If you’re thinking of buying a new or secondary home, or possibly refinancing your current one, now is the time when it comes to mortgage rates.
“Mortgage interest rates are historically low and we’re in a great market for home value appreciation,” said Ethan Lane, branch manager at Mortgage Network. “Low rates lead to more affordable housing expenses and more purchasing power.”
While many believe they need to wait for a recession to buy — assuming it best when housing prices go down, Bill Payne, CPA and branch manager at First Home Mortgage, is of a different mind. “It really slowed the housing market down when we saw interest rates hit a 10-year high this time last year. Once interest rates started ticking back down around April 2019, we started seeing the housing market catch fire again. It’s been really cooking since then.”
Lower interest rates help the housing market and home values sustain and continue to appreciate, and, said Lane, now is the best time to refinance and enjoy significant monthly savings.
Payne advises that if you purchased a property between the months of September 2018 through May 2019, “odds are it makes sense to refinance if you haven’t already. If you purchased or refinanced outside of that timetable, it may be worthwhile to give a mortgage person a call.”
But what of all the chatter about a recession? Some say in six months. Some say in three years. “Nobody has a crystal ball. If I could predict rates then I wouldn’t be in this business,” said Bobby McGihon, VP and branch manager of Atlantic Coast Mortgage. “People say they plan to wait until the next recession to get a better deal, but that’s not the case with a typical recession. A typical recession is followed by falling interest rates, so then affordability goes up, which increases demand, and higher demand means higher prices. There’s a false narrative out there that recession means home prices decrease and people get a better deal.”
McGihon added, “People will get more money for their house right now, and, particularly in the beginning of the year, there’s always less inventory so it’s a little more competitive. We have all the makings of a competitive market. I’m encouraging people not to sit on the fence, but to go out there and pull the trigger. If lower rates come, that’s great because we’re setting new historical rates and you’ll have a chance to save. But there’s no reason not to purchase with a 3 or 4%.”
In the end, McGihon, Payne and Lane all agree that their jobs are to educate their clients, and you as the homebuyer need to be comfortable with the decision that only you can make in regard to your situation, budget and timeframe.
“The mortgage process can be intimidating, so having an experienced lender on your side to guide you through the strategy and process can make a world of difference,” said Lane.
Trusting that the financing is taken care of allows buyers to shop with confidence and enjoy the process.
By Teri Errico Griffis