Negotiating your next mortgage (tips inside)

Eagle Wealth Management |

Looking ahead at a home purchase? 

High rates convincing you to stay put as long as possible?

With mortgage rates pushing above 7%, you might think a reasonable mortgage is out of reach.

We’ve got some not-so-great news for you. Current rates aren’t actually that high, historically speaking. 

They just look high because we’ve gotten used to low rates over the last few decades.



But here’s some good news:

You actually have more leverage as a buyer than you might think.

The reality is that many lenders and home sellers are losing deals as buyers get cold feet.

They're increasingly willing to find creative ways to get your business.

Those pressures could work in your favor.

Here are three tips on finding a decent mortgage in a high-rate environment.

#1 ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS shop around for your mortgage

While it's common for real estate firms to push you toward a lender they know and like to work with, mortgage rates can vary tremendously by lender.

That "dispersion" of rates for the same borrower means getting multiple quotes and comparing the total cost of the loan can save you thousands.

One study found that borrowers who compared at least four rate quotes could have saved more than $1,200 each year.1

A quick way to compare loans is to look at the loan's annual percentage rate (APR).

If two loans offer the same interest rate, but one has a higher APR, that means higher costs are baked into the details.

#2 Ask lenders to reduce or eliminate fees

Once you've picked a lender or two, take a look at the loan estimates and look for opportunities to negotiate.

You can even ask lenders to beat their competitors' offers if you get everything in writing.

If you already have a relationship with a lender, you can sometimes leverage customer loyalty to try for a better deal.

In some cases, you can even ask the lender to add a no-cost refinance in the future, so feel free to negotiate beyond what's already in the estimate.

#3 Ask sellers for closing credits or a rate buy-down

Closing costs can add a lot to your home purchase, so asking sellers for help covering those fees can make a big difference to your out-of-pocket costs.

In some cases, you might find sellers and homebuilders willing to offer a rate buy-down, in which they help you temporarily or permanently lower your mortgage rate.

A temporary buy-down allows you to temporarily pay a lower interest rate for the first few years of the mortgage.

A permanent buy-down allows you to permanently lower your interest rate across the life of the loan.

One note: A permanent buy-down would look less attractive if rates fall in the future, so it's wise to compare your options and understand the tradeoffs.

Mortgage rates will likely remain high for a while, so becoming a savvy negotiator can help save you thousands.

High rates are painful, but we can help you work through your options.

If you're buying a home soon or want to discuss mortgage options from an overall financial perspective, hit “reply” to this email or give us a call at (541) 330-0220 to set up a time to chat.




Buttermilk-almond pancakes with maple-glazed apple slices

Ground almond flour is mixed into this pancake batter with tangy buttermilk to create a fluffy pancake perfumed with apple slices cooked in maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Serve with maple syrup. The pancake batter will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 days.

Makes 8 pancakes; serves 2 to 4.



The pancake batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, 120 grams
  • ½ cup almond flour, 60 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus butter for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

The maple apples:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Pinch ground ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 1 large or 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch thick slices
  • 2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup


1.         Make the pancake batter: in a small bowl whisk the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt.

2.         In a large bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.

3.         Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated, using a light touch. Set aside and let the batter sit for at least 15 minutes. (If making several hours ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until ready to cook the pancakes. Bring the batter to room temperature before using.)

4.         Prepare the apples: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in the spices, stir, and cook for 20 seconds. Add the apple slices and cook for 2 minutes, gently stirring to incorporate all the spices. Gently stir in the maple syrup and cook until the apples look glazed. Remove from the heat and set aside.

5.         Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

6.         Brush a griddle or large skillet with about 1 tablespoon butter until melted and just beginning to sizzle. Add ¼ cup pancake batter and gently top with 3 to 4 slices of the glazed apples. Repeat with 2 to 3 additional pancakes, being sure not to crowd the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Gently flip the pancake over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the pancakes are golden brown. Serve immediately with maple syrup on the side or place on an ovenproof plate in the preheated oven while you make the rest of the pancakes.


(Compliments of Kathy Gunst)




The Week on Wall Street

Rising bond yields and uncertainty over whether this was the close of the Fed’s rate-hike cycle dragged markets lower last week despite solid corporate earnings results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 1.61%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 2.39%. The Nasdaq Composite index, which has led for much of the year, slumped 3.16%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, retreated 1.67%.2,3,4


Rising Yields Sink Stocks

Stocks rallied to start the week on earnings optimism before losing momentum over rising bond yields. Yields rose after traders speculated that strong economic data might persuade the Fed to raise rates. By mid-week, stocks turned lower as the 10-year Treasury yield moved above 4.9% for the first time since 2007, while mortgage rates hit 8%–the highest level since mid-2000.

Stocks were under pressure Thursday as the 10-year Treasury yield moved closer to 5% and in response to comments from Fed Chair Powell that inflation remained too high. With the 10-year Treasury yield crossing above the 5% mark on Friday–and ahead of a weekend of uncertainty in the Middle East–stocks weakened further, ending a down week on a sour note.


Economic Strength, Housing Weakness

The economy continued to evidence surprising strength according to data released last week. Despite worries of a struggling consumer, consumers increased their spending as retail sales rose 0.7% in September–well above the forecast of a 0.3% rise, while industrial output jumped 0.3%, exceeding the forecast of a 0.1% gain.6

There were also updates on the state of housing. Housing starts rebounded 7.0% from August, though permits (an indicator of future housing starts) declined 4.4% month-over-month. Existing home sales were weak, falling 2.0% from August and 15.4% from a year ago. Existing home sales are on track to record their slowest year since 2011.7,8



Chart source:

2. The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2023

3. The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2023

4. The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2023

5. CNBC, October 17, 2023

6. CNBC, October 17, 2023

7. CNN, October 18, 2023

8. The Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2023


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