I fear that this might initially seem like a topic that is not interesting enough to hold many people’s ever shrinking attention spans, but there are a few principles that can be helpful for someone who is thinking about buying real estate with a loan related to the coming rise in interest rates. When the Federal Reserve keeps rates low (as they have for the last decade, to spur on economic growth/recovery) people tend to borrow more money, because it’s cheaper to borrow. Since people are able to borrow more they often find that prices rise faster because there are more people with more money burning a hole in their pocket. If you’ve been tracking real estate you will have surely noticed in most markets that prices have risen quite a bit over the last decade. And with people moving back into urban centers those prices have jumped more – while some rural markets have lagged behind.
So, maybe you are thinking about buying something sometime soon and you’re possibly afraid of overpaying, and/or having a rate that is higher than you want it to be? The historic average in recent decades on a mortgage interest rate is about 7%. So rates going over 5% is still relatively low. However, people are borrowing more money for homes that are larger (although that is trending down, particularly in urban areas), so people are still needing to figure out the balance of their own personal priorities. Coming up with a game plan can be somewhat complicated, but certain aspects of the search don’t have to be. Don’t be afraid to tell someone that you don’t know something, and ask for advice. Call your Realtor, and your lender to see what your options are if you think you might want to buy property. Making a plan is really in your best interest. This article might sound doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be entirely. Rates will rise, and things will change – so make a plan. Now go find a way to enjoy this day, and I hope you enjoy this article.
The Sting of Higher Rates – Steve Rattner