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Freddie Mac Economists Upbeat About Housing - See April Outlook Report

Freddie Mac economists remain upbeat about the housing market outlook for the rest of 2016 and 2017.  According to their April Outlook Report housing will continue its forward momentum and be a driver of economic growth.

"We've revised down our forecast for economic growth to reflect the recent data for the first quarter, but our outlook for the balance of the year remains modestly optimistic for the economy,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “However, we maintain our positive view on housing. In fact, the declines in long-term interest rates that accompanied much of the recent news should increase mortgage market activity, particularly refinance."

Economists predict that the labor market will stay strong, unemployment is projected to drop back below 5%, and wage gains should exceed the rate of inflation.  They expect mortgage loans to rise by $50 billion in 2016 as a result of the low mortgage rates that are expected to stick around for a while.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.7% in the first quarter of this year, and economists are projecting that rates will average around 4% in 2016.  They also predict that home prices will rise by 4.8% in 2016 and another 3.5% in 2017, leading to more equity for home owners.

To read Freddie Mac's April 2016 Outlook report:

Earth Day is April 22nd! - Commit to Greener Living

There are so many things you can do to embrace a 'greener' lifestyle . . . and the time to start is NOW!

We are celebrating Earth Day on Friday!  It's more important than ever that everyone does their part to ensure we have life-giving resources available for the future generations of humans and all life forms.  

View the link below for ideas of things you can easily do in and around your home and do your part to conserve valuable resources.  

Commit to Living a Greener, More Sustainable Life this Earth Day - With more than 1 billion people participating in Earth Day activities each year, it’s hard to fathom what we all did on April 22 prior to 1970—the year Senator Gaylord Nelson put into motion a movement that continues to motivate people into action when it comes to caring for—and protecting—our environment. Whether you’re a preservationist, or activist—or somewhere […] [RisMedia Consumer News]

6 Home Buying Myths Debunked

The more you know, the better decisions you will make.  

Here are 6 common home buying myths that, unfortunately, many people believe to be true.  Some of them were relevant many years ago, but today's marketplace has its own nuances and best practices, and the home buying process is constantly changing.

Remember that your real estate agent is an expert in the home buying process and can answer any questions you have. Don't hesitate to ask for explanations.

Myth #1:  You Need 20% Down Payment To Buy

There are lots of loan programs out there that require anywhere from 3% to 10% down.  As a matter of fact, the average down payment for all mortgage loans last year was 7-8%.  Most mortgage lenders require a down payment of at least 3%. FHA loans (mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration) require a down payment of at least 3.5%. Depending on your credit history, the type of dwelling and your reason for buying, the minimum down payment could be anywhere from 3% to 20%, or possibly even more for a second home or investment property purchase.