So Why Do Mortgage Rates Change So Much?

Have you ever called a mortgage company and received a quote and then called back the next day and the same rate was no longer available??

Mortgage companies, Banks and Credit Unions are subject to potential daily and even hourly shifts in the market. Interest rates fluctuate on the simple principal of supply and demand.   Global 1

Mortgage rates trade based on Mortgage Back Securities and The Bond Markets as well as the overall economy.  The vehicles that mortgage rates are based on are considered very conservative, stable and tend not to have the wild swings that one would find in the Stock Market.  If the Stock market begins to see large increases or decreases, Investors will shift Billions of dollars in and out of the Stock Market and move them in to the Mortgage Markets.  This will cause mortgage rates to either rise or fall.  Stock Market tanks, good news for Mortgage Rates, Stock Market rallies and rates suffer.   Investors and Traders will constantly shift funds out of the riskier stocks into the safe haven of the mortgage markets.  These shifts can occur as little as once a day or in some cases can happen multiple times during a trading day. Thus causing mortgage rates to possibly change multiple times in a day.

These markets are affected globally as well; so even after the markets are closed in US, whatever is happening in Europe, Asia and around the world will cause our markets to move one way or the other.

Here are some of the variables that are being watched in today’s market:

  • Middle East
  • China’s Economy
  • The US Housing Market
  • Unemployment in our Country
  • The Price of Oil and Gas
  • The “Feds” decision to move short term interest rates
  • The overall health of the US EconomyPercent Down

Any of these items can trigger a rally one way or another.  Even a simple comment at a breakfast meeting by the President, the Fed Chairman or someone in power is enough to influence the markets.

Additional Mortgage Rate and Index Information:

To help us understand why mortgage rates change, it is important to realize that there is not one interest rate, but multiple ones. Below are some of the most prevalent interest rates and indexes that also have an impact on mortgage rates:

Prime rate – This rate is often offered to a bank’s best customers. If you are shopping for a home equity line of credit, then it is important to familiarize yourself with the prime rate. HELOCs are typically based upon the prime rate -plus or minus a certain percentage.

LIBOR – Stands for London Inter-bank Offered Rates. Libor rates are based upon the rates that a select group of London Banks offer each other for inter-bank deposits. Many adjustable rate mortgage programs use the Libor index.

Treasury bill rates ”T-bills” and Treasury Notes – These are short-term and intermediate debt instruments used by our Government to finance their debt. The treasury index is based upon the auctions of U.S. Treasury bills or on the Treasury’s yield curve. Like the LIBOR index, the U.S. Treasury index is a popular index for adjustable rate mortgage products. Also, the Twelve Month Treasury Average (12 Month MTA) is a popular index which is based upon the twelve month average of the monthly yields of U.S. Treasury securities (maturing in one year). The MTA is a popular choice for option arm mortgage programs.

Treasury Bonds – Unlike T-bills and Treasury Notes, treasury bonds are long-debt instruments. These bonds are used by the U.S. Government to finance its debt.

Cost of Savings Index – often referred to as the COSI index. This index is based upon the annual average of interest rates on World Savings deposit accounts. The average is pulled on the last day of each month.

11th District Cost of Funds – Often referred to as the COFI index – The COFI index is based upon the average of the borrowing cost to member banks of the Home Loan Bank of San Francisco of the 11th District. Unless you are shopping for an option arm mortgage, it is unlikely that your loan will be affected by this rate.

Certificates of Deposit Index – Often referred to as the CODI index – this index is arrived at by calculating the average of the past twelve months rates of 3 month CD rates.

Federal Funds Rate – The fed funds target rate is the rate which federally chartered banking institutions lend balances to other depository banks overnight.

This is a lot of information to weigh each day when calculating mortgage rates.  In general, most Banks, Investors, Lenders etc. will set rates around 10:30am once most of the morning economic reports have been released and the markets have had time to react to the information.  In a calm trading day on Wall Street, these rates would be good for that imagesCA6UKL3Jday.  In a day where lots of Economic reports and World events are occurring, these rates can be reset a few times.  It is important to call your lender or bank often to check on these rates as they can and will change.  It also important not to follow online rate sites that may be posting Average Rates as this information can be old.  The Freddie Mac rates are based on closed loans from last week and an average of .7 Points of fees in the rate. This may give you a range, but not accurate enough to base your mortgage payment on or what is happening today in the markets.

