Mortgage and real estate news this week: Rates push lower, tips for mortgage applicants

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The latest updates in the mortgage and real estate industries may provide a little sense of stability in an otherwise hectic news cycle. Housing and the mortgage markets have remained relative bright spots, and here’s the latest from Bankrate.

1. Mortgage rates fall and will stay low

Rates fell to another record low this week. The rest of the year looks good as well for mortgage applicants. Experts expect interest rates to remain low through the fourth quarter, and that’s great news for borrowers. Rates could tick up a little in the coming months, especially if other sectors of the economy see an acceleration in their recovery, but they’re likely to stay around 3 percent for the foreseeable future.

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2. Refis aren’t just for your primary residence

If you own more than one property, it’s worth exploring a refinance on your secondary mortgages as well. The process might be a little more complicated, especially for real estate investors, but you could still ultimately realize significant savings thanks to the aforementioned low interest rates.

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3. An update on the best online mortgage lenders

If you’re thinking of refinancing or buying a new home, it’s a good idea to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best mortgage rate. Bankrate has you covered with its best online mortgage lenders of 2020 list. Come for the lender info, stay to read about how they differ from traditional brick and mortar banks.

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4. What’s the point of points?

If you have money to spend up-front, you can “buy down” the long-term interest cost of your mortgage by lowering the rate with points. It’s not the right strategy for everyone, but it may be a good option for some borrowers. Take a look to learn more about how points work, and their benefits and drawbacks.

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5. A guide to portfolio lenders

Starting Dec. 1, many mortgages will see higher interest rates thanks to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s adverse market fee for refinancers. In fact, a large share of lenders are already pricing that extra 0.5 percent into the mortgages they’re processing now. One possible way to avoid it is by finding a portfolio lender, which will hold onto your loan for its duration.

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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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