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

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 14, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic reporting included readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Rate Rises in November

Inflation rose by 0.20 percent in November according to the federal government, but this reading fell short of the Federal Reserve’s goal of achieving 2.00 percent inflation annually. November’s year-over-year inflation rate was 1.20 percent. October’s inflation reading was flat and analysts expected inflation to grow by 0.10 percent in November.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, showed readings identical to the Consumer Price Index reading. November’s Core Consumer Price Index was impacted by lower food and fuel costs.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Shareholder Suit over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were put under the oversight of the Federal Housing Finance Agency after the Great Recession and resulting mortgage crisis. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding shareholder assertions that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is unconstitutional.

Mortgage Rates Mixed as Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported no change in average fixed mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.71 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was also unchanged at 2.26 percent.  Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.79 percent and were seven basis points lower than in the prior week. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and  0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims were higher last week with 853,000 new claims filed as compared to 716,000 first-time claims filed the prior week. Analysts expected 720,000 first-time claims last week. Ongoing jobless claims also rose with 5.76 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 5.53 million continuing claims filed. Increasing numbers of coronavirus cases caused higher than expected layoffs last week.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose in December to an index reading of 81.4. Analysts expected December’s reading to decrease to 75.5 based on November’s index reading of 76.9. As winter progresses and Covid-19 cases continue to rise, consumer sentiment toward economic conditions will likely decline.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic readings include reports from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions; the Commerce Department will release reports on housing starts and building permits issued. The Federal Reserve will issue its Federal Open Market Committee Statement and Fed Chair Jerome Powell is slated to give a post-meeting press conference.

What To Watch Out For When Buying A Home

What To Watch Out For When Buying A HomeBuying a new home is an exciting experience.  At the same time, it is also important for everyone to think about a few important topics that have to be discussed before they place an offer on a home. That way, everyone can rest easy, knowing they have done their due diligence when it comes to purchasing a new home.

Do Not Neglect The Noise Level Of The Neighborhood

One of the most commonly overlooked topics when it comes to buying a house is the noise level of the neighborhood. Some noise from the outside world is to be expected, particularly for those who move into a busy neighborhood. During a tour of the potential home, it is a good idea to ask realtors to lower the level of background noise. That way, people can get a good feel for what the potential neighborhood noise level might be like. 

Always Ask About The Age Of The Roof

One of the easiest facets of a house to overlook is the roof. At the same time, the roof is also one of the biggest parts of the home. Therefore, it is a good idea for everyone to make sure they do a thorough inspection of the roof. They should look for damages both from the outside as well as inside. Ask about the age of the roof as well. Be sure to check for damaged shingles.

Ask About The Age Of The HVAC System

Another topic that has to be discussed is the HVAC system. In general, people should expect to get between 15 and 20 years of life out of their HVAC system. If the HVAC system in the home is getting close to the point of replacement, then it might be a good idea to ask for a price reduction because the new homeowner is going to have to replace the HVAC system in the near future.

Perform Due Diligence Before Buying A Home

These are a few of the most important points that people have to follow when they are buying a new home. Asking about these issues ahead of time can prevent homeowners from being surprised down the road.

 

An Overview of Mortgage Forbearance: What Is This And What Should Homeowners Know?

An Overview of Mortgage Forbearance: What Is This And What Should Homeowners Know?Current times are tough and there are a lot of homeowners who are having trouble making ends meet. Therefore, they are looking for ways to remain financially afloat as they assess their options. One option that people might have heard a lot about is called mortgage forbearance.

It is critical for everyone to understand what mortgage forbearance is and how this might be able to help them during these challenging times. Importantly, it is also important for people to know what mortgage forbearance is not.

What Does Mortgage Forbearance Do?

For those who are currently facing financial challenges, mortgage forbearance might be helpful. The goal of mortgage forbearance is to allow people to temporarily stop making payments toward their mortgage. This is particularly helpful when someone is looking for a new job or when families are struggling during a recession.

Depending on whether someone has a government loan or a private mortgage, their options for mortgage forbearance might be different. Therefore, it is critical for everyone to speak with their lender directly about mortgage forbearance before deciding this is the right option. Even if someone qualifies for mortgage forbearance, they still need to apply for it, as not everyone will be granted it. Otherwise, people risk becoming delinquent on their payments, which could lead to serious consequences.

