Down Payment Assistance 2024

Coins, money

There are funds available for downpayment assistance for home buyers. Especially first-time homebuyers and first-generation home buyers. By the way, often people who have not purchased a home in the last three years qualify as first-time home buyers.

There are programs for specific areas like the whole city of St. Paul or Minneapolis. My husband and I bought our first home using a program through the City of St. Paul. Through the program, we got a forgivable downpayment grant and a lower interest rate. I can still remember how thrilled we were to be homeowners.

Just click on the link to learn more about downpayment assistance.

Ask your lender about down payment assistance programs and other programs you might be eligible for. Some of these programs will run out of money long before the year is over so hurry.

I have helped several home buyers successfully use downpayment assistance. I believe in these programs because they made a huge difference in my own life.


Mortgage Rates Rise Again

Mortgage interest rates go up and down slightly all the time. These days rates are high so as soon as they go down a little that is newsworthy. Personally, I don’t see any room for optimism when it comes to mortgage interest rates that are higher than 5.5%.

Chart of mortgage interest rates
Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey®

Interest rates matter. Higher interest rates bring housing costs up.

Nation wide home sales December 2023 at a glance

Apparently home sales were up in December from November. There is already talk about having hit some kind of a “bottom” when it comes to the number of home sales. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the sale of existing homes may be slightly higher in 2024 than in 2023 but I expect home sales to go up as interest rates go down. Keep your eye on those rates. According to Freddie Mac rates were on average above 6.5% last week on a thirty-year conventional mortgage. When they get to 5.5% and below we will start to see more activity in the housing market.

Here is the reason why: “The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the national median payment applied for by purchase applicants decreased last month to $2,055 from $2,137 in November.”

Mortgage interest rates matter.

Home sales info graphic
Home sales December 2023

Mortgage rates trending down

Mortgage interest rates are in the news again. They went up to 8% and are now down closer to 7%. They will likely go down more in 2024. There are all sorts of predictions about what a wonderful year 2024 will be.

Next year is almost always predicted to be better than this year. Home sales have been down this year. I’ll have some numbers in a few weeks. As interest rates go down moving will be more attractive to homeowners.  Lower rates will also make housing more affordable. Some experts are predicting 6% interest rates by this time next year.

Is this a good time to buy a house? My answer is always the same. It depends upon your financial situation, where you want to move to, and if you plan on staying in the same area for at least five years. Timing is important.

chart mortgage interest rates
Mortgage interest rates

Contrived good news

christmas tree ornaments

Interest rates on mortgages are trending downward, which is good news for home buyers and the rest of us too. Rates were at around 7.75% a month ago and are currently averaging 7.22%. [FreddieMac Mortgage Rate Surevy]

The rates are still ridiculously high and should give responsible home buyers reason to pause and consider.

In last week’s real estate news, there were a lot of headlines about “falling mortgage payments”. High-interest rates indeed translate into high monthly mortgage payments.

When rates go down so do monthly mortgage payments, however, if you currently have a mortgage your payments are not going to go down. They will stay the same.

Right now there isn’t anything about housing that is affordable or more affordable.

Mortgage rates over 7% but going in the right direction

Yes, mortgage interest rates are still ridiculously high but they are going in the right direction. Just because your parents had to pay 8%, or 9% or more doesn’t mean 7.29% is a deal. Houses are proportionally more expensive today than they were in the 1980s.  Houses have gone up by 310% since 1980. Wages have gone up about 17.5% since 1980.

If a lender or a real estate agent suggests that home buyers are dating the mortgage but marrying the house just walk away. It costs money to refinance and if housing prices level out or go down home buyers wishing to refinance may find themselves with no equity, or worse.

Mortgage rate chart Nov 2023
Mortgage interest rates

Cash buyers can take advantage of softer prices during the holidays and fewer buyers to compete with.