Friday, December 30, 2016

New Numbers Show House Market Continues Strong


The report on existing homes sales for the month of November is better than analysts were expecting.  Sales jumped 0.7 percent to an annualized rate of 5.610 million.  This is a nice increase from October’s pace of 5.570 million.  Resales of single family homes declined by 0.4 percent but the pace is still the second highest on record.  Condominium resales jumped 10.0 percent which is a surprising and strong turnaround for the sector.  Overall sales of existing homes are 15.4 percent higher than the same time last year.

Home prices are rising at a slower pace than in previous months.  For the month of October prices increased 0.4 percent according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  The prior two months recorded increases of 0.6 and 0.7 percent.  The strongest part of the report is that prices are 6.2 percent higher than the same time last year.  This is the 3rd straight month of plus 6.0 percent values over last year’s numbers.

In a surprise reversal, applications for mortgage loans increased 3.0 percent for both purchases and refinances.  It appears that consumers are accepting the reality that mortgage rates will likely remain where they are, or even increase further, so they want to take advantage of them now before the cost of financing likely increases further in 2017.

First time jobless claims unexpectedly increased last week up to 275,000.  After the recent employment data has been sitting with claims hovering around the 250,000 mark, the latest increase seemed to catch most experts by surprise.  Given that there appears to be more jobs available than people to fill them, it seems a little odd that layoffs may be increasing.  Since there are no special circumstances reported that can be attributed to the increase, it raises a question if the next employment report due out on Friday January 8th will keep the trend of positive reports going?

Finishing out this week’s economic reports, the 3rd quarter GDP data lived up to expectations that it would show the economy continues to have strength.  With an adjustment for inflation, the latest report showed an increase of 3.5 percent beating analyst’s expectations.  This is the strongest report in the last two years and the trend of continued improvement is likely to continue well into the first quarter of 2017.

Expect the markets to remain quiet now through the remainder of the holiday season.

As your mortgage and real estate 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, December 27, 2016

Toy Drive and Christmas Wish was a Success!


We at Big Valley Mortgage want to THANK everyone who participated in bringing toys for the Vacaville Firefighter Annual Toy Drive and everyone who brought food in for St. Mary's Food locker.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays


Wishing You Every Happiness this Holiday Season and Through Out the Coming Year

Happy Holidays from Big Valley Mortgage

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Housing Market Slows with Rates Rise and Holiday Season, but 2017 Looks Strong


As expected, the Fed raised interest rates by .25% at their FOMC meeting this week.  What was not expected was the projection of three rates increases in 2017.  Investors were expecting to hear that only two increases would be forthcoming.  On this news, the bond market took a beating and yields rose rapidly.  The threat of inflation works against bond values, which simply put, means mortgage rates rose higher on the Fed announcement.

To keep things in perspective, it is important to understand that the Fed is only projecting the increases.  As we have experienced for many years, the Fed will change their forecasts based upon economic data, so the increases are not guaranteed.

The stock market has been hovering very close to the 20,000 mark for the entire week.  The “Trump” factor, as it is now being called, is keeping consumer optimism at the highest level since the recession.  The belief that Trump’s plans for reduction in regulation, which is blamed for stifling economic growth, will bolster the economy and labor markets significantly in the next couple of years.  There is no guarantee on the results of his economic policies, but the perception for strong economic growth remains high.

The increase in mortgage rates is taking its toll on loan applications according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.  The latest report for the week ending December 9th is that purchase applications declined 3.0 percent and refinances dropped 4.0 percent.  Although some of the decline can be attributed to rising rates, we also must take note that we are heading into the final stretch of the holiday season.  It is common for housing activity to slow at this time of year.

On a positive note, may experts are predicting that the housing market will increase significantly in 2017.  With the projected improvement in economic conditions, the labor market should continue to expand, and personal incomes are expected to rise more than they have in years.  Inflation, which is likely to increase in the coming year, lead to increased wage growth.  This will likely lead to more consumers jumping into the housing market.  Even though interest rates may continue to increase, when there is positive consumer sentiment, more money tends to go into housing.

Further bolstering the sentiment that people are feeling better about the direction of the economy, producer prices rose by 0.4 percent for November.  Despite that energy prices declined slightly, other areas of the economy are showing improvement which is a clear sign of positive sentiment by consumers.  The Fed has been wanting inflation to increase and it seems that it is beginning to occur, actually faster than anticipated.  Unemployment continues to remain at very low levels.

Leading into the holiday weekend, the Bond Market will close at 2:00PM next Friday.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Wednesday December 21st - MBA Applications & Existing Home Sales
·        Thursday December 22nd - First Time Jobless Claims & FHFA House Price Index
·        Friday December 23rd – New Home Sales

As your mortgage and real estate 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.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Big Valley Mortgage is Teaming Up with the Vacaville Fire Fighters for their Annual Toy Drive/ Christmas Wish and St Mary’s Food Locker



Big Valley Mortgage is teaming up with the Vacaville Fire Fighters for their annual Toy Drive/ Christmas Wish and St Mary’s Food Locker. 

