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Assumable mortgages are easier to find in these cities — but the lower-rate home loans come with strings attached

Some home sellers are advertising these hard-to-find mortgages as a way to attract buyers, says Assumable mortgages, or home loans that pass on their mortgage rate from a home seller to a buyer, are considered an attractive option these days: They effectively allow buyers to inherit a far lower interest rate at a time when mortgage rates are higher than 7%.

And while these loans are relatively hard to find overall, prospective home buyers are most likely to find them in real-estate markets where there is a substantial military presence, according to a new report.

The report, from, found that out of all active U.S. listings to date this year, only 0.4% of for-sale listings were advertised with an assumable loan. But “some areas, especially those with a large military presence, saw a higher share of homes advertising this appealing loan strategy,” said Hannah Jones, the author of the report.

The markets with the biggest share of listings boasting an assumable mortgage include the following:

Honolulu, at 3.3% of listings New Orleans-Metairie, La., at 2.83% Ogden-Clearfield, Utah, at 1.57% Tucson, Ariz., at 1.39% Augusta-Richmond County, which straddles Georgia and South Carolina, at 1.25% “Not all sellers may be open to this option, but some are not only open to the option, they also are advertising it as a differentiator to attract buyers,” Jones wrote.

Many aspiring homeowners are finding it too expensive to buy a home right now, with mortgage rates around 7% and home prices continuing to rise. To buy a median-priced $397,000 home at a rate of 7%, a person would need to make at least $108,000 per year.

The vast majority of respondents to a recent survey said they would jump at the opportunity to buy a home if the 30-year-mortgage rate fell below 4%. About nine in 10 homeowners have a mortgage rate below 6%, while 23% have a rate below 3%, according to the real-estate brokerage Redfin. is operated by Move Inc., a News Corp subsidiary. MarketWatch publisher Dow Jones is also owned by News Corp.

Most government mortgages, such as mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, are assumable. About 8% of U.S. home loans over the last five years were VA loans and 15% were FHA loans, Jones estimated. 

But these mortgages come with a catch: They aren’t easy to assume.