What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 14, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 14, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings on inflation, job openings, and weekly reports on jobless claims and mortgage rates.

Inflation Rate Slows in August

After posting 0.60 percent growth for each month in June and July, the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.40 percent in August. These growth rates offset declines in inflation during the first three months of the COVID-19  pandemic. Used vehicle prices increased after deep discounts offered when the pandemic started; analysts said that rising prices for used vehicles offset losses in previous months and produced low inflation for August.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, mirrored results for the Consumer Price Index with 0.40 percent growth in August as compared to 0.60 percent growth in consumer prices in July. Prices for items in high demand in the first months of the pandemic have stabilized as panic buying of paper goods and meat has subsided. 

July Job Openings Increase; Labor Market Remains Uncertain

617,000 jobs were added in July as compared to 600,000 jobs added in June. Hiring fell in July to a pace of 5.80 million hires as compared to nearly seven million hires in June. Job openings rose by 617,000 job openings to 6.60 million openings in July. Analysts said that seven million jobs were added per month before the pandemic.

Mortgage Rates Fall to Record Low, Jobless Claims Hold Steady

Freddie Mac reported record low fixed mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.86 percent and were seven basis points lower. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.37 percent and were five basis points lower. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by 11 basis points to an average of 3.11 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims were unchanged from last week’s reading of 884,000 new claims filed. Continuing jobless claims rose to 13.39 million from the prior week’s reading of 13.29 million ongoing claims filed. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions, reports on housing starts, and building permits issued The University of Michigan will issue its Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.


3 Handy Tips That Will Prevent Serious Stress when Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

3 Handy Tips That Will Prevent Serious Stress when Buying and Selling a Home at the Same TimeIf you’re in the process of simultaneously buying and selling a home, you may be in for the most stressful experience of your life. One UK-based real estate survey of over two thousand people found that buying and selling a house is more stressful than divorce, bankruptcy, a death in the family, becoming a parent for the first time, and even planning a wedding!

It’s not easy, but staying calm will help you to plan for your upcoming home purchase and sale and make the process easier. So how can you avoid the stress? Here are three strategies that will keep you calm, no matter what may happen.

Have A Thorough Plan In Place…

Much of the stress that you’ll experience will probably be the result of poor planning. You may feel stressed if you don’t have enough time to move or if you have to pay mortgages on two homes because your old home isn’t selling fast enough.

Before you get too far into the buying and selling process, talk with a real estate agent and ensure you have a solid plan in place for how you’ll manage buying and selling at the same time. Leave a time and expense buffer for unexpected complications – even if nothing goes wrong, it’s still nice to know you have some room to work with.

…But Be Ready To Improvise If Things Go Sideways

There are a number of ways that buying and selling at the same time might result in complications. Poor timing might mean you need to move out before you have a home to move into, or it might mean you don’t have the money for your new home if your old home hasn’t sold. Be prepared to rent a hotel room, take out a short-term loan, or move your belongings into storage if the sale doesn’t go according to plan.

Talk Out Your Problems With Loved Ones

In times of stress, it’s helpful to turn to friends and family for a helping hand. Studies have shown that having a strong social support network can mitigate the effects of stress, and even the Mayo Clinic suggests reaching out to loved ones when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for emotional support, and whenever you have an opportunity to socialize, take it – you’ll find it easier to handle stress after a fun night out with friends.

Buying and selling a home at the same time is bound to be stressful, but an experienced real estate agent can minimize the agony. Call a real estate agent near you to learn how you can successfully buy and sell a home at the same time.

Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Interested In?

Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Interested In?If you are looking to sell a home in the current market, then you know that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many people look at the world and this includes their home.

Therefore, buyers need to think about whether or not their homes have what buyers are looking for. While this is a hot market and sellers could quickly end up with multiple offers for their homes, they are more likely to get a higher offer if their home has one of the key features that buyers in today’s market will love.

A Home Office

Without a doubt, this is one of the most popular features today. With the pandemic changing the way people work, workers are spending more time at home than ever before. Everyone is looking for a way to be productive at home and this means having a home office. A home office is essential because it gives those working remotely with a place where they can seclude themselves in their own home and be productive. At the same time, if there is an emergency, they can still respond quickly. Buyers today are looking for a home office.

