Mortgage Rates Newsletter - Market Analysis

Provided courtesy of: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/reports/mortgage_rates/archive

Lowest Rates in 8 Years, But All Kinds of Disclaimers
Thu, 27 Feb 2020 23:29:50 GMT - Mortgage rates hit the lowest levels in 8 years either today or yesterday, depending on the lender, just narrowly edging out the rates seen in early July 2016. There are multiple caveats, however. First off, lenders are responding to recent market movements in different ways. Some lenders move down faster and then remain flat even as the bond market (which dictates rates) improves. Other lenders have been slow to react, but have since moved down more steadily. Still others are somewhere between those extremes. Perhaps the most important thing to note about mortgage rates this week is that, while they are certainly at long-term lows, they are absolutely NOT moving lower as fast or as much as US Treasury yields. I discussed this in greater detail in the previous rate article and then again this
Important Lessons From Near-Record Low Mortgage Rates
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 01:24:08 GMT - Mortgage rates continue to carve out the unlikeliest of victories in 2020 with significant help from coronavirus. The epidemic has taken a year that was almost certain to start off with a steady move toward higher rates and turned it into one of the strongest starts on record. In fact, when it comes to the combination of ground covered and levels achieved, no other year has started off any better. Other years have seen a similarly big drop in rates during Jan/Feb, but there aren't many. Of those years, 2016 was the only one to remotely match the rates we're currently seeing. Unless tragedy strikes the mortgage world by the end of this week, 2020's late February rates will be roughly 0.25% lower than they were in 2016. But rates ultimately did move lower in 2016 after the Brexit vote in late
Mortgage Rates Back Near Multi-Year Lows
Thu, 20 Feb 2020 21:36:58 GMT - Mortgage rates haven't been this low for this long in years--3.5 years to be exact. Brexit was the talk of the town in the middle of 2016 and it resulted in rates very close to all-time lows for well over 3 months (all of July, Aug, Sept). Although rates aren't quite as low this time around, they average lender is still quoting 3.5% or lower on top tier scenarios. That's only happened on a consistent basis in 2016 and 2012. Moreover, the current stint is approaching a month in length. Combine that with the fact that rates haven't been over 3.875% since the middle of 2019, and the current mortgage environment is more than worthy of being viewed in the same legendary light as 2012 and 2016. In 2012 it was the European crisis and massive central bank bond buying. In 2016 it was Brexit and massive
Mortgage Rates Hangin' Tough Despite Stock Market Recovery
Fri, 14 Feb 2020 22:26:44 GMT - Mortgage rates have primarily been at the whim of the general tone of coronavirus news for the past few weeks. That meant a swift move to multi-year lows followed by an uneven correction back toward higher levels. But the correction has been anything but threatening, and it stands in stark contrast to a much sharper correction seen in the stock market (i.e. stocks quickly got over coronavirus fears and returned to all-time highs). Why are rates able to hang tough at levels that are still quite close to long-term lows while other parts of the market seem to have moved on? Although the US stock market has moved on to some extent, Asian equities markets have not. They are pricing in the global economic impact that will ultimately be seen due to coronavirus. Granted, that impact may not be huge
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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