Monday, June 30, 2014

Meet Kristine Hathaway

I love people! One of the greatest pleasures in my life is to help people achieve their dream of home ownership and financial stability. As a mother of three and grandmother of 9 I understand the importance of preparing to purchase that first home as well as preparing for retirement years utilizing a reverse mortgage. With patience and understanding I explain the complex process of obtaining a mortgage to both the young and the mature.
My mission is to provide the highest level of help in every step of the loan process. I am driven by service and committed to the principle of the Golden Rule:
  •  You will be treated as though you are family
  • You will learn the loan process and your options
  • Your transaction will be handled with the highest integrity

My focus is to guide you through the process so effectively you feel compelled to help others by introducing them to me. 
Services I offer are:
  • Purchase mortgages – Conventional, FHA and VA
  • First time home buyer programs
  • Reverse Mortgages
  • HARP 2 Refinances
  • FHA and conventional Refinances
  • Budgeting counseling – Debt snowball
  • Credit Counseling
I look forward to being of help to you.
Let’s talk soon!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lots Of Good News!

Lots of housing reports this week, and lots of good news!!!

It seems like housing may finally be contributing to economic growth. The sales of existing homes jumped 4.9 percent for the month of May.  This comes after April's 1.5 increase.  I am not ready to say it is a trend quite yet, however this is the first back to back monthly gain since April and May of last year.

The part of this report that should have mortgage lenders and real estate professionals excited is that almost all of the growth occurred in the single-family component.  Single-family sales jumped 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 4.30 million.

Typically tight supply will hold back sales however this did not seem to occur for May.  The current supply is at 5.6 months which is down from 5.7 months.  Although the rate in which home prices have been rising has slowed somewhat in recent months, prices are currently 5.1 percent higher than the same time last.

To follow in the growth of existing home sales, new home sales surged 18.6 percent.  The increases were in every section of the country however the largest gains took place in the South, which was up 14.2 percent, and the West, which leaped 34.0 percent.  The best part is that the increases did not place significant upward pressure on prices which only rose 4.6 percent.  The thing to watch is the prices in the future as new home inventory is very low on a national basis at the present time.

What may be good for home purchasers is not necessarily good for home sellers.  Both the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the FHFA House Price Index showed significant slowing in home price growth for the month of April.

Case-Shiller indicated that home prices only increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent.  This follows a small gain of 1.2 percent for March.  Home prices compared to the same time last year remain higher by 10.8 percent.  The FHFA HPI shows a similar story with home prices.  According to this index prices remained flat for the month of April.  The FHFA report indicates that home prices are 5.9 percent higher than the same time last year.  The FHFA report only measures prices for single family residences using data reported by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

An exciting piece of news about the future of housing can be found on byclicking here.

Next week?s market moving reports are: (Next week?s Weekender will be published on Thursday)

  • Monday June 30th ? Pending Home Sales
  • Tuesday July 1st ? ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending
  • Wednesday July 2nd - MBA Applications, ADP Employment Report & Factory Orders
  • Thursday July 3rd - First Time Jobless Claims * National Employment
  • Friday June 4th ? Independence Day Holiday (All Markets Closed)

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meet Michael O'Rourke, Owner

Michael O'Rourke
As the owner of Big Valley Mortgage, I would like to thank all our employees, who over the years, have become like family. I would further like to thank all our loyal clients who have looked to us when they have needed Real Estate professionals. It is with everyone's help that we are privileged to serve the very community we live in.

Feel free to contact me at 707-455-7070 ext. 304

CA DRE LIC # 01259806/01215943
NMLS # 214645/1850

479 Mason St. Suite 109

Vacaville, CA 95688-4505

Phone: 707-455-7070 ext 304

Fax: 707-455-8337

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Week Loaded With Economic News....

In a week loaded with economic news and data, the only thing investors seemed to care much about is the words delivered from Janet Yellen, the Fed Chairman.  On Wednesday the Fed completed their monthly FOMC meeting and announced that they did not expect interest rates to rise until 2015.  The likelihood that rates will remain low for the remainder of the year fueled investor excitement and drove the DOW up almost 100 points.  The Nasdaq finished at its highest level in 14 years.

The Fed reported that they will be continuing to taper their bond buying program by 10 billion dollars down to 35 billion per month starting in July.  The committee will reduce its holdings of mortgage-backed securities down to a pace of $15 billion per month versus $20 billion.  All of the Fed reductions were expected which is why the stock market did not react negatively to the news.

On Tuesday the report on housing starts was released.  Unfortunately the data indicated a possible slowdown in this area.  Housing starts declined 6.5 percent after they had jumped 12.7 percent in April.  Additionally the single family starts represented 5.9 percent of the drop.  The good news in the report however is that overall housing starts still remain 9.4 percent higher than the same time last year. 

Building permits followed a similar pattern and declined 6.4 percent. Housing starts and permits have been jumping back and forth from positive to negative for quite some time so it is premature to allow any single monthly report to indicate a housing trend.

