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Expert Update - 10.09.2020

Expect Low Interest Rates to Last

After its final two days of meetings ahead of the election, the Federal Reserve indicated no plans to raise interest rates. Near-zero rates could last for years---possibly until 2023---as the Fed allows more time for the economy and labor market to heal. To further stabilize the economy, the Fed will continue to increase its holdings of Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities to sustain smooth market functioning and help foster financial conditions that support the flow of credit to households and businesses.1

Rising Materials Costs Are Not Deterring Homebuilders

Lumber prices have risen more than 170% since April due to production constraints from the pandemic. Despite this surge, homebuilders report the most confidence they have ever had in their industry, based on The National Association of Home Builders' monthly confidence index. Low interest rates continue to spur demand, and a shortage of existing homes means there are plenty of buyers for new construction. For now, builders have been able to pass on these higher costs to buyers; however, increased prices could drive affordability issues in the near future.2

Plan Ahead to Outfit Your Home with New Appliances

Housing is not the only industry facing a shortage---due to increased demand and scaled back production at the beginning of the pandemic, home appliances are getting harder to find. People are spending more time at home, leading to more appliance use and breakdowns, and spurring many homeowners to upgrade their equipment. Several brands are reporting backlogs on items like freezers that they anticipate will last through the end of the year. If you are shopping for a home, try to negotiate to keep the existing appliances to ensure you have your bases covered.3

Is a Home Warranty Right for You?

A home warranty helps protect you from repair and replacement costs for major systems and appliances due to defects, damage, and normal wear and tear. It costs a pretty penny to get heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing systems, and major appliances such as washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators back in working order. So, if your home is older or your systems have a lot of age on them, a home warranty could save you a lot of money. Be sure to read the warranty's full policy to understand what is covered and the full cost, including the annual price and fees for service calls.4

Celebrating Halloween Safely

If traditional trick-or-treating is not in the cards for your family this Halloween, there are still fun ways to enjoy the fall season. Individually wrapped treats can be placed on a table at the end of the driveway or stoop so kids can pick up candy without close contact. Outdoor activities like pumpkin picking and corn mazes also allow for social distancing, or you can host a small backyard gathering where everyone wears mask-inspired costumes.5

 

Sources: 1.Federalreserve.org 2.Realtor.com 3.Realtor Magazine 4.USA Today 5.RealSimple.com

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