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Mortgage rates loiter

By Holden Lewis ·
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Posted: 2 pm ET

Mortgage rates have been amazingly low lately. Whenever they linger below 5 percent, you're seeing historically low mortgage rates.

They've been ratcheting up a little today. If your lender hasn't raised rates an eighth of a percentage point, you're getting less bang for the buck with your discount points today.

Still, mortgage rates remain very low. To show you how surprising I find this, let me tell you a little secret: In January, I assigned a writer to do a story about how to cope with rising mortgage rates. The story is edited and ready to go, as soon as we see a significant upward trend. Hasn't happened yet. Yes, mortgage rates rose above 5 percent in February and again, briefly, in April. But in Bankrate's weekly mortgage rate survey, they have fallen eight weeks in a row. That two-month slide is likely to end in tomorrow's survey, though.

Good deals are out there, including this wrinkle in which builders offer zero-down mortgages with no closing costs.

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Holden Lewis
June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

Now I have to have 75% of the devalued rate to get a refinance.

I think you meant to say you have to have 75 percent of the devalued equity to get a refinance. This is a valuable point to make. On Florida condos, on rentals, and on jumbo mortgages, lenders frequently cap loans at 75 or 70 percent loan to value. So you have to have 25 or 30 percent equity to refinance if you fit into one (or more, as in Joyjoy's case) of the above categories.

June 10, 2011 at 8:54 am

Mortgages rates may be lower, but refinancing is a nightmare!!!!! I have excellent credit, never been late on any payments in my 58 years, and willing to pay closing costs on my Florida condo that I plan to retire to in a few years Although it has been devalued 40-50%, I still have a small positive equity in it. Now I have to have 75% of the devalued rate to get a refinance. And you wonder why people are walking away from their properties? People who work hard and pay their bills are discriminated against anymore.
Due to the economy, I decided to rent the condo out when I'm unable to be in Florida. (Another slap in the face since I rent it).Yet, I can not get a loan without outrageous closing cost, hours of paperwork, and unscrumpulous mortgage lenders who say it is the governments fault.