Marry the House, Date the Rate

It’s a popular phrase in the real estate world. “Marry the house, date the rate.” It’s popping up more consistently on today’s market as buyers grapple with high mortgage interest rates. But, what does the phrase really mean and does it apply to you?

Simply put, it’s about committing to a property in a long-term “marriage,” while maintaining a flexible stance towards the interest rate. We wouldn’t normally advise any of our clients to date while married, but we’ll make an exception here (financially, of course). You stay married to the house and keep the interest rate on the side while you look for opportunities to refinance when interest rates drop.

Many Americans are currently hesitant to take the plunge into homeownership due to soaring interest rates. At Velazquez Consumer Law, LLC we recognize these concerns but also want to illuminate the path to achieving real estate goals despite the financial uncertainties presently facing buyers.

Making a Calculated Decision

It’s ultimately a numbers game. Navigating the real estate market while interest rates are hovering between 7.5-8% as we step into 2024 demands a meticulous approach. You are committing to the mortgage as is even if you plan to refinance at a later date.

While it’s true that there’s no absolute certainty of interest rates declining, recent trends in inflation management hint at a possible ease in interest rates in the somewhat near future. Prospective buyers should, therefore, brace themselves for a short-term commitment to these higher rates, possibly for a period of 12-24 months.

The key here is to avoid overreaching your financial capabilities, while simultaneously positioning yourself to capitalize on a potential market upswing. If you aren’t able to survive a mortgage for at least 12 months, you should never sign.

Higher Interest Rates Generally Lower the Purchase Price

One silver lining in this scenario is the effect of high interest rates on property prices. Sellers, constantly aware of the deterrence caused by these rates, often have no options but to reduce their asking prices significantly. This presents a golden opportunity for prepared buyers.

By locking in a lower purchase price now, there’s a substantial possibility of saving a great deal in the future through refinancing when the rates are more favorable. This is the essence of marrying the house – committing to a purchase price with a long-term vision.

When This Saying Falls Short

We do want to caution that this strategy does not universally apply to potential buyers. The financial viability of refinancing hinges on long-term property ownership.

If your plan is to keep the property for an extended period, refinancing is a likely outcome to maximize savings and capitalize on the equity in the home. However, most studies show the average homeowner buys a new home every ten to a dozen years.

In that scenario, the current high rates coupled with the costs that come with refinancing may not yield any financial advantage and ultimately cost you significantly more. It’s crucial to evaluate these factors based on your specific situation and future plans.

Make Sound Real Estate Buying Decisions

Real estate decisions are inherently personal and must account for a myriad of factors. The high-interest-rate environment shouldn’t necessarily deter you from pursuing your property goals, but it does necessitate a thorough assessment of your circumstances and objectives.

At Velazquez Consumer Law, LLC, we are dedicated to guiding our clients through the complex nature of the Illinois real estate market. By understanding your unique situation, we aim to assist you in making well-informed decisions, whether it’s about committing to a property or navigating the nuances of interest rates.

Contact our team to find out if you should marry the house and date the rate.

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Velazquez Consumer Law

Central to our firm is the empathetic and compassionate service we give each client that allows us to fully understand your situation and goals. Above all, our responsive and hands-on approach to your legal issues yields actual results.

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