What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – April 6th, 2020

Financial Reports , ,
Last week’s economic reporting included readings on pending home sales, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, and Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on national unemployment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released. Pending Home Sales Slow in February Before Coronavirus Took Hold The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer pending home sales in February as the coronavirus gained traction. Pending sales rose by 2.40 percent in February as compared to January’s growth rate of 5.30 percent. Before the outbreak, pending home sales gained momentum in all U.S. regions. Pending home sales are sales for which signed purchase…
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The Department Of Veterans Affairs Is Allowing Drive-by Appraisals Because Of COVID-19

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The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has impacted every industry across the country. Many people are being asked to shelter in place and everyone has been asked to practice social distancing to try to curtail the spread of this deadly virus. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has asked both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to make some changes in the manner they conduct property appraisals and employment verification. Shortly after the move by the FHFA, The Veteran's Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) followed suit by relaxing property appraisal requirements. Due to the unusual circumstances that are facing the country…
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Case-Shiller: January Home Price Growth Strong; Pandemic Impact Unknown

Financial Crisis , ,
United States home prices increased by 3.90 percent year-over-year in January as compared to December’s growth rate of 3.70 percent according to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. Home prices also rose in Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index. 20-City Home Price Index: Phoenix Arizona Leads in Home Price Growth The Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index is followed closely by real estate pros and its trends are used to gauge home price growth within cities included in the index. Phoenix, Arizona led home price growth rates for the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year growth rate of 6.90 percent. Seattle, Washington followed…
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Building An Emergency Fund During An Emergency

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By now, it should be apparent that this COVID-19 (Corona-virus) pandemic is going to be here for several months. It is already causing the market to plummet and is disrupting jobs all over the country. Many people who work as hourly employees (or are independent contractors) are starting to suffer. As people's budgets start to feel the squeeze, this is exactly the time that people should be relying on an emergency fund; however, for those who don't have one, it is time to start saving. How To Create An Emergency Fund Even though cash assistance from the government might be…
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How To Retain Your Sanity While Working From Home

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There are a lot of people who enjoy working from home; however, with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who are not used to working from home are forced into this new arrangement. It can be hard for individuals o stay focused when they are stuck in the environment at home. Particularly if the kids are home from school, it is easy to get distracted. Fortunately, there are a few ways people can retain their sanity as they work from home. Get Into A Routine One of the first steps people need to follow is to find a routine. It can…
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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – March 30th, 2020

Financial Reports , ,
Scheduled monthly readings were released for new home sales and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released. New Home Sales Beat Expectations in February Sales of new homes dropped 4.40 percent in February after reaching a 13-year high in January. 765,000 new homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis, which exceeded expectations of 750,000 sales in February. New home sales were 14.30 percent higher year-over-year. Analysts said that further declines monthly new home sales are expected as the coronavirus spreads. The national median price for a new home was $345,900 and there…
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When It Makes Sense To DIY

Real Estate , ,
Many homeowners enjoy DIY, or Do-it-Yourself, home improvement projects. There's nothing quite like the pride of knowing you used your own hands to put together or improve something. With the explosion of social media sites such as YouTube, Pinterest,and TikTok, spending a weekend on DIY projects seems easier than ever before. After just a couple of minutes spent searching, you can find a step-by-step tutorial, before and after photos, or a time-lapse video of any project imaginable. Anyone can do this! Right? Not so fast. In some cases, it may not make sense to DIY. How do you decide whether…
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Home Improvement Projects For The Quarantined

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If you have paid attention to the news recently, you have probably heard about the coronavirus pandemic which also goes by the name COVID-19. Those who are exposed to the virus might be asked to place themselves in quarantine. Some states have even told their residents to shelter in place. While this infection has forced everyone to change the way they live their lives, there are still some home improvement projects you can tackle during quarantine to put your free time to use. Jump On Spring Cleaning One of the first home improvement projects people need to tackle is spring…
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Turn Your Yard Into An All-Seasons Living Space

Real Estate , ,
Think of backyard space as "in-between" or transitional space that is a bit like being inside while being outside. Sunrooms, screened-in covered patios, outdoor kitchens, spas, fire pits and more, are all becoming very popular ways to make more use of the backyard. Making use of the outside area is not limited to only the times of the year that have nice, warm weather. Sitting around a fire pit, with a blazing fire in it, is a perfect way to spend a chilly winter evening under the stars. This is a bit like camping out, without having to leave the…
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Home Sales Are Spiking, Driven By Low Mortgage Rates

Mortgage , ,
According to data from the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales increased by 3.6% in December 2019. That pace is the strongest month-over-month in almost two years, since February 2018. The sales figures were also up 10.8% from what they were in December 2018. What's behind this uptick? The biggest factor driving the surge in home sales is historically low mortgage interest rates.  Plummeting Rates During the last week of February 2020, mortgage rates fell to their lowest in three years and were hovering - just barely - above all-time lows. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was sitting at 3.45%, almost…
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