Mortgage Interest Rates

Mortgage Interest Rates Are Going Up

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rate has jumped up.  The last few weeks we’ve seen 3.94% to the current higher rate of 4.03%.   Interest rates had been hovering around 3.5% since June, and many are wondering why there has been such a significant increase so quickly. 

Why are mortgage rates going up?  Basically, the better the economy, the higher interest rates will go.

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Housing Inventory Shortage

Low Housing Inventory is Still Posing a Challenge

The housing crisis of the past is finally in dissipating as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery.  Home values are up, home sales are up and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) are at their lowest mark in almost a decade.  This year has been great for real estate and it will continue.

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Have Buyers, Homes Needed

Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now continues to be a great time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.


The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are up 2.4% over last year, and have increased year-over-year now for 22 of the last 25 consecutive months. Lawrence Yun, NAR‘s Chief Economist, had this to say:

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WI Homeownership Rate 2015

Percentage of Homeownership by Decade and State

There has been a lot of talk about the falling homeownership rate in the United States.  In December 2004, the percentage of those owning a home reached an all-time high of 69.4%, with the 2015 reported rate at 62.9%.  When comparing these 2 figures, there is some room for concern regarding the difference.

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Renting vs Buying a Home

Buying is Now 37.7% Cheaper than Renting

The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that home-ownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 17.4% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 53.2% less expensive in Miami & West Palm Beach (FL) and 37.7% nationwide!

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Randy & Family

The Game Didn’t Matter!

With the recent end of the college basketball season, I smiled as I listened to the national sports broadcasters lament that the TV ratings this year were nowhere close to what the ratings had been just last year for the Wisconsin-Duke NCAA championship game.

So let me take you back a moment, and remind you that the ratings were so high a year ago because a Kentucky team came into the NCAA tournament with an unbeaten record — until they played and lost to our Wisconsin Badgers.  And that victory over Kentucky propelled the Badgers, for the second year in a row, into the national championship game.

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Need a service professional?

“I Gotta Guy!”

I know that just that headline brings smiles to many of you!  Over the years, whenever someone has pointed out a problem in a home, I almost routinely reply:  “I gotta guy!”  And after nearly three decades of home sales, I truly do have a guy – or woman – for every issue!

When you’re in business as long as I’ve been, you learn very quickly who the people are that you trust, that will treat your clients fairly and that are skilled at what they do.

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Window Cleaning

Clean Windows, Clear Impression

NOTE:  I’m delighted to bring you this timely article on window and gutter cleaning and power washing—as spring cleaning seems to be on everyone’s mind right now.  This article is from a good friend, Dylan Dresen, the General Manager of Clear Vision Cleaning, LLC, a local family-run company that I have used personally.  They are awesome!  And read to the end to find out about a money-saving deal just for you! Then call or email Dylan at 608-516-1172.

—Randy Lenz, Broker/Owner, NextHome Metro Group

It only takes a matter of seconds for a first impression to be formed. When you arrive at a residence, what’s the first thing you see? The physical appearance of the house, right? First impressions are huge! Whether it’s the house itself or the property the house sits on, first impressions are formed and not easily changed. When it comes to buying, selling, or maintaining a house, appearance is key.

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Austin Adler - Life Insurance & Homeownership

Life Insurance & Homeownership

NOTE: Austin Adler is a Financial Services Professional with MassMutual Financial Group, specializing in life and long term disability insurance. Austin takes the confusion out of insurance!  He’s a good friend and someone I respect greatly.  He provides some “must know” info below.  Check it out, then give Austin a call at 608-828-4327 or send him a note at!

—Randy Lenz, Broker/Owner, NextHome Metro Group

By Austin Adler, MassMutual Financial Group

Life insurance and home ownership may seem like they don’t belong on the same plate, but the reality is they go together just like peas and carrots. The truth is, when you go through the processes and commitment of buying a home, life insurance inevitably comes up as part of your asset protection. It’s not surprising for first-time home buyers to not carry any life insurance whatsoever.  “Why do I need life insurance?  If something happens to me I don’t really care what the next day looks like.”  This statement can be frequently heard from first-timers before they settle down to buy a home.

Debt changes everything.

Every year families lose homes when the person who paid the mortgage is no longer around and life insurance is just one way to help make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

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Mortgage Pre-Approval with Rob Miller | Providence Home Lending

Why Mortgage Pre-Approval is Important

NOTE:  Rob Miller is a lender who cares deeply about his clients and is available when you need him—not when it’s convenient for him!  Rob is there for you on weekdays, weeknights and weekends; whenever YOU want to buy a home!  He takes great pride in education within his field, and has a special dedication to loan programs for veterans. He shares some great advice on preapproval letters below!

—Randy Lenz, Broker/Owner, NextHome Metro Group

By Rob Miller, MLOP, Providence Home Lending

What is mortgage pre-approval and why is it important?

This is a popular question. The short answer is that pre-approval puts you on the right path to buying your home. Knowing your financial situation and strengths before you go house-hunting and propose offers will get you on your way to success.

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