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Home financing: Reports from the trenches

Is this a good time to buy a home? Where do mortgage rates stand? What’s the impact of inflation? A local expert is here to answer your questions and offer her predictions – and the news is not all bad.

The media is talking about escalating home prices, rising mortgage rates and past housing bubbles. Let me tell you what I’m seeing; I think you’ll like it.

Price growth is slowing. After a record run of frenetically rising home prices, gains are slowing down. Homeowners still have newfound equity in their homes, and moderated prices can help new buyers.

Mortgage rates remain in the “low” range. After a couple of years with extraordinarily low mortgage rates, 2022 has seen some increases, yet rates are still well below long-term averages.

While the Federal Reserve Board may continue raising policy rates to cool inflation, mortgage rates have largely reflected the changes already. Even with the increases, home price gains and other advantages can make owning a better deal than renting.

WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

• A lot of existing homeowners are very comfortable right now. They’ve locked in a low interest rate and are enjoying fixed housing costs. Because of today’s strict underwriting guidelines and due diligence, they’re confident they have the income and resources to afford their homes.

• For most people, homes have gained significant value. This protects them in case prices fall and provides equity to access for emergencies, home improvements or other expenditures. If you’re in this position, a qualified professional can help you with a home equity loan or line of credit.

• For those still looking to buy, market forces are tilting toward more housing supply (which means less competition), price moderation and rate stabilization. This combination invites buyers who previously shied away from the frantic market to re-enter the game. If this sounds like you, it’s possible your buying power could be extended with a hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage that starts with a lower rate and payment.

TRINA CUCCIA

GMFS Mortgage Loan Officer

 

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