• 2012 Mortgage Trends Here to Stay
in 2013
• December's Home Value Improver • About Us

2012 Mortgage Trends Here to Stay
in 2013

Where will mortgage rates head in 2013? Will the housing market pick up steam? Will the economy strengthen? As of this writing, Washington has yet to come to an agreement that will avoid what has become known as the "fiscal cliff". Consequently, the year ahead holds more uncertainty than ever.

As I look back over 2012, I've searched for trends that I think will stay consistent in 2013, regardless of the direction that the economy takes. Here's a quick look at some of those trends:

Refinancings Will Remain Strong
Mortgage rates should stay extraordinarily low unless the economy becomes much stronger than anticipated. Even borrowers who refinanced just a couple of years ago will be tempted by interest rates in the low-to-mid 3% range. Over the past year, 80% of my loans were refinancing. I expect this trend to continue in 2013.

Shorter Term Loans Will Continue to be Popular
Rock-bottom rates take the sting out of refinancing to a shorter term. Monthly payments on a 30-year loan at 5% may be almost the same as the payments on a 20-year or 15-year loan at rates in the 3% range. Many of my clients are selecting shorter term mortgages that will be paid off before college tuitions hit or retirement arrives.

Paperwork Will Continue to Increase
Lenders are scrutinizing data and asking for more and more documentation. They are requesting letters from borrowers explaining every recent credit inquiry in their records, or explanations for non-paycheck deposits made to bank accounts. Instead of one year of tax returns, it is not unusual for a lender to request two years or more.

Processing Times Will Stretch
Appraisers are swamped and lenders are requesting more documentation than ever. The result is that loan underwriting and processing can take longer than anticipated. Delays vary from lender to lender, so I pick my lending partners carefully and work hard to guide applications along as quickly as possible.

It can be frustrating to get a mortgage when lenders are scrutinizing applications so closely and requesting so much paperwork. One reason why many clients came to me in 2012 was because I handle the headaches - I handle the paperwork, make sure lenders have what they need, and make all the phone calls necessary to keep an application on track.

We have been delighted to work with new clients who were referred to us from financial planners and accountants. I expect referrals to play an equally significant role in 2013 because of the uniquely personal approach that I take with each client. I get to know my clients and their overall financial goals to recommend the mortgages that will best meet their needs, both now and in the future.

Want to know more? Please give me a call at 617-965-1236 or email me for information or help.

December's Home Value Improver

New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

Your home is probably your biggest asset. When you dedicate time and money to home maintenance, you are not only preserving your home - you are also protecting an important investment. Try incorporating these tasks into your New Year's Resolutions:

Develop a Home Maintenance Schedule - Caulking windows, cleaning gutters, sealing gaps or replacing a roof are not fun, but they can save a fortune if they prevent water damage or heat loss. Survey your home and write down all the maintenance tasks that require action. Then establish a monthly home maintenance calendar to keep your house in tip-top shape.

Keep Your House Clean - It's hard to see a water stain on the floor or damage from pets (or mice in the walls) if your house is full of clutter. You'll feel better in a clean house and it will be much easier to keep track of areas that need work. A little extra effort cleaning out heating ducts or vacuuming refrigerator coils can help save on heating costs as well.

Prevent Fires - Nothing can destroy the value in your house faster than having it burn to the ground! Have your chimneys cleaned regularly, store a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer to remove lint-build up (a common cause of house fires).

For more tips, visit neighborhoodworks.org

Westchester Mortgage

December 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, I have taken a few minutes to review the past year and set goals for the year ahead. I am proud to say that I doubled my loan volume from 2011. In a challenging lending environment, homeowners are looking for guidance, advice and personal service every step of the way. I am pleased that my personal approach and willingness to handle all the details associated with applying for a loan has resulted in so many satisfied customers.

It is not easy to open your financial life up to a stranger or entrust somebody else with the financing of one of your largest assets. I am deeply grateful for the faith that my clients have in me as they refinance or purchase their homes. Thank you, as well, to my financial planning partners who have sent their clients to me, knowing that I would guide them toward the financial decisions that were right for them.

Have a very happy holiday. Please let me know if I may be of service.

Best regards,
Debbie Siegel
Westchester Mortgage

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Westchester Mortgage LLC MA MB#272780
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