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6 turbo-charged ideas for boosting your home purchasing power
By Jeff Lazerson
What’s up with mortgage rates? Jeff Lazerson of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel gives us his take.
Rate news summary
From Freddie Mac’s weekly survey: The 30-year fixed rate rose for the third consecutive week, averaging 4.17%, up 5 basis points from last week. The 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.62%, up 2 basis points from last week.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 3.5% decrease in loan application volume from the previous week.
Bottom line: Assuming a borrower gets the average 30-year fixed rate on a conforming $484,350 loan, last year’s payment was $85 higher than this week’s payment of $2,360.
What I see: Locally, well-qualified borrowers can get the following fixed-rate mortgages at zero points: A 15-year FHA (up to $431,250 in the Inland Empire, up to $484,350 in Los Angeles and Orange counties) at 3.375%, a 30-year FHA at 3.50%, a 15-year conventional at 3.625%, a 30-year conventional at 4.0%, a 30-year FHA high-balance (from $484,351 to $726,525 in L.A. and Orange counties) at 3.875%, a 15-year conventional high-balance (also $484,351 to $726,525) at 3.75%, a 30-year conventional high-balance at 4.25%, a 15-year jumbo (over $726,525) at 4.125% and a 30-year jumbo at 4.625%.
What I think: Earlier this week, the California Association of Realtors reported Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties are included in half of all California counties that experienced March home price drops.
Now, just hold on to your hat before you overreact.
The March data was likely the result of sales that occurred in January and February — before mortgage rates dropped like a rock.
I’ve experienced a crushing increase in new escrow openings for both purchases and refinances since March 1. Moreover, six separate clients have been involved in multiple-offer bidding wars in that same period.
Water-cooler Realtor conversation about bidding wars and sellers receiving well over list prices seemed like a distant memory — until March.
Sellers may have the upper hand again. With pressure shifting back to the buyers, it’s time to turbo-charge your qualifying ability with six little-known ideas:
Jeff Lazerson - Mortgage Columnist since 2011