The typical mortgage payment in the Seattle area increased slightly over the past few months, keeping in line with the gradual increase in home prices in the city.
So many home buyers today are being more cost-conscious when purchasing a home, as higher payments can eat into their budgets and leave less money to be spent on other expenses. Fortunately, there are some things borrowers can do to minimize their monthly payments.
Seattle Mortgage Payments Dip Slightly From Last Year
According to recent data, the monthly mortgage payments for a typical home in the U.S. is roughly $1,126 based on today’s mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and a 20% down payment. The median home value in the U.S. rose by 19.3% over the past 12 months and now sits at about $316,368.
The figures above pertain to the nation as a whole. In the Seattle metro area, the monthly mortgage payment for a typical home is approximately $3,161 as of January 2022. The median home value for the Seattle-area real estate market has fluctuated over the past 12 months – they decreased quite a bit, but have now started to climb back up.
Of course, this should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the local real estate market. Prices in Seattle are still high, which translates into high mortgage payments every month.
The median home value in the city of Seattle was $888,202, as of January 2022. Across the broader Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area, the median price was around $706,964 as of January — up by 21.7% over the previous year.
Mortgage rates have increased. Over the past year and a half, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan has increased to 3.45%. That’s based on the weekly industry survey conducted by Freddie Mac.
So the higher monthly mortgage payments among Seattle-area homeowners are still being driven by high home prices. And while mortgage rates are still relatively low, they’re on the rise.
How to Minimize Monthly Housing Costs
The average mortgage payment for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is still rather high compared to other parts of the state and country. So it’s now more important than ever for buyers to be cost-conscious when buying a home.
Along those lines, here are the 5 ways a borrower could reduce the size of the monthly mortgage payments:
- Discount points: Some borrowers choose to pay discount points in exchange for a lower mortgage rate. One point equals one percent of the loan amount. With this strategy, you’re paying more upfront for a lower rate and a lower monthly mortgage payment (compared to if you didn’t pay points).
- Longer term: Borrowers who want to reduce their monthly payments as much as possible often go with a longer mortgage term. This spreads the payments out over a longer period, thereby reducing their size. This is one reason why the 30-year fixed mortgage is the most popular loan option among home buyers in Seattle and nationwide.
- ARM vs. fixed: Adjustable-rate mortgage loans (ARMs) tend to start off with a lower interest rate than a longer-term fixed loan. So borrowers who use ARMs are often able to reduce their monthly payments, compared to what they would pay each month for a fixed-rate loan.
- Larger down payment: By putting more money down on your home purchase, you’re borrowing less. This results in a smaller monthly payment, when compared to the same purchase price with a smaller down payment.
- Avoiding PMI: Private mortgage insurance is usually required when the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 80%. Some borrowers choose to make down payments of 20% or more, in order to avoid PMI. This in turn can result in a lower monthly payment.
Have Questions About Mortgages?
Do you have questions aside from mortgage payments to buy a home in Seattle? We have the answers. Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We serve the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region that includes Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon. We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.