After SEVEN consecutive days of marginal increases, home loan borrowing costs finally stabilized today.  This does not necessarily mean that costs are headed lower, it only implies they're "leveling off" as a high-risk event approaches on Friday in the form of the Employment Situation  Report.

CURRENT MARKET: The "Best Execution" conventional 30-year fixed mortgage rate is still 4.875%.  For those looking to permanently buy down their rate to 4.75%, this quote carries higher closing costs. The upfront fee to permanently buy down your rate  to 4.75% is not worth it to every applicant, we would generally only advise the permanent floatdown if you plan to keep your new mortgage outstanding for longer than the next 10 years.  Ask your loan officer to run a breakeven analysis on any origination points they might require to cover permanent float down fees. On FHA/VA 30 year fixed "Best Execution" is 4.75%. 15 year fixed conventional loans are best priced at 4.25%. Five year ARMS are best priced at 3.50%.

PREVIOUS GUIDANCE: In the week ahead we are looking for the market to paint a clearer picture of its directional bias.   Locking is advised for those working on a short-term time frame. For long-termers,  if you need to lock a loan in the next month, it's time to shift your bias from aggressive/neutral to defensive/neutral. 

CURRENT GUIDANCE: Even after this week's auction cycle has played out, the market is still giving off the impression that rates are "on a fence" ready to go either way after the Employment Situation Report on Friday.  As always, this is a high risk event.  Such events are nice because they make things easy from a borrowing standpoint.  PART 1: Can't afford or don't want to take a risk?  Lock now...  PART 2: Got lots of time, flexibility, or otherwise not in any particular rush or pressing need to lock a loan?  Feel free to wait it out to see if a longer term rates recovery can materialize, but if you don't like risk, see part 1...

What MUST be considered BEFORE one thinks about capitalizing on a rates recovery?

   1. WHAT DO YOU NEED? Rates might not recover as much as you want/need.
   2. WHEN DO YOU NEED IT BY? Rates might not recover as fast as you want/need.
   3. HOW DO YOU HANDLE STRESS? Are you ready for MORE VOLATILITY in the bond market.

"Best Execution" is the most efficient combination of note rate offered and points paid at closing. This note rate is determined based on the time it takes to recover the points you paid at closing (discount) vs. the monthly savings of permanently buying down your mortgage rate by 0.125%.  When deciding on whether or not to pay points, the borrower must have an idea of how long they intend to keep their mortgage. For more info, ask you originator to explain the findings of their "breakeven analysis" on your permanent rate buydown costs.

Important Mortgage Rate Disclaimer
: The "Best Execution" loan pricing quotes shared above are generally seen as the more aggressive side of the primary mortgage market. Loan originators will only be able to offer these rates on conforming loan amounts to very well-qualified borrowers who have a middle FICO score over 740 and enough equity in their home to qualify for a refinance or a large enough savings to cover their down payment and closing costs. If the terms of your loan trigger any risk-based loan level pricing adjustments (LLPAs), your rate quote will be higher. If you do not fall into the "perfect borrower" category, make sure you ask your loan originator for an explanation of the characteristics that make your loan more expensive. "No point" loan doesn't mean "no cost" loan. The best 30 year fixed conventional/FHA/VA mortgage rates still include closing costs such as: third party fees + title charges + transfer and recording. Don't forget the intense fiscal frisking that comes along with the underwriting process.