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Money Buzz 11/03

New portable mortgages, saving your undervalued firm from "delistment" and more

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This story appears in the November 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

On the Move?
Moving is painful enough without the added anxiety of losing yourlow-interest mortgage rate when you change homes. Now E*Trade GroupInc.'s new portable mortgages let homeowners move theirmortgages along with their other belongings.

A relative newcomer to the mortgage industry, E*Trade is makinga splash with its "Mortgage on the Move" program, whichlets sellers transfer the terms of their home loans to their newresidences. There's no denying the appeal of portability, butit comes with a price tag and restrictions. "They'reoffering it at a rate above market and with stringent rules,"says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at theMortgage BankersAssociation of America. "It can only be applied to a newpurchase [as opposed to refinancing], and you can only apply yourexisting loan balance to your next home. So if you buy a moreexpensive home, you may need to take out another mortgage on thedifference."

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