Mortgage and real estate news this week: Understanding the Fed and why you may still consider a refi

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Mortgage rates fell slightly this week even as the Federal Reserve signaled it could boost interest rates at its next meeting. It’s an important indicator of what’s going on in the real estate realm right now, but not the only thing worth watching. Here’s a look at that story and more.

1. How the Fed influences mortgage rates

Contrary to popular belief, the Federal Reserve does not directly set mortgage interest, but its policies have a big impact on what your lender will charge you for the privilege of borrowing. Check out Bankrate’s explainer on how it all works.

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2. Mortgage rates retreat

In a bit of a mixed message, the average rate on a 30-year loan dipped to 3.71 percent in Bankrate’s latest national survey.

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3. Millions could still save with a refi

Although mortgage rates are higher than they’ve been in a while, they’re still low by historical standards. As a result, Black Knight reports that nearly 6 million homeowners could still lower their monthly payments by refinancing at today’s rates.

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4. How I messed up my own refinance

I tried to refinance my mortgage earlier this month and glossed over some of the fine print. My oversight meant the refi no longer made financial sense. Learn from my mistake so you don’t do the same thing!

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5. How HOA finances factor into a mortgage

If you’re trying to buy or sell property that is controlled by a homeowners association, you could face an extra level of complexity when it comes to the mortgage. Understanding the HOA’s finances could help you be prepared.

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