Bill Nickerson

Bill NickersonRunning in the Groton MA road race.

Memorial Day, The True Meaning

memorial day flagsMemorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who have died serving our country.  General John Alexander Logan ordered the Memorial Day holiday to be observed by decorating the war dead.  The day became known as “Decoration Day” because of the practice of decorating soldier’s graves with flowers. In 1971, Memorial day was declared a federal holiday.  We observe this day with families and friends by visiting cemeteries and memorials to pay homage to their loved ones.

Memorial Day was born out of the Civil War and was to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

Red Poppies

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:  She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.MoinaMichaelStamp She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael. When she returned to France she made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help.

Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

Please remember why we have the Freedom to enjoy our Family, our Friends and this Wonderful Place we call The United States of America.

God Bless the Men and Women who Serve and who have served our Country

Bill Nickerson

Mortgage Network Earns 98.86%

Published on CNBC   http://www.cnbc.com/id/42856549

DANVERS, Mass., May 02, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Mortgage Network, an industry leading independent mortgage lender, today announced the results of a recent customer satisfaction survey showing that over 98% of customers would use Mortgage Network again. Also, over 98% of customers would recommend a friend. A standard that MNI believes is even harder to meet. This past year, Mortgage Network has opened five new locations and added over 100 employees to keep up with demand in targeted areas.

“We aim to give our clients the best experience possible and in order to do that, we make sure we are conscious of the opinions of everyone who walks through our doors, said Executive Vice President of Mortgage Network, Brian Koss. “Seeing this 98.86% approval rating gives us great pleasure in knowing we are doing our job. Our goal is to surpass 99% in 2011.” Over 2,200 customer surveys were completed and turned in to Mortgage Network after each closing. With so many new offices opening on the Eastern seaboard, and plans for others to open in 2011, this satisfaction survey adds validation to the service Mortgage Network is able to provide to clients.

“Our goal is to be the pre-eminent mortgage lender in our markets and within the eyes of our employees, clients, peers and business partners,” said Koss. “We are committed to providing the highest level of service and expertise, which consistently exceeds everyone’s expectations.” About Mortgage Network, Inc: Mortgage Network, Inc is a private mortgage banking company founded in 1988 by Robert McInnes and Albert Pare III who have co-managed the Company since its inception. Mortgage Network is one of the largest independent mortgage company headquartered in New England. The Company’s unique combination of experience, product development, and commitment to providing great service has made Mortgage Network an industry leader. The Company has established thirty-three regional lending offices providing retail mortgage services as a National Lender.

Mortgage Network can be found on the World Wide Web at: www.mortgagenetwork.com.

Proud to Work for Mortgage Network!!!!

 

 

 

Bill Nickerson

Vice President Mortgage Network

179 Great Road Suite 214, Acton MA 01720

978-399-1313

Bill’s Blog

Providing Mortgages Since 1991

NMLS # 4194

Commercial   Residential     Reverse FHA/VA

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Homebuyer Turnoffs: 6 Mistakes Sellers Must Avoid

Now more than ever with so many homes on the market for sale, the seller must take action to ensure their house stands out from all the rest.  Avoid these six mistakes that are potential turn-offs for buyers which could lead to losing a sale.     

 

Mistake #1 – No listing photos

Many buyers browse listings online before deciding to view a home in person.  Great photos showing your home will draw more showings to your home.  Hire a professional photographer if possible. 

Mistake #2 – Unrealistic Pricing

It’s very tempting to list your property at the highest price possible with the intention of lowering it if there’s no buyer interest in the home.  By pricing your home competitively from the start, you will get the most traffic and the quick sale close to your asking price.

Mistake #3 – Misleading Listing Info

Describing your home accurately allows the right type buyer to look at your home.  Say it’s a ready to move in home when in reality it’s a fixer up sends the message to home buyer that you aren’t trustworthy leading to loss of sale.

Mistake #4 – Botched Home Improvements

Think a fresh coat of paint will be great to sell your home? Before investing in pre-sale remodeling or painting, find out from your Realtor what type improvements/colors will give you a better chance at a sale.  The wrong choices could be a disaster to your hopes for a quick sale.

