How will the outcome of the election influence mortgage rates?
Everyone please be safe over there on the East coast as hurricane Matthew bears down. Stan booked his trip to NY, give him some suggestions on places and things to check out during his trip!
OMG! Stan has a new YouTube channel... Check out his first Video "Blob"!
Here you go...
5. Lower Your Rate
Well, yeah, that is usually the #1 reason but because it is the first thing people usually think about when considering refinancing, we consider it too obvious to rank it higher. Just make sure that even if you have been a previous client of ours, get at least one other quote so you are completely comfortable with the rate we are quoting you. And remember, we always try to match any competitor's quote, but if we can't for any reason, we will still be happy to advise you through the process with the other lender.
4. Getting rid of an ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage)
Most homeowners don't ever consider an ARM anymore but if you happen to have one, it may have made sense a few years ago. Now with rates still at record lows, get rid of it! You don't need that stress. That being said, we can crunch the numbers and if for any reason it would behoove you to keep it until it gets closer to the "balloon" date, we will definitely let you know.
3. Take advantage of your credit score
If you've been diligent about making your mortgage payments on time every month, you are normally rewarded with a higher credit score and refinancing will more than likely be a piece of cake. That, in turn, could translate to qualifying for a lower interest rate. WOO HOO!!!
2. Convert to a shorter term on your loan
As with all loan decisions, shortening the length of your loan may be the right thing to do based on your individual circumstances. If you can swing the higher monthly payments on a 15 year fixed, you will ultimately save a lot in interest over staying in a 30 year loan.
And the #1 reason to refinance NOW...
Build Your Equity Faster, Smarter, Better!
If your ultimate goal for homeownership is to pay off your house sooner rather than later then refinancing at a lower rate and shorter term but continuing to make the same monthly payment will mean you'll have more equity to play around with should you ever need to take any cash out. It is a lot less painful to do that when your interest rate is fixed at let's say 3.5% rather than 4.5% or higher.
Stan "The Mortgage Man's" Blob
March 4, 2016
Quote of the week...
"Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true."
--Leon Suenens, Clergyman
Dog Eat Doug by Brian Anderson
Dear Mortgage Family Member,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OJ MORTGAGE!! We celebrated our 22nd anniversary on Valentines Day!
It took over 10 years, but I finally lost the extra weight I put on in my 50's. (Going through a divorce might have something to do with it.)
Nobody wanted to believe yours truly last year when I predicted mortgage interest rates would fall by the 2nd quarter 2016. But they did. Great time to refinance is once again upon us. FHA, VA, welcome.
- Refinance to lower your monthly payments
- Refinance to consolidate your credit card debt (and lower your monthly payment)
- Refinance to pay off your adjustable rate HELOC (all adjustable rate mortgages will feel the pain of a Federal Reserve rate increases in the near future).
- Refinance to get rid of your PMI
- Refinance to lower your interest rate and payoff your loan much, much sooner.
- Refinance to pull out some cash to do home improvements, create a college fund, buy an investment property, etc.
Rates will probably never be this low again. Don't wait too long. Pay attention! You should have all year to do so, but try to take advantage of this opportunity by the fall.
Please call me if I can be of help.
I hope this letter finds you and yours enjoying all that life has to offer. I wish you and yours the best of health always.
Remember: balance in all things. Diversify your assets. Think positive. Love yourself and those closest to you.
Stan "The Mortgage Man's" Blob
March 11, 2016
Quote of the week...
"If anyone is having a bad day, remember that today in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $800. Now its worth $58,065,210,000."
--Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur
The Pajama Diaries by Terri Libenson
For those of you selling your home this summer (or know someone who is) the following is a must read.
TIMING CONUNDRUM-Great news. You sold your home. But that means you have to get a move on-quickly. Don't get caught in the squeeze.
By Marilyn Kennedy Melia, bankrate.com
Home sellers in many areas of the country face a problem that's rather nice to have: They have found a buyer who is eager to move in, and now they must find another property to buy - the faster the better. That's a change from the depths of the housing crisis, when finding a suitable home to buy was easier than selling one. In markets as diverse as Boston, Detroit and Naples, it's getting harder to find a home to buy. Those three markets had significantly fewer homes for sale in late 2013 than in 2012, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Low inventory plagues other markets, too. Here are questions that sellers should ask so they can minimize the squeeze caused by selling a home before buying another.
