Consumer Watch: Home prices on the rise, along with mortgage rates

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by Andy Trienen

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM

(WHAS11) -- It is a double-whammy for home buyers as prices rise and mortgage rate creep up, so if you’re looking to buy, now is the time.

Three little words to remember if you do decide to buy or refinance your existing home: Lock it in.

To buy a house just a few weeks ago you might have locked in a mortgage at 3 ½ percent rate on a mortgage, but rates may never be that low again. Mortgage rates are still historically low, but over the past six weeks they have increased a half percentage point. That may not sound like much, however, you will see in when you make that monthly payment.

At 3.5 percent, on a $250,000 home with 20 percent down, you pay about $898 each month. The same 30-year fixed mortgage will cost you $954 bucks at 4 percent. That's $56 dollars more a month -- or $672 dollars a year. Down payment, credit score, and income determine the rate you'll pay.

Ask your lender about a "float-down provision" -- so your rate could be adjusted lower if rates do slip again. If you're still looking for the right house, make sure you're pre-approved for a mortgage and pay down your debt while interest rates on auto loans and credit cards are still low.

If you have a consumer tip send an email to consumerwatch@whas11.com.

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