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1/25/2023

Interest Rates 101 and Home Buying

As the housing market in the Olympia area begins to shift with evolving national economic trends, buyers are beginning to focus on anything that can affect the process of purchasing a home. One of the key things that can affect the sale of a home is interest rates. Interest rates significantly impact the real estate market, and potential home buyers need to understand how interest rates affect the costs of buying a home. But what are interest rates, and how do they work?

Interest rates refer to the amount banks charge for borrowing money, which affects the cost of lending money for significant investments like buying a home. When rates go up, borrowers pay more in interest when they take out a loan; when rates go down, they pay less. As such, changes in interest rates can make significant differences in total loan amounts and monthly payments.

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When buying or refinancing a mortgage loan, it’s essential to consider both short-term and long-term interest rate impacts. Generally, short-term fixed mortgages have lower initial interest rates than long-term ones. However, since long-term loans are spread over time, those with variable or adjustable rates can pay more because their loans may change depending on fluctuating market conditions.

It's also recommended that homebuyers research local markets and compare different lenders before agreeing so they know that you're getting the best deal possible with competitive terms. Whether it’s a local lender like Olympia Federal Savings, Timberland Bank, Twinstar Credit Union or WSECU, or a nationally known organization like Academy Mortgage or Bank of America, different financial institutions can offer varying rates.

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Additionally, buyers should keep an eye on economic news and industry trends to stay informed throughout the process – because even minor fluctuations in interest rates can add up over time. That’s why having a real estate agent who has worked for years establishing relationships with different lenders can help provide reassurance that you’re getting the best deal on your loan.

Understanding how interest rates affect the real estate market can help buyers make smart decisions and save on mortgage payments. With research and careful consideration of current market conditions, homebuyers can take control of their investments and feel confident in their purchases.

As the Olympia housing market continues to change, it's good for any buyer to know what could impact their monthly mortgage payments. Shopping around for the best rate is a great way to maximize your home purchase and protect yourself. 

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