Low Interest Rates Help Homeowners

Friday, December 12th 2008, 8:26 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- If you're thinking about refinancing your home loan, local mortgage brokers say the time is now. In more and more Oklahoma homes, mortgage-payers are taking note of, and taking advantage of historically low interest rates.

"Our generation has not seen the rates this low...ever. We're seeing a pickup, things are starting to increase," Jody Biggers with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage said.

Biggers said with fixed, 30-year rates dropping down near five percent, it just makes sense for some to refinance.

She said there are a few rules of thumb in deciding whether refinancing is worth it -- make sure your new payment is at least $100 less than your current payment.

"And make sure that when you have closing costs, it will allow you to recoup those monies within at least the first three years of that refinance," Biggers said.

The low interest rates are not only making this an ideal time for many to refinance, they're also making for some potentially good deals on new homes.

A glut of houses on the market, combined with a lack of buyers and low interest rates are making this a buyer's market.

"I think probably now, in the next month or two, are going to be good opportunities for people to buy a house at a price that they're happy with and a rate that they're happy with. Very seldom do we get both," Brad Reeser with Keller Williams said.

Reeser said many are waiting for interest rates to drop under five percent, but that may not be the best idea since it will bring out more buyers.

"May be easier to take a five and a quarter percent rate today, go out and be able to negotiate terms with a seller without having any competition," Reeser said.

Housing industry officials said unlike in other parts of the country loans are available here, but officials said lenders are now requiring more proof that borrowers are qualified.