Fixed vs. Variable Rate Mortgages: Which Is Right for You?

Choosing between a fixed-rate and a variable-rate mortgage is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when buying a home. Each type of mortgage has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on your financial situation, risk tolerance, and future plans. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you decide which mortgage is best for you.

Understanding Fixed-Rate Mortgages

A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains constant throughout the term of the loan. This means your monthly mortgage payments will stay the same, regardless of changes in the broader interest rate environment.

Pros

Predictability: Your monthly payments are fixed, making budgeting easier. Stability: You are protected from interest rate increases, which can provide peace of mind. Simplicity: Fixed-rate mortgages are straightforward and easy to understand.

Cons

Higher Initial Rates: Fixed-rate mortgages often have higher initial interest rates compared to variable-rate mortgages. Less Flexibility: If interest rates fall, you won’t benefit from lower rates unless you refinance, which can incur additional costs.

Understanding Variable-Rate Mortgages

A variable-rate mortgage, also known as an adjustable-rate mortgage …

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How to Improve Your Credit Score Before Applying for a Mortgage

Securing a mortgage is a significant step towards owning a home, and your credit score plays a crucial role in this process. A higher credit score can lead to better mortgage rates and terms, potentially saving you thousands over the life of your loan. If your credit score needs a boost, here are some straightforward steps you can take to improve it before applying for a mortgage.

1. Check Your Credit Report

Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report from the main credit bureaus in Ireland. Review the report for any errors or inaccuracies, such as incorrect personal information, accounts that don’t belong to you, or incorrect payment statuses. If you find any errors, dispute them immediately to have them corrected.

2. Pay Your Bills on Time

One of the most influential factors in your credit score is your payment history. Lenders want to see that you can consistently pay your bills on time. Set up reminders or automatic payments to ensure you never miss a due date. Over time, a history of on-time payments can significantly boost …

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Mortgage Myths Busted

Mortgages for anyone can be confusing, especially for young people or first time home-buyers. There are several common misconceptions or myths when talking about mortgages. Here we will set the record straight and bust those mortgage myths. 

It is NOT true that you have to be an existing member of a bank to get approved for a mortgage. Mortgage applications are assessed on a case to case basis. Being established at a bank already does not affect the outcome or make you more or less likely to get approved. Existing members also do NOT get better agreements. 

Having evidence of gambling will NOT exclude you from being able to get you a mortgage. Having several transactions to online gambling websites may raise some concerns to lenders but occasional transactions will not strike your eligibility and will not be held against you. 

It is NOT impossible to get a mortgage if you’re self-employed. Many people think if you’re self employed it is challenging to get a mortgage and a home. Being self-employed does not exclude you from being approved from getting …

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When Do I Know If I’m Ready to Own a Home?

The decision to become a homeowner is a significant milestone in one’s life. It represents a step towards financial stability, independence, and the opportunity to create a place of your own. However, before taking the plunge into homeownership, it’s essential to assess your readiness. Let’s explore key indicators that can help you determine when you’re ready to own a home.

Financial Stability

Financial stability is a crucial factor to consider when contemplating homeownership. Evaluate your current financial situation by assessing your income, expenses, and debt obligations. Consider factors such as job security, income growth potential, and the stability of your financial foundation. Ensure you have a reliable source of income to cover mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. Building an emergency fund for unexpected expenses is also vital. Having a stable financial position gives you confidence in your ability to meet the financial responsibilities that come with owning a home.

Debt and Credit Management

Assess your debt and credit situation to gauge your readiness for homeownership. Lenders typically consider your credit score and debt-to-income ratio when determining loan …

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What you need to know about ECB’s raising interest rates

The European Central Bank raised interest charges more than what they initially announced. Over the past few months, the rates have increased by around 1.25%. The clients have not yet been reached by institutions including Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB.

Customers have a lot of pain for the future because there are a lot of uncertainties. They now have to deal with high mortgage interest rates in addition to inflation, rising electricity and fuel costs. New customers face a direct problem because their five-year fixed rates increase by 2%. As a first-time buyer, you will receive a rate of 5.95%. Long-term fixed loans rise by 1.49% to 1.58%. (depending on size and running time). As a result, banks such as AIB, ESB, and Haven must raise their rates for new and switching customers. The current customers are not affected. Customers with tracker mortgages face an increase in interest rates due to contractual obligations. Some of the new customers must take an expensive rate, which means they must pay 240€ more than before the ECB increase.

