Assumable Mortgages

Definition of ‘Assumable Mortgage’

A type of financing arrangement in which the outstanding mortgage and its terms can be transferred from the current owner to a buyer. By assuming the previous owner’s remaining debt, the buyer can avoid having to obtain his or her own mortgage.

Buyers are typically attracted to homes with existing assumable mortgages during times of rising interest rates. This is because they can assume the seller’s mortgage, which was created when interest rates were lower, and use it to finance their purchase.

However, if the home’s purchase price exceeds the mortgage balance by a significant amount, the buyer will either need to provide a sizable down payment or obtain a new mortgage anyway. For example, if a buyer is purchasing a home for $250,000, and the seller’s assumable mortgage only has a balance of $110,000, the buyer will need a down payment of $140,000 to cover the difference, or will have to get a separate mortgage to secure the needed funds.

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