4 DAYS UNTIL NEW REGULATION Z GOES INTO EFFECT:  If you want to start a new loan and not be affected by the new regulations, you must have  your credit pulled and your loan registered with a lender before April 1st.  The new rule states that a loan officer can not be compensated by the terms of the loan – this means less options and fixed revenue for every loan regardless of the borrower situation. 

RATES RISE:  Right after the Japan tragedy, rates went down a lot.  Since then, we have seen a rebound in the stock market and rates have worsened 7 days straight.  You could get a 4.75% 10 days ago with 0 points, now you have to pay discount fees and origination fees to get that rate.  4.875% is the new par rate on 30 year fixed.  Below is some informatiom from www.tbwsratealert.com that explains the situation:

More selling in the rate markets this morning; as we have noted recently interest rates are headed higher after all the safety moves triggered by Japan’s problems. The stock market took a heavy hit on panic selling over Japan but is now trading better than prior to the earthquakes and tsunami. Interest rates also higher than prior to the issues.

ARMS:  I still suggest people trying to lower their payment with good existing 30 year fixed rates look at ARM loans.  There are 5/1 ARMs , 7/1 ARMS and 10/1 ARMS – all with substantially lower rates than a 30 year fixed.  Even if you plan on staying in your home for the long haul, you can save 15-20,000 over a 5-10 year span with these type of loans.  7 to 10 years is a long time – if you are still in your home you can always refinance to a 15 or 20 year fixed.