Friday, November 28, 2014

A Testimonial

Thank you Michael, and wishing you, your family and the wonderful staff at Big Valley a wonderful Holiday Season. We have fond memories of working with you for our loan. We couldn't be happier than how the house and loan all turned out, and how you made it happen. We would recommend your firm to anyone needing a loan, in fact we have many times. We will be sure to call you if the need arrises in the future.
Jeanne and Darrel Brown

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Customer Testimonial

“I contacted Big Valley Mortgage regarding the purchase of a home. Michael O'Rourke sat down with me and walked me through the whole process from everything that I need in order to start the process to the final closing. Michael even directed me to one super-lady of a realtor.

Every single step of the process was amazing. Big Valley originally not only got me a low interest rate (locked for 30 years), but the week of final review...I got an even lower interest rate, well below the current 'great rates'. The staff behind the scenes were also so easy to work with (Joanne and Marilyn you guys rock). 

Buying a house is a very STRESSFUL experience, however Michael and his team at Big Valley Mortgage made it a breeze. If you are looking or even considering buying a house and want a great/honest and friendly mortgage company, then look no further than Big Valley Mortgage.”
 
-Perry H. Vacaville, CA

Friday, November 21, 2014

Stock Market Trades

The stock market may have traded in a narrow range of 100 points for the week, but that does not mean there was a lack of economic data available for investors to grab onto.  For the housing market, a few major reports were released of which signs of housing market improvement have appeared.

The housing starts report continues the pattern of going up and down as it has over the last few months.  Although the overall report shows that starts declined for the month of October, the inspiring part of the report is that single family homes rose by 2.4 percent. Additionally, overall starts are 7.8 percent higher than the same time last year.

Furthering the trend of positive housing news, existing home sales continued their slow rise in October by gaining 1.5 percent.  This follows September?s increase of 2.6 percent.  Supply of homes slipped to 5.1 months down from 5.3 months in the prior month.  Although supply has declined, demand has also tapered somewhat as we approach the holiday season.  (Actually, by all account we are already in the holiday season as I have seen Christmas lights and holiday sales since the first day of November).

The final piece of positive news on the housing front is the Mortgage Bankers Association report that applications for purchase loans jumped a whopping 12.0 percent for the week ending November 14th.  This jump in applications closes the gap between last years mortgage activity and where we are today down to minus 6.0 percent.  This has been the closest to being even to last year that we have experienced in quite some time.  Refinance applications declined 6.0 percent for the same week.

In other news, there was little market reaction to the release of the Feds FOMC Minutes.  Nothing in the report came as a surprise to investors.  The governments stimulus program is over and the markets continue to be humming along.  The Fed continued to express concern about slowing economies in Europe and Asia.

Inflation continues to remain virtually non-existent.  The Consumer Price Index remained unchanged for the month of October.  Inflation from the same time last year is up 1.7 percent which is considered very low and has not given the Fed reason to raise interest rates.

Finally, first time jobless claims remain low and stable at 291,000.  This is compared to the prior weeks report of 293,000.  The one big question is how will these numbers translate into the November employment numbers which will be released the first Friday in December?

Although next week is a holiday shortened week as the markets are closed on Thursday and most investors take off on Friday, there is no shortage of key economic data being released on Tuesday and Wednesday.

        Tuesday November 25th - GDP, FHFA House Price Index, S&P Case-Shiller HPI
        Wednesday November  26th - MBA Mortgage Apps, Durable Goods Orders, First Time Jobless Claims, New Home Sales, Pending Home Sales
        Thursday November 27th - Thanksgiving: 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, November 18, 2014

Toys For Tots

Toys for Tots!
Join Big Valley Mortgage and our local military in collecting toys for children in the area!
Please collect new, unwrapped gifts for pick-up
 Wednesday December 10, 2014!
Any questions please call our office
(707) 455-7070

                  Thank you and Happy Holidays!

A Quiet Week

I walked outside my front door this morning at 5:00AM and listened to how quiet it was.  It was a quick reminder of how quiet the markets have been this week.  Veteran?s Day contributed to the lack of craziness in market activity, however it was more due to the lack of any major economic headlines.

