Historically Low Rates Continue To Increase

Mortgage rates slowly continue to creep up but that’s not discouraging borrowers from purchasing homes. In fact, due to historically low mortgage rates, home sales are increasing at a pace we haven’t seen since 2008.

According to data, the 30-year fixed- rate mortgage increased to 3.48% from last week’s 3.45%, and the 15-year fixed- rate mortgage increased to 2.78% from last week’s 2.75%. The adjustable rate mortgage remained the same at 2.78%.

Even with the slight increase, mortgage rates remain low and now is still an optimal time to purchase or refinance a home. Speak with a professional adviser and check out our page at www.amerisave.com to view today’s rates and get your mortgage quote in minutes.

Check out our post: Refinance applications drop as purchase applications rise 

Is It Time For Back To School Shopping Already? Let’s Hear It For Tax Free Weekends

Summer break is quickly coming to an end and kids are begrudgingly preparing to head back to school, which only means one thing; its back to school shopping season!

Fortunately for some, many states offer tax free weekends on school supplies, clothing, shoes and more. We’ve got the list below!

Chart courtesy of https://dealnews.com/features/when-are-state-tax-free-weekends/

State Dates Eligible Items / Max Cost
Alabama August 5 – 7 Clothing: $100 Computers: $750 School supplies: $50 Books: $30
Arkansas August 6 – 7 School supplies: No limit Clothing: $100 Clothing accessories and equipment: $50
Connecticut August 21 – 27 Clothing and footwear: $100
*Florida August 5 – 7 School supplies: $15 Clothing: $60
Georgia July 30 – 31 Clothing: $100 School supplies: $20 Computers: $1,000
Iowa August 5 – 6 Clothing and footwear: $100
Maryland August 14 – 20 Clothing and footwear: $100
*Massachusetts August 5 – 6 Clothing and footwear: $100
Mississippi July 29 – 30 Clothing and footwear: $100
Missouri August 5 – 7 Clothing: $100 School supplies: $50 Computer software: $350 Computers: $1,500 Computer peripherals: $1,500 Graphing calculators: $150
New Mexico August 5 – 7 School supplies: $30 Clothing: $100 Computers: $1,000 Computer equipment: $500
Ohio August 5 – 7 Clothing: $75 School supplies: $20 School instructional material: $20
*Oklahoma August 5 – 7 Clothing: $100
**South Carolina August 5 – 7 Clothing and accessories: No limit School supplies: No limit Computers and accessories: No limit Bed and bath items: No limit
Tennessee July 29 – 31 Clothing: $100 School supplies: $100 Computers: $1,500
Texas August 5 – 7 Clothing and footwear: $100 Backpacks: $100 School supplies: $100
Virginia August 5 – 7 Clothing and footwear: $100 School supplies: $20
*Indicates states containing links to legal documents with details on Sales Tax holidays

**Indicates states that still have to confirm tax holidays for this year

***States not participating in Sales Tax Holidays are Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts. Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York. North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Refinance Applications Drop As Purchase Applications Rise

The post-Brexit refinance frenzy seems to have leveled off, but that doesn’t mean borrowers aren’t taking advantage of current low rates; purchase applications have started to see an increase.

According to data, refinance applications fell by 1% this week after seeing an increase of 24% over the past 4 weeks, while purchase applications saw a 23% rise compared to last week.

Overall, mortgage borrowing has increased to the highest we’ve seen in the past three years, with many experts predicting a new wave of refinancing and believing that rates will hold steady in coming weeks.

Nothing’s a sure thing in the world of mortgage rates, but the current numbers are some of the best we’ve seen. Head over towww.amerisave.com to view today’s rates and get a quote in minutes.

Things To Do Before Heading Out On Vacation

Vacation season is finally here and families are making travel plans to pack up and get away for quality time with the family. Getting away for a few weeks during the summer is an excellent way to relax and recharge, but don’t forget to take these steps before leaving your home.

Have peace of mind and enjoy your time away knowing that your home will be in great condition when you get back.

1. Get unplugged

Unplug all of your counter appliances and electronics (i.e. televisions, computers, toaster, coffeemaker). This will not only help save energy and reduce your electricity bill, but it’s also a preventative measure for electrical fires.

2. Turn off the water

Returning home to a flooded house is a fast way to undue all of the good vibes and relaxation you experienced during your vacation. Simply turning off your main water supply will eliminate chances of a water catastrophe.  While you’re at it, most water heaters have a “vacation” setting to lower the temperature while it’s not being used.

3. Hire a house sitter

If you can afford it, a house sitter is well worth the expense. This individual will either stay at your home while you’re away or check in at different intervals to pick up mail, water plants and generally just make the house look lived in.

4. Stop your mail

Before you head out for vacation, call your local mail service and put a hold on your mail and newspaper delivery before you leave. An overstuffed mailbox or stacks of newspapers on your curb is a tell-tale sign to home invaders that your house is unoccupied.

