Mortgages used to be simple. We made a down payment on the house of our dreams and borrowed the balance at a fixed rate of interest, promising to pay it back in regular monthly payments over a period of years. And then the real estate market has changed.

Today you must make choices. Do you want the traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage with its guarantees of unchanging monthly payments? Perhaps a fifteen-year loan would be better? Or would you prefer an adjustable rate mortgage with monthly payments that can rise and fall in accordance with an index reflecting economic conditions?

Below is a brief summary plus the pros and cons of some of today’s most popular mortgage loans: