Since 2010 all lenders have been required to provide borrowers with a new HUD Settlement Cost Booklet which runs about 50 pages. This booklet presents borrowers with a good deal of information about the home buying and borrowing process. One point that the book emphasizes is the need to shop around for professional services associated with the loan. Of course, we fully support the borrower shopping around for settlement services since our fees are generally $200.00 – $500.00 lower than many competitors. Please let us know if you would like a copy of this publication.

Interest rates have spiked in the last couple of weeks of this year. The yield on the 10 year Treasury bill hit 3.19 the Monday after Thanksgiving. On the Monday after Christmas it was 3.84. Higher yields on the 10 year treasury notes generally translate to higher interest rates. Rates which were running in the 4.625% to 4.75% range after Thanksgiving are now approaching 5.25%. Anyone associated with the real estate industry should log on to a couple of times a day and check the current yields on the 10 year treasuries and read some of the articles attached to this section. There is a treasure of trove of financial information disclosed on

One of the greatest challenges facing our industry in 2010 is the fact that the Treasury Department is scheduled to cease purchasing mortgage backed securities at the end of March. The government purchasing of these securities has kept rates artificially low during the past year or so. Rates are almost certain to rise – the question is by how much. The days of 4.75%, or even 5.0% rates could be a thing of the past.