5. Use or get rid of perishable foods

Depending on how long your trip is, your food may spoil and go bad before you return, and coming home to smelly rotten food is never pleasant. Plan on not going to the grocery store the week before your trip and just eat what you already have.

6. Park your car in your garage – ask neighbor to park in your driveway

Leaving your car unattended for a period of time, even parked in front of your home, is just asking for shattered windows. Having a neighbor park in your driveway gives the illusion that someone is coming and going and therefore the house is occupied.

7. Don’t leave your spare key

Leaving a spare key under your front door planter or mat is not a wise decision when you are planning on leaving your home unattended. Instead, give your spare to a trusted neighbor or family member.

8. Purchase automatic light timers

Another inexpensive way to keep your home looking lived in is to purchase light timers. Schedule them to come on and off at periodic times throughout the day.

9. Be careful what you post on social media

We all love to post pictures and updates of the exciting things going on in our lives, and what’s more exciting than getting away for a relaxing vacation. Just be careful with the information you are putting out there, most times, that information is accessible to any and every one. Instead of posting your vacay itinerary, share pictures with your friends and family after the fact.

10. Clean the house

After a fun time relaxing on a beach enjoying your summer getaway, the drive or flight back home can be brutal. The only thing that could make the experience worse is coming home and having to clean. Plan ahead and clean your home before you leave, that way you can come home to a clean home and all you have to do is jump into the bed and continue your relaxation!

First Time Homebuyers: Questions We All Have

There are few things more exciting, and often terrifying, than entering the world of homeownership. After months of binge watching HGTV and stalking house listings in your area on Zillow, you’re ready to take the next step. However, many don’t know what that next step is.

Fear not! We’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything you need to know. We’ve researched the most frequently asked questions from first time homebuyers like you. Check out these questions and get answers you need.

1. What is the first step I should take in buying a home?

For many individuals making the decision to buy a home, their first move usually involves logging on to a listing site and looking for a house. This is not always the best decision. Finding a home before you make a budget and get pre-qualified or approved is setting yourself up for disappointment. Nothing’s worse than finding your dream home and realizing its thousands of dollars over what you can actually afford. So, first step; get pre-approved.

2. How much can I afford?

This question is somewhat answered above. Getting a pre-approval will give you a fairly accurate figure of how much home you can afford based on your financial situation. However, there are other personal factors you may want to consider. Check out our mortgage calculators to help you determine how much you can expect to pay each month.

3. What are all of the out of pocket costs?

The upfront costs of buying a house can get pretty pricey. Preparing and taking time to save is important so that you can have a smooth sailing process. The costs include your down payment, earnest money deposit, home inspection costs, appraisal costs, and closing costs.

4. Should I use a real-estate agent?

Getting help from a real estate professional isn’t required, but it will almost always save you stress and money in the long run, especially for a first time homebuyer.  Whether you’ve bought one house or ten, real estate agents have helped hundreds and they’ve dealt with nearly every scenario.

Check out our article on reasons to use a real estate agent.

5. How do I get a mortgage loan?

Obtaining a mortgage loan seems like a big scary ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be! Thanks to online mortgage lenders like AmeriSave, the mortgage process can be simple and straightforward. Get started with us today!

Your credit score is used to determine your credit worthiness to a lender. This can impact the rate that you receive on a loan or if you can receive a loan at all. Get your free annual credit report and start working on improving your score as soon as possible.

7. How long will I need to live in a home in order to not lose money?

There is no set time limit; however, it is wise to look at homeownership as a long term investment. On average, most homeowners stay in their first home for at least 5-7 years.

8. How long does it take to buy a house?

Like the above answer, there is no set time. Variable factors can determine the length of time it takes to go through the application to closing process. Check out our post on the mortgage process to get a better idea of all the steps involved. Remember, no two processes are the same. Comparing how long it takes you to buy a home to how long it took your friends or parents will most likely yield inaccurate expectations.

For more news and information on all things mortgage and real estate related, follow us on our social media.

Why Now Is A Great Time For A Mortgage Refi

Mortgage rates continue to linger near all-time lows and refinance applications are through the roof. With the 30-year fixed rate sitting just above the all-time low rate at 3.52% (the record low being 3.5%) you can see why so many borrowers are taking advantage of these rates.

The end of the July 1st week saw a 21% increase in refinance applications with a 30-year fixed rate at 3.61%. Experts expect to see another surge in refi apps at the new lower rate. If you’re looking to refinance your home, now could be the time to do it. Although no one can give a definitive answer on how long rates will remain this low, you can’t argue that a 30-year fixed rate under 4% is a great deal comparatively.

Make sure to speak with a loan officer or mortgage professional and make the decision that’s best for you!

