November 2019

Mortgage Rates Drop Once 
Again-Sparking Refinancing
By Jacob Passy | Oct 10, 2019

Mortgage rates fell yet again on a weekly basis thanks to the declining yield on Treasury notes.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.57% during the week ending Oct. 10, down 8 basis points from the previous week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. This is a stark change from a year ago when the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.90%

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped 9 basis points to an average of 3.05%, according to Freddie Mac. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.35%, down 3 basis points from a week ago.

Mortgage rates roughly track the direction of the 10-year Treasury note the yield on which has fallen by more than 10 basis points over the last month and roughly 100 basis points throughout 2019.

Falling mortgage rates have yet again caused a resurgence in refinancing activity. The most recent mortgage application data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that refinance activity was 163% higher than a year ago. The same trend has not occurred when it comes to loans used to buy a home. Purchase loan volume was only up 10% from a year ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.

Some home buyers appear to be responding more to low mortgage rates than others, however, according to Freddie Mac. A staggering 46% of the loans Freddie Mac has purchased in 2019 were made to first-time buyers, which represents a two-decade high.

Need Roof Work? 5 Tips to Avoid Scams

Maria Hill
BHHSCA Properties

Replacing or repairing a roof is a costly undertaking-one that for many homeowners has been marred by disreputable roofing contractors. To avoid roofing scams, follow these tips, courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Home & Business Safety (IBHS):

1. Research roofing contractors diligently before hiring one. Consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and search for reviews and ratings online. Avoid contractors who have generated complaints, lawsuits, etc.

2. Confirm all credentials before hiring a contractor. A reputable roofing professional will be licensed, insured and bonded, and will be able to provide locally-based references. Request to review their license number, federal tax identification number, and certificate of insurance-a qualified professional will provide them. Fact-check this information with the appropriate authorities.

3. Get detailed estimates (in writing!) from contractors you're considering hiring-more than one is best.

4. Do not enter into an agreement with a roofing contractor who solicits business at your doorstep, particularly after a storm. This could be a sign of an imposter.

5. Exercise caution when dealing with contracts. Be sure to read and re-read all documents, or have a third party review them with you, before signing them. Do not sign a contract with missing information-a fraudster may fill these blanks with inaccurate information. Do not feel pressured to sign a contract on the spot.

Most importantly, never pay upfront in full for roofing work. Scammers will make off with the money, never to be seen again. 

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