- Mortgage Rates: One thing to remember about what you hear on the news is that good news for the economy in general means rates are going to rise for buying a house. Bad news for the economy means rates stay where they are if they are low or get lower. Here’s what MBS Quoteline is saying: ” The Fed’s recent announcement that it may purchase additional Treasury securities (quantitative easing) to stimulate the economy has magnified the importance of economic news and increased daily volatility. Investors now evaluate each fresh piece of data in terms of its expected impact on Fed policy, and mortgage rates receive an extra benefit from weaker than expected data. In general, weaker economic growth leads to lower future inflation, which is favorable for mortgage rates. In addition, investors now expect higher levels of bond purchases by the Fed after weak data, and the increased demand also would be positive for mortgage rates. Of course, stronger than expected economic news will have the opposite effect and will push rates higher more quickly than usual.”
- Selling Tip Of The Week: Color is important when selling your home. I’m sure you’ve heard that it is good to use neutral tones on the walls, and your Realtor can advise you on the latest/most popular shades, but I’ve noticed that some people misinterpret “neutral”. Neutral does not mean white. I know that white is fun to play with tone on tone, but if you do too much white, it will make your home feel “cold” and people will have a difficult time “feeling the love” : ) So, if you’ve got white walls that you think look realy clean and make your rooms look bigger, and off white or white carpet throughout… you need to talk w/your Realtor about some light taupes or other schemes to bring some warmth into those rooms.
- Buying Tip Of the Week: Pay attention to the garage in your new home. What are you going to use it for? I say there are two kinds of people… those who park in their garage and those who store “stuff” in it. Does the garage in the home you’re contemplating meet your needs? I recently had a Buyer about ready to write an offer when they realized that her beloved long-ish minivan would not fit in the garage. Now she had a choice to make… the home that fit the rest of the family’s needs… or the car? In many older homes, garages were not made to fit the longer/larger vehicles of today. So… try your car out in the garage if you have any questions about it. And if you have trouble squeezing it in, you might consider “carriage doors” that open out, as they are mounted on the outer side of the frame as opposed to the inner side which is where up & down sliding doors are mounted, thereby reducing your space.
- “Should-I-Buy-Now-Or-Wait?-Calculator” – Here is a nifty tool from First American Title Company (came to me courtesy of Pam Edwards in the Clackamas Office… Thanks, Pam!). It allows you to calculate the difference between buying now & waiting… So, let’s say you found a home that is priced at $500,000. You know rates are good now and are expected to rise, and/but you are thinking that maybe the house will come down in price (let’s say you think it may eventually come down to $450,000.) and so you are considering holding off on your offer. This tool will allow you to punch in parameters and see just how much the picture would change if interest rates go up and your home lowers in value. Pretty cool! Here’s the link: “Should-I-Buy-Now-Or-Wait?-Calculator” There are some additional tools there as well: Buy or Rent, for instance.