Market Matters: Can I still get a good rate on a mortgage?

Illustration by Muti

Right now, rates are probably one percent higher than last year’s historically low rates,” says Joe Bianco Jr., a loan officer with Eagle Savings Bank. “But it’s still a great time to purchase a home.” The bigger issue is finding the best mortgage plan for you. He suggests sitting down with someone in the industry to sort out the options—FHA or conventional loan, percent down, etc. “I think now more than ever, people don’t have the time to research it. They just want an answer, and they go with it. But you need to spend some time with this,” says Bianco. “I think educating the consumer is our biggest job as a lender. Have a quick conversation with someone in the industry who understands it, and you’re going to make the right decision.”

As for the rates themselves, the current buyers’ window should remain open a little while longer. “It looks like [rates] are going to stay lower until the end of the year,” says Bianco. “I think in the coming year we will see some slow increases, and we may be as high as 5 percent by the end of next year. But I don’t think we’ll see rates ever again, in my opinion, up in the 9 or 10 percent range. To keep the housing market and our economy going, I think the rates will stay relatively low indefinitely.”

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