Investor's wiki



What Is a Buydown?

A buydown is a mortgage financing technique with which the buyer endeavors to get a lower interest rate for essentially the initial not many years of the mortgage or conceivably its whole life. A 2-1 buydown, for instance, is a specific type of mortgage buydown that allows homebuyers to save money on their interest rate for the initial two years of the loan. Buydowns can likewise utilize a 3-2-1 structure too.

Buydowns Explained

Buydowns are straightforward in the event that you think of them as a mortgage subsidy offered by the seller for the homebuyer. Commonly, the seller contributes funds to an escrow account that sponsors the loan during the principal years, bringing about a lower regularly scheduled payment on the mortgage. This lower payment allows the homebuyer to qualify all the more effectively for the mortgage. Builders or sellers might offer a buydown option to assist with expanding the possibilities selling the property, by making it more affordable.

The manufacturer or seller of the property for the most part gives payments to the mortgage-loaning institution, which, thus, lowers the buyer's month to month interest rate and, in this way, regularly scheduled payment. The home seller, be that as it may, ordinarily will increase the purchase price of the home to make up for the costs of the buydown agreement.


Homebuyers might pick an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) assuming that they plan to refinance once the initial rate term closes or on the other hand assuming they plan to sell the property before the rate adjusts.

Buydown Structuring

Buydown terms can be structured in different ways for mortgage loans. Most buydowns last for a couple of years, then the mortgage payments increase to a standard rate once the buydown lapses. A 3-2-1 and 2-1 mortgage buydown are two common structures lenders can utilize.

3-2-1 Buydown

In a 3-2-1 buydown, the buyer pays lower payments on the loan for the initial three years. For every one of the initial three years of the mortgage, the buyer's interest rate would increase steadily by 1% yearly. The full interest rate would apply beginning with the fourth year of the mortgage loan.

While the buyer received savings from the lower interest rate in the initial three years, the difference in the payments would have been made by the seller to the lender as a subsidy.

2-1 Buydown

A 2-1 buydown is structured equivalent to a 3-2-1 buydown; notwithstanding, its discount is just available for the initial two years. So you would have a 2% interest rate reduction for the principal year of the mortgage, then, at that point, a 1% rate discount for the second year of the mortgage. Your interest rate — and your regularly scheduled payments — would increase after some time until your loan arrives at its genuine percentage rate.

This occurs in year three of the loan. Right now, your month to month mortgage payment would mirror the true loan rate. You would pay up front for the 2-1 buydown at closing, and, hypothetically, the money that you save over the initial two years would cancel out that payment.


Consider the interest rates for which you're probably going to qualify, in view of your credit history and income, to determine if a buydown is worth it.

Buydown Pros and Cons

Whether it's a good idea to utilize a buydown to purchase a home can rely upon several things, including the amount of the mortgage, your initial interest rate, the amount you could save in interest over the initial loan term, and your estimated future income. How long you plan to remain in the home additionally can become possibly the most important factor for determining your break-even point.


  • A buydown temporarily reduces your interest rate, saving you money and lowering your monthly payments during the initial loan term.

  • Choosing a buydown may allow you to pay less for the home than the seller’s listing price.

  • It could make sense for homebuyers whose income will increase in the years to come.


  • Once the buydown rate ends, your monthly payment could be higher than expected.

  • A buydown may not be an option for certain property types or loan types.

  • If your income doesn’t increase, then you could struggle with making monthly mortgage payments.

### Geniuses Explained - **Interest savings.** Choosing a buydown could get a good deal on interest costs during the initial two years (with a 2-1 buydown) or three years (with a 3-2-1 buydown) of the mortgage. - **Price reduction.** If a seller is offering to pay something toward the buydown, then, at that point, this could reduce the cost of buying the home. - **Slide into higher payments.** If you're just starting your career and your income is expected to rise, then you might not generally disapprove of making your higher mortgage payments after some time.