Please help us in helping our community by bringing NEW unwrapped toys for Boys & Girls up to age 14 and\ or canned food (such as Tuna, Fruit, Veggie, soup, chili and/ or Mac & cheese). 

We will be collecting through Thursday Dec. 22, 2016. Big Valley Mortgage is located at 479 Mason St. #109, Mon-Fri 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM.

Every Christmas Eve morning, the Vacaville Firefighters Association loads up hundreds of toys on to fire engines and heads out into the community and delivers toys to children that may not have otherwise received Christmas presents.

Food collected will be transported to St. Mary's Food Locker for distribution for those in need. Food items especially needed are boxed cereal, individual packaged oatmeal, 16 oz. peanut butter, "meal in a can" canned good such as canned chili, ravioli, or soups. No glass containers. 


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Holiday Stains: Getting out Red Wine


Don't let a guest's spill ruin your tablecloth. Consumer Reports' red wine stain recipe can help you remove a red wine stain.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Mortgage


Before looking for your next home, it is important that you complete the mortgage pre-approval process. Once you receive a pre-approval, there are some common mistakes and pitfalls that could result in your mortgage being rescinded. A pre-approval is based on a snapshot of your employment, credit, income, and assets. If any of these criteria change, it may have a negative impact on your ability to obtain a mortgage and force the lender to deny the loan.

Below is a list of the most common mistakes that homebuyers make before receiving their final mortgage approval:

• Change in Employment - If your employment changes after receiving your pre-approval and before closing your mortgage, notify your loan officer immediately. Even if your new job is a promotion or pay increase, it may be subject to a probationary period. Also, if your employment includes income from commission, tips, bonuses, or is subject to job expenses, your lender may view this income as unstable until you show a 2-year history of this type of income.

• Cash Deposits - Government regulations and investor guidelines require mortgage lenders to document all large deposits within 60 days of applying for a mortgage. All large deposits must be documented showing the source of the funds. These include but are not limited to: cash gifts, the sale of assets, 401(k) loans, a transfer from one bank account to another, or any other large deposit. Transfers from a joint account will likely also require full disclosure of the originating account and a letter from the co-owner of the account that you have full access to the transferred funds.

• Inquiries/New Purchases- Any credit inquiries that are listed on your credit report for the previous 90 days, before applying for a mortgage, will need to be explained. If any new debt resulted, you will need to provide a statement, and the debt would need to be included in your debt ratio. Any deposits you make during the loan process for a new house such as: appliances, furniture, or home amenities will also need to be explained, documented, and included in your debt ratio.

• Overdrafts- Mortgage lenders will thoroughly review all bank statements that are provided for the mortgage loan. You will need to explain any over-drafts and what you have done to remedy the reason for the over-drafts in the future.

• Business Expenses - Mortgage lenders will require two years' tax returns. Business expenses, losses on rental property and business ventures reported on the returns will need to be explained and will likely be deducted from your overall income.

• New Debts- Household debts that are not included on your credit report, such as: spousal support, alimony, car payments from "buy here pay here" companies or a credit union that does not report their revolving or installment loan debts, will need to be documented and included in your debt ratio.

After applying for the mortgage loan, if you are concerned that any change in your financial picture may affect your loan approval, it is in your best interest to contact your mortgage loan officer. Inform them of the change immediately and always make sure you are honest with your mortgage loan officer, so they have an accurate picture of your financial situation. Inaccurate information or surprises during the mortgage process may result in your mortgage being denied, a devastating situation that can often be avoided.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_Zuren_PhD./1966583

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9585438

Monday, December 12, 2016

Stocks Up, Unemployment Down, New Home Sales Strong


The pace of rates rising has slowed, but they are continuing higher.  Investors are pulling money from bonds and putting them into stocks as they believe that President Elect Trump’s policies will be great for business.  Good news for business, means great news for stocks, 401K’s, IRA’s, etc…  Along with all of this belief about growth, comes the need for investors to remove money from bonds which lose value with an increase in inflation, which will likely occur with economic expansion.

The Fed begins their December meeting this coming Tuesday.  Based upon every survey of investors, analysts, and anyone else who watches the markets, it appears to be a forgone conclusion that rates will be raised.  Recent economic data and labor market reports show strength in the economy and therefore the Fed will likely feel comfortable lifting interest rates.  The anticipated increase is only .25%.  Anything more than that would likely have a negative impact in the economy.

In great news for the housing market, existing home sales have reached the highest point since the meltdown of 2008.  The latest data shows…

Applications for home purchases increased slightly while refinance applications head down.  As expected with the recent increases home loan rates, the benefits for homeowners to refinance is virtually eliminated unless they are looking to pull equity from their home.  However, the jump in rates has lit a fire under buyers. The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that applications for home purchase loans jumped 0.4 percent while refinances declined 1.0 percent for the week of December 2nd.