How long will it take to sell?
Using the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, data, a real estate agent can measure the time it takes for comparable homes to move from initial listing to having a purchase contract accepted to the closing of a sale.
In a pronounced seller's market, "You might see averages as little as eight to 20 days" for homes to go under contract after listing, said Kristy Gonzalez, an agent with ERA Evergreen Real Estate in Hilton Head, S.C.
Another forecast on selling time can be gleaned right after a home is listed. "Certainly you can get an idea of how fast it will sell," said Gonzalez, who adds that on some of her listings, agents were booking appointments for buyers to tour within hours.
Is it possible to sell and buy simultaneously?
It's never too early to research homes in the neighborhoods you'd like to buy in, said Eric Tan, an agent with Redfin in Los Angeles.
Once your home is listed, he said, "luck and coordination" are needed to close on the sale and purchase at the same time.
To have homes pass among various hands , it helps to have the same firm handling the closings, Tan said.
"Different states have different rules," he said. But whether it's a law office, title company or other real estate-related firm, hitches, which come with the copious paperwork, may be resolved more easily with fewer sites involved.
Can you ask your buyer for more time?
Because selling first and then buying is problematic in a seller's market, experts advise taking advantage of your strong position as a seller as you work out the timing of your purchase.
"Negotiate a longer time until the closing," said Raylene Lewis of Century 21 Beal in College Station, Texas. "If closings are normally out 30 days, ask for 50 days so you have more time," she said.
Depending on how home purchase contracts are written in your locale, it might be possible to tell a buyer that you'll accept that offer, but it's contingent on whether you have a home to purchase by a certain date, Lewis said.
On the flip side, as a buyer, you might ask that your purchase offer be contingent upon your home being sold by a specified time. But in a hot market, "it's unlikely a seller will accept such a contingency without at least a purchase contract (pending) on your property," Gonzalez said.
Who can afford to buy before selling?
Before the financial crisis, home sellers could obtain "bridge loans" to finance down payments, said Neil Caron, vice president of retail production at Freedom Mortgage Corp. in South Windsor, Conn. Bridge loans were short-term loans to be repaid as soon as the borrower's first house was sold. Now, if sellers need the proceeds from the sale to use as a down payment, it's difficult, if not impossible, to find bridge financing, Caron said.
Another option is to use the proceeds of a home equity loan as a down payment, said Charles Chedester, past president of the trade group Mortgage Professionals of Iowa. The caveat here is that sellers must apply for home equity credit before they list their homes for sale because lenders won't extend loans on properties up for sale.
Stan "The Mortgage Man's" Blob
April 7, 2016
New financial advice rules set
To prevent bad or conflicted advice, brokers and advisers now face stricter standards
The Labor Department announced sweeping rules that could transform the financial advice given to people saving for retirement by requiring brokers and advisers to put their clients' interests first.
The long-awaited "fiduciary rule" would create a new standard for brokers and advisers that is stricter than current regulations, which only require that brokers recommend products that are "suitable," even if it may not be the investor's best option.
At a time when mom-and-pop savers are increasingly being put in charge of their own retirement security, the rule is meant to add a new layer of protection to guard workers from poor or conflicted investment advice. The rule is supposed to improve disclosures and to reduce conflicts of interest, such as cases when a firm is paid by a mutual fund company or other third party for recommending a particular investment.
"This is a huge win for the middle class," said Thomas Perez, secretary of the Labor Department. "In far too many places and on far too many issues, the rules no longer work for working people."
Proponents of the rule say it should cut back on cases of retirement savers being steered into complicated and pricey investments, leaving them with more savings in their pockets. While the new rule won't ban commissions, brokers may have to explain why they are recommending a particular product when a less expensive option is available, and they could face scrutiny if they recommend complicated products. Conflicted investment advice costs savers $17 billion a year, according to an estimate from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
"Hard workers need every dollar to work for them," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren during a press event announcing the rule.
It's too soon to know exactly how the rule will play out, but the change could lead savers to invest more of their money in low-cost index-based funds, analysts say. Some investment firms could also lower their fees.