Cons Explained

  • Continuous affordability. Once the initial rate period closes, your regularly scheduled payments could be substantially higher than whatever you're utilized to. That could be hazardous assuming your income has dropped since purchasing the home.
  • Availability. Your ability to exploit a buydown might be limited by the type of property included or the type of mortgage loan for which you're applying.
  • Default risk. If you're not able to make the higher payments after the initial buydown period then you could be at greater risk of losing the home to foreclosure.


Make sure to consider both the up-front costs of buying a home, like the down payment or closing costs, and the continuous costs to comprehend the amount you can stand to turn into a homeowner.

Illustration of a Buydown Mortgage

Here are a few instances of how a buydown mortgage can function. Let's assume you're borrowing $250,000 with a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 6.75%. You can pick between a 2-1 buydown or a 3-2-1 buydown.

This is what the loan breakdown would resemble with a 2-1 buydown option:

  • Year 1: $1,304 at 4.75% interest
  • Year 2: $1,459 at 5.75% interest
  • Year 3: $1,622 at full 6.75% interest

The buydown fee for this loan would be $5,759. Presently, say you pick the 3-2-1 buydown all things considered. This is what your loan payments would resemble:

  • Year 1: $1,158 at 3.75% interest
  • Year 2: $1,304 at 4.75% interest
  • Year 3: $1,459 at 5.75% interest
  • Year 4: $1,622 at full 6.75% interest

In the interim, the buydown fee for this loan increases to $11, 324. So while considering a buydown, it's important to look past the initial low payment period to determine whether the costs engaged with the close to term are worth any interest savings you could realize.

When to Use a Buydown

A buydown could check out for buyers in the event that it allows them to get a mortgage without essentially expanding the purchase price of the home or depleting their cash reserves. Buydowns additionally might be more suitable for individuals who have stable income set to develop over the life of the loan, making it simpler to keep up with payment increases once the initial rate period closes.

In any case, once more, timing matters. In the event that you don't plan to remain in that frame of mind for no less than five years, then, at that point, you probably won't see any real savings whatsoever from a buydown. So consider your likely arrangements for buying a home and how long you could wait before focusing on a mortgage buydown.

Likewise, recall that only one out of every odd mortgage is eligible for a buydown. For instance, you can't utilize them to purchase an investment property or for cash-out refinancing. Government-upheld loans, for example, FHA loans and USDA loans, additionally have specific rules with respect to buydowns and when they can be utilized.

Alternate Ways to Reduce Mortgage Rates

On the other hand, buyers can decide to pay for discount points to buy down their interest rate. In this scenario, the buyer pays money up front to purchase the points, and the lender reduces their interest rate subsequently. Discount points can lower the interest rate on a mortgage for the life of the loan, instead of just for the initial two years.

A buydown isn't equivalent to an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), in which the rate is fixed for a set period of time before adjusting to a variable rate. A 5/1 hybrid ARM, for instance, has a fixed rate for the initial five years, with the rate adjusting yearly every year from that point forward, in view of the performance of an underlying benchmark rate.

Buydown FAQs


  • Whether it's a good idea to pick a buydown while buying a home can rely upon the interest rate for which you qualify and how long you plan to stay in the home.
  • Buydowns can get a good deal on interest over the life of the loan.
  • A buydown can include purchasing discount points against the mortgage loan, which might require payment of an up-front fee.
  • A buydown allows homebuyers to get a lower interest rate while taking out a mortgage loan.


How Does a Buydown Work?

A mortgage buydown allows a homebuyer to briefly reduce the interest rate on their home loan for the initial not many years, in exchange for a couple.

What number of Points Can You Buy Down on a Mortgage?

There's no specific limit on the number of points that somebody can buy down on a mortgage. Yet, the number of points an individual buyer might be allowed to buy down can rely upon the type of mortgage and the loan terms.

Is It Worth It to Buy Down Points?

A mortgage buydown could be worth on the off chance that it you are able to get a good deal on your interest rate during the initial part of the loan term. It's important, notwithstanding, to consider what you could pay for the buydown fee and how long you plan to remain in the home to measure your total savings.