The bad news is that average combined rates moved up, but the good news is that they rose incrementally. HSH Associates reports that average combined rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) increased by one basis point last week to 5.12 percent, while corresponding rates for a 15-year FRM also rose by one basis point to 4.47 percent. Average combined rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan decreased by two basis points to 3.80 percent.
Mortgage rates and more: When is the right time for buying or refinancing a home?
Mortgage rates should be part of a group of considerations when deciding whether to buy or refinance:
- How long do you plan to live in the home you're buying or refinancing? Breaking even on closing costs can take several years, so if you're planning to move soon, putting off a mortgage loan or refinance could actually save you money.
- What will the down payment and closing costs run? In general conventional mortgage loans require a down payment of 10 to 20 percent of the appraised value of the home you're buying. Refinancing requires 20 percent home equity, which is roughly calculated by subtracting your refinance mortgage amount from the current value of your home. FHA offers mortgage loans requiring 3.5 to 10 percent down depending on your credit scores, but you'll also have to pay FHA mortgage insurance. Closing costs typically average 3 to 5 percent of your home's appraised value.
- What does it really cost to own a home? Homeowners must deal with (and pay for) home repairs and maintenance. You'll also have to pay property taxes, hazard insurance premiums, and possibly mortgage insurance. You'll pay for water and sewer, trash collection and HOA fees if you buy a home in a development with a homeowners association. You may also need to invest in lawn care equipment and home appliances.
Our live database of current mortgage rates can help with finding the best mortgage rates in your area.