May

15

In This Issue  
Last Week in Review:Bonds and home loan rates improved to record levels — find out why.Forecast for the Week: A full slate of economic reports is ahead, with news on inflation, the housing market, manufacturing and more.  

View: Did you know that bad news can be good for home loan rates? Be sure to read the article below.

 

Last Week in Review  
Survey says?Last week’s economic report calendar may have been light, but some important surveys revealed key data to note. Read on for the details…and how home loan rates fared. As you can see in the chart, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said that of the 146 Metro cities surveyed, home prices rose in 74 of them in Q1 2012. This is up from 29 cities that saw an increase in home prices in Q4 2011. In addition, the NAR also said that inventories for existing homes fell 22% since this time last year and are down 41% since the peak in mid-2007. While the housing market has a long way to go, this report was a nice step in the right direction.  

There was also news from the National Federation of Independent Business, which said that its small business optimism index gained 2% in April as the survey revealed that companies have increased plans for hiring and investing in the future. While companies added new employees at a slower pace in April than in March, the index rose to 94.5 — the highest level since February of 2011. Overall, though, the report showed that our economy is improving but is still fragile. The state of our economy is part of the reason for the improvement in Bonds (and home loan rates, which are tied to Mortgage Bonds) of late.

 

Another big reason that Bonds and home loan rates have been improving is the fresh round of uncertainty out of Europe. France elected a new president, and this change of the guard represents the ninth EuroZone leader swap since the financial crisis began. Greece is also back in the news and their citizens are not taking to the austerity measures either. The New Democracy government, a pro-bailout party, is having trouble gathering the support to rule the government. This has sparked some safe haven trading into our Bonds, as investors see our Bonds as a safe place for their money.

 

The bottom line is that now continues to be a great time to purchase or refinance a home, as home loan rates remain near historic lows. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

 

Forecast for the Week  
With earnings season behind us, investors will be deluged with a slew of economic reports that will touch on many segments of the U.S. economy:

  • Retail Saleswill be released on Tuesday. This report gives the markets some insight to how consumer spending is holding up.
  • Also on Tuesday, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will report on inflation at the consumer level. Last week’s Producer Price Indexshowed that inflation at the wholesale level has moderated, thanks to lower energy prices. Will CPI follow suit?
  • Manufacturing from the New York Empire and Philadelphia Fed Indexwill also be released Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
  • Housing Starts and Building Permitsdata will be delivered on Wednesday.
  • Last — but not least — will be the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims numbers on Thursday. Last week’s data was the lowest in a month.

 

In addition to those reports, European headlines will continue to dominate the news as the debt woes in that region plague the global economies. Also, the minutes from the Fed’s April meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee will be released and this could move the markets.

 

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. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on.

 

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving — and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

 

To go one step further — a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

 

As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates reached record best levels last week. I’ll be monitoring the markets closely this week to see what happens next.

 

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday May 11, 2012)

 

Japanese Candlestick Chart

 

The Mortgage Market Guide View…  
    Why Bad News Can Be Good for Home Loan RatesIt may seem odd that negative economic news can actually be good for home loan rates, but there’s a pretty simple explanation for this phenomenon. Here’s a concise explanation you can share with your clients or you can use to gain a better understanding yourself.  

First, we need to remember that big money managers who are in search of higher returns avoid holding onto cash by investing in both Stocks and Bonds.

 

Second, we need to dispel the myth about how home loan rates are determined. Despite what it may sound like in news stories covering the Federal Reserve’s meeting, home loan rates are based on the performance of mortgage-backed securities — which are a type of Bond.

 

When we put those two points together, we see that whenever the economy is on fire and there are good economic news reports, investors tend to put more money into Stocks. That’s because Stocks offer higher returns, even though they are generally more risky. To put money into Stocks, however, investors must remove some of their money from less-risky Bonds. The result is a decreased demand in Bonds that causes Bond prices to worsen, which causes home loan rates to go higher.

 

Inversely, when the economy is sluggish and economic reports are negative, money managers tend to take money out of higher-risk Stocks to put it into less-risky Bonds. As demand for Bonds increase, Bond pricing improves and home loan rates go down.

