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Rates Remain Flat for the Week 
Mortgage rates remained unchanged from last Friday, although there is some upward pressure due to The Shutdown and looming Debt Ceiling situation.

The Conventional 30 year fixed rate was 4.25%. This rate would be available for a borrower who has excellent credit and could be obtained with little or no points if you make the right size of down payment.

The Conventional 15 year fixed rate was 3.375%, assuming the same parameters as mentioned above.

SHOULD I LOCK OR FLOAT?
You need to be very careful and watch DC for the resolution of the Debt Ceiling. If it isn't raised, then rates will increase. If you have a rate you like, lock it in!

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Yellen for the Federal Reserve 
It is widely expected that President Obama will appoint Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as the Chair of the Federal Reserve. Yellen is expected to mirror Bernanke's policies which will be beneficial to the mortgage market. She must be approved by Congress, but it should be smooth sailing through the ratification process.

The potential for rough waters is in the minutes of the FOMC's last meeting. The FOMC chose not to Taper, but the vote was close, so mortgage market participants will analyze the document to determine why and see if they can frontrun the Fed.

My expectation is that the FOMC minutes will be a non-event. Let's hope so.

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There's Still a Reason to Love HARP 
I know Amy Farrah Fowler of the Big Bang plays the harp and it's always been a Big Joke, but the HARP (Homeowner's Affordable Refinance Program) is no joke. It's been around for awhile, but there are still many homeowners that should consider taking advantage of this wonderful program.

HARP is only available to homeowners that have a mortgage that is owned by and purchaed by FannieMae or FreddieMac before May 31, 2009. The program was created for homeowners that were underwater, meaning that they owed more money than their property was worth. The good news is that you don't have to be underwater to enjoy the benefits of HARP. It is available for primary homes, second homes, and investment properties and may eliminate some closing costs.

As well as the potential to reduce some closing costs, HARP has some reduced documentation requirements and may enable you to refinance when you wouldn't be able to do so otherwise.

Give me a call to see if you are eligible for HARP and the many financial benefits.

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Are We Worried About The Shutdown Yet? 
A week ago, The Shutdown seemed like it was being caused by political posturing and would get resolved shortly by some cooler bi-partison heads. Well, here we are in week 2, and now folks are talking about the US defaulting on our debts if a resolution isn't reached. I never thought I would ever type those words, a US default.

A US default could be disastrous, most likely causing a bear market in stocks, as well as a possible interruption in Medicare payments and Social Security checks. Bonds would also suffer large losses. A worse case scenario, to be sure.

Reality will most likely be far less severe. I'm guessing, hoping really, that cooler heads do prevail and the political game of chicken is ended.

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Mortgage Rates Edge Lower for the Week 
The Conventional 30 year fixed rate slid to 4.25% by weeks end. This rate would be available for a borrower who has excellent credit and could be obtained with little or no points if you make the right size of down payment.

The Conventional 15 year fixed rate remained at 3.375%, assuming the same parameters as mentioned above.

SHOULD I LOCK OR FLOAT?
Unless you are going to closing and you have to lock your rate, I feel that it is ok to float your rate. There will be some volatility so don't put your blinders on and ignore the market, but overall the risk should be outwieghed by the reward. Let it ride!

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