Start searching for your next home, you may be able to buy now, before prices and/or interest rates go up.
Fixed-rate mortgages once again inched up this week, the third consecutive week of increases after reaching all-time lows, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.
“The latest economic indicators point toward low inflation but gradually stronger economic activity which placed further upward pressure on long-term Treasury yields and, in turn, fixed mortgage rates,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said about why mortgage rates have been reversing course in recent weeks.
Here’s a closer look at mortgage rates for the week ending Aug. 16:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.62 percent, with an average 0.6 point, this week, increasing from last week’s 3.59 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.15 percent.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.88 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 2.84 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.36 percent.
- 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.76 percent, with an average 0.6 point, falling slightly from last week’s 2.77 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.08 percent.
- 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.69 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.65 percent average. A year ago at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.86 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac/Realtor Mag
We often confuse the love that someone gives us with open permission to insult them and hurt them. Why is it that we strive to be polite and courteous to strangers, but we treat our loved ones with disrespect and in very demeaning ways?
I have found a method that has worked for me; I treat my loved ones with the same respect I like them to treat me, even when they don’t. When I’m most upset, for example, at my husband, I think of him as a stranger, someone that I just met that has done something I disapprove of, or a client, or my boss. Would I immediately go on a screaming rampage and insult that person in the middle of the street or the office? Probably not, I’d be embarrassed to do that, I’d probably feel that I have no right to insult them, and I’d be a little afraid of the consequences. I could lose my job, lose that account I’ve worked on so hard. I could be dealing with a crazy person, perhaps someone with a gun that is not going to take it.
But I know my husband will. I know that he loves me and that he’ll forgive me, and that no matter how ugly I get with him, he will not hold it against me and definitely will not hurt me.
So we abuse love. Most of us do not “act up” in public, but we think that it’s perfectly OK to do it at home, in front of the ones we love. Even in front of our children, who look up to us for guidance and learn from our behavior.
It all comes down to respect, and self control.
When making a decision, we are often faced with two very different sides to consider: what our intellect is telling us, and what our emotions are telling us. And almost always, these two sides are wide apart.
We try to negotiate and make sense of both. If we can’t bring them together, more often than not we resort to the “go with your gut” philosophy. But is that smart, especially when the wrong decision could have serious consequences?
I see my clients struggle with this dilemma when deciding which house to buy. If you are purchasing a home for your own use, even if it is a vacation home, how you “feel” about the home is extremely important. Who will your neighbors be? What style of life does that city or community offer? Is it the right size and lay out for your family day to day activities? Will you be proud of your home when family and friends come by? Will you feel safe and relaxed in it? All of these things are very important points to consider.
However, we should not forget the financial (intellectual) side of the equation. Are you getting a fair price? Is the property in good condition? What’s the outlook for the area in the near and not so near future? If your situation changes and you must sell, will that property be attractive to a wide range of buyers? What are the chances that you will profit (build equity) from paying and taking care of this home? Can you comfortably afford it?
Do your own research, and ask your Realtor for advice. Your Realtor should also research and present to you facts and market data to support his or her opinion on this very important decision that you are making.
I’ll be delighted to help you with this and all other real estate matters.
Nina Higdon – I love what I do, you’ll love the results.
Charles Rutenburg Realty
Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are five reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.
1. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
2. Get objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
3. Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
4. Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
6. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
7. REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
8. Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
9. Ethical treatment. Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.
1. They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.
2. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
3. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process.
4. They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.
5. They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.
Source: Real Estate Checklists and Systems,