As I write this the end of 2013 is here. This year has brought about many changes and I’d like to update you on those affecting the Mortgage business, as well as my personal updates.
The State of Mortgage Lending
Rates fluctuated up and down within a fairly narrow range all year, but were steadily rising since May. We now see most mortgage rates in the mid-to high 4’s depending on loan term, loan amount, and property occupancy.
The biggest change coming up for 2014 is the new requirements vis-à-vis Frank Dodd for “Qualified Mortgages” which are loans with specific characteristics leading to a high probability of payback. Meaning, goodbye to most interest-only loans and hello to strict income qualifying ratios, and fully amortizing loans.
Purchase business continued to pick up this year in the face of rising home values and still relatively low interest rates. Next year should prove to show us more of the same, with rates steadily rising.
Steve and I bought a home in September, in Dana Point. We have a nice ocean view from the hills above Dana Point Harbor. We moved into the home in October after painting and installing new flooring (www.MacFlooringServices.com) but we still have a lot to do, to include Kitchen and bathroom upgrades. My friends tell me Rome wasn’t built in a day and it will just take time! We’ve had fun buying new (and some consignment) furniture. My favorite is our Restoration Hardware dining table of salvaged boatwood. It’s different!
Unfortunately we also lost my mother in October after a prolonged illness. At the age of 88, she had a long and full life and is dearly missed. She was my best friend, and best sounding board for many many years. Sort of encyclopedic, she was a great source of information. I’ve been receiving her New Yorker Magazine and now I know how she kept up on so much! She read voraciously and was in the middle of one of Proust’s novels.
My son Kenny is working at his Alma Mater Marlboro College in Vermont as an Admissions Counselor and enjoying his work which allows him some travel (yes even here to the West Coast) on recruiting trips. We got to see him here in mid-October.
My daughter Katie and her Paul are planning their wedding in April in Palm Springs which will involve a mass exodus for many of his relatives (over 150) from Wisconsin. It should be a great party and beautiful wedding. She continues to coach water polo at a local high school and for her own club, and is now teaching Barre classes at the local Pure Barre.
Last but not least, my eldest son Drew had a great season of fishing this year on his sport fisher The Pacific Queen, www.pacific-queen.com and currently has his boat in dry dock in Ventura for winter repairs. He and Mary Grace are very busy with their my grandson Theo, who turned one on December 16th. What a charmer he is!
Thanksgiving was quiet since all our kids were celebrating elsewhere. We had a quiet evening at my favorite Wine Bistro. www.winebistrodp.com We were joined by Steve’s sister Kerry and her husband Chuck.
Steve and I were in Dallas over Halloween, and also had a fun trip to Dallas for his office Christmas party this month. I was prepared for the worst in terms of weather, but it was actually warm – in the 70’s – and lovely during my visit. I was able to complete my dreaded continuing education on mortgage fraud and regulations, so all in all it was a very successful trip. Dinners out included CBD Provisions, the new restaurant in The Joule www.thejouledallas.com where we enjoyed a pig’s head(!) Hmmm, not sure I’d recommend it for the faint of heart…or stomach! It was interesting…
We also enjoyed a great meal at Nick and Sam’s in Uptown. I had their foie gras, which is now illegal in California, but happily readily available in Texas. www.nick-sams.com This is a quintessential Uptown steakhouse with a great bar and chef. I bumped into some out of town visitors – well, they bumped into me, and I knew they weren’t from Dallas since they didn’t apologize. It’s true! Dallasites are extremely polite people! All in all a wonderful time. Here is the view from Steve’s condo:
I wish all of you a fabulous NEW YEAR!