Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week Debbie returns from her Mommy Makeover to peel back the curtain a little on the last couple weeks. She then continues on to inform everyone interested in a refinance that you have not missed your window, interest rates are still great for refinancing right now! Debbie and Heidi also go on to discuss loan options most people don’t consider and important things to know about filing taxes if you are near closing on a home.
A Look Into the Markets
“Can you take me High Enough?” by Damn Yankees
This past week we watched long-term rates, like mortgages, improve slightly despite a surprising comment from Treasury Secretary, Janey Yellen. Let’s break it all down and look at what’s on tap for next week.
“It may be that interest rates will have to rise somewhat to make sure that our economy doesn’t overheat” – Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen was being interviewed on Zoom when she unleashed this seemingly innocent and likely honest comment. Well, it sent shockwaves across the stock market, pushing the NASDAQ down as much as 400 points on Tuesday alone.
Yellen was once the Fed Chair, and in that former role, it would be her duty to share comments on monetary policy. As Treasury Secretary, it is not her role to discuss rates. Especially, considering the active Fed Chair Jerome Powell saying over and over just days earlier at the Fed Meeting that “now is not the time” to raise rates.
There is big pressure on the Fed to help keep rates low. First and foremost are the upcoming “Plans” being debated in Washington D.C. The American Jobs Plan and American Family Plan are estimated to cost another $4 trillion, on top of the $1 trillion-plus still not spent from the American Rescue Plan. All this spending must be paid for by selling new bonds in the market. What we as a country can’t afford now is higher rates as the expense to service all this new debt will be an enormous burden.
Sell in May and Go Away
Stocks, especially the tech-laden NASDAQ, may have used Yellen’s comment as a reason to sell – but some of the downward pressure in stocks may be a seasonal phenomenon called “Sell in May and Go Away”. The idea is that stocks generally underperform during the summer months when many take vacations, thereby creating lower trading volume, larger price swings and more risk.
As you could imagine, the pain in stocks was a gain for bonds. The 10-year yield declined to 1.56%, down nicely from 1.75% from just a few weeks ago.
If the summer selloff in stocks continues, we may see further improvement in rates.
Opportunity knocks again
With the recent improvement in rates, many more people can still benefit from a refinance and it will certainly help drive the purchase market. However – any rate improvement could be short-lived – here’s three reasons why locking at today’s rates may make sense:
- Treasury Secretary Janey Yellen’s comments for higher rates, was honest. Lumber and other commodity prices are soaring – higher rates would cool that off.
- There is growing pressure on Fed Chair Powell to start “tapering” bond purchases. Again, in response to “frothy” assets like stocks and real estate.
- We are going to see higher inflation numbers over the next few weeks – what we don’t know is how high the numbers will be or how bonds will react. Bonds do not like inflation – it’s like kryptonite to Superman…a killer.
Bottom line: Rates have improved of late, but the good times may be relatively short-lived. Those thinking about locking in today’s rates should do so.
Next week we will get a reading on consumer inflation by way of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It is forecast to come in above 3% year over year – mainly due to year over year increases in oil and commodities. This will be the first time in 50 years since headline year over year consumer inflation will be higher than 30-year mortgage rates.
Longer-term, this would be unsustainable as inflation can’t run above mortgage rates. Either inflation must decline or rates must move higher to compensate for higher inflation or a little bit of both.
The Fed is forecasting inflation to moderate later this year, that is why they say they are “not even thinking about, thinking about” raising rates or tapering bond purchases. We shall see if this comes to pass.
Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week Debbie is joined by newcomer to the Mortgage Mom team, Heather Kilpatrick, to continue the Homebuyer Workshop series by explaining the role of the real estate agent and why it is very important to find the best one for you.
A Look Into the Markets
“Oh yeah” – “Oh Yeah” by Yello (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”)
In the absence of any meaningful economic report this past week, we watched bond prices rise while rates inched lower. Oh yeah!!!
Let us break down what is going on and look into next week as the boredom ends.
