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Category: Interest Rates (Page 1 of 18)

Home Buying Tips in Today’s Rate Environment

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Today’s rising mortgage rates can put the squeeze on home buyers — there’s no question there…so here are some home buying tips for today’s rate environment.

However, a higher mortgage rate doesn’t mean that buyers should stop looking to purchase. There are things would-be buyers can do to ease the pressure and boost their budget, even as rates rise.

a couple taking a selfie with their new home key

Mortgage expert Ivan Simental broke down some of these strategies in a recent podcast that you can find here…The Mortgage Reports Podcast

Here’s the link to Aly Yale’s article in The Mortgage Reports and I’ve listed a few things from that piece here…

Focus on You, not the Market

It’s easy to fixate on headlines about rising interest rates, but Simental says it’s more important to focus on your specific financial situation rather than the market at large.

“Try not to follow where interest rates are at so much,” Simental says. “The market is always going to be like this. It’s going to go up and down and it’s going to have good months and bad ones. But the important thing is to stick to your plan.”

“The market is always going to go up and down. But the important thing is to stick to your plan.”

Don’t Put Too Much Stock in Headlines

There are always news stories and headlines about the housing market, but be careful about consuming too much. These often highlight the most extreme happenings in the market and are indicative of more general trends — not necessarily the rates or experience you’ll see if you buy a home.

“I always tell my clients, ‘Look, If you are in a good place to buy a house, then right now is a good time to buy a house,’” Simental says.

“If you’re not, then it is not a good time to buy a house — and that is why it is so important to get with an individual who’s really going to look out for you, your finances, and your specific situation… Speak with a professional who’s doing this day in and day out.”

Know Your Finances

To qualify for a mortgage at today’s higher rates — and make sure you get a loan you can afford both now and down the line — having a good handle on your finances is critical.

black remote control beside black framed eyeglasses

Simental stressed the importance of looking at your financial stability over the long term. As he put it, “Are you going to make a job switch or take fewer hours, or are you going to be on maternity leave?” These types of things impact how much home you can afford and qualify for.

Ideally, you want to get to a place where your earnings are consistent and reliable. This will lower the risk you present to lenders and make it easier to qualify for a loan. “Get consistent with your income,” Simental says. “Make sure that you have all of your finances in order and make sure that you are working full-time.”

Tackle Debt

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a big factor in your home-buying budget, so pay off debts where you can before you start house hunting.

“I would honestly suggest eliminating all of the smaller payments that you are paying — whether on your credit card or [a] small student loan that you can pay off — because that’s just really going to harm you when you go into the qualifying process for a home,” Simental says.

According to Simental, your DTI will need to be under 45% or 50%, depending on the loan program. “That includes your mortgage payment. And if you have car payments, student loans, credit cards, personal loans, that all gets taken into consideration and gets looked at, and it can hurt your application,” Simental says. “Make sure to take care of these debts.”

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit impacts both your ability to qualify for a mortgage and the interest rate you’re quoted.

“Take a look at your credit score,” Simental says. “If your credit score is not where it needs to be or not where it should be, make sure that you come up with an action plan to get it to the best possible score you can. The higher the credit score, the better the interest rate and the better loan program options that you will have.”

If your score is on the lower end, a good loan officer will help you build a roadmap to improving your credit.

“Even if you’re not ready to buy right now, connect with a loan officer and let them know ‘Hey, I want to run my credit. I want to see where it’s at. I want to see if there is a room for improvement,’” Simental says. Ask them, “‘What do I need to do so that I can have the best possible credit score?’”

Next Steps

Whether you’re ready now or just preparing to buy a house, reach out to me, as it would be my pleasure to work with you to get started!

I’d be more than happy to take an in-depth look at your income, credit, and current mortgage rates, then tell you what you’re able to afford. If you’re not in an ideal position to buy right now, I can help you develop a strategy to get you there!

What the Recent Fed Hike Could Mean for the Housing Market

close up photo of banknotes under a calculator

Recently, the Federal Reserve hiked the Federal Funds Rate by another 0.75%.  This was the fifth rate hike of the year and the Fed also projects raising it another 1.25% this year, which may mean another 0.75% hike in November and 0.5% in December.

Remember, the Fed Funds Rate is the overnight borrowing rate for banks, and it is not the same as mortgage rates.

But you may be wondering: How does this move in the Fed Funds Rate affect mortgage rates?


Mortgage rates are primarily driven by inflation, which is at a 42-year high.  When the Fed hikes the Fed Funds Rate, they are trying to slow the economy and curb inflation.  If the Fed is successful in cooling inflation, mortgage rates should decline.  History proves this during rate hike cycles for the past 50 years.

Unfortunately, inflation erodes the buying power of the fixed return that a mortgage holder receives.  When inflation rises, lenders demand a higher interest rate to offset the more rapid erosion of their buying power.

But if the market doesn’t believe the Fed can get control of inflation, we could see more volatility in mortgage rates.

Mortgage Rates and Treasury Yields

Fixed mortgage rates and Treasury yields tend to move together because fixed-income investors compare the returns they can get on government and mortgage-backed securities.

Investors compare yields on long-term Treasuries to mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds. All bond yields (including mortgage backed securities) are affected by Treasury yields, because they compete for the same type of investor.

Mortgages, in turn, offer a higher return for more risk. Investors purchase securities backed by the value of the home loans—so-called mortgage-backed securities. When Treasury yields rise, investors in mortgage-backed securities demand higher rates. They want compensation for the greater risk.

What Really Causes Rates to Rise and Fall?

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Mortgage rates are determined by a complex interaction of economic factors, such as the level and direction of the bond market, including 10-year Treasury yields; the Federal Reserve’s current monetary policy, especially as it relates to funding government-backed mortgages; and competition between lenders and across loan types.

