Mortgage rates rose last week; HSH Associates reports that the average combined rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rose from 4.62 to 4.76 percent. Rates for a 15 year FRM rose from last week's 4.02 to 4.16 percent. Rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rose by ten basis points from 3.52 to 3.62 percent. Although not drastic, these rates are the biggest upward adjustments we've reported in recent weeks.
While rates are slightly up, don't let that discourage you from buying during the usually sluggish holiday and early winter season. In fact, shopping how may help you finding even better deals than have generally been available during the last few months.
Where to start
If you're considering buying a home immediately or in the new year, it's worthwhile to do some research before searching for a new home and mortgage lender. Research the area where you want to buy, and talk with real estate pros specializing in that area. They can advise you of current home prices and market trends, and possibly provide inside information about good deals on homes in your preferred neighborhoods.
Using free mortgage calculators and obtaining mortgage quotes from multiple lenders is helpful for learning how much a mortgage is likely to cost.
Knowledge is power: know your credit score and how much you can spend
Mortgage lenders advertise their very lowest rates, which may only be available to customers with excellent credit. Knowing your credit scores in advance can help with avoiding surprises when reading mortgage quotes.
If you currently own a home, part of a successful home buying transaction is knowing what your current home is worth and how long it may take to sell it. This information, combined with knowing your credit scores and how much you can afford to put down on a new home, assists with establishing an affordable range of homes.
Our live database of current mortgage rates can help you find the best mortgage rates in your area.