Are you looking to buy a car or a house? Clark Howard says this is what you have to do – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA — Interest rates keep going up, up, up, making it very expensive to borrow money to buy a house or a car.

Clark Howard, Channel 2 Consumer Advisor says there’s a silver lining for people who need to borrow money to make a big purchase.

If you’re looking to buy a house or a car right now, interest rates can seem pretty scary, but there may still be a deal that’s right for you.

Chara Fedke said her dog Lux was ready for a yard, and after her rent went up nearly 10%, she was ready to take the leap to become a landlord.

“I just bought my first house. I’ve been a renter all my life, so this is my very first home,” Fedke said.

But things got a little scary when house prices and interest rates started to climb.

“I was saving for a down payment, but house prices skyrocketed. And that money I had saved wasn’t even half of what a 20% down payment would be,” Fedke said.

Fedke’s realtor Kiffany Garner said it might not be as bad as we think.

“These are not the highest interest rates we have ever seen. And I think we were kind of spoiled when we had the 3% interest rates,” Garner said.

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Garner told Howard buyers make scary decisions when interest rates are low, like forgoing inspections and paying the asking price. Now that home sales are slowing due to these higher interest rates, buyers have more power.

“We were able to negotiate closing costs. We were able to negotiate reparations. And there’s also less competition,” Garner said.

She helped Fedke find a big house in Forsyth County, and a lot on a mortgage with a Community Reinvestment Act home loan with 100% financing and no mortgage insurance.

“I’m very excited. I’m happy to do this,” Fedke said.

Howard said shopping around for a mortgage is very important with higher rates. And the same is true when shopping for a car.

Drivers we spoke to say low inventory and high prices mean they’re waiting to buy a car.

“My husband wants me to buy a new used car because my car is 14 years old,” Betty Londergan said.

“It’s not just the price of the car. You can’t get one anyway,” said car buyer Tish Anshen.

Howard said we are seeing an improvement in new car sales. It varies by make and model, but we’re about halfway through pre-pandemic inventory numbers and some cars are selling below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

But if you don’t absolutely need a car, Howard said don’t buy one.

“Oh, I’m definitely sticking with mine,” Londergan said.

Whether you’re financing a car or a house, Howard said to shop around for that loan before you even take a test drive or attend an open house, especially for a mortgage.

There are state and federal programs designed to help first-time buyers and people in certain income brackets.

Most programs require participation in financial education or flexibility classes on where you are looking to buy.

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