by Barbara Nevins Taylor
The days grew shorter. The weather turned colder and Angel and William Wong found themselves searching for a home in Flushing and College Point in Queens, New York. They had been surprised at how quickly their New Jersey home sold. It went into contract in August and their family had a month to move. But house hunting proved difficult.
There was fierce competition and bidding for houses in the neighborhoods where they wanted to live. So they put everything in storage and moved into a temporary apartment while they searched.
They were determined to buy a new home in the chilly season to take advantage of the relatively low interest rates and they were keenly aware that rates are rising. Angel said, “I want a home and I want to get the interest rate while it’s still low.”
But every time they made an offer on a house another family offered more money.
The Wongs had talked to a banker at Chase and found that they could get a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage with 3.4 percent interest. At the beginning of December, they found a three-bedroom home facing a park. They quickly signed a contract and locked in the 3.4 percent rate.
They were lucky because interest rates inched up slightly in December. A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.6 percent, a 30-year-fixed rate 4.55 percent, according to Bankrate.com.
With interest rates expected to rise, the chilly season may be the best time this year to shop for a home.
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