By Robin Shapiro

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage remains the benchmark of the industry with a monthly payment of principal and interest which is the same sum each month. It pays to have a good mortgage broker. I use Ken Weiss (Diversified Funding) at 718-748-5737 and Scott Valins (GoRascal) at 323-839-8531.

With mortgage rates so high, many people are interested in alternatives in order to lower the monthly payments. My friend recently found TWO variations which lowered his rate by a FULL ONE PERCENT. He took a jumbo mortgage (it was an expensive property) – the loan was above the FNMA conforming limit of 726k. Jumbo limits in high-cost areas (like ours) are now over $1 million, AND the rate on jumbo loans for my friend was about 0.5 percent lower than the rate on smaller loans. Also, his jumbo loan was in the form of a HYBRID ARM which comes in various forms. His ARM is fixed for TEN years with a 30-year amortization before it converts to a floating rate loan. The rate for the hybrid arm was AN ADDITIONAL  0.5%  lower than the 30 year fixed rate loan. My friend figures that he has TEN years to refinance or sell before it becomes a floating rate mortgage, which he might be able to live with any­how. CALL ME. Love, Robin.

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