Archives for September 2012

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Kurt Galitski’s Life In Costa Mesa

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Today’s Links

Kurt Galitski’s Life In Costa Mesa

Digest powered by RSS Digest

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Today’s Links

Kurt Galitski’s Life In Costa Mesa

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Two Cyclists Killed In Newport Beach

For many of you who may not know, I was personally hit by a car just over 16 mos ago, $57,000 later in medical bills here I am. Something needs to be done.

Cyclist Killed in Newport Coast Drive Hit-and-Run

Saturday, September 15, 2012, 5pm.

At about 3pm I was alerted to police cars and emergency vehicles cordoning off the bike-lane on northbound Newport Coast Drive at the exact top of the hill, between Pelican Hill Road and Vista Ridge. I pedaled over and was told by a Newport Beach police officer that a motorist hit a cyclist in the bike lane at 9:45am and did not stop. The cyclist, Catherine “Kit” Campion-Ritz of Irvine, died in a hospital a while later. A friend of mine, also a local physician, says Dr. Campion-Ritz was a pillar of the Newport Beach medical community.

This is the second motorist v. cyclist fatality in Newport Beach in the last 24 hours, following the tragic killing of Sarah Leaf who was run over by the driver of a truck at East Coast Highway and Bayside on Friday morning.

Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and we hope the Newport Beach Police Department will quickly find her killer.

Crime scene evidence: the debris field stretched a sickening distance from the point of impact
The northbound bike lane and right lane of Newport Coast Drive, cordoned off for the police investigation.
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Costa Mesa Real Estate Week In Review

In This Issue

Last Week in Review: The Fed announced another round of Quantitative Easing. What does this mean for home loan rates?

Forecast for the Week: A double dose of manufacturing news and a triple dose of housing news are ahead. Plus, how will the markets react to QE3?

View: Webcams are being used more and more in business these days. Don’t miss these tips for making the right impression.

Last Week in Review
Here we go again!  Last week, the Fed announced another round of Quantitative Easing (QE3). Read on to learn what QE is, why the Fed announced QE3…and what this means for home loan rates.

 What is Quantitative Easing?  Quantitative Easing is the concept of the Fed becoming a buyer of Treasuries and Bonds to try and stimulate the economy. Oftentimes, the Fed does Quantitative Easing when they are hoping to (1) create inflation and avoid a deflationary economy, (2) lower the unemployment rate, and (3) boost Stock prices.

Why did the Fed announce QE3? With our economy still struggling (especially our housing and labor markets) and inflation appearing tame, QE3 was widely expected. But what caught the markets by surprise was the aggressiveness of the Fed’s action. Over the next several months, at the very least the Fed will be buying Mortgage Bonds at an annual rate of nearly $800 Billion.

The Fed also noted that QE3 will continue until there is a self-sustainable recovery in our economy, as long as inflation doesn’t rise too high or quickly. Supporting the Fed’s action was August’s tame inflation data at the consumer level. It is important to note that the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation at the wholesale level, rose to three year highs in August due to the spike in fuel costs and food prices. Rest assured, the Fed will be watching inflation levels carefully over the coming months.

What does QE3 mean for home loan rates? The Fed is buying such large amounts of Mortgage Bonds each month to keep home loan rates (which are tied to Mortgage Bonds) near record lows, which they hope will help strengthen our housing market and economy overall. However, as the economy starts to improve and if inflation heats up, Bonds could face some selling pressure…which could impact home loan rates negatively as a result.

 The bottom line is that home loan rates remain near historic lows and now is a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance.  Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

Forecast for the Week

Manufacturing and housing news dominate the economic report calendar this week.

  • Manufacturing data from the New York State Index and the Philadelphia Fed Index will be released on Monday and Thursday, respectively.
  • Housing Starts, Building Permits and Existing Home Sales will all be released on Wednesday.
  • Thursday also brings the usual Weekly Initial Jobless Claims data.

In addition to these reports, all eyes will be watching to see how the markets and home loan rates respond to QE3.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on.

  When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving — and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further — a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates reacted favorably to the Fed’s announcement of QE3. I’ll be watching closely to see how the markets respond this week.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday Sep 14, 2012)
Japanese Candlestick Chart
The Mortgage Market Guide View…
Webcam Tips for Business

Webcams have steadily grown in popularity in businesses across the country. More and more companies are embracing the technology as a cost-effective, timesaving way to record videos for a company website or to conduct meetings.

Regardless of how you’re using a webcam in your career, the following information can help you be more successful.

1. Eliminate distractions. When you’re on a webcam, you can be interrupted by the phone ringing, people knocking on your door, and so on. To make sure that doesn’t happen, find a quiet place where you can avoid any distractions.

2. Remove the clutter. A webcam doesn’t just allow people to see you; they can also see into your office. If the background setting looks messy, cluttered, or less than professional, it may taint how you are perceived. So, clean up everything that will be in the background, including those things that are off in the distance. The best advice is to have a clean, simple background setting where only one or two major pieces of office furniture can be seen.

3. Check the lighting. Anyone who’s ever used a webcam realizes that you can sometimes appear pale or tired in an online video. To overcome this problem, you can simply check the lighting. You’ll want the room to be bright, but not so bright that your face is washed out. If you need additional lighting, bring a lamp or two into the room.

4. Maintain eye contact. To make sure you maintain eye contact, look directly at your webcam – rather than another person’s image or a script on your monitor. It may feel awkward at first, but it will appear natural and professional to the person on the other end.

5. Send the right body language. Like in face-to-face communication, your posture and body language are important online. So sit up straight, use simple hand gestures as you talk, and resist the urge to fidget or make a lot of unnecessary movements (like scratching your head or constantly readjusting your seating position).

 Following those simple steps can help you be more successful the next time you find yourself sitting across from a webcam at your office.

Economic Calendar for the Week of September 17 – September 21

Date ET Economic Report For Estimate Actual Prior Impact
Mon. September 17 08:30 Empire State Index Sept NA -5.9 HIGH
Wed. September 19 08:30 Building Permits Aug NA 812K Moderate
Wed. September 19 08:30 Housing Starts Aug NA 746K Moderate
Wed. September 19 10:00 Existing Home Sales Aug NA 4.47M Moderate
Thu. September 20 08:30 Jobless Claims (Initial) 9/15 NA 382K Moderate
Thu. September 20 10:00 Philadelphia Fed Index Sept NA -7.1 HIGH
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