With housing demands on the rise in Idaho, getting an affordable home can be difficult. To boost your odds of getting a good home and finding the best deals, you need to know the local mortgage and refinance rates.
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about mortgage rates in Idaho. In addition to access to the latest Idaho mortgage rates, we also provide a home buying guide and essential details on the state’s homebuyer assistance programs!
Mortgage Options In Idaho
You have three main loan products when it comes to mortgages – here’s a breakdown of each:
Conventional Home Loan
Issued by banks and other private lenders, conventional home loans are the most common type of mortgage. These mortgages have loan amount limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. For the entire State of Idaho, conforming loan amounts must stay under the national average of $548,250.
There are three types of conventional loan products, each with unique rate schemes as well as pros and cons.
As the name implies, fixed-rate loans feature static mortgage rates for their entire life. Constant mortgage rates mean your monthly payment will also stay the same until the loan is repaid.
Because of their predictability, fixed-rate mortgages are a good choice for long-term financial planners. However, their mortgage rates are typically higher than other loan types.
Lenders most commonly offer 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. However, if you’re looking for a lower rate & APR, you can opt for 15-year or 20-year fixed-rate loan terms.
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
The rate & APR on adjustable-rate mortgages adjust every year based on the movement of a lender-chosen market index. Before the adjustable phase begins, you have an introductory period where the ARM rate is fixed.
An ARM’s introductory period usually has lower mortgage rates than other loans, making ARMs good for short-term savings. However, ARM rates may be unpredictable once the introductory period ends.
Most ARMs feature a 5-year introductory period. However, some lenders may offer you fixed-rate introductory periods anywhere from 3 to 10 years.
You can opt for a jumbo mortgage if you’re looking to buy a more expensive home above. Jumbo mortgages allow customers to exceed local lending limits, with the caveat of higher mortgage rates.
Government-Backed Loan Programs
The federal government provides several loan products to boost the homeownership rate in demographics like rural residents and military members. These loans generally have interest rates below the national average and easier down payment requirements.
The three major government loan programs are:
FHA loans: Designed for low-income borrowers, these loans have lenient credit score requirements and have a minimum down payment of 3%. However, you have to pay mortgage insurance (MI) fees for the entire loan.
VA loans: This loan type is aimed at military members and has zero down payment requirements. To replace MI fees, you’ll need to pay an upfront cost called funding fees.
USDA loans: If you’re looking to live in an eligible rural area, you can choose a USDA loan. If you qualify for a USDA loan, you’ll receive a zero-down loan with reduced MI fees.
Mortgage refinances are loans that pay off your current one. This is usually done to attain better refinance rates or convert your home equity into cash.
There are two main types of mortgage refinancing:
Rate and term refinance: This refinance allows you to modify your loan terms. For example, you can shorten your 30-year fixed-rate loan into a 15-year to repay it sooner with lower refinance rates. You can also use it to convert ARMs into fixed-rate mortgages.
Cash-out refinance: Cash-out refis allow you to convert home equity into cash. You do this by getting a loan that’s larger than your mortgage balance. Once the mortgage is repaid, you can use the remaining cash for other needs.
Current Mortgage Rates In Idaho
Historically, Idaho mortgage rate trends tend to be close to national average mortgage rates. For a closer look at the most current Idaho mortgage rates, you can check the table below. All the rate information listed is taken from America’s top mortgage lenders.
Compare Today’s Mortgage Rates in Idaho
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The rates you receive may vary depending on your credit score and overall financial health. These mortgage and refinance rates are also subject to change without prior notice.
If you want to see your customized Idaho mortgage rate & APR estimate, use the mortgage calculator at the top of this page! With your financial details, we can calculate a personalized mortgage rate & APR estimate just for you.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs In Idaho
Like many other states, Idaho offers several homebuyer assistance programs. Through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA), you can apply for these first-timer programs.
HFA Advantage & HFA Preferred
Working with loan guarantors Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Idaho Housing offers home loans with competitive interest rates and a minimum down of 3%. If you make less than 80% of the area median income, you’re eligible for down payment and closing cost assistance grants worth up to 1% of your loan.
