May 2024

May 15, 2024

MAY NEWSLETTERWHAT'S UP WITH RATES | FREE TREES | RECIPE OF THE MONTHWHAT'S UP WITH RATES?

The national average for 30-year mortgages was 7.39% as of May 1.

As 2024 has progressed, economic data--especially inflation data--have made it increasingly clear that rates will not be coming down nearly as soon as the Fed (and the market) expected.

Rates are driven by multiple factors. At present, inflation is chief among those, followed by the economy.  In general, higher inflation and economic strength coincide with higher rates.

The Federal Reserve doesn’t set mortgage rates, but its monetary policy decisions definitely influence them. The Fed can raise or lower short-term interest rates, which indirectly affects mortgage rates. When the Fed raises rates, it becomes more expensive for banks and lenders to borrow money; this translates to increased rates for borrowers. When the Fed lowers rates, it becomes cheaper to borrow money, resulting in lower mortgage rates.

The Federal Reserve emphasized last week that inflation has remained high and said it doesn’t plan to cut interest rates until it has “greater confidence” that price increases are slowing sustainably to its 2% target.

Yet despite a higher rate of inflation, the U.S. economy is healthier and hiring stronger than most economists thought it would be at this point. The unemployment rate has remained below 4% for more than two years, the longest such streak since the 1960s. Consumer spending also grew at a robust pace, a sign that the economy will keep expanding.

Mortgage interest rates clearly have an impact on would be home buyers, especially those with lower down payment. The low inventory of homes for sale means that Sellers are still in the driver's seat and can still command higher prices and favorable terms. Yet Buyers have negotiation power, too, as Seller's realize that concessions are a favorable way to put their home under contract quickly while allowing Buyers to buy down their interest rates.

BOTTOM LINE: Interest rates don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. If you are considering buying or selling a home, you should make that decision based on what's best for you, your family, and your living and working situation, not based on what interest rates may or may not do.

Spring Sellers will ALWAYS get the highest price for their home due to the seasonality of the market. Yet this year's summer Buyers may have more negotiation power than they've ever had to lock in a home at a lower purchase price or with concessions that buy their interest rate down 1-2 points.

BE A SMART ASH & GET A FREE TREE

As Denver comes into bloom and farmers market season nears, Denverites can request free trees to be planted outside their property.

The “Be A Smart Ash” program partners with Denver Parks and Recreation and other local forestry groups to plant trees in the public right of way next to single-family homes.

Residents requesting trees need to have enough space for them. That means room so that the tree would have to be 30 feet from a curb's corner, 25-to-35 feet from existing trees, 20 feet from street lights and stop signs and 10 feet from alleys, driveways and fire hydrants.

The requester must own a single-family home or get landlord permission.

The free “smart ash” trees start at eight feet tall, and the type depends on the property and what the city has available. Common species include elm, oak, hackberry, Kentucky coffee and catalpa.

Interested residents can apply online, after which an arborist will come measure the potential site to see if it meets requirements and assess if a tree would do well.

Denverites can apply here.

A second program, The Park People, provides free and low-cost trees across Denver. 2024 applications are closed and will open again early next year.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH: CAESAR SALAD PIZZA

If you love pizza and caesar salad, then you are going to love this receipt for chicken caesar salad pizza. It's quick and easy enough to make during the week or fun to bring as an appetizer at a party. You can make your own dressing OR use store bought. The Litehouse caesar dressing is my personal favorite. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • Olive oil for brushing crust
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 8 ounces mozzarella sliced
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan plus small chunk for shaving
  • 1 chicken breast grilled and sliced thinly
  • 2 romaine hearts washed and dried, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup Caesar Salad Dressing recipe follows
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Caesar Salad Dressing:

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill to high heat. Brush the grill with a bit of oil. While the grill is getting warm, make the Caesar Dressing. In a blender or food processor, process the Parmesan, mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and garlic until emulsified and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Shape the dough into 2 medium-ish pizzas while on a clean floured surface. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes and then re-form to make sure it's as big as you'd like. Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured rimless baking sheet, or pizza peel. Transfer the dough over to the grill, and slide the pizza dough directly onto the grill. Grill the dough for about 2 minutes with the lid closed. Using a pair of tongs, lift the lid, and flip the dough over onto the other side and cook for about 2 minutes more. The dough should be golden brown with grill marks on both sides.
  3. Once the dough is cooked, remove it from the grill and place it back onto the baking sheet.
  4. Brush the olive oil over the pizza and sprinkle with garlic. Arrange the mozzarella, parmesan and chicken breast slices on top. and place back onto the grill until the cheese has melted. Using tongs, remove the pizza from the grill and top with the dressed romaine leaves and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with long strips of parmesan cheese. Slice and serve immediately.

Recipe Courtesy of: Gaby DalkinThinking of Buying or Selling?  Know someone who is?I am NEVER too busy for your referrals!

OUR PROMISE TO OUR CLIENTS

This could be one of the largest and most important financial decisions you will make in your lifetime, and you deserve an experienced partner that understands the intricacies of Colorado real estate.

We promise to always keep you informed about the rapidly changing market and educate you throughout the entire process. We promise to protect your best interests and treat your home or investment like it’s one of our own. We promise to work our hardest to find the perfect home for you and your family with as little stress as possible.  

We value your trust and hope to continue supporting you in your lifetime even after your sale or purchase is complete. This goes beyond real estate to us, it’s the beginning of a lifelong friendship.

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