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Food for Thought.......
I am not a mathematician, nor am I an expert in lending practices; and no one knows for sure what is going to happen to the interest rates. But recent history suggests that the current fixed rates for a primary home of approximately 4.25% won’t last too long. Presently based on what I’m already experiencing in the mortgage market there seems to be reluctance on the part of Lenders to lend and I can’t help but think that in part it’s because the rates are as low as they are, and the banks feel they can get a higher rate of return elsewhere.
Now let’s run some numbers:
The following chart shows the difference that you would be paying for the same home at different interest rates. This is for P&I only- It does not include Taxes, Insurance or PMI if required.
HOME PRICE $200,000.00
DOWN PAYMENT $7,000 (3.5%) This is the minimum amount down required by FHA. If you can put more down than this you should consider doing this for a number of reasons that I’m not going to get into right now.
30 YEAR FIXED RATE
INTEREST RATES: 4.5% = PAYMENT OF $977.90
5.5% = PAYMENT OF $1095.83
6.5% = PAYMENT OF $1219.89
7.0% = PAYMENT OF $1284.03 7.5% = PAYMENT OF $1349.48
8.5% = PAYMENT OF $1484.00
9.5% = PAYMENT OF $1622.85
The DIFFERENCE in your payment from lowest to highest would be $644.90 per month. Even if we consider 7% to be a more reasonable estimate of where mortgage rates are likely to be sometime in the next 18 months we see a difference in mortgage payments of $306.13.
Now even though real estate prices in my geographic area aren’t trending downward; let’s project a 15% drop in values over the same 18 month period. In other words the same house that is currently selling for $200,000 is now selling for $170,000. (I do not believe you will find anyone who projects this for our local market but it’s interesting to consider.)
Now the numbers are as follows:
HOME PRICE $170,000.00
DOWN PAYMENT $5,950 (3.5%) The minimum amount down required by FHA
30 YEAR FIXED RATE
7.0% = PAYMENT OF $1091.43 - Compared to today’s payment of $977.90
In fact property prices would need to drop by 25% so that our imaginary $200,000 house is now selling for $150,000 at which point the monthly payment at 7% would be $963.03 before a Buyer would actually realize any savings. Now no one can predict the future, but a quick look back in the 10 year period between 2000 and 2009 shows that the mean average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage was 6.5% and during three of those 10 years; the rates were between 7.25%- 8.5%, certainly it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to guess that we’re likely to see rates approaching 7% sometime in the next couple of years. For Buyers wondering whether to buy now or wait to see if prices fall the numbers seem to indicate that now is the time to buy.