The housing market index, which reports on new home sales, has been showing signs of life coming out of the very challenging winter.  Indications are that this sector of the housing market may be showing even greater growth momentum heading into the summer months.  The index has been climbing in recent months and is currently at a level of 49 which is the highest level since January.

As expected, with rising mortgage rates in the prior week, mortgage applications for both purchases and refinances declined.  The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that for the week of June 13th, applications for purchase loans declined 5.0 percent.  Refinance apps which are far more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations declined 13.0 percent.

Finally, the outlook for the June employment report got a boost from the initial jobless claims report for the week of June 14th.  First time jobless claims have been hovering just above the 300k range in recent weeks.  This week claims declined by 6,000 down to 312k.  Additionally, improvement in continuing claims has been very convincing in showing signs of the labor market continued recovery. 

Next week?s market moving reports are:

        Monday June 23rd ? Existing Home Sales
        Tuesday June 24th ? S&P Case-Shiller HPI, FHFA HPI, New Home Sales, Consumer Confidence
       Wednesday June 25th - MBA Applications, GDP and Durable Goods Orders
       Thursday June 26th - First Time Jobless Claims
       Friday June 27th ? Consumer Sentiment

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

6 Rules When Buying An Investment Property

Investing in properties is a good way to make money and build up your net worth. It is a very safe option of getting rich over the long term, as real estate values generally increase over time. However, returns are not very fast and you have to wait for considerable time before you make substantial money from real estate. To make the most of your investment into real estate, follow the six simple rules below.
1. Use Your Expertise and Knowledge
When purchasing investment property, look into your areas expertise and knowledge. Do you know about vacation homes, single-family homes, multi-family buildings, or commercial properties? You should know how and when to sell the property to earn the highest returns. If you are unaware of all rules and regulations relating to that property type, you may not be able to sell the property at a high profit.
2. Study Your Options
It is not essential to sell an investment property immediately after purchase. You can hold on to your investment until real estate values increase and then sell the property. Sometimes, it is best to bide your time and wait for real estate booms to sell and earn good profits on your investment. Another opportunity is to make suitable renovations and sell the property at an escalated price to earn very good returns. Property values increase over time and net worth of your investment increases. You can invest in real estate to receive a regular income from rent while you are waiting for property values to rise.
3. Consider the Benefits of the Location
Purchase your investment property in an area experiencing higher growth than other local areas. Inspect properties in different areas and choose those that satisfy necessary requirements. If you plan to invest in the property for several years, look into how the area will develop in the next few years and whether you can receive desired returns. You should have sufficient foresight and knowledge of the area.
Visit local councils and research what developments are happening in the vicinity in the near future. Drive around and scout for development and other area investments. Check the property is located near essential amenities like schools, hospitals, banks, transport, and supermarkets.
4. Reflect on Rental Demand
Your investment property yields good returns if there is sufficient rental demand for the property. Renters should be interested in renting the property. Normally, rental demand is high in densely populated areas like cities. Countryside locations do not have high demand and rental income could be substantially less.
5. Buy Property for Less than the Current Value
If you want to make money from real estate investing, choose properties that are being sold for less than the current market value. These properties may not be in the best shape and condition, so plan to incur repair and renovation costs. Before buying, hire a renovation consultant or home inspector to evaluate the cost of all repairs and renovations. Decide on the purchase price after deducting all additional costs. Ensure you can make a good profit when you sell the property after the renovation is complete.
6. Gather Financial Support
Investment property purchase requires strong financing. You may not be able to pool the entire cost, so consider the options for property loans. Assess all your mortgage options, so that you do not have excessive burden of repayments. If you are renting the property, apply the rent directly to the mortgage. Select a mortgage that can be repaid from the sale of property without additional fees or penalties for early repayment, especially if you plan to resell the property quickly.
Real estate investing for profit is a good option to earn money if you are an educated real estate investor. Investing in real estate is wise and can give even conservative investors high returns in the long-term. Renting the property while waiting for the best time to sell will increase your current income and cover the mortgage repayment costs.

Article Source:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Rather Light Economic Calendar

Today brings to an end the second week of a rather light economic calendar.  For whatever reason the scheduling of economic data being released for the past two weeks has been rather sparse.  The stock market up until Wednesday had been continuing its slow and steady climb toward the 17,000 mark.  Combined between Wednesday and Thursday the market pulled back by just over 211points.  The main reason was more about investors cashing out profits than any real economic data driving the behavior.

The good news for housing this past week is that demand for both purchase and refinance applications, which had been quite soft in the prior weeks, surged up 9.0 percent and 11.0 percent respectively.  The average rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage has been rising so the increase in activity was not directly related to mortgage rates.  Some experts seem to feel that borrowers are beginning to become a little concerned that interest rates may not remain this low for much longer.  There has been no indication from market data that rates may rise.

Last Friday the unemployment report came in as expected with the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 6.3%.  The positive news in the report is that according to the labor department there were 217,000 jobs added in the month of May.  This number was right in line with most analyst?s expectations.