Common Misconceptions About Mortgage Forbearance

It is also important for people to know what mortgage forbearance does not do. Even though mortgage forbearance will not hurt someone’s credit (as they will remain current on their loan), mortgage forbearance does not mean the mortgage is forgiven. It is possible that interest may accumulate on the loan when someone is not making payments, so this is critical to clarify. Or, it could take longer to pay off the loan. Finally, everyone who is applying for mortgage forbearance needs to understand how long this forbearance will last. Everyone has to make sure they know exactly when their monthly payments are going to resume.

Consider Using Mortgage Forbearance

Anyone who is having trouble keeping up with their mortgage payments should consider applying for mortgage forbearance. This can be a useful option for helping people stay in their homes without harming their credit scores or becoming delinquent on their loans.

Home Values Are Impacted By School Zones: Is The Move Worth It?

Home Values Are Impacted By School Zones: Is The Move Worth It?If you are looking for a home, then you probably have a budget in mind. You also need to know about the most common factors that influence the price of a home. One factor that always seems to play a role in the price of a home is the quality of the school system. This makes sense. After all, a lot of people who are looking for a home have children (or are planning on having children) and want to make sure they have access to a quality education. At the same time, is it truly worth the price increase to have access to a better school district?

The Quality Of The School District And The Price Of The Home

Numerous surveys have consistently shown that the majority of homeowners are willing to go over their budget price for the perfect and home and the location certainly plays a role. In this manner, the quality of the school system absolutely factors into the right location.

When people think about going over budget, they often think about a higher monthly mortgage payment; however, other costs are going to increase as well. For example, you might need to pay a higher down payment, pay more in home insurance to protect the home, and pay more in property taxes. Therefore, is this truly worth it?

This Is A Subjective Decision

In the end, the answer to this question is always going to be subjective. Therefore, you need to decide what matters most to you and your family and compare this to the premium that is put on the home. For example, the school rankings and test scores are certainly important factors. At the same time, they only tell one small part of the story.

For example, you also want to see how much money the school district spends on each of its students. The more money they spend, the more they care about their students. You also want to think about the diversity of the school district as well, as this is closely correlated to the overall quality of the education each student receives. Compare these factors to your budget to see if it is worth the price of living in that school district.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 7, 2020

 

vLast week’s economic reports included pending home sales, construction spending, and labor-sector readings on job growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 7, 2020Last week’s economic reports included pending home sales, construction spending, and labor-sector readings on job growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

 

Construction Spending Rises as Demand for Homes Increases

High demand for single-family homes drove construction spending up by 1.30 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of $1.44 trillion in October. The Commerce Department adjusted September’s reading to -0.50 percent. Analysts said that spending for commercial construction was flat after three successive months of lower spending. Business closures and a growing trend for working from home softened demand for commercial developments.

Pending home sales dropped by -1.10 percent in October as compared to September’s decline of -2.00 percent. Declines in pending home sales resulted from seasonal slowing in housing markets and rising cases of the coronavirus. Rising home prices caused by high demand for homes also caused fewer pending home sales. Uncertain economic conditions and concerns about the pandemic also contributed to the slower pace of home sales.

Mortgage Rates and Jobless Claims Drop

Mortgage rates dropped to record lows as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 2.71 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by two basis points to 2.26 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped 30 basis points to 2.86 percent. Discount points for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.70 percent; discount points for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.60 percent. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent; all average points readings were unchanged from the prior week.

Initial and continuing jobless claims were lower last week. Initial jobless claims fell to 712,000 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 781,000 first-time claims filed; analysts expected 780,000 initial claims to be filed. Ongoing jobless claims also fell last week with 5.52 million continuing claims filed as compared to 6.09 million ongoing claims filed in the prior week.

Public and Private-Sector Job Growth Falls in November

ADP reported 307,000 private-sector jobs added in November as compared to October’s reading of 404,000 jobs added. The government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 245,000 public and private sector jobs added in November as compared to October’s reported 610,000 jobs added. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.70 percent in November from 6.90 percent reported in October. Lower rates of job growth coupled with a lower unemployment rate suggested that some workers left the jobs market.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

 

Be Prepared for Your Mortgage Pre-approval Interview by Having Answers to These 4 Questions

Be Prepared for Your Mortgage Pre-approval Interview by Having Answers to These 4 QuestionsSo – you’ve completed an initial mortgage pre-qualification and now you’re ready to take the next step and meet with your lender or mortgage advisor for the pre-approval interview. Are you ready?

At this stage of the application process your lender will dig into your financial background to ensure that you’re fully capable of making your mortgage payments and that you don’t present too high a risk. Let’s take a quick look at a few questions you should know the answers to before you go in for a mortgage pre-approval.

