LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Interest rates for homes in Texas have stayed incredibly low since last year, which is great news for East Texans looking to buy a home.
Rates are lower than 4 percent. Mortgage departments and real estate agents are hopeful these rates will help persuade potential home buyers in time for spring, the busiest time of year for buying a home.
Interest rates for homes in East Texas have continued to drop this month. They have dropped so low that Michael Bryan, a realtor for Century 21, said right now is the time to act.
"Interest rates are low right now - below four percent, and I don't know how much lower they can go," Bryan said. "So, it's an excellent time to buy a house right now."
Take a look at the current home loan rates in Texas. Right now, with a credit score above 700 and a home selling for about $150,000, you could qualify for a 30 year mortgage interest rate of about 3.5 percent. And for the same credit score and loan amount, the rate for a 15 year mortgage would currently be under 3 percent.
This may be a lower rate, but Bryan said his customers are better off with a 30-year mortgage.
"You can get a little bit lower rate with a shorter term; the fifteen year note," Bryan said. "But in general, I recommend the thirty year note so that you don't have as much obligation. It doesn't take as much of your credit available to get your note."
Lower rates mean buyers could be spending a little less than a $1,000 a month on their mortgage.
"Actually today you can spend less money on a mortgage than what rent costs you," Bryan said. "Rental is at a premium here in Lufkin and so you can spend less money and actually own the home."
Bryan said there are some pre-owning steps to take before buying your first home.
"Buying their first house, they'd want to go ahead and get prequalified," Bryan said. "They should go ahead and go visit with their lender and get prequalified so they'll know exactly what they're qualified for."
Getting pre-qualified is the ideal step to put any home buyer in a better bargaining position when it's time to make an offer on that beautiful house you've had your eye on.
Lufkin realtors are hopeful these rates will continue to stay below four percent throughout the year. Although there's a possibility rates could change everyday depending on the market.