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Average US 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.02 percent

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates inched lower this week. It was the fifth straight week that the benchmark 30-year rate hovered around the key threshold of 4 percent.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans slipped to 4.02 percent from 4.05 percent last week. The rate stood at 3.58 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent in 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971.

The rate on 15-year mortgages eased to 3.27 percent from 3.29 percent last week.

Amid growing worries that deepening political turmoil in Washington will hinder President Donald Trump's plans to enact tax cuts and other business-friendly policies, the stock market had its steepest drop since September on Wednesday. Bond prices rose as investors shunned riskier assets. That depressed the yields on long-term Treasury bonds, which mortgage rates tend to follow.

Bank forecloses on 'Extreme Makeover' homeowner in Michigan

Designers with ABC’s “ Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” helped by hundreds of volunteers — built her family's home in 2008 after the death of Tim Nickless, her husband of 18 years. But keeping up payments on the mortgage has been a struggle, and it was foreclosed in September, the  Lansing State Journal reported. It has been up for auction online for weeks.

“When I stepped out of the house the day “ Extreme Makeover   came, you will see me say ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’” she said. “And, truthfully, that’s what I feel right now: I can’t believe this is happening.”

Arlene Nickless did not blame the ABC television show, whose pricey rebuild have led to foreclosures in some cases, However, she did criticize her mortgage company, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Her home’s foreclosure resulted from an ongoing struggle to manage the property’s pre-makeover mortgage — a balance of about $30,000 after the 2008 makeover, but had ballooned to at least $113,000 by the end of 2016, she told the newspaper.