Friday, October 31, 2014

Staff Profiles: Chris Norris

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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Lot To Celebrate

After last weeks downward super slide of the stock market, it seems that investors have a lot to celebrate this week.  Last week the market concerned itself with Ebola fears as well as European and China economic slowdowns.  However this week corporate profit reports have seemed to have investors forgetting all about those issues.

Caterpillar, which is considered a great barometer of economic health of the country, announced an 18.5% increase in profit which was far above investor expectations.  Additionally they revised their projections upward for the remainder of the year.  Microsoft sales surged 25%, and 3M profits jumped 11%.  These better than expected announcements have investors excited about the future. 

The price of oil has dropped to around 80 dollars a barrel.  Some experts are predicting that prices will drop as low as 70 dollars per barrel.  Gas prices are declining at the pump which means consumers will have more disposable income.  More disposable income means the potential for more spending, especially as we head into the holiday season.

After a few months of mostly negative housing reports, this week we received a hint of possible improvement.  The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales rose a solid 2.4 percent in September to a higher-than-expected annual rate of 5.17 million. Condo sales were the strongest for the month rising 5.2.  Single-family homes also increased a strong 2.0 percent.
Supply of available inventory in September declined to 5.3 months from August.  The median price for homes remains in positive territory from the same time last year being up 5.6 percent.

More positive news on home values came from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Home prices rose nicely with a ½ percent increase in August.  Additionally, prices also increased in July by a revised 0.2 percent.  Compared to the same time last year, prices are up 4.8 percent from 4.6 percent in July.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that with the recent decline in mortgage rates, applications for refinancing soared 23 percent.  Applications for purchase loans declined by 5.0 percent.  There is not any real concern about the decline on the purchase side as this sector of the market does not respond as quickly to mortgage rate movements as refinances.

Finally, if you were worried about the government raising interest rates, it appears that it will not happen anytime soon.  Inflation continues to remain very low and with the job market still recovering ever so slowly, the FOMC has no reason to change rate policy next week.

Next weeks potential market moving economic reports are:

·        Tuesday October 28th - Durable Goods Orders
·        Wednesday October 29th - MBA Mortgage Applications and FOMC Announcement
·        Thursday October 30th - First Time Jobless Claims and GDP
·        Friday October 31st - Pending Home Sales

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.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Staff Profiles: Jim Silva

I have been in the mortgage business for over 20 years helping clients achieve their financial goals. My goal is to guide you through the mortgage process and help you decide the best product for your needs.

I have been a resident of Solano County all my life and watched our community grow.

After running my own branch of APMC for over five years I joined Big Valley Mortgage because of their integrity and dedicated staff.

CA BRE # 00924799

NMLS # 215349

479 Mason St. Suite 109
Vacaville, CA 95688-4505

Phone: 707-455-7070 ext. 311
Fax: 707-455-8337


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Sky Is Falling....

"The sky is falling, the sky is falling, oops no it's not, oh wait, yes it is, no wait?."

If you watched or listened to any news this week regarding the stock market, that is exactly what it sounded or looked like judging by trading behavior.  One minute the stock market is down over 400 points, only to come back 300 points. Then go up again.

The craziness in the market is being driven by a number of factors, however none of them have to do with economic challenges in the U.S.  As of late, the U.S. has the most stable economy of all major countries.  The biggest problems are coming from Europe and China in which their data continues to indicate greater signs of weakness.  Because of how commerce is all connected globally, there is always a risk that a recession in either of these countries will have an impact on us here in the United States.  Right now however? the main driver of trading volatility is fear and not hard facts.

The biggest scare to the U.S. economy is the concerns about Ebola.  Because there are growing fears about a greater spread of cases in the United States, that is creating the fear of a potential health and economic crisis which could be a double whammy to the U.S. economy.

For example, if fears continue to grow, the first area that will be hit is the airline and travel industries.  People won?t want to get on planes or stay in hotels.  Tourism would be next.  That would just be the starting point and it would only grow from there.  I am not in any way suggesting that this is what will happen.  All I am saying is that this is part of the craziness driving the decisions being made by investors.

On a very positive note, mortgage rates have been dropping like a rock.  Freddie Mac reported that rates for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage have crossed below the 4% threshold.  This could very well stimulate refinancing and home purchases as long as the fears I mentioned previously do not become mainstream.  Consumers seeing that low rates can create great home buying and financing opportunities, this could be a potential boost for the housing market.

Evidence of the refinance boost from the recent rate decline is already evident in the Mortgage Bankers Association application numbers for last week.  Refinances jumped 11.0 percent.  Purchases have yet to respond to the rate drop however it is likely to be seen in the coming weeks as long as mortgage rates remain where they are.

The final positive report for the week was the first time jobless claims.  The decline of a surprising 23,000 did not appear to be related to any extraordinary factors.
Next week?s potential market moving economic reports are:

      Wednesday October 22nd - MBA Mortgage Applications and Consumer Price Index
        Thursday October 23rd - First Time Jobless Claims and FHFA Home Price Index
        Friday October 24th - New Home Sales

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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Meet The Staff: Penny Kristine Hathaway,Mortgage Banker

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 introducingthem 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!

