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Bankrate’s top mortgage and real estate stories for 2021

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As you doomscroll your way through your New Year’s Eve hangover, here’s a look back at our most popular mortgage and real estate stories from the year that we’re leaving behind.

1. Should you buy a home in the hottest market ever?

Real estate during the pandemic has been characterized by intense competition among buyers and rapidly ballooning prices. In the fall, experts predicted that 2022 would be a little calmer for buyers, with more moderate price increases in the offing. More recently, analysts agreed that those predictions should hold true.

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2. 10 first-time homebuyer loans and programs

If you’re considering taking the plunge and becoming a homeowner this year, it’s a good idea to know about the programs designed to put that goal in reach. From down payment assistance to loans with favorable terms, there are a lot of ways to give yourself and your bank account a shot in the arm during the homebuying process.

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3. Did you lose a house to an all-cash offer?

Cash really was king in the hyper-competitive 2021 real estate market. With most sellers considering multiple offers, many preferred the security that comes with not relying on a third-party lender. But even if you don’t have the funds in the bank to make an all-cash offer yourself, there are ways to do it on paper, which can make you a more attractive buyer.

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4. Is the housing market about to crash?

Amid all the competition in 2021, many people worried we could be on the cusp of another 2008-esque housing bubble. Fortunately, most experts believe that conditions are different enough this time around that the real estate market should stay pretty stable going forward. Here’s what they told us.

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5. 5 ways to land a home in a market stacked against buyers

Fortunately, this should be (slightly) less applicable in 2022, with most experts predicting a somewhat more normal real estate landscape. But it’s good to know how to make a competitive offer in any market, so at least some of these strategies will keep being helpful in the new year and beyond.

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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.
Edited by
Senior mortgage reporter