Bill Nickerson has been in the Mortgage industry since 1991. Please leave a comment, email or call me anytime with questions you may have about mortgage programs, rates and to get approved for a mortgage.

   NMLS# 4194  978-273-3227

Bill Nickerson

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Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. Half FullAs she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down…

I found this on the internet of course, and could not find a source to give credit.  It was a very clear message and wanted to share it.  Enjoy!  ~Bill


Bill Nickerson has been in the Mortgage Industry since 1991.  Feel free to contact him at 978-273-3227 or email at


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Can I give you a Piggy Back?

Whether you call them Piggy Back Loans, Blended Mortgages, A first and second, 80-10-10, these loans are extremely helpful in avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

Piggy Back

The Piggy Back

When you have less than 20% to put down on a home, you are charged Private Mortgage Insurance, this added cost is based on the actual down payment as well as your credit score and in some cases can be in the hundreds of dollars per month.   Several years ago, many banks, lenders and mortgage companies created a program that would allow having a first and second mortgage to avoid the high cost of mortgage insurance.  At the end of the Housing Bubble, many banks, lenders and mortgage companies went out of business, these second mortgage and lines of credit nearly disappeared.  They were still available, they were just really hard to find.

Based on your purchase price, you would take out a first mortgage in the amount of 80% of the price and a second loan in the amount of 10%.  You would still be borrowing 90% of the purchase price (10% down payment).  In doing so, you have lowered the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of a first position mortgage to under 80%, thereby eliminating the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Example: Here is a comparison of using the Piggy Back Mortgage versus a mortgage with PMI.  This is based on a purchase price of $400,000 with 10% down on a single family home and assuming a credit score of 740 or greater.

Without the Piggy-Back:  You would have a first mortgage of $360,000, using a mortgage rate of 4.5% on a 30 year fixed.  This would give you a mortgage payment with PMI in the amount of $1,980.07.  $156 of this payment would be PMI.  PMI payments do vary based on the actual down payment as well as the credit score of the borrower, but this will give you a good idea of what the payment would be.

With a Piggy-Back loan using the same purchase price.  In this example you would have a first mortgage in the amount of 80% of the purchase price, $320,000 and a second mortgage in the amount of $40,000.  The second mortgage can also be a line of credit and in both cases the second mortgage rates is typically higher.  Using a rate of 6.00% for the second, this gives you a total mortgage payment of $1,861.21.  This is a total savings of $118.86 per month.  This is a conservative estimate.

Word of caution, the savings can be in the hundreds, most of these piggy-backs are in the form of a Line of Credit (home equity line of credit) and are adjustable rate products.  Even though the rates are still at all-time lows, these lines of credit will only go up in rate in the future and could become more costly than the having the mortgage insurance.  When obtaining a piggy-back mortgage, you really need to have a strong financial plan of how you can pay off the second loan sooner rather than later in order to take full advantage of the savings.

For more information in regards to Piggy Back mortgages and other programs that eliminate mortgage insurance, feel free to call or email me anytime.

Bill Nickerson -NMLS #4194  978-273-3227 cell


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3% Down and No Mortgage Insurance

With all the news about small down payments disappearing with Government regulations, Mass Housing still offers its mortgage program that features Low Down Payments, as little as 3% down with No Mortgage Insurance!  This product provides financing (purchase or refinance) up to 97% of the appraised value of the home without the hefty mortgage insurance payments that are typically associated with low down payment programs.Percent Down

This special program is available for owner occupied; one to four family properties including condominiums on both purchase and refinance transactions. With a low fixed rate, the down payment can be a gift on single family homes.  The MassHousing Mortgage with No Mortgage Insurance is a great choice for low and moderate income homebuyers.


  • As little as 3% down on single-family homes and condos
  • As little as 5% down on 2, 3 and 4-family homes
  • No mortgage insurance required
  • Income limits as high as $123,660 in many cities and towns
  • Fannie Mae loan limits apply, borrower up to $417,000
  • Approved community second mortgages allowed
  • Credit scores as low as 660 (additional conditions may apply)


  • Gift funds can be the source of the down payment on single family homes
  • The interest rate will never increase
  • Competitive fixed rates
  • Safe, fixed-rate limited cash-out refinance option


Call me to learn why this innovative program is an attractive alternative to an FHA mortgage!  Remember, this program allows for the same low down payment options as FHA with no mortgage insurance and in-house condo approvals!!

