Video: Mortgage rates for April 19, 2012

I’m Greg McBride with and here is your weekly look at mortgage rates.

Mortgage rates slipped into record low territory once again. Declines were seen across most fixed and adjustable rate mortgage products, with records either being tied or reset.

The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate tied the record low of 4.1 percent that was previously seen two different weeks in February. The 15-year fixed rate that is popular for refinancing was unchanged, holding at the record low of 3.32 percent last week.

There were several new record lows set on hybrid adjustable rate mortgages. The 3/1, 7/1, and 10/1 loans all hit new records. The popular 5/1 ARM was the exception, nosing higher to 3.05 percent.

The way these products work is that the interest rate is fixed for an initial period of years, be it 3 years or 10 years or whatever, before becoming adjustable on an annual basis thereafter. These are attractive to borrowers that don’t plan on holding the loan forever, either because they expect to move or pay off the loan prior to that initial interest rate adjustment. In those cases, the loan functions as a fixed rate loan but at a rate considerably lower than a traditional fixed rate mortgage. It must be noted that these products are not to be used as a crutch of affordability for borrowers that are unable to afford the payments on a traditional fixed rate mortgage.

Whether you’re buying a home or refinancing the one you already own, it is important to shop around for the best mortgage rate. To find the lowest mortgage rates in your area, use the free search engine at

I’m Greg McBride.

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