Do You Have a Specific Home in Mind?

If you’ve already picked out the perfect new home, be sure to bring along some of the details when you meet with your lender. At minimum you’ll want to know the price range that you’re expecting to buy in so that your mortgage advisor can try to find a mortgage that allows you to purchase the home and still meet your other financial goals.

What is Your Current Income from All Sources?

Your income (and that of your spouse, if you have one) will be a major factor in the size of your mortgage, your payment terms and the interest rate that you qualify for. If you have a significant income and it’s clear that you will have little trouble making the mortgage payments you’ll likely qualify for a shortened amortization period that includes a lower interest rate. Conversely, if you can only afford to make a bare minimum monthly payment you’ll be facing a longer mortgage term.

Do You Have Any “Black Marks” on Your Credit?

If you have any negative spots in your credit history you’ll want to ensure that you’re able to answer for them, because your lender will certainly ask about them. Be honest and confident, and remember that the lender wants your business as much as you want to receive a pre-approval for mortgage financing.

What Are Your Plans in the Next Five to Ten Years?

Finally don’t forget that interest rates will continue to fluctuate and that may have an impact on your mortgage in the near future. Be sure to share any major financial plans that you have with your mortgage advisor as they can keep you appraised of any refinancing opportunities that come about.

Buying a home is an exciting time – one that will be far less stressful if you are fully prepared for the many steps along the way. Contact your local mortgage professional today to learn more about how you can get pre-approved for mortgage financing.

Buying A Home Virtually

Buying A Home VirtuallyDuring the past few months, everyone has been going through unprecedented times. Every industry has been impacted and this includes the real estate sector. There are lots of people who are still trying to buy and sell a home during an era of social distancing. This can make it hard to look at a prospective property in person. The good news is that there are still ways for people to buy a house virtually. There are a few tips that everyone should keep in mind. 

Go On A Virtual Tour

Of course, everyone wants to take a close look at a home before they decide to buy it. Even though it is challenging to schedule live tours, virtual tours can still be helpful. With virtual real estate software, it is possible to take a virtual, walking tour the home. Furthermore, if tours have been recorded using drones, then a virtual tour might provide everyone with a new perspective on a potential home. 

Ask The Right Questions

It is important for everyone to make sure they ask the right questions. Even if someone is not going on a  tour of a home in person, it is still important to ask the same questions. For example, ask about the age of the roof, the age of the HVAC system, and other pertinent questions to the property. This will help everyone make sure they understand exactly what they are buying. 

Know What Is Not Seen Virtually

When it comes to asking questions, it is also important to think about items that cannot be seen virtually. For example, it might be difficult to judge noise levels outside of the home from a virtual tour. It might also be challenging to figure out where puddles tend to form during thunderstorms. These are important topics that have to be discussed as well. 

Prepare Early To Buy A Home Virtually

Even if people cannot see a property in person, the real estate market can still be relatively active. Therefore, anyone who is looking to buy a house in this market has to make sure they stay on top of their information. This will help them remain competitive when they are trying to buy the perfect house for their needs.

 

Buying an Investment Property? 3 Key Home Features That Will Help Ensure You Turn a Profit

Buying an Investment Property? 3 Key Home Features That Will Help Ensure You Turn a ProfitIf you’re entering the real estate investment market for the first time, you’re embarking on a great adventure – and with a solid plan, you can turn a tidy profit on your investment.

The key to a successful real estate investment is choosing the right property. A great property will reap dividends for years to come. Look for these three features in your next investment property and you’ll have no trouble finding one that turns a profit.

Location: More Important Than You Think

The location of your investment property will be critical in determining how much you earn on it and how long you’re able to keep tenants. And as the saying goes, you can change the color of the walls, you can change the type of flooring, and you can change the layout of the home, but you can’t change the location. So before you do anything else, make sure your new investment property is in a good location.

High cash flow investment properties tend to share certain location characteristics. They tend to be in neighborhoods with great schools and great amenities like pools, parks, movie theaters, and public transit. They also tend to be in an area with quiet, low-traffic, well-kept streets. Great neighborhoods have a low crime rate and don’t mix housing types.

Average Rent Price & Vacancy Rate: Look For Marketability

Aside from local amenities, you’ll also want to consider the average vacancy rate and rent price in your neighborhood. If you can’t cover your costs by charging the neighborhood’s average rent, then the home is a poor investment.

