Mortgage Rates Wisconsin: How To Get The Best Housing Deals
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Many states have competitive housing markets due to the high demand for homes, and Wisconsin is no exception. Fortunately, knowing the local mortgage rates can help you navigate the tough market and find the best housing deals.
In this guide, you’ll learn all about mortgage rates in Wisconsin! You won’t only find the latest mortgage and refinance rates in the state, but you’ll also get advice on getting the best mortgage rates for your new Wisconsin home.
Home Loan Options In Wisconsin
Most American homebuyers can choose between three mortgages when buying a home. In this section, you’ll learn about all three loan types and their features.
Conventional Home Loan
Conventional mortgages are the most common home loan type and are offered by many banks and private mortgage companies. Most conventional loans have limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that differs by state and area. In the entire State of Wisconsin, conforming loan limits are set at the national standard of $548,250.
Conventional mortgages are further broken down into three loan types:
A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that doesn’t change, regardless of market conditions. This interest and annual percentage rate stability translate into consistent monthly payments, which makes them very popular with long-term financial planners. However, fixed-rate mortgages tend to have a higher interest rate compared to other mortgage types.
Most lenders offer 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to borrowers. However, you can opt for shorter 15-year or 20-year mortgages if you want lower rates, with the caveat of higher monthly mortgage payments.
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
In contrast to a fixed-rate loan, adjustable-rate mortgages have rates that shift every year. ARMs have an introductory period where your rates are fixed at the beginning of the loan. Then, during the adjustable phase, interest and annual percentage rates are adjusted annually based on a market index chosen by the lender.
The introductory periods are great for short-term savings because their rates are typically lower. Lenders usually offer between 3 and 10 years of introductory mortgage rates. An ARM’s introductory period is denoted by its name – for example, a 5/1 ARM features a 5-year introductory period.
Lenders may also offer you the option of a jumbo mortgage if you’re eyeing a larger home. Jumbo loans allow you to get larger loan amounts, with the caveat of a higher interest rate and monthly payment amount.
Government-Backed Loan Programs
The United States government offers three major loan products to boost the homeownership rate in select demographics, such as veterans and low-income borrowers. These loans usually offer competitive rates and lower down payment requirements.
The three major government loan types are:
FHA loans: These loans are designed for low-income homebuyers. FHA loans only require a 3% down payment and a credit score minimum of 620. However, borrowers need to pay mortgage insurance premiums for the entire loan’s life.
USDA loans: Qualifying for a USDA loan requires you to buy a home in a USDA-approved area. If you meet that requirement, you may be eligible for a no-down payment loan with affordable mortgage insurance fees.
VA loans: These zero-down loans are only available for veterans and active military personnel. Borrowers will need to pay a mortgage insurance cost substitute called funding fees.
You can take a mortgage refinance if you already have an existing loan. Refinancing allows you to change your loan terms and length by providing you a new loan to pay off your old one.
Refinancing falls into two major types:
Rate and term refinance: This type of refinancing modifies your loan’s terms and length. For example, you may shorten your 30-year fixed loan into a 15-year one to pay it off faster and at lower rates. You can also use it to change an ARM into a fixed-rate loan to dodge the unpredictable adjustable period.
Cash-out refinance: Cash-out refis convert your home equity into cash. This refi provides a loan that’s larger than your current mortgage balance. Any money left over after paying your mortgage can be used for other needs.
Compare Mortgage Rates In Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s average mortgage rates trend close to the national average rates. Find out the current mortgage rates in Wisconsin using the table below. All the mortgage rates listed here are taken from the nation’s top lenders.
Compare Today’s Mortgage Rates in Wisconsin
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Your actual rate may vary depending on your financial circumstances and other factors. These mortgage and refinance rates may also change without prior notice.
For a personalized look at your Wisconsin mortgage and annual percentage rate, use the rate calculator at the top of this page. Input your financial details, and we’ll calculate a custom Wisconsin mortgage rate & annual percentage rate estimate for you!
