Mortgage rates moved up last week, but not significantly. HSH Associates reports that average combined rates for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) loan moved up two basis points from 4.76 to 4.78 percent. Corresponding rates for a 15 year FRM increased by three basis points from 4.16 to 4.19 percent. Average combined rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loan provide an excellent opportunity at 4.63 percent, one basis point higher than last week.
Mortgage rates not your only consideration
The only reason for buying or refinancing a home is that you are ready and want to do so. For first time buyers, it pays to consider the "big picture" when shopping for mortgage loans and your new home. Due to ongoing economic concerns and slumping housing markets, the potential for gaining home equity should not be a prime concern.
Here are some steps that can help with making your best decision:
- Shop mortgage loans first: Getting preapproved for a mortgage before looking at homes lets sellers know you're serious about buying, and it also lessens the possibility of complications during the closing process.
- Compare and question mortgage quotes: Don't focus on mortgage rates and annual percentage rates alone; make sure you understand what types of mortgages are being offered, and whether their terms or mortgage rates can change. Make note of your questions, and ask, ask, and ask more questions until you're confident that you understand the cost and features of mortgage loans you're considering.
- Work with a real estate broker/agent specializing in the area you want to buy: This can save time and help with steering clear of potential problems; your real estate agent knows the area and which homes represent a great value.
Our live database of current mortgage rates can help you find the best mortgage rates in your area.