How Mortgage Rate Can Impact Your Budget

Mortgage rates are on the rise this year, but they’re still incredibly low compared to the historic average. However, anytime there’s a change in the mortgage rate, it affects what you can afford to borrow when you’re buying a home. As Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macshares:

Since January, mortgage rates have increased half a percentage point from historic lows and home prices have risen, leaving potential homebuyers with less purchasing power.” (See graph below):

When buying a home, it’s important to determine a monthly budget so you can plan for and understand what you can afford. However, when you need to stick to your budget, even a small increase in the mortgage rate can make a big difference.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today, the median existing-home price is $313,000. Using $300,000 as a simple number close to the median price, here’s an example of how a change in mortgage rate impacts your monthly principal and interest payments on a home.

If, for example, you’re getting ready to buy a home and know your budget allows for a monthly payment of $1200-1250 (marked in gray on the table above), every time the mortgage rate increases, the loan amount has to decrease to keep your monthly cost in range. This means you may have to look for lower-priced homes as mortgage rates go up if you want to be able to maintain your budget.

In essence, it’s ideal to close on a home loan when mortgage rates are low, so you can afford to borrow more money. This gives you more purchasing power when you buy a home. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americanexplains:

“Monthly payments have remained manageable despite soaring home prices because of low mortgage rates. In fact, monthly payments remain below the $1,250 to $1,260 range that we saw in both fall 2018 and spring 2019, but they are on track to hit that level this spring.

Although they remain low, mortgage rates have begun to increase and are expected to rise further later in the year, thus affordability will test buyer demand in the months ahead and likely help slow the pace of price growth.”

Today’s mortgage rates are still very low, but experts project they’ll continue to rise modestly this year. As a result, every moment counts for homebuyers who want to secure the lowest mortgage rate they can in order to be able to afford the home of their dreams.

Thanks to low mortgage rates, the spring housing market's in bloom for buyers – but, as Oly Pen Broker David Stone points out, "These favorable conditions may not last for long". Why not connect with him today and discuss options available to  start the homebuying process while your purchasing power is still holding strong.

Oly Pen Real Estate has a team of trusted real estate professionals to help you navigate changes in our industry. We have a watchful eye on Grays Harbor market so give your Oly Pen Real Estate Team a call today at 360.249.8187 or stop by our office 141 S. Main Street in friendly Montesano, WA and discuss your expectations today!

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The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Oly Pen Real Estate. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. It is wise to always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Oly Pen Real Estate will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.