Monday, August 22, 2016 / by Vanessa Saunders
#1: Rates on the Rise:Mortgage rates are at an all-time low since 2012. These rates won't last forever. TheFederal Reserve is expected to begin increasing interest rates soon, which means the window for record-low mortgage rates is closing.
This is the perfect time for low-income and first-time homebuyers to enter the market. Depending on your credit score, you could get a rate as low as 3.5 percent with an FHA (which is short for "Federal Housing Authority") loan. Think about this: In the years before 2012, the interest rate on a typical mortgage was as high as 10 percent!
#2: Skyrocketing Rents: After the housing collapse, many homeowners were forced to become renters again. Rentals became more popular as home buying became less affordable. Since that time, the rental market has exploded. As renters poured in, rent prices soared.
Now rent prices are as high as a monthly mortgage payment. On a national level, interest rates would need to rise to around 6.5 percent for the cost of buying to equal that of renting. If you were waiting to buy a home because renting was cheaper, the paradigm has been inverted and you are likely paying more each month in rent than you would for a home.
#3: Lower Tax Bills: All homeowners can get deductions for their property taxes and interest payments. That can further reduce the difference in cost between renting and owning. There may be breaks for first-time homeowners as well—consult your tax advisor.
#4: Dwindling Inventory: Finally, there are others who have been waiting for the housing market to stabilize to buy a home. Those buyers have already been taking advantage of the low interest rates and affordable housing prices, which has resulted in dwindling inventory.
New home construction is down and so is new multiunit construction. If you wait too long, you may be looking at pre-crisis home prices again, as well as interest rates over 6 percent.
You have more options now than before, especially if you're looking to move from renting to homeownership. This is a great time to enter the market — such low rates can increase at any time.