Rates Keep Falling; 15-Year vs. 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Rates continue to fall in response to coronavirus concerns. They hit all-time record lows again today, as the entire mortgage industry scrambles to handle the influx of refinances. Don’t take the 15-Year Fixed! Take the 30-Year Fixed – Please! When rates move this low, borrowers often ask if they should opt for a 15-year mortgage […]Read More

Why Does Coronavirus Affect Rates So Much? Will It Last?

Rates remain near all-time record lows and Coronavirus concerns are the primary reason why. REASONS FOR CONCERN Spanish Flu: The Spanish Flu epidemic from 1918 – 1920 infected 27% of the world’s population (or 500 million people). It ended up killing between 50 million and 100 million people, making it the deadliest epidemic of the […]Read More

When Can Borrowers Lock Their Rate? Rate Volatility

BORROWERS OFTEN WANT TO LOCK PRIOR TO GETTING INTO CONTRACT Borrowers often want to lock in their interest rates prior to going into contract (they typically want to take advantage of low rates before they go up). We are unfortunately unable to do so b/c we need to identify a property address before we can […]Read More

Are Low Rates The “New Normal?” The Fed Is Irrelevant

For years I have been repeating the predictions of various market experts about how interest rates have to go up at some point. And for years, I have been dead wrong! My wrongness was only illuminated again with the recent dramatic drop in rates. All this only makes me think that low rates may now […]Read More

Some Rate Reminders for California Borrowers

  Rates are a hot topic for California borrowers. Everyone wants to get the best mortgage rate possible when they’re getting ready to take out a loan for their home purchase. Here a few helpful reminders to keep in mind about mortgage rates in California: California rates will vary depending on the loan type. There […]Read More

Rate Shopping Concerns; Avoiding Pain for All

We sometimes lose pre-approved “rate shopping” borrowers long before they are even in contract. This is frustrating for us b/c our full pre-approvals take two to three hours of time, and b/c we have not even formally quoted rates yet (we only estimate rates when we send out payment scenarios). In any case, we like […]Read More

Rates Up Again; Is Good News Bad News or Good News? (It’s Both); Historic Rates

“When the trough gets smaller, the pigs get meaner.”  This is a Dan Sullivan quote Heejin and I both love, and it is a great reminder for us all when markets contract. We’re not getting “meaner” at JVM, but we’re certainly getting more competitive. And we love the competition. Rates shot up again today in […]Read More

Higher Rates Won’t Hurt Housing Prices Per Fannie Mae Economist

Several Realtors have asked us recently about the effect of higher rates on housing prices. This is b/c their own clients are concerned about buying now and risking a decline in values. According to Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, rate increases usually do not portend a decrease in values for several reasons. 1. If […]Read More

What Does Trump’s Win Mean for Mortgages and Markets?

As we mentioned in “State of Rates,” rates increased sharply after Mr. Trump was elected. In the shorter run, we can expect rates to remain where they are or to continue to edge higher, unless significant negative economic news surfaces. Longer term, rates are expected to rise, but we have seen this prediction dashed time […]Read More

Perspective for Fence Sitters Concerned About Rates & Presidents

This is one of the few times we have seen rates increase after a major election, but it was not b/c rates were being held artificially low by any power in government prior to the election. It is simply market forces reacting. We have had a few fence sitters lately, not wanting to get into […]Read More

What Does Trump’s Win Mean for Mortgages and Markets?

Rates went up with news of Trump’s victory. The markets believe that a GOP controlled White House and congress will foster a more hawkish Fed (more willing to raise rates) and a tighter fiscal policy (less government spending and quantitative easing). This contrasts with what we mentioned in previous blogs. It was thought that the uncertainty created by […]Read More

Rates Way Down, When They Are Supposed To Be Up? What Is Going On?

Rates have dropped precipitously in recent days b/c of the global sell-off in stocks. Once again, weak economies worldwide are spooking investors and causing them to sell stocks and move to bonds en masse. When investors move to bonds, the price of bonds increases b/c of increased demand, and this pushes yields and rates down. […]Read More

Elections Don’t Affect Rates; CFPB Maybe

Elections (either pending or completed) usually do not move interest rates, or at least in the way people might expect. Rates historically move either up or down prior to Presidential elections (they do not always go down, as many think). And last night’s Republican victories did not affect the market significantly either. One hopeful outcome […]Read More

FHA – Mortgage Insurance No Matter What the LTV IS

Starting in June, FHA will require Mortgage Insurance (MI) no matter how low the loan-to-value ratio (or how big the down payment) is.  This applies to both 30 year and 15 year mortgages. Many borrowers have to take FHA financing because they have issues that preclude them from obtaining conventional financing.  When this is the case, they […]Read More

“Rate Quotes” Are Worthless/Waste of Time Prior to Pre-Approval

We sometimes have buyers who insist on getting rate quotes before getting “pre-approved”, or before they give us any information. We strongly discourage rate quotes at the front of the approval process for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, markets change often. Lenders can quote very aggressively when they know borrowers are not even […]Read More

FHA Turn Times = Conventional; Rate “Roll Downs”

Two Realtors asked us yesterday if we could close an FHA transaction in under 30 days. We of course said “yes” becuase it takes no more time to close an FHA transaction than it does to close a Conventional transaction. We are not sure why people think FHA transactions take longer. The appraisal and underwriting […]Read More