Both prospective homebuyers and homeowners who are interested in refinancing should frequently check mortgage rates. In both cases, reviewing mortgage rates can be beneficial.
What mortgage rates mean to homebuyers
For homebuyers, a lower interest rate on a home loan can make a big difference in affordability. If you need to borrow $200,000, for example, and you want a 30-year fixed-rate loan, you will pay $1,074 at 5 percent and $1,264 at 6.5 percent. If you are on the borderline of being able to qualify for a loan, a higher interest rate might mean you will be unable to borrow as much as you need to buy the home you want.
In addition, at a higher interest rate you will pay more interest over the life of the loan.
What mortgage rates mean to homeowners
If you are considering a refinance, checking on today's mortgage rates is extremely important, particularly if you are refinancing in order to reduce your monthly payments. If the mortgage rate is not lower than your current rate or the difference is insignificant, it may not make sense to refinance. Crunching your numbers through HSH.com's Refinance Calculator is a great way to determine not only if a refinance is right for you, but also the best way to finance it.
Where to find mortgage rates
The easiest place to locate today's mortgage rates is on HSH.com. The site offers a weekly round-up of average interest rates for a variety of loan products such as a 30-year fixed-rate, a 15-year fixed-rate and several adjustable-rate loans.
In addition to average rates from HSH's editorial surveys, you can find advertised rates in your area and historic mortgage rates (compare today's rates with long-term trends).
Michele Lerner contributed to this answer.
More help from HSH.com
Can we do a "cash-in" refinance?
How do I remove or add a name to a home loan?In general, the only way to remove a name from your mortgage will be to refinance or pay off the debt. This is also true when trying to add names to the mortgage. Lenders will not add nor remove names from such an obligation without the opportunity to ensure that the other borrowers have the ability to pay.
I'm an inexperienced refinancer. What can I expect?Q: I owe 56,000 on my eleven year old variable rate mortgage at 8%.I have good credit, have been in my home for 11 years and want a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. While I have a good income, I have no cash for closing costs. Do I need to pay points and fees? Do I need an appraisal? What can I expect when I approach the bank for a refinance?A: If your credit is good and you have equity in your home, you should be able to refinance to a 15-year fixed rate. Lenders will require an appraisal of the property, but you should be able to build the cost of refinancing into the loan amount, or might be able to trade it off in exchange for a slightly higher-than-market interest rate. As the bank about your loan options, and expect that you'll need to fully document your income, debts and assets.
I'm trying to refinance a jumbo loan.
Is there a ten year refinance mortgage out there?Almost any lender that offers a fixed-rate mortgage will offer a 10-year mortgage. Mortgage rates for a 10-year mortgage usually aren't any better than the rates offered for a 15-year mortgage. That said, be sure to shop around to find a competitive rate. Getting a fixed-rate mortgage with a term as short as 10 years will save you a lot of money on interest costs.