Ebola headlines have virtually disappeared from the media.  The threat of ISIS, although, not gone from our lives, has been pushed much further down in the news reports.  With the lack of economic news or world drama this week, we were able to find out own entertainment, or you might call it drama, right here in the United States.

The most talked about, and tweeted event of the week was the pictures of Kim Kardashian posing nude in the publication called the "Paper".  I have never heard of this publication, but that does not necessarily mean anything, because now I have.  Because any and all possible comments have been either spoken, written or tweeted regarding the pictures, I find no reason for me to join in the fray at this time.

According to the Mortgage Banker Association, even though mortgage rates are still very low, it is not doing much in prompting refinance activity.  The MBA reported that applications for refinances declined another 11 percent after the prior week's drop of 6.0 percent.  Purchase mortgage applications rose a miniscule 1.0 percent which is less than the 3.0 percent in the prior week.

It is getting towards holiday time and unfortunately housing activity seems to be slowing.  Next week a couple of housing reports will be released, however they will be reflecting activity from September which is not a true indicator of what is happening in the market right now.

First time jobless claims remain low at 290,000.  This is a 12,000 increase from the prior week's report.  There are no special factors that are attributed to the increase.  This appears to only be normal fluctuations that occur in the weekly report.

A recent study from Moody's Analytics is that Millennials are not saving any money.  In fact on average they are running at a saving deficit of 2% per year.  Workers from the age of 35 to 44 have a positive savings rate of 3%.  Part of the Millennials savings challenge has been related to recent years of hard to find jobs.  The labor market is improving so it is hopeful that this negative savings trend will reverse itself.  It is far too early to know how the Millennial?s savings rate will impact housing in the future.

(Since there is a lack of any other major market headlines, I find myself with extra room in my newsletter.  I guess I could go back to writing about my thoughts on Kim Kardashian's photos.)

Next weeks potential market moving economic reports are:

        Tuesday November 18th - Producer Price Index and Housing Market Index
        Wednesday November  19th - MBA Mortgage Apps, Housing Starts & FOMC Minutes
        Thursday November 13th - First Time Jobless Claim, Consumer Price Index, Existing 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, November 15, 2014

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
Email: morourke@thelendingpros.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Continuing The Journey Upward

The stock market continues its journey upward as this week each closing bell was accompanied by a higher closing index.  Although the market is not shooting up like a rocket as it did last week, we none the less continue to see growing strength in the economy.

The Fed has ended the recession stimulus bond buying program and rates were supposed to rise.  What has happened?  Absolutely nothing!  Mortgage rates remain stable and there is no indication that they are going to rise in the near future.  Inflation remains very low and as long as that continues, upward pressure on rates will remain virtually non-existent.

On Wednesday ADP announced their estimate for private payroll growth for October.  Their prediction was for 230,000, which was right in line with most analysts expectations.  The market did not react significantly to this positive report as the growth in employment has been a trend lately. 

On Friday morning, The Department of Labor made their announcement on employment and the numbers came in ..  The consensus prior the release of the reports was that 240,000 jobs were added (essentially in line with ADP) and that the unemployment rate would remain at 5.9%.  However at 8:30AM on Friday the Labor Department announced that only 214,000 jobs were added.  The unemployment rate dropped to 5.8%.

Continued evidence of economic strength was reported on Monday with the ISM Manufacturing Report.  The index for October rose 2.4 points which piggybacks on August's strong increase which makes for the highest months of consecutive growth since February 2011.  New manufacturing orders jumped 5.8 points which is a great indicator that there will be significant production growth across the manufacturing supply chain in the U.S. in the coming months.

Ina nice turnaround, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that applications for purchases rose 3.0 percent for the week ending October 31st.  This reverses the trend of application declines we have seen in recent weeks despite mortgage rates having dropped a few weeks ago.  Rates for mortgage have inched up from their 12 month lows in the last week.  As is expected, refinance applications reacted negatively to this and declined 6.0 percent.

