Monday, October 8, 2018

How To Prepare Your House For Winter


October may technically still be Fall, but it is the perfect month to start preparing your house for Winter.  Here are some helpful tips to get the ball rolling. You can knock them out in a weekend or tackle them 1 by 1 depending on the weather forecast in your area.

Furnace Inspection
  • Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
  • If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
  • Remove all flammable material from the area around your furnace.
Get The Fireplace Ready
  • If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
Check Foundations
  • Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
  • Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
Check The Exterior, Doors & Windows
  • Inspect exterior for cracks and exposed entry points around pipes, seal them.
  • Use weather-stripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts
  • Add extra insulation to the attic to prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams. 
  • Replace worn roof shingles or tiles.
  • Clean out the gutters and clear debris from the downspouts.
Service Weather-Specific Equipment
  • Drain gas from the lawnmowers.
  • Service or tune-up snow blowers.
Prevent Plumbing Freezes
  • Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
  • Drain all garden hoses, blow out sprinkler systems.
  • Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
  • Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
Install Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Some cities require a smoke detector in every room.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and water heater.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
Winter. Spring. Summer.  Fall. No matter the season,  The Vertex Team is here to help with all of your mortgage needs. Feel free to call us today. 877-939-0339

Monday, October 1, 2018

5 Questions: Is A Cash-Out Refinance Right For You

They say in life that "Timing is everything".  

Knowing what to do in today's market environment can be confusing.  


 Home values have appreciated in most parts of the country and homeowners are sitting on over
 $6,000,000,000,000 in available home equity. The decision to tap into your home's equity is not
 one that should be taken casually and made without careful consideration.That being said, here
 are 5 situations when it may make sense to tap into your increased equity.

Do You Have High Interest Credit Card Debt?



 Interest rates on credit cards are typically much higher that mortgage rates, often by as much
 as 10% or higher. A cash-out refinance can allow you to pay off high interest-rate credit ard 
 debt and still save money every month. 


Are You Dreaming Of A New Kitchen Or Bathroom?


Reinvesting your home equity back into your house by making home upgrades is a win-win. 
Updating your kitchen, remodeling your bathroom or finishing your basement are all things that 
your family will get to enjoy while at the same time can make your house more valuable without
taking out a second mortgage.

Do You Have Enough Saved For A Rainy Day?


Uncertainty is a part of life. Taking some money out of your house and putting it in the bank
for a rainy day is something to consider. Too often, people find themselves out of a job and 
unable to access the cash in their home when they need it most. Taking steps while you are
employed and can qualify for  a new mortgage to set aside some of that equity for a rainy day
might be a smart move for you.




Do You Have A HELOC?


Pay off your existing home equity line of credit (HELOC) with a Cash-Out Refinance . As
interest rates climbs, so too do the rates on HELOCs, by consolidating with your first mortgage
today you fix the rate in for the life of the loan. No more worry about increases in the prime rate.


Are you living the life you want to live?


Is a lack of cash keeping you from finding your passion or purpose in life? Do you dream of 
continuing your education or starting a business? Maybe there's a bucket list family vacation 
you want to take.If you have a need for some cash and have access to equity due to improving 
home values, you can take that cash for any purpose, with a low fixed rate. 


No sales pressure, just an objective review.


If you answered yes to any of these questions and would like to learn more about your options, 
please Contact Us.  We're happy to answer any and all of your questions. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Yellen stepping down, December rate hike possible

Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen will step down from the board early next year. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
 
With the end of her tenure as Fed chief coming in February 2018, Janet Yellen has announced she will leave the Federal Reserve board altogether. Her departure marks the end of an era in which unemployment has dropped to a near record low 4.1 percent and millions of jobs have been added in the post-Recession recovery years. She will be replaced by President Trump's new nominee Jerome Powell as chairman of the Fed board.

Meanwhile, Fed leaders indicated this week that another increase to the key central bank interest rate could be coming again in December this year. Board members will likely factor in the November job report, wage gains or losses, consumer spending and other variables before making a decision at their mid-December meeting to raise the benchmark interest rate.

A rate hike would not be a surprise for market investors, as multiple increases were expected throughout 2017. A potential rate hike has already been "priced in" to the markets, so no drastic changes to mortgage rates are anticipated - although nothing is ever certain. Despite 17 million jobs being added to the U.S. economy since 2009, inflation rates remain stubbornly below target, so that is one factor that could impact December rate changes.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Mortgage rates dip amid political uncertainty

Graph shows the rise and fall of mortgage interest rates over the past year.

Over the past two months, interest rates have been slipping downward following a sharp spike in rates after the U.S. election last fall. Some factors at play include the lessening likelihood of Congress passing any tax reform or deregulatory laws by the end of the year, as well as conflicts abroad involving Qatar.