Mistake #5 – Cluttered & Dirty Interiors

Removing clutter and keeping the house clean sends the buyer a strong message; this home has regular necessary maintenance done to it. It also makes the home look more spacious, giving the buyer the chance to visualize the home with their own furnishings.

Mistake #6 – Hovering Homeowners

A fast way to send buyers running is for the homeowner to be present during a showing.  Buyers want to be left alone to view your home.  And the longer a buyer stays, the better chance of a sale.

Bill Nickerson

Vice President Mortgage Network

179 Great Road Suite 214, Acton MA 01720

978-399-1313

Bill’s Blog

Providing Mortgages Since 1991

NMLS # 4194

Commercial   Residential     Reverse FHA/VA

What I am Hearing in Markets

This Week; is Holy Week. Trade likely will be quiet with the religious holiday. Most all of the data points this week are centered on the housing sector; starts and permits for Mar, new and existing home sales, the NAHB housing market index Monday and the FHFA housing price index on Thursday. The only other releases are weekly claims on Thursday and the and the April Philadelphia Fed business index also on Friday. That’s it for the week. Markets closed on Friday.

 

Until a week ago the overwhelming consensus in the markets was that the US economy would have a strong Q1 and optimism for the rest of the year was being touted as continued improvement. Over the past week investors were beginning to re-think the economic outlook and lowering expectations. It started with the IMF saying it is revising lower GDP Q1 growth from 2.0% to 1.5%; markets had accepted growth in Q1 at +3.0%. The Fed’s Beige Book out last week, while remaining optimistic, showed indications that growth isn’t as powerful as markets were thinking. The National Federation of Independent Business overall index fell in April, taking the optimism that had improved since last Oct totally away. Small businesses account for the majority of jobs. This is also earnings season with companies reporting Q1; so far earnings have been a little disappointing. 

 

Consumer spending declining, until recently, have been ignored by investors. Even with gasoline and food prices increasing markets generally didn’t pay much attention—-until last week. $4.00+ gasoline and rapidly increasing food prices will, as we have continued to mention, slow consumer spending. Bernanke out there saying the increase in energy and commodity prices are “transitory” may not be; markets beginning to understand that. With consumer spending less than expected and the housing markets still showing no signs of stabilizing, let alone improving, investors are getting a little nervous.  

 

These fluctuations in the market place, will push mortgage rates down a little for the moment.  At some point as we have been saying right along, this economy has to turn to the positive side.  When it does, mortgage rates will edge up over 5 and may never look back.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to call or email me anytime!!

 

 

Bill Nickerson

Vice President Mortgage Network

179 Great Road Suite 214, Acton MA 01720

978-399-1313

Bill’s Blog

Providing Mortgages Since 1991

NMLS # 4194

Commercial   Residential     Reverse FHA/VA

How To Kill The Economy

The proposed regulations governing the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) exemption from risk retention rules constitute a “devastating, unnecessary and very expensive wrench (thrown) into the American dream” according to a white paper released Wednesday by a consortium of housing industry groups.

The paper was published in advance of a scheduled hearing of the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises on “Understanding the Implications and Consequences of the Proposed Rule on Risk Retention”.  Two of the groups in the consortium, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Center for Responsible Lending addressed the committee along with other trade groups and a panel of representatives of the regulatory agencies which drafted the regulations.

Under Dodd-Frank lenders must retain five percent of the credit risk on loans packaged and sold as mortgage securities.  However, certain qualifying mortgages will be exempt from risk retention, making loans with the QRM designation highly sought after assets by lenders.  Last month federal agencies including FDIC, the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Housing Finance Administration proposed QRM rules which will qualify FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans by definition and require non-agency loans to have down payments of 20% or more and Debt to Income (DTI) ratios of 28% / 36% or less.  QRM may not include products or terms that add complexity and risk to mortgage loans such as negative amortization or interest-only payments or present significant payment shock potential. While FHA and the GSEs currently dominate the lending landscape, they are expected to reduce their market share in the years ahead.  The argument presented in this White Paper is QRM rules will limit the ability of Non-Agency lenders to compete with the GSEs and FHA in the future, therefore limiting the incentive for private investors to enter the sector; making it harder for the government to reduce its footprint in the mortgage market in the process.