 

So while it may seem odd that home loan rates improve when economic news is sluggish, it actually makes sense when you look at the big picture.

 

If you have any questions about how the economic news is impacting home loan rates, please just call or email. I’m always happy to chat about what’s happening in the markets and what it means to home loan rates.

 

Economic Calendar for the Week of May 14 – May 18

 

Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Tue. May 15
08:30
Retail Sales
Apr
0.2%
0.8%
HIGH
Tue. May 15
08:30
Retail Sales ex-auto
Apr
0.2%
0.8%
HIGH
Tue. May 15
08:30
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Apr
0.0%
0.3%
HIGH
Tue. May 15
08:30
Core Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Apr
0.2%
0.2%
HIGH
Tue. May 15
08:30
Empire State Index
May
8.4
6.6
Moderate
Wed. May 16
08:30
Building Permits
Apr
730K
747K
Moderate
Wed. May 16
08:30
Housing Starts
Apr
680K
654K
Moderate
Wed. May 16
09:15
Industrial Production
Apr
0.5%
0.0%
Moderate
Wed. May 16
09:15
Capacity Utilization
Apr
79.0%
78.6%
Moderate
Wed. May 16
02:00
FOMC Minutes
4/25
NA
NA
HIGH
Thu. May 17
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
5/12
365K
367K
Moderate
Thu. May 17
10:00
Philadelphia Fed Index
May
8.8
8.5
HIGH

 

 

The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The content is provided for use by real estate, financial services and other professionals only and is not intended for consumer distribution. 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, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
As your mortgage professional, 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.
Mortgage Market Guide, LLC is the copyright owner or licensee of the content and/or information in this email, unless otherwise indicated.   Mortgage Market Guide, 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.

Certified Mortgage Planner, Curtis Schartz, Home loan, Interest Rate, Interest Rates, kansas city, lees summit, lower interest, lower rates, Mortgage, mortgage backed securities, no cost refinance, overland park,  purchase,

May

8

In This Issue  
Last Week in Review:The Jobs Report for April is in, but what did the news reveal about our economy?Forecast for the Week: A quiet week is ahead, but an important inflation report will be released.  

View: If you’ve ever forgotten the name of an important colleague or client, have no fear. These tips can help.

 

Last Week in Review  
Take this job and love it.And the Labor Department’s Jobs Report for April showed that fewer than expected people are able to do this, as fewer than expected jobs were created. Read on for details and what they mean for home loan rates. The Jobs Report showed that 115,000 jobs were created in April, with 130,000 private sector jobs offsetting government job losses. This number was a disappointment and below expectations. The only silver lining in the report were upward revisions to the previous month’s readings which added 53,000 more jobs than what was previously reported.  

The unemployment rate dropped a tick to 8.1% — the lowest since January 2009. However, the decline was mainly due to the labor force shrinking by 300,000, rather than by robust job growth. And as expected, we are starting to hear more and more about the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR). The LFPR dropped to 63.6, the lowest ratio since December 1981. Why is this important? The LFPR gives us a clear read of who is working and who is not. And if someone is not participating, then they are probably receiving some sort of social security or unemployment insurance. The bottom line is that it is tough to pay down debt when there are not enough people participating in the labor force.

 

Overall the Jobs Report was underwhelming and, unfortunately, further accommodative monetary policy or even more Bond buying (known as Quantitative Easing or QE3) will have a very limited effect on job growth. What’s more, the debt drama in Europe continues to escalate, as both Italy and Germany reported higher than expected unemployment rates, while Spain has slipped into its second recession since the financial crisis.

 

The events in Europe and potential softening of our economy have resulted in home loan rates remaining near historic lows. That means now continues to be a great time to purchase or refinance a home. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

 

 

 

Forecast for the Week  
After two weeks featuring a slew of economic reports, this week’s calendar is light. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a battle for investing dollars in the Stock and Bond markets!

