MORTGAGE APPLICATION: Most would-be homebuyers will end up applying for a home loan. Getting the best deal means keeping on top of changes to interest rates, but also rule changes with popular government-backed loan programs.

FHA CHANGES: This week, the Federal Housing Administration put into effect several new rules, including one that raises the cost of mortgage insurance for borrowers who take on FHA-backed loans, among other changes. Want to avoid mortgage insurance? Come up with a down payment of at least 20 percent of the sale price.

ANOTHER TIP: Comparison shop mortgage quotes and negotiate fees with your lender.

 

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