Jun

17

IN THIS ISSUE…

Make your money go further this summer! The US economy appears to be slowly recovering, but there’s still a lot of work to do and Americans across the country are still looking for ways to help their money go a little further. This edition features three articles that will not only help you save, but also help you understand how the ups and downs of the US and global markets impact you.
• It’s a Small World – How do the troubles in Europe (and with the Euro) impact the US economy and home loan rates?
• A Cost-Effective Vacation – Whether you’re planning a short getaway or a long vacation, consider relaxing with nature on a cost-effective vacation.
• Q&A: Bull Versus Bear? – Why are animal names used to describe action in the Stock market?
Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members and coworkers who may find the information helpful as they head into summer. And if you have any questions or need any help at this time, just call or email to discuss your unique situation.

It’s a Small World After All…

The problems in Europe continue to dominate the headlines and influence market direction around the globe. So what exactly is going on…and what does all of this mean to you, to our economy and to home loan rates?
Due to financial instability in several countries in Europe – including Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Greece – the European Central Bank along with the International Monetary Fund unveiled a $955 Billion loan package. Additionally, in a plan similar to our TARP plan in the US, the European Central Bank will purchase Bonds and private debt from the countries facing instability.
However, it seems that nearly a Trillion dollars doesn’t go very far these days, as the announcement didn’t lead to the confidence that was hoped for. There is concern about how these already financially strapped countries will pay for all this additional debt…and many wonder if the European bailout plan is just a temporary band-aid rather than a solution.
The result continues to be a weaker Euro. As you can see in the chart above, the price of the Euro near the end of May was well off where it was a few months ago, when it cost more than $1.50 for each Euro.
Why Is This Important?
When the Dollar was weaker, it made our imports more costly and travel to Europe more expensive. But it also made our exports far more attractive to foreign purchasers, and that has helped many of the large multi-national US corporations. As this situation is now reversing, it will likely have an adverse effect on those same multi-national corporations – which has contributed to some of the decline in Stocks we have seen.
And remember… when Stocks decline, Bonds and home loan rates are typically the beneficiary. As long as the global viewpoint that the US is a safe and stable place for Bond investments continues, Bonds and home loan rates could benefit.

Happy Campers! The Cost-Effective Vacation You Can Take Again and Again

Camping can be a relaxing vacation for an entire family, high school seniors after graduation, or just a group of friends who want to get away. It provides the opportunity to get away from the hectic pace of everyday life, to rise and sleep with the sun rather than a clock, and to enjoy the company of friends and family.
And it’s cost-effective. Not only will you save on your accommodations ($20 a night for a campsite versus $120 or more for a hotel), but you’ll also save by packing your own food rather than eating out. Better still, it’s the type of activity that you can enjoy in your own backyard, a few miles down the road, or halfway across the country.
Whether you’re planning a short getaway or a long vacation, consider packing up your camping supplies and relaxing with nature. The information below can help you plan for and enjoy your cost-effective camping vacation.
Reserve Your Spot
Camping has always been popular, but interest has increased over the last few years as the economy has slowed down and families have looked for an inexpensive way to travel and spend time together. That means campgrounds across the country are booking up faster than many people may expect.
If you’re planning a camping trip this summer – whether it’s down the road or across state lines – take a few moments now to plan the trip and reserve your campsite. There are a number of online resources for specific campgrounds and state parks, but you can also reserve spots at campsites across the country by visiting http://www.recreation.gov/ or http://www.reserveamerica.com/.
These websites allow you to search for the perfect spot-whether you’re looking to camp in a tent, an RV, or a lodge. You can even search for campgrounds near a specific park or one that you can bring your boat to. So, if you’re planning a trip across country, you can map out your route and reserve your campsites along the way! And, if you’re planning on getting away more than once, you may want to consider joining a camping club for additional information and discounts, such as http://www.campclubusa.com/.
Selecting (and Laying Out) Your Campsite
When picking the perfect spot for your camper or tent, consider the following tips:
Water and restrooms-Chances are, you’ll be walking to the water faucet and restrooms throughout the day (and sometimes in the middle of the night). So make sure you know where they’re located and try to situate your campsite so that you have a short, easy walk to them. Nothing’s worse than walking all the way across the campground or across rough, difficult terrain multiple times a day.
High and dry-Make sure you know where the low-spots are…and avoid them when setting up your equipment. Otherwise, you may wake up to water in your tent or a large puddle surrounding your camper when it rains. You’ll also be more comfortable if you find a relatively flat spot, so you can avoid the awful “sleeping-bag slide” towards the bottom of your tent or camper.
Cooking and cleaning-Don’t just setup and settle in…make a layout plan for your campsite. Where will you cook…is it far enough away from dry leaves and twigs so your fire won’t get out of control? Where will you eat…is it close to the campfire/stove? Where will you hang clothes to dry…is it out of the way enough so that people won’t accidently walk into the clothesline at dusk? Thinking through the “workflow” of your campsite before you set up can help alleviate stress and frustration later on.
Fun in the…shade-All too often we associate camping fun with the sun. But there may come a time when you just want to relax in the shade. In addition, you may want to keep your tent or camper cool. So look for a spot with a few shade trees…and try to determine where the shade will fall at key times-like noon and early evening-so you know where to set up your chairs and other equipment.
Garbage detail-A clean campsite is a happy campsite. After all, you don’t want to find yourself overrun with insects and small critters simply because you didn’t dispose of last night’s supper. So bring plenty of garbage bags, keep them sealed after use, and haul them to the garbage can at regular times throughout the day.
Final Thoughts
To make sure you-and your campground neighbors-enjoy your outdoor adventures, follow these final thoughts on campground etiquette:
• Don’t feed the wildlife. That will only cause problems for you and/or future campers.
• Clean up your campsite throughout your stay. And do a final sweep before you leave to make sure you’ve removed all your garbage.
• Only burn wood. Everything else should either be recycled or disposed of in the appropriate place.
• Keep all your food in airtight containers/bags…and store them away from your camper or tent to make sure you don’t attract unwanted “visitors” from nature.
• Only cook in a safe place away from your tent/camper and away from dry leaves or twigs that may catch fire.
• Keep your pets on a leash and your kids within sight. Your campground neighbors will appreciate it and everyone will be able to enjoy the outdoors.
• Buy firewood at the campsite. Many Departments of Natural Resources suggest this tip because it helps prevent campers from introducing unwanted pests that aren’t indigenous to the area.
• Keep an eye on the weather. If a storm is approaching, take the appropriate precautions.
• Respect your neighbors. That means following posted quiet hours and keeping the volume down between dusk and dawn.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors all summer long…whether you’re vacationing in your own backyard or halfway around the country. Happy camping!

