Mortgage rates fell again last week. Unprecedented low mortgage rates are providing home buyers and homeowners affordable opportunities for buying and refinancing.
Subterranean mortgage rates may be a stretch, but mortgage rates fell again last week. HSH Associates reports that the combined average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) loan fell 5 basis points from 4.92 percent to 4.87 percent, while rates for a 15-year FRM fell 6 basis points from 4.40 percent to 4.34 percent. Given the potential for saving thousands on interest paid over time, this presents an affordable opportunity for refinancing and paying off your mortgage faster. Those seeking an ultra-low initial mortgage rate can benefit from a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loan. Rates for 5/1 ARMs fell from last week's 3.92 percent to 3.85 percent. There's no doubt that bargain basement mortgage rates are making home loans more affordable than ever.
Low mortgage rates: thinking outside the box
Record low mortgage rates may provide options that weren't feasible before. For example, if you've put off home remodeling, going back to school, or debt consolidation, today's low rates can put these goals within reach by lowering monthly loan payments. Reviewing your finances, establishing short and long term goals, and getting mortgage quotes can help you determine if it's the right time to for a home refinance. Having sufficient home equity and good to excellent credit scores are keys to getting low refinancing rates. Determine the market value of your home; this is essential for determining if you can refinance.
Short of cash for a mortgage loan? Check out down payment assistance programs
State and community home buyer programs assist eligible first time buyers (generally defined as those who have not owned a home within the past three years) with meeting down payment and closing costs. These agencies typically lend money at low rates, and the loan may not have to be repaid until you sell the home you're buying. Mortgage lenders can help you find such programs in your area.
FHA loans are another option, and allow down payment sources such as cash gifts and employer home buying assistance programs. FHA currently insures home loans for the majority of first time buyers, and allows down payments as low as 3.5 percent of the mortgage loan.
ShopRate's live database of current mortgage rates can help you find the best mortgage rates in your area.