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Don’t Take the First Offer: Homebuyers Still Benefit From Shopping Around

Even though current mortgage rates may be high to current standards, homebuying is considerably more expensive than during the height of the pandemic—even though the first lender you apply for may offer an acceptable loan rate, there is still sense in shopping around for a better mortgage rate; as of right now shopping around could save you up to $84,000. 

According to a new study by LendingTree, to show how much money those who shop around could save, LendingTree analyzed data from users of our online shopping platform who received three or more offers from mortgage lenders. With this data, we calculated how much borrowers in each of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas could save if they chose the lowest APR offered instead of the highest. 

In doing so, we found that shopping around for a mortgage could help borrowers across the nation’s largest metros save an average of $84,301 over the lifetime of their loans. 

Key findings highlighted by LendingTree included: 

  • Borrowers in the nation’s 50 largest metros could save an average of $84,301 over the lifetime of their loans by shopping around for a mortgage. This breaks down to an average savings of $2,810 a year and $234 a month. 
  • San Jose, California., San Francisco and Los Angeles are the metros where borrowers could save the most over the lifetime of their mortgages. Across these three metros, borrowers could save an average of $149,146 over the lifetime of their loans by shopping around. 
  • Across the nation’s 50 largest metros, the average spread between the highest and lowest APR offered to borrowers is 99 basis points. Getting offered a loan with a rate 0.99 percentage points lower than another might not seem like a big deal, but it could help you save tens of thousands of dollars (or more) over the lifetime of your loan. When talking about loans typically worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, getting an APR that’s even 10 basis points lower than another could make a notable difference in how much a mortgage costs over its lifetime. 
  • Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Columbus, Ohio, borrowers see the largest spreads between the average lowest and highest APRs offered. In these metros, the average spread is 117 basis points—18 above the 50-metro average. Despite having the biggest spreads, these metros don’t boast the highest lifetime loan savings as borrowers there have substantially lower average mortgage amounts than in places like San Jose or San Francisco. 
  • The more offers a borrower can get, the more they’re likely to save. Nationwide, borrowers who only receive two offers could save an average of $35,377 over the lifetime of their loans, while borrowers who get more than five offers could save an average of $105,912 — or an additional $70,535. These larger savings are possible because borrowers who receive more offers tend to have higher credit scores that allow them access to lower minimum APRs and take out bigger mortgages. 

Click here for a breakdown of the top-10 metropolitan areas where people can save the most by rate shopping. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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