If you have any questions about this program, income limits or other low down payment programs, call or email me anytime!  I offer appointments for your clients 7 days a week as well as evenings.  Loan consultations and applications can be done in person, on the phone and even online.

Contact me at 978-273-3227 or and you can even apply online at


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Top 10 Bathroom Remodeling Trends

Ken Howell

Before I talk about bathrooms, I would like to thank Bill Nickerson for this opportunity to introduce myself to you. My name is Ken Howell, a residential contractor located in Acton. I have more than two decades of experience transforming customer’s houses into the home of their dreams. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about any project you have been considering. Now let’s talk about bathrooms.

With the decrease in housing sales in recent years, homeowners are looking at ways to improve their current homes. One area that continues to be a popular area to remodel is bathrooms. That shouldn’t be surprising, every house has at least a couple baths and some have more. At Synergy Total Home, we love doing bath remodels and our customers love the results. Let’s look at some bath remodeling tends for 2012:

  1. Large, open custom showers: Large showers made with designer tile are a big request right now. People like the rich look of tile and the custom appearance it offers. Adding to the open feeling are clear glass doors that are hinged rather than sliding. In addition, people want their baths to be a relaxing spa like retreat and one way to accomplish that is with multiple shower heads. We do many custom showers with a fixed shower head and a handheld wand.
  2. Jacuzzi’s are out, soaking tubs are in: How many of us have a jacuzzi that we never use? The answer is most of us. And how about all the room some of them take up. Today more people are opting for simpler soaking tubs. A soaking tub is typically larger than a standard tub but still takes less space than a jacuzzi. Add a few candles and you are set for a relaxing evening.
  3. Bring in the light: Our customers view their master baths as a sanctuary from a stressful world. They want them to bright and cheerful, even sun filled. Many of our customers are requesting more windows or even skylights were possible. Many glass options are available to ensure privacy.
  4. Big fan, little noise: Exhaust fans continue to be a popular request not to mention being required by code in most circumstances. But while people may want what the fan can do they don’t really want to hear it doing it. Ultra quiet fans are what most people opt for. Properly installed these fans are almost impossible to hear. Fans are also available with lights and heat.
  5. Water closets: For those that have the space a separate water closet is a big advantage. Let’s face it, we may love our spouse but we all need privacy now and then. Sometimes it requires relocating the toilet but with PVC pipes it’s not as complex as it may seem.

That’s the first five; I will cover the second five in Bill’s next newsletter. In the mean time, if you have any questions please contact me at 978 369 1006 or send me an email at

For more information, you can always contact Bill Nickerson at 978.273.3227 or


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Understanding how your Credit Works

credit scoreCredit scores were developed by Fair Isaac and company (FICO). The models created using FICO take all the detailed information about your credit report and produce your credit score using different weights and factors contained in the FICO scoring models.

The purpose of a FICO score is to show how likely you are to become at least 90 days late in making payments in the next 24 months based on patterns in your credit history, compared with patterns of millions of past customers.

Fair Isaac divides the scoring range into five risk categories.

  • 780-850 Low Risk
  • 740-780 Medium, Low Risk
  • 690-740 Medium Risk
  • 620-690 Medium High Risk
  • 620 and Below High Risk or “Non Prime”

Each of the three major credit bureaus uses their own version of the FICO scoring model. Factors influencing your credit score are:

  • Current or late payments
  • How late the payments are
  • Number of open accounts you have
  • How much credit you are using in relation to how much credit you have available
  • If there are serious delinquencies on your file like bankruptcy, liens and charge off accounts

Your credit score is a snapshot, in that it is developed at the time of inquiry by a credit grantor pulling your credit file. Your credit score can change with the passage of time as well as with the addition of new information to your credit file. As delinquency information in your file ages, it’s negative affect on your credit score lessens.

Credit Scoring uses the following five areas of information to calculate the score:

  • Payment history 35%
  • Amounts owed 30%
  • Length of credit history 15%
  • New credit inquiries 10%
  • Type of credit used 10%

It is best to keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving accounts – maintain balances below 50 of the available credit limit. 24 is optimal. The best way to improve your score is to pay down revolving debt.

An inquiry is defined as a request by a lender for a copy of an applicant’s credit report. Inquiries remain on a credit report for two years, but credit scores only look at inquiries in the last 12 months. Your own request for a credit report to review for accuracy is not considered in your credit score.

