Friday Five: Is it Time to Refinance?

With interest rates nudging upward, home owners wanting to refinance should act soon.

Now might be the best time for home owners who have been putting off refinancing. After a slight increase, mortgage rates slipped back below 4% this week, but it’s unlikely that they will remain near historic lows. Home owners with FHA loans could also benefit from reduced mortgage insurance costs because of efforts to streamline the process. Read what else to expect during the spring housing season in this week’s Friday Five.

USA Today: Mortgage Rates Dip, Helping Homebuyers

The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell back below 4% this week, staying near historic lows. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.99% from 4.08% last week. Last month, the rate touched 3.87%, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

Wall Street Journal: It’s a Good Time To Refinance

For home owners who have been waiting for interest rates to fall even further before refinancing, it might be time to pull the trigger on a deal. Rates are moving up — and could stay higher for a while, experts say.

Fox Business: Could New FHA Rules Help You Refinance?

President Obama announced this month a new initiative that will reduce mortgage insurance costs for borrowers who refinance their Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. The administration estimates that the program could help an additional 2 to 3 million home owners refinance and lower their mortgage payments.

Forbes: This Spring Could Be The Best Home-Buying Season In Years

The lion’s share of home sales typically come in the spring and early summer. April, May, June, and July account for more than 40% of all housing transactions annually, in large part thanks to weather. Economists, Realtors and Wall Streeters have been quick to surmise that 2012 will be the year of the market bottom, and with that prognosis circulating, it begs the question of what sellers and buyers can expect in housing as that high season nears.

HouseLogic: Your Top Home Ownership Tax Questions Answered

There are a lot of home ownership tax benefits — if you don’t forget to take them. To make sure you get your due, HouseLogic asked tax expert Abe Schneier, a senior technical manager with the American Institute of CPAs, for tax-filing tips.