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Already competitive home buyers market now burdened by nearly doubled interest rates

Mortgage Manager Blanca Choma with Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union has been helping people get into their homes for over 25 years.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Those looking to buy a home are already having a hard time in a competitive real estate market, but now that interest rates have nearly doubled, buyers could be getting even less for their buck.

Mortgage Manager Blanca Choma with Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union has been helping people get into their homes for over 25 years. She said inflation coupled with the shortage of houses available for sale are some of the causes behind the rise of interest rates. 

"Now with the high interest rates, some are priced out of what they qualified just three months ago," Choma said.

As mortgage rates increase, what was once an affordable monthly payment for a prospective homeowner buys less than it could before.

In January, mortgage rates were at 3.25%, so a buyer could borrow enough to afford a $345,000 home with a $1,500 monthly mortgage. With current interest rates of 6%, the same buyer can only borrow about $250,000.

Choma said that housing is the force behind a good economy, and Coastal Bend Realtor Marsai Bass would agree. She suggests not letting steep rates prevent residents from buying homes.

"My advice is to get a house now, build the equity. You can always refinance later," Bass said. "Houses are still hard to come by, so if you hesitate you might even get a higher rate then what we have right now."

According to Choma, credit unions are able to give their clients a more personalized rate than others. While there are still down payments available for first-time home buyers, they can usually carry a much higher rate then a regular loan.

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