  • The first report won’t be released until Thursday with the weekly Initial Jobless Claimsreport. Last week, claims fell by 27,000, which was the largest weekly decline since May 2011.
  • On Friday, inflation at the wholesale level will be released in the form of the Producer Price Index (PPI). Last week it was reported that the year-over-year Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) rose to 2%, the high end of the Fed’s range.
  • The last report on Friday will be the first reading on Consumer Sentiment for May.

 

With so few economic reports this week, market players will be focusing in on the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, earnings reports and how the $66 Billion in Treasury Notes and Bonds will be received. All three of those news items could move Bonds and home loan rates this week.

 

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. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on.

 

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving — and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

 

To go one step further — a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

 

As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates reached record best levels after last week’s Jobs Report. I’ll be monitoring the markets closely this week to see what happens next.

 

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday May 04, 2012)

 

Japanese Candlestick Chart

 

The Mortgage Market Guide View…  
    It Pays to Have a Good MemoryIn today’s housing market, it can pay (quite literally) to have a good memory. That’s because a good memory can help you stand out from the competition — especially when you’re networking and trying to remember names.  

Unfortunately, many of us have trouble remembering the name of someone two minutes after we shake her hand. If that sounds like you, don’t worry… you’re not alone. It’s actually an extremely common occurrence for many people. The good news is there are a number of simple, practical steps you can take to improve your memory now and long into the future. Here are just two of the great tips for proactively strengthening your memory.

 

Tip #1: Neurobic Exercise

 

You know all about the wonderful effects aerobic exercise has on the heart, but have you heard of neurobic exercise for the brain?

 

According to Lawrence Katz, co-author of Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises, the best exercise for the brain is to force it to form “new patterns of association” or new pathways. In other words, challenge your brain every day. Take it off autopilot and make it relearn or create new associations with the most routine activities of your day.

 

Katz’s book offers numerous examples of small changes you can make to activate your brain, including: brushing your teeth with the other hand; taking an alternative route to work; moving your wastebasket to the other side of your desk; closing your eyes while putting your key in and unlocking the front door; and changing where you and your family members sit at the dinner table.

 

So if you feel like your memory might be starting to slip a bit, try some of these simple neurobic exercises today!

 

Tip #2: Mnemonic Drilling

 

There are actually three steps or stages of memorization: acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval. That means, once we acquire new information, like someone’s name for instance, the way in which we consolidate that data will directly affect how well we’re able to retrieve it from memory.

 

Whether you’re a visual or auditory type of learner, there are many mnemonic devices that can help you to better organize or consolidate the new information that you need to recall.

 

Here’s an example of simple steps that might help:

 

First, associate the data you want to remember with common images. For instance, let’s say you meet someone named Jennifer Green. Imagine Jennifer playing golf, or picture her wearing all green clothes, or imagine her face painted completely green.

 

Second, think of associations you can use to help you remember this person. For instance, link Jennifer to the quality that best fits her personality (use alliteration and rhymes whenever possible): Jolly Jennifer Green.

 

Finally, connect sound to your memory by saying the name aloud.

 

Do this regularly and, before you know it, you’ll never forget anyone’s name again! And that can give you a nice advantage in networking and communicating with clients!

 

Economic Calendar for the Week of May 07 – May 11

 

Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Thu. May 10
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
5/05
NA
NA
Moderate
Fri. May 11
08:30
Producer Price Index (PPI)
Apr
NA
0.0%
Moderate
Fri. May 11
08:30
Core Producer Price Index (PPI)
Apr
NA
0.3%
Moderate
Fri. May 11
10:00
Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)
May
NA
76.4
Moderate

 

 

The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The content is provided for use by real estate, financial services and other professionals only and is not intended for consumer distribution. 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, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
As your mortgage professional, 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.
Mortgage Market Guide, LLC is the copyright owner or licensee of the content and/or information in this email, unless otherwise indicated.   Mortgage Market Guide, 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.

Certified Mortgage Planner, Curtis Schartz, Home loan, Interest Rate, Interest Rates, kansas city, lees summit, lower interest, lower rates, Mortgage, mortgage backed securities, no cost refinance, overland park, purchase,

Apr

25

  Last Week in Review:There was a mix of good, bad, and downright ugly news. Find out how home loan rates responded.Forecast for the Week: The Fed meets, plus there’s news on consumer confidence, housing, the state of the economy, and more.  

