Sunday, September 30, 2012

United States Mortgage Markets

"TUESDAY" production sign

Over the weekend, I was reflecting about what a great position the real estate market is in right now, and all those involved with the market. It’s such an exciting time to be in the mortgage industry, and especially to be in the market for real estate, all things are working in our favor: Interest rates are extremely low, the housing market is gaining speed fast, and most local economies are outstanding! Basically everyone is employed and making more money than ever, we can borrow money VERY cheap, and our homes are appreciating. We really don’t have anything to complain about right now, and I haven’t been able to quit smiling.
So what happened last week, and what can we expect this week? The first question is easy to answer, and the second…well, it’s not so easy (I’ve really got to get a crystal ball). Interest rates today are down an eighth of a percent from a week ago, this is after a mid week spike in rates.
This coming week is fairly quiet as far as economic reports are concerned with only one report scheduled for the week-Tuesday morning, and then the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Tuesday afternoon, so as can be expected Tuesday will likely yield the most movement in rates. Tuesday morning I’ll be watching for the Employee Production and Cost data. Though this report will not directly affect interest rates, it is believed that high employee productivity will allow the economy to grow without fears about inflation. Analysts are expecting to see a 2.0% increase in employee production, a higher than expected reading could strengthen bonds and lower rates, but until we see the results of the FOMC meeting I don’t expect major movement in interest rates.
By far the biggest event of this week will be the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting isn’t likely to bring about any change to the key interest rates, and the results of the meeting itself doesn’t usually result in market movement since the results of the meeting are usually known before hand, but it is the commentary at the conclusion of the meeting that can cause the movement in the market. Bond traders will be following the post meeting statement very closely. They’ll be listening for any indication of rate hikes in the future. If that is the case, then it will be believed that inflation is still a concern which could lead to weaker bonds and higher rates; if no rate hikes are mentioned then it is believed that inflation is not as big a concern as once thought and should lead to stronger bonds and in turn lower interest rates.
In summary I think we have the best chance of seeing significant interest rate movement on Tuesday after the FOMC meeting, the rest of the week most interest rate movement will be related to stock gains and losses. If major stock market indexes continue their downward trend, investor will move their money to bonds as a safe haven which should strengthen bonds and bring rates down; but if stocks rally investors will go back to stocks which will weaken bonds and could drive interest rates up.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Things to do in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of the top tourist destinations around the world, and there are quite a few reasons why. Take a look at some of these great activities you can plan while vacationing in Costa Rica

Zip Lining
Certainly not for those who are afraid of heights, but certainly a must do for anyone else. Costa Rica's landscape is perfect for zip lining, with varying topography, extremely tall rainforests, and gorgeous canopys, rivers and wildlife below. It's hard to find a better place in the world!

Volcano Hiking
Costa Rica is home to many volcanoes, many of which are still active. Don't worry though, they are well monitored and are at a very low risk status. You can hike up to the top of one, and get spectacular views for miles, or hike to one of the many geothermal powered hot springs for a relaxing dip.

 Beach Going
Costa Rica has both a Caribbean and Pacific Coast, and both are beautiful. Lay out for a day at the beach, or partake in surfing, sailing, deep sea fishing or scuba diving. Regardless, it's something you have to enjoy on your visit.

Finding a place to stay isn't all that difficult. There are plenty of Costa Rica vacation rentals available that you can find and book online, and they are all at a good price relative to many other popular tourist destinations.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Electric Pool Heater or a Gas Pool Heater For Your Home?

pompous pool
 (Photo credit: Esthr)
Gas Swimming Pool Heaters

When you choose a pool heater, you’ll need the answer to this question. Will your gas pool heater run on natural gas or liquid propane? The price and availability of fuel will influence your decision. Also, you may not want an unattractive propane tank sitting next to your swimming pool.

Gas heaters heat your pool water fast. It doesn’t matter what the weather is, you can set and keep the temperature you want. And, you’ll keep your pool water temperature the same throughout your pool. You can swim any time you want to.

Heated water is expensive. On the other hand, if you use your pool often and you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars, gas heaters are a great buy. Therefore, if you want your pool water heated fast, gas is fine.

Electric Swimming Pool Heaters

Your electric pool heater heats your pool best in mild weather. On the other hand, when you want to go for a swim and the water is cold, an electric pump heater heats your pool water slower than gas. And, they don’t create their own heat. They circulate pool water through the filtering and heating unit, and the heated water returns to the pool.

In the end, when your pool heater works hard, it costs you more money. For that matter, if you live in a low electric cost setting, you may decide to buy an electric pool heater. The choice is yours, whether you pick a gas or electric swimming pool heater.

Pool Water Heater Installation

However, before you rush out and buy a new pool heater, take your time and check out a few reputable plumbers. Pick one of them to install your heater. Your plumber will know local building codes, and inspection procedures. Then and only then, have your plumber buy, check, and install your heater according to manufacturer’s specifications and local building codes.

Finally, remember, besides regular pool cleaning and maintenance, have your plumber set the proper gas pressure, and service your pool heater regularly.

Learn More

Another great article on how to pick -