Recently we have witnessed a boom in the mortgage industry. With increasing real estate values and a very low inflation, interest rates have touched an all time low. Since inflation is running extremely low at present, economists feel that mortgage rates will remain low in the near future also. As an obvious consequence homeowners are giving serious thoughts to the effects of low mortgage rate.
Usually, mortgage lenders offer a variety of combinations of interest rates and points. For example, 6.0% and 2 points, 6.5% and 1 point or 7.0% and no points. Points are a one-time upfront payment that the borrower makes to the lender at the time of closing the mortgage. It is a fee like the interest and not a part of the down payment. A drop in mortgage interest rates reduces the cost of borrowing and should logically result in an increase in prices in a market where most people borrow money to purchase a home (for instance, in the United States), so that average payments remain constant.
One of the direct effects of low mortgage rate is that the homeowners opt for greater savings through refinancing. Hence the cost to savings ratio is exceeded. Refinancing can be a boon in several situations since some of the main reasons to refinance are: – Lower interest rate – Consolidate 2nd mortgage loan – Lower loan term – Lower monthly payments – Payoff other personal loans and – Take cash out from equity
One of the most intriguing effects of low mortgage rate is the dilemma faced by the borrowers about whether to reduce their payments or the length of the loan term itself. Lower rates allow you to reduce your mortgage from say 25 years remaining to 15 years remaining with the same monthly payment. The next thing you would like to do is refinance again so that you will be able to reduce it to 10 years.
Another common rationale for refinancing and taking the equity out of your house as an effect of low mortgage rate is to be able to pay off credit card debt. You can also opt for a debt consolidation loan. By reducing your payment you will be able to pay off higher rate debt like credit cards. But try to eliminate interest payments wherever possible. The average credit card will have an interest rate of 18% to 25%. You can actually get rid of those high rate credit cards by taking advantage of the low mortgage rates. Also by lowering your debt you will be actually saving for the future.
It is also vital to understand that in most cases the loans are adjustable rate mortgages. The adjustment period may vary significantly depending on the loan program you are considering. You might not realize the effects of low mortgage rate unless you consider the stability and vulnerability of the interest rate that you are required to pay throughout the repayment tenure. Hence it is important to bear in mind that not only the current effects of low mortgage rate, but also effects of any future rise in interest rates should be considered when opting for a variable rate mortgage.