Low interest rates tempt homeowners to double up

Home sales

Credit: WFAA

Low interest rates are helping persuade potential home buyers to make a move now.




Posted on February 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 6:51 PM

DALLAS — Have you looked at any houses for sale lately? Prices are going up.

New numbers from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index show Dallas homes had their largest local gain in December in 12 years. They're up 6.5 percent from the same time last year.

It's the tenth month in a row for higher Dallas-area home prices.

Low interest rates are helping persuade potential buyers to make a move now. It's almost a real-life Monopoly game. The rates are so good, some people are buying more than one house for themselves.

Kris Chafin has been living in her house in The Colony for nine years. She just bought a second house in Weatherford. Chafin said she bought a new home before selling her existing one because she couldn't afford to wait.

"The interest rates have been the lowest that I've seen in my lifetime," Chafin said. "I believe they're going to stay that way for a very short period of time, and I wanted to get in and grab the interest rates while I could."

Chafin found exactly what she was looking for: A 30-year, fixed-rate home loan with an interest rate of 2.9 percent.

"I bought what I wanted, because at that interest rate, you can buy twice, if not three times more," Chafin said.

Dallas-Fort Worth Realtors say the market is strong, especially for sellers. Tyler Richardson says some houses are selling at full price within 10 days of signs going up.

"I do have some clients that are saying, 'You know what? I want to go ahead and make a move now, because I see what is going to happen, and I want to make sure to go ahead and get my assets in line right now,'" Richardson said.

He said buyers in today's market are ready to pull the trigger quickly once they find a house that fits their needs. That's what Kris Chafin did, when she found what she describes as her retirement home in Weatherford.

"Why not just take advantage while you can?" Chafin said.

And taking advantage is what Chafin is doing with her other house in The Colony. She's renting it out.

That will help her pay her new mortgage.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com