Another alternative is the IHFA First loan, available to both first-time and repeat homebuyers in target counties. This loan offers FHA, VA, and USDA loans with a reduced rate & APR. As an added benefit, you can pair this loan with other down payment assistance (DPA) programs.
IHFA Second Mortgage
This DPA program provides you with up to 3.5% of your property value in the form of a loan. The loan features a 5% fixed interest rate and can be paid monthly over 10 years.
IHFA Forgivable Loan
Idaho’s second DPA program offers a loan up to 3.5% of your home value. This loan can be forgiven if you stay in the same home for seven years.
Buying A Home In Idaho
Understanding the home buying process can save you both time and money, especially if you’re a new homeowner. If you know the steps, you can get your dream home before somebody else buys it.
To boost your odds of getting that perfect Idaho home, we’ve compiled this simple six-step guide to home buying!
Step 1: Get Pre-Approved
The first thing you should do before starting your house hunt is to apply for a mortgage.
As part of your application, you’ll need to go through pre-approval, where the lender checks your financial health. If you’re eligible for a mortgage, you’ll receive a pre-approval letter containing important details of your loan (e.g. maximum loan amount, interest rate, APR, and closing fees).
Step 2: Find A Locally-Experienced Real Estate Agent
House hunting alone is a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the state. We recommend that you recruit a real estate agent with local experience.
In addition to showing you potential houses, you can ask them important questions about the area. This saves you from having to do the legwork yourself!
Step 3: Search For Homes
Instead of looking up individual homes, start your house hunt at the neighborhood level. Search local listings to find the most affordable house in an area that fits your budget and lifestyle needs.
If the most affordable house there doesn’t fulfill your needs, either search for a better house in the same neighborhood or use the money you’ve saved for home improvements.
Step 4: Make An Offer
In a high-demand housing market, you’ll likely encounter a lot of competition during your hunt. If you have eyes on a house, be sure to make an offer that can beat other prospective buyers.
One of the best ways to catch the seller’s eye is to make an offer above the purchase price. Consult with your realtor on how much above the listed home price you should offer the seller.
Step 5: Schedule Home Inspections And Appraisals
Getting an inspector and appraiser to examine your new house can save you from expensive problems down the line. Home inspectors can spot potential issues that may need repairs. Meanwhile, an appraiser helps ensure the property is valued appropriately before you close the deal.
Step 6: Close The Deal
In anticipation of closing day, be sure you’ve prepared the money to pay closing costs and lender fees. On closing day, sign the documents with your realtor present to make sure everything is legitimate. Once the paperwork is done, you can start making moving arrangements!
How To Get Better Mortgage Rates In Idaho
Taking a few points off your mortgage rate & APR can save you thousands of dollars. In this section, we share our top advice to lower your mortgage rates in Idaho.
Purchase Discount Points
Discount points are upfront fees you can pay to reduce your mortgage rate & APR. Although it may vary per lender, these points are typically each worth 1% of the loan and give a 0.25% rate reduction. If you can’t afford full points, you can buy half points.
Since mortgage points cost thousands of dollars, they’re best bought if you’re not planning to refinance the loan or move out of the house in the near future. If you refinance, you’ll lose any rate reductions given by discount points.
Pay More Down Payment
Providing a larger down payment helps reduce your total mortgage amount and drives your interest down as well. The larger payment may also convince lenders to give you a lower rate & APR as well as waive MI fees entirely.
Work With Mortgage Brokers
Researching and comparing loan offers by yourself is time-consuming. Independent mortgage brokers help save you time and effort by doing the legwork – comparing the rate, APR, and fees between multiple lenders for you. With their experience and resources, their search might turn up good deals that you may have missed.
To find the best deals in a high-demand housing market like Idaho, you need to know the local mortgage rates & APR. Understanding the home buying process can also put you at an advantage.
If you’re still searching for the best Idaho mortgage for your dream home, you’ve come to the right place. Contact our team at Wesley LLC for more mortgage resources and advice!