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Mortgage Rates Recede to Near-Record Lows

by Ashlie DuCros

Fixed-rate mortgages dropped this week, basically erasing last week’s spike. Thirty-year rates dipped below 3.5, its summertime average, offering even lower borrowing costs to would-be home buyers and refinancers.

"Mortgage rates continue to be relatively stable and at near record lows,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 5 basis points week-over-week to 3.47 percent, erasing last week's increase. At the same time, the 10-year Treasury yield ended the week relatively flat -- up about 2 basis points."

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 27:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.47 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping 5 basis points from 3.52 percent last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.76 percent.

  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 2.79 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.98 percent.

  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.84 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 2.85 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.89 percent.

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Even a small increase in interest rates can impact your family’s wealth. Call me to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.​

 

Source: Freddie Mac

Starting to Look for a Home? Know What You WANT vs. What You NEED

by Ashlie DuCros

 

In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or on the internet, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale with rose-colored glasses.

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen in order to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the man cave of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make or break now?

The first step in your home buying process should be to get pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.

The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:

  • ‘Must Haves’ – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered. (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms)

  • ‘Should Haves’ – if the property hits all of the must haves and some of the should haves, it stays in contention, but does not need to have all of these features.

  • ‘Absolute Wish List’ – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must haves,’ most of the ‘should haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!


Having this list flushed out before starting your search will save you time and frustration. Call me today if you're thinking about buying a home and check out my Buyer Resources page for more helpful home buying tips. 

5 Unbelievably Simple DIY Home Fixes

by Ashlie DuCros

Is tackling that growing list of home repairs on your to-do list? Use these 5 do-it-yourself home repair tricks to start checking them off.

Unhook the flapper chain from the plunger arm and slide a plastic drinking straw over the chain.

Cut it to size if necessary and reattach.

You’ll never hear that tank running again.

 

 

 

 

 



Dampen furniture dents with a wet rag, apply heat with a blow dryer and coax the fibers back into place using the lip of a spoon. Let dry and repeat as necessary until those divots are gone.



Pick up a magnetic cupboard latch; most come with screws already.

Use a power drill to screw the magnet to the edge of the cupboard opening and the plate to the matching corner of the cupboard door.



 

 


 

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a large plastic freezer bag and attach it to the shower pipe with a sturdy rubber band.

Remove and check the flow every 20 minutes.

You don’t even have to remove the head!


 

 


Pick up a package of wood stain markers in assorted shades and transform your door jambs, baseboards, banisters, furniture and more.

Start a shade lighter and go darker if needed and watch scratches and scrapes vanish.

Earthquake Safety Tips for Your Home

by Ashlie DuCros

A recent swarm of small earthquakes at the Salton Sea temporarily increased the risk of a large earthquake in Southern California. This has heightened anxiety about the quakes risk. But experts said the key is to be prepared. 

Here are some simple things you can do to make your home safer.

 Work on Your Home 

♦  Go to a hardware store and find the tools you need to strap bookshelves to the wall, televisions to their stands and microwaves on countertops. People have been seriously injured in past earthquakes after microwaves and televisions struck them.

♦  Use earthquake putty or museum wax to secure picture frames and vases to tabletops.

♦  Remove anything that could fall on your bed, like heavy frames or bookcases.

♦ Move your bed away from windows, which can shatter and cause cuts. You can also affix a safety film to windows that will leave shattered glass in place. 

♦ Make sure your gas heater is secured to a wall and consider installing an automatic valve that shuts off the gas when shaking arrives in an earthquake, reducing the risk of a broken gas line igniting a fire. 

♦ Learn how to shut off your gas manually. (Renters, ask your landlord where the gas is, too!) You can do it with a wrench. Better yet: Buy a tool and tie it around the gas valve, so you don’t have to go looking for a wrench just after the earthquake.

♦ Get a fire extinguisher or two; know where they are.  Keep them visible, like on a kitchen counter away from the stove. Make sure everyone at home knows how to use them.

♦ Get emergency plug-in lights that automatically turn on during a power outage. Keep one near your bed. 

 See if Your Home Needs a Retrofit 

♦ Own a home? Hire a foundation specialist to see if anything needs to be done, such as bolting your home to the foundation so it doesn’t slide off in an earthquake. A $4,000 retrofit job now could head off a $400,000 repair job after the earthquake.

♦ Also, consider the risk of your chimney. Chimneys are a notorious risk in earthquakes, in which bricks come flying off during shaking. There are some retrofit options, but some experts say the safest way to deal with the hazard is to remove them. (Jones said she wants to remove the chimney in her home.)

 Consider Earthquake Insurance

♦ Earthquake insurance can give homeowners the ability to have the funds to repair their homes quickly after a massive disaster; a typical homeowner policy won’t do so.

♦ Renters, too, can benefit, particularly if a disaster leaves their apartment uninhabitable; earthquake insurance can cover the cost of temporary housing.

♦ Find out more about the fault, liquefaction and landslide hazards close to your home. One free website, www.temblor.net, offers users a look at nearby earthquake faults and locations of liquefaction and landslide hazards as mapped by state officials.

Be safe and call me if you're thinking about buying or selling!

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Ashlie DuCros & Associates
Coldwell Banker Previews Global Luxury
21580 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda CA 92887
714-743-9778
Fax: 714-849-5489