Give us a call at 866-970-7283 or https://www.amerisave.com/rates

How To Save Money Without Doing Anything!

Raise your hand if you hate click-bait headlines. Me too! However, that is NOT what this is.

If you’re anything like me, the idea of possessing impregnable willpower that keeps you from spending on simple (yet expensive) pleasures is disheartening. Passing up my grande caramel macchiato every morning as I drive by Starbucks is a feat I have yet to master. I don’t possess that kind of resolve. However, there is hope for my saving account yet.

Long gone are the days where penny-pinching habits such as depriving yourself of the deliciousness that is Starbucks, or pulling apart 2-ply toilet paper to save an extra $2 a week were the only savvy ways to build your savings. There’s nothing wrong with splurging every now and then. Money was made to be spent and you should enjoy it, just pay yourself first.

We are in the age of automation and continually creating technologies that make life easier. With the inventions of self-driving cars, hover boards and virtual reality headsets (it honestly feels like we’re living in a Back to the Future movie), why not use automated savings? This technology isn’t recent but the majority of Americans aren’t taking advantage of these capabilities.

Check out these two sure fire ways to save money that require little to no work from you. Just put these practices into place and let technology do the rest!

Automatic Savings Apps

There is an app for everything these days and automatic savings is no exception. All you do is connect your bank account to an application such as Acorn, Digit, or Qapital and they do the rest for you. These apps work best for individuals who use their debit or credit card frequently over cash.

With Qapital, you can set up “rules” and round your spending up to the nearest dollar every tim

e you swipe your card. The amount is so inconsequential you won’t even notice you’re saving. Or my personal favorite, the 52-week rule. It works by taking money out of your account over the course of a year, 52 weeks. Week one takes out $1, week two $2 and so on until the 52nd week. After your last deposit, $52, you will have accumulated $1,378 over the course of a year!

For many, investing in the stock market is something you’ve heard you should do but have no clue how to actually do it successfully. That’s where the Acorn savings app comes into play. It’s similar to Qapital, only instead of funneling your rounded up change into a savings account, it invests your money into diverse ETF portfolios! This app probably won’t make you rich, but it is a great non-threatening way to introduce yourself into the world of stocks!

Digit, like the other savings apps, connects directly to your bank and credit cards, but instead of rounding up purchases or using rules to tell it how much money to take out, Digit uses an advanced algorithm that monitors your spending habits and deposits a few dollars at a time into a savings account. They also have a no-overdraft guarantee, promising that they will never transfer more money than you can afford.

The best thing about most of these apps is the initial signup cost is free and r there are no fees. The exception is Acorn, which requires a $15 a year fee if your investments are worth less than $5000 and .275% if your investments are worth more than $5000. Each app uses secure software to ensure the safety of your information and money. Also, you can receive your money from any of these accounts at any time. These are just three savings apps but there are many more. Do your research and pick the best app that works for you!

Savings account deposits

Many employers allow you to split your paychecks among multiple accounts. Set up a savings that automatically deposits a set amount into your account each time you get paid. This is one of the best ways to save a chunk of money without much thought or effort.

Out of sight out of mind! If you’re not seeing the money to begin with, you’re not tempted to spend. Treat the automatic deposit to your savings as any other bill payment.

Whether it’s an online high yield account or savings through your current bank or another establishment, find a savings account that works for you!

The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose. The Information contained in or provided from or through this forum is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice or any other advice. The information is general in nature and is not specific to you the reader or anyone else. YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE ANY DECISION, FINANCIAL, INVESTMENTS, TRADING OR OTHERWISE, BASED ON ANY OF THE INFORMATION PRESENTED ON THIS FORUM WITHOUT UNDERTAKING INDEPENDENT DUE DILIGENCE AND CONSULTATION WITH A PROFESSIONAL BROKER OR COMPETENT FINANCIAL ADVISOR. You understand that you are using any and all information available on or through this forum AT YOUR OWN RISK.
RISK STATEMENT – The trading of stocks, futures, commodities, index futures or any other securities has potential rewards, and it also has potential risks involved. Anyone wishing to invest should seek his or her own independent financial or professional advice.

Mortgage Rates Plummet After Brexit Vote

Since the United Kingdom shocked the world and voted in favor of a British exit from the European Union, mortgage rates have plummeted to historic lows reminiscent of the all-time low recorded in November 2012, with only a 17 basis point difference.

For the week of June 30, 2016, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is averaged at 3.48%, a decrease from last week’s 3.56% and last year’s 4.08%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is averaged at 2.78%, decreasing from last week’s 2.83% and last year’s 3.24%.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, despite the plummet in rates, mortgage applications actually went down 2.6% from a week earlier.

Many experts believe this is only the beginning of rate drops, while others believe this decrease will be short lived. How long will these historically low rates last? Only time will tell.