Thinking of buying or refinancing a home? FSGBank mortgage experts say now is the time to act.
"Home sales are on the rise and rates have bumped up about half a point from this time last year," said mortgage sales manager Jill Green. "In many ways, rising rates are a good sign. The increase is a reaction to the improving economy and housing markets, and with most economists predicting that rates will slowly rise, this gives today's buyer an opportunity for a unique combination of historical low rates and great value in the housing market."
For those looking to refinance their existing mortgages, rates continue to remain at a historic low, added Green. Freddie Mac's records show the annual average topped 8 percent as recently as 2000, she said.
"It's hard to imagine now, but in May 1990, the rate on a 30-year fixed [mortgage] was in the double digits at 10.48 percent," Green explained. "Last week Freddie Mac reported the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose from 3.59 percent to 3.81 percent."
Some may make the argument that with rates increasing, the thing to do is to wait until they drop again, but Green and fellow FSGBank experts advise against that, saying that grabbing the good rates available now is the way to go.
"The market can change quickly and without notice," said Green. "Rates rose in response to stronger economic data and an increasing chance the Federal Reserve may soon taper their asset purchases. If you're on the fence and considering refinancing or purchasing, I don't think there's a reason to wait further."
The latest housing data by S&P/Case-Shiller shows home prices recently rose the most since 2006. That being the case, many may wonder if it is still a "buyer's market" or if Chattanooga's real estate now favors the seller. Green says while price increases are transitioning the market to favor the seller, buyers still have the advantage of purchasing properties at historically low rates.
"Also, for those looking for a home equity line of credit, those rates are not impacted by long-term mortgage rates," she added. "However, it may be a great time to review refinancing to consolidate debt with a variable rate."
Clients who still feel on the fence about buying or refinancing should contact an experienced loan officer. They provide a complimentary consultation and will review all information and make recommendations to help guide the decision with the client.
"We believe in hometown relationship banking," said Green. "Our loan officers live in the markets they serve and understand the area. Your loan is processed and closed right here in Chattanooga, and we have an experienced team, most with 15-plus years' experience, that understands the mortgage process and what it takes to lead the industry in professionalism and customer service."
To learn more about FSGBank mortgage services, contact the main office at 423-308-2051. Serving the Chattanooga markets are Lisa Baskette (423-308-2043), Sharon Inglis (423-308-2119) and Celena Cummins (423-834-2688). Serving the North Georgia markets are Shauna Tanner (423-618-7877) and Robin Butler (423-785-7117), and the Cleveland market is handled by Rita Haynie (423-559-1282).