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Mortgage and real estate news this week: Most and least affordable housing markets, and tips for mortgage applicants

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It’s been a rollercoaster of a week in the news, which has let many non-war stories fly below the radar. If you’re trying to catch up, here are some key things to know about what’s going on in real estate.

1. Housing affordability update

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the Rust Belt continued to contain the most affordable places to live, and California dominated the rankings of most expensive communities. Higher mortgage rates continue to squeeze affordability across the board, and home prices, while growing more slowly than they did last year, are unlikely to come down.

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2. How quitting your job could mess up your mortgage application

The Great Resignation saw loads of people shift their employment situation, but changing your job can seriously throw a wrench in a mortgage application. It’s important to talk to your loan officer and time things carefully if you’re simultaneously trying to buy a house and switch careers.

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3. What to expect as a mortgage applicant

Whether you just quit your job or not, getting a mortgage is complicated and involves a lot of paperwork and phone calls with your lender. You’ll need to verify your employment, income, debt, assets and just about everything else about yourself and your finances. Here’s what to expect from the process.

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4. Mortgage rates keep rising

You were out of luck if you were hoping for an interest rate reprieve this week. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage hit 4.08 percent, and most experts expect that number to keep going up.

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5. Staying on the right side of the fence with your HOA

If you live in a homeowners association, you’ll have to deal with a few extra rules and regulations about maintaining your property and how to behave within the community. HOAs are common enough in today’s real estate market, but it’s helpful to understand the basics about how they function if you’re considering moving into one.

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Written by
Zach Wichter
Mortgage reporter
Zach Wichter is a former 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