Last week the Labor Department reported that employment conditions continue to improve.  The latest numbers for November were an increase in non-farm payrolls by 178,000.  This was 8,000 more than the average anticipated increase.  Shockingly, the unemployment rate dropped .3 percent down to 4.6 percent.  At this point the economy is considered essentially fully employed.  There will always be a segment of the population that is not working, however those reasons are typically not economy related.

Following up from last week’s monthly employment report, first time jobless claims for the week ending December 2nd reinforce that’s the labor market is likely to remain strong for quite some time.  The latest claims were reported at 258,000 which is well below the 300k benchmark.

Finally, there have been many headlines related to the agreement with OPEC to cut oil production in an attempt to raise prices.  Oil producing nations have been struggling financially because of low oil prices and they are now trying to increase them by agreeing to slow production and eliminate the world's surplus.  Prices are now over $50 a barrel however it is likely they will not increase much more.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Tuesday December 13th – FOMC Meeting Begins
·        Wednesday December 14th - MBA Applications, FOMC Announcement and Forecasts
·        Thursday December 15th – First Time Jobless Claims and Consumer Price Index
·        Friday December 16th – Housing Starts

As your mortgage and real estate 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.

Friday, December 9, 2016

What's in a Credit Score - Explained with Cupcakes


Ever wonder what's baked into your credit score? There's no secret-sauce. Let these tasty cupcakes explain it all.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Feds Likely to Raise Interest Rates in December, but Home Sales Remain Steady


As of late, the stock market has been trading within a fairly-narrow range.  At this point investors have accepted the reality that the Fed will likely raise rates at the December policy meeting. Bond yields and mortgage rates have been rising at a record pace since Donald Trump won the election.  His anticipated stimulus plan and various financial regulation rollback are expected to create inflation, which works against fixed income investments like bonds.  Investors have been taking money out of the bond market and putting into stocks which tend to do well when inflation occurs.

Nowhere more than applications for mortgage refinancing has the impact of mortgage rates rising been seen.  Since the election applications for refinances have been plummeting and last week was no exception.  The Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported that applications for refi’s declined 16.0 percent for the week ending November 25th.  Some of the decline can be attributed to the Thanksgiving holiday however rates are the main factor driving the slowdown.

Purchase applications have remained relatively stable as the rise in rates has not deterred buyers.  In fact, it is likely that fence sitting buyers are jumping into the market to purchase before rates rise to the point that they may impact their ability to afford to purchase a home, or even qualify for financing.

Home-prices appear to be stable in that prices in the 20 major cities measured by Case-Shiller remained virtually flat.  In smaller cities outside the main 20, prices have increased by 0.4 percent for September.  Home prices are 5.1 percent higher than the same time last year which essentially leaves the year-on-year differential unchanged.

Further indication of a flat real estate market is the pending home sales index.  The latest report for October showed the volume of sales up only 0.1 percent.  With this index remaining flat, it basically indicates that final sales will likely remain little changed through the end of the year.  The resale market for homes has been soft compared to the market for new homes, which to date has been having a good year.

The labor market continues to show signs of strength with the latest employment report released by ADP.  On Wednesday ADP announced that their private payroll forecast shows an increase of 216,000.  This is far higher than analyst’s consensus of 160,000.  Unlike prior years where ADP has not been able to come close to the labor department figures for employment, for the most part, this year ADP has been spot on with their forecasts.  This latest report further bolsters the sentiment that the Fed will raise interest rates at the December meeting.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday December 5th – ISM Non-Mfg Index
·        Tuesday December 6th – Factory Orders
·        Wednesday December 7th -  MBA Applications, JOLTS
·        Thursday December 8th – First Time Jobless Claims
·        Friday December 9th – Consumer Sentiment

As your mortgage and real estate 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, December 1, 2016

Big Valley Mortgage is Teaming Up with the Vacaville Fire Fighters for their Annual Toy Drive/ Christmas Wish and St Mary’s Food Locker



Big Valley Mortgage is teaming up with the Vacaville Fire Fighters for their annual Toy Drive/ Christmas Wish and St Mary’s Food Locker. 

Please help us in helping our community by bringing NEW unwrapped toys for Boys & Girls up to age 14 and\ or canned food (such as Tuna, Fruit, Veggie, soup, chili and/ or Mac & cheese). 

We will be collecting through Thursday Dec. 22, 2016. Big Valley Mortgage is located at 479 Mason St. #109, Mon-Fri 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM.

Every Christmas Eve morning, the Vacaville Firefighters Association loads up hundreds of toys on to fire engines and heads out into the community and delivers toys to children that may not have otherwise received Christmas presents.

