In the Market: Best timing to lock in mortgage rate?

Nneka Madus
Posted by Nneka Madus
Mortgage Market Analyst

This weekly feature is a real estate news and information roundup from a millennial’s point of view. When a young professional moves from Indianapolis (median home price $125K) to San Francisco (median price $1 million), you can expect an adventure. Nneka Madus, an analyst in Bank of the West’s Mortgage Division, did just that and has plenty to share in her quest to own a home in San Francisco.

Couple (man and woman) doing their taxes on a laptop while sitting in their kitchen.It’s tax time! If you’re a new homeowner, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, from your lender. Kelly Phillips Erb breaks down some of the most common tax forms in a Forbes series, starting with the 1098. Don’t be intimidated. As, Kelly says, “And that’s it: Form 1098 is generally a pretty simple form. If you have questions about items on the form, ask your lender — or check with your tax preparer.”

Summertime means vacations. For the last six years, my family and I have had this tradition of traveling to Mexico. We love going to Mexico so much that we actually bought a timeshare (my mom’s idea). Timeshares operate differently than owning a vacation home, but the premise is similar — to have a reliable place to stay when you go on vacation. If you’re considering buying a second home at your favorite vacation spot, Craig Venezia from Next Avenue outlines what purchasing a vacation home may cost.

When is the best time to lock in your interest rate? You could ask 10 financial experts, and they’ll probably all give you a different answer. There are so many factors that cause interest rates to fluctuate, such as unemployment figures, economic or geopolitical events, what the Federal Reserve is doing or might do in the future — in short, way too many things for most of us to keep track of. Mark Greene, a Forbes contributor, lets us in on one potential indicator when the time may be right time to lock in an interest rate on a mortgage.

Down payments can be a bear. It can be quite a bit of money, especially if you’re planning on putting 20% down. Just remember, you don’t necessarily have to put that much down. There are many low down-payment programs homebuyers can take advantage of, just ask a mortgage professional about them. But, in addition to a down payment, buyers will likely need money for closing costs, which may run about 3% of the home’s purchase price. Sarah Schmalbruch from Business Insider breaks down what closing costs consist of.

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