Fixed vs. Graduated vs. Interest-Only Mortgage Amortization

When selecting a mortgage, one of the most critical decisions is choosing the right amortization schedule. This choice significantly impacts your monthly payments and the total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. Here, we’ll compare three common amortization options: fixed, graduated, and interest-only.

Fixed Amortization

A fixed amortization mortgage offers predictable monthly payments that remain constant throughout the loan term. This stability makes budgeting easier and provides peace of mind, knowing your payment won’t increase unexpectedly. Fixed amortization is ideal for those who plan to stay in their home long-term and prefer a straightforward, predictable payment schedule.


  • Consistent monthly payments
  • Easier budgeting
  • Lower overall interest costs compared to graduated or interest-only options


  • Higher initial monthly payments compared to graduated or interest-only loans

Graduated Amortization

Graduated amortization mortgages start with lower monthly payments that gradually increase over time. This structure can be beneficial for individuals expecting their income to rise in the future. It allows you to start with manageable payments that grow as your financial situation improves.


  • Lower initial monthly payments
  • Payments increase as income potentially increases
  • Can make homeownership more accessible for those early in their careers


  • Higher total interest costs over the life of the loan
  • Payments can become challenging if income growth doesn’t meet expectations

Interest-Only Amortization

Interest-only mortgages allow borrowers to pay only the interest for a specific period, typically 5-10 years, after which they begin paying both principal and interest. This option is attractive for those who want the lowest possible initial monthly payments or who plan to sell or refinance before the interest-only period ends.


  • Lowest initial monthly payments
  • Frees up cash flow for other investments or expenses
  • Can be beneficial for short-term ownership or investment properties


  • No principal reduction during the interest-only period
  • Significant payment increase after the interest-only period
  • Higher overall interest costs if the loan is held long-term

Making the Right Choice

Choosing the right amortization schedule depends on your financial situation, long-term goals, and risk tolerance. A fixed amortization mortgage offers stability and lower overall interest costs, making it ideal for long-term homeowners. Graduated amortization provides initial affordability with increasing payments, suitable for those expecting future income growth. Interest-only loans offer the lowest initial payments but come with the risk of higher payments later.

Before deciding, give me a call to evaluate which option aligns best with your financial strategy and homeownership goals.

Can You Refinance a Reverse Mortgage Loan?

When you first opted for a reverse mortgage, it might have felt like the perfect solution to tap into your home equity and enjoy your retirement without monthly mortgage payments. As time passes, your financial situation, goals, or the market itself can change, making you wonder: “Can I refinance my reverse mortgage?” The answer is yes, but it’s essential to understand what is involved before making a move.

Why Consider Refinancing Your Reverse Mortgage?

  1. Lower Interest Rates: Just like traditional mortgages, reverse mortgage rates can fluctuate. If current rates are significantly lower than when you first took out your loan, refinancing could save you money over time.
  2. Increased Home Value: If your home’s value has risen since you took out your reverse mortgage, refinancing might allow you to access more equity.
  3. Switching Loan Types: You might find a different type of reverse mortgage that better suits your needs, such as one with a lower margin or different payment options.
  4. Adding or Removing Borrowers: Life circumstances change, and you might want to add a new borrower, like a spouse, to the loan, or remove one due to divorce or death.

Steps to Refinance Your Reverse Mortgage

  1. Evaluate Your Situation: Consider why you want to refinance and if the benefits outweigh the costs. This might include lower interest rates, access to more funds, or better loan terms.
  2. Research Lenders: Not all lenders offer reverse mortgage refinancing, so it’s crucial to find those who do. Compare offers from multiple lenders to find the best deal.
  3. Get a New Appraisal: Your home will need to be appraised again to determine its current market value. This can affect the amount of equity you can access.
  4. Undergo Financial Assessment: Lenders will assess your financial situation to ensure you can meet the new loan terms and property charges.
  5. Close the New Loan: If approved, you’ll close on the new reverse mortgage. The new loan will pay off the old one, and any remaining funds will be available to you.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Closing Costs: Refinancing comes with fees that can add up, so it’s important to ensure the benefits outweigh these costs.
  • Extended Loan Term: Refinancing could extend the term of your loan, potentially impacting your heirs.
  • Impact on Public Benefits: Increased funds from a reverse mortgage refinance might affect your eligibility for public benefits.

Is Refinancing Right for You?

Deciding whether to refinance your reverse mortgage depends on your specific circumstances and financial goals. It’s wise to consult with a financial advisor or reverse mortgage counselor to ensure it’s the best move for your situation.

Remember, refinancing isn’t the only option. Sometimes, other financial strategies might better suit your needs without the costs associated with refinancing.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

If you’re considering refinancing your reverse mortgage, do your homework, seek professional advice, and weigh all the pros and cons. Your home is one of your most valuable assets, so making informed decisions is crucial. We are always here to help. Give us a call.

The Difference Between Pending And Contingent Deals

The real estate market can be a bit confusing, especially when you encounter terms like “pending” and “contingent” deals. Understanding these terms is crucial whether you’re a buyer or a seller, as they can significantly impact the progression of a property transaction.

What Is a Contingent Deal?

A contingent deal occurs when a seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, but the sale is dependent on certain conditions being met. These conditions, or contingencies, are clauses included in the contract that must be satisfied for the sale to proceed. Common contingencies include:

  • Home Inspection Contingency: The buyer can back out or negotiate repairs if significant issues are found during the inspection.
  • Appraisal Contingency: The deal depends on the property being appraised at a value equal to or greater than the agreed-upon purchase price.
  • Financing Contingency: The sale hinges on the buyer securing a mortgage loan.
  • Sale of Buyer’s Property Contingency: The buyer must sell their current home before purchasing the new one.

While the property is marked as “contingent,” it remains on the market, and other buyers can submit backup offers. However, the initial buyer typically has the first right to proceed with the purchase once the contingencies are resolved.

What Is a Pending Deal?

A pending deal indicates that all contingencies have been met, and the transaction is in its final stages before closing. At this point, the property is effectively off the market, and no new offers are being considered. The steps that typically remain in a pending deal include:

  • Finalizing Financing: The buyer completes the mortgage process.
  • Title Search and Insurance: Ensuring the property title is clear of any liens or disputes.
  • Final Walkthrough: The buyer conducts a last check of the property to ensure it’s in the agreed-upon condition.
  • Closing: The final step where all documents are signed, and ownership is officially transferred.

Key Differences

The main difference between pending and contingent deals lies in the stage of the transaction process. Contingent deals have unresolved conditions that could potentially derail the sale while pending deals have cleared these hurdles and are moving toward closing.

Understanding these terms helps buyers and sellers manage their expectations and strategize accordingly. For buyers, knowing the status can influence the timing and approach to making an offer. For sellers, it’s essential to keep the transaction moving smoothly to transition from contingent to pending status successfully.

Why It Matters

In a competitive real estate market, knowing whether a property is contingent or pending can help buyers decide where to focus their efforts. For sellers, understanding these terms ensures you’re better prepared for each stage of the sale and can address potential issues proactively.

Navigating the real estate landscape involves many such nuances, and being well-informed can make the process smoother and more successful for all parties involved.