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Even if you’re not sure you can afford the higher monthly payments that come with a 15-year loan, you can shorten the life of a 30-year loan yourself by paying extra toward the principal each month, Gumbinger said.

Lock in Your Rate: Once you’ve found a good rate, consider locking it in, which you can usually do for no cost, or for a fee that is refunded at closing. It’s not worth betting that rates will fall before you close on the house.

“I rarely tell folks to try to time the bottom of the market,” Gumbinger said. “Mortgage rates almost always rise much more quickly than they fall.”

“Don’t try to guess the way rates are moving,” McBride agreed. “I’m not a fan of people rolling the dice for something as significant as what their mortgage payment is.”

©2013 The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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