Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Does high inflation discourage your from buying a home?

Inflation devalues the purchasing power of money and the interest earned on savings is almost always less than inflation.  Tangible assets like your home consistently become more valuable over time.  In inflationary periods, a home is a good investment and a hedge against inflation.

Borrowing money at fixed rates during times of inflation can be very advantageous...like buying a home.  The rate stays the same over the term of the mortgage and so does the payment instead of going up at the rate of inflation.

In September 2022, rents rose by 7.2% according to NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun and "rents are accelerating to higher figures with each passing month."  The annualized rate for this year is 10.6%.  Buying a home allows you to avoid rent increases while enjoying property appreciation.

The housing shortage that is fueling the price appreciation, as well as increases in rent, is something that has existed for over ten years, yet American home building has not kept pace with population growth.

When you are repaying the mortgage, you are using dollars that are worth less and less due to inflation.  Home Price Appreciation has been close or beaten inflation in each of the past five decades.


Home Prices

Average Annual Increase

Consumer Prices

Average Annual Increase
















20 + 21






*Revised predictions for 2022 home price appreciation are: Fannie Mae estimating 16%; Freddie Mac 12.8%; NAR 11.5%.  Average of three projections is 13.4%


The funds for the down payment and closing costs that are sitting idle in a bank, while an otherwise qualified buyer waits to see what happens in the market, are having their value eroded by inflation.  At the current rate of inflation, $48,000 would be worth $39,073 in three years.  In seven years, it would be worth $29,697.

A 90% mortgage at 6.3% for 30-years on a $400,000 home that appreciates at 4% a year will have an estimated equity of $202,000 in seven years due to appreciation and amortization.  That is a 22.8% annual rate of return on the down payment plus $8,000 closing costs.  That is a significant hedge against a current inflation of 7.1%.

The borrowed funds in the mortgage produce leverage for the homeowner to enjoy the benefits as the value of the home goes up while the unpaid balance goes down with each payment made due to amortization.

Every day, a renter, who is otherwise qualified to purchase a home, is faced with a decision to continue renting or buy a home.  Renters will ultimately be facing an increase in their rent, feeling an erosion of the purchasing power of their funds, and experiencing an opportunity cost by not benefitting from the appreciation and amortization benefits of buying a home.

Let's connect and talk about what opportunities are available now and options that could benefit you, even considering the volatile economic atmosphere we're all facing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Did you know this about your credit?

Credit scores are used to assess risk and determine whether a borrower is approved or declined for a mortgage, credit card or some other type of credit.  The score is a numerical value ranging from a low of zero to a high of 850 or 900 depending on the credit bureau.

The higher the score, the more likely the lender will be repaid in a timely manner.

  1. A higher credit score could help you get a lower interest rate
  2. You can get a free credit report from all three major bureaus at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
  3. Your credit score doesn't have to be perfect to get a loan ... most lenders want buyers to have a minimum of 620 but FHA will consider as low as 500
  4. Credit utilization, the percentage of credit used compared to what is available, should be kept below 30%; amounts higher could negatively affect your credit score.
  5. There is a difference between a soft and a hard credit pull.  The former doesn't hurt your score, but the latter can lower it a few points.  Try to avoid multiple hard inquiries.
  6. Credit cards, bank loans, car loans and home loans are considered "good credit" and a mixture of different types is helpful compared to only a car loan.
  7. Opening new credit accounts after you apply for a mortgage can hurt or even prevent you from being approved on the mortgage.

There are five components to making up a credit score.  35% of the weighted average is determined by payment history like paying on time.  The next highest item is the amount owed and counts for 30% of your score.  This component deals with credit utilization which is expressed as a percentage of what you owe divided by what is available.

The length of time you have had credit established accounts for 15% of the score.  New credit and the types of credit accounts are weighted at 10% each.  Opening several accounts in a relatively close period will negatively affect your score.  While it isn't necessary to have all types of credit like credit cards, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans, the types of credit in the mix are evaluated.

If you need help increasing your score, a trusted lender that provides your pre-approval can also make suggestions that would improve your credit.  Contact your real estate professional to get a personal recommendation of a trusted mortgage lender.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Waiting for the Mortgage Rates to Come Down

Waiting for the mortgage rates to come down before you buy a home may not be a good decision.

If you are correct, and the rates do come down by two percent, the savings you benefit from a lower rate will most likely be devoured by the appreciated price increase.

As of 12/8/22, the 30-year fixed-rate was at 6.33% which is close to the highest level since mid-2008.  If the rate drops to 4.7% in three years but the price increases by 5% a year, a $400,000 home today, will cost $463,050 three years from now.

An increasingly, popular option that more buyers are considering is to purchase the home today with an adjustable-rate mortgage that could give them a 5.00% rate for five years.  Then, refinance to a fixed rate when rates come down.

Not only will the buyer have lower payments with the ARM, but the buyer will also own the home, and benefit from the appreciated prices which will build equity in the home and increase their net worth.

Mortgage rates have increased over 3% in the first three quarters of this year.  Some would-be buyers are wishing they had a do-over so they could get into a home at a lower rate. The current differential between the fixed and adjustable rates could lower the monthly payment. 

The lower adjustable-rate could save a buyer $300 a month during the first period of five years.  At any point during that period, they could refinance at a better interest rate should it become available.  However, if the rates do start trending down, the homeowner might decide not to refinance because the rate on the ARM would have to go down at the next adjustment period to reflect the lower of rates in the market.

Mortgage rates have been low since the housing crisis that caused the Great Recession.  The government kept them low to build the economy.  Then, the Pandemic threatened the economy, and the government spent a tremendous amount of money to bolster it which led to inflation which is what is causing the rates to increase currently.

When inflation is under control and back to acceptable levels, the rates should lower.

Home prices are a different situation.  The recent rise in mortgage rates has caused home prices to moderate because it affects affordability.  Inventories are still low and there is a pent-up demand for housing from purchasers unable to buy during the pandemic.

This coupled with millennials reaching household formation age and insufficient home building to keep up with demand for the last decade, prices are expected to continue to rise.  The rate of appreciation could even increase when rates come down which would also affect affordability and demand.

Buyers who feel they missed a window of opportunity to buy before rates started increasing should investigate financing alternatives.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Downsizing Options

Opportunities exist for a subset of homeowners, possibly in their 60's to 70's, who want to downsize to smaller homes for convenience, less maintenance, change of lifestyle, or to save money.  These homeowners are more likely to have large equities and will not feel the same constraints that are keeping younger owners in their homes due to the substantial increase in mortgage rates in the past year.

In some cases, there may be enough equity in their relinquished home to pay cash for the replacement.  In other situations, the loan-to-value may be so low that even with higher mortgage rates, it won't be as expensive as purchasing with a minimum down payment.

Some downsizers may be moving from a high-cost area to a lower-cost area where they can get more home for the dollar and may even be able to free up cash for investment or special projects.

It is more likely that older homeowners are living in a property above the median price.  If a seller has a $750,000 home with no mortgage and they're wanting to downsize to a $400,000 home, 7% mortgage rates are probably no concern at all because they're going to pay cash.  In a situation like that, even considering sales costs on the relinquished home and acquisition costs on the replacement home, there will be cash proceeds available.

If you're considering downsizing, or possibly, have parents in this situation, feel confident that you have different options than first-time buyers becoming a homeowner.  Your equity and the fact that you're buying a smaller home can help you achieve your objectives even in a volatile market.

Let's connect and explore the different options that are available.