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");document.write("Understanding How Mortgage Rate Locks Work
A rate lock is a commitment by a mortgage lender to lend a stated amount to a specified borrower posting a specified property as collateral, at a stipulated interest rate and points.

An important proviso is that the loan must be closed within a specified "lock period," which is usually 15 to 60 days. The lock protects the applicant against the possibility of a rise in market rates during the lock period that could make the mortgage unaffordable.

With interest rates inching upward, questions about the reliability of locks will arise with increasing frequency in the months ahead.

");document.write("Avoid Reverse Mortgages
Recently the Trump administration proposed changes to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's reverse mortgage program: raising premiums, tightening loan limits and making foreclosure easier.

These changes merely worsen a horrific product through which elderly victims are already being conned out of their home equity for a fraction of its value.

Reverse mortgages are contracts through which people 62 years and older can receive cash advances from an account secured by their home. Closing costs and all fees and interest are simply added to the loan balance, so the whole process can feel painless. But the financial harm is real and devastating.

");document.write("Should I Convert or Refinance My Reverse Mortgage?
Jane took out a home-equity conversion mortgage on her house five years ago when she became 62. An HECM is a reverse mortgage.

Because she was still employed at the time, she elected to take a credit line, which she has used sparingly ever since. br>
She has now quit her job and wants to receive the largest possible payment every month -- a "tenure" payment, which is paid for as long as she remains in her home.

");document.write("Ultra Low Mortgage Rates Disappearing
Mortgage rates hit a four-year high late last week, and it's looking like the years of ultra-low-cost home loans are coming to an end, experts said.

"I would say this has been a long time coming," said Dan Starelli, head of Guild Mortgage Co. in Sacramento. "We've had interest rates dropping for decades. I think we hit bottom. I don't think we'll see rates in the 3s again."

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages now hover in the 4.5 percent range after a run-up over the past month that was prompted by stock market volatility and strong signs of economic growth.

");document.write("Costs to Consider When Buying a House
Your day burns brightly on both ends.

You prod your kids out of bed at daybreak, get them dressed, fed and off to school. You drive to work, endure meetings, colleagues, power lunches, memos and strategy sessions, only to return home through gridlocked traffic just as the sun sets, beg your kids to eat dinner, wash them, coax them to sleep, do the dishes and then mercifully collapse in front of the television set.

You fret over your emergency savings account, retirement savings account, credit card debt, mortgage rate, health insurance, college savings, and on and on.

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