Sunday, September 29, 2013

Highlights This Week!

Home prices continue to gain as the FHFA House Price Index for July rose a more than expected 1.0 percent after increasing 0.6 percent in June. Analysts expected only a .7 percent increase. If you wanted to chart the progression of the Home Price Index you would see that for 18 straight months the index has been rising.  The largest gain in the index was seen in the West with a rise of 2.2%.  The fact that the numbers remain positive is great news, however if you have been tracking the index in these reports you will see that the pace of value increases has slowed considerably from just a few months ago.  Home prices are 8.8 higher than the same time last year.
Mortgage rates in the last week fell sharply after the Fed announced that they are not yet ready to begin the tapering of economic stimulus.  Pretty much everyone on Wall Street, the real estate industry and mortgage profession expected the Fed to begin slowing their stimulus plan and the announcement by the Fed not to taper was a surprise to all.

On the news from the Fed mortgage rates have been falling sharply in the last week.  As is always the case, when rates drop mortgage and housing activity jumps.  The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that applications for purchase loans jumped 7% in the prior week while refinances increased 5%.

The craziness that has existed in regard to the run up in home prices has slowed somewhat.  Now that prices seems to be stabilizing, it appears that this is giving a boost to the sales of new homes.  In August sales jumped 7.9% which was on target with most analyst?s expectations.
Additionally, new homes have been coming into the market and that likely contributed to another dip in the median home price which declined 0.7 percent.  This is the 4th monthly decline in a row which definitely shows a reversing trend in prices.  It is not likely that we will see a sustained drop in prices but more of a leveling out after the recent frenzy of purchasing.

The final numbers for housing in this report is that the number of new home for sale rose by 6000 to 175,000 units.  Supply in relation to the pace of sales actually slipped to 5.0 month from 5.2 months.  In June the supply was only 4.3 months and at the same time last year, supply was 4.6 months.  Housing overall has improved from a year ago however demand is clearly not as strong as it was just a few months ago.  Seasonal factors are considered to be playing a role in the declining numbers.

Finally consumer spirits have been sagging in the most recent consumer confidence report.  Could the fact that mid-term elections are just a month away and our elected officials have been filling the airwaves and our televisions with never ending negativity (Just a thought)

Next weeks market moving reports:

  • Tuesday October 1st  ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending
  • Wednesday October 2nd  MBA Purchase Applications and ADP Employment Report
  • Thursday October 3rd - First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday October 4th  National Unemployment
As your mortgage professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate information.  I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at (707) 455-7070.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Staff Profile: Chris Norris

CA BRE LIC # 01130448/01215943
NMLS # 220663/1850
As Part the Solano Lender team, I’m a California Licensed Broker who obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a focus in Real Estate and Land Use Affairs in 1991. My work experience in this industry dates back to 1968 when my family entered the exciting world of real estate. I have had the pleasure of helping people achieve their dreams and goals as a lender since 1993.

Whether It’s taking my past management experience to tackle obstacles that get in the way of the loan process or just the ability to explain a document in a way that a child could understand, my life’s work is to help my relationships achieve their vision for themselves.

Thank you for letting me help.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Should You Talk To A Mortgage Professional Before House Hunting?

Absolutely! Even if you haven't so much as picked out houses to visit yet, it's important to see your mortgage professional first. Why? What can we do for you if you haven't negotiated a price, and don't know how much you want to borrow?

When we pre-qualify you, we help you determine how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can afford, and how much we can loan you. We do this by considering your income and debts, your employment and residence situations, your available funds for down payment and required reserves, and some other things. It's short and to the point, and we keep the paperwork to a minimum!

Once you qualify, we give you what's called a Pre-Qualification Letter (your real estate agent might call it a "pre-qual"), which says that we are working with you to find the best loan to meet your needs and that we're confident you'll qualify for a loan for a certain amount.

When you find a house that catches your eye, and you decide to make an offer, being pre-qualified for a mortgage will do a couple of things. First, it lets you know how much you can offer. Your real estate agent will help you decide on an appropriate offer, but being pre-qualified gives you the confidence to know you can follow through.

More importantly, to a home seller, your being pre-qualified is like you walked into their house with a suitcase full of cash to make the deal! They won't have to wonder if they're wasting their time because you'll never qualify for a mortgage to finance the amount you're offering for the home. You have the clout of a buyer ready to make the deal right now!

You can always use the calculators available on our site to get an idea of how much mortgage you can afford -- but it's important to meet with us. For one thing, you'll need a Pre-Qualification Letter! For another thing, we may be able to find a different mortgage program that fits your needs better.

Friday, September 20, 2013

An Overview Of The Loan Process

Make no mistake, there's a lot involved in getting a mortgage loan. You wouldn't be here on our website if you could fill out a one-page application and get the best loan for you funded the same day. What we do is most of the heavy lifting for you, so you can concentrate on what's important -- preparing to move into your new home, saving money, or making plans for your home equity line of credit.

