The Times West Virginian

Life

July 9, 2012

Mortgage rates: How low can they go?

For consumers who want to buy a home and can't qualify for a mortgage, it has to be agony. Mortgage interest rates continue to fall, making homes even more affordable.

The big if, of course, is if you can qualify for a mortgage. But the decline in rates, coupled with rising home values, just might improve your chances.

Freddie Mac reports the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, the most popular mortgage product, dropped to 3.62 percent from 3.66 percent last week. That's another new low, the 10th in the last 11 weeks if you are counting.

Rates continue to fall because depressing economic news has pushed Treasury yields lower. Since mortgage rates are tied to Treasuries, rates have reached another record low.

Bankrate.com's weekly survey puts the average 30-year fixed rate a bit higher, at 3.87 percent, but still near record lows.

Remember when 6 percent sounded low?

The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 6.33 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 3.87 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $939.90, a difference of nearly $302 per month for anyone refinancing now.

That savings might make the difference for prospective buyers who narrowly missed getting a loan. With the lower rate and lower monthly payment, the home they want to buy might now be in their price range.

Of course, there are other factors that can determine whether they qualify. They must have a good credit score, usually above 720. Also, they must bring a large chunk of cash to the table. Lenders have insisted that buyers put down 20 percent before getting a mortgage, though that could soften a bit now that home values appear to have begun rising again.

Text Only
Life
  • GriefShare helps ease the pain of loss

    For years, Judy Brown was weighed down by the painful burden of the grief from losing many family members.
    Her dad died in 1999, her sister in 2001, her mother in 2003 and an uncle in 2005. Her in-laws had passed away, also.
    It was almost more than she could bear.

    March 1, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-02-24 at 3.00.28 PM.png VIDEO: Remembering Harold Ramis

    The comedy legend, best known for his role in the "Ghostbusters" films, has passed away.

    February 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Die-hard WVU fan goes to extremes to keep his attendance streak alive

    When WVU’s football team took on Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29, 2012, Rick Harshbarger was in the stands at Yankee Stadium cheering on the Mountaineers.
    The next day, Harshbarger was back in the Mountain State by noon to root for the WVU men’s basketball team as it faced Eastern Kentucky University at the Coliseum.

    February 15, 2014

  • Churches use big game as way of giving

    Super Bowl Sunday is almost like a national holiday.
    The day consists of family, friends, chips and dip, and various other festivities.
    But while the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos get ready to square off at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for Super Bowl XLVIII today, Central United Methodist Church in Fairmont will be having a competition of its own.

    February 2, 2014

  • Change to Westminster show celebrates the everydog

    When the nation’s foremost dog show added an event open to mixed breeds, owners cheered that everydogs were finally having their day.
    They see the Westminster Kennel Club’s new agility competition, which will allow mutts at the elite event next month for the first time since the 1800s, as a singular chance to showcase what unpedigreed dogs can do.

    January 26, 2014

  • Family promise gave life to man in 31-year coma

    As his 7-year-old son Mikey lay in a hospital bed on life support, the victim of a drunk driver who had smashed into his family’s car, Paul Cortez took the boy’s hand and made a solemn promise to God: If his son survived, no matter in what condition, he and his family would always be there for him.

    January 26, 2014

  • Muppets mini-makeover aims to boost kids’ health

    Bert and Ernie jump rope and munch apples and carrots, and Cookie Monster has his namesake treat once a week, not every day. Can a Muppets mini-makeover improve kids’ health, too?
    A three-year experiment in South America suggests it can. Now, the Sesame Street project is coming to the United States.

    January 25, 2014

  • Should you friend your boss on Facebook?

    So? Should you and your boss be friends on Facebook? The answer, of course, is not simple.

    October 27, 2012

  • Aric and Melanie Naternicola.jpg Link to the past

    An old wood-and-iron lunk of an apple press is linking Aric Naternicola to a great-grandfather.
    “My grandfather (Joe Naternicola Sr.) told me his father had bought it from somebody 60, 70 years ago. And I restored it,” he said.

    October 24, 2012 3 Photos

  • 1059682_13738568.jpg Slate: The physics of cracking an egg

    My mother taught me to crack the egg on the rim of the mixing bowl before gently pulling the two halves apart with both hands, while my husband prefers to tap the eggshell gently with the dull edge of a knife. Others might favor striking the egg against the edge, or the surface, of a countertop.

    October 4, 2012 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Ads