View: There’s some new data on housing from the Census Bureau. Check out the details below.

 

 
     

 

  Last Week in Review  

 

     
  “Bad news goes about in clogs, good news in stockinged feet.” Welsh Proverb.And we certainly saw both good and bad news in the economic reports released last week. Here are the details…and what they mean for home loan rates. On the good side, Retail Sales in March rose by a nice 0.8%, as consumers bought all kinds of products across the board. And when stripping out autos, sales still grew. This adds to the increasing trend seen in January and February and is a good sign for our economy, as consumers don’t spend when they aren’t feeling optimistic about their financial situation.  

But over in the manufacturing sector it was not as pretty a picture, as both the Empire State Manufacturing Index and the Philly Fed Index came in below expectations. This is largely being attributed to a global slowdown, and experts say that the outlook for our manufacturing remains positive…but just not accelerating at the present time. Things weren’t as pretty in the housing sector either, as both Existing Home Sales and Housing Starts fell in March.

 

And things in the labor market were verging on ugly, as Initial Jobless Claims spiked sharply higher. The Labor Department reported 386,000 fresh Claims in the latest week, above the 375,000 that was expected…and well above the 350,000 range seen in recent weeks.

 

Also verging on ugly was news out of Europe. There is growing and very justified concern about Spain’s ability to pay down debt, meet new budget deficit targets, and avoid a bailout or debt restructuring. The Spanish situation has prompted the G-20 (Finance Ministers and Central Bankers of the 20 largest economies) to urge the European Central Bank to do more to contain their debt crisis as it threatens global growth. And let’s not forget that besides Spain, we still have France, Portugal, Ireland and Greece to deal with in future months and years.

 

So what does all of this mean for Bonds and home loan rates? There will likely be more safe haven trading into the relative safety of the US Dollar and US Bonds (which will benefit Mortgage Bonds, to which home loan rates are tied) as the uncertainty out of Europe escalates. And more bad economic reports here in the United States could add to this safe haven trading into our Bonds, just as more good economic news here would likely benefit Stocks at the expense of our Bonds and home loan rates.

 

This mix of factors will continue to impact the direction in which Bonds and home loan rates move in the weeks ahead. The takeaway is that home loan rates remain near historic lows and now continues to be a great time to purchase or refinance a home. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

 

 
     

 

  Forecast for the Week  

 

     
  The economic calendar this week will give the investor a broad view of the U.S. economy…but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting will be front and center in the minds of investors. Here’s a break down of what to watch:  

  • Consumer Confidence will be released on Tuesday…with Consumer Sentimentset to be delivered on Friday.
  • Also on Tuesday, New Home Sales for March will be released, followed by Pending Home Salesfor March on Thursday.
  • On Wednesday, Durable Orders– which are products that are supposed to last at least three years – will be released.
  • Initial Weekly Jobless Claimswill be released on Thursday. The number of new claims has been steadily rising in the past month, which is not a good sign for the labor markets. So all eyes will once again be on this report.
  • On Friday, the first reading on Gross Domestic Product (GDP)for the first quarter of 2012 will be announced.
  • Also on Friday, we’ll see the Employment Cost Index, which measures the costs of hiring and paying the American workforce. Higher costs could lead to inflation pressures, which could push Bond prices lower and home loan rates higher.

 

In addition to those reports, this week’s FOMC meeting will be closely watched by both the Bond and Stock markets for any clues on how the U.S. economy is holding up.

 

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. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on.

 

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving – and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

 

To go one step further – a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

 

As you can see in the chart below, the mix of news last week benefitted Bonds and home loan rates. I’ll be watching closely to see what happens this week.

 

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Apr 20, 2012)

 

Japanese Candlestick Chart

 

 
     

 

  The Mortgage Market Guide View…  

 

     
      Fun Housing Facts The United States Census Bureau recently released some fun facts related to housing across the country, based on data for 2010. Here are just a few highlights from the release that you may find interesting…and may want to pass on to others.  

