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After dipping below 8 percent in mid-August, mortgage rates in Greensboro and the Triad are inching gradually upward.

A survey of 33 local lenders last week showed rates on 30-year fixed rate loans averaging 8.04 percent and on a slow but upward trend.

It was the week of August 16 when rates hit a 20-year low, with an average of 7.89 percent in the Triad.

Rates one year ago were just above 9 percent.A year before that, in October 1990, rates averaged about 10.5 percent.\ A t a time when mortgage rates are starting to creep up, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is lowering them.

The state housing agency has made available about $15 million statewide for mortgage loans for first-time buyers.

Under the program, the 30-year loans have a first year interest rate of 6.9 percent. In the second year, the rate goes to 7.4 percent where it will remains for the rest of the term of the loan.

The loans are available as conventional, FHA, VA and Farmers Home Administration backed loans from several local lenders.

There are income and home price restrictions, depending on the county a buyer resides in. For Guilford, Davidson, Davie, Randolph and Stokes and Yadkin counties, the household income limits are $34,500 for one person, $36,000 for two persons and $40,000 for three or more. Sales price for a new house can be no more than $94,000 and no more than $71,500 for a resale home.

Lenders in Guilford County include: Branch Banking & Trust Co; Central Carolina Bank; First Union Mortgage; GLL & Associates; National City Mortgage; NationsBank Mortgage; Old Stone Bank of North Carolina; Painewebber Mortgage Finance; Wachovia Mortgage; Central State Bank; and First Southern Savings Bank.

Names of lenders in other areas can be obtained by calling the finance agency in Raleigh at 919-781-6115.\

Local builders will try to learn from their mistakes - and their successes - at a forum to be held Oct. 13.

Sponsored by the Greater Greensboro Builders Association, the forum will feature a panel of recent Triad area home buyers that will be asked to discuss their experiences.

Efforts have been made by organizers to get a variety of buyer types - first timers, custom buyers, and so on.

Topics will include quality, service and communications with their builder and/or sales associate. Since it is an educational forum, buyers will be asked to keep the builder and sales associate names' anonymous.

Moderator of the panel will be John Pace, of Pace Builders.

The cost of the forum is $3, including lunch.

It will be held at the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association office, off Wendover Avenue.

Deadline for reservations is this Friday. Call the association at 274-6357.


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