Published in: Mortgages | July 2, 2020
By: Maurie Backman
Mortgage rates can change on a weekly basis. In fact, they can change overnight. If your goal is to buy a new home in the near future, then you'll need to keep track of how rates are trending to see when it's right to lock in an offer. Though the average rate for the 30-year, 20-year, and 15-year fixed mortgage has gone up a little since Tuesday, the average rate for a 5/1 ARM has decreased slightly.
This is what today's rates look like:
|30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate||3.48%||3.56%|
|20-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate||3.36%||3.46%|
|15-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate||2.86%||3.01%|
The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage today is 3.48%, down from 3.60% last week. For a $200,000 mortgage, that means you're looking at a monthly payment of $1,454. Though the average rate for a 30-year mortgage was just 3.37% a couple of days ago, 3.48% is still very competitive.
The average interest rate for a 20-year fixed mortgage is 3.36%. While that represents a small jump from Tuesday, when the average rate was just 3.20%, it's a nice drop from last week, when the average 20-year mortgage rate was sitting at 3.42%. Based on today's rate, for a $200,000 mortgage, you're looking at a monthly payment of $1,704.
9 in 10 Americans can qualify to refinance their mortgage. With mortgage rates plummeting to multi-decade lows, there's no better time to cut your monthly mortgage payment.
The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is 2.86%, which is comparable to where it was two days ago (2.84%) and extremely competitive in general. For a $200,000 mortgage, that rate results in a monthly payment of $1,926. If that payment works for your budget, you'll save a lot on interest compared to what you'd pay with a 30-year mortgage (you'll pay $46,225 all-in with a 15-year loan at today's rates, compared to $122,743 in interest with a 30-year loan at today's rates).
The average interest rate for a 5/1 ARM is 2.84%. By comparison, last week, it was 3.23%, and on Tuesday, it was 2.88%, so if you're willing to get an adjustable-rate mortgage, now's a good time to do so. Of course, there are risks associated with adjustable-rate mortgages. In this case, the 2.84% rate you can lock in today is only guaranteed for the first five years of your loan. After that, it will adjust once a year. However, that adjustment could work out in your favor, as your rate could drop depending on market conditions at the time.
A mortgage rate lock guarantees you a specific rate for a preset period of time -- usually 30 days, but you may be able to lock in your rate for up to 60 days. You'll generally pay a fee for a mortgage rate lock, but in exchange, you're protected in the event that there's a substantial jump in rates between now and your loan closing date.
If you plan to close on your home within the next month, then it could pay to lock in your rate based on how today's numbers look. However, if your closing is more than a month away, you may want to choose a floating rate lock instead for what will generally be a higher fee, but a potentially worthwhile one. A floating rate lock allows you to snag a lower rate on your mortgage if rates fall prior to your closing, and given the way rates have fluctuated in recent weeks, there's a chance they could fall even more beyond a 30-day time frame.
No matter what decision you make, don't just accept the first mortgage you're offered. Rather, shop around with different mortgage lenders and see what rates you're eligible for. It could be that your credit score snags you a better rate with one lender than with another, so getting a bunch of offers is a smart move, and if you do your mortgage shopping within a short time period (30 to 45 days), all that activity will count as a single hard inquiry on your credit, thereby preserving your score as you attempt to lock in a great deal.
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