Food collected will be transported to St. Mary's Food Locker for distribution for those in need. Food items especially needed are boxed cereal, individual packaged oatmeal, 16 oz. peanut butter, "meal in a can" canned good such as canned chili, ravioli, or soups. No glass containers. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Big Valley Mortgage is Teaming Up with the Vacaville Fire Fighters for their Annual Toy Drive/ Christmas Wish and St Mary’s Food Locker



Big Valley Mortgage is teaming up with the Vacaville Fire Fighters for their annual Toy Drive/ Christmas Wish and St Mary’s Food Locker. 

Please help us in helping our community by bringing NEW unwrapped toys for Boys & Girls up to age 14 and\ or canned food (such as Tuna, Fruit, Veggie, soup, chili and/ or Mac & cheese). 

We will be collecting through Thursday Dec. 22, 2016. Big Valley Mortgage is located at 479 Mason St. #109, Mon-Fri 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM.

Every Christmas Eve morning, the Vacaville Firefighters Association loads up hundreds of toys on to fire engines and heads out into the community and delivers toys to children that may not have otherwise received Christmas presents.

Food collected will be transported to St. Mary's Food Locker for distribution for those in need. Food items especially needed are boxed cereal, individual packaged oatmeal, 16 oz. peanut butter, "meal in a can" canned good such as canned chili, ravioli, or soups. No glass containers. 


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Home Sales Boom As Mortgage Rates Inch Upward


The stock market is continuing its rise to new record highs.  For the first time ever, the DOW rose above the 19,000 mark.  Although the initial craziness related to the Trump presidential victory has subsided, confidence continues to remain high that the economy is likely to grow significantly with his economic initiatives.  The market continues to improve however in a more controlled manner.

The latest surveys show that virtually 100% of investors and analysts believe that the Fed will raise interest rates at their December meeting.  The market is already factoring in this increase which is why we have seen the 10 Year Bond yield steadily rising.  Since the election, the yield on the 10YR Treasury has risen approximately 50 basis points.  Although mortgage rates are not directly tied to the movement of this index, it is an indicator on the direction of mortgage rates, which are now about ½% higher since Donald Trump won the election.

It appears that with the recent rise in mortgage rates, many home buyers who have been sitting on the fence have now jumped into the water. After last week’s decline of purchase loan volume of 6.0 percent, the purchase index soared 19.0 percent for last week.  The media has been reporting that the increase in mortgage rates is reducing homeownership affordability.  Since the chances are that rates are going to continue to rise, it seems that many purchasers are acting now to avoid being priced out of the market.  Refinance activity continues to decline as this type of financing is far more sensitive to any movement in mortgage rates.

Existing home sales in October jumped 2.0 percent to an annualized rate of 5.6 million.  This is the highest pace for sales since February 2007.  September’s numbers were also revised slightly higher to a rate of 5.490 million.  Sales compared to the same time last year are up by 5.9 percent.

The best part of the housing report is that the greatest strength was in single family home sales, which increased by 2.3 percent.  The median price of homes is also up by 6.0 percent from a year ago at $232,200. Home supply continues to remain a challenge as available properties for sale declined 0.5 percent leaving supply at 4.3 months. 
Home prices according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency increased 0.6 percent for the month of September.  The rate of increase slowed slightly from the prior month however overall prices are up p6.1 percent from the same time last year.


Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday November 28th - Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
·        Tuesday November 29th – GDP and Case-Shiller Home Price Index
·        Wednesday November 30th - MBA Applications, ADP Report, and Pending Home Sales
·        Thursday December 1st – ISM Manufacturing Report, Consumer Confidence, and Jobless Claims
·        Friday December 2nd – National Employment Situation

As your mortgage and real estate 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, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving! 
From All Of Us At Big Valley Mortgage in Vacaville

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Big Valley Mortgage Helps Sponsor KUIC's Mission Solano Radiothon


Mike O'Rourke represented Big Valley Mortgage as a Power Hour sponsor for KUIC's Mission Solano Radiothon! So happy to donate to such a wonderful cause!

There's still time to give you haven't had a chance at http://missionsolano.org/donate

Monday, November 21, 2016

Amid Some Change, Housing Market Remains Strong



After the initial market jubilation in belief that President Elect Trump might actually be good for the economy and markets, things have settled down.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is basically poised to finish the week in about the same place it started. 

Helping matters is that it appears that Mr. Trump has toned down much of his rhetoric and inflammatory comments which is giving investors reason to believe that he will not make rash decisions on economic policy.  Time will tell as to exactly what will happen.  For now, investors are paying close attention to his staff appointments.

Mortgage rates have shot up .50 percent since the election in response to bond yields rising rapidly.  The mortgage industry is feeling it in that applications for purchases and refinances have been declining.  Refinance applications dropped 11.0% for the week of November 11th.  Purchase apps declined 6.0%.

Already there is much chatter that housing affordability is being directly impacted due to the higher rates increasing the cost of homeownership.  Higher rates means higher monthly housing payments.  The one thing to keep in mind is that home prices will move towards a point where there is balance to meet demand.  For example, sellers may find that they might have to lower the price of their home slightly to offset the interest rate increase to keep buyers interest. 