First time jobless claims for the prior week rose slightly up to 312,000.  This is only a slight increase from the previous report of 304,000.  Continuing claims edged lower down by 20,000.  It was reported this week that all but 7 states in the U.S. have recovered all of the jobs lost since the start of the great recession.  Areas where real estate was a primary driver of the economy, such as Arizona and Nevada, have yet to recover completely as their real estate markets have not come close to pre-recession levels.

May retail sales were disappointing however upward revisions to April numbers were partly offsetting. Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in May, following a 0.5 percent jump the month before (originally up 0.1 percent). Market expectations were for a 0.6 percent gain in May.  Motor vehicles sales remain strong and jumped 1.4 percent in May after rising 0.9 percent in April.

In a side note, a very rare situation occurred in the business world.  Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors made an unprecedented announcement on Thursday.  Tesla Motors is allowing any car manufacturer to use Tesla?s patents to improve their own attempts at improving electric car batteries.  Up until now, no car company has been able to come close to duplicating the power and distance that Tesla batteries provide.  Musk stated that major car manufacturers have not been putting enough money into the technology.  Allowing the other car companies to utilize Tesla battery technology will enable the country and world to move much faster towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.

Next week?s market moving reports are:

        Monday June 16th - Industrial Production and the Housing Market Index
        Tuesday June 17th - Consumer Price Index and Housing Starts
       Wednesday June 18th - MBA Applications and FOMC Meeting Announcement
       Thursday June 19th - First Time Jobless Claims and Philadelphia Fed Survey

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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Changing Your Score

It's virtually impossible to change your score in the time between when most people decide to buy a home or refinance their mortgage and when they apply. So the short answer is, you really can't "on the spot." But there are strategies you can live with to make sure when you apply for a loan your score is as high as possible.

Make sure that the information each of the three credit reporting bureaus has on you is consistent and up to date. Order a copy of your credit report about once a year, and dispute any inaccuracies.

Note: Theoretically, if a series of credit reports is requested on your behalf during a limited amount of time, your score goes down until time passes without any inquiries. Changes in the law though have made "consumer-originating" credit report requests not count so much. Also, a series of requests in relation to getting a mortgage or car loan is not treated the same as a number of credit card requests in a limited time. This is because the credit bureaus, and lenders, realize that people request their own credit reports to keep up with what's on them, and smart consumers shop around for the best mortgage and car loans.

Unsolicited credit card solicitations in the mail don't count against your credit report, so don't worry.

The two main components of your credit score are your payment history and the amounts you owe. Bankruptcy filings and foreclosures, which can stay on your credit report for as long as 10 years, can significantly lower your score. It's never a good idea to take on more credit than you can handle.

Late payments work against you. It's extremely important to pay bills on time, even if it's only the monthly payment.

Don't "max out" your credit lines. Since the size of the balance on your open accounts is a factor, lower balances are better.

It's said that by carefully managing your credit, it's possible to add as much as 50 points per year to your score.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Little Of This And That This Week

In the absence of any significant or surprising economic news this week, the stock market has kept on its path of hitting new records.  Through Thursday of this week the indices all hit new all-time highs.

The most significant reports of the week are related to employment.  On Wednesday the ADP employment report delivered a lower than expected estimated employment increase of 179,000 jobs.  The Econoday consensus estimate was at 210,000.  The national unemployment data is scheduled to be released on Friday at 8:30AM from the labor department.  The last few months of labor department reports have been adjusted upward significantly indicating that the labor market is improving more than most people realize. (The labor department report is being released after the writing of this newsletter)

In the housing market, the overheated market in some parts of the country appears to be cooling.  In 2013 cities such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, Phoenix, and California?s Silicon Valley had seen property appreciation of 20% or more per year.  According to Trulia Inc., these markets are starting to see a cooling trend and that the expectation of home values rising at the same pace is going away.  These markets are still considered very healthy and there continues to be a lack of inventory available for sale which is keeping prices rising.  However, buyer demand seems to be slowing slightly which of course will impact the pace in which home prices increase.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that despite mortgage rates remaining very low, applications for purchase and refinances both declined in the prior week.  Mortgage rates have been inching back up however they still remain historically low.  Purchase applications declined by 4.0 percent whereas refinances dropped 3.0 percent.

Construction spending increased by 0.2 percent for the month of April.  The advancement is a positive sign for construction however the increase was below most analyst?s expectations. 

The economy continues to show signs of strength according to other data that has been released.  These reports are not as mainstream as some of the big headline reports, however they do provide clear indications on the movement of the economy.

Factory orders for the month of April jumped 0.7 percent.  This shows continued sign of improvement and growth in the manufacturing sector.  The previous months was also revised upward from 1.0 percent up to 1.5%.  The ISM Manufacturing Index also showed more than expected growth reinforcing the fact that production and manufacturing in the U.S. are gaining strength.

Next week?s market moving reports are:

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

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