A small bank in the Pacific Northwest is hoping to boost sales for builders who owe the bank millions by offering mortgages to new homebuyers at less than 4 percent interest. Banner Bank began offering the low rates through a subsidiary on March 7 in Portland, Ore., and surrounding markets, and plans to expand the program next month to Seattle and Spokane, Wash., and Boise, Idaho. In announcing the "Great Northwest Home Rush" program, Banner subsidiary Community Financial Corp. said borrowers with good credit and 20 percent down payments could qualify for 30-year fixed-rate loans with a "note rate" of as low as 3.875 percent. That translates into a 3.973 percent annual percentage rate, or APR, when the best rate available from most lenders is closer to 5 perc...
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