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.