Mortgage and real estate news this week: Lower rates and competitive advice for homebuyers

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The real estate market may be slowing down a bit, but it’s still sizzling, and receding mortgage rates may be enticing new buyers to enter the market again, or existing homeowners to stay put and refinance. Here’s what you need to know in mortgages and real estate this week.

1. Mortgage rates take another dip

Rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage slid this week, averaging just above 3 percent amid economic uncertainty. That’s good news for borrowers, who stand to benefit from a reprieve. Most experts still expect rates to climb again before the end of the year.

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2. Lenders respond to the end of the refinance fee

When the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that its 0.5 percent premium on most mortgage refinances will end Aug. 1, many banks and other financial institutions were more than happy to pass the savings on to their customers and better compete for borrowers. Rates fell as a result, meaning it’s an especially good time to refinance if you haven’t done so recently.

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3. Consolidating debt through a refi

There are many appealing reasons to refinance your mortgage, and multiple ways to save by doing so. Thanks to the previously mentioned low rates, you can probably get a good deal on a new primary loan, but you may also be able to loop in some higher-interest debt by wrapping it into your new mortgage. Then your monthly payments will be a single check or bank transfer, and you’ll likely pay less in the long run, too.

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4. How to compete in the crazy real estate market

Things are still intense for homebuyers, and you need to have a clear strategy if you want to win over a seller who is likely considering many offers simultaneously. Check out these tips for how to make your bid stand out.

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5. What to do if you’re experiencing buyer’s remorse

In this market, homebuyers who aren’t thrilled with their purchase may be able to quickly re-sell at a profit. To avoid having such regrets in the first place, however, companies like SOLD.com work with buyers and sellers to make sure everyone is truly getting what they want. Read Bankrate’s conversation with the company’s CEO and co-founder to learn more.

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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.
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Senior mortgage editor