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Homeseed of Hope – Esperanza

Community reciprocity and reinvestment have long been goals of Homeseed since we first launched in June of 2016. In addition to providing a uniquely empowering mortgage lending experience, Homeseed wanted to use its platform to support the individuals, businesses, and programs in the communities we serve. That desire remains true today and led to us creating Homeseed of Hope – an initiative to guide our community outreach efforts.

In our third outreach effort for Homeseed of Hope, we are featuring Esperanza International, a non-profit organization started by former Seattle Mariners player Dave Valle. The initial idea of Esperanza ties back to one of Dave’s experience while playing baseball in the Dominican Republic. One night, outside of the baseball stadium in Santo Domingo, Dave and his wife, Vicky, witnessed children begging and rummaging through garbage cans for food. To feed the children, Dave paid a nearby street vendor to cook up all of her remaining food for the children. Realizing these children would wake up hungry again the next morning, the experience impacted the Valles so deeply that Dave said, “We made a decision that if we were ever in a position to change it, we would do that.” Ten years later, as Dave’s professional baseball was winding down, Dave and Vicky agreed, “It’s time,” and Esperanza was created.

Esperanza’s mission is to free children and their families from poverty through their primary focus of microcredit financing. Using microcredit financing as a “hand up (not hand out)” tool, Esperanza has been able to help individuals and families “build houses, gaining knowledge to manage their enterprises and finances, and become community leaders.” As they celebrate 25 years of service, their microcredit financing has created over 100,000 jobs and opportunities for individuals and families in the Dominican Republic.

Homeseed sponsored the Esperanza International’s annual Dave Valle Charity Golf Classic this year and will be planning to participate again next year. We invite you all to learn more about this this great organization, and to donate if you have the means to in the links below:

Visit Esperanza’s Website

Learn more about Esperanza

Donate to Esperanza

Homeseed of Hope – Treehouse

Community reciprocity and reinvestment have long been goals of Homeseed since we first launched in June of 2016. In addition to providing a uniquely empowering mortgage lending experience, Homeseed wanted to use its platform to support the individuals, businesses, and programs in the communities we serve. That desire remains true today and led to us creating Homeseed of Hope – an initiative to guide our community outreach efforts.

In our second outreach effort for Homeseed of Hope, we are featuring Treehouse, a local non-profit organization that provides youth in foster care with opportunities and support they need to pursue their dreams and to have a successful adulthood. We will be hosting a fundraiser for Treehouse where our monetary donations will go towards making the holiday special for young people and provide them with academic support and childhood experiences such as playing a sport or learning an instrument. To encourage our community to support and share this donation drive with their family and friends, Homeseed will be offering two things:

1. Homeseed will be matching donations up to the first $500 we receive to our donation drive.

2. Homeseed will be hosting a raffle giveaway on our social media pages where three entrants will have the opportunity to receive a $100 gift card to a local business of their choice.

To donate, visit bit.ly/HomeseedHelps2020.

This year has been challenging in so many ways and youth in foster care can be some of the hardest hit. We are fundraising to ensure that youth in foster care across the state have access to meaningful holiday toys and warm clothes this holiday season. We are also hoping to help a few local businesses that members of our community enjoy by purchasing gift cards for their services. Please help us share this opportunity with any one you know and Homeseed truly appreciates any support you can provide. Follow us to stay up to date with more details @homeseedloans on Facebook and Instagram!

UPDATE:

Homeseed is proud to announce that we’ve raised $1776 this holiday season for Treehouse and youth in foster care. Additionally, we selected three giveaway winners who each earned a $100 gift card to support a local business of their choice!

A BIG thank you to everyone who helped share our posts and donated. Your support helped make the holidays a special time for youth in foster care and provided them with childhood experiences they’ll remember. Thank you to Treehouse as well for the great work they are doing in our communities and across Washington state to support youth in foster care.

Lastly, our donation page at https://engage.treehouseforkids.org/fundraiser/3078612 will remain functional through 1/15 and we would appreciate it if you would continue to share our posts and consider donating.

Let’s make the new year a great one!

Homeseed’s Forecast for Mortgage Rates in 2021

Mortgage rates reached all-time record lows in 2020 and are expected to remain low through the end of the year. COVID-19 has created a crisis for many economic sectors, and as a general rule of thumb, weak economic data tends to cause lower mortgage rates. However, there are numerous indicators suggesting rates will increase in 2021 that we will discuss in this blog post. Fannie Mae is predicting the 30-year fixed rate to remain near 2.8% for 2021 and 2.9% for 2022. The National Mortgage Bankers Association is predicting we will reach 3.3% by end of 2021, and 3.6% by end of 2022.

The record low rates we are currently experiencing have been brought on by weak economic data shown in the poor numbers for the labor market, employment rate, and consumer spending. With news of successful vaccine trials giving hope for ending global lockdown restrictions, prospects for economic growth will gradually improve and likely push mortgage rates up in 2021. So far, the stock markets have also seemed to welcome news of a Biden presidency. Continued optimism in the stock market would persuade investors to shift money out of safer investments like mortgage-backed securities and into riskier assets like stocks, further increasing the potential for rising mortgage rates.

Lastly, while we expect mortgage rates to rise, we don’t expect them to rise quickly or very much. The fallout from a global pandemic will take time to recover from, and the housing industry is one of few current bright spots of the economy being supported by low mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve has also committed to keeping its Federal Funds Rate low, which indirectly impacts a broad range of markets including mortgages. If we were to see rates rise half a percent from its current 2.75% to 3.25% in 2021, we can expect an average borrower who qualified for a $400,000 loan to lose about $25,000 in purchasing power as a result of the 0.5% increase in rate.

