Mortgage and real estate news this week: Rates fall again, paying your loan with Bitcoin, and more

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It’s the unofficial last weekend of summer, so you probably should be out enjoying a barbecue or lounging on a beach rather than surfing the internet — but maybe you’re at a barbecue and your excitable uncle is ranting in an unpleasant way. In that case, you’re welcome for this educational excuse to take a break. Here’s the latest on what’s going on in the mortgage and real estate world.

1. What to expect from mortgage rates this month

Rates have been falling for the last few weeks, but that trend is likely to reverse in the coming weeks and interest should be higher by the end of the year. That means this month is a great time to take advantage of low rates and refinance if you still haven’t. Otherwise, you’re probably going to be locked into a higher than necessary mortgage rate for years.

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2. For now though, rates remain low

In the most recent weekly Bankrate survey, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed loan fell for the third week in a row, settling just above 3 percent. As mentioned above, that means it’s a great time to consider a refinance. These low rates will inevitably, eventually evaporate.

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3. Paying for your mortgage with digital currency

One of the largest mortgage lenders in the country plans to let customers make their monthly payments using Bitcoin by the end of the year. United Wholesale Mortgage said the move will give its customers more flexibility in meeting their payments, but experts warn that Bitcoin’s volatile values could make the option unattractive, if not overcomplicated, for most borrowers.

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4. Best mortgage lenders this month

If you’re looking to refinance in the next few weeks, Bankrate has you covered with recommendations on where to turn. Keep in mind the top lenders this month all require payments using traditional currency. Check out our rankings for pros and cons and to help kickstart your shopping.

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5. Everything you need to know about home equity loans and taxes

The short version is: in many cases, home equity loan interest is tax deductible. It’s a great benefit to tapping your property’s value, because it means you can get some of that value back as part of your tax return. Check out the full guide for how home equity loan tax deductions work.

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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 editor