Is Your Home Ready to Keep you Warm?
The crisp snap of autumn weather is a reminder that even colder days lie ahead. Get ready for them by performing a few simple chores now that will keep you toasty all winter long.
Weatherstripping can save you up to 20 percent on heating bills — especially if you have drafty windows or doors. Plus, it’s quick and easy, and doesn’t cost a lot of money. Place weatherstripping along doorjambs and in the gaps between windows and sashes to keep chilly breezes out and heat in.
Fix drafty doors
If your doors need extra draft protection, add a door sweep along the bottom. These flexible rubber strips seal the gap at the bottom of the door to keep howling winds at bay. If cold air is still getting in, buy or DIY a door snake — a tube of fabric filled with sand, rice, or other material — to lay on the floor and plug the gap.
The attic and basement are two spots where you can lose a lot of heat. By insulating your basement ceiling and attic floor, you can prevent warm air from escaping the house. Also check around the exterior of your house for cracked foundation, gaps or cable holes, and seal them or fill them with spray foam insulation.
Check your furnace
Like any piece of machinery, your furnace works better if it’s properly maintained. Some utility companies offer a free annual checkup for your furnace, but if yours doesn’t, it may be worth paying a technician to ensure that your furnace is in top condition. But you can also improve your furnace’s performance with simple maintenance that you can do yourself, like replacing filters and cleaning registers.
Swap your thermostat
Standard thermostats can lead to wasted energy. If you opt for a smart thermostat like the Nest, you could cut down on your energy use — and your utility bills. Among other features, these smart thermostats can sense when you’re away and automatically adjust the temperature to save you money.
If you have forced-air heat, leaks in your ducts could be costing you hundreds of dollars. Seal them with specially designed metal tape and keep your ducts — and your wallet — more secure.
While a cool tile floor might feel nice underfoot in summer, it’s not so appealing when it’s sub-zero outside Cover your floors in throw rugs and runners for the winter months. You can also hang heavy insulating drapes in front of your windows to keep warm air in and the cold out where it belongs
What Happened to Rates Last Week:
Mortgage backed securities (MBS) gained +25 basis points (BPS) from last Friday’s close which caused 30 year fixed mortgage rates to move slightly lower from the prior week. We had our best pricing on Friday and our worst pricing on Thursday.
Overall, the domestic economic data was very strong last week. ISM Manufacturing was much stronger than expectations, ISM Non-Manufacturing was a tad lighter than expectations but still had a very strong reading of 57.1 (anything above 50 shows economic expansion). We also saw some nice gains in Productivity that beat forecasts.
But of course, the spotlight was on domestic jobs data. The ADP Private Payroll Data was better than expected (230K vs est of 220K) and the Unemployment Rate dropped from 5.9% down to 5.8%. But the market focused more on the Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) data which was a mixed-bag. It did come in a little lighter than expected (214K vs est of 231K), but offsetting that was the fact that both August and September were revised upward by a combined total of 31K.
Overall the NFP report was pretty good. It was the 49th straight month of job gains and the 9th straight month of a reading above 200K. The six month moving average shot up to 235K.
Generally, the jobs data and other positive economic data are bearish for pricing, but MBS rallied on Friday to give us the best rates of the week. Why? Was it the jobs report. NO. MBS did make a move upward on the jobs data Friday but then sold off and returned to the same level as before the report. MBS later made a move upward in direct response to news that Russian tanks were once again within Ukraine’s borders and Russian troops had once again camped out along the border. This was directly due to Putin putting the pressure on Ukraine and the EU to come to better terms over a gas deal with Russia which owed significant amounts of cash by Ukraine for gas shipments that are long unpaid.
MBS also got a boost by comments made by our own Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaking in France where it appear that she voiced support for the ECB’s plan to print money to purchase sovereign bonds.
What to Watch Out For This Week:
|Date||Time (ET)||Economic Release||Actual||Market Expects||Prior|
|12-Nov||7:00 AM||MBA Mortgage Index||–||NA||-2.60%|
|12-Nov||10:00 AM||Wholesale Inventories||–||0.20%||0.70%|
|13-Nov||8:30 AM||Initial Claims||–||281K||278K|
|13-Nov||8:30 AM||Continuing Claims||–||2355K||2348K|
|13-Nov||10:00 AM||JOLTS – Job Openings||–||NA||4.835M|
|13-Nov||10:30 AM||Natural Gas Inventories||–||NA||91 bcf|
|13-Nov||11:00 AM||Crude Inventories||–||NA||0.460M|
|13-Nov||2:00 PM||Treasury Budget||–||NA||-$90.6B|
|14-Nov||8:30 AM||Retail Sales||–||0.30%||-0.30%|
|14-Nov||8:30 AM||Retail Sales ex-auto||–||0.30%||-0.20%|
|14-Nov||8:30 AM||Export Prices ex-ag.||–||NA||-0.20%|
|14-Nov||8:30 AM||Import Prices ex-oil||–||NA||-0.10%|
|14-Nov||9:55 AM||Mich Sentiment||–||87.5||86.9|
|14-Nov||10:00 AM||Business Inventories||–||0.20%||0.20%
It is virtually impossible for you to keep track of what is going on with the economy and other events that can impact the housing and mortgage markets. Just leave it to me, I monitor the live trading of Mortgage Backed Securities which are the only thing government and conventional mortgage rates are based upon.The above are the major economic reports that will hit the market this week. They each have the ability to affect the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities and therefore, interest rates for Government and Conventional mortgages. I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises.