If you’re like most people you aren’t an avid follower of mortgage interest rates. If you are a rate watcher you are probably keeping tabs on the weekly economic reports as well as following treasury auctions, waiting for rates to fall. Chances are while you were waiting to see rates drop further you could have already been saving money with a refinance or building equity in a new home purchase.

You shouldn’t feel pressure to purchase a home because of fearing higher interest rates. While getting the lowest mortgage rate possible is always a plus, the impact of a slightly higher rate doesn’t affect affordability as much as you may think.  For a 30 year loan the difference in a 1 point rate increase is around $60 more per month for ever $100,000 you borrow.

When shopping for mortgage rates, beware of advertisements that guarantee the lowest mortgage rates.  Every loan term and type of mortgage has a different rate and only a small number of borrowers actually qualify for the lowest advertised rate. There are many factors that determine your individual mortgage rate including your credit score, the amount of your down payment, and discount points you purchase.

It can be tempting to try to hold out for the best possible rate but in reality you may be waiting a long time. The market changes daily and it is impossible to predict which way rates will go. When you are ready to purchase a home or in need of a refinance consult your loan officer to implement a mortgage strategy.