Craft beer and pilates: Purchasing a home while mortgage rates are high

The housing market in America is declining.

With mortgage rates approaching 7%, monthly payments are becoming unaffordable for many would-be homeowners, and some sellers are reluctant to sell their properties because they don’t want to deal with a market where you can get less house for your money.

However, business must continue, so some realtors are coming up with inventive ways to conclude sales. Everything is on the table, including offering complimentary pilates sessions and marketing adjustable rate mortgages.

According to experts, a “buydown incentive” is currently becoming more and more popular on the financial front. A seller “buys down” the interest rate that a house buyer will have to pay during the initial years of their mortgage under this type of arrangement. For instance, in a 2-1 buydown scenario, the first year’s interest rate for the buyer will be 2% less than the contract rate. It changes to 1% less in the second year. The mortgage payment goes back to the agreed-upon rate after the first two years.

According to Peter Idziak, senior associate at Polunsky Beitel Green, a law firm that primarily represents residential mortgage lenders, buydowns are popular with sellers, especially big homebuilders like D.R. Horton and Lennar, because the program allows them to maintain a firm grip on a property’s list price. Lennar declined to reply to a request for comment, and D.R. Horton did not do so either.

Idziak said of buydown mortgages: “It can cost a builder less than delivering a simple price decrease, and it’s not as publicly available as a markdown.” “Builders still have cash purchasers, and it would harm those cash buyers and also aggravate some buyers who may have previously bought at greater prices,” the author writes.


According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the popularity of adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) has also increased to a 14-year high. The interest rate on these loans fluctuates from time to time based on where benchmark mortgage rates are. More customers are feeling comfortable signing up for ARM contracts because they anticipate that mortgage rates will decrease as a worldwide economic slump approaches. That is a significant change from the financial crisis of 2008, when a hot property market collapsed due to falling home prices and the failure of some banking institutions.

According to Nashville-based realtor Hagan Stone, “ARMs are coming back.” He stated that he anticipates a decline in mortgage rates in as little as six months. There is hope for that, Stone declared. It is our responsibility to bring folks in while they can afford the initial investment and monthly fees.

Stone claimed that buy offer packages now include additional benefits like as closing fees and free refinancing within three years, also predicated on rates decreasing.

I frequently advise customers that they can refinance the rate they are purchasing. but for the investment, now is a fantastic moment to find a house with a higher chance and a better price.

Because fewer purchasers can afford homes, there is less competition for available properties. Existing house sales decreased 1.5% for the eighth straight month, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.


However, the falls are still unequal, and several markets are currently seller-friendly. This includes Nashville, where Stone resides and where, according to him, one buyer recently gave one seller complimentary pilates classes.

According to Stone, “We are uniquely positioned to weather this market well.” Even so, the buydown and closing-cost choices are proven essential in enabling homes to keep moving.

A recent buying client from Stillwater, Minnesota, offered to include a craft beer pass, valid in all of Minnesota and Wisconsin, for a seller after learning the family had set up a keg-draft system in the residence, according to Lauren Janoski, a realtor with NBC News.

We were aware of their preferred brand of beer and the fact that they had young children. According to Janoski, “We were seeing all these ideas about how we can help them, and perhaps this will offer them date evenings.”

The buyer’s $295,000 bid was less than the $330,000 worth of the nearby similar residences.

The seller’s agent revealed that they had other really excellent offers that were over our offer price, but they valued our added terms, the consideration we put into them, and our creativity, according to Janoski.