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4 times you should buy a home with interest rates high

If you find your dream home, it may be worth purchasing, even with mortgage interest rates as high as they are. Getty Images

After plummeting during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, mortgage interest rates have been on a steady upward trend. Thanks to decades-high inflation and a surging benchmark interest rate meant to tame it, mortgage interest rates have risen exponentially, hitting their highest point since 2000 last summer. While they've come down slightly since, disappointing inflation reports to start 2024 have resulted in the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates unchanged — and mortgage rates have stagnated. 

That said, today's mortgage rates are still relatively low, historically speaking. And the hope is high that a reduction in the benchmark interest rate later this year will also lower homebuyers' rates. But there are some compelling reasons why homebuyers shouldn't wait for that to happen. Below, we'll detail three times you may want to buy a home even with interest rates as high as they are.

Ready to get started? See what mortgage interest rate you could qualify for here now.

4 times you should buy a home with interest rates high

Here are four instances in which you should consider buying a home despite higher mortgage rates.

When you find your dream home

Your dream home won't be listed for sale every day, hence its name. When it does come up for sale, then, many would recommend buying it, even if it comes with a higher interest rate. After all, you could always refinance to a lower rate in the future, when the market stabilizes. 

But, if you wait, you'll lose out on the opportunity to own a home you truly love — and that opportunity may not arise again soon, particularly in desirable neighborhoods and locations around the country.

Learn more about today's mortgage rate options online.

When you can afford the higher rate

Crunch the numbers and closely review your budget. You may be surprised at how much you can afford, even with today's elevated rates. While no one wants to pay more than they should, mortgage interest rates are temporary and subject to change over time. 

So if you can afford the higher rate and want to buy a home now, feel free to do so — and just look for the opportunity to refinance in the future.

When the home price is affordable

If you find a home priced right, or even lower than expectations, it could be worth buying, even with mortgage rates as high as they are. Understand that when mortgage rates eventually do come down, a whole slew of related complications may come into play, including a potential rise in home prices. But if you find an affordable home now, before that happens, it could be worth purchasing.

When the alternative is renting

Renting may be the only recourse for many. But renting is not a long-term investment and won't build any equity. If this is the current alternative, then, it may be worth purchasing a home if you can afford it instead of renting with no end in sight. 

While it may be more expensive than preferred, there are multiple advantages to owning a home versus renting, from the aforementioned home equity accumulation (which will build immediately) to interest tax deductions each year (which can be substantial at today's high interest rates) and the potential profit that can be earned when selling.

Learn more about today's top mortgage options online.

The bottom line

Today's elevated mortgage rate environment isn't preferable for homebuyers, but it doesn't mean that you should refrain from acting, either. If you discover your dream home, can afford the interest rate, find an affordable house, or have an alternative to rent, it can be worth it for you now. Just make sure to crunch all of the numbers — including closing costs — before proceeding so you know exactly what you can afford to buy at today's rates. 

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