Mortgages Rates Rise, How Will That Impact Home Sales?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 08 August 2013 17:00

The mortgage rates have been rising and that has some homeowners wondering if they missed the best time to buy. Not at all, say experts. That's because the rates are still considered very low and the increase isn't sharp.

The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage on June 25, 2013 was approximately 4.5 percent, climbing from its June 1, 2013 rate of approximately 3.9 percent. Based on the higher interest rate, monthly payments on loans ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 don't go up significantly.

Rick Allen, the chief operating officer at Mortgage Marvel breaks it down by showing that a home that cost $100,000 at 3.9 percent would have a monthly payment of $471.67. That same home price at 4.5 percent increases the monthly payment by only $35.02. For a $200,000 home at 3.9 percent the monthly payment is $943.34. If that same home's rate were 4.5 percent, then the monthly payment would increase by $70.03. On a $300,000 home at 3.9 percent the increase in a monthly payment, if the rate were 4.5 percent, is $105.06.

While the increases are, of course, monthly - it will add up over 12 months - it's still quite possible for many buyers to manage. Allen suggests that if the payment isn't manageable, the consumer could buy a less expensive home. There would need to be only about a 7 percent reduction in the amount borrowed at 4.5 percent to return the payment to the same monthly payment as it would be at 3.9 percent.

Rising interest rates often cause people to act quickly and jump into the housing market - which can start to increase home prices in tight inventory markets as these potential buyers get more serious about homeownership.

If you're considering homeownership and wondering how the rise in interest rates will impact you, consult with a mortgage broker. An expert in the field can help you determine exactly how much home you can afford, at which rate, and for how long you'll have to pay.

If homeownership is high on your list, start your due diligence now. Meet with experienced real estate agents to decide who can help you the most. Buying a home is a lengthy process and there is a lot to understand so you'll want to make sure you're compatible with the agent. You'll also want to make sure you have a clear picture of what you can afford, what you want in a home, and for how long you want to own it.

Next, since you know that rates are rising, start preparing. If you know that the home you wanted to buy was, for instance, in the $300,000 range but, due to rising interest rates, your monthly payments would be higher, then look at your finances and see where you can cut back now to save a little more. Saving now will allow you to put more down on the home and reduce the amount of money you need to borrow which, therefore, lowers your monthly payments.

I write this often but it is most important - do your research. Don't give up on homeownership just because rates are rising. Instead, take a good look at your finances with experts and understand what you can afford now and/or how much you need to bring in to make your monthly payments manageable so you can afford a home in the near future. Education and understanding will lead to a more successful home-buying experience.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or [email protected]. Visit for more information.

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