The White Paper takes particular exception to the 20 percent down payment requirement.   Based on 2009 home price and income data it says it would take 15 years for an average family to save the $43,000 down payment on a median priced home compared to only six years to save 5 percent to put down on the same house. This requirement, it says, would deny millions of responsible borrowers any access to the lowest rate loans with the safest loan features.

The down payment requirement will also present a sizeable bar to homeowners hoping to refinance.  Based on data from CoreLogic, the paper estimates that nearly 25 million existing homeowners lack sufficient equity in their home to meet the 80 percent loan-to-value requirement.  Even at 90 percent LTV, 34 percent or over 16 million homeowners could not refinance into qualifying mortgages.

Analysis of CoreLogic data on loans originated between 2002 and 2008, a period which includes the loans that recently defaulted at record rates, shows that raising down payments in 5 percent increments had only a negligible impact on default rates but significantly reduced the pool of borrowers that would be eligible for QRM loans.   For example, where borrowers already met strong underwriting and product standards, moving from a 5 percent to a 10 percent down payment reduced the default rate by only 0.2 to 0.3 percent but reduced the pool of eligible borrowers by 7 to 15 percent.  Jumping the down payment from 5 to 20 percent changed the default rate by 8/10ths of a percent while knocking out 17 to 28 percent of borrowers depending on the year of the loan.

Removing so many potential buyers from the pool of borrowers eligible for qualified mortgages “could frustrate efforts to stabilize the housing market,” the report says, and to date the regulators have not put a price on the cost of risk retention to the consumer.  “This should be done before finalizing a rule that imposes 5 percent risk retention across such a broad segment of the market.”  A JP Morgan Securities Inc. estimate put the cost of 5 percent risk retention at a three-percentage point rise in interest rates for loans funded through securitization.  While that estimate may be high, the report says, even a one percentage point increase in interest rates could be devastating to a fragile housing market.  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), another member of the consortium, estimates that every percentage point increase in interest rates means that 4 million households would no longer qualify for a median priced home.  Any QRM-related costs, the report points out, would be in addition to a general interest rate increase anticipated over the next 12 to 18 months.

Any of these effects will carry greater impact in those states that have already been hardest hit by the housing downturn.  For example, in the five states that have seen the most foreclosures and greatest price decreases (Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan) between 59 and 80 percent of homeowners do not have 20 percent equity in their homes.  Six out of ten homeowners would not be able to move and put 20 percent down on their next home.

These borrowers, the paper says, have already put significant “skin in the game” through down payments and years of timely mortgage payments, “but the proposed QRM definition tells them they are not ‘gold standard’ borrowers and they will have to pay more.”

With major regional housing markets ineligible for lower cost QRMs many states and metro areas that have seen the biggest price declines will now face higher interest rates, reduced investor liquidity, and fewer originators able or willing to compete for their business.  “These areas face long-term consignment to the non-QRM segment of the market.”

The paper concludes that the proposed rules will also negatively impact the private lending market.  The vast majority of loans will be non-QRMs subject to the higher costs of risk retention and without regulations that mandate sound underwriting standards.  The statutory exemption for FHA and VA loans will give them a significant market advantage over fully private loans.  This will delay or even halt the return of private capital into the market.

While the inclusion of GSE loans mitigates the immediate adverse impact of the rule on the housing market, it is not a viable long-term solution and does little to establish the certainty the secondary market needs.  “Rather than rely solely on a short-term fix the regulators should follow Congressional intent and establish a broadly available QRM that will create incentives for responsible liquidity that will flow to a broad and deep market for creditworthy borrowers.”

Risk-retention is not a viable option for smaller institutions and will reduce the ability of community-based lenders to compete in the mortgage market.  The top three-FDIC insured banks already control 55 percent of the single-family mortgage market and this consolidation will only intensify.  “In short, the proposal creates real systemic risk while doing little to relieve it.”