Apply for new credit accounts only when you need them. Remember that closing accounts does not make them go away. A closed account with a poor payment history may become a more recent account because the date of activity will change. An open account with a low or zero balance is better than a closed account.

HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR YOUR REFERENCE: You can obtain your free annual credit report, without a FICO score, at

To contact the credit bureaus:

Experian  1-888-397-3742

Equifax  1-800-846-5279

Transunion  1-800-916-8800

  1. FICO scores are used not only for a mortgage and credit cards, but for auto loans, insurance and utilities.
  2. Credit reports reflect charge offs or collection accounts for up to 7 years, and bankruptcies for up to 10 years.
  3. You can order a free credit report annually, at no charge, without impacting your credit score.
  4. Having a minor balance without missing a payment is better than closing an account.
  5. Paying off an old collection may result in a drop in your credit score.
  6. Consolidating credit cards increases your ratio of debt to available credit and lowers your score.
  7. Using the maximum amount on a credit line can drop your score by 100 points.

question manFor more information regarding financing or the economy, please call or email me at any time.  I can be reached via email at or call me at 978-273-3227.

A Cold Ride

Bill Nickerson Training for the Pan Mass Challenge

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Mortgage Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

In Today’s Mortgage World, it is more important than ever to have an actual Approval in hand when shopping for a home.  An actual approval may take a few days, even a week, but I assure you, your Realtor with thank you and the process will  be much smoother.


A mortgage loan pre-qualification is an estimate of how much house you can afford and how much money a lender would be willing to loan you.  The best time to get pre-qualified is right before you start looking at homes.  This way you can focus on looking at houses that are within your price range.  By providing a loan officer with your income, assets, debts, and a potential down payment amount, he would then be able to give you a ballpark figure of how much he thinks you could afford to pay for a monthly mortgage.  There is no cost to this service and no commitment is required.  This estimate is a helpful tool to you in figuring out if buying a home is a viable option, and if so, what your price range would probably be. A pre-qualification is only an estimate to give you a range of home prices and in no way is a commitment to lend on a home.


Getting pre-approved means that you have a tentative written commitment from a lender for mortgage funding.  In the pre-approval process, you provide a loan officer with actual documentation of your income, assets, and debts.   The Loan Officer is submitting this as if it is an actual loan and a property has been identified.  This will be reviewed by the lenders underwriting team.  The lender will run a credit check and verify all your employment and financial information. Once the final approval comes in, the lender will give you a letter of commitment stating how much money the bank is willing to loan you for a home purchase. Having a certified pre-approval in hand when you start house hunting lets real estate agents and sellers know you are serious about buying when they see you have your mortgage funding in place.  By having your funding in place, it becomes an extreme advantage over other buyers when it comes to negotiating your home purchase as your offer will stand above the rest and you will be able to close in a much shorter time period.closing-costs guy

It is important to note that a pre-approval and a pre-commitment is still subject to further review as any loan is.  As variables change in lending or in the borrowers financial picture, additional items may be required. In addition to the financial commitment, the lender will also need to verify the property appraisal and title search.

Bottom Line:     

Pre-Qualification is an estimate of a price range of what you can afford.     Pre-Approval is a verified commitment from the bank stating how much money it will loan you. Make sure your Pre-Approval is an actual commitment from the bank as opposed to a Loan Officer just doing a quick credit check.

For More Information about Loan Approvals, Loan Programs and mortgages that are best suited to your financial needs, contact me anytime at 978-273-3227 or email me at and you can always visit my mortgage site at

Bill Nickerson

Bill Nickerson of PrimeLending NMLS# 4194 978-273-3227

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$1000.00 Towards Closing Costs for our Veterans

PrimeLending Offers Special Savings on VA Home Loans

National Residential Mortgage Lender Celebrates Veterans Day With Savings for Military and Veterans

 DALLAS (Oct. 29, 2014) – National residential mortgage lender PrimeLending , a PlainsCapital Company and subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTH), announced today that it is offering a $500 closing cost discount during the month of November for military and veterans who buy or refinance a home with a VA loan through PrimeLending.* The savings are offered to honor and recognize veterans and active-duty military in conjunction with this coming Veterans Day. 

Guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA home loan is only available to veterans and active-duty military. A VA loan can help active duty and veterans buy a home with no down payment. Applicants also are not required to pay mortgage insurance premiums under a VA loan – and this helps veterans and military members save even more money.  Read the actual Press Release here: PrimeLending VA Press Release

In Additon to what my company, Primelending is offering as a closing cost credit, I will match this for an additional $500 closing cost discount for a total of $1,000.00 towards your closing of your new home or refinance.