Heating Our Homes

 

  • 57 million = Number of houses heated by utility gas.
  • 2.2 million = Number of houses heated by wood.
  • 38,010 = Number of houses heated by solar energy.

 

From Home to Work

 

  • 25.3 minutes = Average time workers across the country spent getting from home to work.
  • 31.8 minutes = Longest commute time in the nation, which belonged to Maryland residents.
  • 16.1 minutes = Shortest commute time in the nation, which belonged to North Dakota residents.

 

Home Sweet Home

 

  • 2,392 square feet = Average size of a single-family house built in 2010. That number was down a little from 2,438 square feet in 2009.
  • 131.7 million = Number of housing units counted in the 2010 Census. Compare that to 37.2 million in the first housing census, which was conducted in 1940!

 

Bonus Fact!

 

The first housing census in 1940 featured 31 housing questions – including some we may find odd today, such as whether the house had a radio…toilets or an outhouse…electric lighting…and running water.

 

Conversely, the 2010 census only included two housing questions: (1) whether the home was owned or rented and (2) whether the respondent sometimes lived or stayed somewhere else. The number of housing questions in the census has dropped because we now ask a number of housing questions in the American Community Survey, which is sent to about 3 million households nationwide every year.

 

Over the years, housing has really changed. But regardless of the time or location, one thing remains the same…there’s no place like home!

 

Economic Calendar for the Week of April 23 – April 27

 

Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Tue. April 24
10:00
Consumer Confidence
Apr
NA
 
70.2
Moderate
Tue. April 24
10:00
New Home Sales
Mar
NA
 
70.2
Moderate
Wed. April 25
08:30
Durable Goods Orders
Mar
NA
 
2.4%
Moderate
Wed. April 25
12:30
FOMC Meeting
Apr
NA
 
0.25%
HIGH
Thu. April 26
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
4/21
NA
 
NA
Moderate
Thu. April 26
10:00
Pending Home Sales
Mar
NA
 
-0.5%
Moderate
Fri. April 27
01:00
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Q1
NA
 
3.0%
Moderate
Fri. April 27
01:00
GDP Chain Deflator
Q1
NA
 
0.9%
Moderate
Fri. April 27
01:00
Employment Cost Index (ECI)
Q1
NA
 
0.4%
HIGH
Fri. April 27
01:00
Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)
Apr
NA
 
75.7
Moderate

 

 

 
 
The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The content is provided for use by real estate, financial services and other professionals only and is not intended for consumer distribution. 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, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
As your mortgage professional, 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.
Mortgage Market Guide, LLC is the copyright owner or licensee of the content and/or information in this email, unless otherwise indicated.   Mortgage Market Guide, 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.

Certified Mortgage Planner, Curtis Schartz, Home loan, Interest Rate, Interest Rates, kansas city, lees summit, lower interest, lower rates, Mortgage, mortgage backed securities, no cost refinance, overland park, Pulaski Bank, purchase,

Jan

10

Last Week in Review:Unemployment hit a three-year low. How did Bonds and home loan rates react?Forecast for the Week: The second half of the week will be a busy one, with news on retail sales, consumer sentiment, and more.

View: Want some help keeping your New Year’s Resolutions? There’s an app for that!

 

Last Week in Review

 

 

“Workin’ nine to five. What a way to make a livin.'” Dolly Parton. And with last week’s Jobs Report showing that unemployment has reached three-year lows, that’s something more people have been able to do lately. Read on to learn more about what’s happening in the labor market…and with home loan rates.On Friday, the Labor Department reported that 200,000 jobs were created in December, with 212,000 private job gains offsetting modest losses in government jobs. Adding to the positive spin of the report was the Unemployment Rate falling to 8.5% from a previously reported and upwardly revised 8.7% reading.While people being removed from the labor force are skewing this unemployment number to some degree, it’s important to note that the U-6 unemployment rate dropped a few ticks as well, to 15.2%. This number includes ALL unemployed individuals, including those “marginally attached” to the labor force, who are either ‘discouraged’ and haven’t sought work recently, as well as those folks working part-time who really desire full-time jobs.

