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Mortgage and real estate news this week: The best states to retire and lower mortgage rates

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Good news for homeowners and buyers: mortgage rates are down again. That’s the big news this week amid receding inflation fears. With things getting steadily more normal in the real estate market, the picture is looking rosier even for homebuyers again. Here’s what else is going on from Bankrate this week.

1. The best states to retire

If you’re ready to bow, gracefully, out of the workforce, you may also be considering a change of scenery. If you are, Georgia should be on your mind. Bankrate’s annual rankings have it at the top of the list for best places to retire. Check out the full rankings to see more, and where else you should think about hanging your hat.

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2. Mortgage rates head down again

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to 3.13 percent, its lowest level since March. The dip is thanks in large part to the perception that inflation risk has diminished, and signals from the Fed that they will keep propping markets up for the time being. With most experts still predicting a rising trend to hold long-term, now is a great time to consider a refinance if you haven’t already.

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3. Tug-of-war at the Fed

Those lower mortgage rates, as mentioned above, are partly thanks to the Fed continuing its borrower-friendly policies. The central bank is likely to reverse course in the coming months, or at least make moves that will encourage interest rates higher. Bankrate’s chief financial analyst, Greg McBride, explained why, and how the adjustments could affect your personal finances.

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4. Understanding your property taxes

If you own a home, you’re not just responsible for paying your mortgage and whatever maintenance costs may arise; you also have to shell out for property taxes. These can be calculated and covered in various ways, and like most things with national and local tax codes, can be a little confusing to the uninitiated. Check out Bankrate’s guide to learn more about how it all works.

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5. The digital notary revolution

Notarization is a key part of closing a real estate transaction, and for buyers and sellers in many locations, it’s also a major barrier to being able to complete that process virtually. But now, according to Pat Kinsel, founder and CEO of Notarize, an app that facilitates electronic notarization, that may be changing. Read our discussion to hear about why notarization is so important and new digital tools to help.

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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.