We have been in a market in which mortgage rates have been artificially low for an extended time.  The talk of rising rates has been around for more than five years.  It is just that now it has finally become reality.  Anyone who has been around long enough in the housing market knows that regardless of interest rates, homes will be purchased and sold.  There will always be back and forth movement related to rates, home prices and housing demand.

On a positive note for housing, starts of new construction surged 25.5 percent in October to an annualized rate of 1.323 million. This is the highest number since August of 2007.  The monthly jump in percentage is the strongest since 1982.  The best part of the report is that single family construction jumped 10.7 percent which follows September’s increase of 8.4 percent.

Inflation excluding volatile food and energy prices, inflation remains very low on both the wholesale and retail levels.  Rising inflation is starting to become more of a concern related to Donald Trump’s plans for spending and economic stimulus, however for now it is speculation.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday November 21st – Chicago Fed National Activity Index
·        Tuesday November 22nd – Existing Home Sales
·        Wednesday November 23rd - MBA Applications, Jobless Claims, FHFA HPI, New Home Sales, FOMC Minutes, Consumer Sentiment
·        Thursday November 24th – Thanksgiving Giving: Markets Closed
·        Friday November 25th – International Trade in Goods

As your mortgage and real estate 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.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Vacaville's 26th Annual Festival of Trees is November 29th - December 1st


Vacaville's 26th Annual Festival of Trees

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 – Thursday, Dec. 1 
 Vacaville Skating Center, 551 Davis St.

Festival Admission: Free 
Donations always welcome

About the Festival:

Vacaville Festival of Trees is the premier fundraiser for Opportunity House, Vacaville's homeless shelter, raising more than $1.8 million since its inception in 1991.

The three-day festival, which kicks off with a Gala Dinner the Monday after Thanksgiving, magically transforms the Vacaville Skating Center on Davis Street into a glowing gallery filled with 50 exquisitely decorated, full-size Christmas trees, plus another 50 table-top mini-trees - all for sale to the highest bidder.

The holiday showcase also features a bazaar of finely crafted gifts and homemade baked goods; regular visits and photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus; and entertainment by talented musicians, choral groups and performers. Hundreds of volunteers give their time and talent to the Festival, which draws thousands of visitors.

For many, Vacaville Festival of Trees signals the start of their holiday season, providing a taste of Christmas magic as well as a tangible way to support a program that offers the homeless a real opportunity to put their lives back on track.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Downtown Vacaville's Merriment on Main is November 29th!


Merriment on Main 
Downtown Vacaville
Tuesday, November 29th
5:00 - 9:00pm 

Join the City of Vacaville, the Downtown Vacaville on Main Street for this very special Tree Lighting Ceremony. Activities begin at 5:00 pm. Check the Vacaville Reporter for exact times and full list of entertainment.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

5 Front Yard Landscaping Secrets


Your front yard landscaping is one of your home's focal points. Follow these five tips to maximize your curb appeal.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Don't Waste Your Time!: Get A Mortgage Pre-Approval


You've made that very personal decision, to consider buying a house of your own! You may have put off this moment, for a variety of reasons, including; indecisiveness; geographic; job-related; financial, etc, but now, you think, you're ready! So, what should you do first! The logical first-step is to discuss finance, and the all-important mortgage information, with a qualified mortgage broker or banker. If you have received a recommendation from someone you trust, and is knowledgable, begin with a conversation with that professional. If not, interview, and hire, a real estate professional, who will take care of your needs, and provide you with recommendations of reliable mortgage professionals. Either way, be certain to get a Mortgage Pre-Approval, before you begin your quest for the house of your dreams.

1. A pre-qualification is not a pre-approval: Beware, there is huge difference between being pre-qualified, and pre-approved! The former means that based on the basic information you have provided, you would be able to qualify to get a certain size mortgage. On the other hand, the latter means the broker/bank, has done a thorough review of your income, liabilities, etc, as they would before they issued a mortgage, and, as long as the house comps out, you will get a mortgage.

2. Other debts/liabilities: Lending institutions use a formula to determine how much mortgage one might qualify for. It takes into consideration all debt owed, and that combined with your new mortgage debt, cannot exceed a certain percentage. That is, in addition to, the mortgage must fall within a certain percentage of one's income.

3. What can you afford as a down-payment?: Traditionally, you are asked to put down 20% down-payment, and you can then use your mortgage for the balance. However, there are loans available, which require less down, but that means a higher monthly payment! You may also be in a position to put down more, and carry a smaller mortgage. This must be a combination of what you can actually afford, as well as your comfort level.

4. What can you afford monthly: The lending institution will come up with a maximum figure, they say you can carry monthly. They base this as a percentage of one's income. However, you may not feel comfortable with that amount of debt, so you must take that into consideration. All this valuable information will help you decide the price ranges you should look at, when you search for a home.