Overall the Jobs Report was a modestly positive reading on the labor market. We still have 5.6 million people unemployed for 27 weeks or more, and that number is little changed this month. But the big takeaway today is that the trend is improving.

The other big takeaway is that bad news out of Europe helped balance out the good Jobs news here at home…allowing Bonds and home loan rates to recover from their initial negative reaction to the Labor Department’s report. The Euro is continuing to be weighed down by rising concern on member countries’ ability to get their deficits in order and their debt in manageable position.

The bottom line is that the problems in the Eurozone are vast, complicated, and without easy solutions…so it will take a very long time for clear resolution. And during times of global uncertainty, money will flow into the relative safe haven of the US Dollar and US Bonds – including Mortgage Bonds, which home loan rates are tied to. This means that home loan rates should continue in their sideways trend and remain near historic lows, making now a great time to purchase or refinance a home. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

 

Forecast for the Week

 

 

 

The second half of the week features several important economic reports:

  • The Fed’s Beige Bookwill be released on Wednesday. This is a report on economic conditions from the 12 Federal Reserve District Banks around the country.
  • Initial Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday. Last week’s number fell by 15,000 to 372,000 and the report signaled that the labor market could be turning the corner to greener pastures.
  • Retail Saleswill be released on Thursday and will be closely watched by both investors and traders. Last week, it was reported that retailers saw better-than-expected revenues for same-store sales in December, but the numbers were achieved by big discounts. Sales on Black Friday were robust, but fell off in the ensuing weeks during December. So the markets will be watching closely for the final numbers this week.
  • The first look on Consumer Sentiment for January will be released on Friday.

In addition to those reports, the Treasury Department will sell a total of $66 Billion in government securities on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Those auctions could impact the markets, depending on how they’re received. So, I’ll be watching the results – and their impact – closely.

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 remain near their record best levels. I will be monitoring this closely in the weeks ahead.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Jan 06, 2012)
Japanese Candlestick Chart

 

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

 

 

There’s an App for That New Year’s Resolution!Making It Happen, Part 2

In last week’s View article, we focused on 5 steps to achieving your New Year’s Resolutions. Those steps included: setting realistic goals, making a simple plan for each goal, announcing your goals, tracking and celebrating your progress, and avoiding the urge to give up if you have a setback.

Luckily, you’re not on your own to work through those steps. That’s because there are a number of social media websites and smart phone applications designed to help you.

Obviously, popular apps like Facebook and Twitter can help you announce your goals, hold yourself accountable, and receive supportive feedback from friends and family members. But there are a number of additional resources that you may not know about.

Here are just 5 social media sites and apps that can help you set your New Year’s resolutions…and stay on track!

1. Tweet Reminders. Twitter is great for connecting with people and sharing news instantaneously. But did you know it’s also a great way to remind yourself about tasks? Need a reminder to go to the gym… or to call those past clients? No problem. Visit the Tweet Reminders site, and then enter your Twitter username and up to 5 tasks or reminders. You can even pick a date and time. Then, Tweet Reminders will send you a direct message on Twitter to remind you about them. It’s both an easy and helpful thing to do.

2. Moteevate. Regardless of whether your goal is big or small, this site has the inspiration, energy, and advice you need to reach it. With moteevate, you get support from people you already know as well as advice from experts in the field – all while being surrounded by people looking to achieve similar goals. You can even moteevate in teams and act as moteevators for each other. The site also includes cool trackers to record your progress and milestones. Plus, you can customize the privacy settings to keep your goals to yourself or share them with others. And best of all, the basic platform is free to use with the caveat that you pay whatever you want after you achieve your goal. In fact, this honor system is the only thing old-fashioned about moteevate.

3. Toodledo. This is a businessperson’s dream app. You’ve no doubt seen a To-Do list before…but this app kicks it up a notch! Not only does it help you easily organize your tasks and set alarms, but it also allows you to collaborate with other people and establish sub-tasks to work towards your goal in small steps! Plus, Toodledo can be used on your mobile phone, in your email, on your calendar, and even integrated directly into your web browser. So you can stay on track from anywhere…and at any time.