Q&A: Bull Versus Bear?

QUESTION: Why are animal names used to describe action in the Stock market?
ANSWER: The terms “Bull” and “Bear” are used because of the way those animals attack. Bulls attack using an upward thrusting motion with their horns, and Bears attack by moving their powerful claws in a downward motion. So an upward market is termed a Bull market, while a downward market is called a Bear market.
These concepts are important to home loan rates because a Bear market could help Bond prices and home loan rates improve a bit more, as some of the money from Stock sales finds its way into the Bond market, including Mortgage Bonds. On the other hand, a Bull market will be at the expense of some of the recent improvements that Bonds and home loan rates have enjoyed.
The reality is, Mortgage Bonds have looked a lot like a lottery winner recently, since Bond prices really should be much lower, and home loan rates much higher. But Mortgage Bonds are catching every lucky break – from the situation in Greece…to the declining Euro…to the correction in the Stock market. It’s all going in the favor of Mortgage Bonds…for now.
But the Bond market’s good fortune may not last very long – so be sure to give me a call if I can help explain the current rate situation and how it might benefit you.

The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, financial, real estate and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee it is not without errors.
As your Trusted Advisor, I always want to make sure you are clear on all details of the home financing process. If you or someone you know are interested in purchasing or refinancing a home, give me a call today!
In the unlikely event that you no longer wish to receive these valuable market updates, please USE THIS LINK or email: curtis@kcmortgageplanner.com
If you prefer to send your removal request by mail the address is:
Mortgage Success Source, LLC is the copyright owner or licensee of the content and/or information in this email, unless otherwise indicated. Mortgage Success Source, LLC does not grant to the recipient or distributor a license to any content, features or materials in this email. You may not distribute, download, or save a copy of any of the content except as otherwise provided in our Terms and Conditions of Membership, for any purpose.

Curtis Schartz, Certified Mortgage Planner, Pulaski Bank Home Lending, Overland Park, Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, Independence, Liberty, Parkville, Gladstone, Shawnee.

Jun

17

In This Issue

Last Week in Review: Fed members did a lot of talking…find out what they’re saying and what it means for home loan rates.
Forecast for the Week: Inflation, housing, and manufacturing reports are ahead. Plus, will the Euro show signs of stabilization?
View: Travel safely with these tips from Kiplinger.com on avoiding travel scams.

