How Low Will Mortgage Rates Go? They're Now Below 3 Percent If You Know Where To Look One of the few silver linings for real estate in the middle of this devastating coronavirus pandemic has been record-low mortgage interest rates. And housing experts predict those ultra-low rates will likely fall even further—venturing into the unprecedented 2% range. That could give the flagging housing market—deeply hampered by state and local lockdowns, uncertainty about COVID-19, and a sputtering economy — a much needed boost. Lower rates equate to lower monthly housing mortgage payments, meaning many buyers will suddenly be able to afford homes with higher price tags. "We expect mortgage rates to stay low and possibly slip lower," says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "We’ll flirt with the 3% threshold for a while before we go below it." Mortgage Rate Madness: They're Up, They're Down, Where Will They Land? Borrowers Will Find It Harder Than Ever to Get a Mortgage This Spring—Here's Why? Although some lenders are offering rates in the high 2% range, rates averaged 3.28% for 30-year fixed-rate loans for the week ending May 14, according to the most recent Freddie Mac data. That's more than a full percentage point lower than the 4.61% rate for the week ending May 17 last year. That difference could shave hundreds of dollars off some monthly mortgage payments and tens of thousands of dollars off the life of a 30-year loan. Meanwhile, average, daily rates dropped to a new low of 3.09% on May 15, according to Mortgage News Daily. Hale anticipates that rates will fall to 2.9% by the end of the year. That's similar to Fannie Mae's May forecast. The housing giant expects rates to remain in the low 3% range for the rest of the year—and then fall to 2.9% for all of 2021. "Of course, no one can be sure what to expect, because it really depends on how the battle against coronavirus unfolds," Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily, said in an email. "In a situation where people are able to return to work sooner than expected and in greater numbers, rates might not [fall much lower]. On the other hand, the more negative economic outcomes would suggest 2.5% by the end of the year." Borrowers can already get a mortgage in the 2% range Today's buyers can already score rates in the 2% range—that is, if they know where to look. Borrowers seeking a 15-year fixed-rate loan or an adjustable-rate mortgage, where rates fluctuate over the life of the loan, can already enjoy rates in the 2% range. But their monthly payments are likely to be higher as the loan is condensed into a shorter time period. Those seeking standard, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages can also get in on the action. Chase Home Lending was offering buyers rates in the high 2% for purchases in some parts of the country as of Wednesday afternoon. On May 12, national lender United Wholesale Mortgage unveiled a new loan program where folks purchasing a house or homeowners refinancing their loans are guaranteed rates of between 2.5% and 2.99%. Folks with higher credit scores and stronger credit profiles are more likely to qualify for the lower rates. About 10,000 people inquired about the low rates on Thursday, says Mat Ishbia, CEO of UWM. The national lender bills itself as the largest purchase mortgage lender and the second-largest lender nationally, making $108 billion in mortgages last year. Unlike at brick-and-mortar banks, its loans are available only through mortgage brokers. To be eligible, borrowers must qualify for a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for a primary or vacation home. Investment homes are not included in the program. "It's a great way to get the economy and the [home] purchases started," says Ishbia. "With the pandemic across America ... there's a lot of pent-up demand." Why aren't all mortgage rates below 3%? The question many buyers may be wondering is why all lenders aren't offering such rock-bottom rates. In March, the Federal Reserve slashed short-term interest rates to between 0% and 0.25% to ameliorate the economic carnage wrought by the coronavirus. So why haven't mortgage rates followed suit? The main reason: Mortgage lenders are inflating mortgage rates because of the substantial financial risks that the coronavirus has introduced. Higher rates provide profits—as well as a bit of a financial cushion during uncertain economic times. (It's also important to note that mortgage rates are more closely tied to U.S. Treasury bonds. When bond prices are low, mortgage rates go up, and vice versa.) "We should be under 3% and we're not," says Indianapolis-based mortgage lender Don Frommeyer of CIBM Mortgage. He chalks it up to overall uncertainty about the road forward. "Everybody’s spooked about what’s going to happen." Lenders want to free up capital to make new loans, so they typically don't want to hold on to the mortgages they make. They bundle