Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What's The Plan - East Main District

In this episode, Community Development Director Barton Brierley talks about the plans for the East Main District in Downtown Vacaville; how far along the project is in the process; and what else is happening around the City of Vacaville.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Taking A Back Seat

It seems that most of the economic news that might have impacted the markets this week took a back seat to the comments made by three Federal Reserve Board members.  It seems that there is an increased likelihood of a rate increase in June based on their latest comments.  The word of a possible increase in June seemed to catch the market by surprise and within minutes of the comments the stock market went from positive to negative.

Investors have been banking on the belief that there may only be one rate increase remaining for the entire year, and that it wouldn’t occur until the fall.  The latest minutes released by the Fed from their last meeting indicate that board members feel the economy is continuing to grow at a stable and healthy pace.

Although an improving economy would normally create a lift to the markets as the belief that business growth will continue, it seems that many investors do not like the thought of the virtually interest free money the government has been lending into the economy will come to an end.  Main Street and Wall Street for the most part do not seem to be in sync with the Fed’s view on economic growth.  Many believe that the economy is slowing far more than the Fed is willing to recognize and that rate increases could easily stagnate economic growth.

The housing market index, which measures builder optimism, remains solid and steady at a reading of 58 for the May.  This is the fourth straight reading for the index at 58.  Anything over 50 is considered positive.  Home sales are cruising along at a very strong score of 65 for the last 6 months and present sale scored a 63.

The West leads the country in builder optimism with a score of 67 which is important for the continuance of new construction.  The South is second with a score of 60 even though it is the largest region of the country.  The Midwest follows at 59 with the Northeast well below every other region with a score of 36.  The limited available land for building is the reason the Northeast always tends to lag behind.

Housing starts and permits picked up in April which continues to point to a steadily growing real estate market.  The pace for growth is not overwhelming, but with so many other areas of the economy becoming stagnant, housing continues to be a point of strength.  Housing starts rose 6.6 percent to a 1.172 million annualized rate.   Permits rose 3.6 percent in April to a 1.116 million rate.  Although the year-on-year rate for both permits and starts are slightly lower than the same time last year, the weakness is coming mostly from the multi-family sector.  Single family starts are up 3.3 from April of last year and permits are up 8.4 percent.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Tuesday May 24th – New Home Sales
·        Wednesday May 25th – EIA Petroleum Report and MBA Mortgage Applications
·        Thursday May 26th - First Time Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales & Durable Goods Orders
·        Friday May 27th – GDP and 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, May 17, 2016

Great Race Coming To Vacaville!

Since 1983 the Great Race has been run on the back roads of America. Now the race is coming through Vacaville! June 18!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Virtually Flat

Although mortgage rates have fallen, mortgage activity continues to remain virtually flat.  With the latest decline in rates last week the Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported that applications for purchases and refinances only increased 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.  The good news is that the slight uptick in refinances reverses the prior week’s 6.0 percent decline.

The Labor Department’s JOLTS report, which is the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, showed that job openings in March jumped to 5.757 million.  This is the highest number since the recession and one of the highest of all time.  Employers are having trouble finding qualified candidates to fill many of open positions.  Many of the positions are for lower level jobs however there seems to be a growing trend of increased openings for managerial and executive positions.

In contrast, the surprise report regarding first time jobless claims was the second large jump in a row.  The last week’s report jumped up to a revised 274,000.  This week’s report jumped another 20,000 reaching 294,000, which is very close to the psychological 300,000 number that often breeds employment concern.

There does not seem to be any special factors attributing to this increase.  Continuing claims are also up in the latest data. The recent increases in initial claims are unsettling but do not yet provide any clear indication of the direction of the job market.  Next week's report is likely to draw more attention.

Last week’s national employment numbers came in far below expectations at only 160,000 for new job creation.  Experts were predicting the economy added 200,000.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is a weekly, random-sample survey tracking Americans' views on the condition of the U.S. economy, their personal finances and the buying climate.  The most recent survey shows that Americans are becoming more and more concerned about the state of affairs of the economy.  Although it is not really possible to quantify the impact, without question the disturbingly negative campaigning of the presidential front runners is adding to the angst of the American people.

Gasoline prices at the pump have been rising as the price of a barrel of oil continues to creep upward.  The price of a barrel of oil is now over $46.00.  Although, it remains less than half of where oil prices had been at the record highs in years past, the rising trend is contributing to consumers pulling back on spending ever so slightly.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday May 16th – Housing Market Report
·        Tuesday May 17th – Housing Starts, CPI, and Industrial Production
·        Wednesday May 18th – EIA Petroleum Report, FOMC Minutes, and MBA Mortgage Applications
·        Thursday May 19th - First Time Jobless Claims
·        Friday May 20th – Existing 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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mortgages : How Does A Balloon Payment Mortgage Work?

