Mortgage rates have been at record lows for quite some time, making it easy for new homebuyers to finance their dream homes. But what comes down will eventually go back up, and with the world economy expected to rebound in 2016, we're about to start seeing more expensive mortgages.
So what can you do to prepare yourself before mortgage rates start to rise? Here are some strategies that will keep you ahead of the game.
Start Saving More Money Now
If you have a variable rate mortgage, you've benefited from great interest rates that this world won't see again for quite some time. Hopefully, you've taken advantage of this low-interest period to save up some cash. If so, you're going to be in a great position for when interest rates rise – and if not, you'll want to start saving as much as you can now to ensure you can weather the storm.
It's far easier to save money now, with interest rates low, than it will be when your mortgage payment starts to rise. So start squirreling away as much of your paycheck as you can.
Pay Down as Much of Your Principal as Possible
Another great way to prepare for the rise in interest rates is to pay down your principal amount. The total amount of interest you'll pay goes up when rates go up, but by paying down your principal, you can take a big bite out of your debt before it has a chance to snowball. So pay down as much of your principal as you can afford – it's easier to pay down interest on a smaller principal amount.
Switch to a Fixed Rate Mortgage
One of the best ways to take advantage of low rates and ensure you get a great deal is to switch your floating rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage. Locking in your low interest rate with a fixed rate mortgage means you'll pay less interest over the term of the loan, but it also means you'll only have a set amount of time to pay your mortgage in full. If you're in a position to predict when you can pay back your mortgage, you'll save a lot of money by locking in your low rate.
Move to a Smaller More Affordable Home
If the home that you have now is just too much for you, you may consider downsizing. Moving from a large home into a smaller house or condo has not only the benefits of a smaller mortgage and more flexibility, it can also offer a lower utility bill and less cleaning. Downsizing can be stressful, but with a solid plan you can transition to a smaller home and and save a good amount. If you are considering this option, contact your trusted real estate agent for more information on what would work best for your situation.
Mortgage rates haven't been this low in a long time, and likely won't be this low again for many years to come. That's why, if you're a homeowner, you'll want to do everything you can to prepare for higher interest rates before they get here.