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Should I buy a house now?

If you buy now, you can start building equity immediately. That’s true no matter which way the real estate market is leaning at the time. A key point for today’s market, though, is that buying now means avoiding the potential for additional mortgage-rate increases later.

“If a buyer finds a property they would like to call home, they should not delay,” says Stacey Froelich, a broker with Compass in New York City. “You cannot time the market, and a home should be a long-term investment. In the end, higher mortgage rates will cost a buyer more monthly if they are financing.”

Rising rates can be serious trouble for your monthly budget. For example, on a $450,000 30-year loan with a 6.5 percent interest rate, the monthly payment is just over $2,844. If that rate jumps to 7.5 percent, the payment leaps to more than $3,146. Plus, you’ll wind up paying a lot more in interest over the life of the loan.

Ultimately, if you found the house that you really like, and you are planning to keep it for a long time, it's always best to buy it now and you can always refinance in the future, if the rates drops a lot.

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