DEFINITION of 'Buydown'

A mortgage-financing technique with which the buyer attempts to obtain a lower interest rate for at least the first few years of the mortgage, but possibly its entire life. The builder or seller or the property usually provides payments to the mortgage-lending institution, which, in turn, lowers the buyer's monthly interest rate and therefore monthly payment. The home seller, however, increases the purchase price of the home to compensate for the costs of the buydown agreement.


Buydowns are easy to understand if you consider them a mortgage subsidy made to the homebuyer on behalf of the seller. Typically, the seller contributes funds to an escrow account that subsidizes the loan during the first years, resulting in a lower monthly payment for the homebuyer. This lower payment allows the homebuyer to qualify more easily for the mortgage.

Most buydowns last for a period of one to five years, and the mortgage payments increase once the buydown expires.

  1. Real Estate

    Land plus anything on it, including buildings and natural resources.
  2. Mortgage

    A debt instrument, secured by the collateral of specified real ...
  3. Mortgagor

    An individual or company who borrows money to purchase a piece ...
  4. Origination

    The process of creating a home loan or mortgage. During the origination ...
  5. Initial Rate Period

    The period of an introductory or "teaser" interest rate on a ...
  6. Mortgagee

    An entity that lends money to a borrower for the purpose of purchasing ...
Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    Mortgages: How Much Can You Afford?

    Answering this means number-crunching as well as factoring in other considerations and expenses.
  2. Options & Futures

    Make A Risk-Based Mortgage Decision

    Find out how to choose which mortgage style is right for you.
  3. Credit & Loans

    Understanding The Mortgage Payment Structure

    We explain the calculation and payment process as well as the amortization schedule of home loans.
  4. Insurance

    What is a Force Majeure?

    A force majeure clause frees both parties in a contract from fulfilling their obligations in the event of some catastrophic or unexpected occurrence.
  5. Credit & Loans

    Explaining Equated Monthly Installments

    An equated monthly installment is a fixed payment a borrower makes to a lender on the same date of each month.
  6. Investing Basics

    Tiny House Movement: Making Market Opportunities

    The tiny house movement throws all assumptions about household budgeting and mortgage management out the window, and creates new market segments too.
  7. Investing

    Where Should I Keep My Down Payment Savings?

    While saving up for a down payment, where should you keep your money. A bank? The stock market? It all depends on your timeline.
  8. Credit & Loans

    Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Lender

    When buying a house, avoid nasty surprises by asking the right questions about your mortgage lender's qualifications and the mortgage process.
  9. Credit & Loans

    Bad Credit? You Can Still Get a Home Equity Loan

    If your credit history is less than stellar and you need cash, you may be able to get financing – but it will come at a price.
  10. Home & Auto

    5 Ways to Pay Down Your Mortgage - Without Going Broke

    Following these tips can help you reduce the length of your mortgage and save you thousands of dollars.
  1. What is the difference between "closed end credit" and a "line of credit?"

    Depending on the need, an individual or business may take out a form of credit that is either open- or closed-ended. While ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. In what instances does a business use closed end credit?

    The most common types of closed-end credit used by both businesses and individuals are mortgages and auto loans. Businesses ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the long-term effects of delinquent accounts?

    Delinquency occurs when borrowers fail to make payments on their loans. All loan borrowers should do their best to avoid ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How was the American Dream impacted by the housing market collapse in 2008?

    The American Dream was seriously damaged by the housing market collapse in 2008. In many ways, the American Dream is a self-fulfilling ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How much risk is associated with subprime mortgages?

    A large amount of risk is associated with subprime mortgages. Since the mortgages are specifically for people who do not ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the financial consequences of filing for bankruptcy?

    The financial consequences of filing for bankruptcy are substantial and can be long-lasting. They include impacts on your ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  2. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  4. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  5. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!