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See what's happening with home values in more than 400 metropolitan areas with HSH's Home Value Tracker, just updated though the second quarter of 2022.

See what's happening with home values in more than 400 metropolitan areas with HSH's Home Value Tracker, just updated though the second quarter of 2022.

Don't have 20% equity? Consider FHA refinance

Q: [HSH] wants the federal government to issue "value gap coverage". That would be for those homeowners who are underwater. But, what about those (my son) who are not underwater, but do not have the 20% equity to refinance?

A: It's a little bit of a myth that you need a 20% equity stake to refinance today. Borrowers with jumbo mortgages have the most significant challenges in this regard and will need to shop around very hard to try to find a mortgage lender who will refinance at a higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. However, borrowers with more modestly-priced homes can refinance into the FHA program, where rock-bottom interest rates are available even if you don't have great credit. There are home-price limits, but you might be surprised how liberal they are.

Ask the expert
Keith Gumbinger
Keith Gumbinger
Mortgage Expert
Vice President, HSH.com
About Keith: Mortgage market observer and analyst with 35 years experience... (more)
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Q: How are mortgage interest rates determined?
AUG 18, 2022
A:

Mortgage rates fluctuate from day to day, depending on a number of factors related to the economy and to choices made by investors. While some mortgage money comes from deposits held by banks and credit unions, most of the funds for borrowers come from investors in capital markets.

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Q: Will today's stock market influence tomorrow's mortgage rates?
AUG 16, 2022
A:

Mortgage rates are influenced by a variety of factors, rather than moving in lockstep with any one economic indicator. The stock market rises and falls for a wide variety of reasons, including global, economic and political issues, but as a broad rule of thumb, a rising stock market indicates optimism among investors about the economy.

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Q: Should I pay private mortgage insurance out of pocket or finance the cost?
AUG 12, 2022
A:

For the most part, this is a discussion about time. You should compare the total costs of the difference in the two interest rates over your given time horizon.

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