50-year mortgage hits the market
Lenders have begun offering a half-century home loan as incentive in face of record-high home prices, rising interest rates, report says.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - As home prices and interest rates keep rising, lenders have figured out a way to keep the dream alive for millions of people who want to own their own home. It's called the 50-year mortgage.

According to a report Wednesday in USA Today, a handful of small lenders have begun offering 50-year adjustable-rate loans to buyers who need to keep payments low in the current economic environment.

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Most banks already offer 40-year mortgages, which account for about 5 percent of all home loans, the report said.

"One of the biggest things in California is the high costs of homes. With rates going up, there's demand from customers (for) longer loans," Alex Diaz Jr., with Statewide Bancorp in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was quoted in the report as saying.

Statewide, which introduced its 50-year loan in March, has already received about 220 applications, Diaz said, according to the report.

The 50-year mortgage also signals that the cooling real estate market is heating up competition among lenders, the newspaper said.

"Mortgage lenders are getting craftier to get the attention of consumers," Anthony Hsieh, CEO of LendingTree, told the newspaper.

But he added that consumers first need to understand the product.

Two issues to keep in mind: A borrower with the 50-year mortgage builds equity very slowly. And because rates on the loans are adjustable, a borrower's monthly payments could rise, the report said.

Mortgage experts caution that the 50-year mortgage is best-suited for those who plan to stay in their home for about five years, while the loan's interest rate remains fixed, the report said.

"If you're going to be there for more than five years, you're gambling," Marc Savitt of the consumer protection committee for the National Association of Mortgage Brokers told the newspaper. "You don't know what interest rates are going to be. I wouldn't do it."

The report of the new 50-year loan comes as the signs mount that the nation's real estate market is cooling.

For more on what the end of the boom means for home values, the U.S. economy, and for you, click here.

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10 Tips: Beat today's real estate market. Click here.

Applications for home loans slip. More here.

More on real estate. Click hereTop of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.