Congress intended QRM to provide creditworthy borrowers access to well underwritten products, provide a framework for responsible private capital to support housing recovery and to shrink government presence in the market while restoring competition and mitigate the potential for further consolidation.  Instead the proposed rule is so narrow that it will force a majority of both homebuyers and homeowners to either forego purchasing/refinancing or pay higher rates, and will hamper competition and accelerate consolidation in the market.

In addition to MBA, NAHB, and the Center for Responsible Lending, the members of the consortium are Community Mortgage Banking Project, the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, and the National Association of Realtors®.

 

 

Bill Nickerson

978-264-4803  office

866-741-2548  fax

978-273-3227 cell

NMLS # 4194

Providing Residential Mortgages Since 1991

Is now a great time to buy a house…..YES!!

 

As a mortgage professional, as well as an investor in real estate, the goal is always a buy and hold. In the case of buying a home to raise your family, you would purchase your home with the intent to own it for a period greater than 7 to 10 years which would shield you from the month to month movement of the markets and you could focus on the long terms gains.  We all know that in some areas of the country we are going to see a decrease in home values, while in other areas we will see an increase.  Here’s the catch, if you think you can catch lightening in a bottle…take the chance a home will drop 5, 10 or even 20% over the next year and hope that mortgage rates stay below 5%.  This is highly unlikely as the economy begins to build steam and move forward.  If rates move 1% higher, which is very likely, this will cost you $50,000 or greater in buying power.  For a home that is priced at $450,000 at a rate of 4.875%, is equal to a home priced at $400,000 at a rate of 5.875%.  So by waiting, you have lost time in the market place.  We do know rates will climb, that is certain, home prices in this immediate area will stay relatively flat over the next year and will.  In general, the economy is based on speculation on what economist think might happen.  Across the country, the average home price will drop.  Buyer Beware; there are always deals to be had, and now is a time where you are getting both low rates as well as low house prices.  If your intent is to buy and invest for the future, now is the time.  If you believe you can time the market and make a quick buck by flipping, you are in the wrong place. 

Bottom line…if rates go up by 1.00%, which they will, it will do no good to wait to see if house prices drop in order to get a better deal.

Don’t be an “April” fool…now is the time to buy!

 

 

 

 

Bill Nickerson

Vice President Mortgage Network

179 Great Road Suite 214, Acton MA 01720

978-399-1313

Bill’s Blog

Providing Mortgages Since 1991

NMLS # 4194

Commercial   Residential     Reverse FHA/VA

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Winter, it’s only a state of mind!

Winter, it's only a state of mind.
Winter, it’s only a state of mind.

This Week in the Markets

This Week; existing and new home sales are the main focus but unlikely to show any change in the trend of weak sales that has been the situation for two years. Japan’s problems with their nuclear reactors remain but the latest reports imply some progress on a couple of reactors while another reactor is weakening. In Libya the UN forces clobbered Libyan positions with heavy use of missiles but Qaddafi remains defiant. Treasuries and mortgage rates are likely to stay within a tight range as long as there is no change in the situations in Japan and in the Mideast.

 

The stock market, after the strong selling on panic moves is likely to rebound and recover most of the losses on the indexes. Gold and crude oil likely to increase in price after a volatile last week. Through the week as long as investors return to equity markets the bond and mortgage markets will see prices fall and yields increase. The week is very likely to be volatile from day to day with unfolding news out of Japan and the Mideast. We do not expect interest rates to increase a lot, but we also don’t see any major decline this week. Still suggest using the recent rate decline to get deals done and not get enthused about lower rates. Interest rates are not likely to fall much while the wider perspective is still bearish as the US economy improves and the ECB likely to raise rates.

What does all this mean?? 

Buckle Up!!!!! 

The month of March is coming in like a Lion….and it may leave that way too….

Courtesy: Sigma Research

Bill Nickerson has been providing mortgages since 1991 in New England.  If you ever have any questions about mortgages or the process of buying a home, feel free to call or email anytime.

Bill Nickerson

Vice President Mortgage Network

179 Great Road Suite 214, Acton MA 01720

978-399-1313

Bill’s Blog

Providing Mortgages Since 1991

NMLS # 4194

Commercial   Residential     Reverse FHA/VA

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