Estate Planning with Crista Hermance
Radio Host / Mortgage Educator / Loan Originator
Debbie Marcoux Radio Host / Mortgage Educator / Loan Originator
Published on December 11, 2020

Estate Planning with Crista Hermance

Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. Crista Hermance from Hermance Law joins us this week to educate us on wills vs trusts, power of attorney, community property vs joint tenants, taking property out of a trust for a refinance, and more. Plus we answer listener questions throughout the show.

In This Issue

“Never hope for it more than you work for it.” — Sonya Teclai

Despite the pandemic hitting the country during the summer, low mortgage rates and evolving housing needs caused the housing market to thrive. We’ll dive into these factors and more, including:

  • What to Watch – 2020 is Coming to an End: Right now it’s all about stimulus and vaccine hopes.
  • Housing News – Summer 2020 Was a Selling Frenzy: Low mortgage rates and changing home needs fueled the summertime housing boom.
  • Home Improvement – Painting Over Textured Materials: When wanting a change to your home’s interior, what is the best way to paint over brick, stone, and wood?
  • Q&A – Why Is the Market Thriving During a Pandemic? Learn why people are grabbing homes at record numbers.

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2020 is Coming to an End

As 2020 comes to an end, with many saying bring on 2021, it’s all about stimulus and vaccine hopes right now. The U.S. financial markets continue to await any headlines from D.C. and there is political pressure on both sides of Congress to get something done.

Mortgage rates were unchanged last week at 2.92% and remain near record lows, but what could the near-term future hold as we head into the new year where rates are concerned? Even with the recent rise in the U.S.10-year yield, home loan rates have continued to improve thanks to the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed) asset purchase program.

There is some concern that upward pressure in rates exists, and in addition to the market looking forward at vaccines and more stimulus, there is real asset inflation everywhere: materials, commodities, Stocks, and housing. With the Fed and incoming president looking to add even more stimulus, there could be more asset inflation and potentially some upward pressure on mortgage rates.

The good news is that should rates creep higher, the Fed will likely do even more to pin down long-term rates like measures such as QE and some sort of yield curve control.

Source: Mortgage Market Guide

Summer 2020 Was a Selling Frenzy

Traditionally, September is a slow month for sales as families are already settled into the school year. However, the U.S. housing market saw a tremendous rally this September as low mortgage rates and buyers’ demand for additional space during COVID-19 created the need for a change.

The U.S. Census Bureau/HUD announced in October that new single-family home sales in September 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 959,000, which is 3.5% below the revised August rate of 994,000 but 32.1% higher than September 2019’s estimate of 726,000. Of these new homes sold in September 2020, the median sales price was $326,800, while the average sale price was $405,400.

Some of the shifts in the real state industry are due to low interest rates and changes in demographics. Demand for new housing in some parts of the country has overwhelmed home builders, making supplies an ongoing challenge. Analysts report that the high demand is due to the lack of existing home inventory available for purchase.

Sources:, Housing Wire,

Painting Over Textured Materials

When you move into a new-to-you home, the previous homeowners might have had different decorating tastes than you. If you just plunked down a bunch of money for your new home, you might not have room in your budget for a complete remodel. Luckily, with a little elbow grease and a few tools, you can paint over certain materials yourself. Use these tips to prepare these textured surfaces:

Brick: Take a look at the brick surface to determine if you need to repair any small cracks with acrylic caulk. Thoroughly clean the brick with a wire brush and soapy water. Avoid using acidic cleaners, as they will affect the final paint job. Let it dry. Use a roller or paintbrush to apply a latex primer to the brick. Push the paint into any tiny crevices or cracks, and apply a second coat if needed.

Stone: Wash the stone surface with vinegar and a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with fresh water and allow it to dry. Use a spray bottle to spray a light mist of water over the area you want to paint. Stone is porous, and the water will seep into the pores and prevent the paint from soaking in too deeply. Prime the surface with a thick roller, making sure to paint over the mortar lines. After the primer dries, paint the finish coat. You should only need one or two coats, but make sure to get into the nooks and crannies.

Wood: With wood paneling, use 120-grit sandpaper to sand the walls thoroughly and remove any gloss. Take a wet cloth and wipe away any dust. Allow the wall to dry. Use a putty knife and apply a thin layer of drywall joint compound to any grooves. After the compound dries, sand the area, wipe with a cloth, and allow it to dry. Paint the oil-based primer over the wall. Once dry, use a roller or brush to paint the wall with latex paint. Let it dry, and apply another coat if needed.

Sources:, Architectual Digest

Why Is the Market Thriving During a Pandemic?

QUESTION: With the country dealing with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, why is the housing market thriving?

ANSWER: Even with the deadliest pandemic to hit the country in more than a century, the housing market has thrived due to the lowest mortgage rates ever recorded combined with a shift in how people are using their homes.

The number one reason people sought to purchase homes was due to the low interest rates, but as people are working from home more, they seek bigger homes and care less about commuting times. They see their homes not only as a place to live but an office and, for those with children, a part-time school. People are also seeking homes with pools and home gyms since they’re spending so much time at home.

In a recent interview with HousingWire, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said that during the first few months of the pandemic, he projected home sales in 2020 would experience a 15% decline. Once the Federal Reserve announced it would buy Mortgage Bonds to keep the credit afloat during the pandemic, the average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen below 3% in the latest survey from Freddie Mac.

As a result, the NAR announced that existing-home sales jumped nearly 27% annually in October to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 6.85 million units. This was the highest sales pace in 16 years. “The surge in sales in recent months has now offset the spring market losses,” he said. “With news that a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available, and with mortgage rates projected to hover around 3% in 2021, I expect the market’s growth to continue into 2021.” Yun forecasts existing-home sales to rise by 10% to 6 million in 2021.

Sources: Vanity Fair, Housing Wire

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Debbie Marcoux is licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, NMLS ID 237926, also licensed in AZ-0941504, FL-LO76508, GA-69178, IL-031.0058339, NV-57237, OR, TN-184373, TX, WA-MLO-237926 | Heidi Slagle-Points CA NMLS ID 1666881