4. StickK. The basic principle of this app is that “incentives get people to do things.” So if you really want to achieve a goal – whether it’s personal or professional – it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Basically, stickK allows you to create a Commitment Contract focused on achieving a specific goal. As part of the process, you set your goal and timelines, stakes, referee who will monitor your progress, and supporters who will cheer you on. If you achieve your goal in your timeframe, you don’t lose the stakes you wagered. But – the best part is – even if you don’t achieve your goal, the money you wagered goes to a worthy cause or charity that you designate. So it truly is a win-win situation!

5. GymPact. This is similar to stickK in that you put money on the line…but it’s different in that you can also earn some money. You start by making a commitment that you will go to the gym a certain number of times per week (don’t worry, you can change your pact any week). You also set the monetary stakes that you’ll pay if you don’t meet your commitment. Then, you simply use the GymPact iPhone app to check in when you go to the gym. When you meet your weekly goal, you’ll be rewarded with real cash, funded by the people who didn’t work out! The more days you commit, the more cash you earn. The only downside is that you need an iPhone (or an iPod Touch and a gym with Wi-Fi) to participate, since apps for other systems aren’t available.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media websites and apps designed to help you set and achieve your goals. Best wishes to you in the coming weeks and months.

And, if your New Year resolutions involve any financial or housing matters that I can help with, please call or email today. I’ll be happy to help out in any way that I can.

Economic Calendar for the Week of January 09 – January 13

Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Wed. January 11
02:00
Beige Book
 
 
 
 
Moderate
Thu. January 12
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
1/7
375K
399K
375K
Moderate
Thu. January 12
08:30
Retail Sales
Dec
0.4%
0.1%
0.4%
HIGH
Thu. January 12
08:30
Retail Sales ex-auto
Dec
0.4%
-0.2%
0.3%
HIGH
Fri. January 13
10:00
Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)
Jan
71.0
 
69.9
Moderate

 

 

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 without errors.
As your mortgage professional, 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.
 

Certified Mortgage Planner, Curtis Schartz, Home loan, Interest Rate, Interest Rates, kansas city, lees summit, lower interest, lower rates, Mortgage, mortgage backed securities, no cost refinance, overland park, Pulaski Bank, purchase, rate, Rates, Refinance, shawnee

Oct

25

Click Here for My Featured Chart.

 

Curtis Schartz, Certified Mortgage Planner, Pulaski Bank HARP Refinance, Lees Summit, Overland Park, Kansas City, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Shawnee, Liberty

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.
———————–
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.
———————–

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.
________________________________________
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.

Nov

23

Tax Credit for Homebuyers

First-Time Homebuyers (FTHBs): First-time homebuyers (that is, people who have not owned a home within the last three years) may be eligible for the tax credit. The credit for FTHBs is 10% of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $8,000.

Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.

Current Owners: The tax credit program now gives those who already own a residence some additional reasons to move to a new home. This incentive comes in the form of a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.

Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.

What are the New Deadlines?

In order to qualify for the credit, all contracts need to be in effect no later than April 30, 2010 and close no later than June 30, 2010.

Tax Credit Versus Tax Deduction

It’s important to remember that the tax credit is just that… a tax credit. The benefit of a tax credit is that it’s a dollar-for-dollar tax reduction, rather than a reduction in a tax liability that would only save you $1,000 to $1,500 when all was said and done. So, if a first-time homebuyer were to owe $8,000 in income taxes and would qualify for a tax credit of $8,000, she would owe nothing.

Better still, the tax credit is refundable, which means the homebuyer can receive a check for the credit if he or she has little income tax liability. For example, if a first-time homebuyer is eligible for a tax credit of $8,000 but is liable for $4,000 in income tax, she can still receive a check for the remaining $4,000!

Higher Income Caps

The amount of income someone can earn and qualify for the full amount of the credit has been increased.

Single tax filers who earn up to $125,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, single filers who earn $145,000 and above are ineligible

Joint filers who earn up to $225,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, joint filers who earn $245,000 and above are ineligible.

