Friday, March 25, 2011

Just a quick note about rates of interest:

Once again, the rates held below 5% this past week for 30 year fixed loans. Last few weeks it was Libya (still a factor). But this week the big issue affecting rate markets if Japan. The ongoing crisis, which threatens to make Chernobyl into a Sunday School picnic, is apparently getting worse and this is forcing investors heavily into Treasuries, which pushes up their values and thus forces yields (interest rates) down. What does this mean for you? If a buyer, MOVE AND GET OUT THERE TO BUY! If a seller, get your home ready because with more buyers looking, it may push your values up from where they were a few short months ago.
You heard it here first!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

For those of you facing possible foreclosure & loss of your home because you lost a job and thus don't have the money to make your payments, take note & come November 2012, REMEMBER! The program that existed to provide loans for up to 6 months of your mortgage payments came under fire from Republicans who voted on a bill to kill this form of help. If this bill were to pass the Senate and get signed by the President, it would end this very necessary helpful assistance to those of you who are unable to pay your mortgage due to a loss of job. I hate to be political here--I just want to help those of you needing help, but when I see a good program designed to do just that--help those who, through no fault of their own who need the help to pay their mortgages and save their homes--get gutted, I have to do more than just shake my head and say, "Too bad." This is the second vote of this type in two days in the House, and while it is unlikely to pass the Senate, and, if it did, very likely to be vetoed by Pres. Obama, the very fact that your elected reps care so little about your well being DEMANDS that you respond now by writing your elected reps in both houses of Congress, and respond again next year at election time to show them that this game goes BOTH ways!
Get moving NOW!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What's Happening?

Lots of folks are asking that question, usually in relation to the economy, the housing market or how one or both relate to them personally. Well, overall, in the 'Big Picture' sense, the economy seems, in fits and starts, to be getting better. Jobs are slowly increasing in number and first time jobless filings are dropping, although even there, this week's report showed a slight increase in filings. The stock market had been climbing and was well over the 12,000 level in the Dow until this past week. However, most analysts feel that the past week's drop was largely due to the events in Libya, and shouldn't last too long, barring a total collapse of the entire Middle East.

In housing, we're seeing a continuation of the recent rise in prices nationally. True, it's small, but it's rising. Locally, this trend has been very much one of price ranges. In cases of homes under $1 million, they definitely have been rising, with even the (dare I say it?) occasional multiple offer situation happening. From $1-2 million, it seems to be case by case and over $2 million, still very sluggish. Still, homes are selling and more people are looking, so it is not a bad idea if you're thinking of selling, to try to take advantage of the market and get moving.
Ditto if you're a buyer. As we're still a little short of inventory at all levels, if you're thinking of moving, it's better to start looking now and beat out your competition for the existing inventory or that which should come on the market as the spring progresses.

Interest rates give another reason to get into the market. The one benefit from the Libyan crisis is, believe it or not, the fact that rates have dropped below 5% again. This is because as financial situations get hairier and less certain, investors seek shelter for their funds. In this case, that means getting out of commodities like oil and into traditional safe harbors for their money--US Treasuries. Increased buying of Treasuries pushed the yield (rate) down, and thus, mortgages drop in cost to you.

Questions? Give us a call: (415) 380-2133/531-4091; or email us: . We'd love to help you!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Just a note to show you how important it is to move when you make a decision to buy or sell--As you all know, the purchase or sale of a home is definitely affected directly when interest rates change--up or down. While rates have been rising in the past couple of months, they have remained quite low overall, recently peaking in the low 5's (5.25-5.35%). However, to illustrate how dramatically this can change, the rates dropped a week ago by a few basis points. Even better, this past week, they dropped again to 4.87% for 30 year fixed rate loans. Why the sudden reversal? Look to Libya! That's right--Libya! Due to the instability there by the burgeoning civil war between those who feel that 42 years of Khadaffi is more than enough and those who'd prefer more of the same (God forbid), oil prices have spiked to their highest levels in 2.5 years, passing the century mark to close March 4 at over $104 a barrel. When something like this happens, it drives investors out of commodities and into 'safer' investments--like US Treasuries. As the value of the Treasuries rises, it drives their yield (read interest rate) down, with the result that mortgage rates, which are based on 10 year Treasuries, also drop.

What does this mean for you? If you're a buyer, don't walk--RUN to your lender or mortgage broker and get that loan approved and buy a house! No-one knows how long this bloodshed in Libya's going to continue, but it's fairly safe to say, no matter who wins, it won't last forever. This is an opportunity for all buyers to act on!

If you're a seller, knowing that rates are down should be a spur to you to get your home on the market to have it available for the growing number of approved buyers out there looking to buy.

So what are you waiting for? Get moving! Unsure what to do next? Call us! We'd be happy to assist you with everything from preparing your home to sell, to getting it sold and closed.