Mortgage rates reach record lows

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Chandi Lowry - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Mortgage rates are dropping to record lows and some people are taking advantage of the rates by refinancing their homes.

Donnie Brooks is a closing attorney for McDonnell and Associates and says since the rates took a dip, there has been a peak in people refinancing their homes.

"If rates fall about a point people are going to jump on top of them whenever they can," Brooks said.  "I think it's great for the individual borrower. If you can get a five percent interest rate on a house, refinance and a lot of people are getting out of their adjustable rates. It's really beneficial to them if they can take advantage of them."

Robert Dicks is considering refinancing his home because of the low rates.

"In fact I was looking online myself to consider it for it and the rates are really low, about a percent and a half lower than what I have now so it's a good time to do refinancing," Dicks said.

Dicks is a real estate agent and he said he thinks the rates are encouraging people to buy new homes as well.

"I think it's a great incentive as a real estate agent to see that because it spurs other people to buy," Dicks said.  "I think it's a great time to take advantage of that."

But Brooks does not think the low interest rates are sparking new sales.  He says home sales soared when the tax credit was offered through the government and then they took a dip when it expired in May.

Brooks is now helping homeowners get the most for their money through refinancing.

"Usually to refinance you have to have value in the house for the most part so if you have a 200 thousand dollar home you can probably get refinanced for 180 or under that," Brooks explained.

Experts say to make sure you qualify because closing can cost you thousands.  They also urge homeowners to look into government assistance.

The Obama administration has launched programs to help people refinance their homes even if they owe up to 25 percent more than its value.  Loans through the programs will be guaranteed through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

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