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How Inflation and the Dollar are Hurting Your Mortgage

Jun 2, 2008
Paying a mortgage bill is one of the largest monthly bills the average family faces. When the economy dips into a recession, the mortgage payment can seem increasingly daunting.

Our current economic situation couples the recession with increasing gas prices and a falling dollar. What does this mean for your mortgage interest rate, your monthly payments and the value of your house?

Currently, Fannie Mae is allowing some homeowners to refinance their house if they owe more than what their house is actually worth. How could they have gotten into this situation? The answer is interest rates and the decrease in the value of houses.

If the interest rate on the mortgage was variable or subprime, the interest rate and consequent mortgage payments can jump vastly higher than what the actual value of the house is worth. Also in almost all major cities across the nation home prices have dropped, meaning now homes have mortgages that are higher than the value of the house.

This move by Fannie Mae is significant because in essence, it means that Fannie Mae is willing to take some loss on the current mortgage loan situation for some homeowners rather than let them default and lose their home entirely.

Homeowners and new home builders are in a pinch. Census data seems to have underestimated the number of new homes that have not been sold and foreclosure rates are steadily climbing. In addition, the inflation rate is growing.

This pinch on the everyday homeowner can be significant, causing some homes to question whether they can survive during this treacherous time to keep their home through this recession. With the falling dollar in the market, investors are pulling funds from national banks and putting their money abroad, causing national banks and investments to feel the pinch as well.

Mortgage rates are unlikely to spike any time soon, but even a small increase could spell bad news for those homeowners just holding on to making their payments on time and avoiding foreclosures.

What else could possibly affect our mortgage interest rates and the housing market overall? The weak labor market plays a large role in the housing market. The economy is in a virtual hiring freeze, while some companies have already started laying off workers.

Job loss has always precipitated trouble in the housing market. In addition, overall job loss in the community makes workers and homeowners scared, limiting the housing sales.

Any time the general feeling is to hold onto the house you have instead of try to sell it or take on a larger mortgage payment, we are experiencing a weaker housing market. As employers and workers feel more confident about their employment possibilities, the housing market will improve as well.

Interest rates will be dictated by the Federal Government. In early May 2008, the Fed cut the interest rate, which pushed the 10-year treasury rate up. The 30-year mortgage rate follows the treasury rate, so an increase in the payments due would have accompanied this move in the financial sector.

In general, homeowners and workers are trying to maintain what they have instead of pushing to take on something new and stagnant movement like this can spell trouble for mortgage rates.

If you are in a financial situation and thinking how can I sell my house fast, then contact your local home buyer. Every major metropolitan area has professional home buyers that help solve home seller problems. They help people avoid foreclosure, with short sales, sell because of divorce, cash out of investment properties, or sell if you have no equity. So contact your local home buyer and receive a free offer for your house, you have nothing to lose.
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