Nov 25, 2023. So you may have noticed that the interest rate on mortgages is a tick up… And you may have heard a millenial news reporter call the rates ‘high’ but let’s have a look at historic rates. My first home purchase in the 1990s on Main Street extension in Bethlehem was with the help of PHFA (PA first time home buyers loan), and I scored an 8.25% interest rate. Every friend was like “HOW did you GET THAT?!”
8.25% was a very good rate in the early ’90s. Rates were like 18-19% in the ’80s… post-Covid spending, the FED needed to use their best lending instruments to help combat inflation and it seems like maybe they are done now – it’s been fairly effective.
Maybe the mortgage rate was kept too low for too long? So — many that had re-financed at 2.5-3% are not super motivated to sell their homes at this point and yes, housing inventory (esp. resales) is still super low. Especially in highly desired areas such as the Lehigh Valley with a very strong regional economy and great proximity to NYC and Philly.
Many are waiting around for the rate to fall. This is not a great idea. What we have here is not ‘a bubble’ — it’s an economic measure to combat inflation. It’s not ridiculous predatory lending like 2007. Housing inventory or absorption rate of current housing that is available for sale in our market is still just like 1 month… Prices are still holding their own and even trending up, in average house sale list price vs. actual sold price. Average time on market is still just like a month.
Meanwhile — in case you haven’t noticed regional rents are escalating; we are in a housing crisis. Building costs (labor and materials) have gone up quite a bit — more expensive new builds = more expensive rents. If you are paying $1200+ or so/ month in rent you should REALLY consider purchasing a home if you think you will stay put in the area for like 3+ years or so. It’s likely to just go up; so you build equity – and if it’s an investment property you might even have someone else paying your mortgage.
Local counties and cities have some incentives / sort of grants for you to buy vs. rent — many have income ceilings (around 80% of the average county household income or so). Some of these programs help with deposit and closing costs… but – if you are responsible and thinking of how to try to grow wealth going forward; save a bit of $$ and invest in yourself! Why pay rent, if you plan to stick around for a little bit? We are working with credit guru Carl Rinyu who is a talented local lender on your Path to Home Ownership.
He can do a soft pull on credit, see what needs to improve to help you get the best rate/ improve your score, and get you on track to home-ownership. Call us 610.252.2552 or email: lets do this, for a simple assessment of what it will take! If you are tired of paying for someone else’s mortgage let’s make it a priority. It might be a little more competitive now, but there are still properties out there at many levels! So, Carpe Diem? Is it time to seize the day? Absolutely — There is no reason to wait. Carl will show you the stats for your money; for just renting and waiting, vs. buying NOW. If you plan to live in the area for 3+ years or so, the numbers are very compelling to BUY and OWN.
Let’s do this: 2024. We can get you on that path!
Have a listen to my last podcast on Mark Nutting’s HELLO EASTON.