There are four main steps involved in getting a loan. You'll see that we've made your part in them as easy as possible, and we do all the work! That's what we're here for.

Step One: Determine how much you can borrow:

This is a function of a couple of things. How much of a monthly payment can you afford? And, given your unique credit and employment history, income and debt, and goals, how much will a lender loan you? The first part you can get a rough idea of by using the calculators on our website. We'll also help you through different scenarios by asking a few simple questions. Based on standard lender guidelines, we'll get you a good idea of what kind of terms and loan program you can expect to benefit most from.

Step Two: Pre-qualify for your loan:

This is where the rubber meets the road and you save the most money. You supply information about your employment, your assets, your residence history, and so on. We get your permission to run your credit score. When we review all this information we give you a Pre-Qualification Letter. Handle it with care -- to a home seller, it's like a suitcase full of cash! Your realty agent will use your Pre-Qual (as they may call it) to make the best offer on the home you choose, and the seller knows you're pre-qualified. It gives you buying clout! And while you're picking out the home that's right for you, we're busy finding the loan that's right for you.

Step Three: Now the fun begins!

Once you've made an offer and it's been accepted, it's time to complete the loan process. In today's regulatory environment, we will need your help, along with our professional staff, in order to achieve our goal of making this necessary step as painless as possible.  When the time is right, we will also order an appraisal of your new home.

Step Four: Your loan is funded:

Your realty agent and the sellers will work together to designate an escrow/title company to handle the closing of your loan once it's approved. We'll coordinate with the escrow company to make sure all the papers your lender will need are in order, and you'll sign everything at the escrow/title company's office. 
You've answered a few questions, given us some detailed information, applied online, and next thing you know, you're moving in!
We're in the business of mortgage loans -- so we do most of the work.
Doesn't that make sense?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Free, no cost, no obligation Mortgage Consultation

Do you want to find out if you qualify to buy a home? Have you had past credit issues and wonder if you are now ready to buy a home? Free, no cost, no obligation consultation.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Warrior Weekend September 14th 2013

Without any major economic reports this week to sway the market, the market held on to a steady gradual rise almost reaching a new all-time high.  Investor confidence came primarily from relief that the United States is not rushing to military action in Syria.  By all reports at the present time the United States, along with many of their allies, are focused on achieving a negotiated peaceful solution to the questions that linger regarding chemical weapons.

Mortgage rates rose last week placing a damper on loan applications as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Associations.  Purchase applications declined by 3.0% where refinance apps plummeted 20%.  Interest rates declined slightly this week due to strong demand for 10 YR Notes at Wednesday?s government auction.  The decline in rates is not expected to be enough to generate any type of significant increase in mortgage activity for next week?s report, especially for refinances.

Thanks to a sharp increase in home values in the 2nd quarter of this year, 2.5 million more mortgage borrowers are no longer under water on their loan balances.  It is reported that as of June 30th 7.1 million borrowers remained underwater which represents 14.5% of mortgage properties.  This is a significant drop from the 1st quarter numbers of 9.6 million.  When we look back at the worst period for real estate during the recession it was estimated that 26% of borrowers were upside down on their equity position in their homes.

First time jobless claims declined to the lowest point since the recession all the way down to 292,000.  There is a special factor which is raising a question about the accuracy of the report.  In two states they are in the process of computer upgrades which is leading some analysts to believe that the Department of Labor may have undercounted claims. 

In the absence of any other significant economic news, I decided this week would be a good time to recap some of the major news headlines that many people were following.

Ø  Apple announces launch of Iphone 5S and less expensive Iphone 5C.  Apple stock declined 5% on the news as more and more analysts feel that Apple is lacking significant innovation in their products
Ø  A six story billboard is placed in Times Square stating opposition to the launch of Obamacare.
Ø  The U.S. Postal Service is so broke that they are going to begin renting mail vans instead of purchasing new delivery trucks as the existing fleet ages.

After a very light week of data this week is shaping up to have a number of market moving reports:

·        Monday September 16th  Industrial Production
·        Tuesday September 17th  Consumer Price Index
·        Wednesday September 11th - MBA Applications, Housing Starts, FOMC Meeting Announcement
  • Thursday September 12th - First Time Jobless Claims and Existing Home Sales

As your mortgage professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate information.  I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at (707) 455-7070.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Warrior Weekender September 8th 2013

Mortgage rates are rising again.  Although we are not experiencing large increases in a single day, there is certainly a rising trend.  There have not been any major headlines that mainstream news has reported that would explain the increase, however there is some less popular economic data that reinforces the notion that the economy is continuing to improve.  An improving economy leads to an improving stock market which means investors will bail out of bonds into stock therefore driving up bond yields which goes hand in hand with mortgage rates.