Keep an eye on vacancies in the neighborhood. If there are a high number of vacancies in the area, it could mean that the area’s rental market is seasonal or that renters are no longer interested in it. A low-vacancy area will allow you to charge more rent, and you’ll be more likely to find renters.

Floor Plan: Know The Trends And Buy Accordingly

There are a lot of things you can change if you don’t like your home, but the floor plan is a challenge to rearrange. That means in order to make your property competitive on the market, you’ll want to choose a property with a modern floor plan. Watch the trends and buy a home with a floor plan that’s in demand – you’ll have an easier time finding tenants.

Buying an investment property is a great choice for smart investors, but it’s important to make sure you are in the right position to turn a profit. An experienced mortgage professional can help keep your costs down on your mortgage so that your profits stay high. Contact your trusted mortgage professional today to learn more about what mortgages would work best for your situation.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 30, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 30, 2020

Last week’s economic reporting included readings on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, new home sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released. No readings were released on Thursday or Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Case-Shiller Reports Highest Pace Of Home Price Growth Since 2014

Case-Shiller reported higher home price growth in September with national home price growth of 7.00 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. August’s national home price growth pace was 5.80 percent. Housing markets in many areas are seeing increased activity due to higher demand for homes.

While higher home prices appear counter-intuitive during the pandemic and related economic challenges, the coronavirus pandemic has created more demand for homes as buyers move from congested urban metro areas to less populated areas. Buyers continued seeking larger homes as working from home and remote learning increased.

Phoenix, Arizona, Seattle, Washington and, San Diego, California maintained the top three ratings for home price growth in the 20-City Home Price Index. New York, New York, and Dallas,  Texas reported the lowest rates of home price growth due to large numbers of Covid-19 cases reported earlier this year.

In related news, the Commerce Department reported 999,000 sales of new homes on an annual basis in October. The year-over-year gain was 41.50 percent higher than one year ago.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported no change in average rates for fixed-rate mortgages, which averaged 2.72 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 2.28 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. and an increase of 0.31 basis points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages, which averaged 3.16 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Initial jobless claims rose last week with 778,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 720,000 claims based on the prior week’s reading of 748,000 initial jobless claims filed. Ongoing claims fell to 6.07 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 6.37 million continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan reported a lower reading for consumer sentiment in November with an index reading of 76.9. Analysts expected a reading of 76.8 and the prior month’s reading was 77.0. Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases will likely cause further declines in consumer sentiment.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on pending home sales, construction spending, and labor-sector reports on public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate.

Face The Numbers, A Mortgage That Works For You

Face The Numbers, A Mortgage That Works For YouBefore taking out a mortgage to buy a home, it’s time to take a realistic survey of your finances so that you can determine your price range and what size of home you can comfortably afford.

Buying a home that suits your finances will mean that your mortgage payments will be easily within your budget and won’t cause you financial stress.

Stay In Your Price Range

Many people, when offered a large mortgage by the bank, are tempted to buy homes that are outside of their price range.

It’s easy to see why a larger property or a more luxurious home might be appealing, but by stretching too far beyond your means you are courting with disaster.

If your monthly mortgage rate just barely fits within your budget, without room for savings, retirement contributions, or to build up an emergency fund – it will only be a matter of time before things start to get tight.

What happens if you lose your job, or if your income decreases? If you are unable to meet your mortgage payments, it is easy to slip very quickly into debt or even bankruptcy. This is why it is so crucial to buy a home that fits your budget.

Here Are Some Questions To Ask Yourself For Figuring Out How Much Mortgage You Can Comfortably Afford:

  • Make a detailed budget that chronicles your monthly incomings and outgoings. How much money do you really have each month to work with?
  • What type of safety net do you have if something goes wrong, in terms of savings and family support?
  • How large of a down payment are you able to save up? At least 20% of the property cost is recommended, but more is always better.
  • How much outstanding debt do you have from your other lenders, such as your credit card debts, your bank loans, student loans, etc?
  • How stable is your income? Do you have a steady paycheck or are you self-employed with variable income?
  • Are you willing to change your lifestyle and lead a more frugal life to get the house you want? Is there anywhere you can cut expenses and spend more on your mortgage payment?
  • What will be the total of all of the costs associated with purchasing the home, including closing costs, inspections and other fees?
  • What are the costs associated with moving? Don’t forget to include the moving van, new appliances, hotel expenses, gas and meals out during the transition period.

Once you have asked yourself these questions and taken a close look at your budget, you will be able to determine realistically what you can afford when buying a home – so that you can find that dream home that meets your budget. For more helpful advice, contact your trusted mortgage professional.