Last Week in Review

“ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS,” or so the popular saying goes. But the words from various Fed members on the actions they feel need to be taken are getting pretty loud. And what could all this potential action mean for home loan rates? Read on to learn more.
There has been growing debate among Fed members about when to begin raising the Fed Funds Rate. What is the Fed Funds Rate? It’s the lending rate banks charge each other for the use of overnight funds, and it is used as a base rate that many other lending rates are based on, for consumer and business loans. A higher Fed Funds Rate tends to slow economic activity, as it means the cost of borrowing to finance a purchase will be higher, while a lower rate helps to stimulate activity, a ripple effect that expands into all sectors of the economy. As you can see in the chart below, the Fed Funds Rate is currently at a range of 0.0-0.25%, and it has been this low for over a year to help stimulate our economy and move us from recession to recovery.
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Fed Funds Rate

If the Fed raises the Fed Funds Rate too soon, it could slow economic activity and cause a “double dip” recession. However, if the Fed waits too long to raise the Fed Funds Rate, inflation could result…and inflation concerns were a big reason for all the Fed chatter last week. Remember, inflation is the arch enemy of Bonds and home loan rates.
With mounting debt in the US and concerns that US debt will overtake GDP by 2012 – as well as the problems in Europe – there are many factors the Fed needs to consider before taking action. For instance, last week Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the Unemployment Rate is likely to remain high for a while and he noted that the Fed “can’t wait until unemployment is where we’d like it to be” before tightening credit, or inflation could too easily get out of control. That said, recent reports like May’s Jobs Report and Retail Sales Report – which showed the first monthly decline since September 2009 – indicate that our economic recovery is still fragile at the moment. This means the Fed won’t want to act too quickly, either.
The next Fed Meeting is June 22-23rd, and while the Fed will most likely not raise the Fed Funds Rate at this time, more and more Fed members are expressing concerns about the current very accommodative monetary policy in place. Although home loan rates are not tied to the Fed Funds Rate, I’ll be watching this situation very carefully as it continues to unfold.
In addition, Bonds and home loan rates have benefitted lately from the situation in Europe, as global investors have sought the safe haven of our US Bonds. However, as the Euro’s freefall is finally showing some signs of stabilization, traders and investors can be very fickle in unwinding or reversing these trades pretty quickly. This could reverse the improvement we’ve seen in home loan rates, and we saw a sign of that last week. Bonds and home loan rates ended the week a bit off their best levels of the week…but are still incredibly low overall.
If you or anyone you know would like to take advantage of the exceptional opportunity that exists in the home loan marketplace at this point in history, please don’t hesitate to call or email. Or forward this newsletter on to anyone you think may benefit as well!
PLANNING A VACATION IS AN ACTION MANY OF US TAKE DURING THE SUMMER. CHECK OUT THE MORTGAGE MARKET GUIDE VIEW BELOW FOR TIPS FROM KIPLINGER FOR AVOIDING TRAVEL SCAMS.
Forecast for the Week

There will be plenty of inflation news for the Fed to gather this week, ahead of its meeting later this month. First, there’s Wednesday’s Producer Price Index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, which will be followed by Thursday’s Consumer Price Index. As mentioned above, inflation is the arch enemy of Bonds and home loan rates, so it will be important to see what these reports reveal.
Housing, manufacturing, and job news are also in store this week, with Wednesday’s Housing Starts and Building Permits Reports (which give us an update on the health of the new construction sector of the housing market) and Thursday’s Philadelphia Fed Report (which gives us an update on the manufacturing sector).
We’ll also have another weekly Initial Jobless Claims Report. Initial Jobless Claims numbers have remained stubbornly high. The most troubling numbers in last week’s report are the additional 5.13M people claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation), which are benefits lasting longer than 26 weeks, up to 99 weeks in total.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result.
As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates have rallied in the last few months, helped by the uncertainties in Europe. But remember, traders are fickle, and stabilization in Europe could bring an end to this rally. I’ll be watching closely to see what happens this week.
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The Mortgage Market View

