Provided courtesy of: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/
What a difference a week makes! At the end of last week, things were pretty grim, with mortgage rates having just seen their worst single week since 2013. The uplifting caveat at the time was that such bouts of nastiness are not that uncommon in the wake of ultra strong performances (such as the entire month of August--the best single month since 2002 if you can believe it!). In other words, last week was a correction to August's impressive strength.
With that in mind, this week turned out to be a correction to last week's correction! There was no way to be sure, but we were hoping it was overdone and that bond traders would step in to buy bonds (which pushes rates lower) in response to the big move. That's exactly what happened and it resulted in measured improvements throughout the week. Ironically, it was only really the day that the Fed cut rates that saw a less upbeat performance.
Here is exactly what yesterday's Fed rate cut did to mortgage rates: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! No Fed rate cut (or hike) will EVER do ANYTHING directly to mortgage rates because the Fed doesn't set mortgage rates.
Don't let the caps-lock fool you into thinking I'm some angry guy with a keyboard who's simply ranting for some self-serving purpose. Of all the people you'll talk to today and of all the articles you'll read on this topic, you should trust me the most. I don't say that lightly or very comfortably, for that matter. It sounds terribly cocky, but in this case, it's also terribly honest.
For more than a decade, if markets are open and mortgage companies are quoting rates, I've religiously been tracking trends, patterns and plain old boring statistics. I use actual wholesale rate sheets from multiple lenders every day to synthesize an average mortgage rate that consistently outperforms survey-based mortgage rate data. In short, if you could only talk to one person to get a highly authoritative take on mortgage rate movement, I'm your guy....(read more)
One of the greatest potential sources of confusion for prospective mortgage borrowers is the relationship between the Fed and mortgage rates. While the Fed's policy changes absolutely have a big impact on all sorts of interest rates (including mortgages), a drop in the Fed's policy rate DOES NOT result in lower mortgage rates. In fact, the OPPOSITE was true today.
The main reason for confusion is the fact that there's a huge difference from an investment standpoint between a rate that governs the shortest-term transactions (The Fed Funds Rate applies to loans that last for 1 day or less) and a rate that can remain in effect for up to 30 years in the case of mortgages. Even if we use the average life span of a 30yr fixed mortgage, we're still talking about 5-10 years depending on the broader market landscape. You may have heard about the "inverted yield curve?" That's a reference to vastly different behavior between longer and shorter term rates, and it stands as evidence of the different sets of concerns that apply to each side of the duration spectrum. The differences are only more pronounced when we take the shorter end of the spectrum all the way down to the "overnight" level (Fed Funds Rate) and all the way up to the duration of the average mortgage loan.
Are you thinking of buying a rental property as part of your investment strategy? Here are a few things you need to think about.
Real estate can be an excellent part of anyone's investment strategy. However, before you buy your first house, condo, duplex, or apartment building to rent out, you need to have a good idea of what you're getting into.
Here are three things to be aware of before jumping into real estate investing -- and an alternative investment you could use instead.
The income can be inconsistent
When you buy just one investment property, you are effectively putting all of your eggs in one basket, just as if your entire portfolio consisted of stock in one company.
While owning an investment property can certainly be lucrative, it leaves you vulnerable to certain risks.
For example, if you buy a $100,000 investment property, you should be able to earn $1,000 in rental income per month, based on the general rule that properties should rent for about 1% of their value. However, what if you need several months to find your first tenant? Or what if your tenants stop paying rent and you have to evict them (which could take quite a while)?
If such a situation occurs, not only will your investment produce no cash flow, but you're still stuck paying for things like the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.
Do you really want to deal with tenants and maintenance?
The first mistake I made when I bought a rental property was underestimating how much work can be involved in dealing with tenants.
Finding quality tenants can be a challenge in itself, but the real issues tend to come up after they move in. For example, if your tenant is late on rent, do you really want to chase people down to find out what's going on? Do you have the first clue of what to do if you need to evict a tenant? And what if they are making too much noise, letting other people live there, or are violating any other part of the rental agreement?
Don't forget about maintenance and repairs. If you manage your rental property, be prepared for the phone to ring in the middle of the night if the tenants have a plumbing issue.
If you don't want to handle these situations, the alternative is to hire a property manager. This should cost you about 10% of the rental income you bring in. This can be well worth it, but it will cause your profits to take a serious hit.
Make sure that you account for "all" the costs
Speaking of the cost of a property manager, you might be surprised at how much it really costs to own a rental property.
In the example cited earlier involving a $100,000 rental property, let's say you put 20% down on the house and collect $1,000 in monthly rent. By financing the other $80,000, you can expect your monthly mortgage payments to be about $392 at today's rates, which might sound like an incredible profit margin. However, when figuring out the cash flow of your investment property, make sure to account for property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and property management.
These costs will vary based on your location and the condition of the property, but could easily add $500 or more to your monthly expenses. Also, bear in mind that many jurisdictions charge much higher property tax rates on investment properties, so make sure you take this into account as well.
you're getting into
I'm not trying to talk you out of buying an investment property. In fact, if you do it right, buying an investment property can produce cash flow and build equity, creating wealth over time without a huge initial investment.
However, just like with any other investment, you need to make sure you know exactly what you're getting into and prepare for all the costs and the risks involved. If these seem like too much trouble, there is no shame in looking into alternatives, such as real estate investment trusts.
Buying an investment property can be a great opportunity.
Whether it be a house, cottage, farm, condo, or plot of land, buying real estate is traditionally a sound and profitable investment, offering both rental income and capital gains. The most obvious advantage of buying any income property is having other people pay off the debt on your investment property. And with interest rates low, there's no time like the present to jump in.
To buy an investment property you will need sound financing information and flexible loan options. When choosing a lender, loan rates are not always the most important. Because investment property mortgages are subject to specific governmental requirements, mortgages are constantly changing. It's a good idea to consult with a mortgage specialist at i Want a Better Mortgage who can bring experience and training to the table, helping you make an informed decision about your investment property mortgage options.