Mortgage Market Update

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Rising home values are cooling off a bit as prices come back down to more normal levels after the big gains seen in 2013. The March Case Shiller 20-city Index rose by an annual rate of 12.4%, above the 11.8% expected, but down from the February annual rate of 12.9% and a recent peak of 13.7% in November. The Index did show a 0.9% increase in prices from February to March. Consumers attitudes towards jobs, the economy and personal finances were more upbeat in the short term based on a recent survey from the Conference Board. The May Consumer Confidence…
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Mortgage Market Update

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Despite the spring buying season being in full bloom and mortgage rates at lows not seen in almost a year, mortgage application volume barely budged last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, rose by 0.9% in the latest week, while the refinance index increased 4%. The purchase index fell by 3%. Zillow reported today that the national negative equity rate fell to 18.8% in the first quarter of 2014, meaning more is owed on the home than it is currently worth. In Q4 of 2013, negative equity stood…
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Mortgage Market Update

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Plagued by the harsh winter weather in the first quarter of 2014, Home Depot today reported that sales and net income rose, but came in below expectations. The company earned 96 cents per share when estimates called for 99 cents. However, May sales were robust and the home improvement company raised its full-year earnings forecast. Headed to Disneyland in Anaheim, California this summer? Be prepared to shell out a few extra dollars to get into the park. The price for a "One Day Parkhopper" rose by 10% to $150 a day. The price hikes in Disneyland comes a few months…
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It’s Almost Spring Cleaning Time! Kick Clutter to the Curb With These Home Cleaning Tips

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Spring is around the corner, and it's time to get your home in order! Spring cleaning can be fun and easy if you follow some general guidelines, which are sure to get your home ready for the nice weather and looking as beautiful as the weather is about to. Kick the winter clutter to the curb with these spring cleaning tips. Start With The Closets Spring is here, and winter wear is no longer needed! It's time to box up all of the winter boots, jackets, gloves, and scarfs until next season. Starting your spring clean with your closets is…
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NAHB Housing Market Index Ticks Upward

Housing Analysis , ,
Spring is almost here, and the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index (NAHB HMI) thawed slightly in March. The current reading of 47 is one point higher than for February, but still indicates pessimism among a majority of builders surveyed. Analysts expected a March reading of 50. The gauge of builder confidence stayed near its lowest level since May. March's NAHB HMI reading remained below the benchmark reading of 50, which indicates that an equal number of builders are positive about housing market conditions as those who are negative. A reading over 50 indicates that more builders are…
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4 Important Questions To Ask Before Refinancing Your Mortgage

Home Mortgage Tips , ,
So you are thinking of refinancing? Well you are in luck because I have 4 quick and important questions you should ask yourself before doing so. 1) Do I Have Enough Equity To Get A Mortgage? To get a conventional loan, you will usually need to have at least 20 percent equity. This means that your house will have to be worth at least $250,000 to get a $200,000 loan. If you have less equity, you could end up having to pay for private mortgage insurance, which can easily add $100 or more to your monthly payment. 2) How's My…
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Understanding Why You Don’t Need To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Home Mortgage Tips , ,
For those of us who have a mortgage, we know very well how stressful it can sometimes be to make the monthly payment on time. And then for some of us, late payments are inevitable. In fact, in 2013, from October to December, a whopping 3.85 percent of homeowners were behind on their mortgage payments. And while this percentage may seem a bit high, it's actually quite lower than it was earlier in the year of 2013, when more than five percent of homeowners were failing to make mortgage payments on time. As odd as it may seem, while some…
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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – March 17th, 2014

Mortgage Rates , ,
Last week's economic reports provided rays of light as compared to the recent slump in positive economic news. Unusually severe winter weather conditions affected housing-related indicators as home builders and home buyers stayed on the sidelines. With spring on the horizon, last week's economic news showed welcome signs of growth. Job Openings Up, New Jobless Claims Fall Employment is a major factor in the decision to buy a home; would-be home buyers received a vote of confidence last week as January's job openings increased by one million to 40 million as compared to December's reading of 39 million job openings.…
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Make Your Home Green This St. Patrick’s Day

Around The Home , ,
You're ready to make some changes to your home, but you want to be smart with your money and see a positive return on your investment. While most homeowners don't see that return until they sell their home, you can start seeing the benefits now through conserving energy by making your home green. So in honor of the upcoming green holiday, stop searching for that pot of gold. Get inspired by St. Patrick's Day to go green to cut your energy costs with the environmentally friendly renovations below. You'll soon see the savings building up at the end of the…
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Legal Secrets For Homeowners

Homeowner Tips , ,
Being a homeowner is exciting. It can be financially rewarding, too. Unfortunately, it can also put you in a tough legal position. Between the complexities of owning a house, having to deal with lenders and the risk that comes from owning something valuable, keeping yourself legally protected is a good idea. Here Are Some Risks And Some Ways To Handle Them HOAs. If you own a condo, townhome or other property in an association, the homeowner association is extremely powerful. Not paying their dues, violating their rules, or doing just about anything else to end up on the wrong side…
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