the loans they make and sell them on the secondary mortgage market to investors. But buyers of these mortgage-backed securities, or mortgage bonds, as they're called, want to make sure they're making profitable investments. If borrowers default on their mortgages, make partial payments, or skip payments entirely because they've lost jobs or income during the pandemic, then investors don't get paid. So they're less likely to want to accept ultralow mortgage rates, which also cuts into their profits, during a financial crisis. And lenders depend on investors to scoop up their loans. "People might have a harder time paying their mortgage right now. That’s why the rate on mortgage goes up," says realtor.com's Hale. "Investors are demanding a higher interest rate because they’re taking on more risk." More than 36 million folks have filed for unemployment since the crisis roiled the American economy roughly two months ago. That's resulted in roughly 4.1 million homeowners requesting forbearance on their mortgages as of May 10, according to the most recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This allows them to miss monthly, housing payments for a period of time. Will mortgage rates in the 2% range boost the housing market? Even interest rates in the mid-2% range may not be enough to spur buyers to make what may be the biggest purchase of their lives in the middle of what's shaping up to likely be another recession. With unemployment reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression and fears that it will likely get worse, many potential buyers are understandably nervous about signing up for 10-, 15-, or even 30-year mortgages. Plus, many lenders are requiring borrowers to have higher credit scores and down payments given all of the financial uncertainty. That's going to make it even more difficult for many folks to get a mortgage and snag those ultralow rates. "It [is] an opportune time to borrow money," says Hale. But "we're probably going to see fewer buyers given all the economic uncertainty." And the new requirements "are naturally going to create some hurdles for buyers to jump over," she adds. By: Clare Trapasso is the senior news editor of realtor.com and an adjunct journalism professor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She previously wrote for a Financial Times publication, the New York Daily News, and the Associated Press. She is also a licensed real estate agent. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5 Effective Steps for Setting Why Goals
At the start of each year, we are inundated with emails and Instagram posts demanding to know: What are your goals for the new year? We clamor to figure out how to be our best. The gyms are packed and our bookshelves full as we commit to our goals, repeating in our heads, This year will be different. But then the months go by. Goals are forgotten, resolutions covered in the dust of day-to-day tasks, and the mundane running-through-life resumes.
Your goals are now just a guilty reminder of everything you haven’t made time for. You’re not even sure why you tried. And that’s just it: You don’t know why you set the goal in the first place. As a leadership coach, I demand that all goals start with "why." Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you need to read more? Why do you think getting a new job will bring you happiness?
Once a client answers my why question, I ask it again. And again. I ask the question somewhere between three to five times (#brokenrecord), until we finally uncover what’s at the core.
Start With Why For my client who wanted to lose weight—let’s call her Michelle—her first why was so that her clothes would look better. OK, fair; who doesn’t want to fit into their old jeans? On the second why, Michelle said that having clothes that fit would give her more confidence. I heard something change in her voice—now we were getting warmer. On the third why, she shared that she had never felt confident with her appearance. As a result, she’s resisted going after her dream of giving a TED Talk. She couldn’t stand the thought of a crowd staring at her body for 18 minutes. And when I asked Michelle why she wanted to give a TED Talk, she broke into tears, "I want to share my story—my fight with obesity and body image—so that I can help even one young girl not suffer the way I have." We both sat in silence. Michelle’s goal was about much more than weight loss. We had given voice to the why of Michelle’s goal, and it would never be tossed aside again.
When you surface the meaning behind your goal and give it a voice, a simple goal shifts into a mission. Not all goals will have tears and a heart-wrenching story, but you’d be surprised at how many are grounded in values and purpose. And when you can surface that meaning and give it a voice, a simple goal shifts into a mission. With your why front and center, it’s almost impossible to turn your back and not go after it.