The May jobs report released last week showed less impressive numbers, with a lower than expected 138,000 new jobs added. The number of jobs for March and April also were both adjusted lower than previously announced. Weaker employment numbers put downward pressure on interest rates - a positive for borrowers taking on new credit.

The Fed is holding another meeting next week but is still expected to raise the central interest rate regardless of lower job figures. Fed officials have stated that a couple more rate hikes are likely on the table in 2017, barring any drastic developments. Because the markets have been anticipating a rate hike, it will probably have minimal effect on mortgage interest rates.

Dodd-Frank to be repealed?


While former FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate on Thursday, the House passed a bill to remove much of financial regulation enacted in the Dodd-Frank act. Dodd-Frank was put in place after the economic collapse of 2008 to tighten lending standards and penalize financial institutions taking advantage of consumers with predatory schemes. Backers of the House's bill, called the Financial Choice Act, argue that lending standards have gotten too strict and are hampering growth.

The Financial Choice Act passed the House of Representatives largely on party lines but is not expected to make it through the Senate as proposed. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

With roaring stock market, Fed suggests rate hikes soon

The Dow Jones industrial average broke another record this week, surpassing 21,000 for the first time.


So far, it seems there is no limit to the "Trump effect" on the stock market reaching new heights. Since the November election, the stock market has gained about 10 percent, with the Dow Jones shattering the historic 20,000 point record last month. Then it broke past the 21,000 mark this week following President Trump's speech promising tax repeals, deregulation and more infrastructure spending.

The stock market highs come at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate is low, at 4.8 percent, and wages finally climbed in 2016, pushing inflation rates to rise. These are some of the key economic indicators Federal Reserve officials will weigh to consider adjusting the central bank's interest rate at their mid-March meeting. Based on current data, it is likely Fed officials wil raise the 0.5 percent rate to 0.75 percent, which also influences other interest rates including mortgage rates.

How long will stock market boom continue?


There are still few details known about Trump's economic proposals, and unclear how many policies will garner Congressional support to become law. Thus far the markets are moving based on Trump's pro-business rhetoric coupled with stronger economic activity. The Fed has suggested there may be multiple rate hikes in 2017, but that will depend on continued economic strength.

Currently interest rates remain at relatively low levels by historic standards. If you are looking to purchase a new home or refinance your mortgage, call a Loan Advisor at 877-939-0339.

Monday, January 23, 2017

President Trump moves to suspend FHA insurance premium rate cut

FHA mortgages are backed by the federal government, offering less restrictive credit
and down payment standards to get loan approval. 

In one of his first acts as U.S. president, Donald Trump signed an executive order to suspend a scheduled 0.25 percent rate cut to the FHA program's mortgage insurance premium.

The rate reduction, which would have lowered FHA loan borrowers' mortgage insurance premium rate from 0.85 percent to 0.60 percent, was scheduled to go into effect on Friday. Former President Obama had signed the order earlier this month.

Trump's nominee for the new HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, has said he will further examine the policy if his nomination is confirmed by the Senate.

Post-election stock rally slows after inauguration


Following Trump's election in November, stocks hit new record highs on expectations that as president he would promote tax cuts, increase infrastructure spending and reduce regulations. The stock rally has slowed in recent weeks, tempered by Trump's recent comments endorsing "protectionist" policies of introducing a border tax on imported goods to the United States.

With more signs of economic strength - lower unemployment rates, increased consumer spending and homebuilder growth - inflation is also on the rise. Some economic analysts are expecting Fed board members to raise central interest rates again by the end of the second quarter of 2017.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fed raises interest rates for first time in a year

This chart shows the change in unemployment rate compared with the number of monthly jobs added 
from 2009 through early 2016. The current unemployment rate has dropped to about 4.6%.
By Ben Moore - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30968718

The Federal Reserve's open market committee began its much anticipated December meeting Wednesday with some much anticipated news: Yes, committee members unanimously voted to raise the central bank's interest rate by 0.25 percent. This matches the increase made at last December's meeting, which was the benchmark interest rate's first increase in nearly a decade.

Since the election of Donald J. Trump as the U.S. president-elect in November, the stock markets have been rapidly rising following the expectation of pro-growth policies. Trump has indicated he intends to promote corporate tax cuts and increased spending for infrastructure projects, which are projected to boost inflation. The Fed has been seeking higher inflation rates closer to 2 percent before raising interest rates too aggressively - inflation is currently at about 1.5 percent.

Fed expecting more growth, gradual rate increases


Fed officials said they expect to raise interest rates a few more times throughout 2017, dependent on continued economic growth. The national unemployment rate is currently about 4.6 percent and the GDP expanded by about 3.2 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2016.

Mortgage interest rates have been rising since the Nov. 8 election but were not dramatically affected by the Fed's announcement this week since markets have long factored a bump into projections. To learn more about rates available to purchase a home or refinance, contact a Vertex Loan Advisor at 877-939-0339.