4 Questions People are Asking About COVID-19 and Mortgages

April 3, 2020
Integrity First Lending

As more and more of our lives are disrupted by local, state, and federal policies around mortgages, there are several questions that many people have about how these policies and the COVID-19 virus are affecting mortgages. Here are four questions that many people have around mortgage loan rates, new mortgage loans, refinancing, and home values.

The COVID-19 virus has caused significant disruption for homebuying and refinancing.

1: Are mortgage rates going to continue to go down?

The Federal Reserve (Fed) recently made a significant cut to interest rates in an effort to slow down the economic freefall on Wall Street in early March that saw stocks tumble to their lowest levels in more than a decade. That has left many potential homebuyers, and homeowners who are considering refinancing a mortgage, wondering whether you should move ahead with today’s rates or hope for rates to go down more in the near future. The interest rates set by the Fed are different from mortgage rates; mortgage rates can follow the direction of Fed rates, but they could also go up. If you’re thinking about locking in a mortgage rate or refinancing, rates are at or near all-time lows right now so talk to your lender about whether a rate lock is a good move.

2: Can I still get a new mortgage loan right now?

If you are in the process of buying a new home, stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders and non-essential business closings could be affecting the homebuying process. Orders that limit the number of people who can gather could make it hard to do a traditional loan closing, and other concerns could makehomebuying a challenge, for example, if the appraisal gets delayed or county offices are closed or short-staffed. However, most businesses are working to find solutions, so talk to your real estate agent and Integrity First Lending today.

3: Should I refinance my mortgage right now?

Maybe. Right now rates are very low, so if you’re in a high-interest loan or your home has appreciated in value enough to eliminate private mortgage insurance with 20% equity or more, now could be a great time to refinance. Talk to Integrity First Lending to discuss your specific situation and learn more about refinancing options.

4: Are home values going to go down in the near future?

It’s impossible to predict exactly where home prices will go, especially since the reason for the current economic decline is unprecedented. While some economic indicators are being compared to those around the 2008 recession when home values declined, othersindicate that the effects could be very short-term. Most of the time home values remain pretty steady, even in difficult economic times.

For other questions about things like mortgage forbearance or other short-term relief if you lost your job, or questions about the CARES Act and how it could impact your mortgage, contact Integrity First Lending today for assistance.

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