What to Know About Mortgage Rates for Palm Desert

What to Know About Mortgage Rates for Palm Desert

  • Team Armstrong
  • 06/27/23

Palm Desert, California, is a unique and lively community in Coachella Valley near the Salton Sea. The area is known for its beautiful year-round weather, natural mountain and desert landscapes, and fun attractions. Residents and visitors appreciate the many parks, hiking trails, fantastic golf courses, and other outdoor activities like a local zoo.

Mortgage rates are essential for anyone considering purchasing a home or refinancing an existing mortgage. Interest rates can significantly impact monthly mortgage payments and the overall affordability of a property. Knowing the ins and outs of mortgage rates, including why they are important, and tracking fluctuations over time, can help you navigate your home-buying experience and prepare your finances for a purchase. Understanding mortgage rates is essential for making informed decisions and managing your real estate goals.

What are mortgage rates?

Mortgage rates are the interest rates lenders charge borrowers for taking out a home loan. These rates can vary depending on several factors, such as the borrower's credit score and the overall state of the economy. It is important to note that market forces, including inflation, employment rates, and fluctuations in the bond market, often influence mortgage rates. With that said, understanding mortgage rates and how they work is crucial for anyone looking to make a sound investment in real estate.

Interest rates vs. annual percentage rate (APR)

When researching mortgage rates, it is necessary to differentiate between interest rates and annual percentage rates (APR). While interest rate refers to the cost of borrowing money, APR includes additional fees associated with the loan, such as closing costs and private mortgage insurance premiums. It is important to compare interest rates and APRs with different lenders when looking for a mortgage, as these factors can impact the overall cost of borrowing over time.

Fixed-rate vs. adjustable rate

A fixed-rate mortgage has the same rate for the loan's entire life, resulting in predictable monthly payments. Contrastly, an adjustable-rate mortgage has an interest rate that can change periodically, potentially leading to fluctuating monthly payments. Before choosing a rate, consider how long you plan to stay in the home, your overall financial goals, and your risk tolerance. For example, a fixed-rate mortgage may be the better option if you plan to stay in the house for a long time and want stable monthly payments. However, if you are willing to take on some risk and want the possibility of lower monthly payments in the short term, an adjustable-rate mortgage may be a better fit.

Why rates matter when buying a home

Your mortgage rate can impact the affordability of a property. Even a small difference can result in a significant difference in monthly mortgage payments over the life of the loan. Mortgage interest increases the amount of money you owe, and with a lower rate, you pay less at the end of the loan. Interest rates are a major concern for many buyers, potentially adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to the purchase price.

Local and national factors impact mortgage rates

Local and national factors can play a role in determining mortgage rates. Nationally, interest rates may be influenced by the Federal Reserve's rate decisions and larger economic aspects such as inflation and unemployment rates. Locally, factors like housing supply and demand, property taxes, and local economic conditions can also come into play. It is important to consider national and local conditions when researching mortgage rates and determining the best time to buy a home.

Mortgage rates change daily

Mortgage rates change often and can be difficult to predict. Suppose you see excellent rates when searching for homes for sale in Palm Desert, but when you close on a home, those rates will likely change. Since mortgage rates depend on many variables that change so often, monitoring the market weekly and making decisions with up-to-date information is critical.

Interest rates seem high but remain historically low

Interest rates are higher than in the 2010s, but even with average rates between 6%-7%, they remain historically low. In fact, today's rates are still significantly lower than in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s when rates peaked at double digits. This means that now could be a great time to invest in real estate, as you may be able to secure an excellent rate.

How to secure a lower rate

While the only real way around interest rates is avoiding a home loan by paying in cash, many buyers cannot finance a home purchase without a loan. You can't change the financial responsibilities associated with a loan and homeownership, but there are ways to ease the hardship with cost-saving tips.

Compare local lenders for the best rates

When looking for the best mortgage rate, shopping around and comparing local lenders is critical. Each lender may have different interest rates, fees, and terms that can impact your total expenses. Researching and comparing multiple options can help you find low rates and terms that work for your budget and financial goals. When you get pre-approved for a loan, you do not have to work with the same lender when you are ready to secure a loan. Ask your network and agent for referrals to start your search with reputable lenders.

Increase your credit score

Potential homebuyers can improve their chances of getting a better mortgage rate by increasing their credit score. Lenders use credit scores, among other factors, to determine a borrower's risk level and the interest rate they will receive. Paying off credit card balances and paying bills on time can improve credit scores and potentially secure a lower mortgage rate. It is important to note that improving a credit score can take time, so it is best to start early in the home-buying process.

Connect with a local realtor to learn more about securing a home in Palm Desert

If you are still unsure how to navigate the mortgage rate landscape, connecting with a local realtor in your area can be helpful. A real estate agent can help you understand the current market conditions and guide you toward lenders offering competitive rates. A local professional can help you find potential homes that fit within your budget and goals for homeownership.

Team Armstrong is a group of Palm Desert real estate agents experienced with first-time buyers and established investors. Learn about the local market and find your next property today!

Work With Us

You need someone who knows this area inside and out! We can work with you to find the right home at the right price for you, including all the neighborhood amenities that matter - not to mention the essential criteria you have for your ideal home.

Follow Us on Instagram