Easy Pumpkin Fluff Dip

Keep the holiday guests occupied and their appetites at bay with this simple but delicious appetizer with the flavor of the season.  Served with apples, pretzels, or cinnamon graham crackers (to name just a few of our favorite options), this dip is super easy to make and memorable to your taste buds!

8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
8 oz cream cheese, softened
5 oz package vanilla pudding mix
15 oz can solid pack pumpkin
tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix wet ingredients in a bowl, then mix in dry ingredients. Stir well and refrigerate until cold. Serve with gingersnaps, cinnamon graham crackers, vanilla wafers or fruit slices. Serve in a hollowed out pumpkin for extra table appeal!

St. Charles named one of America’s best cities to live

To determine America’s best cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the 550 areas measured by the U.S. Census Bureau with populations of 65,000 or more.

Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s 50 best cities to live.

47. St. Charles, Missouri  (Wall street Link)

> Median household income: $52,330
> Unemployment rate, 2013: 5.70%
> Median home value: $171,300
> Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 151.4
> Average commuter travel time: 20.0 minutes

St. Charles is northwest of St. Louis, across the Missouri River. The city includes the St. Charles Historic District, which lies along South Main Street and the city’s riverfront. According to the National Parks Service, St. Charles “served as the final embarkation point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.”

St. Charles is a relatively safe city. The violent crime rate was just 151 incidents per 100,000 people, less than half the national rate of 387 incidents. The city also has a relatively affordable cost of living relative to other top-rated cities and, as of last year, an unemployment rate of 5.7%. By contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate was 7.4% last year. However, between 2011 and 2013, the city had effectively flat employment growth.

Read the full article at KSDK

Mortgage Time

Mortgage Market News for the week ending September 26, 2014

Compliments of

Melinda Movick

Job Title

Mortgage Advisor | Direct: 314.960.9084

Personal NMLS #1234567890 | Company NMLS #0987654321

www.mortgageadvisoronline.com

2012 and 2013 Five Star Professional Service Award

Providing Personalized Service to Every Client

NMLS ID: 253071 | MO ID: 340-MLO

    

Big Events Ahead

Sandwiched between weeks containing the highest level of significant economic events, investors took a breather this week. In addition, the economic data released this week contained few surprises. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week with little change.Between last week’s Fed meeting and next week’s European Central Bank (ECB) meeting and US Employment report, investors have a great deal of information to digest. This week’s news, however, contained little to cause investors to shift their outlook for the performance of the economy. Durable Orders, Jobless Claims, and revisions to second quarter GDP all came in very close to the consensus forecasts. While there were several volatile sessions during the week, the increases offset the decreases.The housing data released this week continued to be encouraging. August New Home Sales jumped 18% from July to the highest level since May 2008. Existing Home Sales, which include roughly 90% of the market, did decline slightly in August, but this followed four straight months of gains. With mortgage rates remaining relatively low, home sales are near the highest levels of the year.
Next week, there will be a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting on Thursday. The policy announcement from the ECB likely will have an influence on US mortgage rates. In the US, the important monthly Employment report will be released on Friday. As usual, this data on the number of jobs, the Unemployment Rate, and wage inflation will be the most highly anticipated economic data of the month. Before that, Pending Home Sales, Core PCE inflation, and Personal Income will be released on Monday. ISM Manufacturing and ADP Employment Change will come out on Wednesday. ISM Services, Construction Spending, Chicago PMI Manufacturing, and Consumer Confidence will round out a busy schedule.

 

Remodeling Rising: More Home Owners Spruce Up Properties

An index that measures the state of the remodeling market rose three points in the second quarter of this year, regaining the momentum started in 2013 but lost in the first quarter of this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index. It marked the fifth consecutive quarter for the index to have a reading over 50. Any reading above 50 indicates more remodelers are reporting that market activity is higher than lower.

“With many home owners on better financial footing, home remodeling has become more popular,” says Paul Sullivan, NAHB’s Remodelers chair. “The completion of postponed work has helped remodelers in all regions regain confidence in the remodeling market.”

Remodeling jobs valued at $25,000 or more rebounded to 54 on the index, which is the same level at the end of 2013. Smaller remodeling jobs and maintenance and repair jobs were at reading s of 56 and 58, respectively, on the index. Remodelers reported more favorable conditions on calls for bids, amount of work committed for the next three months, backlog of jobs, and appointments for proposals.

“The recent improvement in the job market has helped restore remodelers’ confidence after a dip in the first quarter that was probably in part weather-related,” says David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist. “As home owners feel more secure about their economic situation, they become more willing to undertake remodeling projects – especially larger, discretionary projects. In addition, fewer new home builders are looking to remodeling as a way supplement their revenue, and this has somewhat reduced competition for remodeling projects.”

A recent realtor.com® survey of more than 1,500 home owners showed that 67 percent of consumers say they’re planning a home renovation within the next six months, and they’re planning to spend more money on their renovations than last year. The most common budget range for home improvements was between $2,001 and $5,000 and the most popular areas to renovate were the kitchen, bathrooms, backyards or patios, and the exterior of the home, according to realtor.com®’s Home Improvement Survey.

Source: National Association of Home Builders and “Majority of Home Owners Planning to Renovate,” REALTOR® Magazine Daily News (July 18, 2014) and http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/07/25/remodeling-rising-more-home-owners-spruce-up-properties

Conflict in Ukraine and Middle East

Geopolitical events were the primary influence on mortgage rates again this week, while the economic data had little impact. After a quiet weekend, investors were willing to take on a little more risk early in the week. Shocking news on two fronts caused an abrupt reversal on Thursday, however, and mortgage rates ended the week just slightly higher.

When a conflict breaks out which could affect global markets, investors generally respond with a “flight to safety”. Uncertainty created by the threat of escalation causes investors to reduce the level of risk in their portfolios. This typically involves shifting from stocks to relatively safer assets such as gold and bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

Heading into last weekend, investors were concerned about the possibility of an escalation in the conflict between Israel and Gaza, so they shifted to safer assets. When there was little change in the situation early this week, investors unwound these positions, pushing rates higher. Then on Thursday, Israel announced a ground offensive in Gaza and a Malaysian passenger plane was shot down in Ukraine. These events caused investors to quickly return to safer assets, offsetting much of the earlier rise in rates.

In the US, there was mixed news from the housing sector. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index revealed that builder confidence jumped sharply in July to the highest level since January. Less positive, the Housing Starts data released this week, which covers the month of June, showed a decline of 9% from May. This data can be quite volatile from month to month, though.

Shared by:

Melinda Movick
Mortgage Advisor
Frontier Mortgage
2012 and 2013 Five Star Professional Service Award
Providing Personalized Service to Every Client
314-960-9084
Fax: 1-888-545-4808
NMLS ID: 253071
MO ID : 340-MLO