Point of Interest
With interest rates at near-historic lows, buying or refinancing a home in Missouri may be a good financial move.
Mortgage and refinance rates in Missouri tend to be equal to or slightly higher than other states, but the home prices are much lower in this state. The average median home value in Missouri is $50,000 less than the national average, so you could save thousands by choosing to settle down there. Property taxes and closing costs are also lower than average, which further reduces the cost of buying and owning a home. With mortgage rates currently near record lows, now is a great time to consider buying a home in Missouri.
Getting a mortgage in Missouri
Like most states in the Midwest, Missouri has inexpensive homes, making it easier to afford a mortgage. The median home value in the state is $151,600, which is $53,300 less than the national average of $204.900. Missouri also has lower than average property taxes and closing costs, as well as cash assistance programs for first-time homebuyers who need a little help with their down payment.
- Median home price: $151,600
- Average 30-year fixed rate: 3.81%
- Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,254
- Homeownership rate: 66.8%
Missouri state mortgage rate trends
Historically, mortgage rates in Missouri have been on par with or slightly higher than the national average. In 1986, the average rate for 30-year fixed mortgages fell below double digits for the first time and has continued to decline since. In April, mortgage rates in Missouri hit a record new low of 3.28% due to the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates in response to the coronavirus.
Missouri state current mortgage rates
Current mortgage rates in Missouri are slightly higher than the record low they reached in April, but it’s still a great time to buy a home. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.81%, which is far lower than it was in January. The interest rate for 15-year mortgages is also at a near-historic low of 3.28%. If you’re looking to refinance into a shorter-term mortgage and get rid of your debt sooner, now is an ideal time to do it.
Most and least expensive places to live in Missouri
Missouri has the fourth-lowest cost of living in the country and is generally a very affordable place to live. Counties less than an hour away from major metro areas like Kansas City and St. Louis tend to be more expensive and have higher home prices on average. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, concentrate your home search in areas that are a little farther out, such as Harrison County.
5 most expensive
- Platte County has great schools and is a short commute to Kansas City. The median home value is $216,600, which is $65,000 above the state average.
- St. Charles County is a family-friendly suburb 45 minutes away from St. Louis. It’s one of the wealthiest counties in Missouri — the median household income is $81,411, and the average house costs about $210,000.
- St. Louis County is just 20 minutes away from St. Louis, so it’s close to lots of shops and restaurants. Homes in the area go for around $190,000 on average.
- Boone County is home to Columbia, one of the largest cities in Missouri. The median household income in this area is $54,043, and homes cost an average of $179,800.
- Warren County is a quiet suburb about an hour away from St. Louis. Buyers can expect to pay around $172,400 for a home in this county.
5 least expensive
- Shelby County is just an hour and a half away from Columbia. It has a low crime rate and extremely affordable housing — the median home value is $74,700.
- Harrison County is located an hour and a half away from Kansas City. The average home costs just $74,600, which makes this small county an affordable place to settle down.
- Sullivan County has some of the lowest housing costs in the state. On average, residents pay just $849 for their mortgages each month and $605 in rent.
- Wayne County is located in the Ozark foothills and it’s a beautiful place to live. Buying a home there won’t break the bank, though — the average house only costs about $75,000.
- Atchison County is just an hour away from Omaha, so it’s a great place to live if you work over the border in Nebraska. Homes there cost just $85,600 on average.
Missouri state mortgage resources and intricacies
If you’re a first-time homebuyer who needs some assistance with your down payment or closing costs, Missouri has several programs that can help. The First Place program provides cash assistance loans of up to 4% of the mortgage amount to cover your closing costs or down payment. If you stay in your home for 10 years, the loan may even be forgiven. The program also offers low interest rate loans to buyers who don’t need help with their closing costs but want more manageable monthly mortgage payments.
If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll be happy to know Missouri has lower than average property taxes and closing costs compared to the rest of the country. It also has no real estate transfer tax, which costs buyers in other states hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the price of their home. The Missouri Housing Development Commission offers a program called the Mortgage Credit Certificate that can help you save even more on your taxes. It gives eligible first-time homebuyers a tax credit equal to 25% of the mortgage interest they pay each year, significantly reducing their housing costs.
The only downside of buying a home in Missouri is that homeowner’s insurance tends to be higher. Missouri is prone to tornadoes and has heavy winter snowstorms, so your premiums will likely cost more than they would in a state with less extreme weather.
The final word
Missouri is one of the most affordable places to live in the country, in large part due to its low-cost homes. Right now, interest rates are hovering just above the historic lows they reached in April, so it’s a great time to buy or refinance.