Compare today's second home mortgage rates
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About These Rates: The lenders whose rates appear on this table are NerdWallet’s advertising partners. NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a lender’s site. The terms advertised here are not offers and do not bind any lender. The rates shown here are retrieved via the Mortech rate engine and are subject to change. These rates do not include taxes, fees, and insurance. Your actual rate and loan terms will be determined by the partner’s assessment of your creditworthiness and other factors. Any potential savings figures are estimates based on the information provided by you and our advertising partners.
Trends and insights
NerdWallet’s mortgage rate insight
On Friday, December 1st, 2023, the average APR on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 6 basis points to 7.020%. The average APR on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 12 basis points to 6.157% and the average APR for a 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) remained at 8.000%, according to rates provided to NerdWallet by Zillow. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 25 basis points lower than one week ago and 55 basis points higher than one year ago.
A basis point is one one-hundredth of one percent. Rates are expressed as annual percentage rate, or APR.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|30-year fixed-rate FHA||5.860%||6.672%|
|30-year fixed-rate VA||5.900%||6.282%|
What is a second home mortgage?
A second home is sometimes called a vacation home, and a second home mortgage is the loan you use to buy one, or to refinance the loan on one. When you have a primary residence, plus another home where you regularly spend time, the other residence is a second home.
From a lender's perspective, a place counts as a second home if:
It's a single-family residence where you stay for some portion of the year.
You have exclusive control over it, deciding who stays there, when and for how long.
It's suitable for year-round occupancy.
It's not a timeshare, nor does a management company control occupancy.
You don't rent it out year-round, and you don't use any rental income to qualify for the mortgage.
To get a mortgage to buy a second home, you probably will have to make a down payment of 10% or more.
If you rent the place out year-round or use rental income to qualify for the mortgage, a lender is likely to consider it an investment property instead of a second home. Investment properties often require bigger down payments.
How to find today's second home mortgage rates
NerdWallet’s mortgage comparison tool can help you find competitive second home mortgage rates today. In the filters above, enter details about the loan you’re looking for, and you can see rate quotes without providing personal information.
You may find that specifying a bigger down payment in the mortgage comparison tool will yield more rate quotes.
How second home mortgages are different
In general, mortgages for second homes require bigger down payments than mortgages for primary residences. To be eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, a second home must have a down payment of at least 10%. But lenders can, and often do, require even bigger down payments than Fannie and Freddie require.
Fannie and Freddie charge higher fees on second home mortgages. Instead of requiring these fees to be paid upfront, lenders usually raise interest rates. As a result, mortgage rates on second homes tend to be higher.
The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, insures mortgages only on owner-occupied principal residences. It doesn't insure loans to buy second homes.
The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees VA loans for primary residences.
An option for coming up with the down payment on a second home
If the lender requires a big down payment on a second home, you might be able to tap the equity in your primary home to come up with the down payment. This would entail drawing from a home equity line of credit, or getting a home equity loan.
The lender for your second home will require you to show that you can afford to pay all of your debts: the mortgage on the primary home, the home equity loan or credit line and the mortgage on the second home.
Learn more about financing second homes:
About the author: Holden is NerdWallet's authority on mortgages and real estate. He has reported on mortgages since 2001, winning multiple awards.
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