lower price is always best-even with higher rates

Myth propagated by bitter ignorant renters, or statistical reality ignored by real estate professionals?

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lower price is always best-even with higher rates

Postby sniglet » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:19 am

From the discussion on the blog I've seen some concern given for the possible rise in interest rates, which could off-set any benefit from declining real-estate prices.

My suggestion is to always go for the lower base price, regardless of the interest rate. You can always refinance in a few years when rates drop. However, if you buy at a high price refinancing will never be able to reduce the cost basis you started with.

A low initial price is always the best policy.

Of course, this assumes that mortgage rates will be rising in the next few years. If anything, I suspect mortgage rates will remain low, and may even drop further. We are entering a deflationary recession (where credit contracts from both the supply and demand side), which always feature low interest rates as investors race to put their money in the absolutely safest investments. T-bills, for example, will likely continue to have low interest rates as people become frightented of almost all other investment classes.

What will change, however, is the criteria for getting a mortgage. Yes, mortgage rates might well continue to be low 2 years from now, but the required downpayments and credit scores might be substantially more onerous than they are already. People with poor credit or little savings might find the mortgage markets completely closed to them.

Not that this is a good reason for someone to rush out and buy today (i.e. because they fear they won't qualify for loans in the future). If credit does indeed tighten further, do you really want to be caught owning a home that is depreciating significantly every year?
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Re: lower price is always best-even with higher rates

Postby SeattleMoose » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:25 am

Well said Sniglet....agree completely. :mrgreen:
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Re: lower price is always best-even with higher rates

Postby rose-colored-coolaid » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:00 am

I love using extreme examples to prove points like these.

1) 1,000,000,000% interest rates, but median homes sell for $20,000.
2) 0.000 000 000 000 1% interest rates, but median homes sell for $1,500,000.

I'll take the first and pay cash, thank you very much
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Re: lower price is always best-even with higher rates

Postby Robroy » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:49 am

Sniglet, I agree as well. It is pretty simple: If you buy at a low price, the odds of the value going up are greater. If you buy at a high interest rate your odds of being able to refinance down the road are also greater. Plus, interest is tax deductible.

It always cracks me up when radio ads say rates are low so it is a great time to buy. What is really true is that rates are low so it is a good time to SELL. Low rates are good for sellers, since they can get a higher price. With homes, most people buy a monthly payment.

Sniglet, your last point is a warning that for those who would like to enter the market when the crash is over, thy definitely should be putting the cash aside NOW for the down payment.
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