Tips For Tracking Mortgage Rates
If the recession has taught homeowners and those looking to buy a home anything
, it is that tracking mortgage rates is an important part of home ownership. Most have learned that mortgage rates do not stat the same over a span of months. In fact, mortgage rates are volatile and can fluctuate weekly. If you are a homeowner or interested in purchasing a home soon, here are a few tips to help you track mortgage rates.
First things first, in order to track mortgage rates it helps to have an idea of what makes the rates move. Although it is difficult to predict mortgage rates, you can get a general idea of which way they are going, by starting with the key economic indicators. The average American adult is aware of the Gross Domestic Product, Unemployment rate, and Consumer Price Index. However, there are other key economic indicators that you may not be aware of, such as the Producer Price Index, consumer credit data, and housing starts.
Although these are the traditional indicators, todays 24 hour media coverage of the markets has also started to have an impact on mortgage rates. It is important to stay current on any news regarding rate changes being impacted by the federal government. In order to combat market volatility, the Fed will raise or lower rates.
Next, you should become familiar with mortgage tracking tools. Today, there are a number of tools you can use in order to track mortgage rates. These websites take the work out of tracking mortgage rates by putting the charts and graphs at your disposal in real time. So you can easily see the direction in which rates are going. Many of these sites are easy to navigate with charts and graphs that are easy to understand. It is important that you do your research and try out a few tracking sites or tools in order to find one thats easy to use and a trusted source.
Depending on your needs you should have an idea of the type of mortgage rates that you want to track. Mortgage rates for 30 year fixed rates will differ from those of 20 or 10 year rates. So, it is important for you to narrow down the type of mortgage that you are interested in tracking. Some tracking tools will allow you to track more than one type of mortgage rate. And, if you are not sure what type of mortgage will work best for your situation then compare rates.
In order to get the best results you should also narrow down the region or state that you are interested in tracking. Mortgage rates will vary from region to region and state to state. Regional and state tracking is common. However, if the tool allows, or you can get the updates from a banking website you should track rates in a particular city provided you have made up in your mind the area that you wish to track. For example, it is not uncommon to see contrasting rates in a metropolitan area versus a suburban or more rural area within the same state. Narrowing it down will give a more accurate depiction of the mortgage rates, which will come in handy when its time to start shopping around. Or, in some cases may be the deciding factor when looking at multiple states or cities.
Decide how you would like to track the rates. Again, thanks to modern technology tracking mortgage rates is much easier. So, you should decide early how you plan to keep track of mortgage rates. Although most web tools will allow you to track rates, yearly, quarterly, monthly, or weekly, some sites will give you daily updates of rate changes. For many people the urge to track mortgage rates daily is tempting. Yet, tracking rates weekly seems to be the most common method.
Know why you are tracking mortgage rates and have a target. Are you tracking mortgage rates for the purpose of refinancing your current mortgage, buying a new home, or selling a home? Do you have a timeframe that you need to work within? Answering these questions will give you the best idea of when to jump at your ideal mortgage rate. It will also allow you to stay calm. If you know that you are looking to act, it will help you stay level headed over wild fluctuations in the market that may otherwise cause you to panic.
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