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Why Home Buyers Might Be Running Short On Time

By Dan Green

Home builders are seeing more foot traffic than ever before for a February, and that’s putting pressure on prices; Mortgage rates are down today, marking three out of five days of lower rates; and, why you’ll get a price break for letting your lender pay your real estate taxes.

Home Builders Doing Fewer Things For Free

Yes, mortgage rates are higher but that’s not stopping builders from feeling the feelings.

The good ones. They’re feeling ’em.

More than ever before for a February, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The group’s monthly Housing Market Index which measures the confidence that builders have in future of U.S. housing, just set an all-time record for the month of February, clocking in with a reading of 72 out of 100.

Higher numbers mean more confidence, and that sets off a cycle which could result in you paying more for your next home that’s newly-built.

Confident builders expect to make sales. A lot of them. And, that means they’re less likely to give concessions on price, on closing costs, and on bonus items like free upgrades to your kitchen.

If you’re planning to buy a home sometime later this year then, consider moving up your timeframe.

Click here for today’s mortgage rates.

Today’s Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates. It’s wild out there.

Rates are down so far in this holiday-shortened week, giving a brief respite on the trend of higher rates since January 1.

Rates for Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed loans are lower right now, and the same for FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans.

So what are today’s mortgage rates?

That’s going to depend on you, your credit score, and your home. It will also depend on what you do with closing costs.

Loans with fees get access to lower rates than loans with costs paid for by your lender, and there’s no best way to put it all together.

Talk to your lender about the structure that makes the most sense for you.

Click to get today’s mortgage rates.

Escrow Taxes & Insurance To Get Lower Mortgage Rates

When you pay your mortgage each month, you’re paying more than just your mortgage loan.

You’re paying your taxes and homeowners insurance, too; the inclusion of which is known by the industry term Escrow escrow[/escrow].

As in the “escrow” if your taxes and insurance.

When you escrow your taxes and insurance, your mortgage statement each month includes a one-month proration of both your annual real estate tax bill and homeowners insurance premium, which your lender lumps into a single payment known as your PITI.

Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

The principal and interest is the amount you pay your lender. Your taxes and insurance, meanwhile, get held in a separate account and disbursed when your tax and insurance bills come due.

Lenders like when people escrow because it’s risk prevention.

Your home’s tax bill gets paid on-time without issue which helps avoid foreclosure, and your home’s insurance policy remains in effect which protects against loss.

Homeowners who choose to escrow often get breaks against their mortgage rate so be sure to check with your lender.

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Written by Dan Green

Dan Green is a mortgage lending expert and the founder of Growella. Prior to Growella, Dan was a six-time, top-producing loan officer; and, ranked repeatedly among the top 1% of loan officers nationwide. Dan's home buying expertise has been in print and on TV with The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Forbes, CNBC, and others.

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