RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Mortgage Rates Move after Fed Hike

December 18, 2015 2:00 am

Fixed mortgage rates are ticking slightly higher in response to the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise short-term interest rates, but they will remain at historically low levels for some time to come, according to Freddie Mac’s recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®).

“As was almost-universally expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve elected this week to raise short-term interest rates for the first time since 2006,” explains Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “We take the Fed at its word that monetary tightening in 2016 will be gradual, and we expect only a modest increase in longer-term rates. Mortgage rates will tick higher but remain at historically low levels in 2016. Home sales will remain strong, but refinance activity should cool somewhat.”

According to Freddie Mac’s survey, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) stands at 3.97 percent with an average 0.6 point; the 15-year FRM averages 3.22 percent with an average 0.5 point. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averages 3.03 percent, with an average 0.4 point, and the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averages 2.67 percent with an average 0.2 point.

Source: Freddie Mac

Published with permission from RISMedia.


A Foolproof Plan for Financial Fitness in the New Year

December 17, 2015 2:00 am

Financial fitness is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions—and it’s one you can’t afford to give up on. But rather than set yourself up for failure with an unrealistic resolution, look to create a solid plan that will carry you through the year and beyond, suggests Katherine Forrester Schneewind, financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual.

"It's time to think differently about how to achieve long-term financial fitness," says Schneewind. "Like binge diets, taking a short-term view of your finances often leads to inconsistent results. You can resolve to spend less and save more, but the best way to achieve lasting results is by working with a financial advisor to create a plan that's tailored to your whole financial picture and unique goals."

To develop your plan, Schneewind says, simply remember the acronym PLAN:

Prepare – Start getting your financial house in order today so you can be better prepared to build (and stick to) a plan that will work for you. Consider scaling back your holiday spending by 20 percent to start your financial plan with a bang in the New Year.

Learn – The less we know about money, the more we stress about it. Learn the 50/20/30 approach to your income: 50 percent of your take-home pay should go toward essentials like your mortgage and utilities, 20 percent for investing in your future, and 30 percent for discretionary spending, like vacations, shopping and fun.

Act – It takes, on average, 30 days for a new habit to stick. Establish a daily routine of reviewing your checking account to see how you're performing against your budget. Each day, reflect on one thing you did to help build your financial confidence, like reading a money blog or talking to a friend for advice.

Network – We all know it's easier to stick to an exercise program with a buddy, and the same holds true for your finances. Use the brain trust around you and network your finances with friends. The more you talk about money, the more it can help you increase your overall financial confidence.

Source: Northwestern Mutual

Published with permission from RISMedia.