The Path of Least Resistance
Rates have been steadily improving over the past few weeks as consumer inflation fears have waned. With a nice trend in place and no news to knock bonds down, prices continued their path of least resistance: higher. How high? Mortgage-backed securities, which are where home loan rates are derived, closed at their highest level since March 2nd this past week, and the 10-year yield hovered near 1.55%, also the lowest in nearly two months.
FOMC Blackout Period
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which meets eight times per year to discuss economic conditions and determine whether to hike or lower the Fed Fund Rates, can always move the market when they speak or during interviews.
However, the FOMC has established a blackout period where FOMC members are to limit their public speaking and interviews. The current period is April 17 through 29th. When Fed members are not talking or sharing their views, the markets can’t react to any perceived positive or negative statements. The quiet ends next week when the Fed delivers their Monetary Policy Statement on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET. More on that below.
Bonds Regaining Some Shine
A couple of interesting trends happened this week which could bode well for rates in the near-to-intermediate term. First, stocks struggled a bit this past week, and when they dropped, rates also declined. This is a typical market reaction, but something we have not seen much of this year during the steady increase in rates. If stocks continue to stumble and we see a seasonal, “Sell in May and go away,” reaction, it could leave room for further rate improvement.
Second, the 20-year bond auction this past week was well received. This means the buying appetite for Treasury securities was very good despite the recent improvement in rates/yields. If this trend continues, it will help keep long-term rates relatively low.
Housing en Fuego
March existing-home sales showed the median price rose by an annual record-breaking pace of 17.2%. This scorching rise is due mainly to an anemic 2.1 months of available inventory for sale.
Homes sold in 18 days on average, another record low.
This is all good news for someone selling a home, but as we know, it is rough for folks purchasing one.
With rates ticking back down, vaccinations administered, and economies reopening, we should expect continued strength in housing and hopefully more inventory available for sale.
Bottom line: This is an amazing moment to take advantage of the current interest rates as the present improvement in rates could be short lived.
As mentioned, it’s Fed Week. The FOMC will deliver its Monetary Policy Statement as well as its outlook on the economy on Wednesday. There is zero chance of a rate hike. And there is likely no chance the Fed mentions “tapering” of any bond purchases; let’s hope so. For when the Fed stops buying bonds, rates will move higher in a hurry.
We will also get some high-impact reports like Gross Domestic Product and the Fed’s favored gauge of inflation, the Core Personal Consumption Index (PCE).
Moreover, there will be a ton of corporate earnings, which could impact both stocks and bonds/rates.
Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week we continue the Homebuyer Workshop series by covering the details of the Bank Statement loan program and more!
In this Issue
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” – Jane Austen
As home prices continue to rise, those with their heart set on homeownership might seek non-traditional ways of climbing the property ladder. In this issue, we’ll cover these ideas as well as the following:
- What to Watch – After weeks of lower bond prices and higher yields, the cure for higher rates may be higher rates, as the uptick in yield could be luring in buyers.
- Rent-to-Own Properties on the Rise – The popularity of rent-to-own properties has increased recently, but it remains a risky option for many homebuyers looking to purchase their home.
- Ways to Hang Plants Outdoors – You don’t need a green thumb to hang plants outside as long as you have a few household items.
- Q&A: What Type of Market Is It? – How do you know if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market? Knowing which one it is can help you determine if you should buy, sell, or hold on to your property.
What to Watch
Where Are Rates Headed?
After weeks of lower bond prices and higher yields, the cure for higher rates may be higher rates as the uptick in yield could be luring in buyers. Reports now read that Japan may become a net buyer of U.S. Treasury securities after being a net seller for quite some time. One of the continued tailwinds for relatively low rates here in the U.S. is the ridiculously low rates around the globe.
Also on the radar in the weeks and months ahead could be the continued rise in the U.S. stock markets. The possibility of the bullish sentiment for stocks may be fueled by new stimulus on the way as states continue to reopen fully and if rates stabilize. The U.S. economy could be on track for a breakout year. The Atlanta Fed is forecasting a whopping 8.3% gain in Q1 2021 Gross Domestic Product!
