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Wisconsin is a state located in the central northern portion of the United States. It sits adjacent to Lake Michigan, north of Illinois, south of Canada, and east of Minnesota. The state has a population of 5.7 million people, which makes it the 20th most-populated state in the country. While there are a few larger cities in Wisconsin, much of the area is dedicated to agriculture and farming.

Mortgage Laws

For those that are looking to buy property in Wisconsin, or provide a mortgage loan to a property buyer, there are some mortgage laws that they need to be aware of. While it used to be a common practice a few years ago, lenders in Wisconsin are no longer allowed to provide mortgage loans with negative amortization schedules. Furthermore, lenders are required to abide by certain credit and income requirements in order for the borrower to qualify for a mortgage. Those that do not meet these requirements will be required to pay for additional mortgage insurance to compensate the lender and FHA for additional risk.

Housing Outlook for Wisconsin

The housing outlook for Wisconsin is positive overall. Due to its proximity in the northern states and strong economy, Wisconsin did not go through the significant ups and downs during the housing bubble and credit crisis. Wisconsin housing market over the next five to ten years is expected to continue to see stable increases in value, particularly in some of the growing areas of the state, such as Madison and Kenosha.

Interest Rates in Wisconsin

The interest rates that a well-qualified borrower will pay on a mortgage will be similar to the rates paid in other states. 30-year fixed rate interest rates are currently around 4.10%, 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates are around 3.30%, and 5/1 ARM interest rates are around 3.25%. Borrowers that have a lower credit score, less than a 20% down payment, or a less stable stream of income could still qualify for a mortgage with most lenders, but will likely end up paying a higher interest rate or private mortgage insurance.

Biggest Cities in Wisconsin

While a lot of Wisconsin is considered rural, there are some larger cities in the state as well. The most populated city in Wisconsin is Milwaukee, which is located along Lake Michigan and has a population of around 600,000 residents. The second most-populated city, Madison, is the state capital and has a population of around 230,000. Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine all have populations around 100,000 residents and are the third, fourth, and fifth most populated cities in the state.