How Marc stole the Keys to His Dream Home?

By: Mike Payne

"This is the best time to buy a home," boasted Marc and Beth Price of Orlando, Florida, who recently "stole" the keys to their family's new home by applying simple logic.

"My gosh, how could we not take advantage of this unbelievable opportunity," stated Marc, whose wife Beth grinned while grabbing a juice box for their three-year-old son Matt.

For the Prices, buying their first home was a simple decision.

"Beth and I have good jobs; interest rates are insanely low; home prices have dropped but are stabilizing in the Orlando area; and with a little negotiating, we didn't have to come out of pocket for this beautiful home," motioned Marc.

Simple logic propels Marc and Beth toward home ownership.

It's the cheapest money around! Today's interest rates allow offset higher home prices. Just a few short years ago, interest rates hovered just over 8%. For instance, if you'd taken out a $200,000 mortgage to purchase a home back in January 2000, when the national average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 8.32 percent, your monthly payment would have been $1,512.39 a month.

That same loan at the current rate of around 6.12 percent would cost you only $1,214.57 a month.

This means you can buy the same priced home today for less money. But what about the fact that houses today cost more?

Well, because it costs less to borrow money, you can afford to buy a more expensive home. At 6.12 percent, a $250,000 mortgage costs $1,518.22 a month -- almost exactly the same as a $200,000 mortgage seven years ago.

You can also benefit from a flat yield curve, which means that the gap between adjustable rate mortgages and fixed-rate loans has narrowed. In the past, it typically cost a couple of percentage points more to lock in the security of a long-term fixed-rate mortgage. Not any more.

Now, average one-year ARMs have been around 5.51 percent and five-year ARMs at 6.04 percent - hardly worse the uncertainty of 6.12 percent 30-year fixed-rate loans.

Choose the 30-year fixed rate loan and secure your family's future.

It's a buyer's market. Finally, the tide has turned, allowing buyers greater selection and more aggressive negotiations.

The Prices did not have to rush their decision. "We tried to buy a home a few years ago. We almost got caught up in that frenzy of paying more than list price with no contingencies. Yeah, we did that. We even did that on homes we really didn't like. Fortunately, we didn't get our offers accepted," sighed Marc.

This time, Marc and Beth enjoyed the house-hunting experience. Their Realtor was able to spend more time with them. Houses weren't selling above list price in hours (or minutes). The Prices enjoyed greater selection and more accommodating sellers.

"Choosing our new home was so easy," the Prices commented. "We were pretty disappointed when we got shut out. The way we looked at it, it wasn't our time. So we decided to keep saving our money and hope the market slowed down. Believe me, we never expected this gift," Marc beamed while defining today's market slowdown.

"At least for us," Beth shared, "we couldn't have gotten a better home, a better deal, a better Realtor, or a better mortgage."

Tired of paying rent, the Prices seized a great buying opportunity, aware that house hunters continue to flock to Florida and the year-round sunshine, no state income taxes & no snow.

"We know we're sticking around. Our kids have a great school and we have a great neigborhood. At this time, home prices have stabilized. That may not be the case tomorrow, but we can't control tomorrow. In the end, we wanted to pay toward our own home, and this is Florida. C'mon, every year more and more people are getting sick of the rough winters up north. They're tired of shoveling snow, scraping ice, sliding all over the place while trying to get to work, and the months without sunshine. We know what those Pennsylvania winters are like...they suck!" the Prices added.

Marc and Beth Price did their research, took their time selecting their home, and worked with a great Realtor who listened to them.

In the end, the Prices "stole" the keys to their new dream home.

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