The truth about interest rates and why NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!
Small changes in interest rates make up big differences in payment
This is frequently because it is easy to understand the difference between paying 200k and 195k for a house. But it's harder to appreciate the difference between an interest rate of 6.5% and 6.0% for a house. But interest rates can have a large influence on mortgage payments. Using a mortgage calculator first let's look at the difference between the mortgage on a 200k and the mortgage on a 195k house assuming a 6.5 percent interest rate.
200k (6.5%) Mortgage $1264.13 per month
195k (6.5%) Mortgage $1232.53 per month
The difference ends up being $31.60 a month.
Now let's look at the difference between an interest rate of 6.5% and 6.0% on a 200k house.
200k (6.5%) Mortgage 1264.13 per month
200k (6.0%) Mortgage 1199.10 per month
The difference ends up being $65.03 a month or $780.36 a year. A simple half point drop lowered the mortgage payment by 5.4 percent.
Interest rate changes are not that uncommon. We wrote a tool that graphs mortgage rates over time based on the interest rates provided by Freddie Mac. In the middle of 2007 we saw interest rates of 6.7%. At the beginning of 2008, interest rates were down to 5.75%. What is a little more interesting is when we switch the toggle on our tool from the interest rate to the mortgage on a 200k house based on the interest rate for that date http://www.escapesomewhere.com/
In light of all the mortgage issues over the last few years, it highlights why home buyers should shop around for interest rates. All too frequently home buyers will go with the first mortgage person they meet under the assumption that everyone has roughly the same rates and that a half point isn't really that big of a difference. As we have seen above, a half point can make a significant difference in someone's mortgage payment.
In summary, home buyers should still focus on price because it will always be an important part of the real estate transaction. But if home buyers start to look at interest rates more closely, they will end up with more success in their real estate purchases and lower mortgage payments.