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Interest rate changes and how long to wait before buying?

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  • Interest rate changes and how long to wait before buying?

    Hi all, my spouse and I are starting new jobs in November and September, respectively in a very high cost of living area, Northern Virginia/DC, we are we plan to buy our forever home, given that both of our families reside there.

    We were initially thinking of buying right away but with the uncertainties related to COVID related pay cuts and also wanting to make sure we love our jobs, we figured we’d rent for 10-12months before buying. Renting is ~$4000/month, which I know is steep, but not as bad as buying a $1.5m house and then regretting it. (Commute time is a killer and so if we change jobs, would want to live near where we work).

    My questions are:

    -I know mortgage interest rates are very difficult to predict but on average how much can/do they change within a year? Rates are so great right now, so I’d hate to miss out on them! especially bc there’s a >90%chance we’re going to like our jobs and buy here within a year.

    -Amazon HQ2 is breaking ground later this year here and I know prices surged when they announced a couple of years ago and imagine they’ll do so again when they break ground- but who is the best person to ask about advice regarding this, a realtor? Once again, I feel pressure to buy sooner if prices will likely increase.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    A real estate agent is just going to tell you to buy now. A mortgage broker will probably do the same. The ones I've talked to seem to only see the road in front of them.

    Same rules apply to all situations- only as much home as you need in a good school district and hopefully not the most expensive house on the block. If you're ready to buy now, then do it. Rates keep creeping down and I've heard as low as 2.25% for a 15 year.

    Biggest obstacle for you seem like they'd be jumbo doctor loans since they aren't handing them out like candy anymore.


    • #3
      I like to rent in HCOL areas; you can get a lot more bang for your buck renting a nice place vs what you would pay buying it (when you include mortgage, tax, insurance, HOA, maintenance etc).

      However, if it's your forever home and you are definitely staying there, then buying this year or next year with historically low rates makes sense too.