April 2017 President’s Message
Buying a Home
Buying a house in 2017 will feel kind of like you’ve jumped onto the subway just as the doors were closing. Your heart’s pounding and you’re winded from the race, but you made it—just in time.
OK, so maybe that’s a little exaggerated. But here’s the thing: The Federal Reserve’s Rate hike which happened on March 15, 2017 could make home buying more expensive, but house hunters shouldn’t start panicking yet. The Fed increased its benchmark interest rate by one-quarter of a percentage point.
The Fed doesn’t directly set mortgage rates, but its actions can affect the housing market.
It’s tough to buy a home today in most places in the country because there are so few homes for sale. But if you wait to buy, then you’re gambling that the market will be better for you to purchase in the future.
And that’s not a smart gamble! If you’ve been toying with the idea of buying, or you anticipate a life change that might force you to move—such as a new baby or job transfer—you should be buying as urgently and as soon as possible. Before you freak out, take heart: Rising rates aren’t necessarily a deal breaker for buyers, your monthly average mortgage payment would increase by about $60—not nothing, but not a catastrophe, either. And if you take the long view, those higher rates are still historically low.
For buyers there still is opportunity, for those who are still able to get into the market, these low rates continue to be helpful. Another upside: When rates go up, competition and prices often go down. Buyers should not panic, because higher mortgage rates eventually cause sellers to be more flexible on pricing.
The uncertainty of house buying is never ideal, but here at VCCU, we are right there with you every step of the way.
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