January 2009

Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending January 30th 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. This was another ugly week in the economy, but by now that is expected. There is news every day of companies announcing new rounds of layoffs. More people are now receiving unemployment benefits than at any time since they started keeping track back in 1967. The stock market ended January with a drop of over 8% – its worst January ever. The consumer confidence index came in at 37.7, a new low. The GDP report released this week showed the economy declining by 3.8% in the 4th quarter last year, the worst showing in 25 years. This was better than expected, but if you count the build up in inventories, the real number is a 5.1% and this is…

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What’s your rate? What We Need to Know to Quote You the Best Refinance Rate

“What’s your Rate?” I’ve been hearing that question a lot lately. If you are a rate shopper looking to refinance your mortgage (or if you just bought a new home and are looking to finance your purchase), this is probably the big question on your mind. But before I can quote a rate, I need to get some information, first. Some of the things I need to find out are: What type of loan are you looking for? Is this a conventional fixed rate, an ARM, an FHA loan or a Jumbo loan? What loan term are you looking for? In a refi market, like we are in now, many people want to keep their loan terms the same or pay their mortgage off quicker. The loan term is most often 30, 20 or 15 years, and the rate on a 15 year mortgage will be lower than a 30…

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Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending January 23rd 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. For much of the last year the markets see-sawed back and forth trying to decide which danger they should be most worried about, inflation or recession. For a time last summer when oil and commodity prices were soaring ever higher, it looked like inflation (or a hybrid stagflation) was gaining the upper hand. But over the last months as the banking system neared collapse and the economy spiraled down, it became clearer and clearer that our economy was in more than a garden variety slowdown, and this was a severe recession, or maybe something worse. With the whole global economy in a panic, and oil, housing and commodity prices falling, inflation looked like it was down for the count….

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What’s Going on With Mortgage Rates?

If you were looking to refinance your mortgage but were waiting for rates to drop further, the market has not been cooperative this week. Over the last 5 days mortgage rates have ticked up nearly a half a point in rate. Mortgage rates are still attractive, and they are at a level that will help a lot of people lower their payment and improve their budget. But they aren’t in that all time low, brag to your friends that your mortgage broker is a rock star range that they were before. So does this mean you’ve missed the boat and it’s too late to refinance? Was this another short term boom that is quickly going bust? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The truth is that no one knows for certain what is going to happen to mortgage rates on a day to day basis, and the markets have…

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Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending January 16th 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. January, for me, has always had a split personality. As the first month of the year it is a sign of new beginnings and fresh starts. January is the time when everyone takes on their New Years resolutions. The gym is always filled with new faces, diets are started and bad habits are discarded, at least for a short time. But it is also the coldest, bitterest month of the year (some say February is, but February has the advantage of being a short month, and it is followed by March where we at least have hints of Spring). This week we see signs of both sides of the split personality. The weather here in the Chicago area was…

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This Could be a Big Spring Season for First Time Home Buyers

Here in the Chicago area it is about 10 degrees below zero, the coldest night of the year. But I’m starting to see signs of Spring. Well, maybe not Spring, but I do see signs that we are going to have a Spring buying market this year. Traditionally January is the slowest time of the year in the real estate and mortgage market. The mortgage business is quite lively now with low rates and a major refinance boom, but purchase loans are still scarce. And yet, signs of a purchase market abound. For one thing I’m getting calls and contacts from buyers who are just testing the waters, finding out what they need to do to be prepared to buy a home this year. For another thing we have a nearly perfect storm for a strong buyers market, but this year it will be much different than the traditional Spring…

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Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending January 9th 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. Mortgage rates fell this week and are now at the lowest level in generations. Not years. Not decades. Generations. This is good news if you are able to refinance your mortgage or are in the market for a new home, but the reason these rates are so low is because the economic news is so grim. The unemployment numbers released yesterday were just as bad as everyone expected (though better than some had feared) with a loss of 524,000 jobs in December and a total of over two and a half million jobs lost in 2008. The unemployment rate is now at 7.2% and many experts say that with so many people working part time and those who have…

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Lowest Mortgage Rates in a Lifetime – What to Expect When Refinancing Your Mortgage During a Refinance Boom

I think it is safe to confirm that we are now in a major refinance boom. We’ve had a few mini booms over the last year, but these were occasions when the rates dropped to a low point, but the low rates only lasted for a short time, in some cases a matter of hours. This boom looks different, much more like the refinance craze in 2003 when rates dropped to a level where nearly anyone who had a mortgage would benefit by refinancing. Mortgage rates are at historic lows, and anyone who can qualify is likely to benefit. But with all this volume coming in to an industry that has been feverishly downsizing over the last year, there are bound to be some problems. While it is great to get the lowest interest rate, it won’t help you if you are not able to close on time, or if…

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Fed is Buying Mortgage Backed Securities – Mortgage Rates Dropping

A little over a month ago, the Fed started a rally in the mortgage backed securities market (which is linked to mortgage interest rates) by announcing that they are prepared to buy $500 billion dollars of loans in a move to drive mortgage rates lower. Yesterday they followed through on that promise and started to buy these securities. It looks like rates are dropping again. If you missed the lowest rates we saw last month, you might have another bite at the apple. But the last time rates dropped, the best rates were only there for a matter of hours, and with lender’s web sites crashing under the volume, most people weren’t able to get the best rates. If refinancing your mortgage will lower your rate and help your financial situation, the best thing you can do is to get prepared ahead of time. If you have already gotten your…

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Illinois Mortgage Rates Weekly Update

Welcome to Illinois Mortgage Rates and News week in review for the week ending January 2nd 2009, my take on the week’s financial news and how it affected Illinois mortgage rates. Happy New Year! We celebrate New Years because a new year is a new beginning, an end to the old and the start of something new. It usually turns out that the calendar changes, but everything else stays pretty much the same. Leaving a year as tumultuous and ugly as 2008, we have to hope that the new year will bring a real change, but there is a whole lot of carry over from the previous year we have to deal with, first. All agree that we are in a deep recession, and fear is in the air. But there are signs of optimism, too. Later this month a new president and a new administration take power. So much…

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