Mortgage interest rates are on the rise. After enjoying a long break from higher rates, home buyers and homeowners are realizing the impact of even small changes in interest rates. True, rates are far from what could be considered high. (As a comparison, consider mortgage rates in 1982-83 being over 16%.)
Currently, every $1,000 of financing a 30 year mortgage costs only about $5 per month. Here's what that means: If your budget allows for a monthly mortgage payment of $1,000 (not counting escrows for property taxes or insurance, PMI or HOA dues) that equates to a $200,000 loan. If interest rates continue to rise as experts predict, even a 1% increase in rates reduces that $1,000 monthly payment to about $178,000 in financing. That's a difference of about 11% less buying power! That could mean the difference between the home of your dreams and one you will settle for.
History shows that housing market activity actually goes up when rates increase. The reason? Buyers realize they may miss out on getting the house they want with the payment they can afford. That results in a higher number of buyers looking at the same time. This drives up prices as more homes are sold with multiple offers.
There are some steps borrowers can take to improve their situation in a rising interest rate market:
1. Get pre-approved by a lender with competitive rates and a reputation of being able to move a loan from purchase to closing in a timely manner.
2. Pull together all the information your lender will need before you get together with them. This will include:
4. Be prepared to address any negative items that may be on your credit history.
Having these items in advance will speed up the approval process significantly and give you an advantage in being able to move quickly when the right house becomes available.
Finally, discuss "locking" the interest rate with your lender. In a rising rate market, it is critical to understand the lender's policy to lock in a rate to protect you from changes that could occur prior to the closing of your loan. Typically interest rates cannot be locked until you have a purchase agreement signed by all parties and you have confidence in the closing date as well as having resolved any contingencies such as house inspections.
While rates are rising, it's still an excellent time to invest in real estate. Taking advantage of today's rates will make you look like a genius in the future and you will have locked in a stable payment for a long time to come.
Clark Real Estate
305 W. Moana Ste C
Reno, NV 89509