Suze Orman changes homebuying advice
Now that we are seeing a rebound in the housing market, it is time for a new home buying strategy says Suze Orman. “Financial advice needs to change according to what is happening in the economy,” she says.
In today’s economy, with interest rates still low, relatively speaking, and home prices leveling out, Orman says potential homebuyers no longer need to make a down payment of 20 percent. “I’m fine if you can get a mortgage with 10 percent down,” says Orman. In addition, she still maintains that:
• You get a 30- or 15-year fixed mortgage
• You qualify for a 4 percent to 4.5 percent interest rate
•Your mortgage payment, property tax, insurance and PMI (private mortgage insurance), is equal to or less than your current rent
•Your job is secure
These rules shouldn’t be too hard to follow. Over the last three months, interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage have been hovering around 4.5 percent and the rates for a 15-year fixed mortgage around 3.6 percent.
Home prices are also expected to stabilize more so because investors, who have been driving up the home bidding, are expected to exit the market soon. According to a survey by ORC International, 48 percent of investors plan to curtail home purchases. (See Analysis: Waning investor demand opens door for first-time U.S. homebuyers)
While this is one of the best times to re-enter the market or get into the market, Orman says you must still be wise and make sure you have an eight-month emergency fund in case “something happens and you don’t have money coming in.”
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