Wednesday, May 7, 2014

40 Year Mortgage, 50 Year Mortgage, 60 Year Mortgage… Are You Serious?!?!

At the time I got my home loan about 5 years ago, I have to admit that there were some seriously crazy loan programs being offered. At the time, I could have qualified and purchased a home 2-3 times the price of the condo I bought for $290K. The problem is that many people did just that, they didn't weigh the fact that they really couldn't afford the house that they were buying, they just looked at the loan payment that they would be making initially and didn't even consider the fact that they'd not only have to continue to make that payment, but that that payment would more than likely double or more in some cases. In any case, shortly after I bought my first house, and got my incredible loan (3/6 ARM at 3.125%), I started to hear about 40 year mortgages, 50 year mortgages and even 60 year mortgages. Think about that… a 50 year mortgage. I actually know someone who took out a 50 year mortgage.

Let's just briefly compare a 30 year mortgage to a 50 year mortgage for a $250,000 home loan. On a 30 year loan, you'd be looking at a monthly payment of about $1498.00, and over the life of the loan, you'll be paying $289,595.00 in interest – so even with a 30 year loan, you'll be paying more interest than the original amount borrowed, but now lets look at the 50 year mortgage loan. With a 50 year mortgage, borrowing the same amount, your montly payment will only decrease about $200 per month (not even actually) to $1,316.00, and the total amount of interest paid will skyrocket to $539,607.00. The amount of interest that you pay on a 50 year loan will nearly double!!!

Now lets think about this for a bit. Will saving $180.00 per month on your mortgage payment be worth adding 20 years to your mortgage, and also adding an additional $250,000+ to the amount of interest that you pay over the life of your loan? Let's figure that you invested that extra $180 every month into a savings account or CD. Let's figure for arguments sake, that you find a savings account or money market account that will yield 5% and that you invest the extra $180 every month and let the interest compound. At the end of 50 years (the entire length of your mortgage) you'll have $480,357.00. This will essentially offset the interest that you pay on the 50 year mortgage, making the total amount of mortgage paid equal to about $60,000. Looking at it this way makes the 50 year mortgage look more appealing because it frees up more monthly money to use as an investment, however here are the only problems that I see with this:

  1. Most people probably only consider a 50 year mortgage because of the fact that they're looking for a way to lower their monthly payment. That being said, most people who elect to go with a 50 year mortgage aren't going to be able to put the extra $180 (from our example) into a savings account in each month for the 50 year term.
  2. Life happens, even if a person has an extra $180 to put into their mortgage each month, there are often times going to be months where no money gets put in, whether it be due to:
  1. Holiday expenses
  2. Unexpected auto expenses
  3. Traveling and vacations
  4. Purchase of new vehicles
In my opinion, a 50 year mortgage is a terrible idea, but if you're planning on staying in your home for the rest of your life, if you are discipllined enough to invest monthly and not withdraw, you could actually make the 50 year mortgage more favorable.

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