Weekly Roundup – September 24

September 25, 2020


As the few homes for sale on the California market continue to get snatched up faster than fresh Krispy Kremes on Fat Tuesday, we’re taking a look at how to manage the risks of buying, moving, borrowing, and more…

An obscurely titled agency’s obscurely titled fee gets delayed

What’s this all about?

The answer may lie in the job market. Though it doesn’t directly affect anybody just yet, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the above-referenced FHFA) imposed a fee on mortgage refis — the Adverse Market Refinance Fee (AMRF) — as a ballast for the sector. What you need to know is that, though it was set to be implemented Sept 1, it’s delayed until Dec 1. 👌

What it means

The fee is intended to offset $6 billion in projected losses — largely related to loans in forbearance and the anticipated rate of defaults as unemployment remains high and economic uncertainty persists. Lots of people don’t like it, obviously.

For borrowers looking to refinance their mortgages, now is the time to lock in a lower rate before the fee goes into effect. So if that’s you, hop to it!

How Rewarding Is the Risk?

What’s this all about? 

With rates lower than ever, it may seem like a no-brainer to take on additional risk: buying a new home for example. But the financial environment is a bit more complicated than that. The yield on 10-year treasury notes — the safe but slow-to-grow investment choice — is hovering around 0.7%. During the last recession, it averaged about 2.4%, according to FactSet.

What it means 

Banks are tightening lending criteria, leaving riskier borrowers out of the party. Oh, and remember the pandemic? “Don’t chase yield without being mindful of the risk,” said Malik Lee, a certified financial planner based in Atlanta. “We’re still not out of the water with Covid. I’d caution people: Don’t get greedy.”

Bottom line: do your homework. A clear-eyed assessment of your financial goals and the associated cost-benefit analysis is critical to coming out on top.

On the lighter side…

More on those awards, plus how to stream the show if you’re one of the few without Netflix.

How to throw your very own family field day

With school back in session and the weather cooling again, celebrate fall with an epic backyard hangout.

Eat this low-radar longevity-boosting fruit & get healthier

Introducing the latest fad in fruits — but with a name like bitter melon, well, let us know how that works out.

Architect Couple’s Sun-Drenched L.A. Courtyard House
Go on, drool over the Le Corbusier lighting and pink+green bath in this Silver Lake (no surprise) home.

One more thing…

That about does it. See you next week! 👋

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