Remember the days when a 700 credit score would get you the red carpet treatment and a 5% interest rate would line up so many clients the carpet would be threadbare?
Not so in today's real estate arena. A 700 credit score gets you past the 1st step of qualifying, then comes the next step in what can be a gauntlet of qualifying parameters. The 5% rate is appealing to those who recognize it for what it is....a 30 year low...while others wait for the pending rate implosion that may never take place.
The point is that lending parameters are ever changing and it's never going to be "The Ultimate Time to Buy". Instead we need to recognize it for what it is. A huge opportunity for the 1st time home buyer. From buying at a low price, add the bonus of great interest rates, and then top it off with a $8,000 tax credit. Just do your homework and understand what the local market is doing. A good real estate agent is key and back it up with a strong mortgage lender. Flying solo without an agent and chasing the lowest rate quoted will lead you to down the green mile, while wishing...."If only I'd taken a professional's advice."
Refinancing today is a similar situation. The calculations never change as far as cost return. The sickness lies in never pulling the trigger, holding off until..yep...opportunity is gone. Your mortgage lender should be stuck to the market and an expert in the field. Every day is not the best day to lock the rate, so beware if you expected to lock..today...without supporting information from the lender. Rates do improve as well as degrade, sometimes in short time spans. Ask for the collaborative info, which the lender should be able to provide...since it's what they are basing their locking strategy on.
Be careful Lone Rangers. Get support and advice from your trusted advisors. Even the experts are having a tough time keeping up with the ever changing market. Trends and forecasts are unpredictable when the floor isn't stable. Reasearch, ask questions, find your threshold, and lock the rate!