Do Rates Matter?

In comparing today’s mortgage rates to exactly one year ago today, we are up almost exactly 1%. That’s water under the bridge and can’t be changed, but let’s take a quick look to see what future rate increases means in real money.

If you are borrowing $250,000 over 30 years, each 0.25% change in interest rate means about a $38 per month difference in payment. For a loan of $325,000, 0.25% change in rate means about $50 per month difference in payment. And at loan amount $400,000, 0.25% change in rate equates to about $62 per month in payment.

These differences, over time, add up. Of course they do. But if we are considering the loan qualification itself, those few dollars in monthly payment shouldn’t be enough to tip a loan pre-approval into denial. 

The far more costly mistake would be, in my opinion, taking an online loan at a “lower rate” without carefully considering all the financing options at your disposal. Assuming that you must put 20% down to avoid mortgage insurance, or that you must pay points and fees, can be a poor use of your family’s funds. You don’t get the breadth of information you need from an 800# or filling out forms online.

All that to say: It’s difficult to time the market, both for home prices and for interest rates. Do your investigations, get professional help from proven local experts, and make the best decisions you can given what is real, and what is currently happening in our hometown market.

Tammy Engel is your local Mortgage Advisor. She’s been working for your best interest statewide since 1990. Contact her for purchase, refinance, and reverse mortgage at 661/822-7325. NMLS #235051 CaDRE #01273839