Tag Archives: mortgage rates

Low Mortgage Rates = Buying Power

Mortgage rates are at their lowest since late 2016, last week nationwide around 3.6%. This is driving homeowners and buyers to their mortgage lenders, for both refinances and new home purchases.

As the chart below shows, just a one-half percent difference in your interest rate makes a huge difference in your monthly payment. For example, when purchasing an $800,000 home with 20% down, a half-point difference is $181/monthly, $2,172/annually, or $65,160 over the course of a 30-year loan.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re a homebuyer, this is the time to get into the real estate market. With interest rates this low, you may be able to purchase more than you think.

If you’re a homeowner and considering a move, whether downsizing or to a new neighborhood or larger home, this is the time to do so. With interest rates so low, you’ll likely be able to afford more than you think.

If you’re a homeowner with no plans of selling in the next couple years and your interest rate is in the upper 4’s or higher, it might be worth talking to a lender about refinancing.

I have several excellent lenders that can help you determine what would be best in your situation, a refinance or a move. I would love to sit down and talk with you about your needs. Give me a call at 206-790-0081 or email me to schedule a time to chat.

5 Reasons to Get Pre-Approved

Mortgage rates have recently been at a 12-month low. Depending on your credit and financial situation, you might currently be able to get a mortgage at around 4%. Here are some reasons why it’s critical you get pre-approved for your mortgage. I have a list of wonderful mortgage lenders, please drop me an email and I’ll be happy to forward to you.

Mortgage Updates

Changes are coming to the mortgage arena.

Short Sales

If you had a short sale at least 2 years ago and have 20% down, you’ve been able to obtain a new mortgage. Fannie Mae is changing the rules (and Freddie Mac will likely follow) as of August 16th. Now you’ll need to wait 4 years after a short sale before you can obtain another mortgage. If you’re currently in the 2 year+ period and are buying a home, you’ll need to close by August 15th.

Interest Rates

As you may have heard the economy is improving. The jobs reports have been great. As a result, the Feds are leaning toward reducing bond purchases in October. When this happens, it’s likely interest rates will increase. Even 1/2 percentage increase in interest rates will affect your buying power.

For every $100,000 that is mortgaged at 4.25%, you will pay approximately $492/month in principal and interest. When mortgage rates increase half a percent to 4.75%, your monthly payment increases $30 to $522. On a $100,000 mortgage that’s not significant, but on a $500,000 mortgage, that’s an increase of $150/month.

Let’s take this further.

With prices on the rise and multiple offers the norm, that $500,000 budget you may have may instead now be $477,000. Let me explain. You have $100,000 for a down payment. Your lender has approved you for up to a $500,000 home ($400,000 mortgage) at 4.25% interest, with a monthly payment of around $1,968 in principal and interest.

Interest rates are now 4.75%, a half percent increase. Your lender only approves you for the same $1,968/month payment. You can now only afford a $477,000 mortgage (with the same $100,000 down payment). Your buying power has decreased $23,000 or 6%.

For every half a percent that interest rates increase, your buying power decreases by approximately 6%. Your $800,000 buying power becomes $762,000. If interest rates continue on an upward trend, your buying power will continue to decrease.

Please feel free to contact me at 206-790-0081 or jamie@jamieflaxman.com for further explanation.