So what does this mean for mortgage rates? If we continue to see some stabilization in yields, we may see some modest improvement in rates. At the same time, we should expect a continued rise in rates as the economy improves. The Federal Reserve has said as much in the past few weeks.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, said, “While purchase activity remains high, it has cooled off over the last few weeks and is currently on par with early March 2020, prior to the pandemic. However, the rise in mortgage rates over the next couple of months is likely to be more muted in comparison to the last few weeks, and we expect a strong spring sales season.”
Bottom line: Home borrowing costs remain historically low, and now is a good time to get off the fence and jump into home ownership.
Source: Mortgage Market Guide
Rent-to-Own Properties on the Rise
The demand for these types of properties has increased recently. While opting for a rent-to-own property looks good on paper, since you don’t need to plunk down a huge down payment, it comes with its own risks. One major risk is that unlike the typical buying or rental process, the rent-to-own doesn’t have a standard contract as the terms are completely negotiable. This is known as the lease option, and both sides must agree to certain terms.
With a rent-to-own home, you agree to rent a home for a specific time with the understanding that you gain ownership of the home. The timeframe can last from several months to several years.
Another downside is that you will probably pay higher prices than if you were to rent. But if you think about it, a portion of your monthly payment is going toward the down payment on the home. You can use the accrued money to purchase the home at the end of your agreement. The money is typically non-refundable, so if you decide not to purchase the property, you lose that money.
If the thought of a rent-to-own property gives you pause, you have other options. You might qualify for a low-down-payment mortgage of only 3% to 5% or you might consider owner financing. Reach out to a loan officer for more assistance in securing your dream home.
Sources: Rocketmortgage.com, Daveramsey.com, Thebalance.com, Bankrate.com
Ways to Hang Plants Outdoors
Your plants don’t need to be planted in the ground to flourish. Even if you don’t consider yourself handy, you can easily hang your plants outdoors as long as you have a few tools.
Hang glass bottles. Wrap some twine or string around the bottle, and hang it from a branch or tree limb. Place a few cut flowers inside.
Attach pots to a pallet. Prop a pallet against the side of your house, and attach small pots to it. You can grow flowers or herbs in these pots.
Install a ceiling hook. If your home has a porch with an overhang, consider adding a few ceiling hooks to hold hanging planters. Cascading ivy would look sharp in this type of hanger.
Mount an old tire. Repurpose an old tire and mount it on your siding so it resembles a wreath. Place your plants inside this hanging planter.
You likely have many of these items lying around your house. Even if you don’t, a quick stop at a home-improvement store can get you started with hanging some of your favorite plants outside.
Sources: Homedit.com, Familyhandyman.com
What Type of Market Is It?
QUESTION: How do you tell if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market?
ANSWER: Real estate markets fluctuate through cycles, and knowing what type of stage the market is at can help you decide if it’s a good time to buy, sell, or wait.
In a seller’s market, more buyers are available compared to the property for sale. When this happens, home prices tend to increase, and bidding wars often occur. Sellers also might receive their full asking price of the home or even more. A few signs that it’s a seller’s market include:
- Fewer homes for sale.
- Homes selling via word-of-mouth before they’re even listed.
- Homes on the market for fewer days.
On the other hand, a buyer’s market occurs when there are more homes for sale than prospective buyers. When this happens, prices are more negotiable because buyers believe they can easily move on to the next deal if the current one falls through due to expanded inventory. A few signs that it’s a buyer’s market include:
- Increased number of homes for sale.
- Homes sell for below-asking prices, oftentimes with numerous price cuts.
- Inventory levels rise, as do the days on the market.
It might seem easy to determine what type of housing market it is just by following those guidelines, but sometimes it’s not so easy. Depending on the neighborhood, one area could be a seller’s market, while on the other side of town, it could be a buyer’s market.
By monitoring trends in sales prices and determining the amount of available inventory, you can have a better understanding of the market. Homes that sell above the asking price indicate that it’s a seller’s market. The larger the inventory of homes for sale, the more likely it’s a buyer’s market. Take the number of homes for sale and divide it by the number of homes that have sold in the past month. If the number is above seven, it’s a buyer’s market. If it’s below five, it’s a seller’s market. Anything in the middle is considered neutral.