More Space To Accommodate

Lots of families are looking for ways to accommodate their loved ones and this means more space. For example, many schools are still operating virtually. This means that the kids are at home during the day and will need their space. In addition, elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable in today’s environment, so many families have welcomed their elderly family members as well. Homes with the space to accommodate these desires are going to be more popular.

Powerful Internet Access

While this is something that can be adjusted if necessary, powerful internet access is important. Think about everyone who is going to be putting a drain on the home’s internet connection. People are streaming TV more than ever. Kids need to be able to pay attention to their lectures. Those working from home are going to have video conferences. Having strong internet access is a must.

Sell A Home With These Features

Anyone who is looking to get the most for their home should keep these features in mind. They can drive up a home’s value in the current market.  

You May Need More Than You Think To Buy Your First Home

You May Need More Than You Think To Buy Your First HomeThose who are thinking about buying their first home soon are likely saving up for a down payment. This can be a challenging process because, for many people, this is the largest amount of money they have ever saved in their lives. Sadly, the amount that people might need to buy their first home is more than they think.

There are numerous other costs that go along with buying and maintaining a home. As a result, people need to save up more than they think. Even for starter homes that are usually less expensive than family homes, there are numerous costs that need to be included.

Think about a home that is $250,000. A 20 percent down payment is $50,000. That is already a lot of money. Even for those who might try to get away with a 10 percent down payment, that is still $25,000. That is enough money to buy a very nice car. Where do these other expenses come from?

Buying A Home Has Other Costs

There are other costs that go along with buying a home. For example, there are closing costs that accompany this process. This could be thousands of dollars. In addition, there might be points due at signing and origination fees that accompany the process of taking out a loan. Of course, people could avoid these costs by buying the house in cash; however, for most people, this is simply not realistic.

Furnishing A New Home

On top of this, there are costs that come with furnishing a new home. Think about how much money coffee tables, dressers, desks, beds, and wardrobes cost. This might also include new kitchen appliances, a washer, a dryer, and more. All of these need to be included when trying to figure out the cost of a new home.

Take Advantage Of Low Mortgage Rates

It is possible for people to save up enough money to buy their first home. They simply need to keep a few tips in mind. First, take advantage of low mortgage rates. Use this to avoid PMI, origination fees, and points. Then, find ways to reduce moving costs. Bring old furniture to the new home and try to make sure that all appliances are up to date to avoid repair bills. This will make a new home more affordable.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 8, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 8, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on construction spending and labor sector reports on public and private sector jobs. The national unemployment rate was also reported. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

July Construction Spending Rises

Construction spending rose from June’s seasonally adjusted annual pace of  $1.363 billion to $1,365 billion in July. The U.S. Census Department reports construction spending and readings are subject to adjustment. Growth in construction spending is due to a demand for homes in less congested areas.COVID-19 is creating more demand for larger homes that accommodate working from home.

Mortgage Rates Mixed as Jobless Claims Fall

Mortgage rate activity was mixed last week amid incremental changes. Freddie Mac reported that rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose two basis points to 2.93 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by four basis points to 2.42 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by two basis points to 2.93 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New and continuing jobless claims fell last week. 881,000 initial jobless claims were filed last week as compared to 1.01 million first-time claims filed the prior week.13.25 million continuing jobless claims were filed last week as compared to Ongoing jobless claims were lower last week with 13.250 million claims filed as compared to 14.490 million ongoing unemployment claims filed during the prior week. Falling jobless claims indicate strengthening economic conditions as businesses reopen and employers rehire former employees and add new employees.

Jobs Growth Reports Mixed, National Unemployment Rate Falls

ADP reported 428,000  private-sector jobs added in August as compared to July’s reading of 212,000 jobs added. The Commerce Department’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 1.37 public and private-sector jobs.added in August as compared to 1.73 million jobs added in July. Analysts said that looming layoffs in airlines and travel sectors could slow job growth. The national unemployment rate fell to 8.40 percent in August from July’s reading of 10.20 percent.

