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  Provided to you Exclusively by Lillian Wong
Lillian Wong
Lillian Wong
Sr. Loan Officer
NMLS ID 630337
Lillian Wong & Associates
Commerce Home Mortgage
Office: 480-650-5412
Email: lillian@lillianwong.com
Website: www.lillianwong.net
  Lillian Wong & Associates<br>Commerce Home Mortgage
For the Month of November 2018 --- Vol. 13, Issue 11
 
  In This Issue...  
     
 

Me and you and you and me, no matter how they toss the dice, it had to be." The only two entities that are happier together than The Turtles are Home Depot and the thriving housing market. This company has seen its stock thrive over the past few years as housing takes off. But will it last? We explore this close relationship in this issue. Other topics include the following:

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

 
 
  Home Depot and Lowe's Stocks Serve as Indicators of a Healthy Housing Market
     
 

Many factors affect consumer confidence: the housing market, employment, wages, and performance in the stock market. Over the past several months, many of these factors have shown positive signs, although the retail industry as a whole continues to struggle.

While retail performance and employment tend to affect mortgage rates, instances where the housing market affects retail performance have arisen. Both Lowe's and Home Depot are significantly dependent on the housing market, a situation which forces their investors to keep an eye on mortgage rates, interest rates, and home buying.

During the early part of this year, stock from Home Depot and Lowe's thrived. Credit Suisse's Seth Sigman said that Home Depot is one of the "best positioned retailers, with a superb management team." Additionally, Sigman noted that Lowe's has "significant optionality, with plenty of low hanging opportunities for improvement over the next year." Both Home Depot and Lowe's have seen significant stock growth this year, with prices reaching $222 and $115, respectively.

However, Sigman downgraded Home Depot from an outperforming investment to a neutral investment in October. Lowe's was also given a neutral ranking. News of the downgrades dropped Home Depot stock prices 4.5 percent to $184.87 and Lowe's stock prices 3.6 percent to $102.30.

A downgrade alone doesn't mean that the stocks are performing poorly, but they may not be as strong moving forward if the housing market starts to slow. While Home Depot and Lowe's experienced a stock dip last week, they will likely stabilize, but they will only ever be as stable as the housing market.

When people buy homes, they shop at Home Depot and Lowe's to renovate and personalize their homes. When people sell houses, they shop at Home Depot and Lowe's so that they can fix up their homes for the market. When people are wary about selling or don't want to buy homes, fewer people visit these stores, which leads to a drop in sales.

For now, the housing market is still going strong, and almost all homeowners will still need Home Depot and Lowe's when a toilet breaks or when they want to repaint rooms. However, it's important to remember that these stocks serve as a bellwether for the overall housing market. If investors in Home Depot and Lowe's start getting nervous, then you may want to look around at other confidence factors to see what's affecting the market.

If you have any questions regarding home loan rates or products, give me a call. I'm always happy to help.

 
 
  What to Watch: Lumber Prices Increase Home Builder's Index  
     
 

Along with the stock market, mortgage experts look at myriad other indices and rankings to determine the health of housing in America. One of these examples comes from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). As of October 2018, the index sits at 68 (unchanged from last year), and anything greater than a 50 is considered good.

This index is high because of the strong demand for builders. More developers are designing neighborhoods and apartment complexes, which require building labor, supplies, and lumber. One of the main reasons that the index rose in the last quarter was due to lumber prices dropping. Home builders could acquire their materials for less money, which increases their profits.

Within this index, buyer traffic and sales expectations for homes both remained high, proving that the NAHB believes the market for new homes will stay strong in the near future.

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

 
 
  Why Your Home Needs a Mudroom This Winter  
     
 

It may not seem like it, but winter is already creeping in across the United States. Some cities have already experienced snow flurries. Snow means that water, leaves, and all types of debris will get tracked into your home - the beautiful home that you spent so much time designing and cleaning. You need a mudroom.

Mudrooms are great for preventing water and dirt from entering your home, but they also keep boots, coats, and other winter accessories in one location. You don't want to find a wet coat draped over a couch or a scarf on the kitchen table. When kids and adults alike enter your home through a mudroom, they can place their outerwear in one location and enter the inside of your home clean and comfortable.

Homeowners who don't have built-in mudrooms can take heart in some good news. You can make one yourself without any construction. While you're welcome to build a mudroom into your home, consider turning an existing space into an area to minimize the spread of dirt.

Start by identifying areas that are easy to clean if they get dirty. Some families set up a mudroom space in their garage or share space with their laundry room if it has direct access to the outdoors. With this arrangement in place, it doesn't matter what the kids track inside; you can easily clean a tile or cement floor.

You can also create a high-end mudroom to use when you entertain guests. Look for high-traffic areas that people use to enter your home. You can create a sitting area directly inside with a few pieces of furniture - including a coat rack, sitting area, and place for boots - or you can turn a closet into a mudroom of its own if you have enough space. This option is more appealing for guests instead of having them come through your laundry area to enter your house.

A mudroom is a great way to prevent dirt and water from getting tracked through your house while giving you a design opportunity to personalize your home.

Sources: Real Simple

 
 
  Q&A: How Will Solar Panels Affect My Roof?  
     
 

QUESTION: We want to add solar panels to our home, but our roof is 10 years old. Should we replace the roof first?

ANSWER: More people than ever are investing in solar energy for their homes. They can save money on energy bills while helping the environment. However, investing in solar panels isn't always an easy decision, especially when you consider overall costs.

Many roofs need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years. If your roof is showing wear, then it may be in your best interest to replace it before you install solar panels. If you install the panels and have to replace your roof in five years, you will likely have to pay extra to have the solar panels removed and replaced.

Replacing your roof before you add solar panels can seem like a frustrating additional expense, but many panels are meant to last for decades. If you're still not sure that this investment is the home change you want, wait a few years to save for a roof replacement and then go solar.

Stay tuned for more updates on the housing market, consumer behavior, and the latest mortgage news you need for your portfolio.

Source: EnergySage Up

 
 

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