Mortgage and real estate news this week: Advice for long-distance moves and forbearance refis

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The spring homebuying season will be one hour closer after this weekend. (Seriously, don’t forget to change your clocks.) If you’re shuddering at the realization that you have less time to prepare for the homebuying frenzy than you thought, take a deep breath and get yourself caught up on our biggest mortgage and real estate stories from this week.

1. What you need to know before a big move

The coronavirus pandemic shifted housing preferences for a lot of people, and many went to far-flung corners of the country in search of a new home. If you’re planning a long-distance move yourself, make sure you’re working with a Realtor who can accommodate you, and that you have all your ducks in a row before you pack up to leave.

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2. You can still refinance your mortgage in forbearance

The key thing when it comes to refinancing is making sure your mortgage is current. If you missed payments before going into forbearance, you’ll want to get back on track before applying for a new loan. So yes: you may have been able to pause making payments thanks to forbearance relief, but you’ll need to start paying again before refinancing the mortgage.

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3. There’s still time to refinance your mortgage

Mortgage rates are starting to inch up, and that means the window to benefit from a refinance is closing for many homeowners. As rates continue climbing, fewer people will stand to save. Don’t get left out and leave money on the table. If you haven’t refinanced recently, now’s the time to think about it.

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4. This spring promises to be busier than ever for homebuying

The pandemic didn’t give the housing market much winter breathing room, and things only promise to heat up from here. Tight housing supply and low mortgage rates continue to push prices up and are keeping things competitive. This story looks at the frenzied state of the homebuying market.

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5. Poorer homeowners pay more taxes

According to a new study, lower-income homeowners essentially subsidize wealthier people by paying a higher percentage of their home’s value in property taxes. That trend means it’s even more difficult for lower-income people, especially minorities, to accumulate housing wealth.

Read the story.

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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