Is House Price or Interest Rate More Important?

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Is House Price or Interest Rate More Important?

Calling real estate brokers is encouraged by two changes in the property industry. Housing prices are down, and mortgage rates are low, so those are the first two. Choosing which aspect is more crucial may have an impact in a variety of ways. Your wallet may contain the most significant items.

Impact on Monthly Payment

Imagine you began your property hunt at a time when interest rates were 4%. You saw an apartment with one bedroom listed for $100,000. You used the $80,000 you would be mortgaging after a 20% down payment and closing expenses to compute your 30-year mortgage payment. You would pay $382 each month.

When you wait six months, the interest rate reduces to 2% because you determine you can do better than this payment and rate. A condo in the area you like, however, now costs $120,000. You put down 20%, plus closing expenses, leaving you with a $96,000 mortgage. A $355 monthly payment is required for a 30-year mortgage. Your bill was reduced by $27. You may see the effect of various rates on your monthly payment with a mortgage calculator.

Your monthly mortgage payment would have been $296 if home prices in your desired area had not increased from the $100,000 starting price point and if you had secured a 2% interest rate. The following details may be gathered and entered into a mortgage calculator to determine your monthly payments.

Impact on Down Payments

In the case of the condo that climbed from $100,000 to $120,000, your monthly payment fell because of a lower interest rate. But would the reduced payment benefit you if you didn’t have an additional $4,000 for a bigger down payment? If you can’t locate a lower area, the difference in the down payment may completely rule you out of the buyer’s market and prevent you from purchasing the property you desire. Additionally, losing that additional $4,000 will make it more difficult for you to buy your new home’s furnishings, reduce the quantity of your emergency reserves, and pay for unforeseen house repairs.

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Coexistent Low Rates and Low Prices

How can you define a low rate? On the Freddie Mac website, you may obtain historical information on mortgage rates and home values. For instance, compared to the preceding and subsequent three to five years, interest rates and house prices were still very low in 2020.

Of course, there is no guarantee that history will repeat itself and produce other property markets with relatively cheap prices and low interest rates. In a Reuters survey conducted in June 2020, real estate experts said that despite the epidemic, home values were steady. Many analysts anticipate that the housing market will be robust again in 2021. It may not always be feasible to wait for a market that is excellent to return if you need to purchase a home quickly.

Impacts on Movability

If you can comfortably make your payments and want to stay in your house for five years or fewer, interest rates won’t mean as much to you. You may check predicted property costs over the last 10 years by choosing an address in the community you are researching online, however there is never a guarantee that prices won’t fall further.

Never compare national or city by city values; always compare local ones. The patterns of home prices vary widely from state to state and from neighborhood to community. If you purchase a property while your local real estate market is below its high, the possibility that you will be underwater (owing more on your home than it is worth) will be reduced.

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The HOA Factor

Not every property you look at will be in a planned community with a homeowner organization, a gated community, or a condominium (HOA).But if that ends up being your situation, be aware that HOA dues may increase when more unoccupied properties are present and are often greater for more costly homes. Why?

Shared services including lawn care, condo maintenance, clubhouses, pools, tennis courts, and/or private roadways are all covered by HOAs. HOA dues increase when fewer homeowners contribute to the costs. You should get in touch with potential HOAs and get their prices for the last ten years, just like with other historical data.

Ask about the maximum fees as well as the variables that affect rate increases and reductions. Always ask about the HOA dues for any house you are thinking about buying. A little more expensive property could have cheaper HOA dues, particularly if fewer amenities are provided. Make careful to account for HOA fees in your monthly budget since they might be an extra burden in low-interest rate situations.


The ability to refinance or modify your property in the future is a benefit of purchasing a home at a cheaper price as opposed to having a lower interest rate. If interest rates fall, you can cut expenses. In essence, if rates decline, the issue with high starting interest rates will be lessened.

Ask prospective mortgage bankers how much it would cost to modify your loan if the interest rate on your present property is much higher than current rates. The price range might be from nothing to many thousand dollars. Although there is no assurance that interest rates on house loans will decrease, you can ensure that you will be able to refinance if they do.

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The Bottom Line

Your capacity to afford the monthly payment, down payment, house maintenance, and furnishings, as well as having money left over for an emergency fund, should always play a major role in your choice to purchase a home. Always take into account aspects like HOA dues and the potential to pay off your mortgage if you need to relocate soon.

Purchase ideally when mortgage rates and property prices are both cheap. Calculate the short- and long-term expenses of a lower loan rate vs a reduced purchase price if that is not an option. Make your move when the math makes the most sense.

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