Old North Bridge, Concord MA

Providing Mortgages since 1991
Bill Nickerson

VA Rates are in the 3’s with 0 points and 0 Percent down. Now is the perfect time to Purchase and home.

Bill Nickerson, NMLS #4194 • Senior Loan Officer • PrimeLending • 19 Main Street, Concord MA 01742 • 978.273.3227 • wnickerson@primelending.com


 Since 1986, PrimeLending has been dedicated to providing service beyond expectations to homebuyers. Offering fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo home loans, refinancing and relocation programs, PrimeLending is licensed to originate and close loans in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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Have you lost any deals due to a Home Inspection??

We hear so many times of home sales falling apart due to home inspections or some minor repair issues.  Broken steps, missing railings, chipping or flaking paint and the list goes on.  These are typically minor issues and can be fixed quickly and affordably.

What if I told you I have the answers to your prayers and could solve this?  One of the FHA rehab loans offers a $5,000 loan that can be used in order to fix Home Inspection  This loan is just added to purchase price, it will not affect the Loan to Value, or does it affect the appraised value.  The loan is simply to solve these minor repair issues and is added right to the base loan.  If the repairs exceed the $5,000, the loan can be converted to a full FHA 203k Rehab loan.  In many cases, it is the small stuff we sweat.

Here is a list of the items that can be repaired.

  • Gutters/downspouts: install/repair/replace
  • Insulation: ceilings/walls
  • Siding/windows/doors
  • Paint: interior and exterior
  • Kitchen: all appliances and cabinets
  • Electrical: repair or recondition all
  • Plumbing: repair or recondition all
  • Repair HVAC or other systems
  • Flooring/subflooring/tile/carpet/wood
  • Termite treatment/damage repair
  • Repairing of well and septic
  • Weatherization items/repairs/ improvements
  • Foundation repairs
  • Upgrade/repairs for health and safety
  • Mold remediation or mold removal
  • Termite treatment/damage repair

Repairs must be completed within 30 days of closing and you will need a licensed contractor for an estimate as well as to conduct the work required. The items that need to be repaired are added to the purchase and sales.  Always check with your lender, as some of these items can vary or be limited to.

Here is a color flyer you can print or forward to your clients for FHA Renovation Loans.

For more information about these types of loans and other programs, feel free to call or email me anytime.  Email; or Phone: 978-273-3227.



Bill Nickerson NMLS# 4194 
19 Main Street, Concord MA 01742
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Lock your Rate up to 180 Days, then Re-Lock it!

question manWhat if I were to tell you that I have a special mortgage program??

What if I were to tell you I have some of the best mortgage rates??

What if I were to tell you I have very competitive closing costs??

Yup…ordinary, just like all the other mortgage companies, banks, credit unions etc!  Pretty dull and boring when it comes right down to it.

Percent Down

Relock Today!

But what if I were tell you that you could lock your mortgage rate in at todays rate and if the rate drops during the process of your mortgage, you could re-lock to the lower rate.  And…It’s FREE!!  Yes, FREE!  No additional premiums, no inflated start rate and it’s offered on fixed rate mortgages.

Buying new construction or Building a new home?  These homes can typically take 3 to 6 months to complete.  In this volatile market of rates changing daily, you can lock in your mortgage rate for 180 days and if the rates drop, you can take advantage of the lower rates.  This allows you the security locking and peace of mind knowing you can still float your mortgage rate down.

But Wait!!!  There’s more!!!  What if you don’t have a signed offer on hand or have even identified a home?  How about if I told you that you could LOCK into a mortgage rate while you were shopping for homes.  This allows you focus on your new home and not have to worry about the markets and at what point rates will move.

This is for fixed rates mortgages up to $417,000.  Don’t be fooled by other lenders that offer these programs and then require you to use an Adjustable Rate or charge you a premium.    I have attached a flyer so that you can share this great program with your friends, clients, builders and whom ever may be in the market.

Click here for your own Float Down Flyer: Float Down

You must have applied for a mortgage through Bill Nickerson and PrimeLending.  You must meet Fannie Mae guidelines and be approved for a mortgage. This article is not a commitment to lend nor does it guarantee the program without first verifying credit, income and all financial documents.  Please call me at 978-273-3227 or to see if you qualify for a mortgage today.


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