California, Massachusetts and New Jersey rarely fare well in any list of affordable places to live. But the three are among five states with the lowest mortgage rates in the country, according to a recent study from LendingTree.
The study shows that the average mortgage rate nationwide now stands at 4.84 percent.
But the cost of a home loan is higher in some places than others, with at least one state recording an average rate as low as 4.74 percent and others with average rates as high as 4.96 percent.
Now, 4.96 percent might not seem much higher than 4.74 percent. But getting the higher rate rather than the lower one could mean paying thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of the mortgage. That is why it’s so important to shop around for the best mortgage interest rate, as we further explain below.
Some of the states with the lowest average mortgage rates right now are not among the usual suspects. They include:
- California: 4.74 percent
- New Jersey: 4.75 percent
- Washington: 4.76 percent
- Massachusetts: 4.76 percent
- Utah: 4.77 percent
- Colorado: 4.77 percent
Meanwhile, New York leads the list of states with the highest mortgage rates. That probably comes to no surprise to anyone familiar with the high cost of living in the Empire State.
But other states in the top five — such as Iowa and Arkansas — are a bit more unexpected. The states with the highest mortgage rates are:
- New York: 4.96 percent
- Iowa: 4.93 percent
- Arkansas: 4.92 percent
- Oklahoma: 4.91 percent
- Maine: 4.91 percent
How you can find the lowest mortgage rate
Regardless of where you live, you can help secure a lower mortgage rate simply by shopping around and comparing offers from multiple lenders.
Some people are reluctant to shop around, fearing that doing so will end up hurting their credit score. But as we note in “9 Tips to Save Thousands of Dollars on Your Mortgage,” that’s not the case — as long as you do it right.
So, feel free to look around so you can land the best deal. One way to do that is to stop by our Solutions Center and check out our mortgage rate search tool. There, you’ll be able to compare rates and estimate your monthly payment at various lenders.
Do you have tips for cutting your mortgage costs? Share them in comments below or on our Facebook page.