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Mortgage and real estate news this week: 4% rates and maintenance tips

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The big news this week is higher mortgage rates, but that’s not all that’s going on. Here are the key things to know.

1. Mortgage rates hit 4%

Sooner than expected, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage reached 4 percent. Most experts thought that was likely to happen in 2022, but even as recently as January, many were anticipating that level wouldn’t be seen until the second half of the year.

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2. Understanding those rates

Why did it happen now? Where are rates headed? What can borrowers do to get the best possible deal? Rising rates open the door to a lot of questions, especially after a run of record low interest. From tips for shopping around to a quick primer on monetary policy, Bankrate has you covered for the basics.

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3. The latest in remodeling trends

No, we’re not talking about whether your cabinet pulls should be brushed aluminum or matte black. We’re looking at the most popular projects and the pitfalls of undertaking them in this inflationary environment. Plus, we’ll help you get a handle on your financing options. Just remember to set a budget early and stick to it.

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4. Maintenance priorities for new homeowners

Becoming a homeowner means taking on new responsibilities for property management. Even if money is tight, you’ll need to do what you can to keep your house in working order. Here’s some advice for how to triage repairs to focus on what matters most. And remember: aesthetics take a back seat to function when the budget is tight.

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5. Advice for gig workers looking to get a mortgage

It’s not impossible to qualify for a home loan if you’re an independent contractor, but it can be more difficult, especially on today’s competitive playing field. Here’s what you need to know about navigating this extra layer of complexity.

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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