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  Provided to you Exclusively by Monica Jones, CMPS
Monica Jones, CMPS
Monica Jones, CMPS
Certified Mortgage Planner
RPM Mortgage, Inc.
376 First Street
Benicia, CA 94510
Mobile: 925-339-1764
Direct: 707-361-5506
Fax: 866-660-3788
Email: Mjones@rpm-mtg.com
Website: www.MortgagesByMonica.com
  RPM Mortgage, Inc.
For the Month of April 2018 --- Vol. 13, Issue 4
 
  IN THIS ISSUE...  
     
 

"It's coming down. Snow pains on the motor veins." Trip Shakespeare. Inclement weather didn't do much to help home construction figures in February. We'll hammer out this story and more, including:

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends, family or co-workers who may find it helpful.

 
 
  Housing Hits Highs and Lows  
     
 

Home construction data disappointed in February, while home sales saw mixed results.

February brought a drop in Housing Starts, as they declined 7 percent from January to an annual rate of 1.236 million units. This was down from the 1.329 million reported in January, according to the Commerce Department. Single-family starts, which account for the biggest share of the housing market, rose 2.9 percent from January but multi-dwelling units plunged 28 percent.

February Building Permits, a sign of future construction, fell 5.7 percent from the previous month. For buyers struggling with limited inventory across much of the country, this report was disappointing after strong gains were seen in January.

Home sales showed differing results in February. Sales of existing homes bounced back after two straight months of declines, while new home sales fell for the third straight month. February Existing Home Sales rose 3 percent from January to an annual rate of 5.54 million, the National Association of REALTORS® reported. However, New Home Sales edged lower by 0.6 percent from January to an annualized rate of 618,000, just below expectations, the Commerce Department reported.

Inventory also told a different story, as unsold inventory of existing homes was at a 3.4-month supply, well below the 6-month supply that is seen as normal. Inventory of new homes fared better, with a 5.9-month supply of new homes for sale on the market.

Though home loan rates have trended higher this year, they remain attractive and near historic lows. However, the lack of inventory plus continued low home loan rates will likely make for a competitive spring buying season across much of the country.

If you have any questions regarding home loan rates or products, reach out at any time.

 
 
  What to Watch: Personal Consumption Expenditures  
     
 

Though the Fed expects inflation to rise this year, consumer inflation remained tame in February.

What is the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) report? PCE measures price changes in consumer goods and services. The Core reading strips out volatile food and energy prices and is more closely-watched. It is also the Fed's favorite reading on inflation.

What's happened recently? The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that PCE and Core PCE rose 0.2 percent from January to February, both in line with estimates. The Core reading was just below the 0.3 percent recorded in January. Core PCE came in at 1.6 percent on an annual basis in February, just above the 1.5 percent recorded in January. However, the reading is still well below the Fed's target range of 2 percent.

What's the bottom line? At its March meeting, the Fed acknowledged inflation remains low, but it is expected to rise in the coming months as tax cuts further stimulate the economy. Inflation reduces the value of fixed investments like Mortgage Bonds, and home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds. So if inflation does rise, a rise in home loan rates typically follows. However, many factors impact the direction of the markets, including other economic reports, possible tariffs and trade wars. It's always important to keep an eye on the overall picture.

I'll continue to monitor inflation news and economic reports closely, but if you have any immediate questions, please call or email today.

 
 
  Disposal Do's and Don'ts  
     
 

While disposal units can handle almost anything you throw at them, they do have limits. Here are some items it's better to bin than spin.

Coffee grounds can build up in your pipes over time and are a common cause of drain blockages. Dispose of grounds in your trashcan or compost pile. This includes the grounds at the bottom of your mug.

Pasta, rice and flour all expand when exposed to water, coating the inside of your pipes like glue that traps other food particles and disposables trying to make their way down the drain.

Pits, seeds and fibrous skins aren't easy for disposal units to handle and may overheat the motor and dull the shredder. Remember: If you can't chew it, your disposal unit probably can't pulverize it.

Produce stickers can easily fall down the drain when washing fruits and vegetables. Remember to remove them before rinsing, as these don't dissolve in water and can clog pipes as well as block screens, filters and pumps at water treatment facilities. As a rule, non-food items should never be sent down a drain.

Egg shells have sharp, hard edges that, even when pulverized, can attract other smaller particles sent down afterward and cause blockages. They are, however, excellent materials for composting.

Cleaning products should never be poured down the drain. Aside from being potentially hazardous to the ecosystem, they may also contain phosphates, antibacterial agents and other chemical compounds that cannot be removed by water treatment facilities.

Pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications contain additional chemical substances that also make their way into the local water supply, creating a growing problem. Your local pharmacy has access to medical waste disposal units and will usually accept unwanted or expired medications.

These tips will help keep your pipes clean and your garbage disposal unit running smoothly for years to come!

Sources: Reader's Digest, Mr. Rooter Plumbing

 
 
  Q&A: Battle of the Bag  
     
 

QUESTION: How can I make plastic trash bags easier to release from the garbage bin?

ANSWER: When an empty trash bag is placed in the bin, air becomes trapped beneath. When you go to remove the filled bag, the air creates a vacuum that clings to the bag and makes it more difficult to remove. Try the steps below to prevent the suction struggle:

  1. Before you begin: Empty the trashcan. Grab a power drill, a 1/4-inch drill bit and safety glasses.
  2. Select one to two drill locations about an inch above the bottom of the can or removable liner. Place a strip of painter's tape over the drill locations. If your bin does not have a liner, make sure the holes are in an out-of-site location.
  3. Drill holes into the taped areas and remove the tape once finished. Check out these detailed instructions here.

The holes will allow the trapped air to escape, ensuring you finally win the battle of the bag!

Source: Porch.com

 
 

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