First-Time Homebuyer Programs In Wisconsin
Like many other states, Wisconsin offers first-time homebuyers mortgage and down payment assistance programs. The Badger State offers three main programs through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).
Here are the qualification requirements for WHEDA’s assistance programs.
Have a credit score of at least 620
Meet WHEDA income requirements that vary by county
Obey conforming loan amount limits
Complete a homebuyer education course (if you’re a first-time homebuyer)
Buy a single-family home in Wisconsin as a primary residence
WHEDA Advantage FHA & Conventional Loans
WHEDA offers FHA & conventional loans with competitive rates and lower mortgage insurance fees. While the loan is aimed primarily at first-time buyers, repeat homebuyers can still qualify. Borrowers of a WHEDA loan can also qualify for two down payment assistance programs: Easy Close and Capital Access.
WHEDA Easy Close DPA
This program provides a second mortgage worth up to 6% of your purchase price to cover the down payment, closing cost, and origination fees. This second mortgage comes in the form of a 10-year loan with monthly payments, with similar rates to your first mortgage.
WHEDA Capital Access DPA
The Capital Access program features a zero-interest 30-year second loan. However, this down payment assistance program has lower income limits (varies by county) compared to Easy Close and only provides up to 3 to 3.5% of your home purchase price.
Buying A Home In Wisconsin
Knowing what to do when buying a home can help you get your dream home quickly and at a good price. Here are the six main steps to buying a home!
Step 1: Get Pre-Approved
The first step in your home buying journey? Getting pre-approved by starting the mortgage process with a lender. After going through the necessary financial checks, you’ll receive a pre-approval letter containing key details of your loan, such as the maximum loan amount, mortgage rate, and loan type.
Step 2: Find A Realtor With Local Experience
An experienced real estate agent can help you find the perfect home by securing the best housing deals and providing important details about the area. Ask them about key facts regarding the area, like property taxes, commute times, and local amenities.
Step 3: Search For The Right Home
A good rule of thumb is to start your house hunt at the neighborhood level and work your way down. Begin by searching for home listings in a neighborhood that fits your budget. Then, choose the most affordable house that meets your needs.
If you can’t find the perfect home, you can find a cheaper fixer-upper and use the money you saved for home improvements.
Step 4: Make An Offer
Making a good offer helps you compete with other prospective buyers. Consult with your real estate agent about how much above the listed value you should offer. You can also refer to the average property value in the area as a benchmark.
Step 5: Perform Inspections And Appraisals
Due diligence is important when buying a house. Always hire home inspectors and appraisers to examine the property. They can pinpoint any property defects and determine the home’s actual value, ensuring that you get the best value for your money. Afterward, you can ask for repairs or renegotiate a new deal with the seller if you feel you’re paying too much for the home.
Step 6: Close The Purchase
Prepare the money for your closing cost and origination fees before scheduling your closing date. Have your realtor present during closing while you sign the paperwork to ensure everything is above board.
How To Get Better Wisconsin Mortgage Rates
Mortgages are a long-term financial commitment. Even a small mortgage rate reduction will eventually add up and save you thousands down the line. To reduce your Wisconsin mortgage rates, follow these three tips!
A shorter loan term often comes with a lower mortgage rate because lenders take less risk on shorter mortgages. You’re also reducing how many times you’ll have to make mortgage payments, which means you can save a lot on interest fees in the long run.
Compare Offers From Multiple Lenders
Lenders compete for your business by offering lower rates or discounts on closing costs. You can get better deals by requesting loan estimate documents from at least 3-4 lenders and comparing them. Once you have all the information in front of you, it’ll be much easier to choose the one that represents the best value for you.
Securing your dream home in a high-demand housing market like Wisconsin can be challenging. But with an understanding of the home buying process and knowledge of local mortgage rates, you can boost your chances of getting your dream Wisconsin home.
If you’re looking to find an affordable home in the Badger State, Wesley LLC is here for all your Wisconsin mortgage needs. Contact us today to schedule a personal mortgage consultation!