While the mortgage market continues to generate a lot of chatter in both the media and Washington, interest rates are currently near or at an all-time low. Now is the time to act and take advantage of these low rates.
Lately there has been talk about the 4.5 percent 30-year fixed rate mortgage. But, will it become a reality?
Right now, no one knows. Homeowners who could benefit from a lower interest rate need to know that even if 4.5 percent becomes reality, it would only be available to homebuyers, not homeowners seeking to better their rate.
If you need to refinance, you would be left out.
You also may have heard about Hope for Homeowners, which is a program approved by legislators to help distressed homeowners.
However, regardless of its best intentions, investors have not embraced the program, and it is not available to many.
The bottom line is that the Fed announced that they are going to buy up to $600 billion in mortgage-backed securities. This has already driven rates to historical lows.
In January, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is meeting and information may be released that could have a significant bearing on rates, potentially for the worse.
Waiting to obtain the best rate is only possible for those with loan applications already in process.
Interest rates are incredibly volatile and fluctuations that used to take months are now occurring in just days or even hours. If you do not have an application in process, you could lose out.
We are already seeing lender backlog due to low interest rates. In 2003, with rates at these same low levels, we saw some lenders taking up to 90 days to close a loan.
Home loan rates are currently in the mid-to-low 5 percent range. Home values are currently at 2003-2004 levels.
If you or friends and family members you know are contemplating seeking financing, now is the time to act.
With a first time homebuyer tax credit up to $7,500 and low or no money down programs available for many, now is a great time to buy a home.
Tara K. Keeney is the president and a certified mortgage planning specialist at Lenders for Life Home Mortgage Corporation, 620 E. Highway 260, Suite B-2. For more information, call (928) 468-2375.