Freddie Mac announced Thursday that 30-year fixed mortgage rates fell below 4% for the first time ever. The new rate - just 3.94% - is lower than the rate in the 1950s, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. For buyers looking at homes in Daphne, Fairhope and Spanish Fort, you'll find the 15-year fixed rate in the lower 3% range locally.

For example, Mary Brabner, loan originator for Region's Mortgage in Daphne, AL, says her 30-year fixed rate is 3.875% today. This is for over buyers with credit scores over 740, with 20% down on a purchase. A 15-year rate is 3.25%, Brabner said. Dean Watson of WestStar Mortgage, also in Daphne, AL, says rates may be higher for those whose credit scores are below 740. WestStar offers mortgages that don't require the often pricey wind coverage for home owners insurance; for that the rate may be a bit higher, he said.

With a nice selection of homes for sale in Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, it's a great time to buy and lock in a low fixed rate. If you have sufficient equity, it's also a great time to re-finance.