This New Google Tool Is a Lifesaver for First-Time Home Buyers
Mortgages are no longer a mystery.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:28 AM
For first-time home buyers, the word mortgage can cause a bigger headache than the actual house hunt, leading to questions like: How long is a mortgage approval good for? And what credit score is required to buy a house in 2020? Fortunately, Google just made it easier to get all the information you need—and keep track of your money.
The company collaborated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to create a new mobile experience in Search that instantly walks you through the steps. When you type in mortgage on your phone, you’ll be taken to a page that breaks down industry definitions and average mortgage rates, as well as offers links to resources for refinancing. There’s even a built-in calculator for mapping out payment plans.
The pandemic has made roomier homes in the suburbs more appealing to longtime city dwellers and renters looking to make a big life change, which explains why search interest in fixed-rate mortgages reached an all-time high in March and home sales spiked by 20 percent in June. One of the questions on every potential buyer’s mind right now, according to Google data from the last week: What is the current interest rate for mortgages? You don’t have to do a ton of digging to find the answer anymore. In the past few weeks, average 30-year fixed mortgage rates have reached new lows (a NerdWallet survey, updated on July 28, reports it’s currently 3.182 percent).
Another trending query: How long will it take to get preapproved for a mortgage? The good news is not that long. Usually it takes one to three days if you have all your ducks—er documents—in a row (think: pay stubs, tax returns, bank account statements). Now you can jump right to the exciting part—finding the right place.
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