In today’s market, buyers are dealing with high mortgage rates, which is making homeownership too expensive for some people.
The good news? There may be ways to get around those high mortgage rates and successfully purchase a home; you just need to get creative with your approach.
A recent article from realtor.com outlined different strategies buyers can use to “outsmart” today’s high interest rates, including:
- Buying down the mortgage rates. One way to lower the interest rate of your mortgage — at least temporarily — is to buy down the mortgage rate. With mortgage rate buydowns, buyers pay a lump sum upfront to lower the interest rate of the loan for a certain period of time. For example, with a 2/1 buydown, you can pay a lump sum upfront to lower the interest rate on your loan for the first two years; two percentage points for the first year, and one percentage point for the second year. The goal with buydowns is to essentially buy time until the rates go down. You can lower your interest rate while rates are high, and then refinance into a lower interest rate loan later on.
- Seller financing. Another option some buyers are exploring to escape rising interest rates is seller financing. This is when sellers give the buyers a loan to finance the property and pay them over a period of time with interest. The draw of this kind of arrangement is that, ideally, the buyer gets a lower interest rate on the loan than current mortgage interest rates, while the seller gets a higher interest rate than they would in a traditional savings account. However, there are some definite drawbacks to this method. For example, as a buyer, you likely won’t qualify for any other types of home loans, like a home equity line of credit, and you might not have the same kind of homeowner protections that traditional loans provide. So make sure to do your due diligence and really understand the pros and cons before agreeing to seller financing.
- Down payment assistance programs. Down payment assistance programs won’t lower the interest rate on your loan, but they’ll help provide you with funds for a down payment, which will lower your monthly payment since you’ll be paying off a smaller loan amount. There are many of these types of programs in the US, so do some research and see if there’s a program you qualify for.