 Based on these readings, the economy is rebounding from the impacts of COVID-19, but analysts were cautious as the three-day Labor Day weekend approached. COVID-19 cases rose after the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays. Increasing cases of COVID-19 could cause state and local governments to impose restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include reports on inflation and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

How to Get Stains & Grease Off Of Walls

How to Get Stains & Grease Off WallsStains are common issues faced by homeowners; however, when the stains involve the walls, this can be a difficult challenge. Stains and grease are a much tougher challenge than dust and cobwebs. That is why there are specialized methods that help remove grease and stains from walls.

Remove Grease From Kitchen Walls

Grease is one of the most common occupational hazards of cooking. While grease can prevent foods from sticking to pots and pans, this can be a real challenge if it ends up on the kitchen walls.

Fortunately, there is dish soap that can strip the grease right off of the walls. In order to use dish soap to remove grease from kitchen walls, take a quarter tsp of dish soap, mix it with one cup of warm water, and wipe the grease off the walls. Then, rinse the solution from the wall with cool water and blot the wall until it is dry.

If the grease is particularly stubborn, use the same method with a 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 2/3 cup of water.

Remove Dirt And Grime From The Walls

If there are dirt and grime that has to be removed from the walls, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, there are wall erasers that might do the trick. This could be easier than preparing a solution.

Those who would like to use a mixed solution can make a cleaning product from a few common household ingredients. Mix a cup of ammonia with a ½ cup of white vinegar, a ¼ cup of baking soda, and a gallon of warm water. Just be aware that the fumes from some of these products can be pungent. Then, wipe the solution all over the walls using a sponge. Finally, rinse the solution from the wall with warm water.

Permanent Marker Stains

Finally, permanent marker stains can be particularly challenging. Take a cotton ball, mix it with rubbing alcohol, and dab it on the stain. If this doesn’t work, think about using hairspray. Either of these techniques can do the trick.

These are a few great methods that can help remove some challenging stains from the walls. In some cases, the walls can look like new.

How Do Mortgage Lenders Decide How Much You Can Borrow?

How Do Mortgage Lenders Decide How Much You Can Borrow?When you visit your lender to get a mortgage for your home, they will tell you the maximum amount that you are allowed to borrow. But how do they reach this total and what factors do they take into consideration?

How do they determine that one borrower can take on a bigger mortgage than the next? This decision is made by mortgage companies by considering a wide range of factors, including your credit information, your salary and much more.

Here Are Some Of The Common Ways That Lenders Determine How Much You Can Borrow:

1. Percentage Of Gross Monthly Income

Many lenders follow the rule that your monthly mortgage payment should never exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.

This will ensure that you are not stretched too far with your mortgage payments and you will be more likely to be able to pay them off. Remember, your gross monthly income is the total amount of money that you have been paid, before deductions from social security, taxes, savings plans, child support, etc.

2. Debt To Income Ratio

Another formula that mortgage lenders use is the “Debt to Income” ratio, which refers to the percentage of your gross monthly income that is taken up by debts. This takes into account any other debts, such as credit cards and loans. Many lenders say that the total of your debts shouldn’t exceed 36% of your gross monthly income.

The lender will look at all of the different types of debt you have and how well you have paid your bills over the years. By using one of these two formulas, your mortgage lender calculates the size of a mortgage that you can afford.

Of course, there are many other factors that need to be considered, such as the term length of the loan, the size of your down payment and the interest rate.

Remember that when factoring in your income, you usually have to have a stable job for at least two years in a row to be able to count your income. If you want to increase your chances, you could consider paying down your debts or buying with a co-borrower, which will improve your debt to income ratio.

For more info about mortgages and your home, contact your mortgage professional.

Keep The Dream Of Owning A Home Alive

Keep The Dream Of Owning A Home AliveFor many people, owning a home is their dream. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire country and has left many people wondering if they can still afford to own a home. While this might put some things on hold, there are steps that everyone can take to keep the dream of owning a home alive.

Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

The first step that you should complete if you would like to own a home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The pre-approval process will give you a firm idea of what you can afford. Then, you can start to narrow your search and find homes that are within your price range.

Furthermore, when you do make an offer, sellers will know that you are serious about buying the home because you have already been pre-approved. Reach out to a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Connect With A Top Agent Virtually

Most people are used to going to home showing in person; however, there are ways to do this virtually. A trusted agent is going to have access to all of the listings in the local area and can help you understand what the process is regarding buying a home. You can connect with an agent either by phone or by video to learn what it is like to navigate the real estate market. While today’s market might be different from most markets, there are still opportunities to get a great deal on a home.

