Buying a home can be a daunting task the first time around. One of the big areas of confusion centers around the mortgage. We hear the terms “fixed rate” and “adjustable rate”, and have no idea what they mean or which one makes the most sense in our situation.

This guide from CNN Money aims to help. By laying out the key differences between a fixed-rate mortgage (one, fixed interest rate over the lifetime of the loan) and adjustable-rate mortgages (a fixed rate for the first five or seven years, which then rises or falls each year for the rest of the term), the article can you help you figure out which type of mortgage is right for you.

Their main conclusion is that if you plan to stay in your home for some time – more than 5 years – then a fixed-rate mortgage makes sense right now because interest rates are at or near historical lows.

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