Mortgage Rates Newsletter - Market Analysis

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Mortgage Rates Surge to New Long-Term Lows After Fed
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 22:00:51 GMT - Mortgage rates broke a week-long streak of silence today following a policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. Even before today's Fed announcement, we knew we'd likely be seeing a move in rates. We just didn't know in which direction, or at what pace. As it happens, we were treated to the best case scenario on both accounts (i.e. rates moved lower at a fast pace). As we discussed yesterday, it was the Fed's balance sheet that got most of the attention from financial markets. This refers to the Fed's loan portfolio consisting of Treasuries and mortgage-backed-bonds (both forms of loans that entitle the Fed to collect interest and principal payments). As those payments came in, the Fed had previously been putting the money back into new loans (buying new bonds to replace the old ones). They
Rates Unchanged for 4th Straight Day. That Should Change Tomorrow
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 20:17:05 GMT - Mortgage rates were flat for the 4th day in a row today in a sign that investors have largely taken their seats for tomorrow's big show. The Fed will release its new policy statement at 2pm tomorrow, and while they're not expected to hike rates this time around, there are other important considerations that could have a big impact on rates. One of the considerations is the fact that March is one of the months where the Fed updates its economic projections. Investors largely tune-in to these for a glimpse at the collective rate hike outlook. This has caused big market movement in the past, but something else could be even more important tomorrow. The Fed has increasingly mentioned the impending end of its balance sheet runoff , which refers to its policy of NOT buying bonds with the money it
Mortgage Rates Hold 14-Month Lows
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 21:02:11 GMT - Mortgage rates didn't budge today--a logical result with no signs of life in underlying bond markets. In the current case, this is just fine with us considering the bond market has gone silent while remaining at the best levels in 14 months. Specifically, mortgage-backed-securities (MBS, the most important ingredient in determining mortgage rates) are at 14 month highs. When MBS are higher, rates are lower (14-month lows in this case). 10yr Treasury yields, on the other hand, spent a few hours at stronger levels on January 3rd, 2019. The only reason I bring up the modest discrepancy between Treasuries and MBS is to illustrate a point that we should keep in mind this week. Treasuries are capable of moving much more quickly than mortgage rates. That's why Treasuries made it to lower rates in
Rates Stay Low; Bigger Risks/Rewards Next Week
Fri, 15 Mar 2019 23:39:36 GMT - Mortgage rates remained at recent lows today, as underlying bond markets strengthened. For US Treasuries, this brought rates to new multi-month lows. Mortgage-backed bonds, on the other hand, simply returned in line with the best levels of the week. That allowed mortgage lenders to continue offering the best rates of the week (also the best rates in more than year!). For most of 2019, rates have remained locked in a narrow range . The past few days have done more than any others to challenge that range, but it will likely take friendly words from the Fed next Wednesday to fuel any further improvement. With that in mind, I'd say that much of the recent strength in rates is based on hopes for friendly central bank policies . There's always a risk that the Fed isn't quite ready to say what markets
Buying a Second Home

Buying a Second Home

Does it Make Sense to Buy a Second Home?

It may sound sweeter than it actually is.

Owning a second home may sound like something only the wildly rich do, but that isn't always so. Sometimes people buy a new house when they haven't had success selling the first. Other homeowners might like the idea of buying a second home to fix up and sell at a fat profit – or to rent out.

For the right individual, two homes may be a great plan. But for the wrong homeowner, plenty can go awry. If you're thinking of getting a second mortgage for practical or profitable reasons, now is a good time to have second thoughts, because... 

1. You need to have plenty of money. You don't have to belong to the 1 percent to pull this off, but for a bank to allow you to purchase a second home without plans to sell the first, you can't be just getting by, hoping a second house will fix your financial picture.
 
"Underwriters will want to know you have significant reserves – potentially a buffer worth six months of payments on both properties – before approving the loan," says Brian Seibert president of Michigan First Mortgage in Waterford, Michigan.
 
And while every lender will be different, as a general rule, you'll need to pay a higher down payment for a second home than you would a first.

2. You shouldn't have too much debt. You're taking on more debt when you buy a second home – something lenders take into account.

In most cases, the debt ratio can be 36 percent to 42 percent. That means, of course, that your debt – including mortgages, credit card debt, car loans and student loans – shouldn't exceed that 36 to 42 percent.

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Of course, if you're planning to offset some of that debt by bringing in monthly rental income from your second home, mention that to your lender, Markowitz says.

Renting out a home certainly lowers the risk of being rejected by a mortgage lender ... the general rule of thumb is to provide as much reassurance as possible.

3. You have to spend money to make money. It isn't just that you'll need a hefty down payment. Your monthly mortgage may well be higher than it would be if you just had one home.

Investors are viewed by banks as riskier customers; they are often subjected to higher interest rates. To avoid financing issues, many investors use cash financing or existing lines of credit to purchase investments."

You are also going to be maintaining two homes. You thought it was hard to make sure the bushes were trimmed for one house? Now, you get to double the fun.

Most people grossly underestimate the carrying costs of the investment in real estate. It's more than just taxes and insurance. Consider this scenario: Eventually – assuming you are hanging onto the second house and not selling it soon – you'll have two roofs to replace, two homes to paint and twice as many appliances, such as hot water heaters and refrigerators, to purchase, she says.

If you're spending money and losing money on the house but are truly looking at the property as a long-term investment, it may not matter to you to do that for a while, Duffy says. Some homeowners "are happy to take a loss on a property in the short term, and build up equity for a future period, such as retirement."

4. The buyers and renters may not come. Just because you have grand plans of renting out or selling a second home doesn't mean things will work out that way. If you're investing money into fixing up a property, that takes time – time that translates into money, Duffy says.

"Every day that an investment property sits empty means a loss in profitability to an investor," she says. "All repairs and renovations must be completed quickly in order to have the fastest turnaround ... Even with quality contractors, investors typically spend a significant amount of time working on houses, selecting paints and flooring, purchasing appliances or attending to the other details required to transform a home."

Even if you bought a fixer-upper that's all fixed up, you have to hope a renter or seller signs on the dotted line as soon as possible. And then, if you're renting the place, you have to hope your tenant sticks around.

"Personally, I don't recommend that my clients rely on sources of income that could suddenly stop. You have to be comfortable that if the property is not rented out, you'll still be on solid footing," says Kurt Fillmore, president of Wealth Trac Financial Group in Southfield, Michigan. (And back to the having-plenty-of-money point – Fillmore recommends having six months of emergency funds to cover the mortgages of both houses, in case something goes wrong.)

5. All of this is harder than it looks. Even if you sell or rent out a second home fairly quickly, you could have plenty go wrong later.            

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Real estate, even on a small scale, should be seen as another job or career. While it may be the right fit for some, it's not for everyone.         

It gets even harder if you're trying to flip houses and are solely thinking of them as investments. You should "understand the tax implications of short-term gains and non-primary-residence sales.

Buying a second house unless you are a real estate developer: "I would warn the average person not to get involved unless they have a unique expertise."

 

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