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Corpus Christi housing market seeing fewer buyers as interest rates rise

As recently as six months ago, the economy favored sellers, but that's no longer the case.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time Wednesday, slowing down people's ability and, in some cases, interest, in homebuying. 

Although homes are still selling, a downward trend in buyers is leaving houses on the market longer than even just six months ago, when homeowners were able to set their price, said Homesource Mortgage branch manager and mortgage loan officer Claudia Mostaghasi. 

"Houses were only lasting maybe like a week at the max on the market," she said. "Well, now houses are taking longer."

The reason for that is the rise in interest rates, but some people feel it's because houses are overpriced. 

Mostaghasi said that's not the case, but that homeowners are having to accept less than they would have a year ago. 

"What sellers are doing is saying, 'Hey, let's lower the price,' " she said.

Keller Williams Coastal Bend realtor Joe Esquivel said higher interest rates shouldn't send potential homebuyers into a panic. He said right now is still a good time to buy. 

"There's, there's still deals being done every day," he said.

Esquivel said that when interest rates were very low, potential homebuyers would, at times, find themselves with less room to negotiate, and in some cases, in bidding wars. 

"So you're gonna have to come in 5, 10, maybe 15, 20 grand over asking price," he said. "Now, you might be able to negotiate down a little bit and negotiate a little bit of closing costs, and still get your payment around where you want it to be."

And there are tools to help manage a buyer's interest rate, such as the "2-1 buydown program."

"The seller will help the buyer to get the first year of that mortgage loan to be 2% lower on the interest rate," Mostaghasi said. 

This leaves buyers wiggle room on payments their first year of being a homeowner. 

But the key is to find a knowledgeable real-estate agent, Esquivel said.

"Get out there -- hire a professional agent," he said. "You know, make sure you're educated on the market, but definitely don't be scared." 

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