Don't Let Higher Interest Rates Be a Downer

Surprisingly, many prospective homebuyers are still asking "What will happen if interest rates go up?" Instead, they should be asking "What will happen when interest rates go up?" Evidence of the increase has already been detected, from a low of 5.1 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in June 2003 to the 6.25 percent posted in June 2004, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Though the extent of the increase is uncertain, it is certain this will happen: Thousands of homes will continue to be purchased on a regular basis and families will realize the "American Dream," many of them with the aid of Accredited Buyer's Representatives.

Real estate professionals who have earned the coveted ABR designation have the training to assist homebuyers regardless of the economic conditions. They understand that, although higher interest rates are viewed as only detrimental to the interests of homebuyers, the news isn't all dire.

For instance, prospective homebuyers should remember that regardless of cost, mortgage interest on their home is a substantial income tax deduction. Prospective homebuyers should also remember that "there are mortgages and then there are mortgages." Put another way, all mortgages are not the same and there are lots of options. Fixed-rate, variable-rate, the many other variables in length of repayment, frequency of payments, early-redemption clauses and principal-only payments all combine to give homebuyers the flexibility they need to finance their home.

An ABR is knowledgeable in the entire home purchase process and can help buyers find the other professionals they'll need to complete the transaction: from mortgage experts, to explain the merits and shortcomings of financing options and counsel their clients based on their personal circumstances, to home inspectors, to provide an unbiased assessment of the home being purchased.

Buyers should always remember that while mortgage interest rates can be a big factor in the decision to buy a home, there are many other aspects that also come into play. A real estate professional with the Accredited Buyer Representative designation can help buyers weigh all the factors involved in a home purchase and look beyond the "numbers game" of interest rates.

The ABR designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, at over 45,000 members the largest affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®. To find an Accredited Buyer Representative nearby and get a free homebuyers kit, call the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council at 800-648-6224 or visit

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