The first positive report was the sale of motor vehicles.  The latest data shows a very solid 1.9 percent jump in August sales to an annual rate of 16.1 million units which is the best showing of the recovery going back to November 2007.

The ISM Manufacturing Index reported very strong growth for a second month as well.  The August report came in higher than expected and this follows a very strong July report.  Two consistent months of strong manufacturing growth is a great sign for economic recovery.  The ISM Index is at the highest point in the last 2.5 years.

Thursday?s ADP report showed a slowing rise for private payroll growth however the number is far from weak.  ADP reported a 176,000 private payroll increase for the month of August.  July's report was revised down to 198,000 however the numbers, although not earth shattering, continue to indicate an improving labor market.  Friday at 8:30AM the closely watched National Employment figures will be released.  Analysts are expecting the unemployment rate to remain the same at 7.4%.

First time jobless claims are continue to move lower which is yet another indicator that the labor market is improving.  First time claims for the prior week fell 9000 down to 323,000.  This level is near the lowest level since the start of the recovery.  The 4-week average is at a recovery low, down 3,000 to 328,500 from a revised 331,500 in the prior week.

The threat of the U.S, and other allies getting involved in the civil war in Syria continues to have investors on edge which explains some of the larger than normal market swings over the past week.  Overall the stock market has been weak however it doesn?t seem to be so weak that investors are bailing out of stocks and jumping into the bond market.  Since bond yields have been rising investors are having a tough time deciding where to place their money right now.

In other non-market shattering news, Apple announced they will have a new product launch next week.  It is expected that the Iphone 5S will be released but there is little information on what enhancement the product has over the current model.  It is amazing how well Apple can keep things a secret.

Next week is light on economic data however the few reports coming out are:

  • Wednesday September 11th - MBA Applications
  • Thursday September 12th - First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday September 13th ? Retail Sales and Producer Price Index

As your mortgage professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate information.  I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at (707) 455-7070.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

An Introduction To Reverse Mortgages

In the life cycle of an individual it is a natural occurrence to modify priorities depending to their age. Regarding financial needs, for example, children have simple financial worries. Adolescents, on the other hand, have bigger however achievable necessities. Young employees have challenging and usually unnecessary money concerns. Yuppies, as they are referred to in urban slang, have a increased disposition purchasing due to the first excitement of real-world adulthood.

Middle aged individuals have even more challenging still defined economic necessities. The senior bracket or folks approaching retirement have defined monetary needs. Considering that lots of people in their retirement age have a specific idea of their desires, they are the individuals which are usually targeted by bank and financial institutions to get loans or reverse mortgages.

Everyone at the point of pension age would possibly be more interested concerning funds and price savings above everything else. And that is perfectly understandable because exiting the labor force completely would imply ceasing to obtain a paycheck on a regular schedule. Many people, when evaluating and calculating their bank assets and savings would feel that their money may not be sufficient to last them through their retirement period. That is precisely why mortgages and loans benefit from this demographic.

A type of mortgage that is designed exclusively for the senior bracket is a reverse mortgage. It is only available for people 62 years and older. The reverse mortgage is a loan which is placed on the home equity. It is identified as 'reverse' because it is not like normal mortgages when the property owner receives a lump sum and repays the loan provider for the debt. In this kind of mortgage, the financial institution releases money to the property owner for the life of the mortgage and the loan amount boost is directly proportional to the amount released.

The contract gets outdated when the property owner dies, sells the house or moves out. In this case, it may be safe to say that, in effect, the mortgage expires when the property is sold. Should the homeowner die or choose to move out, the allotment from the lender stops when the aim to sell the house is expressed, otherwise, the release of funds to the client will be continuous. In case of death, the beneficiaries will inherit the mortgage and the property, and they can choose to continue the allotment or negotiate the debt, that is if they plan to move out.

Once the property is purchased, part of the proceeds will be used to repay the home equity mortgage. If there is an excess, the homeowner can keep it, if the proceeds are not sufficient to negotiate the amount, the bank or the insurance provider of the bank with the loan will absorb the mortgage.
Before getting a reverse mortgage, one must analyze carefully and consider its advantages and possible complications. This mortgage binds the home to the lender with no chance of getting back the property because as mentioned previously, selling the house is the only factor that would define the conclusion of the mortgage.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Why do Americans and Canadians celebrate Labor Day? - Kenneth C. Davis

In the United States and Canada, the first Monday of September is a federal holiday, Labor Day. Originally celebrated in New York City's Union Square in 1882, Labor Day was organized by unions as a rare day of rest for the overworked during the Industrial Revolution. Kenneth C. Davis illustrates the history of Labor Day from Union Square to today.