Why Why Matters In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek shares the biology of why why matters. Inside that big brain of ours, we have two levels: the limbic brain and the neocortex. Our limbic brain holds the reigns of all feelings, human behaviors and decision-making. It has no capacity for language; it’s where our "gut decisions" come from. So when you do things that just "feel right," know that that’s your limbic brain at work. Meanwhile, the neocortex is the responsible side of our brain, from where all of our rational thoughts derive. And while the neocortex can make a great argument, it turns out that the limbic brain is quite powerful, often contradicting and beating out our rational neocortex.
So now think about how this might work with your goals. Your neocortex has all the reasons why you should go to the gym, eat healthier, work harder, but your limbic brain knows what feels good. And getting up early or passing on that glass of wine doesn’t feel quite as delectable. So, your goals have to feel good. And those feel-good goals come from giving voice to your why. When you hit on the values and emotions that drive why you want to achieve a goal, a light goes off in the limbic brain and kicks your body into action.
How to Set Why Goals:
1. Ask why until you hit a value. Remember when you used to dig holes in the sand at the beach until you hit water? It’s like that—except "Why?" is the shovel and your value is the water. Keep asking why until you hit the value. You can do this for yourself, with a friend, or work with a coach. Sometimes "Why?" can feel a little 'judgey' or make you go too deep into your head. If that happens, ask the question a bit differently: What’s important to you about that? What makes you want it? As you ask the questions, be on the lookout for emotions. As you notice a lump in your throat, or, if you’re doing this with someone else, a pause in your voice, get curious about what’s going on. Our feelings (hi, limbic brain!) tend to lead us to our values, and they’re useful for getting into action and staying engaged.
2. Create the vision. Once you find the value, don’t stop. Explore what it is about that value that is so meaningful. Ask questions like: What would it be like to achieve that goal? What would life be like if you no longer had to second-guess your appearance? What if you were able to help one young woman overcome her body image issues? What would be possible for you? Make sure you capture an understanding of what accomplishing the goal would feel like. Having a keen sense of awareness of the end-state is one of the most motivating factors when going after a goal. Then capture it: Write it down in your journal, paint it or record yourself talking about it. You’ll come back to this vision when the going gets tough.
3. Get SMART about it. You may have heard of SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. Once you have your why and your vision, it’s time to employ this method. Let’s see how Michelle used SMART goals: The goal of "losing weight" is slippery. For some, losing five pounds might be really meaningful; for Michelle, that wouldn’t bring her one step closer to speaking on stage. When I asked her about what specifically she wanted, she didn’t hesitate: "I need to lose 30 pounds and bring my BMI to a 20." This wasn’t only specific, it was quite measurable: She’d know exactly how she was progressing whenever she wanted. Michelle’s goal might have seemed a little ambitious, but we made it achievable by creating a workout schedule that ramped up in terms of time and difficulty. We put together a healthy diet that included room for occasional sweets.
Michelle knew that she needed to ease into it and leave room and acceptance for missed workouts and cupcakes if she was going to see this through. To ensure her goal stayed relevant, Michelle posted the TED Talk application on her refrigerator. She wanted her why to be front and center each time she reached for a snack. Finally, Michelle gave herself eight months to lose the weight; the time-bound nature felt doable (four pounds a month) and inspiring.
4. Give yourself permission to change course. Too often we set goals and then refuse to bend our own rules. Rigid rules may work for some (for most, it results in giving up completely), but they can also lead you down a path that is no longer on purpose with your original why. As with all things in life, the goal posts may change. Michelle might have originally wanted to lose 30 pounds, but as she shed the pounds, she might have felt great with losing 25 pounds. Should she continue to push forward, or if she felt confident enough to take the stage, could she stop there? To ensure you’re staying true to your why, plan purposeful check-ins. These can be calendar reminders or a check-in with a coach. Ask questions like: Am I still going after the right goal? Do I remain as committed to my stated purpose? Why? What do I need to shift?