Links/Notes:

  1. Market Watch – COVID-19 vaccines would improve prospects for economic growth and push overall interest rates up
  2. National Mortgage News – Fannie Mae predicts 30-year to remain near 2.8% for 2021 and 2.9% for 2022. MBA predicts rates will reach 3.3% by end of 2021, and 3.6% by end of 2022
  3. Bank Rate – “My gut feeling is that rates are going to rise in the next year,” Johnson said. “You’re just not going to get investors willing to accept 1 percent returns,” he added. “As COVID ebbs away, these record low interest rates will ebb away.”
  4. The Mortgage Reports – Markets welcomed news of Biden presidency, leading to more money flowing into stocks.
  5. How rates impact a borrower’s purchasing power:
    1. $400,000 Loan’s Monthly Principal & Interest = $1632.96 (30-Year Fixed at 2.75%)
    1. $375,000 Loan’s Monthly Principal & Interest = $1632.02 (30-Year Fixed at 3.25%)

Cost of Waiting

Should you purchase a home now, or should you wait? Like most big decisions in life, answering that question depends on a lot of factors such as the economy, real estate market, finances, and personal life. If you are now in a position to responsibly take on a mortgage payment after considering those factors, and are instead waiting for the absolute lowest price on a home, read on to learn more about why you should act now to avoid the potential cost of waiting.

Low Interest Rates

The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate about a year ago was 3.75% according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Today’s average comes in at 3.01%. Interest rates for mortgages are currently at all-time lows, and lower interest rates mean greater home affordability for potential home owners. To give you an example, a borrower with a $475,000 loan amount and 3.75% interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage would have a monthly principal and interest payment of $2,200. If the same borrower now had today’s lower rate of approximately 3%, their loan amount could increase to $520,000 and they would still have a lower monthly principal and interest payment of $2,192. That’s an increase in purchasing power of $45,000 because of today’s lower interest rates than a year ago. With uncertainty in the economy, there is a potential that interest rates will rise again at any time.

Home Values Continue To Rise

Demand for housing in the Seattle metropolitan area remains very strong and property values continue to appreciate at a fast pace. We’ll use a $500,000 home purchase price and conventional financing to illustrate how home appreciation will require more additional cash at closing. Conventional financing typically requires a minimum 5% down payment. If the home is valued at $500,000 today, that would require a $25,000 down payment. At the current appreciation rates projected by MBS Highway for King County, the same home would be valued at approximately $529,028 in a year and would then require a higher 5% down payment of $26,451. Other monthly costs would also rise accordingly such as mortgage insurance and the principal and interest payment.

Loss In Property Appreciation

In a market with high appreciation rates and rising home values, it can be difficult to out-save the appreciation you would be earning on your home. In our previous example, the $500,000 home would appreciate to an estimated $529,028 after one year in King County. That’s $29,028 in lost appreciation value over a year, or about $2,419 in savings per month.

Homeseed of Hope

Community reciprocity and reinvestment have long been goals of Homeseed since we first launched in June of 2016. In addition to providing a uniquely empowering mortgage lending experience, Homeseed wanted to use its platform to support the individuals and businesses in the communities we serve. That desire remains true today, and as the COVID-19 crisis began to impact many small local businesses, Homeseed sought ways to help the disproportionately affected. To jumpstart our efforts we created Homeseed of Hope, an initiative to guide our community outreach.

Our first outreach effort for Homeseed of Hope featured Crunchy Red Fruit, which is a subscription wine service company based in the Seattle area. Crunchy Red Fruit had pledged to donate most of the sale proceeds from their 3-bottle relief box of wine to the Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund, which provides financial support for Seattle hospitality workers severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Homeseed assisted in Crunchy Red Fruit’s marketing and promoted their relief box of wine by leveraging our online presence and database of business partners. First, we shared information about Crunchy Red Fruit on our social media and created an email campaign to alert our agents about the wine relief boxes. Homeseed also hosted a giveaway on social media to draw attention to their business and selected three participants to receive a wine relief box we purchased from Crunchy Red Fruit. Lastly, we made a direct contribution to the Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund to support our local hospitality workers.

We plan to continue our Homeseed of Hope community outreach efforts and find other local small businesses to help. The economic impact from COVID-19 is expected to be long-lasting and we look forward to finding new ways to support our local communities. Stay tuned for more soon!

Benefits of Refinancing

RECORD HIGH REFINANCES

Refinance applications have surged to decade highs over the last few months and rightfully so. According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, average mortgage rates have also set new all-time lows within the same period and many home owners are hoping to take advantage of these lower rates. So what are the benefits of refinancing and should you start the process now? Read more to find out!

BENEFITS OF REFINANCING

There are multiple benefits to refinancing your mortgage. We’ll dive into some of them below:

  1. Lowering your interest rate. If you qualify for a new mortgage, lowering your interest rate will reduce the overall interest charged on the loan and can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
  2. Eliminate mortgage insurance. If your current mortgage includes mortgage insurance, and you have 20% equity in your home’s current value, you can refinance to remove the mortgage insurance and potentially save hundreds off your monthly mortgage payment.
  3. Cashing out your equity. On a cash-out refinance, lenders will generally limit you to borrowing no more than 80% of your home’s value to ensure you maintain 20% equity in the home. You can use the cash from the refinance to fund home improvements or consolidate high interest debt.
  4. Shorten your mortgage term. Pay off your home quicker by refinancing into a shorter term length. A 15-year term mortgage typically offers lower rates compared to a 30-year term, so your monthly payment might not increase by much. 

IS IT THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOU?

There are many things to consider before refinancing such as how long you plan to remain in the home and if the potential savings make sense when compared with the associated closing costs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation where you’ll work with one of our highly experienced and knowledgeable loan advisors!

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