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This article brought to you courtesy of Darcey Edwards of Edwards Realty Trust, News-Times Insider Realty Expert.

Darcey Edwards

Mortgage rates, currently less than 3% for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, have never been lower. But what does this mean to a home buyer?

Mostly, a low rate means a lower monthly mortgage payment. For example, a $200,000 mortgage at 2.87% means a payment of $829 per month, but on a loan with 2018's average rate of 4.54% is $1,018 per month, almost $200 more. It makes a big difference. You will also pay less interest over time.

A lower interest rate gives buyers a bigger budget. You can buy a more expensive house but still afford the payment. That translates to a better neighborhood or an extra bedroom.

A lower interest rate means you can make a smaller down payment. In the past the average down payment was 20% but in 2019 it was 12%, a more reachable goal for buyers. Some buyers who meet certain income qualifications can get help with down payment or closing costs through mortgage lenders.

A tight inventory (see last month's column) combined with low rates increases competition for the homes available. Staying at home during the pandemic has convinced people that their current home doesn't meet their needs and they are ready to make a move.

Darcey Edwards and her team at Edwards Realty Trust can help buyers negotiate the current conditions and find the best home for their lifestyle.

Edwards Realty Trust

5193 NE Elam Young Parkway, Suite D

Hillsboro, OR 97124


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