5 Ways to Beat Inflation from Buying a Home
High inflation is no fun. Though everyone pays the same higher prices, periods of rising inflation don’t have the same impact on all Americans. A person’s investment strategy—including real estate, investments in the stock market and S&P 500, and their retirement plan—can be a good inflation hedge.
While inflation slowly chips away at your dollars’ buying power, putting those dollars into investments can allow that money to grow faster than the rate of inflation. One of the best ways to beat inflation in 2023 is by buying a home—and we’ll show you how.
- Lock in Your Interest Rate Now - The Federal Reserve combats high inflation by raising interest rates, thereby making it harder—and more expensive—to borrow money. So far this hasn’t done a lot to curb spending, and the Federal Reserve has made it clear that it intends to keep raising rates. This means borrowers who wait may face even higher rates.
- Buy Before Inflation Rises Again - As we mentioned, so far the actions of the Federal Reserve haven’t done enough to bring inflation down. Is there a threat that inflation will continue to rise? Absolutely. If and when that does happen, everything will get more expensive—including homes. Higher home prices mean larger loans, down payments, and closing costs, since all three of these are based on a percentage of the home’s price. It’s the ultimate example of a rising tide (aka rising inflation) lifting all boats.
- Stop Renting - You know what else is likely to go up during periods of high inflation? Rent. Because it’s a cost, right? So there’s a good chance it’ll head north as landlords use these rent increases to beat their inflation. Buying a home is a long-term investment that can save money—money that is currently only helping your landlord. Excellent inflation hedge for them; no help for you. Real estate is a part of any good, diversified investment strategy. Plus, it can lock in your expenses for the long term. No more worrying about rent increases or lease renewals.
- Appreciate Depreciating Assets - When you buy a home, that asset tends to appreciate in value over time (minus a few ebbs and flows inherent in the market). You know what does the opposite? Debt. Debt actually depreciates in value with the rate of inflation. Think about it this way: You know those folks who are always saying, “In my day, you could buy a home for $44,000”? Well, they’re not lying. Years and decades from now your debt will be worth far less. Your monthly mortgage payment won’t change, but with the rate of inflation, it will be worth less than it’s worth today. At the same time, your home is likely to go up in value. That’s a win-win, especially if you were renting before.
- Supplement Your Income with an Investment Property - Some Americans have extra cash lying around, becoming vulnerable to inflation because of the current economic uncertainties. If cash is sitting in a savings account earning next to nothing, then this much is certain: Inflation has won, and you’re no further ahead. Some people thinking about how to beat inflation have realized that an investment property may be the way to go, as that long-term investment can produce supplemental income. Extra income is extra appreciated with price increases, making this a smart inflation hedge. Every investment carries risks and rewards, and in a market like this, conditions can change in either direction—becoming more or less favorable. However, many individuals feel empowered when they take action.
Though we can’t control periods of high inflation, we can respond to them by setting ourselves up for the best possible outcome. For some, that inflation hedge strategy will include locking in their investment costs, mortgage interest rate, and debt now to stave off any further price increases.
Timberland Bank has seen many market cycles, and we’re well-versed on the impacts of inflation. An experienced loan officer is happy to talk anytime to determine if buying a home is the right move for you right now.