Housing Complex

A Few More Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

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For last week's column, I wrote about the first-time homebuyer credit and provided some tips for people interested in taking advantage of the "free money," as we wrote on our cover.

Well now, the Wall Street Journal-bunch of copy cats!—has a similar story on their website. I think we covered most of the same bases: the new income limitations; deadlines to be mindful of; communicating with your lender.

But the WSJ has some fresh material. Anyway, here are their added tips:

  • Be mindful of interest rates

Interest rates are low right now, but will likely rise next year, Ms. Warren says. Higher rates will affect your monthly mortgage payments, thus the affordability of the house you are buying.

"It's pretty universally accepted that rates will be higher next year," she says. "What is unknown is how fast and by how much."

Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have been hovering around 5%. But when the Federal Reserve stops buying large amounts of mortgage-backed securities next year, interest rates could rise, Ms. Warren points out. The Fed plans to end its purchase program in March.

  • Don't count on another extension*

*Yeah, no extra detail necessary for this one. Members of Congress have already pronounced this extension as the last.

Image by Keeping it real, Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

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