What are the various types of mortgages?

There are many popular financing options for home purchases. See our section on Mortgages. The types of mortgages that are typically available to prospective homebuyers are:

  • Conventional: With a conventional mortgage, the lender obtains a lien or defeasible legal title to the property in return for the payment of the amount of money lent.
  • FHA mortgage: An FHA mortgage is a conventional mortgage which is insured in whole or in part by the Federal Housing Authority.
  • Purchase money mortgage: A purchase money mortgage is one that is given to secure the loan which is used to buy the property. A first (senior) mortgage on the property has priority over any second or subsequent (junior) mortgages on the property; the senior lender has a more secure interest in the event of a default since the senior obligations are paid first in the event of foreclosure and sale.
  • Adjustable rate mortgages: An adjustable rate mortgage (often called an ARM) offers a fixed initial interest rate and a fixed initial monthly payment. After the initial period is over, the rate and term of the mortgage can be modified at predetermined times under the agreement to reflect the current market mortgage rates. 

There are other mortgage options, such as balloon mortgages, shared-equity mortgages, biweekly mortgages, reverse mortgages, and buy downs.