Mortgage and real estate news this week



The weather may be getting colder, but the housing market remains warm – for now. As the Fed signals that higher interest rates could be on the horizon, here’s what you need to know in these days of the declining real estate economy.

1. The role of the Fed in the mortgage market

Much depends on the Fed chairman’s monthly remarks, including how much mortgage borrowers are paying in interest. Federal Reserve policy indirectly affects mortgage rates by setting loan prices for the banks themselves. And it’s not just primary mortgage rates, either. Fed policies also influence interest on secondary mortgage products like home equity loans and HELOCs, as well as less common types of loans like ARMs. Here is what you need to know.

Read articles on primary mortgages and other mortgage products.

2. The refi window remains open

Although mortgage rates edged up this week, the Fed hasn’t signaled any imminent policy change, so borrowing costs are still near all-time lows. Take advantage of these attractive rates while they are still available. And discover our new refinancing calculator that does the job for you.

Read the story.

3. The valuation gap for black houses

Black-owned properties generally appreciate more slowly than comparable white-owned homes, which contributes to the ongoing racial wealth gap. It’s a well-documented problem, and one in the entire housing industry says it’s taking action to address it.

Read the story.

4. Rent and your credit rating

In an effort to make homeownership an option for more Americans, Fannie Mae now allows tenants to include their payment history as a measure of their creditworthiness. Historically, rent payments have not contributed to the credit rating of tenants.

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5. Main signs of structural problems in your home

There are three main categories of warning signs that your home is in dire need of mechanical maintenance. Even if you aren’t planning on buying or selling a property anytime soon, these are good things to watch out for for all potential homeowners and buyers.

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