We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our site or clicking the "I understand" button, you agree to our use of cookies detailed in our cookie policy and our terms of use.

Search the Blog

*Choose your desired filters to narrow your search

BEDS

BATHS

PROPERTY TYPE

SQ. FT.

PRICE

CLEAR FILTERS

APPLY FILTERS

You may have heard the term “rate buydown” on your new home search in Austin, Houston or San Antonio, but what does it mean? We asked Benito Solis of Cornerstone Home Lending to give us the details on how this financing arrangement works to help you understand its benefits.

What is a Rate Buydown?

A buydown is a way for a borrower to obtain a lower interest rate by purchasing discount points against their mortgage loan or paying interest upfront at closing. It allows them to make lower mortgage payments for the first few years of their loan, with payments increasing slightly in the third or fourth year depending on which structure is chosen.

How it Works

Depending on your overall goals, this is a great way to reduce your monthly mortgage payment without taking on additional risk with other loan options such as Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMS) since buydowns are fixed-rate programs. They can also be used on almost all loan types such as VA, Conventional and FHA, and the prepaid interest required upfront is usually paid for by the seller.

 

“One of my favorite features of buydowns is that any upfront interest you paid or anyone paid on your behalf is never lost,” says Solis. “If you choose a 3/2/1 buydown and rates fall in year two, the remaining upfront interest that isn’t used will be deducted from your loan balance.”

Types of Rate Buydowns

While there are a few rate buydown structures to choose from, the most common are 3-2-1 and 2-1 buydowns. With a 3-2-1 program, monthly mortgage payments will be at their lowest in the first year and will increase slightly in the following two years. The full interest rate will come into effect in the fourth year of the loan.

 

A 2-1 buydown is very similar in that it has the same permanent payment structure as a 3-2-1 buydown, but the full interest rate comes into effect in year three. In most cases, a 2-1 buydown will cost fewer points than a 3-2-1 buydown, but the savings will also be less. Take a look at our examples below illustrating how these rate buydown structures work.

The Benefits

Buydowns reduce your interest rate, making your dream home that much more attainable. In today’s market, they allow you to take advantage of low home prices and low payments, saving you money during the initial loan term and allowing you to qualify more easily for your mortgage.

 

If and when rates drop, you can refinance into a lower monthly payment for the remainder of the term. With your funds being held in an escrow account, the balance of the escrow fund will be applied to your principal balance. In other words, you won’t lose any of your incentives like a permanent rate buydown.

Is it Right For Me?

When it comes to finances, the best way to determine what’s right for you is to speak with a Mortgage Loan Officer. These industry experts can point you in the direction of the best financing options based on your individual scenarios, goals and needs.

 

Next, discover the benefits of working with one of our preferred lenders, the 5 financing myths you should know and what to know about the homebuying process in Texas.

SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE INSPIRATION

Get new home design and lifestyle stories delivered straight to your inbox and stay in the loop on all things Empire.

Questions?

Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists

647-372-0619

Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists

647-372-0619

Hi! We are your New Home Specialists. Ask us about updates on our release, model home openings, special incentives and other Empire communities information.

T 647-372-0619

QUESTIONS?

GET FAST ANSWERS