By Bruce Cathcart, Broker/Co-Owner of La Quinta Palms Realty
When I bought my first house in the early 1980’s mortgage interest rates were over 16%. Most of you reading this article are likely too young to even imagine such a thing or too old to remember the not-so-good old days. But for those of us who were trying to make a living selling real estate back then we will never forget it… or as the outlaw Josey Wales put it, “Dying ain’t much of a living”. Those were some pretty tough times but somehow we managed to get through them and by comparison, interest rates have (with a few hiccups along the way) gone down ever since. Today our mortgage interest rates are still hovering around historic lows averaging 4.08% for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. This is still super cheap money but most economic experts predict that it won’t be around much longer… and I am starting to believe them!
So what are some ways that you can get some of the cheap money that’s available right now? If you are currently renting your home you need to seriously consider buying one. If you have decent credit and can scrape together a minimum down payment you will discover that right now you may be able to buy a home for the same amount you are currently paying in rent. This is only possible because rents are currently up and interest rates are down. If you currently own your home you should review your current interest rate and equity position and consider a refinance. You may be able to significantly reduce your current monthly payment and/or the term of your current loan.
How about buying an investment property for yourself or perhaps help your children to buy a home? You say that sounds good but you don’t have a 10% or 20% down payment saved up. Consider refinancing your home for more than your current mortgage and use the extra money for your down payment. On the other hand, if you have extra cash sitting idle in the bank, now is the time to convert that “electronic wealth” into something more substantial (with four walls and a roof!) by leveraging your cash and borrowing some of that cheap money! If any of these ideas appeal to you contact your trusted real estate agent and ask them to help you to realize your real estate goals before the cheap money isn’t so cheap!