5. Move to the front of the line: Let's say you've taken into consideration the above information, and now are prepared and ready, to begin your search, in earnest. You have searched, and found the house you want, but others feel the same way. When there are competing offers, the buyer with a Pre-Approval, often is given more consideration, because it is considered a better bet, for the seller.

It is the responsibility of a qualified real estate professional to help you find the right house, at the best available price, with the least amount of hassle or wasted time! Make it easier on yourself, by beginning properly, by getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Richard_Brody/492539

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9501868

Friday, November 4, 2016

Presidential Election In The Drivers Seat


It seems that the presidential election is in the driver’s seat in the minds of investors.  Many experts were expecting the Fed to raise interest rates at this week’s Fed meeting.  Despite the Fed decision to leave rates where they are, the markets reacted with little more than a yawn.  The stock indexes remained little changed since the announcement.

What seems to be driving the market is speculation on who our next president will be.  The country is very clearly divided on who will be best to serve as President and who will be the right person for economic growth.  (At this point I am so disgusted with the negative campaigning it will be a relief just for it to be over next week)

In previous Fed meetings, the language often used would give insight into the Fed’s plan for rate adjustments.  This past meeting there appears to be very little in the way of wording that gives any indication on when the Fed will take action to raise rates.  The Fed continues to express concern about international influences that can negatively impact the U.S. economy as well as on-going mixed economic data from housing to manufacturing here in the United States.

ADP’s employment report points to less growth in the labor markets for the month of October.  On Friday, the labor department will release their numbers, and they too are expected to show weakness.  You may recall that last month’s report came in weaker than expected and many analysts feel that there may be a slowing in the growth of the labor force.

First time jobless claims continue to remain very low which leads many to believe that we are not far from what is considered full employment. This being the case has experts believing that the ability for the labor force to continue to grow at a healthy pace is limited because of the lack of people available in the talent pool.

As mortgage rates continue to creep higher, loan volume inches lower.  The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that for the week ending October 28th applications for purchases and refinances both declined by 0.4 percent and 2.0 percent respectively.  Purchase applications however continue to be higher by 9.0 percent from the same time last year.

Furthering the Fed’s concern about a slowing economy, construction spending declined 0.4 percent for the month of September.  The bright side of the report is that residential construction rose by 0.5 percent and remains just under 1.0 percent higher than from the same time last year.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday November 7th – Labor Market Conditions Index
·        Tuesday November 8th – Job Opening and Labor Turnover Report
·        Wednesday November 9th - MBA Applications
·        Thursday November 10th - First Time Jobless Claims
·        Friday November 11th – Consumer Sentiment

As your mortgage and real estate 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 1, 2016

Home Prices Appear To Be Surging


Throughout the week the stock market has remained within a narrow trading range of 100 points up or down.  The flood of housing reports this week did little to impact the indices.  It appears that investors are going to wait on the decision next week of the Fed on what will happen with interest rates.  Many investors believe that this is going to be when the Fed acts to move rates higher.  There are however others, a smaller segment, that believe that the increase will not happen until either December or January.

The Federal Housing and Finance Agency reported that home prices appear to be surging for single family residences.  For the month of August prices jumped 0.7 percent which was the high end of analyst’s expectations. This increase follows July’s jump of 0.5 percent.  From the same time last year, the FHFA index is higher by 6.4 percent.  The spread between prices this year and last year is also increasing as the difference was 5.9 percent in July.

In contrast to the FHFA report, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index reported that prices only increased 0.2 percent in August.  This index measures single family home prices on re-sales in 20 major metropolitan cities.  Prices compared to the same time last year remain higher by 5.1 percent.  This is slightly less than where the year started at a 5.6 percent spread.

The West continues to lead the way in home price appreciation with an increase of 1.0 percent for San Francisco and an 0.8 percent rise in Seattle.  If you compare home prices to a year ago, Portland Oregon is out in front with an increase of 11.8 percent, and once again Seattle at 11.4 percent.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, New York and Cleveland showed only 1.8 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

New homes sales jumped 3.1 percent for September.  This proved to be a very solid gain after the prior two months were revised downward from 609,000 to 575,000 in August and 659,000 to 629,000 in July.  The question that exists is given the previous two downward revisions, will September be revised downward as well?

New home prices are up for the month by 6.7 percent.  Limited inventory continues to keep upward pressure on prices.  Currently available inventory is rated at 4.8 months, which is a decline of 0.1 percent from the prior month.  Sales compared to the same time last year are up 1.9 months.

Finally, pending home sales have increased.  The index for the month of September was up 1.5 percent.  This is a healthy reversal from the prior month’s 2.5 percent decline.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Tuesday November 1st – ISM Manufacturing Index
·        Wednesday November 2nd - MBA Applications, ADP Employment Report, FOMC Announcement
·        Thursday November 3rd - First Time Jobless Claims & Factory Orders
·        Friday November 4th – National Employment Report

As your mortgage and real estate 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 29, 2016

Halloween Stroll In Downtown Vacaville Monday!



