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.

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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.