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Mortgage and real estate news this week: What’s up with rates and advice for unmarried homebuying partners

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With the holiday season nearly upon us, things have really slowed down in the mortgage and real estate sphere. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to say! Rates are still in flux, and as you prepare to settle your resolutions for the new year, Bankrate has some advice that may be of use. Here’s what’s going on.

1. Mortgage rates are on the rise

After a reprieve that lasted a few weeks, the average rate on a 30-year loan ticked up again in recent days. Experts believe this trend will remain in place for the foreseeable future, even with daily or weekly changes, so now is the time to consider a refi. Think of it as a gift to yourself for the festive season.

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2. Experts say rates will keep rising, too

If you still want more evidence that the trends point upward for mortgage rates, look no further than our weekly expert poll. Its most recent edition has half of respondents expecting another rise in the coming week, with a quarter more saying rates will stay flat. Odds aren’t great that they’re heading back down from here.

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3. What to do when your mortgage forbearance is ending

Millions of homeowners went into forbearance during the coronavirus pandemic, and the first wave of applicants saw that protection end earlier this fall. If you are preparing to get back into making payments, it’s important to be in touch with your lender early and often so you can learn about your options and pick the plan that makes sense for you and your bank account.

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4. Buying a home out of wedlock

Millennials are more likely than previous generations to purchase property with romantic partners they haven’t walked down the aisle with. It’s not illegal (or immoral) but it can be a little more complicated than buying a house with your spouse. If you’re considering taking the leap into homeownership with your partner, there are some key things to keep in mind.

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5. Prepaying your mortgage

There are lots of ways to repay your mortgage early, and if you can afford to do it, it can be a great way to get some extra breathing room into your monthly budget long-term. Plus, you can save big on interest. Check out Bankrate’s guide to how it works.

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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.