Although the focus for this week pertaining to employment is the ADP and Department of Labor reports, let us not forget about the weekly reporting of first time jobless claims.  The good news is that claims continue to remain below 300K per week which is considered healthy.  This week's report came in at 278K which is down 10K from the prior week.  Initial market reaction was positive to the news.

Next week?s potential market moving economic reports are:


        Wednesday November  12th - MBA Mortgage Apps
        Thursday November 13th - First Time Jobless Claims
        Friday November 14th - Retail 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, November 9, 2014

Great Reviews!


I contacted Big Valley Mortgage regarding the purchase of a home.  Michael O'Rourke sat down with me and walked me through the whole process from everything that I need in order to start the process to the final closing.  Michael even directed me to one super-lady of a realtor.

Every single step of the process was amazing, Big Valley originally not only got me a low interest rate (locked for 30 years), the week of final review...I got an even lower interest rate-well below the current 'great rates'. The staff behind the scenes were also so easy to work with (Joanne and Marilyn you guys rock).  

Buying a house is a very STRESSFUL experience, however Michael and his team at Big Valley Mortgage made it a breeze.   If you are looking or even considering buying a house and want a great/honest and friendly mortgage company, then look no further than Big Valley Mortgage.

Perry H.
Vacaville, CA

I've know Jim for over 25 years and can speak of the character & professionalism that embodies what he does.  Jim was has always been honest and forthright in his assessment of the most appropriate route to take; whether re-financing, initial loan, bankruptcy or foreclosure.

When you deal with Jim you never feel there's anything it for him because he takes the time to listen and gather the pertinent information so the decision is appropriate...for the client, not for him.  He takes his time through the process and ensures you fully understand the terms.  

I will continue to work with Jim and tell others to at least hear what he has to say before finalizing any deal....you know when you find the "right" mechanic that you can trust when you bring your car in?  Well Jim Fox provides that same feeling when it comes to mortgages.

Nick P.
Providence, RI

Monday, November 3, 2014

What A Difference A Week Makes

What a difference a week makes.  After the market craziness last week, the stock market has been once again launching to the stars.  Through Thursday the market is up 432 points. The market rose 221 points on the latest positive economic data on the economy on Thursday.  Prior to the market open on Friday, Dow Futures are up over 150 points which indicates a significant market rally at the opening bell.  The futures are being driven by the great news out of Japan that the government is going to expand their stimulus program.  One of the fears that has been tempering the market lately is that Japan and China are experiencing an economic slowdown. Stimulus should bolster the Japanese economy.

The biggest mover of the market this week was Thursdays report on GDP.  Economic growth accelerated beyond almost everyones expectations at a rate of 3.5% for the 3rd quarter.  This comes after the 2nd quarters less than stellar growth of only 1.3%.  Despite the fact that the government has been cutting stimulus to the economy, it seems that the U.S. rebound continues to gain steam.

As expected, the Fed announced the completion of the bond buying program which has been going on since the great recession.  It has been thought that the Feds program was the only reason rates have been staying low on mortgages.  However despite the Fed ending the stimulus program, it seems that mortgage rates have barely moved.

In the last few weeks mortgage rates had dropped down to lows that we have not seen in the last 12 months.  However, because of the positive economic data and the mostly better than expected corporate profit reports released this week, mortgage rates have moved back up to where they were a couple of weeks ago.  By historical standards rates continue to remain very low and home purchasing extremely affordable.

The pending home sales report released on Monday showed signs that the low mortgage rates have been having a positive impact on purchase transactions.  The index for pending homes sales rose 0.3% for the month of September.  This is an improvement over the prior months 1.0% decline. Although September?s increase is relatively small, it should translate into an improved existing home sales report in November.

One thing that has caught many people by surprise in the housing market is that despite the recent decline in mortgage rates, both applications for purchases and refinances have not increased.  In fact purchase apps declined 5.0% and refinances dropped 7.0% for the week ending October 24th.  No real explanation is given for the decline.

Next week's potential market moving economic reports are:

       Monday November 3rd - ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending
       Tuesday November 4th - Factory Orders
       Wednesday November  5th - MBA Mortgage Apps & ADP Employment Report
      Thursday November 6th - First Time Jobless Claims
        Friday November 7th - National Employment

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.