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SF Gate

Mortgage rates fall back below 3 percent

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01

For the third week in a row, mortgage rates pulled back as Treasury yields continued to exert downward pressure.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average tumbled to 2.97 percent with an average 0.7 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 3.04 percent a week ago and 3.33 percent a year ago.

Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage investor, aggregates rates from around 80 lenders across the country to come up with weekly national averages. It uses rates for high-quality borrowers with strong credit scores and large down payments. Because of the criteria, these rates are not available to every borrower.

The survey is based on home purchase mortgages, which means rates for refinances may be higher. The price adjustment for refinance transactions that went into effect in December is adding to the cost. The adjustment, which applies to all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinances, is 0.5 percent of the loan amount. That works out to $1,500 on a $300,000 loan.

The 15-year fixed-rate average fell to 2.29 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 2.35 percent a week ago and 2.86 percent a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average edged up to 2.83 percent with an average 0.3 point. It was 2.8 percent a week ago and 3.28 percent a year ago.

"The Freddie Mac interest rate for a 30-year loan slid again this week," said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. "Long-term bond rates, which shifted from a gradual climb to an accelerated one in early 2021, have done an about-face since mid-March due to the [Federal Reserve's] patient approach to monetary policy. This has given investors confidence that the Fed won't push rates up too quickly."

The yield on the 10-year Treasury...

A Lakefront Colonial Estate Built in 1672 Is the Week's Oldest Listing

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
Built all the way back in 1672, the week's oldest property on the market is dotted with flowering trees and offers lovely views of Crystal Lake.

Why More Latinos Became Homeowners During the Pandemic

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
Even in a pandemic that resulted in steep job losses, economic turmoil, and a cutthroat housing market, more Hispanic buyers purchased homes last year.

How to handle multiple offers

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01

Homes are selling faster than ever, and the low inventory is causing buyers to compete for a limited number of homes available. This increased demand and quick-moving market can often result in multiple offers coming in on a property. While the idea of a bidding war may sound desirable to some sellers, there are a few crucial principles to know to help you stay focused and avoid legal trouble.

Ask your REALTOR® to explain your options and alternatives. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires your REALTOR® to “protect and promote the interest of their client” in multiple offer situations and also denotes that, “REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible.” Be prepared that these offers will likely come in fast, and you will need to be ready to make a decision on how to proceed. The good news is you have several options available that your REALTOR® can walk you through. For example, you can accept what you deem to be the “best” offer and reject all others, or you can also invite all potential purchasers to make their “best” and final offer. You may also choose to counter a selected offer while holding other offers to the side as you await a decision on your counteroffer. Keep in mind that every approach has its advantages and disadvantages.

Watch for potential fair housing red flags. Heartfelt letters to sellers, sometimes called “buyer love letters,” can open doors to potential fair housing violations. These letters can often include personal information that leads to a prohibited basis for prejudice. Many times, in trying to convince the seller to accept their offer, the buyer will reveal characteristics about themselves such as race, religion, or familial status. To avoid a fair housing violation, a...

10 Entryway Upgrades To Tackle, Based on How Much Time You Have

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
The entryway is one of the most neglected spaces of the home. But you don't need to have a fancy foyer or a hefty budget to give your entryway a boost.

After 20 years of planning, sales have begun on Yerba Buena Island

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01

Two decades of planning have gone into developing San Francisco's rocky, rugged Yerba Buena Island.

A rustic log cabin in one of the Bay Area's priciest ZIP codes is selling cheap

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01

The unique property has a fiery history.

Covid concerns cause mortgage rates to retreat

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01

For seven weeks in a row, mortgage rates steadily moved higher. Then they started pulling back last week. But despite this week's decline, experts don't expect their downturn to be long-lasting.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average sank to 3.04% with an average 0.7 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1% of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 3.13% a week ago and 3.31% a year ago.

Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage investor, aggregates rates from around 80 lenders across the country to come up with weekly national average mortgage rates. It uses rates for high-quality borrowers with strong credit scores and large down payments. Because of the criteria, these rates are not available to every borrower.

The survey is based on home purchase mortgages, which means rates for refinances may be higher. The price adjustment for refinance transactions that went into effect in December is adding to the cost. The adjustment, which applies to all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinances, is 0.5% of the loan amount. That works out to $1,500 on a $300,000 loan.

The 15-year fixed-rate average dropped to 2.35% with an average 0.7 point. It was 2.42% a week ago and 2.8% a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average fell to 2.8% with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.92% a week ago and 3.34% a year ago.

"Rising covid-19 cases across the country and the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine introduced fresh uncertainty to the market and placed renewed downward pressure on rates, helping drive them to their lowest level in a month," Matthew Speakman, a Zillow economist, wrote in an email. "But despite this week's pullback, the outlook for rates is likely still upward, barring any additional setbacks for the nation's recovery...

$6.5M Lakefront Castle in Texas Is Designed for a Party-Loving Owner

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
Consider the castle! This huge lakefront property available in Clifton, TX, for $6.5 million could make just about anyone feel like royalty.

'Unsellable Houses' Reveals the Secret To Selling a Small Home

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
A two-bedroom, one-bathroom house is not for everybody, but Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis of "Unsellable Houses" reveal how to find the right buyer.

Madonna Buys The Weeknd's Home in Hidden Hills for $19.3M

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
The Material Girl is living large. The pop star Madonna has reportedly purchased the swanky estate in Hidden Hills, CA, belonging to the singer The Weeknd. 

10 Gardening Hacks That Save Money, Time, Messes, and More

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
Plant experts swear by certain tricks of the trade that make gardening easier, cheaper, and more successful than ever. Here are some to try.

The Hottest Markets for U.S. Real Estate in March 2021: Are We Back to Normal?

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
While the coronavirus pandemic upended last year's market, it looks like buyers are back now—and more motivated than ever—according to realtor.com data.

The 10 Best Home Office Upgrades Based on How Much Time You Have

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
So if you anticipate you'll be working remotely in the near future, it's high time to smarten up your office space. Here are some must-tackle projects.

$1.7M Glass House in Maryland: 'Every Season Is a New Masterpiece'

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 07:01
On the market for $1.7 million, this gorgeous glass house sits on 4 acres along the banks of the Gunpowder River in Monkton, MD.

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