What is a 2 1 buydown mortgage?

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A 2-1 buydown mortgage is a type of mortgage loan that offers an initial period of reduced interest rates, followed by a period of slightly higher rates, and then a final period of regular interest rates. This type of mortgage can be beneficial for borrowers who want to save money on their monthly payments during the first few years of homeownership. In this article, we will dive deeper into the details of a 2-1 buydown mortgage and explore its advantages and considerations.

How does a 2-1 buydown mortgage work?

A 2-1 buydown mortgage is structured in a way that allows borrowers to pay lower interest rates in the early years of the loan. The term “2-1” refers to the interest rate buydown schedule. In the first year of the loan, the interest rate is reduced by 2%, in the second year it is reduced by 1%, and from the third year onwards, the interest rate returns to the regular rate.

For example, let’s say you have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 4%. With a 2-1 buydown, your interest rate would be 2% in the first year, 3% in the second year, and 4% from the third year onwards. This gradual increase in the interest rate allows borrowers to ease into higher monthly payments over time.

Advantages of a 2-1 buydown mortgage

Lower initial payments: One of the main advantages of a 2-1 buydown mortgage is that it offers lower initial payments compared to a traditional fixed-rate mortgage. This can be particularly beneficial for borrowers who expect their income to increase in the future or those who want to allocate their funds towards other expenses during the early years of homeownership.

Qualifying for a larger loan: The lower initial payments of a 2-1 buydown mortgage can also help borrowers qualify for a larger loan amount. Since the initial payments are lower, the debt-to-income ratio is lower, making it easier to meet the lender’s qualification requirements.

Stability and predictability: While the interest rates increase after the initial period, the gradual nature of the increase provides stability and predictability for borrowers. They can plan their finances accordingly and anticipate the higher payments in the future.

Considerations for a 2-1 buydown mortgage

Higher closing costs: A 2-1 buydown mortgage may come with higher closing costs compared to a traditional mortgage. This is because the lender needs to account for the reduced interest rates in the early years and adjust the overall loan terms accordingly. Borrowers should carefully consider the additional costs involved before opting for a 2-1 buydown mortgage.

Long-term costs: While the initial payments are lower, borrowers should consider the long-term costs of a 2-1 buydown mortgage. The interest rates will eventually increase to the regular rate, which means higher monthly payments in the later years of the loan. It is important to evaluate whether the potential savings in the early years outweigh the higher costs in the long run.


A 2-1 buydown mortgage can be an attractive option for borrowers who want lower initial payments and the ability to qualify for a larger loan. It provides stability and predictability by gradually increasing the interest rates over time. However, borrowers should carefully consider the higher closing costs and long-term costs associated with this type of mortgage. Consulting with a mortgage professional can help borrowers determine if a 2-1 buydown mortgage aligns with their financial goals and circumstances.


– Investopedia: www.investopedia.com
– The Balance: www.thebalance.com
– Bankrate: www.bankrate.com