Happy Halloween from Downtown Vacaville! Scare up your best costume from 4 pm to 6 pm and stroll along Main, Merchant, Parker, Dobbins and other streets in Historic Downtown Vacaville as you enjoy treats from participating merchants. Fun will be had by all! This year the stroll will be on Monday, yes Monday the 31st . Remember this is a RAIN or SHINE EVENT.

Date: 10/31/2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Cost: Free

Location: Downtown Vacaville
Vacaville, California 95688

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Top 10: Winterize Your Home


The Top Ten things homeowners need to know to prepare their homes for winter.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Next 10 Days


The next 10 days will be telling about what is happening in the real estate market.  With three major housing reports due out next week, FHFA House Price Index, Case-Shiller House Price Index, and Pending Home Sales, without question there will be plenty of data for the Fed to digest in regard to the status of the housing market.  This week also provided some insight to what is happening in housing with the Housing Starts report and the Housing Market Index.

Thus far the two mentioned reports are mostly positive.  The new home sector seems to be growing and it is also expected to finish off the second quarter in positive territory.  The index only declined 2 points for October down to 63, which is still considered quite positive.  Home builders seem to be expressing significant optimism about future sales.  Current sales are down slightly but they continue to remain very strong at a reading of 68.  Traffic coming to visit new home sites is down slightly as well however it does not seem to be putting a damper on overall sales or the optimism of builders.

In the second building related report for the week, Housing Starts, this data seems to reinforce that the area of new construction is strong in the residential sector.  This is the area that investors and the Fed care about most. Starts for residential properties jumped 8.1 percent.  Permits for single-family residences rose 0.4 percent.

Some positive movement in purchase activity and mortgage financing occurred for the week of October 14th.  The Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported that purchase applications increased 3.0 percent which reverses last week’s decline of the same amount.  As expected with mortgage rates inching slightly higher, refinance applications continue to slow with last week being no exception with a miniscule drop of 1.0 percent.  Overall applications for purchases remain 13.0 percent higher than the same time last year.

Inflation, which plays a major role in the Fed’s decision on whether or not to raise rates, continues to remain below Fed goals.  Consumer prices rose a strong 0.3 percent for the month of September.  The challenge is that the core inflation rate remains virtually flat as the jump in prices was related to energy prices.  The Fed does not put as much weight on energy prices as they do other consumer goods because of the price volatility that exists with energy.

After a long run of unemployment claims below 250K, claims climbed up to 260K for the week ending October 15th.  There are no special factors that seem to relate to the increase.  It is only one report and the level of claims remains at a very healthy level so investors did not pay any mind to the report.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Tuesday October 25th – FHFA HPI, S&P Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence
·        Wednesday October 26th - MBA Mortgage Applications
·        Thursday October 27th - First Time Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales
·        Friday October 28th – GDP, Consumer Sentiment

As your mortgage and real estate 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, October 20, 2016

Stock Market Down


The stock market through the first 4 days of the trading week is down 258 points.  The reason…simply the fact that as of right now more and more investors believe interest rates will be raised at the next FOMC meeting.  Corporations love the low rates that the government lends out money as this reduces corporate interest costs and increases company profits.  The thought that the government financial gravy train may come to an end has investors a little nervous.

For the longest time there has been talk that the sooner or later the Fed will raise rates.  However, no matter how much people here about it, when it seems like it will actually happen, investors behave as if the financial world is coming to an end and we see the stock market decline.

Contributing to the angst of Wall Street investors was seeing in the release of the FOMC minutes on Wednesday, that some of the board members appear to be running out of patience regarding raising rates.  Each month we hear that more and more of the FOMC participants are leaning towards raising rates sooner than later, and they are becoming more vocal about it.   Some members feel strongly that continuing to delay a rate increase may ultimately force the Fed to raise rates more rapidly in the future.  With inflation remaining virtually non-existent, this fact continues to keep the majority of the board members against raising rates now.  In the end, the vote to keep rates unchanged was 7 to 3 among members.

Applications for mortgage loans slowed for the week of October 7 according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.  Purchase loan applications declined 3.0 percent while refinancing dropped by 8.0 percent.  This is the lowest level since June of this year.  The strength in the MBA report is that applications are 27 percent higher than the same time last year.

Mortgage rates have nudged upward over the last week.  As we have seen before, the slightest movement, higher or lower, can have a dramatic impact on refinance activity.  As far as purchase activity, it remains stable.  One of the issues which seems to be playing a role in purchase activity is the uncertainty related to the upcoming election.  Consumer sentiment has been declining as we get closer to the election.  Negativity spewing from the candidates is increasing rapidly, and unless you live in a vacuum, it is virtually impossible to ignore hearing it.

First time jobless claims continue to remain at historic lows with claims reported at 246K for the week ending October 8th.  There are plenty of jobs available today and the reality is that employers are more the ones struggling to hire good employees.  It used to be that employers had their pick of who they can hire.  Today candidates seem to have the upper hand in making a choice as to where they want to work.

