Chris Schaller

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The Mortgage Blog of Chris Schaller

Mortgage Rates Drop Significantly

Mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest level since May 2013, according to recent data released by Freddie Mac. The 30-year fixed-rate loan averaged 3.8% nationally this week, while the 15-year fixed-rate loan averaged 3.1% nationally. 10-year Treasury yields have also fallen to the lowest rate seen in 7 months. The vice president of HSH.com said, “plunging oil prices, due to a slowdown in Russia and other global economies, have been sending investors into safe havens like U.S. Treasuries. This is again driving down yields and pulling mortgage rates right along with them.” More here

Research Finds Giving May Benefit Health

A new study From Harvard Business School has found that the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you give a gift might not be a coincidence. Giving has now been linked to long-term positive health benefits. The study involved a focus group, with some people giving various amounts of money to shoppers while the other group kept the money to spend on themselves. Those who gave the money away to shoppers were in better spirits when compared to those who kept the money to spend on themselves. Happier people tend to have lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, and lower heart rates. So give this holiday season and be happier and healthier! More here

Tips For Maintaining Siding

Taking care of the siding on your home can save you the expense of major repairs, or having to replace the siding entirely due to neglect. A few things you can do to ensure your home’s siding looks great and works efficiently are: Clean your siding with soap, water and trisodium phosphate (you should be able to find this chemical at your local hardware store). Use a soft bristled brush to clean off bird droppings, mildew, and hardened mud. You can also use bleach and water for harder-to-clean mildew stains. Be sure to check your siding for any cracks or damage; If you spot something that looks like it needs repair, act fast before it turns into a larger problem. More here

Many Underwater Homeowners Emerge

According to Zillow’s third quarter Negative Equity Report, underwater homes have decreased approximately 40% since the beginning of 2012. The percentage of homeowners with negative equity averaged 16.9%  last quarter, a 4.2% drop from 2013. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s Chief Economist said, “the market has made terrific strides since bottoming out in late 2011 and early 2012, with millions of underwater homeowners freed in just the past few years, and millions more set to surface in coming months and years.” More here

Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars This Holiday Season

During the holiday months, burglaries in the U.S. increase significantly according to the FBI. Taking a few extra measures to keep your home safe may help decrease your risk. A few things you can do to keep your home free from burglars are: Make sure all of your doors and windows are locked at all times. If you are visiting family or friends for a few days ask your neighbor(s) to watch over your house and get your mail for you while you are gone. Don’t leave hide-a-keys out, hand your spare keys out directly to trusted family members and friends. More here

How To Win In A Booming Real Estate Market

Buying a house in a booming city usually takes time and possibly a little more money than you plan to spend. A few tips that may help home-seekers get the house of their dreams in an active market are: Do your math; In most cases of this nature, you will need to bid over the asking price. Find out how much other homes around are selling for and crunch your numbers. Factor in the amount of work the home needs and the square footage. Many homes, unless you build, will not have every amenity you desire. Consider going for a less expensive home with less competition, and turn it into the home you have always wanted. Come prepared; Create a letter describing yourself and why you want to buy the home, be pre-qualified for the loan, and bring an inspector or engineer along with you to view the home for the first time. You will increase your chances of success by using a little fore-thought. More here

New Guidelines Make Getting A Mortgage Easier

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are implementing new guidelines that will ease the mortgage process, and in turn, help boost the housing market. The new guidelines will decrease down payment amounts, making 3% down payments an option again, and will allow two missed payments before initiating foreclosure. Many loan officers are reporting that their banks have been more lenient with borrowers over the last few months, putting many first-time homebuyers in a position to qualify for a loan. More here

How To Repair Tile Grout

Re-grouting old tile is a time-consuming job, but it can help your floors look brand new again if done correctly. Here are a few brief guidelines you should follow when re-grouting tile that will help make the job easier and less overwhelming. First you will need to remove the old grout with a grout saw (available at most hardware stores and inexpensive.) Once the old grout is completely removed, it is time to mix up your fresh batch of grout according to the brand’s instructions. You will want to let it sit for a few minutes before using it. While you are waiting, you can gather your other materials. Mix the grout one last time, and then scoop out your fresh grout from the bucket and place it in the seams of the tile. Use your float to smooth it out and make sure it looks good and level. Immediately wash off any excess grout from unwanted areas with a moist sponge. Let it sit for a few seconds and then move on to a new area. More here

More First-Time Homebuyers Expected In 2015

New data suggests that an increasing number of first-time homebuyers will return to the housing market next year. Realtor.com’s new Housing Forecast stated that employment growth and credit access will help more first-time homebuyers get back into the market in 2015. Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com’s chief economist said, “if access to credit improves, we could see substantially larger numbers of young buyers in the market. However, given a high dependency on financial qualifications, this activity will be skewed to geographic areas with higher affordability such as the Midwest and South.” Other housing market predictions for 2015 are home sales will increase, home prices will grow, and mortgage rates will average around 5%. More here

Job Growth Reaches Highest Level In 2 Years

According to recent data, U.S. job growth made significant strides in November. Last month, 321,000 jobs were created, reaching the highest level since January, 2012.  Retail, health care, business services, and manufacturing lead the nation in job creation. Doug Duncan, the chief economist for Fannie Mae said, “today’s jobs report was positive in all aspects: November hiring was the strongest since January 2012 with sizable upward revisions for the prior two months, average hourly earnings posted the biggest jump since June 2013, and average hours worked was the longest since May 2008.” More here

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About Me:

Chris Schaller is a certified mortgage planner/loan officer with Diamond Residential Mortgage in Springfield, IL. Chris is the only lender in central Illinois that is also a military veteran. He's consistently been in the top one percent of all lenders nationally in closed units and hosts the weekly “Let's Talk Mortgage” radio show on WMAY 970 AM and at www.wmay.com. Chris is the top FHA, VA, and Rural Development lender in central Illinois and the preferred lender for first-time buyers from local Realtors.
Diamond Residential Mortgage saves their clients an average of $3,000 on their home purchase. Text me at 217-341-6850 to find out why we are different.

Listen to “Let’s Talk Mortgage” every Saturday at 1:00 pm on WMAY 970 AM or at www.wmay.com.

Contact:

Chris Schaller
Certified Mortgage Planner / Loan Officer
NMLS# 233271
Diamond Residential Mortgage
2040 W. Iles St., Suite A
Springfield, IL 62704
Phone: 217-726-6864, x1501
Cell: 217-341-6850
Fax: 866-560-9667

Email:

 

chris.schaller@thedrmc.com

Website:

www.ILmortgageman.com

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