CA BRE LIC # 01257425/01215943

NMLS # 231913/1850
479 Mason St. Suite 109
Vacaville, CA 95688-4505

Phone: 707-455-7070  ext. 320
Fax: 707-455-1439

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wildest Day in Years for Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates went on a truly epic ride today.  From the opening bell to the closing bell, the mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) that underlie mortgage rates covered more ground than any other day since at least mid 2011.  Direct comparison is an imperfect science in this case because MBS are stratified in different coupons.  The stuff that's in fashion at the moment is different than the stuff that was in fashion during past examples of extreme volatility.  That's neither here nor there though.  The important part is that today was unique and very few days have ever or will ever come close in terms of the big swing back and forth.
The results are positive overall, but with decided frustrations.  The easiest way to sum this up would be to say that bond markets lost more ground today than any other day in more than a year.  Fortunately, they'd gained just a bit more before the losses began.  In other words, rates ended the day slightly lower, but only after beingridiculously lower earlier today.  After just tiptoeing into the high 3's yesterday, some lenders briefly made it to the 3.625-3.75% range before pulling back up decisively to 3.875%.  This remains the most prevalently quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for top tier scenarios.  That's certainly a victory compared to any other day this year, but potentially disappointing if you happen to compare it to the first half of the day itself.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Staff Profiles: Anita Jasinski, Mortgage Broker

My 12 years of experience in banking and the mortgage field has giving me the opportunity to work with a diverse client base. What I have gained from this experience is the ability to truly understand my client’s needs. My business is stemmed from 100% customer referral base. I realize that each transaction is very important and one of the biggest decisions in your life, I will go above and beyond to make sure your mortgage service has exceeded your expectations.

Today, purchasing or refinancing a home is the largest financial transaction that any of us will enter into, so it’s essential to select a trusted, qualified and experienced Mortgage Banker. I am here to ensure that you make the right choice for you and your family, and I am committed to providing my clients with world class service.

I would love to earn your business and discuss your individual needs.

Please reach me at:
Cell 707-580-3474
Office 707-455-0000
Fax 707-448-1602

Looking forward to have you be part of my family of customers for life!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mortgage Rates Back to 1-Month Lows

Mortgage rates started the week off well, falling back in line with the lowest levels in a month.  Rates are close to those seen on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday last week.  Some lenders are slightly worst.  Others are slightly better, but the average lender is right in line.  That keeps 4.125% intact as the most prevalently quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrower.  Any changes from Friday would be seen in the form of lower closing costs.
On any given day, there are usually a few events or headlines causing movement in the financial markets that underlie mortgage rates.  That was not really the case today.  While those markets continued to move, it was of their own volition as opposed to in response to data.  The only exception would be that rates markets do seem to be paying attention to the bigger "down days" in the stock market.
If you're trying to decide between locking and floating a rate, keep in mind that current levels have acted as a line in the sand.  Below that line, improvements in rate have been smaller and more gradual.  Of course there's no guaranty that history will continue to repeat itself, but until something changes, there are diminishing returnsfor taking risks at current levels.

Friday, October 3, 2014

When Bonds Do Well

When bonds do well, it is usually a sign of market and economic instability.  This week the bond rally has been driven by concerns about the global economy.  The economic concerns in Europe and Asia are beginning to take their toll on the U.S. stock market and the mindset of investors.

There is the index called the "Vix" which is used to measure investor fear about the current economic climate.  The higher the Vix, the great the fear.  This week the index has been in similar territory as when the great recession was beginning to take hold.  The Vix is a very volatile index and it can change dramatically in the span of a week.  The reason it has been rising is because there are more and more reports coming out about the potential for another economic slowdown.  However this one is NOT being driven by the United States.  However we cannot remain insulated from it.

In the U.S. there are also signs of growth slowing as factory orders, manufacturing, and construction spending were all reported unexpectedly down.  The numbers are not terrible however they are concerning in that all of the reports showed declines.

The previously mentioned reports all coming in negative seems to coincide with the latest report on consumer confidence.  In recent weeks the measure of confidence has been rising.  This latest report however shows a reversal in direction that was not necessarily expected.

On the home front the major economic news for the week was the monthly employment report for September released by the Labor Department.  The report came in much better than expected with new jobs for September coming at 248,000.  The unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent.

In the housing market the number of pending home sales continues to remain flat.  Sales declined 1.0 percent for the month of August.  Additionally sales are down 2.2 percent from the same time last year.  The challenge to the market appears to be the lack of first-time buyers and the increased demand for rentals.

As is expected, with the decline in demand for homes, home prices dropped 0.5 percent for the month of July according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index.  This is the 3rd straight month of declines and the steepest decline dating back to November 2011.  The one bright side to the report is that values continue to remain above the levels from the same time last year by 6.7 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that for the week ending September 26th applications for purchase applications remained stable.  Refinance applications declined 3.0 percent which is normal considering the uptick in mortgage rates last week.  This week rates are once again declining.

Next week?s potential market moving economic reports are:

        Wednesday October 8th - MBA Mortgage Applications and FOMC Minutes Release
        Thursday October 9th - First Time Jobless Claims

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.