5. Celebrate! It’s easy to drive past our wins without even looking out the window. But if you’re going to stick to your challenging and meaningful goals, make sure you enjoy the view. As you create your roadmap to achieve your goals, include benchmarks and rewards. They should be activities or gifts to yourself that are motivating and cause you to reflect on what you’re learning and who you’re becoming. Speaking of celebrations: Last month, Michelle nominated herself to speak at a TED event. She enjoyed a cupcake immediately after hitting submit.
Related: The Secret to Successfully Planning Long-Term Goals This post originally appeared on Shine, a free app that’s a pep talk in your pocket.
Shine is an award-winning self-care app and community for people with anxiety & depression.
April 22, 2020 Senate Passes Deal to Replenish Coronavirus Relief Funding The U.S. Senate passed legislation Tuesday to replenish funding for several coronavirus small-business relief programs championed by NAR and available to REALTORS®. The House is expected to take up the measure later this week. Under the Senate agreement, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will receive $310 billion in new cash, while the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) fund will receive an additional $50 billion. The bill sets aside $60 billion of PPP funding exclusively for small and medium-sized community banks. "The PPP ran out of money in about two weeks and the EIDL was running on fumes," says Shannon McGahn, NAR’s top federal advocate. "These are two of the most extensive rescue programs in our nation’s history. We are hearing from brokers around the country who were able to keep their employees on the payroll because of this help and from self-employed members who have been able to keep their businesses afloat." "Although the roll out was a bit rocky because of the programs' sheer size and demand, more and more banks are coming in line," McGahn says, "and we encourage all our members who qualify to check with their lender again and keep trying. It’s worthttps://agentmarketing.com/dashboardh it." The Senate bill also contains $25 billion for coronavirus testing and $75 billion for hospitals. Quick Guidance for REALTORS® on the PPP and EIDL: • If you’ve already applied for an EIDL: The SBA is processing applications already in their system on a first-come, first-served basis. You do not need to reapply. • If you have not already applied for an EIDL: Check back at the SBA application page once the additional funding is signed into law. The SBA will re-open applications shortly afterwards. • If you’ve already applied for a PPP loan through an SBA lender but have not been approved yet: Check with your lender to see if they are maintaining a queue of applications during the lapse or if you will need to reapply when the renewed funding comes through. • If you have not applied yet for a PPP loan through an SBA lender: Have the application form filled out and your documentation ready to provide to your lender. (For businesses with employees, have payroll documentation; for independent contractors, have your 2019 Form 1040, Schedule C, and 1099-MISC.) If you have an existing relationship with an SBA lender, you should go to that lender first once the program reopens, but be prepared to try multiple lenders, which you can find on the SBA site. Source: National Association of Realtors
Tips for Buying a House in the Austin Housing Market The Central Texas housing market is among the top three in the country. It’s home to Austin, Fort Hood, Killeen, College Station, and Waco. Together, these cities provide a wide range of living choices from family-friendly to the military lifestyle and even college town. They offer great value and a high quality of life. Though, for sake of this article, we’ll focus on the Austin real estate market. In Austin, the cost of living is very reasonable (three percent below the national average). Its strong economy is one of the main elements boosting the local real estate market. It’s also a reason why home values continue to be so healthy. In fact, home values have almost doubled since 2010 (source: Passive Real Estate Investing, Sept. 2018). Are you worried it’s too late to take advantage of Austin’s growing equity? Don’t be. The Austin real estate market is still a bargain for buyers as market listings are seeing price cuts and there are fewer bidding wars. Now really is the time to buy a house in Austin. Buying vs. renting in Austin There are many things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent a home. When it comes to finances and budget, keep these three points top of mind. Rent can rise unexpectedly, but your mortgage (pending your loan program) remains the same. Austin rents are already around $1,750 a month! Austin’s median home value is around $348,800. According to Zillow, after three years and three months, buying will be cheaper than renting in Austin. If you look at your gross costs, equity, and investment potential; it's better to buy a house in Austin than rent if you plan to live there for three years or more. Growing equity means increasing your wealth. Think of your home as an investment that offers incredible returns. Every time you make a mortgage payment, a portion of that payment pays your loan down each month, giving you more equity in the home. Are you ready to buy a home? Maybe you’re not sure where to get started? Follow these simple steps and you’re sure to find the perfect house in the Austin market. 