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Maricopa still offering money, but interest rates creeping up

Have you heard about the Maricopa County Home in 5 Advantage Program?

We’ve been talking about it on That Real Estate Show for a while now. Some people still haven’t heard about this great program that gives you money to help you buy a home in the Phoenix area or Maricopa County.

Maricopa County has grant money and is giving 5 percent toward down payments and closing costs. For veterans they’re giving 6 percent.

Interest rates have been increasing and this program is following suit. They increased it once already this week, but they’ve done it again.

The rate in the Home in Five Advantage Program is 4.375 percent for all new reservations. Loans in the pipeline will remain at the original rate.

Why are they increasing? We asked Lisa the Lender with That Real Estate Show.

“Rates are increasing for several reasons, but primarily because of all the good news we’ve been getting lately,” she said. “The economy has been on the rebound for a while now and we are starting to see some really positive economic indicators such as lower unemployment, rising house prices and the need for the government to purchase mortgage backed securities decreases. For quite some time, the Federal Reserve has been purchasing mortgage backed securities at a rate of $40 billion a month until the economy improved. Now we will see the Federal Reserve back off the mortgage backed securities and this will drive interest rates and this will drive interest rates up.Historically, interest rates follow the state of the economy.”

Lisa also added that “Interest rates are on the rise, but because home prices have increased so rapidly, especially in Arizona, there are many homeowners who do not realize how much ‘new found’ equity they have in their homes. So many of my past clients don’t think they can refinance their current loans because they have a lack of equity. I still get calls wanting to know about the HARP loan that allowed homeowners to refinance their mortgage if they were upside down in value. There is not a huge need any more for HARP loans because homeowners now have equity with the rising home prices. This means that the time to refinance is now and people do not want to miss this opportunity because rates are going to continue to go up over the next few years and we won’t see these historical low rates anymore. Even though rates are going up, there is still time to get in on an amazing interest rate, one that you may not see again in your lifetime. And many homeowners may not want to sell their homes knowing they are not upside in value anymore.”

What do you need to qualify for the Maricopa County Home in 5 Advantage Program?

• You must have a FICO score of 640.
• Household income can not exceed $88,000.
• Purchase price of home must not exceed $300,000.
• You must take an online course.

To learn more, contact us.

Join Diane Brennan and Lisa the Lender Saturdays at 3 p.m. on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR for That Real Estate Show.