If the AIB, EBS, …

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AIB Mortgages

AIB advertised their mortgages extensively. Therefore, the first thing you notice when you visit their website is a section on mortgages. They have an appealing and good structured website where you can find a calculator, make an appointment, and learn some information about your situation. A video about a couple who obtains a mortgage from AIB is also available. In this video, the clients explain how that works. They claimed to be extremely glad to accept the mortgage from this bank because everyone there is polite and helpful. AIB has professionals that can explain everything to you about mortgages and your options. They also have an App that gives clients a good overview. Additionally, the fact that clients can upload their documents from home makes everything simpler for them. You may find a wealth of general and situation-specific information on mortgages on their website.

AIB has a community spotlight on their website where you can watch a video about the important work being done for the local community and the advancement of the transition to a sustainable living. They …

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Pros and cons of a variable rate mortgage

A variable rate mortgage is a mortgage in which the interest rate on the outstanding balance changes periodically. Typically, these loans will have fixed, or “teaser” interest rates for a specified amount of time, after which the interest rate will change based on a variety of factors. In most cases, the initial interest rate on a variable rate loan will be lower than a fixed rate, which can be appealing for homebuyers. But it is important to be aware of the pros and cons before jumping into a variable rate loan.

Pros

Flexibility

The number one advantage of a variable rate mortgage is flexibility. With a variable rate mortgage, you don’t need to worry about penalties for things like increasing your monthly payment, or paying off your mortgage early. You also have the ability to make lump-sum payments on your mortgage throughout the year, which can be very helpful for home buyers with a fluctuating income affected by bonuses or commissions. If your life is likely to change relatively soon, and you plan on eventually moving or selling the house, …

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How to get the lowest rate on your mortgage

When applying for a mortgage, you will notice that rates vary greatly. These rates determine on a number of things, including the length of your mortgage term, the size of your deposit, your credit score, and which lender you choose. With so many different mortgage lenders available to choose from, this can be a daunting process, especially for first time buyers. Securing the lowest rate is incredibly important, as it will make your monthly payments smaller, thus saving you money over the whole lifetime of the loan. Here are a few things to focus on during your application process to ensure you get the lowest rate possible.

Shop Around

You wouldn’t buy a car without driving a few first, or a mattress without laying down on more than one, right? In a similar way, if you want the best mortgage rate, you should shop around with different lenders. This process should entail researching different lenders and the products they have to offer, as every lender has different loan types, terms, and interest rates. You also should apply for more than …

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How do mortgages work?

If you’re looking to buy a home, you’ve probably already realized that this is not like most transactions. The average house price in Dublin is €396,000, and unless you’re very wealthy, you probably don’t have anywhere that much in savings. Because you likely can’t afford an expense of this magnitude out of your own pocket, you will need to finance the purchase through a mortgage, and if you’re new to the home-buying process, you may be a little confused as to how exactly these loans work.

A mortgage is a huge loan secured against the value of your house. A “secured” loan means that the borrower promises collateral to the lender in the event that they are unable to make payments, and in this case, the collateral is your home. In other words, the bank will kick you out and take possession of your house if you can’t make payments. In order to prevent this from happening, the lender will typically conduct a detailed review of the borrower’s finances in order to determine how much they can reasonably afford to …

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How you can be approved for a mortgage in Ireland despite Central Bank’s rules

It’s no secret that house prices are continuing to rise in Ireland. Because of this, it is more important now than ever to maximize the amount that you are allowed to borrow. The Central Bank’s rules often do not make this process any easier, as many have criticized the Central Bank on its restrictive rules in terms of how much people are allowed to borrow. To be approved for a mortgage in Ireland, you first have to fall within the Central Bank’s income rules. Second, your lender will evaluate your repayment capacity.

First, the Central Bank restricts lenders to loans of 3.5 times the borrowers’ income (joint and single), unless they are granted an exemption. This means that someone making €40,000 can borrow up to €140,000, and a couple making €100,000 combined can borrow up to €350,000, respectively.  However, to be approved for a mortgage, they must also pass a stress test, per Central Bank rules. This tests the ability of the borrower to repay the loan each month should interest rates rise by 2 percent above what the lender …

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