Mortgage Rate Watch

Provided courtesy of: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/

Mortgage Market is Freaking People Out
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 21:30:00 GMT -

There are too many counter-intuitive and frustrating developments in the mortgage market to comprehend all at one time, let alone discuss.  That's not a cop-out as much as it is a favor I'm doing for you.  If we tried to cover all of the nonsensical ground right here, this would become yet another wall of text in this era where they're all too common.  So I'll try to make this pithy and interesting.

The bottom line is that mortgage rates are all over the place, depending on the lender and the loan program.  Lender rates on the same program are farther apart than they've ever been.  Day-to-day and intraday movements are huge and seemingly random.  Whereas mortgage rates typically take a vast majority of their guidance from the trading levels in the mortgage bond market (95%+), the correlation is less than 50% right now.  On many mornings (like today), mortgage bonds say rates should be lower, yet they were unequivocally higher for most lenders.

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Mortgage Rates Are Amazing and Terrible
Wed, 25 Mar 2020 22:42:00 GMT -

Depending on what you're looking at, when you look, and where you look, mortgage rates could either be amazing or terrible.  Large, upstanding, secure, solvent, excellent lenders are as much as a full percentage point apart from one another on the same loan quote.  That essentially NEVER happens in the mortgage market--not with all of those qualifiers anyway. 

This is a symptom of the "mess" that coronavirus has made of the financial market.  For those that want to pretend there's some unique mortgage-specific issue that makes things more difficult for the mortgage market versus other sectors, look around you.  To whatever extent it's been "inconvenient" for the average 401k to lose more than 20% of its value in 3-4 weeks, the mortgage market has faced "inconveniences" on a similar scale.  Compared to airlines, oil, retail, food service, and a laundry list of other sectors hit hard by COVID, the mortgage industry merely gets a participation trophy in this race to terrible.

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Mortgage Market is Still a Mess, But a Hopeful One
Tue, 24 Mar 2020 22:36:00 GMT -

There is a LOT of misinformation flying around out there about the mortgage market, the Fed, and the various impacts on rates from the government's coronavirus response.  If you're in the market for big-picture overviews of all the relevant considerations with links to excruciating levels of technical detail, check out this compendium of the Fed's current mortgage bond buying efforts. If you're just here to find out what the heck is going on with mortgage rates, read on.

Rates are legitimately all over the place in a way we haven't seen, ever.  I'm including a significant amount of personal experience analyzing the financial crisis and more than a careless amount of research into historically similar levels of volatility as seen in April 1987.  March 2020 wins, period.  The sudden, unexpected, massive economic shift associated with the most serious global pandemic of our lifetimes is a big deal.  Could we say that the Spanish Flu or Great Depression were bigger deals?  Sure, maybe.  But those events happened in a different world.  In fact, the rise of the internet and rampant globalization of the economy in the 90's arguably makes even 1987 a poor comparison (and yes, I know there technically was internet back then, but were you able to liquidate your 401k from your cell phone's mobile app after reading a coronavirus headline in the bathroom in 1987?  Like I said... different world).

 

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Buying an Investment Property

Buying an Investment Property

Don't Buy Your First Investment Property Until You Read This

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.

Know what 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.

 

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