15year vs 30year Mortgage Make perfect mortgage decision

Home buying process starts with choice of mortgage programs. There are ton lots of mortgage options to choose from. 30 year fixed mortgage vs 15 year mortgage comparison has often been considered most complex decision. Most popular options are 30 year fixed, 15 year fixed. There are less known fixed rate options like 20 year fixed, 10 year fixed rate mortgages
To start with how do I determine which is the best mortgage option? If you would have zeroed down on your home purchase the next big step is to shop around for best mortgage rates and pick the right mortgage option. There are ton lots of articles that does discuss the pros and cons of choosing the correct mortgage term. In this article we want to give our honest perspective on what could serve you better
1) Interest rate – We did a quick analysis on many different interest rate options this year. Probability shows that 10-year fixed rate mortgage is the lowest APR option. It is very interesting to note that this is cheaper than 5/1ARM mortgage. If you are someone who would be interested in saving a lot on interest, 10-year fixed rate option is the best. The second best mortgage option appears to be 15-year with second best lowest APR. This is substantially lower than 30-year fixed rate. 20-year fixed rate mortgage is an average option with balanced repayment time frame
Conclusion : If you are interest rate conscious and want to save a lot, consider choosing between 15-year fixed or 10-year fixed rate mortgage
My tax consultant says that my mortgage interest is tax deductible. Why should I choose a lower time frame?
All of us get enticed by this. If you carefully analyse this is not tax credit but only tax deduction. Say, you are in 40% tax bracket and choose to take mortgage interest tax deduction. Still you are paying 60% out of pocket.
Keep this in mind when you file your taxes. If you are borrowing for your principal residence
1.1) Federal income tax deduction – mortgage interest rate, property taxes, mortgage insurance are tax deductible
1.2) State income tax deduction – property taxes are tax deductible. This varies from state to state
It would be better to have a quick consultation with your tax attorney as soon as you have chosen to give contract on your first home to get to know more details on tax deductions you can avail the current year or forthcoming year based on your adjusted gross income
2) Amortization Schedule – This is something that I did carefully look over. For simplicity, I’ve done analysis of 30-year fixed versus 15-year fixed amortization schedule comparison. Here is what I found:
2.1) In case of 30-year fixed we may have to wait 12 year 4 months for the principal amount to exceed interest amount. People claim that if we have excess funds in a particular month, we choose to pay that towards principal that month. Still we pay high interest rates. As I mentioned in first step, the interest rate deduction is only 40% and 60% excess is a loss only
2.2) If we look at the amortization schedule of 15-year fixed, about 63.3% of the amount goes towards principal from first mortgage re-payment, where as in case of 30-year fixed about 31.5% of the repayment is considered towards principal to start with
Say, you would have held the house for 5 years, the difference in the amount repaid might be around $300 to $500 on an average loan. That boils down to $18000 to $30000 in excess in case of 15-year fixed loan. About $11394 to $18990 is repaid towards principal. In case of 30-year fixed the amortization is different. Hence, it would be better to go with 15-year fixed if you can afford to do so
3) Age of the home buyer – If you are just out of college you want to max out 401k, IRA, 529 college funding in addition to your home mortgage. If the excess money needs to be invested on pre-tax basis 30-year fixed is the best
Tip :
401K, HSA, IRA contributions happen on pre-tax basis and has much bigger tax saving compared to repayment in excess in post-tax basis
If you make sufficient money to contribute towards 401k, HSA, IRA and then pay 15-year mortgage go for 15-year mortgage. Otherwise, 30-year fixed can be a good choice
3.1) If you are above 30 years of age and still done have sufficient retirement funds to start with the best option would be 30-year fixed
3.2) If you are above 30-years of age and have decent retirement funds, can make retirement investment contribution with 15-year mortgage go for it. Ideally after 15 years your home is debt free, you can use it to finance college education expenses of your kid. By 45 years of age you are free of tension and can focus on your kids education next 5 years, focus on retirement next 5 to 7 years
3.3) If you are above 40 years of age, depending on how much you make choose to balance retirement and mortgage
In any of the above cases only mortgage is risk free. Other investment options are in mutual fund and are subject to fluctuation. Even the home prices might go up or come down. You always need your own shelter and make nothing out of rental. Hence, go for it today

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