If you’re into literature, you know that shortly before his death Julius Caesar was told to “Beware the Ides of March”, and if there were any soothsayers around today, they’d probably be telling us the same thing right about now in relation to mortgage rates. We’re just slightly over a week into this month and though we’ve yet to see that increase in interest rates that has been so heavily discussed by the federal reserve since the beginning of this year, we still know that it’s on its way. And unlike the great Julius Caesar, we need to be prepared for what’s to come.
Janet Yellen, Chairwoman of the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve, has hinted to a rise in interest rates, specifically in March, several times this year. Our economy has been doing very well in the sense that more people are becoming employed, making money and paying bills. To balance this surge in economic profit, the Federal Reserve has to ensure that the general population doesn’t make so much money that the value of the dollar decreases. Preventing this kind of inflation means raising interest rates to offset the amount of money that will be circulating throughout the country.
Take a look at Janet Yellen’s comment from the Federal Reserve Meeting on March 3:
"Indeed, at our meeting later this month, the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate," she added.
Not only did Yellen tell us that the Fed is to have another meeting regarding this issue this month, she also told us what they plan to evaluate. Like we discussed earlier, if the employment and inflation rates are moving in a positive direction (which they have been for the last few fiscal periods), interest rates will rise (according to the Fed).
For banks, rising interest rates will be a benefit for the next coming months as borrowers will want to purchase and refinance before the rates get too high. In other words, business will be booming as the rates rise to their peaks. For borrowers, getting into the bank to purchase or refinance should be a top priority for obvious reasons. To illustrate, let’s talk about my friend Jeff. Jeff is at home watching the news and he sees that gas will cost twenty more cents per gallon starting tomorrow. Jeff gets up from his couch and goes tonight to put gas in his car and he fills up his tank. Why? Well wouldn’t you want to buy gas today if you knew it would cost more tomorrow? Most borrowers have the same mindset as Jeff when it comes to their homes. If they know it will cost them more to purchase a home in two weeks, they jump on the bandwagon and call one of our Loan Officers today to get the process started and to get a good rate locked down. Needless to say, it’s more advantageous for you as a borrower to capitalize from the opportunity. The rates are going up sooner rather than later and hey, if you can’t beat them, join them. If the Fed is going to capitalize from the growing state of our economy, why shouldn’t you?
So heed the warning of the soothsayer and beware, (or in a less Shakespearian language) just be alert of the ides (usually the middle of the month) of March as it may hold the key to your next refinance or purchase and you don’t want to miss that opportunity.
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WHITNEY RUSH, VALLEY WEST MORTGAGE