If you’re looking to buy or sell, it’s important to know what type of market you’re dealing with. For help figuring out which one affects you, reach out to your real estate contact to determine how you can take advantage of the current housing market.
Sources: Learn.roofstock.com, Rocketmortgage.com
Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week we continue the Homebuyer Workshop series by covering the details of the USDA loan program. We also discuss fluctuating interest rates, appraisal waivers, and the availability of homes right now.
A Look Into the Markets
This past week we watched long-term interest rates improve nicely from the highest levels in over a year. The recent chatter about higher inflation has cooled down and allowed other themes to come in and influence stocks and interest rates, and it was mostly negative and bond-friendly. Let us break down what happened.
“Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman” – “Taxman,” by The Beatles
Bonds and rates love bad news and slower economic conditions, so when the talk of “largest tax increase in decades” went across the wires this week, stocks and rates moved lower with the 10-year Note yield dropping to 1.59% from 1.75% just days earlier.
It’s far from clear what and who will be taxed, but what is clear is that corporate tax rates are going up, and that has a negative effect on stocks – hence the pullback. Taxes, whether you love them or hate them, hamper economic growth and weigh on consumer demand, which lowers inflation pressures: another positive for rates.
“Vaccination is a national priority” – French President Emmanuel Macron
Another big negative and uncertain event has been the sharp rise in COVID cases throughout Europe. The main cause of the spike appears to be a slow vaccination rollout.
Fresh lockdowns throughout the region could cause economic harm and elevate uncertainty, which again may cause stocks and rates to move lower.
The Buck Is Strong
Despite enormous spending by the U.S. government and much more on the way, the U.S. dollar has strengthened against other global currencies, touching the highest level since November 2020.
Why does this matter? Many commodities, like oil, are priced in U.S. dollars, so as the dollar gets stronger, it has put downward pressure on the price of a barrel of oil. This has an effect of lowering inflation pressures, because so many products are made of oil.
A strong dollar also makes our imports cheaper, which also lowers inflation pressures which bonds and rates love.
Bottom line: Rates have improved week-over-week and the trend may very well continue. However, like we experienced several weeks ago, any further rate improvement may be modest and short-lived. As economies reopen, we should expect rates to continue to increase further over time. So, if you or someone you know would like to talk about this incredible opportunity, please contact me.
There are many high-impact economic reports next week, including the ADP report and Friday’s Jobs Report. One of the Fed’s mandates is to promote maximum employment. As we get closer to that goal, that is when the Fed will lower its bond purchases and hike rates. We are nowhere near full employment at the moment.
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!
Tickets for the Walking Phoenix’s virtual concert benefiting the Pacific Mesothelioma Center can be found here: https://walkingphoenixes.veeps.com/stream/schedule
Find Drew’s music at https://irishcowgirlmusic.com/
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.
Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week we continue the Homebuyers Workshop 2021 series by covering the details of the jumbo loan program. And as always, we answer your questions submitted in the comment feeds on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch!
Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week we talk about rising interest rates and what this means for your home purchase or refinance.
Tickets for the Walking Phoenix’s virtual concert can be found here: https://walkingphoenixes.veeps.com/stream/schedule
Find Drew’s music at https://irishcowgirlmusic.com/
This week we take a break from discussing mortgages and the homebuyer workshop to bring in the voice of the Mortgage Mom jingle, Drew Young of the Walking Phoenixes to speak about his upcoming benefit virtual concert to raise awareness for those suffering from mesothelioma. He speaks about why raising awareness is important to him and what we can do to help.
As an added bonus, you get to hear a live acoustic version of the Mortgage Mom Radio jingle and a sample of a couple songs we will hear in his upcoming virtual concert!
Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week we continue the Homebuyers Workshop 2021 series by covering the details of the conventional loan program. And as always, we answer your questions submitted in the comment feeds on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch!
Don’t forget to keep watching past the hour mark for another segment of Mortgage Mom After Dark!