Low interest rates attracting Valley residents to buy

FRESNO, Calif.

After a major slump, it seems the housing market around the country and here in the valley is its way up.

This week, the 15-year mortgage rate dropped to 2.61 percent a record low.

Paul Salazar, a Sierra Mortgage Company Loan Officer said, "I think it's fantastic. First of all, I think it's helping the housing market and it's getting people that are on the fence to do it. "

Salazar has worked in the mortgage industry for years and has seen more local residents taking advantage of these offers.

So how do you qualify?

Salazar says lenders are looking at your fico or credit score and loan to value, which is based on the equity in property, to determine that rate.

Salzar said, "If you've already been a homeowner and you're going to refinance into this rate, this 15-year loan, then you probably already qualify, you just don't know that given an option it's out there. Now if you're going to purchase it, you're going to go through the same process as qualifying for a home loan, let it be a 30 or a 15."

Those lower interest rates are bringing in more potential buyers to look at more homes like Granville's Copper River Ranch's community. Construction crews have been busy building new homes and communities to keep up with demand.

Granville says they've seen a wide range of clients - from young couples to retirees - purchasing new homes with lower rates.

Melisa Spolini, Granville Homes broker associate said, "We're starting to see home prices going up and I think that's what's actually bringing buyers in so they want to make sure they don't miss that wave."

Its newest subdivision "Tresana" hasn't even had its grand opening yet and spots to live there are filling up.

The low mortgage rates apply to those buying new and refinancing. Lending experts say its unknown how long these rates will stick around, but the numbers are ones that make many homeowners smile.

Salazar said, "Get prequalified, now's the time, this is definitely the time."

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