Federal Reserve is and does what? “Sets Interest Rates”

Simplified: Mortgage, Real Estate & Economics

Janet Yellen confirmed as Federal Reserve chairman//

The Senate confirmed Janet L. Yellen on Monday as the next leader of the Federal Reserve, placing her in charge of ensuring that the nation’s economy makes a full recovery.

The Senate confirmed Janet Yellen as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, elevating an advocate of fighting unemployment and a backer of the central bank’s efforts to spur the economy with low interest rates and massive bond purchases.

Her nomination passed the chamber 56 to 26 on its first day back in session after winter recess despite opposition from some Republicans who have advocated for greater oversight of the central bank. Yellen, currently second in command, will be the first woman to be in the top job at the Fed when she takes office Feb. 1.


What is the Federal Reserve?

It is the nation’s central bank, composed of a…

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Super Man Caves for the Super Bowl

Whether you bleed Broncos blue and orange or are a proud 12th Man supporter of the Seahawks, or even if you’re just tuning in for the commercials, we’ve rounded up our annual list of awesome man caves — all ready for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Viewing essentials

The “go big or go home” mantra is taken to heart in this eclectic man cave. Decked out with a bar, pool table, sports memorabilia — and green turf for carpet — this space has all the game-viewing essentials.

Cave dweller

Rustic elegance is the phrase that comes to mind when you step into this lodge’s game room, designed by Locati Architects. Before the big game, you could rustle up something to drink or challenge a friend to pool. As kickoff nears, fans can open two wooden panels over the fireplace to reveal the flat-screen TV.

Game on!

Forget football and start your own competition…

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How Rising Mortgage Rates May Impact You

While mortgage rates fluctuate daily and the interest rate you’ll pay on a home loan depends on multiple factors, most mortgage experts anticipate an increase in average mortgage rates by the end of 2014.

How Rising Mortgage Rates May Impact You

Before you panic, it’s important to recognize that mortgage rate predictions don’t always pan out. Actions by the Federal Reserve and the economy’s performance could send mortgage rates up or down at any time. Most economists predict mortgage rates will rise by the end of this year to somewhere between 5.0 percent and 5.5 percent. While of course any rate increase has an impact on your monthly mortgage payments, it’s important to recognize that mortgage rates above 5 percent are still historically low. Before the Federal Reserve began its programs to keep mortgage rates as low as possible in response to the housing and financial crisis, mortgage rates had rarely dropped to 6 percent or lower.

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Why NOW is the Best Time to sell your Home

2013 was the third best year ever for Dane County home sales since 1991.  For the 29th straight month, sales were greater than the same month one year prior.  In comparison to 2012, sales of single family homes and condominiums were 25% higher.  This is music to the ears of anyone having to or consider selling their home.

In addition to a brisk sales trend, the number of homes for sale is at an all time low.  Simply put, demand is outpacing supply.  Below is a graph showing you ‘supply’ (blue) and ‘demand’ (pink) for Dane County.  Click on the photo for a larger image

Home Selling Graph

Currently, we have a pool of buyers waiting for the right home to hit the real estate market.   I would love to connect them to that!  Would you do me a favor?  If you know of anyone that is considering selling in the next year or two, would you connect us?

And to save anxious buyers time, I wanted to pass along my website.  From www.judyandcompany.com, buyers can view all real estate for sale, do their market research, save their favorite properties without the hassle of receiving phone calls from different Realtors.  Plus our data is current and updated daily, unlike Zillow or Trulia.    Please pass this website on!

Thank you for your support in business!

Judy Braund

When is it time to talk to a REALTOR®?

Toronto West Real Estate

Many people only see a doctor when they’re sick or have some other health concern. On the other hand, some people visit a doctor regularly for check-ups, to ask questions and get advice, and to maintain good health.

Which do you think is the better approach? Obviously, the second one!

The same thing is true when it comes to real estate. Even if you have no current plans to buy or sell a home, there are many reasons to talk to a REALTOR® regularly in order to maintain your good “real estate” health. For example, you can:

  • Get an assessment of the current market value of your home, so you can make an informed decision about whether to stay or move.
  • Ask about the state of the local real estate market (which may be vastly different than what you hear on the national news.)
  • Find out what homes are currently…

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Don’t Have Enough for a Down Payment? Try Mortgage Insurance

For many would-be homeowners, coming up with a down payment that’s 20 percent of the home loan they want just isn’t possible. And most lenders view a down payment below 20 percent as a sign that the prospective home buyer is a high risk. However, rather than not giving the buyer a loan, a lender may offer an alternative: mortgage insurance.

Mortgage Insurance Basics

Travis Saling, a loan officer with Team Home Loans in California, likens mortgage insurance to auto insurance. With auto insurance, everyone pays into a pool each month. If a customer gets into a wreck, the insurance company uses the pooled funds to cover the cost of repairs. With mortgage insurance, you’ll also pay into a pool to help the lender cover losses and costs if a homeowner defaults on their loan. Mortgage insurance also helps the lender offset risks and allows them to make loans to buyers with smaller…

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How to Avoid Housing Rental Scams

For most of us, the largest chunk of our income goes to paying for a roof over our heads. Whether you are renting or buying, you want to make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of. If you are a renter, there are some popular scams you need to watch out for.

How to Avoid Housing Rental Scams

Situations to Avoid

Illegal subleases are actually fairly common, especially in urban areas with a shortage of rental properties, like New York. A sublease is when you lease an apartment from a renter. An illegal sublease is when this isn’t allowed and is done anyway. Tenants of illegal subleases can be evicted or fined.

You also want to watch out for people who pose as legitimate landlords or agents and demand money before you sign a lease. They take the money, and you still don’t have a rental. Legitimate landlords and rental agents do not ask for…

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