Mortgage Rates Newsletter - Market Analysis

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Mortgage Rates Just Barely Higher, But Lower This Week
Fri, 16 Mar 2018 21:36:49 GMT - Mortgage rates rose modestly today, but many lenders were essentially unchanged compared to yesterday's latest offerings. Moreover, rates ended the week slightly lower compared to last Friday's latest levels. That's no small victory in 2018, despite the fact that it is a small victory in general. Part of the motivation toward slightly higher rates over the past 2 days could be the looming Fed announcement next week. Oftentimes, bond markets (which underlie rates) don't want to move too far outside recent ranges when there's a risk the Fed may say or do something to redefine that range. In the current case, Wednesday's improvement brought average rates to their best levels in roughly 3 weeks. Traders aren't eager to explore anything lower without the Fed's blessing. But at the same time, they
Mortgage Rates Hold Steady at Lowest Levels in March
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 20:42:23 GMT - Mortgage rates held steady today as political headlines helped to offset some initial weakness in bond markets. When bonds weaken, rates tend to move higher. That said, this morning's weakness was quite modest. The helpful headlines (regarding Robert Mueller's subpoena of members of the Trump Organization) had a similarly modest effect, thus leaving bonds and rates in relatively unchanged territory. That's perfectly acceptable in this case because it means rates are holding in line with their lowest levels since March 1st. The risk is that March 1st served as a floor for rates after they began falling from mid-February highs. It could be the case that rates will have a tough time moving any lower than today's levels without more meaningful motivation and that they're waiting to decide on such
Mortgage Rates Match 2-Week Lows
Wed, 14 Mar 2018 20:10:58 GMT - Mortgage rates fell again today as several economic updates painted a slightly gloomier picture. In general, weaker economic data coincides with lower rates. First up were Retail Sales numbers, which moved into negative territory in February. Analysts expected a modest improvement. Later in the morning, several widely-followed sources of GDP tracking adjusted Q1 estimates significantly lower. For instance, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta keeps a running tally of where GDP would come out today given the incoming data. Today's reading fell to 1.9% from 2.5% last week. Following the GDP tracking updates, stock prices added to an already weaker performance and bond yields followed. Declining bond yields coincide with lower mortgage rates although that depends on lenders seeing enough of a decline
Why Use a Mortgage Broker?

Why Use a Mortgage Broker?

When shopping for the best mortgage or the best mortgage rate, many home buyers enlist the services of a mortgage broker to find them the best terms and rates. Since the real estate market crash in 2008, however, the business practices of brokers have come under scrutiny and the question of whether they are acting in the customers' best interests has been raised. Working with an experienced, competent mortgage broker can help you find the right mortgage, but there are both advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before committing to one. 


Saves You the Legwork
Mortgage brokers have regular contact with a wide variety of lenders, some of whom you may not even know about. The alternative to working with a broker is to call up dozens of lenders and compare their mortgage terms and rates on your own. A broker saves you the time and headache of having to do that. A broker also can steer you away from certain lenders with onerous payment terms buried in their mortgage contracts to help you find a better mortgage. 

Brokers May Have More Access 
Some lenders work exclusively with mortgage brokers and rely on them to be the gatekeepers to bring them suitable clients. You may not be able to call some lenders up directly to get a retail mortgage. Brokers may also be able to get special rates from lenders due to the volume of business generated that might be lower than you can get on your own. 

You May Save Some Fees 
There are several different types of fees that can be involved in taking on a new mortgage or working with a new lender, including origination fees, application fees, and appraisal fees. In some cases, mortgage brokers may be able to get lenders to waive some or all of these fees which can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars. 


Brokers' Interests May Not Align with Your Own
Your ultimate goal in shopping for a mortgage is to find one with an affordable interest rate and low fees. You are in it for the long haul. A mortgage broker, on the other hand, often gets paid a fee from the lender for bringing in the business. This fee can be based on the amount of the mortgage, and will vary amongst lenders. A broker's goal, therefore, is to get you into a mortgage that maximizes their compensation. The 2008 market crash revealed that many brokers were getting their clients into mortgages that they could not afford over time.

You May Not Be Getting the Best Deal
Many homebuyers simply assume that a broker can deliver a better mortgage than they could get on their own, but this is not always the case. Some lenders may offer homebuyers the exact same terms and rates that they offer mortgage brokers (sometimes, even better). It never hurts to shop around on your own to see if your broker is really offering you a great deal.

Brokers Often Do Not Guarantee Estimates 
When a mortgage broker first presents you with offers from lenders, they often use the term "good faith estimate." This means that the broker believes that the offer will embody the final terms of the deal, but this is not always the case. In some cases, the lender may change the terms based on your actual application and you may end up paying a higher rate or additional fees.

Some Lenders Do Not Work with Mortgage Brokers at All 
This is an increasing trend since 2008, as some lenders are finding that broker-originated mortgages were more likely to go into default than direct lending. By working through a broker, you may not have access to these lenders, some of whom may be able to offer you better mortgage terms than you can get through the broker. 

The Bottom Line
Mortgage brokers may be able to find you the loan of your dreams, but you should weigh the potential downsides before hiring one. We always suggest that you begin your search at I Want a Better Mortgage (iWantaBetterMortgage.Com).  Spend some time contacting lenders directly to obtain an understanding of what mortgages may be available to you. Work with a reliable mortgage broker with solid references and ask them to guarantee their loan estimates.


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