Do Research On Options For Assistance

Buying home is one of the most important ways to stimulate the economy. As a result, there are lots of options that have been put into place to help people buy homes in a responsible manner. This could include loan programs, payment assistance programs, and loan options that do not require a large down payment. This can help you afford a dream home without having to necessarily put down 20 percent.

Do Not Put Your Dreams On Hold

While the climate might be a bit different right now, this does not mean that people have to put their dreams of owning a home on hold. This simply means that everyone has to do their due diligence and find the home that is right for them.

The Top 3 Reasons To Invest In A Reverse Mortgage

The Top 3 Reasons To Invest In A Reverse MortgageFor seniors who have equity built up in their home, they might have heard about something called a reverse mortgage. There are plenty of TV commercials for reverse mortgages; however, there is still a lot of confusion regarding what they are.

Simply put, many seniors have already paid off their homes completely. With a reverse mortgage, people can access the equity they have in their home and use this as a quick source of cash. Then, they can pay back this loan when they can without giving up ownership of their home. Who should use this tool? There are a few reasons to note.

A Quick Source Of Cash Without Great Credit

For those who don’t have a strong credit score but need a quick source of cash, a reverse mortgage might be a great option. Many people stop paying attention to their credit score in their later years, thinking they will not need to take out a loan again; however, life can throw surprises at people and a reverse mortgage can help people access cash quickly without having to apply for a formal loan.

A Flexible Source Of Money

There are many people who think that a reverse mortgage can only be used for housing expenses. This is not the case. In reality, people can use a reverse mortgage to pay for just about anything. One of the most common uses of a reverse mortgage is to cover medical bills. Medical bills are among the most common unexpected expenses and if a medical bill comes up, then a reverse mortgage can be used to pay it off.

A Loan With Flexible Repayment Terms

Finally, a reverse mortgage is a loan that provides flexible repayment terms. With a reverse mortgage, there is no need to pay the loan off in full until the home is sold, the owners move out, or the owners pass away. In this case, when the home is sold, some of the money is used to pay back the reverse mortgage.

Consider A Reverse Mortgage

For some people, a reverse mortgage can be an effective financial tool. It is critical for everyone to evaluate all of their financial options and choose the one that is right for them.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 31, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 31, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, along with data on new and pending home sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new and continuing jobless claims were also published.

Case-Shiller: Home Price GrowthHolds Steady in June

National home prices grew at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 4.30 percent in June, which was unchanged from May’s year-over-year growth rate for home prices. The 20-City Home Price Index rose by 3.50 percent year-over-year in June.  

Phoenix, Arizona reported the leading year-over-year home price growth rate of 9.00 percent. Seattle, Washington held second place with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 6.50 percent. Home prices in Tampa, Florida grew at a year-over-year pace of 5.90 percent.   

Home price growth rates rose in five of 19 cities reported in the 20-City Index; the Wayne County Michigan metro area did not report for June’s 20-City Home Price Index. 

New Home Sales Rise as Pending Home Sales Dip in July

Sales of new homes rose for the third consecutive month in July according to the U.S. Census Bureau. July’s reading of 901,000 new homes sold on a seasonally adjusted annual basis was the highest pace of sales since 2006. Sales of new homes were 36 percent higher year-over-year. Slim inventories of pre-owned homes for sale and low mortgage rates boosted new home sales, but analysts said that builders also face headwinds including higher materials costs and affordability.

Pending home sales dropped in July from June’s year-over-year reading of 15.80 percent to July’s reading of 5.80 percent. Ongoing concerns over COVID-19, high unemployment rates and, concerns over jobs have caused would-be-homebuyers to delay their home purchase plans.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower rates for fixed-rate mortgages last week with the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages falling by eight basis points to 2.91 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also fell by eight basis points to 2.46 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.91 percent and were unchanged from the prior week.

New jobless claims fell to 1.01 million claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 1.10 million initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims were also lower with 14.54 million continuing claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 14.76 million continuing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on construction spending, private and public sector jobs growth, and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.