Mortgage and real estate news this week: Most homeowners still haven’t refinanced and the rise of digital staging

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Refinancing remains a crucial part of the mortgage news cycle, but there’s other important stuff going on, too. As the end of the summer draws near, here’s what you need to know. (And no, cooler temperatures do not hold any promise for a significantly cooler housing market. We’re sorry.)

1. Why are you (yes, you) still waiting to refinance?

Bankrate’s latest survey shows that 74 percent of Americans have opted out of refinancing, missing out on savings of $250 per month or more. As interest rates trend upward, the opportunities for savings will dwindle. Don’t miss out and leave money on the table. Consider refinancing while rates remain historically low.

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2. Businesses are trying to make the housing market more equitable

The gap between Black and White homeownership rates is stubbornly persistent, but companies from Wall Street giants like JPMorgan Chase to small startups are all working on ways to give minority buyers a boost. Bankrate took a look at a few of the efforts underway.

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3. Technology comes for home staging

Historically, difficult property listings have benefited from physical staging: bringing in fancy furniture and generically nice looking art. Staging in real life can be prohibitively expensive, but as photo editing capabilities get ever better, more home sellers find they can do touchups to their property without breaking the bank.

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4. Why you should consider buying a place for your college-bound kid

College is expensive, and room and board can be a significant cost on top of tuition. In response, more and more parents are using their children’s college years as an opportunity to get into real estate investing. Rather than giving money to a school, they’re purchasing properties in university towns and putting the cash that would otherwise go to room and board toward a mortgage.

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5. Mortgage rates down again

Finishing back where we started, with another gentle reminder that now is a great time to refinance. Mortgage rates fell this week, meaning it’s a pennywise decision for more homeowners.

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Written by
Zach Wichter
Mortgage reporter
Zach Wichter is a mortgage reporter at Bankrate. He previously worked on the Business desk at The New York Times where he won a Loeb Award for breaking news, and covered aviation for The Points Guy.
Edited by
Senior mortgage reporter