Because fluctuations can be caused by any number of these at once, it’s generally difficult to attribute the change to any one factor.  Although in our current situation, inflation (and the Fed’s mismanagement of it) is the number one cause.  When this is coupled with the large increase in government spending, you see a double dose of fear in the markets.

Moving Forward

There may come a point when mortgage rates drop back down and borrowers can enjoy some of the remarkably low rates they were available from mid-2020 through late 2021.

wallet with coins banknotes and credit card for payment

And throughout the remainder of 2022, we could have periods when rates dip to some degree. 

But for the most part, borrowers may need to come to terms with the fact that the days of record-low borrowing are behind us. In the meantime, real estate is still a tremendous investment…and I’m advising my clients to Marry The House, But Date The Rate.

Would you like to find out more?  Contact me to discuss your current situation and how you might be able to take advantage of today’s market.  It would be my pleasure to help you!

The Temporary Rate Buydown – A Great New Option

A unique offering is now available – a temporary rate buydown – to lower your interest rate and monthly payment in years one and two of your new mortgage. 

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This is a negotiated cost to be paid by the seller or builder – and your loan rate is reduced for an initial period.

This temporary rate buydown lowers your monthly payment and leaves more cash on hand each month. That difference is yours to save or put to good use around your new home.

There are no surprises…the rate buydown is adjusted each year by a set amount. It diminishes gradually until it settles at the original rate with no reduction of mortgage payment at the end of the initial period.

Buydown Example

Here’s an example of a $400,000 mortgage amount with a two-year and one-year buydown option.

Assuming an interest rate of 6%, the principal and interest payment would be $2,398.20 on a 30-year fixed mortgage…

And here’s what those payments would be with the buydown options:

As you can see, the savings are quite significant – nearly $500/month in year one and an overall savings of nearly $9,000 in years one and two!

Reach Out To Me For More

This temporary rate buydown is available on Conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA loans.  You can contact me here and I would be happy to run multiple scenarios for you, as well.

Mortgage Rates 2022 – Current vs Historical Trends

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Mortgage rates have essentially doubled since the beginning of this year. Historically, however, interest rates have often been higher — sometimes much higher — than they are today.

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The average 30-year mortgage rate over the last fifty years is just under 8%. So even though today’s mortgage rates have jumped to the 5% range, they’re still a good deal by comparison.

I’m linking to an article from Peter Miller of The Mortgage Reports that’s a must read in order to gain some good perspective on what’s happening in today’s marketplace.

2022 Mortgage Rate Chart

Mortgage interest rates fell to record lows in 2020 and 2021 during the Covid pandemic.

However, inflation has now surged to four-decade highs, causing those rates to rise quickly this year.

Historical Chart

Despite this increase, today’s 30-year mortgage rate is still quite a bit below average from a historical perspective.

Freddie Mac — the main industry source for mortgage rates — has been keeping records since 1971. Between April 1971 and August 2022, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 7.76 percent.

Here’s the average mortgage rate by year since 1974…

Mortgage Rate Outlook

As Freddie Mac explained on August 4:

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“Mortgage rates remained volatile due to the tug of war between inflationary pressures and a clear slowdown in economic growth. The high uncertainty surrounding inflation and other factors will likely cause rates to remain variable, especially as the Federal Reserve attempts to navigate the current economic environment.”

With that said, it’s not easy to predict what will happen to mortgage rates in late 2022. The Fed is likely to keep hiking interest rates in an attempt to bring inflation under control.  Couple that with a recession, however, and mortgage rates could very well move lower.

In Conclusion

Finally, it’s important for you and our clients to understand that the average mortgage is held for less than 7 years…and they are not at all married to that rate, especially if they get better!

If you or your clients are considering a purchase, your real estate search shouldn’t go on hold because of rising inflation or higher mortgage rates.  Contact me for more…as it would be my pleasure to help you.

Announcing New Investor Specific Financing Options

I’m glad to announce that we now have investor specific financing options in the residential income producing space…both long-term and short-term financing available, ranging from 1 to 20 units.

silver macbook beside white pen on black table

These products are tailor-made for real estate investors with income producing properties.

Finance of America Commercial, a division of Finance of America Mortgage LLC, provides individual and business exposure limits with individual FIX & FLIP rehab property loans, along with BRIDGE loans, NEW CONSTRUCTION loans, and SINGLE & PORTFOLIO RENTAL term loans to residential real estate investors across the country.

These offerings have helped clients overcome traditional financing hurdles and build long-term wealth through real estate investment.

These specific lending products and tools are designed with the real estate investor at the forefront – to help provide the personalized service investors need.

Income Producing Property/Portfolio Loans – 2 to 20 units

  • 30-year term available
  • Full amortization and interest only options
  • Loans from $200K to $5M
  • Funding up to 80% on purchases and rate/term refinances

Fix and Flip Loans

  • Funding up to 95% of acquisition and rehab costs
  • Max loan-to-value 75% based on ARV
  • Interest accrual on drawn balance
  • 12- and 18-month term options

Bridge Loans

  • Individual property loans up to $3M
  • Funding up to 80% LTC on multi-family
  • Payoff other loans or lenders on completed flips or new builds
  • Ideal for light rehab flips when self-funding cosmetic rehabs

New Construction Loans

  • 12–18-month term for build ready lots in urban locations
  • Funding up to 100% of construction budget and 80% LTC/65% LTV for multi-unit
  • Funding up to 90%/75% LTV for experienced builders (conditions apply)
  • Business purpose loan with no income requirements

Would you like to find out more?  Contact me to discuss your current situation and how you might be able to take advantage of these fantastic financing options.  It would be my pleasure to help you!

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