Six Travel Scams to Avoid
All of these deals are too good to be true.
By Cameron Huddleston, Kiplinger.com
The summer travel season is almost here. If you’re looking for deals, make sure you don’t become the victim of a scam when trying to score a bargain. I spoke with SmarterTravel.com contributing editor Ed Perkins to find out which scams are most common and what you can do to avoid them. Here’s his list:
1. Phony airline tickets
How it works: A Web site or travel agency offers a deal better than anyone else’s, won’t accept credit cards and instead demands direct transfer of funds. What you get is a plane ticket that’s worthless.
How you can avoid this scam: Don’t deal with an outfit you’ve never heard of. See our list of the 28 best travel sites for legitimate companies. Don’t purchase airline tickets or any travel accommodations through a group that won’t accept a credit card. If you have a dispute with a merchant — for example, you were sold a phony plane ticket — you may have an easier time working out a solution if you paid with a credit card.
2. Pay now for future travel
How it works: You’re approached to enroll in a club that will enable you to take future vacations for an upfront fee of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. After enrolling, you try to book a vacation but are told that the location or time period you want is unavailable. Then you might be asked for more money to gain access to more upscale spots that would be available.
How to avoid this scam: Unless you know someone who participates in a particular program and is happy with the service, stay away from these clubs. Even if your friend recommends a club, do some research of your own. See Resources to Help You Check Out a Company.
3. Travel like a travel agent
How it works: You receive a promotion in the mail or e-mail telling you that you can travel like a travel agent or sell travel from your home. The group purports to be a large travel agency that will provide back-office support while you sell travel packages. For a fee (usually $495 or $4,900), you’ll receive training and a travel agent ID card that you can use when making reservations to get a special rate.
How to avoid this scam: “There’s hardly an airline or hotel that doesn’t know about these phony IDs,” Perkins says. Even legitimate travel agents have a tough time getting discounts on airfare. Toss the promotion in the trash or hit “delete.”
4. No-ticket event packages
How it works: A tour operator offers a package for a big event, such as the Super Bowl, but doesn’t actually have tickets to the event.
How to avoid this scam: Ask the tour operator if it has event tickets in hand. Of course, the representative could lie. So it’s best to buy through an organization you know.
5. Phony insurance
How it works: A travel agent sells you a “protection plan” that’s supposed to reimburse you if you have to cancel your trip. The policy, however, is unlicensed and you won’t get your money back.
How to avoid this scam: Make sure the product you’re being sold really is a licensed insurance policy. You can see a list of licensed travel insurance companies at the U.S. Travel Insurance Association site. See The Case for Travel Insurance to learn more about what travel insurance covers. You can compare policies at InsureMyTrip.com.
6. “We will sell your timeshare”
How it works: Groups charge an upfront fee to sell your unwanted timeshare. “The bottom line is they don’t,” Perkins says.
How to avoid this scam: Avoid any group that promises to sell your timeshare for a fee (other than cheap listing fee). If you have a timeshare you just can’t unload, consider posting on Craigslist with an offer to give away your timeshare for free to anyone who will take over the commitment.
Reprinted with permission. All Contents © 2010 The Kiplinger Washington Editors. www.kiplinger.com.
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Economic Calendar for the Week of June 14 – June 18
Date ET Economic Report For Estimate Actual Prior Impact
Tue. June 15 08:30 Empire State Index Jun 20.0 19.11 Moderate
Wed. June 16 10:30 Crude Inventories 6/12 NA -1.83M Moderate
Wed. June 16 09:15 Industrial Production May 0.7% 0.8% Moderate
Wed. June 16 09:15 Capacity Utilization May 74.2% 73.7% Moderate
Wed. June 16 08:30 Producer Price Index (PPI) May -0.4% -0.1% Moderate
Wed. June 16 08:30 Core Producer Price Index (PPI) May 0.1% 0.2% Moderate
Wed. June 16 08:30 Building Permits May 655K 610K Moderate
Wed. June 16 08:00 Housing Starts May 655K 672K Moderate
Thu. June 17 08:30 Jobless Claims (Initial) 6/12 NA 431K Moderate
Thu. June 17 08:30 Consumer Price Index (CPI) May -0.1% -0.1% HIGH
Thu. June 17 08:30 Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) May 0.1% 0.0% HIGH
Thu. June 17 10:00 Index of Leading Econ Ind (LEI) May 0.4% -0.1% Low
Thu. June 17 10:00 Philadelphia Fed Index Jun 17.0 21.4 HIGH

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is not without errors.

As your trusted advisor, I am sending you the MMG WEEKLY because I am committed to keeping you updated on the economic events that impact interest rates and how they may affect you.

In the unlikely event that you no longer wish to receive these valuable market updates, please USE THIS LINK or email: curtis@kcmortgageplanner.com

If you prefer to send your removal request by mail the address is:

Mortgage Success Source, LLC is the copyright owner or licensee of the content and/or information in this email, unless otherwise indicated. Mortgage Success Source, LLC does not grant to you a license to any content, features or materials in this email. You may not distribute, download, or save a copy of any of the content or screens except as otherwise provided in our Terms and Conditions of Membership, for any purpose.

Curtis Schartz, Certified Mortgage Planner, Pulaski Bank Home Lending, Overland Park, Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, Independence, Liberty, Parkville, Gladstone, Shawnee.