As your mortgage and real estate 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.

Friday, October 14, 2016

2016 Kid Fest!



A look at all the fun activities that took place at this year's Kid Fest at Andrews Park in Vacaville!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Four Ways To Use Your Reverse Mortgage Payments



Available for certain homeowners over 62 years old, a reverse mortgage from the Federal Housing Administration can be used to meet the needs of seniors in a variety of financial situations. Some people may be reluctant to apply for this kind of equity conversion program, thinking that it sounds like borrowing against a home or some other financial decision that could incur debt. Instead, funds gained with a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) are only making use of the equity accumulated in a home. Rather than a last resort for dire circumstances, a reverse mortgage can be appropriate for meeting many common financial concerns.

Supplemental Income

Pensions and retirement funds provide resources for those who have prepared for retirement over the course of their careers. Because of life circumstances, not everyone can live on these resources and the fruits of other investments. A reverse mortgage is a common way to supplement other sources of income. Seniors don't need to take a job as a greeter or cashier when they have an accumulation of wealth in the form of home equity. It's important to be able to live comfortably after decades of putting up with the rat race.

Healthcare Expenses

Even those who feel well prepared for retirement can be caught off guard by the rising costs of healthcare, especially when unforeseen medical issues arise. Diagnosis, treatment, and lengthy hospital stays are only one side of the potential expense. Chronic conditions may mean years worth of expensive prescriptions and some level of ongoing medical treatment. Dialysis treatment, diabetic testing supplies, and other major medical expenses are more than just one-time costs. Rather, a single diagnosis can completely alter a couple's outlook for retirement.

Paying Off Debt

While credit cards are convenient and sometimes necessary, the interest rates can be especially problematic for those who no longer work full time. Whether they've spent money on grandkids, family reunions, or practical expenses like utility bills, many seniors find themselves with debt that needs to be resolved in a timely fashion. Arranging financial affairs is one way of minimizing the mess that will be left behind after death, but it also has the practical benefit of helping to make sure that creditors don't seize family heirlooms and other valuables.

Financing Renovations

Every homeowner knows that some maintenance projects are investments and save money in the long run. Similarly, renovations like ramps for improved accessibility may be necessary as the residents of the home get older. Ultimately, retirement means more time at home for many seniors, and there's no point in procrastinating on the projects that have already been delayed for years. An HECM can be used to cover the costs of renovations without draining other accounts or skimping on living expenses.

Homeowners should know about the many potential uses for a reverse mortgage. Rather than depending on a pension or trickles of funds from investment returns, an HECM allows homeowners to live more comfortably and resolve financial issues by tapping into the accumulated equity.



Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9517916

Sunday, October 2, 2016

What A Difference A Week Makes


What a difference a week makes.  With not much news to trade on last week, this week’s news provided many traders the opportunity to ride the investment and stock rollercoaster.  The stock market, through the first 3 days of trading for the week, was up just over 200 points.  Thursday the gains were virtually all given back with the Dow’s 195pt loss.

Banking stocks led the way for the market decline.  The problems exist on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  Here at home Wells Fargo continues to get ripped apart for their practice of opening fraudulent accounts.  With each passing day more investigations into their actions are being launched and the lawsuits are starting to pile up.  On the other side of the pond, the solvency of Deutsche Bank is becoming more and more troubling by the day.  Combined, these two large entities represent the potential for a major impact to global finances.

New home sales for August came in higher than expected at an annualized rate of 609,000.  Although this number is higher than forecast, it represents a decline of 7.6 percent from July.  The positive part of the report is that July was revised upward to show a gain of 13.8 percent from June.

According to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index the price of homes remained virtually unchanged for the month of July.  This shows stabilization in the market as the prior 3 month’s reports showed declines.  Home prices compared to the same time last year remain 5.0 percent higher.  The Pacific Northwest continues to be the strongest real estate market in the country as demand for housing remains very high while inventory is extremely limited.

Heading into the fall and winter months, concerns for housing are growing.  Existing home sales have not been able to gain ground and Thursday’s pending home sales report indicates that future sales are likely to be weak.  The latest report on pending sales showed a decline of 2.4 percent for the month of August.  3 of the 4 regions showed declines.  Surprisingly, the Northeast was the only positive region with an increase of 1.3 percent.  In fact, this region is the only one posting a gain from the same time last year.  Limited inventory seems to be the culprit as mortgage rates remain very low and the labor department continues to show strength..

The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that applications for home purchases rose a meager 1.0 percent for the week of September 23rd.  Refinance applications declined by 2.0 percent.  When comparing current purchase application volume to the same time last year, the volume is up 10.0 percent.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday October 3rd – ISM Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending
·        Wednesday October 5th - MBA Mortgage Applications, Factory Orders, and ADP Report
·        Thursday October 6th - First Time Jobless Claims
·        Friday October 7th – National Employment Situation

As your mortgage and real estate 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.