Signs of Fall

Well, we've gone back to standard time. Halloween has come and gone. And I find myself a bit less interested in house-hunting, which usually happens to me in the fall.

If you live in the northeast of the US, you know that the fall is glorious and the colors divine. You also know that it is the prelude to winter, and not too many would choose voluntarily to move in the winter. This is one of the main reasons, I suspect, for the yearly cycle of dropping home prices in the fall.

Prices don't seem to have taken quite the dip that I expected, but they are falling, just like the leaves.

And our interest rates are heading up. This means that you can't afford as much house as you could when the interest rate was lower. Should we be locking in? It's a good question. Some financial experts are now saying yes; some are still saying no. I think it depends in part on how much time you have left on your mortgage. Are you going to be staying in your place for the foreseeable future? Are you already in a "perfect" home? Locking in might work to keep your payments predictable. Are you feeling as if you might be moving in a couple of years? Do you have only a year or two left on your mortgage? Then, you might be better served by hanging tight. After all, you can renegotiate early, but sometimes your lender will charge you money for that. If the fees are bigger than what you can save in the time left on your mortgage, you'll likely want to stay put.

What's your best bet in any kind of interest market? Shop around! Always make your lender work for your business. After all, unless you have the very worst of credit ratings, there are lenders who are competing for your business. While they provide you with a service, you are providing them with a "living". Make them work for it.

Michael

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