Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week we broadcast from our new Mortgage Mom Radio studio and discuss the new application form used by all mortgage lenders, forbearance and what to do before pursuing a refinance, and tips you can use to help make the mortgage process smoother and easier for everyone.
And, as always, we answer your questions submitted in the comment feeds on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch!
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Rates Hit Historically Low Levels
Interest rates hit historically low levels last year due to the pandemic outbreak and the worst quarterly decline in economic growth ever. Those rates have helped millions of homeowners to refinance and save significant money on interest expense. On the purchase side, along with several other tailwinds, low rates have fueled a bonanza in housing.
Fortunately, we are closer to getting past the pandemic as vaccines are now seeing widespread distribution. This, along with enormous stimulus measures, pent-up consumer demand, and easy monetary policy, tells us the good times of ultra-low rates may have come to an end.
To back up this claim, a Freddie Mac spokesperson said, “New COVID-19 cases are receding, which is encouraging and that has led to a rise in Treasury rates.”
Translation: Higher rates may be ahead, but not so fast. The Federal Reserve has played a pivotal role in keeping rates relatively low by purchasing $120 billion worth of Treasurys and mortgage-backed-securities per month. But despite those efforts, rates have crept steadily higher in the past month with the 10-year yield moving from .50% last August to the current level of 1.15% due in part to an improving economy, along with the aforementioned vaccination distribution and COVID-19 losing its grip.
Should rates move too high too quickly, the Fed will likely do more to try and pin down long-term rates, like purchasing even more bonds. But be aware, rates are subject to inflation expectations along with the direction of stocks and bonds and the economic landscape, to name a few.
Bottom line: If the economy continues to improve, rates have no other direction but to move higher. Last year this time in a strong economy, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.47% and if rates were to return to those levels, they would still be near all-time record lows.
Mortgage Rages are Projected to Stay Low in 2021
While 2020 was definitely a roller coaster of a year, one thing is certain: The real estate market not only met expectations, it actually surpassed them and broke records. As we continue into 2021, people are once again wondering what the housing market will bring. Here are the housing and mortgage projections you want to keep in mind for the coming year.
In 2020, 30-year fixed mortgage rates hit record lows, which was one of the main reasons for the thriving real estate market. These rates made homeownership affordable for many people, and eager buyers were ready to take advantage of the savings. Most experts predict mortgage rates will remain low in 2021. As a result, they also predict an increase in home sales.
If you’re thinking about selling your home, this is good news. Higher demand usually increases home prices, so you’ll likely be able to get more for your home. If you plan to buy, you have good news to look forward to as well: Some experts think we’ll see an increase in inventory as both new homes from builders and properties from hesitant homeowners who waited out the pandemic hit the market.
If you’re thinking about buying a new home this year, now is the time to act. Contact your loan officer to learn about the current mortgage rates and plan your next move in this burgeoning market.
Choosing the Best Baseboards
If you’re remodeling your home or redoing your floors, you’ll likely need to replace your baseboards. It might seem like a simple selection until you realize how many options and styles are available. That’s when you realize you need to make sure your new baseboards don’t clash with your existing furnishings and decor. When it’s time to get new baseboards, consider these options so you can choose the best baseboards for the style in your home.
Baseboard Materials: Baseboards are typically made from one of three basic materials: medium-density fiberboard (MDF), wood, or PVC.
MDF: An engineered wood product made from scraps of hardwood or softwood, MDF is usually the least expensive option. You can often get it pre-primed so you can paint it almost any color you want.
Wood: Wood is the most traditional option. However, prices can vary greatly depending on the type of wood you select. Popular options include oak, pine, walnut, maple, and fir. You can paint it, stain it, or simply apply a clear coat for a natural look.
PVC: While not as durable as MDF or wood, PVC baseboards are popular options for rooms that deal with water, such as a bathroom or laundry room, because they’re nonabsorbent. You can find PVC baseboards in a variety of styles.
Traditional Style: Traditional-style baseboards are one of the most popular styles because they look good in nearly every type of home. This style tends to have shorter boards, which gives the ceiling more depth.
Modern Style: If your home showcases a more contemporary look, the sleek and smooth style of modern baseboards might be a better fit. These baseboards often have a square or boxed appearance.
Victorian Style: Victorian-style baseboards are ornate and complex. Because Victorian homes tend to have higher ceilings, these baseboards are also taller than most other styles.
Country Style: Country-style baseboards also tend to have a tall profile. Additionally, they usually have a shoe molding that emphasizes the height.
Craftsman Style: Craftsman-style baseboards are known for their high-quality design. While the details are often simple, they typically look custom-manufactured and can include a base cap and shoe molding.
Now that you know more about the different types of baseboards you can purchase, evaluate your home and decide which one suits your style best. Then you won’t feel overwhelmed when it’s time to head to the hardware store to purchase your baseboards.
QUESTION: Will 2021 bring about a buyer’s market?
ANSWER: Experts are anticipating a seller’s market to continue into 2021. There are several contributing factors such as low inventory, the recent increase in lumber, and the pandemic causing many people to work from home. Although a buyer’s market may not be in the cards for 2021, buyers can take advantage of historically low interest rates that are expected to remain low for a while. If you are a buyer or a seller, there is an upside for both and no better time to buy or sell your home than in today’s market.
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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