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Grab a Rate Now, or Wait for the Next Fed Meeting?

Updated: Mar 21


mortgage rates USA

In the ever-fluctuating world of real estate and finance, March 2024 was marked with anticipation as many expected a much-needed respite for homebuyers through a cut in the benchmark interest rate by the Federal Reserve. This cut was forecasted to lower mortgage interest rates, offering a sigh of relief to many. However, recent data indicating a stubborn inflation rate for December and January has shifted expectations, pushing the potential rate cut to possibly May or June. This has left buyers and those thinking of refinancing in a quandary: to wait for a possible decrease in rates or to proceed with purchasing now.


For those leaning towards buying in the current market, the question of whether to lock in a mortgage rate before the Federal Reserve's next meeting on March 19 looms large. There are several compelling reasons to consider this action. Firstly, despite expectations of stability, the unpredictable nature of inflation and the Fed's response could lead to an increase in rates. This potential rise, coupled with the speculative nature of current financial trends, suggests that securing a rate sooner rather than later might be prudent.


Moreover, it's essential to contextualize today's rates within the broader historical landscape. While the current average mortgage rate of 7.18% for a 30-year term might seem steep compared to the lows of 2020 and 2021, it remains relatively modest when compared to historical rates that often exceeded 10%. This perspective underscores the relative value of current rates, making a strong case for proceeding with a purchase.


 

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For those apprehensive about the possibility of rates dropping after locking in a higher rate, it's worth noting the flexibility inherent in the mortgage process. Many lenders offer the option to relock at a lower rate if a decrease occurs before closing, mitigating the risk of buyer's remorse. Furthermore, refinancing remains a viable option for those who secure a rate now but wish to take advantage of lower rates in the future.


In summary, with the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting and the uncertainty surrounding rate cuts, potential homebuyers face a challenging decision. However, considering the potential for rate increases, the historical context of current rates, and the options available if rates decrease, the argument for locking in a rate now holds significant weight. For those navigating these complex decisions, seeking personalized advice and securing a rate quote for a purchase or refinance can provide clarity and confidence in your homebuying journey. If you're on the fence or need expert guidance, reaching out to us for a tailored rate quote could be the decisive step towards securing your dream home in these unpredictable times.

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