What is a 2/1 buydown mortgage?

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A 2/1 buydown mortgage is a type of mortgage loan that offers borrowers a reduced interest rate for the first two years of the loan term. This means that the borrower pays a lower interest rate for the initial two years, after which the rate increases to a predetermined level for the remaining term of the loan. In this article, we will delve deeper into the specifics of a 2/1 buydown mortgage, discussing how it works, its benefits, and potential drawbacks.

How Does a 2/1 Buydown Mortgage Work?

A 2/1 buydown mortgage is structured in a way that allows borrowers to pay a lower interest rate during the first two years of the loan term. This is achieved through a buydown agreement between the borrower and the lender. The buydown agreement typically involves the borrower paying additional upfront fees or points to the lender at closing.

The additional fees paid by the borrower are used to reduce the interest rate on the loan for the initial two years. The reduction in interest rate can vary, but it is commonly seen as a 2% decrease in the first year and a 1% decrease in the second year. After the initial two years, the interest rate increases to the predetermined level, which is typically based on the prevailing market rates at that time.

Benefits of a 2/1 Buydown Mortgage

Lower Initial Payments: One of the main advantages of a 2/1 buydown mortgage is that it allows borrowers to enjoy lower monthly payments during the first two years. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who expect their income to increase in the future or those who want to allocate their funds to other investments or expenses during the initial period of the loan.

Qualification Assistance: The reduced payments in the first two years can also help borrowers qualify for a larger loan amount. Since lenders typically assess a borrower’s ability to repay based on their debt-to-income ratio, the lower initial payments can make it easier for borrowers to meet the lender’s qualification criteria.

Flexibility: A 2/1 buydown mortgage offers borrowers flexibility in terms of their financial planning. They can take advantage of the lower payments during the initial years and use the saved funds for other purposes. This flexibility can be particularly useful for borrowers who anticipate changes in their financial situation or who have specific financial goals they want to achieve during the first two years of the loan.

Drawbacks of a 2/1 Buydown Mortgage

Higher Payments in the Future: While a 2/1 buydown mortgage provides lower payments in the first two years, borrowers need to be prepared for higher payments once the interest rate increases. It is essential to consider whether the borrower’s income will be sufficient to cover the increased payments in the future.

Upfront Costs: In order to secure the lower interest rate for the first two years, borrowers are required to pay additional fees or points at closing. These upfront costs can be a significant expense and may not be suitable for all borrowers, especially those who are already stretching their budget to afford the down payment and closing costs.


A 2/1 buydown mortgage offers borrowers the opportunity to enjoy lower interest rates and payments during the initial two years of the loan. This can be beneficial for those who want to allocate their funds elsewhere or anticipate an increase in their income in the future. However, borrowers should carefully consider the potential drawbacks, such as higher payments in the future and upfront costs, before opting for this type of mortgage.


– Investopedia: www.investopedia.com
– The Mortgage Reports: www.themortgagereports.com
– Bankrate: www.bankrate.com