring domestic and global economic developments along with financial and economic data before determining whether or not to raise the Fed’s key interest rate range.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates for the third consecutive week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage approached seven percent and rose by six basis points to 6.96 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by nine basis points to 6.34 percent.

248,000 initial jobless claims were filed last week, which surpassed expectations of 231,000 new claims filed and the previous week’s reading of 227,000 first-tine jobless claims filed.

University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey

In other news, the University of Michigan released its monthly preliminary reading on U.S. consumer sentiment.

Consumer sentiment rose to an index reading of 72.0 in August as compared to the July reading of 71.6.  The majority of.consumers surveyed indicated that the economy improved in the three months leading up to the survey., Component readings included consumer sentiment index readings for current economic conditions and economic conditions within the next six months. The survey reading for consumer sentiment about economic conditions over the next six months fell to an index reading of  67.3 from the July reading of 68.3 Readings over 50 indicate that most consumers are confident about current economic conditions.

Joanne Hsu, the University of Michigan’s director of consumer surveys, said: “…In general, consumers perceived few differences in the economic environment from last month, but they saw substantial improvement relative to just three months ago.”

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes reading on housing starts and building permits issued, the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s recent meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims. 

Disputing Your Property Tax Assessment Can Save You Money

Disputing Your Property Tax Assessment Can Save You MoneyProperty taxes can be a substantial financial burden for homeowners and property owners. Each year, local governments assess the value of properties to determine the amount of property tax owed. However, these assessments are not always accurate and can result in higher tax bills than necessary. Disputing your property tax assessment is a proactive way to potentially save money and ensure you’re paying a fair and equitable amount.

Reasons for Flawed Assessments:

Property tax assessments are not immune to errors and discrepancies. Several reasons can lead to an inaccurate evaluation of your property:

  1. Market Value Misjudgment: Assessors may rely on outdated or incorrect data, leading to the misjudgment of your property’s market value.
  2. Assessment Methodology: The methodology used to calculate property values might not consider all relevant factors, such as recent improvements or neighborhood changes.
  3. Comparable Properties: Assessors may use inappropriate comparables that lead to an inflated assessment that does not accurately reflect your property’s true value.
  4. Data Entry Errors: Mistakes can occur during the data entry process, resulting in incorrect information being used to determine your property’s value.

Steps to Dispute Your Property Tax Assessment:

If you believe your property tax assessment is flawed, follow these steps to initiate the dispute process:

  1. Review Your Assessment: Obtain a copy of your property tax assessment and thoroughly review it for any inaccuracies or discrepancies.
  2. Collect Evidence: Gather evidence to support your claim, such as recent property appraisals, photographs, or documentation of any property-related issues.
  3. Contact the Assessor’s Office: Reach out to the local assessor’s office to inquire about their specific procedures for filing a property tax appeal.
  4. File an Appeal: Submit a formal appeal with all the supporting evidence to the relevant authorities within the designated timeframe.
  5. Attend the Hearing: If a hearing is scheduled, be prepared to present your case and provide evidence to support your claim.
  6. Consider Mediation: Some jurisdictions offer mediation as an option to resolve assessment disputes. Mediation can be a less adversarial approach to reach an agreement.
  7. Consult with Professionals: If necessary, seek advice from real estate professionals, appraisers, or tax consultants to strengthen your case.

Disputing your property tax assessment is a proactive way to ensure you’re paying a fair amount of property tax and not overpaying due to inaccuracies or flawed evaluations. By taking the time to review your assessment, gather evidence, and follow the appropriate procedures, you can potentially save a considerable amount of money and promote fairness within the local tax system. 

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 7, 2023

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 7, 2023Last week’s scheduled economic reporting included readings on construction spending, public and private sector payroll growth, and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Construction Spending Slips in June

U.S. construction spending slipped by 0.60 percent to 0.50 percent growth in June; analysts expected a month-to-month reading of  0.70 percent growth in construction spending. Year-over-year construction spending increased by 3.50 percent of which single-family residential construction accounted for 2.10 May’s reading for construction spending was revised from  0.90 percent growth to 1.10 percent growth from May to June.

Private residential construction rose by 0.30 percent in June. Spending on public residential construction decreased by -0.20 percent.

July Payroll Growth Shows Mixed Results

ADP reported 324,000 private sector jobs added in July. Analysts predicted only 175,000 private sector jobs added in July while June’s reading showed 455,000 jobs added. The federal government’s Nonfarm Payrolls report showed 187,000 jobs added in July.  Analysts expected 200,000 public and private sector jobs added in July while June’s reading showed 185,000 public and private sector jobs added.

The U.S. national unemployment rate dropped to 3.50 percent in July from June’s reading of 3.60 percent.

Mortgage Rates and Initial Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.90 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 14 basis points to 6.25 percent.  The Commerce Department reported that 227,000 jobless claims were filed last week,  which matched expectations and was higher than the 221,000 unemployment claims filed in the previous week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

Will Buying A New Car Impact The Ability To Buy A New Home?

Will Buying A New Car Impact The Ability To Buy A New Home?Making major life decisions often involves a delicate balancing act. Among the most significant choices individuals face are buying a new car and purchasing a new home. Both ventures represent milestones in one’s life, bringing excitement and anticipation. However, there is a complex interplay between these two financial endeavors that can significantly impact a person’s ability to achieve their dream of owning a new home.  Here are some factors to consider:

Debt-to-income ratio: When you apply for a home loan, your lender will consider your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to determine whether you qualify for a mortgage. Your DTI is the amount of debt you have compared to your income. High DTI ratios are a red flag for lenders as it indicates a greater risk of defaulting on the mortgage. Therefore, potential homeowners should carefully assess the impact of adding a car loan to their financial portfolio. If you take on a new car loan, it will increase your debt load and could make it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage.

Down payment: A new car loan will require a down payment, which means you’ll have less money available for a down payment on a new home. Lenders generally prefer borrowers to have a sizeable down payment as it demonstrates financial responsibility and lowers the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which affects the terms and interest rates of the mortgage. By prioritizing a home purchase over a new car, potential homeowners can better secure their financial position and increase their down payment amount.

Credit score: Taking out a new car loan can impact your credit score, which is an important factor in getting approved for a mortgage. If you have a high credit score, you’ll likely qualify for better interest rates and terms on a mortgage. However, if your credit score drops due to the new car loan, it could make it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage or result in a higher interest rate. Opting to purchase a new home before buying a new car allows borrowers to present a more robust credit profile, potentially resulting in a more favorable mortgage deal.

Overall, it’s important to consider how taking on a new car loan will impact your finances and your ability to buy a new home. It’s important to make sure that the cost of the new car fits within your budget. If you’re already stretching your finances to make car payments, it may be more difficult to save for a down payment on a new home or make mortgage payments. It’s always a good idea to speak with a financial advisor or mortgage lender to understand how your financial decisions will impact your ability to achieve your goals.