CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Mortgage rates are near an all-time low, making many homeowners wonder whether to refinance. The Federal Reserve has been cutting interest rates for the past six to eight months, including a recent cut in direct response to the coronavirus.
The drop in mortgage rates in recent months is a result of federal reserve changes to overall rates, in an effort to keep the economy moving forward.
The question, which no one can really answer, is when will they bottom out? Should you wait to see if they go lower? Or should you act right now?
Local financial professional Casey Marx says things could change day-by-day either direction so don’t wait.
Things are changing so quickly as rates have slightly gone up since last week.
Marx says now is the time for homeowners to lock in that new rate.
Although it costs money to refinance, Marx says it will save you more in the end.
“You take a 30-year mortgage for example on a $400,000 house over the course of a 30-year period with like 4% interest, you’re paying $200,000 in interest,” Crown Haven Wealth Advisors President Casey Marx said. “If you were to refinance to a 15-year mortgage with like 2.6% interest, you’re saving yourself $100,000. To make a $1,000 move, you’re saving yourself $100,000 over the life of a loan.”
Before taking out a mortgage, Marx says you want to make sure you can afford it. He says it’s important to look at the cost of the home and the total cost of the home, which includes things like utilities and insurance. It shouldn’t be more than 28% of your take-home pay.
To pay off your mortgage early, Marx says you need to have a healthy down payment, like 20%. It’s also helpful to make bi-weekly payments, which allows you to make one extra payment a year. Marx says this can take 5 years off a 30-year loan.
The financial professional says as long as the benchmark rates are as low as they are at right now and as long as banks are getting squeezed, mortgage rates will stay low.