Maximum Purchase Price

Qualifying buyers may purchase a property with a maximum sale price of $800,000.

————————

Remember, the new tax credit program includes a number of details and qualifications. For more information or answers to specific questions, please call or email me today.

In addition, you may be able to benefit from additional housing related provisions, including the following:

————————

Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs

This provision is designed to help promote energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.

Landmark Energy Savings

This provision provides $5 Billion for energy efficient improvements for more than one million modest-income homes through weatherization. According to some estimates, this can help modest-income families save an average of $350 a year on heating and air conditioning bills.

Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits To HUD-Assisted Housing

This provision provides a total of $6.3 Billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally supported housing programs. Specifically, it establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (for elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.

Expanding Housing Assistance

This provision increases support for several critical housing programs. It includes $2 Billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties.

As always, if you have any questions about your specific situation or would like to discuss how you may benefit from this program, please call or email me. I’ll be happy to sit down with you.

Thank you,
Curtis Schartz, CMPS
Certified Mortgage Planner
Pulaski Bank Home Lending
(816) 347-1678 ext. 307 – phone
(913) 707-1525 – cell
(913) 234-8609 – fax
www.KCMortgagePlanner.com

Oct

30

Some encouraging news on the extension of the $8000 tax credit…while it is not a done deal, as it still must be reconciled between the House and Senate and then voted on for final approval, it’s looking good. And it’s not only looking good for the extension, but there are some additional enhancements to the credit in the works as well. Yesterday, the Senate reached an agreement to extend the $8000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. They also added a $6,500 tax credit for other primary home purchasers, meaning not just limited to first time home buyers. They also raised the qualifying income limits in a very meaningful way – singles were increased from $75,000 to $125,000, and joint taxpayers from $150,000 to $250,000. Buyers must have executed purchase agreements in hand by April 30th, and then will have until June 30th to close. More details are likely to come, and changes could be made as reconciliation and voting takes place.
Contact Curtis Schartz, Certified Mortgage Planner at Pulaski Bank, today to get ready to purchase your new home and take advantage of the tax credit before it runs out.

Oct

23

For those of you still planning on taking advantage of the $8000 tax credit for purchasing a new home in Shawnee, Lee’s Summit, Overland Park, and the rest of the Kansas City Metro time is running out. Don’t count on the tax credit getting extended. There is some opposition against extending it. In order to get closed in time you will need to be contracted within the next 1 – 2 weeks. Most large lending institutions have already cut people off. At Pulaski Bank we have a commitment to our clients to get it done if at all possible. Remember that the deadline for closing is November 30th. However, you need to take into account a couple of items. First is that the bill actually reads that the Deed or Mortgage has to be recorded by November 30th as well. Whether the IRS will check this or not I don’t know, but you sure don’t want to risk it. The other item to consider is that November 30th falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving. So you really need to be closed by November 25th to be assured that you make the deadline. If you are out searching for a lender and a mortgage planner that will get you the best rates and the lowest costs, as well as, get you closed in time to get the $8000 tax credit look no further. Call Curtis Schartz, Certified Mortgage Planner at Pulaski Bank today to get your pre-approval.

Sep

1

Time is running out for 1st time home buyers in Kansas City, Lees Summit, Overland Park and the rest of the Country to receive an$8000 tax credit for purchasing a home. There are 3 months left to take advantage of the low interest rates and this great incentive. If you know of anyone that is thinking about purchasing a home make sure and have them contact Certified Mortgage Planner Curtis Schartz. Even if they don’t think that they have the money down there may be a solution. At Pulaski Bank we have several solutions for buyers to get into homes with no money down or zero down home loans. It is important that we get started on this process right away. The $8000 tax credit rules state that you must close prior to December 1st, 2009. The typical time frame to close on a house is 30 days plus the time that it takes for you to find a home. In order to be sure you close in time you will want to be contracted by mid October. There will be a big push at the end with people trying to purchase a home to get  in on the tax credit before it expires .Don’t get left out in the cold. Contact me today so we can get your pre-approval process started and get you on the road to home ownership.