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  Provided to you Exclusively by Gregory Pavlich
Gregory Pavlich
Gregory Pavlich
Resource Mortgage Corporation
Office: 303-444-1200
Mobile: 303-717-1359
Fax: 303-444-6817
Email: gpavlich@rmcboulder.com
Website: www.rmcboulder.com
  Resource Mortgage Corporation
For the Month of June 2024 --- Vol. 18, Issue 6
  In This Issue  

"The home should be the treasure chest of living." — Le Corbusier

Purchasing a home and moving to a new neighborhood are significant milestones for many. In this issue, we cover these topics along with the following:

What to Watch: In just the past two to three weeks, the U.S. economy has seen a slowdown in economic and job growth. Slowing growth in both sectors usually pushes borrowing costs lower and could continue in the months ahead if this trend lingers.

Housing: When purchasing a house, it's as important to consider the neighborhood you're moving into as it is the actual home.

Home improvement: With energy-efficient products and services increasing in popularity, more homeowners are taking on eco-friendly home improvements to save money and add value.

Q&A: Home inspections are critical to ensure you're purchasing a sound home. There are several important factors you'll want to assess.

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

  What to Watch  

Economic Slowdown and Job Growth Decline

In just the past two to three weeks, the U.S. economy has seen a slowdown in economic and job growth. Slowing growth in both sectors usually pushes borrowing costs lower and could continue in the months ahead if this trend lingers.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or economic growth, for Q1 2024 fell to 1.3% after a 4.9% rise in Q3 2023 and 3.4% for Q4 2023, which was the smallest increase in almost two years. So, growth is decelerating. Forecasts for growth in the current quarter aren't much better, as evidenced by the Atlanta Fed at 1.8% while the New York Fed sees it at 1.7%.

Car sales fell in Q1 as auto dealers had to lower prices to fuel sales hurt by high interest rates. Consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of economic activity, slowed due in part to ongoing inflation pressures, which weighed on GDP. If the forecasts of around the mid-1% range hold true for Q2 2024, spending won't be much better. However, heading into the summer, consumers could be spending more given an increase in outdoor activities.

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book Survey, a qualitative review of economic conditions, recently showed that the economy was growing in May, but headwinds from high interest rates are slowing consumer spending. The keywords "are slowing consumer spending."

The job market has seen some cooling over the past month or so, with the closely watched manufacturing sector in the spotlight. The May reading for the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index contracted for the second consecutive month, meaning that people are losing jobs. The April Jobs Report was lower than expected, and while May exceeded expectations, within the numbers it showed many weaknesses. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) recorded the fewest wanted signs in three years. 

Bottom line: Interest rates still have pressure from heavy note and bond supply from the Treasury, along with inflation pressures, which hurt rates. Fed Chair Powell has stated that the Central Bank will not have an appetite to cut rates unless it sees “unexpected weakness” in the labor market. We may very well be seeing that unexpected weakness happening now.

Source: Mortgage Market Guide

  Housing News  

Top 10 Factors To Consider When Choosing a Neighborhood

Where you choose to buy a house is one of the biggest decisions you'll make alongside purchasing the home itself. Here are 10 factors you'll want to consider when choosing your new neighborhood.

Location: Overall accessibility, transportation options, and even the climate can vary between locations. For this reason, it's important to weigh your options if you're deciding between areas with significant differences.

Budget: Start your search in neighborhoods with housing prices that fit solidly within your budget without stretching you too thin. You'll also want to consider any additional costs associated with your home purchase, such as homeowners' association or other fees if you're considering a condo or deed-restricted community.

Costs: Purchasing a home may also come with additional costs beyond your mortgage. Property taxes, utilities, groceries, entertainment, and the overall cost of living can vary significantly between neighborhoods.

Crime and safety: Crime and safety ratings should be on your list. Research local emergency and community resources, such as medical, fire, and police services, to make sure you have the security you need in a neighborhood.

Schools: If you have kids, you'll also want to do your research on schools. Assess rankings, available programs, and extracurriculars, along with the district's reputation and individual schools. You might also look at different types of schools, including public, charter, or private schools.

Amenities: Make a checklist of your must-have amenities, including shopping, dining, entertainment, parks, and recreation options. As you look for your new home, go down the list to see what's available in each neighborhood.

Proximity: Proximity to family, friends, school, and work is another factor to consider. Think about walkability, driving time, fuel costs, and how close you want to be to important amenities.

Community environment: Get a feel for the overall community. Friendly neighbors and a diverse population can add to the appeal for many homebuyers. Consider the noise levels and overall comfort of the area you're looking at.

Pet-friendliness: For homebuyers with pets, an area with clean and safe walking paths, parks, and other pet-friendly amenities are top priorities. It's also important to consider any potential breed restrictions.

Value and growth: Do some research on the potential value and growth for the neighborhood. This is important because you want to buy in an area with strong anticipated appreciation in case you decide to sell your home in the future.

Weighing these factors against your priorities and budget will help you find the neighborhood that's the perfect fit for years to come.

Sources: Statefarm.com, Tchabitat.org

  Home Improvement  

Eco-Friendly Home Improvements That Save You Money

Going green at home is a win-win. Not only is it better for the environment, but making eco-friendly upgrades can help reduce your monthly energy bills and boost your home's value. Here are a few eco-friendly home improvements that can save you money.

Energy-efficient appliances: Replacing older appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers with new ENERGY STAR-certified models can cut down your usage and costs. An energy-efficient refrigerator, for example, uses much less electricity than older models. 

Smart thermostats: These Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats automatically adjust the temperature when you're away to lower heating and cooling costs. You can also control them remotely from your smartphone for even more efficiency. Utility companies may also offer rebates for installing smart thermostats, helping offset the upfront cost.

Insulation: Upgrading your home's insulation keeps cool air inside during the summer and prevents heat from escaping in the winter, minimizing HVAC energy needs. Proper insulation can also help boost your home's value with the potential of lower energy bills for prospective buyers.

With a few eco-friendly upgrades, you can gain immediate cost savings and add long-term value to your home.

Sources: Realestate.usnews.com, Washingtonpost.com

  What's Assessed During Home Inspections?

QUESTION: What are the most important things to look for during a home inspection?

ANSWER: During your home inspection, some of the most crucial areas to scrutinize are the foundation, roof, electrical system, plumbing, and HVAC system.

An inspector will examine the foundation for any cracks, settling, or moisture issues that could lead to expensive repairs later. If the home has a basement or crawlspace, inspectors will look for any leaks, cracks, or other issues. On the roof, they'll check for wear and tear, leaks, or missing shingles that may require replacement. Inside, they'll analyze the electrical panel and wiring to ensure everything is up to code and functioning safely.

For plumbing, they'll check for leaks, water pressure, and any signs of deteriorating pipes. Inspectors will also assess heating and cooling systems to ensure everything runs optimally. A home inspection also covers the overall condition and age of major features such as windows, doors, siding, and appliances. Catching potential problems early allows you to negotiate repairs with the seller or walk away if issues are too significant.

Source: Lowermybills.com


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