Mortgage rates have been so low for so long that it’s almost hard to believe that they were once in double-digit territory. In 1981, for example, home loan rates reached nearly 17%, the highest level on record, according to the Freddie Mac data.

Today’s super-low mortgage rates can help your home buying dreams become reality, faster and more affordably. If you’re thinking about buying your first home, it’s important to know that you don’t need a huge down payment to become a homeowner. There are a number of low downpayment home loan programs available to qualified borrowers.

One of the many benefits of homeownership is that you can take out a fixed-rate home loan that locks you into that low rate for the entire term of the loan. You’re no longer subject to rent increases by your landlord! There are many different types of loan options available for first-time and move-up home buyers, including the FHA, VA and USDA home loan programs and conventional mortgages, both fixed-rate and adjustable. If you’re thinking about moving up, today’s low rates also make it a great time to sell a home and find one that better suits you or your family’s needs. Selling your existing home and finding your dream home now means you can lock in a super low financing rate for years to come.

Maybe you’re happy with your current home and want to stay right where you are. In that case, you’ll want to make sure you’re not passing up an opportunity to refinance. Refinancing can mean more to you than just a new and lower monthly mortgage payment. It also can help you accomplish other financial goals, such as taking out a shorter-term mortgage with the goal of paying your home off earlier or tapping your home equity for improvements or major purchases.