If you’re a homeowner or prospective homeowner, then you may have noticed that this was a week with both good and bad news about the nation’s housing market.

 

Record low interest rates

This is one of the best times to buy a house, especially if you’re planning to take out a mortgage on the property. Interest rates have been slowly declining for the past few months, and now you can get a 30-year mortgage with an interest rate close to 4 percent. If you opt for a 15-year mortgage you could find yourself with an interest rate of less than 3.5 percent.

 

Foreclosures on the rise

If you’re in the market for a new home, a rise in foreclosures may be good news because a better deal may be waiting for you. Unfortunately, an increase in foreclosures is bad news for the housing market. Foreclosures crept up by 7 percent in August 2011 when compared to July 2011. Although the month-over-month rate increased, foreclosures were down by 33 percent when compared to last year.

 

Strategic defaults

Is the rise in foreclosures linked to an increase in strategic defaults? What is a strategic default? If you’re curious about what strategic default is and who is choosing this route, check out this DailyFinance article.

 

Take out a mortgage and invest the money

This is a bit of a radical idea but with record low mortgage rates, is it wise to take out a mortgage on your home to invest in the stock market?

 

Reverse mortgage

A reverse mortgage is one way that senior citizens can access the equity in their house to pay for long-term care or other expenses common in our later years. However, reverse mortgages can be confusing and even pricey. Therefore, it is important that anyone considering a reverse mortgage take the time to read up on all the pros and cons of this atypical mortgage product.