Homebuyers seem to be in a rush right now.
Interest rates had been rising for the past few months. But with the uncertainty in the markets right now, those rates are holding steady. Because of this, I'm noticing a lot of panic buying in order to "beat the rates" before they begin increasing again. And while interest rates are an important factor in the decision to buy a home…
They are not the ONLY factor.
Because here's the truth most people aren't thinking about right now:
Yes, interest rates are historically low at the moment. But even if they continue to increase, they will STILL be historically low. Panic buying because interest rates are low is based on the false belief that:
Lower interest rates = More savings
Yes, this is true sometimes, but it's not true all the time.
Because there has historically been an inverse relationship between interest rates and home prices. As interest rates decrease, growth in home prices increases. And as interest rates increase, growth in home prices decreases. Not immediately, not always–there are factors like inflation, but generally speaking, these are the trends. So while buying a home to “beat the rate increase” might save money on interest, you could actually end up paying MORE for a home.
And what's even worse:
Because these major purchasing decisions are made quickly and emotionally — the buyers that focus only on one part of the equation and not the big picture — run the risk of getting into the wrong home…
And then having to sell it and buy another home within the next few years…
Leading to them paying tens of thousands in transaction costs.
So these buyers may end up paying more to get OUT of their home than they "saved" getting INTO it.
Not to mention there are also a few benefits associated with higher interest rates. (Yes, you read that right.)
Higher interest rates are a sign of a good economy. Of course we don’t want them too high, but higher interest rates than we have right now means our economy is doing well. Higher interest rates generally lead to lower home prices, or at the very least a cooling of pricing increases. So if you've been tempted to buy a home just because you hear you have to rush to beat the rates, my advice is…
Take a deep breath. Look at the big picture. And consider this:
Other than interest rates, is it the right time for you to move? Why or why not?
How long are you planning to stay in the home you purchase?
If you're only planning to stay for a few years, then interest rates should certainly not be the only factor in your timing decision.
Are you in the right place financially to be buying a home? If so, then interest rates should certainly be a factor, but shouldn’t be the sole determinant of whether to buy now or wait for just the right home to come along.
Regardless of what interest rates are doing, regardless of what the market is doing, if right now is a good time for you or anyone you know to buy or sell, I'd love to help (and help you avoid the mistakes so many buyers and sellers are making right now too).