Wyoming mortgage rates are set based on a number of local economic factors, so they can vary from the rest of the United States. The best way to get a good rate is to understand the Wyoming real estate market and the laws affecting first or second mortgages, home equity loans, and refinancing. The information below compares Wyoming to its neighboring states and to the U.S. as a whole; distinguishes the fastest-growing and most popular cities, which may offer different Wyoming mortgage rates; defines the loan types and rates permitted in the state; and details the laws affecting foreclosure.
Comparing Wyoming Real Estate Prices
First, real estate prices are a key indicator of how well a state is doing economically. Falling home prices mean that houses and condos become more affordable for new residents, but current residents are less likely to sell because of the lower profitability. As evidenced by the frequent news coverage, real estate prices that dip too low can lead to upside-down mortgages and increased foreclosure rates. Both of these factors strain the area economy, impact Wyoming mortgage rates, and take their toll on residents.
Over the last five years, the state of Wyoming has experienced a decline in median real estate prices—from a high of $250,000 in 2008 to a low of $210,000 in 2010. These prices include both single-family homes and condos, which show no significant differences in their trends. These numbers by themselves provide only limited value. They must be compared with the rates of neighboring states and with the United States as a whole to determine the true rate of progress or decline.
Wyoming Compared to Its Neighbors
Between 2009 and 2010, Wyoming’s median home price declined 3.6%. The state fared worse than its neighbors of Colorado and South Dakota but much better than Montana, Utah, and Idaho. Specific year-over-year changes in these states, as published by zillow.com, are listed below:
- Wyoming – Median list price: $217,000, Change: -3.6%
- Colorado – Median list price: $259,000, Change: -2.1%
- South Dakota – Median list price: $166,000, Change: -2.2%
- Montana – Median list price: $245,000, Change: -8.2%
- Idaho – Median list price: $169,900, Change: -8.6%
- Utah – Median list price: $210,000, Change: -8.7%
Wyoming Compared to the United States As a Whole
Over the same period, the United States experienced a median list price of $195,500 and a 2.2% year-over-year decline. Consequently, Wyoming’s list price is $17,500 more than the nationwide median, but it is still lagging 1.4% behind the nation’s economic rebound.
Most Popular and Fastest Growing Cities
The majority of home purchases in most states revolve around either the most popular cities—generally the largest—and the fastest growing cities. The largest metropolitan areas have developed the infrastructure necessary to support the needs of a family, while cities with rapid growth usually present new employment opportunities and other advantages. The state of Wyoming is home to only 544,000 people—5.1 people per every mile of land, so economic boons are limited in many areas. In terms of population and housing potential, two of the most talked about cities in Wyoming are Cheyenne and Gillette.
The largest city in Wyoming is its capital, Cheyenne. This historic city is home to nearly 60,000 residents. At an average one percent growth rate, Cheyenne has a stable population base. In addition, the city’s median home price has centered around $180,000, which is comparable to the median price nationwide. Cheyenne is located in the southeast quadrant of Wyoming, near the Colorado border. Major employers include the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming National Guard, Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, and Union Pacific railroad.
In 2010, BusinessWeek named Gillette, Wyoming one of America’s fastest growing cities. This community of nearly 30,000 people has grown by 31% since 2000. The influx of relocations to Gillette can be attributed to well-paying jobs in the oil, coal, and natural gas sectors. In addition, Gillette residents can take advantage of lower property tax rates and more land for housing and economic expansion. Gillette is located in the northeast quadrant of Wyoming and is the fourth largest city in the state.
Mortgage Rates and Mortgage Types
Few people are able to afford a home without taking out a mortgage. The types of mortgages offered in the state can impact legal responsibilities and subsequent mortgage rates. The most common home loan types of Wyoming buyers are listed below:
- Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) that mature in 1, 3, or 5 years
- Fixed Rate Loans that Mature in 15 or 30 Years
- Jumbo Loans
- Second Mortgages
- Reverse Mortgages
- Refinance Loans
- Home Equity Loans
Wyoming Mortgage Rates
The type of loan and the payment period affect the mortgage rate. Wyoming mortgage rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are currently tracking closely with the United States average. Rates for 15-year fixed products and ARMs are slightly higher than average in Wyoming due to the increased risk of foreclosure. Lenders recognize that the low median income of many Wyoming residents makes it difficult to qualify for a conventional mortgage, especially as property values appreciate out of the average citizen’s reach.
