If you're looking to get into the real estate market, area realtors say now is the right time. The 30-year fixed rate has matched or hit a record low for 11 of the past 12 weeks. Low rates are also allowing people to buy homes with a larger price tag - while maintaining their budgets.
Realtor Ellen Campion is showing this Whitesboro house to a prospective buyer named Rebecca Van Dyk. With the interest rates at record lows, Van Dyk is one of many people in the market looking for a new home.
"I've been able to look at a few neighborhoods that maybe I couldn't have afforded a few years ago," says Van Dyk.
And she doesn't have to worry about breaking the bank.
"I've been able to increase my price range a little bit and that's been really great because that's the difference between a one bathroom home and a two bathroom home," says Van Dyk.
And her daughter's happy about it too.
"I'm gonna have a new big girl room and this one will be cute and nice," says Layla Van Dyk.
Today the national average for a 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.56%. For a 15-year rate it's 2.86%. Even some realtors are surprised by these record lows.
"Nobody ever thought they'd get this low, people that have been in the business for 30 years are shocked at what they're seeing happening so it's definitely a unique opportunity for buyers," says Ellen Campion, realtor at Weichert Realtors Campion-Weeks.
Campion says the historically low interest rates provide a win-win situation to the buyer, seller, banker and broker - while providing a positive change to our entire economy.
"What it means for the market is good on both ends. It means that more buyers are motivated to get out there, people who have been thinking or looking casually are starting to really take action. And for sellers, it's good too because more buyers are actively looking and more motivated to buy," says Campion.
"I can't wait to move into my new house," says Layla Van Dyk.
While most realtors don't expect home prices to spike in the next couple of years, it's unlikely rates will remain this low for long. The Mortgage Bankers Association is forecasting that the 30-year fixed rates will hit 4.5% by the end of 2012. So if you're a potential home-buyer, realtors say now is the right time to take action.