1. Understand your mortgage options What’s your total budget? How much have you saved for a down payment? Do you prefer a traditional loan term or something that can be paid off quickly? Are you (or were you ever) in the military? Have your answers ready because there are many loan programs available, and each can be customized to meet your needs. FHA loans require as little as a 3.5% down payment, and that money can be a gift VA loans require no down payment and no mortgage insurance A 15-year loan term means you pay your loan off sooner and save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the long run 2. Secure mortgage pre-approval If you’re a first-time home buyer, it may seem backward to call the mortgage company before making an offer on a home. But the reality is, you can receive mortgage pre-approval without a house! Mortgage pre-approval means a loan officer reviews your finances, checks your credit, and analyzes your debt to see how much home you can afford. It’s important because you’ll know your home purchase budget ahead of time, so you don’t set your heart on a place you can’t afford. Better yet, when you find that home of your dreams, your mortgage pre-approval is going to let the seller know you have the funds available to purchase the home. 3. Choose a top real estate agent What’s the easiest way to find the right home for your budget and personal preferences? It’s choosing to work with a real estate agent who has your timeline and goals top of mind. They can help you with making a competitive offer, and they can introduce you to the neighborhoods that make sense to call home. 4. Consider living in a nearby suburb Are you looking for the best bang for your buck? Consider living in one of these Austin area suburbs. Southwest Austin - Buda Buda has a small, Texas country feel and a lot of value. It’s located 15 miles southwest of downtown Austin and is one of Austin’s fastest-growing suburbs. That, unfortunately, means there’s not much supply. If you’re fortunate enough to find your Buda dream home, expect to have a budget that can cover a home cost of $230,000 to $390,000. North Austin - Round Rock Located about 20 miles north of downtown Austin, Round Rock is another fast-growing suburb and is one of the nation’s safest cities. It’s the self-proclaimed "Sports Capital of Texas," providing residents access to a professionally designed disc golf course, twenty-field baseball complex, five-field softball complex, seven soccer facilities, and a family aquatic center. It’s also home to the Dell headquarters, making it a job hub for those who love technology. Prefer to work in Austin? You’re not too far away, but the workday commute may not be the best. So, be sure to do your research before falling in love with a Round Rock home. North Austin - Leander Leander is 30-minutes from Austin. Many suburban homes are being built, and the current median purchase price is $180,700. With beautiful views of the Texas hills, Leander is still reasonably close to Austin’s amenities and jobs. Not a fan of traffic? The town is served by the MetroRail Red Line, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic during your morning commute. Northeast Austin - Pflugerville Pflugerville is a very diverse and growing town situated northeast of Austin. It's an outdoor lover's paradise with 28 developed parks and over 40 miles of trail within the city limits. Let’s not forget the local restaurants and housing opportunities, many of which are incredibly affordable. In fact, the June 2018 Pflugerville median home value was $243,400. That’s nearly $100,000 less than the median home value of Austin. Prefer to live in Austin? Consider the neighborhoods of Mueller, Barton Hills, Travis Country, Hyde Park, East Austin, Rosedale, Windsor Park, North Austin, West Austin, North Loop, Downtown Austin, Central Austin, Crestview, Allandale, and Old West Austin. Why Austin? In 2017, US News and World Report ranked Austin first in the U.S. for quality of life. That same year, WalletHub ranked the city sixth in their list of best places to live. Awards aside, Austinites will tell you there's no better place to call home. There's plenty to see and do. The weather is great. Let's not forget there's no income tax. Contributed by: American Financing? American Financing is a family-owned and operated mortgage lender with access to every loan in the industry https://www.americanfinancing.net/about-us/reviews
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