Wyoming homebuyers who can place more money down and have a higher credit score will see a decline in their mortgage rates. Access to the best Wyoming mortgage rates may also be obtained by working with the Wyoming Community Development Authority. The WCDA does not actually lend consumers money, but it acts as a guarantor of loans. Lenders will typically offer lower rates in exchange for this extra promise of repayment. The WCDA offers five programs with different goals:
- Standard Homebuyer Program – provides a lower-than-market interest rate and down payment assistance for qualified low- and moderate-income buyers. Applicants must be first-time homebuyers or must not have owned a home in the past three years.
- Spirit of Wyoming Program – offers a 4.75% fixed rate, 30-year mortgage to qualified veterans and military personnel. Applicants are not required to be first-time homebuyers.
- Spruce Up Wyoming Program – seeks to rehabilitate sub-standard housing by granting purchasers lower Wyoming interest rates
- Down Payment and Homebuyer Assistance Programs – loans qualified homebuyers the money necessary to make down payments
Wyoming Mortgage Types
In Wyoming, borrowers and lenders have the right to choose whether the terms of a home loan will be governed by a mortgage or a deed of trust. When making payments, consumers will see few differences between the two legal instruments; the main differences occur during the foreclosure process.
Lenders originating home loans in Wyoming are offered recourse. This legal distinction means that lenders who foreclose on a property, sell it, and do not receive enough money to cover the original loan may pursue a deficiency judgment against the property owner for the difference.
Wyoming Foreclosure Process
Wyoming has experienced one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the country. Only 1 in 22,385 households has been foreclosed upon, versus 1 in 775 households for the United States average. Economic officials in Wyoming cite the low number of subprime mortgages in the state, strong need for commercial and public construction, and low number of property flippers as the primary factors.
In Wyoming, lenders may pursue foreclosure under either a judicial or non-judicial process, depending on the terms of the mortgage or deed of trust.
Judicial Foreclosure Process
A judicial process is required when the contract does not preauthorize the sell of the property in the event of the borrower’s default on the loan. Lenders file a lawsuit and, if the court declares a foreclosure, the property is sold at auction.
Non-Judicial Foreclosure Process
A non-judicial foreclosure process can be used when the mortgage or deed of trust includes a power of sale clause. By signing a contract with this clause, the borrower agrees that the lender or a trustee may sell the property to pay off the balance of a defaulted loan. If the time, place, and terms of sale are specified in the contract, then the sale must be carried out under those requirements. Otherwise, the follow general process is followed:
1. The lender must provide advanced notice to the mortgage holder and to the person residing in the property. This notice must detail the intention to foreclose the mortgage by advertisement and sale. It must be sent via certified mail with return receipt at least 10 days before the initial notice of sale publication.
2. The notice of sale must be printed at least weekly for 4 consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the county where the property is held. If that county does not publish a newspaper, then the lender may utilize any of the state’s newspapers that are generally circulated in that county. The notice of sale must contain the following information:
- name of the borrower
- the lender and the lender’s representative
- the date of the mortgage and when it was recorded
- the amount of the default
- a description of the property
- the time and place of sale
3. The property sale must take place at the county courthouse between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. It must be conducted by the lender’s appointee, the county sheriff, or the county deputy sheriff. Bidding is open to anyone, including the lender, and the highest bidder receives a certificate of purchase. Any postponements must be published in the same newspaper as the notice of sale until the actual day of sale.
4. After the sale, the borrower has 3 months to redeem the property. He/she must pay:
- the amount of the purchase price or the amount given or bid if purchased by the execution creditor or by the mortgagee under a mortgage
- plus 10% interest from the date of sale
- plus the amount of any assessments, taxes, or prior liens that the purchaser paid after the purchase
- plus interest on those purchaser payments