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CU System
Low rates prompt refinance boom in Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/7/09)--Low interest rates are triggering a mortgage refinancing boom in the Grand Rapids, Mich.-area. The Grand Rapids Press reported Thursday that Lake Michigan CU, Grand Rapids, had record-low mortgage rates Wednesday. A 30-year mortgage was going for a 4.625% fixed rate with no points, and a 15-year mortgage was selling for 4% percent. DFCU Financial, Dearborn, Mich., offered a 30-year fixed rate loan at 5.125% Tuesday. The Michigan boom is reflective of national trends. A Bankrate.com survey indicated that nationally, 30-year mortgages were going for 5% and 15-year mortgages were going for 4.47%. Three months ago, rates were a half-point higher, the newspaper said. Greg McBride, Bankrate senior analyst, told the newspaper that the record lows are due to the fact the Federal Reserve Board is showing no signs of raising short-term rates. Mike Kruczek, DFCU chief lending officer, said rates “shouldn’t be this low, but the government is keeping them low to try and stimulate the economy.” He also suggested low-rate adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) for people who are buying homes that they don’t plan to stay in for more than five or 10 years. The credit union sells ARMs with rates locked for seven to 10 years. ARMs mean lower monthly payments for the homeowner until the mortgage resets. History shows that people don’t stay with one mortgage, even if they stay in a home longer than 10 years, Kruczek said.
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