Just a quick word about 30 yr. fixed conventional mortgages.
For the past 10 years, we have enjoyed rates that hovered between 3.25% and 6%. The following are rates that I found at the end of business today:
These rates have "jumped" recently but I want everyone who reads this to look at the big picture. Rates have NEVER been this low. Follow this link and look at the numbers yourself. During the 80's when many of our parents were buying homes, the rates were between 10% and 17%!!. The 90's saw an improvement to an average of 8%. Even 4 years ago when I bought my first home, I can't tell you how lucky I was to lock in at 5.4%. Again, these rates are all based off of a 30 yr fixed conventional mortgage without any points.
The point I want to convey is to not over react when you go to get pre-approved for a mortgage and the rate they quote you is above 4%. Obviously you want to get the best rate possible, but remember how low these rates really are when making your decision. Don't wait in the hope that the rates will go back down, because they might keep going up. Do your research, speak to at least 2 or 3 banks or mortgage lenders, and then make an educated decision.
Also, ask someone who purchased a home in the 70's and 80's what rate they were given. I'd be interested to hear some of those stories.
ps. ( a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment in the 70's with a 30yr fixed rate of 17% and resonable taxes would have been almost $2,800 a month! The cost of borrowing that $200,000 would result in $660,000 in interest over 30 yrs!!! )