In a balloon mortgage, the payment is due within a specified period of time that is usually no less than one year and no more than five years. Make monthly payments on a balloon mortgage with tips from a licensed mortgage broker in this free video on personal finance and real estate.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Where Is It Headed?

It is getting difficult to tell which direction the economy is heading.  Housing continues to hum along at a relatively healthy pace.  The labor market seems to be remaining strong as well.  First time jobless claims are still low and the 4 week moving average also supports stability in the labor markets.

Interesting is the analysis of unemployment and the differing opinions.  ADP reported on Wednesday that they expect the labor market to add only 156,000 jobs for the month of April.  On the other end of the spectrum analysts estimate that the economy added 215,000 jobs added.

The manufacturing index is sending a mixed signal which reaffirms the confusion as to the strength of the economy.  Although the ISM Manufacturing Index came in moderately below expectations, overall growth still remains strong.  Additionally, export orders have jumped due the effect of the lower dollar compared to other currencies.  For quite some time the dollar has been strengthening which increases costs for any country importing goods from the United States.  Additional strength in the manufacturing sector is the increase in backlogged of orders.

In the lending arena there was no housing data released this week other than application volume measured by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.  For the last week of April, the MBA reported that purchase applications rose 1.0 percent.  With the slight increase in mortgage rates, refinances declined 6.0 percent. 

Overall interest rates remain near historic lows however since mortgage rates have been low for so long, there are fewer and fewer homeowners that can still take advantage of refinancing to lower their rate.  There is an increase in the number of homeowners who can access equity in their home with the continued rise of home prices across the country.
Finally prices at the pump continue to remain low.  Crude oil inventories rose 2.8 million barrels in the last week of April to 543.4 million barrels, which represents a new record high. Inventory of gasoline also increased by 500,000 barrels.  Gasoline and oil production continues to increase which will likely keep oil prices very low.

It will be about two weeks before we see any real major economic data that might move the markets.  There is always the possibility that foreign affairs may create disturbance in the U.S. markets but right now there does not seem to be anything making headlines that will have a significant impact.

Next week economic reports are:

·        Tuesday May 10th – JOLTS Report
·        Wednesday May 11th – EIA Petroleum Report & MBA Mortgage Applications
·        Thursday May 12th - First Time Jobless Claims
·        Friday May 13th – Retail Sales, Producer Price Index, and 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, May 5, 2016

Shrimp & Jalapeno Nachos - Cinco De Mayo Party Food Idea

Learn how to make a Shrimp & Jalapeno Nachos Recipe! Go to for the ingredient amounts, extra information, and many, many more video recipes! I hope you enjoy this easy Shrimp & Jalapeno Nachos recipe!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Describe The Housing Market

When it comes to describing the housing market, more and more reports are coming in using words and phrases like “soft”, “softening”, and “less than spectacular”.  However, when interviewing real estate and mortgage professionals around the country, they are using words and phrases like “fantastic”, “booming”, “not enough hours in the day”.  I have been trying to figure out where the gap between the analyst comments and the professionals in the trenches is coming from.  The only conclusion is the analysts are out of touch as to what is really good for the future of real estate and what is really happening.

On Monday this week the data on new homes sales for the month of March was released.  This was the first housing report for the week in which the phrase “less than spectacular” was used.  What is interesting is that even though many recent economic reports point to a slowing economy, the new home sales sector has been posting moderate and respectable numbers.  This is an example of someone taking what could have been a relatively positive headline, and for no reason, toning it down to appear more negative.  The reality is that new home sales have remained stable for a few months and despite the slowing in the overall economy, the demand for new homes remains healthy.

The same dynamic occurred with Wednesday’s pending homes sales report.  Pending sales rose 1.4 percent in March.  February sales increased by 3.4 percent.  Both months show increases in sales yet most of the commentary was negative.  The bottom line is when you have housing data improving while most other sectors of the economy are contracting, my opinion is that there is no need for negativity in describing the housing market.  In fact, the 1.4 percent increase was higher than expected.

The third housing report for the week was the Case-Shiller Home Price Index.  The phrase “far from spectacular” was used.  The data showed home prices in the 20 major cities was up 0.7 percent from January to February.  That is an annualize rate of 8.4 percent.  A rate of close to 10 percent in annualized appreciation actually points to a healthy stable market.  When home prices are leaping by double digits on an annualized basis that points to potential trouble in the future.

When home prices rise rapidly, home affordability disappears quickly.  This in turn can shift the market into negative territory very quickly, especially if wages are not rising, which happens to be the case now.  The fact that home prices are not skyrocketing is healthy for the housing market because it provides more buyers the means to afford a home.

As a professional in the real estate market, I find it frustrating when people will unjustly use negative headlines to sell newspapers.  The housing market is doing well and continues to have stability and growth.  Those are the words consumers should be hearing about the housing market.

Next week week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday May 2nd – ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending
·        Wednesday May 4th - MBA Applications & ADP Employment Report
·        Thursday May 5th - First Time Jobless Claims
·        Friday May 6th – 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