Rising mortgage rates and home prices have made 2022 a great time to be a homeowner and a tough time to be a homebuyer, which has led to a wave of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) amongst homebuyers.
In fact, nearly 70% of respondents regret waiting to buy or refinance their home when rates were lower, according to a survey by U.S. News & World Report.
But when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Homebuyers that missed out on ultra-low mortgage rates, still have time to lock in a rate that is historically very low and start earning home equity instead of chasing home prices.
We asked Beverly Harzog, U.S. News & World Report personal finance and credit card expert, how home shoppers with FOMO can jump start the homebuying process.
Here are her 7 pieces of advice for homebuyers just beginning their search:
- Dust yourself off and move forward
- Be realistic about what you can afford
- Increase your down payment
- Increase your credit score
- Focus on paying down debt
- Get ready for a credit check
- Research down payment assistance and other resources
“Dust yourself off and move forward”
Nearly 70% of prospective homebuyers regret missing out on lower rates. According to Harzog, this is a completely natural human emotion. Start by giving yourself a break and moving on.
“You can’t predict the future – hindsight is 20/20,” Harzog said. “Accept the fact that it is what it is, dust yourself off, and move forward.”
In Harzog’s experience, people usually wait to buy a home because there is something holding them back. Perhaps they’re not quite ready to make such a big financial decision or they don’t have enough money.
But for those who are ready, Harzog’s advice is to get moving as soon as possible.
“If you are going to buy a house this year, get all your ducks in a row now,” she said. “Start looking at locations, think about your down payment, how much do you need to save up. I think rates are going to go up this year and inflation is going to keep going up. If you want to lock in a mortgage rate, I suggest you do that sooner than later.”