All of us have been slowly waving goodbye to low mortgage interest rates over the past eighteen months.
It seems like those rock-bottom numbers will never come back. One group, however, thinks they don't have to:
There are millions of outstanding mortgages with a 3% interest rate. A new startup says it can help today's home buyers get their hands on them. …
Roam, a real-estate company that launched Wednesday, is betting that it can popularize an obscure workaround. "Assumable loans" allow sellers to transfer their own mortgage loans to the buyer alongside the house.
I'm sorry, "assumable loans?"
Apparently they're a real thing, though. But it's not surprising that you may be completely unfamiliar with the term. Rocket Mortgage says that "most conventional mortgages are not assumable;" it's mostly the ones backed by specific federal government programs, such as FHA loans and the like.
As good as a lower interest rate is, Rocket notes that the process does have its drawbacks, among them that it limits buyers to the financial institution in which the assumed mortgage originated.
Perhaps the biggest drawback: Coming up with cash. Buyers will still need to produce funds to cover the remaining balance of assumed mortgages. If they can't scratch that together, they " would need to take out a second loan at going rates." So basically a conventional mortgage
Still, Roam apparently thinks the process is appealing enough to launch a multi-state effort to popularize it:
It is initially launching in Georgia, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Florida.
The company aims to help with the paperwork and other bureaucratic hoops. That means working with the seller's mortgage company on behalf of the buyer and seller.
People will do a lot of things to try and get the home they want. Maybe they'll do this too.
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