Another potential impact of the new rules for retirement savers is that they might end up switching accounts or investment firms. Some investors may have conversations with their brokers and advisers over the next several months about whether they should be moved into a different kind of account or work with a different firm altogether.Some firms may decide to move investors from commission-based accounts to fee-based accounts where funds may be managed by a financial adviser and an investor's cost may be structured as a percentage of assets invested, instead of a fee per transaction, according to the report released in October by the fund research firm Morningstar. The move would put savers into accounts where what brokers and advisers are paid would not depend on the type of investment product they sell.
Those fee-based accounts are already subject to fiduciary standards but may raise costs for investors who rarely make trades and are more likely to hold on to investments for the long term.
The Labor Department also says educational information offered to retirement savers about types of investments would still be allowed under the new rules. But investment firms consulting savers on whether they should keep their money in a 401(k) or roll them over into an IRAwould be required to meet the new standard on any advice they offer. Financial firms would have until January 2018 to get into compliance.
Quote of the week...
"The pro is the person who has all the hassles, obstacles, and disappointing frustrations that everyone else has. yet continues to persist, does the job, and makes it look easy."
--David Cooper, Sales Trainer
by Diane Tuman
If you find yourself in a position where you have to sell your house quickly, there are a few things you can do to help expedite finding a buyer. Here are some tips from some successful real estate agents:
Look at your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer. Would you be interested in seeing somebody’s wedding photos and kid’s baseball picture? Or would you like to see how the space can be used and picture your belongings in the home? Removing the clutter opens up spaces such as countertops and shelving and lets the buyer use their imagination. Be strategic with your furniture. Pieces in corners tend to make rooms feel smaller.
Walk the home with your agent prior to listing it on the market and make a punch list of things to be done before it hits the MLS. Research shows the activity of a house spikes when it is first listed, so it needs to be ready for that initial surge. If the home is not ready, most of those buyers will not be back to view it when it finally is. That’s why it is essential to put your best foot forward from the get go. Remember, first impressions are typically lasting ones.
A vacant home can feel cold and hollow to prospective buyers. Staging companies can add furnishings to homes to help add warmth and color for a reasonable fee. By placing furniture in your house you are showing buyers how space can be used and giving it a homey feel while still allowing them to picture how their belongings would look. The cost of staging a home is usually less than your first price reduction, and can be an effective tool in selling your home. As an added bonus, furniture helps hide blemishes in carpeting and on the walls.
Pre-inspections are becoming more and more popular with today’s sellers. For a fee of around $300 to $500, a licensed inspector will evaluate your home’s major systems (including electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and roof). By having this prior knowledge, sellers have the chance to make repairs or modifications on their own terms and can alleviate any issues that may come up during a buyer’s inspection. Nobody’s home is perfect, yet sellers are often blindsided by demands for costly repairs they didn’t anticipate on systems they have never had issues with. They often feel stuck after possibly agreeing on a purchase price of less than they originally asked, then after having their home off the open market for 10 to 20 days once it’s under contract being asked to make costly repairs or reduce the price even more. On the positive side, if systems show up as being in good working order after a pre-inspection, sellers can use this information as a marketing tool.
Do you feel comfortable being somebody’s guinea pig? That’s exactly how you’ll feel if you make the wrong choice when selecting your agent. An experienced agent will have the knowledge necessary to give you the most leverage in the market. They will have performed enough transactions to anticipate any problems that may arise and know what it takes to sell a home in the most competitive of markets. Ask your agent questions such as how many transactions they performed last year, what their average time on the market was, what their sales price to list price ratios look like, and also for a list of references from past clients. If an agent is unable to answer these questions to your satisfaction, keep looking. Your home is too important to be somebody’s “learning” experience.
No matter what steps and precautions you take, if it is overpriced it will not sell. Partner with your agent when determining the price of your home, and be realistic when setting the sales price. Sellers who actively participate in researching comps (comparable homes) usually have better luck in selling their homes. An agent can show them how they come up with a price based on prior sales and active listings, and, by being involved, sellers get a better feel for the marketplace. Ask to meet with your agent at his or her office so you can view history on the MLS with them. Overpricing first, then counting on settling for the “real” price is setting yourself up for failure.