Don’t base loan selection on affordability alone

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Q: I have a real estate agent who cares only about her commission. I don't think she cares about the type of loan I am getting. I'm in contract to buy a house for $275,000, and the loan officer said I can get a $275,000 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). But I don't want an ARM loan, because it is not fixed. I want to continue shopping for a loan to get the best one I can. Please advise, especially about the ARM loan. --Queen

A: Regarding your real estate agent, you've got bigger fish to fry, sister. Some agents know a lot about loans and get very involved in their clients' financing arrangements; others, not so much. But you should let your agent know that closing the deal depends on a satisfactory financing situation -- she might take more of an interest then.

More important, though, I'd advise you to get a new mortgage broker -- and fast. Is an ARM the end of the world? Not necessarily. The rates are super-low. The FHA versions have...