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Paramount Bank Home Buyers Flock in COVID-19 Market House For Sale Sold Sign Happy

Home Buyers Flock in COVID-19 Market

By Econ News, Good Reads, Mortgage Tips

Weekly mortgage data continue to show home buyers flock in this COVID-19 market.

So what gives — why are people looking to buy a home during the worst financial crises since in over a decade?

Let’s take a look at some clues to help support the reality of this market trend.

Home Buyers Are Attracted by Low Interest Rates

If you’re a current home owner, you are familiar with how low interest rates can make a good case to refinance.

Home buyers are also attracted by these low interest rates.

Spurred on by support from the Federal Reserve, the home mortgage interest rate environment is constantly hovering at all-time lows.

Excellent credit borrowers, who also have strong capital to leverage, could be looking at purchasing a new house with interest rates in the high-2% or low-3% range.

Government-backed loan programs, such as FHA (first-time home buyer) and VA (veterans and military), also take advantage of the low interest rates we see today.

So what is else supporting a home buyers flock in the COVID-19 market?

Pending Home Sales Data Got a Strong Boost Last Month

After one of the worst months in housing data history, the pending home sales category took a big leap in the month of May.

June’s data has yet to be published, but based on trends and weekly application data, it’s fair to assume the big boost in May is providing another strong boost in June.

Pending home sales data showing a strong recovery helps supplement the lack of new home construction – though that category is climbing as well.

More inventory is another strong explanation to why home buyers flock in this COVID-19 market.

Personal Cash Savings Hit All-Time Record

COVID-19 market woes mean potential home buyers are spending less money.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released an eye-popping statistic in May; savings went up 33% in April.

The data was gathered on how much money is saved per paycheck by a wide array of American consumers. How does that translate to housing?

Well, if you’ve been saving for a home before the pandemic, then you’re incentive to spend less and save even more spiked in March. As the virus never really went away, many Americans continued to save money.

In July, we’re seeing home buyers flock in the COVID-19 market and it could be that many are finally prepared to handle the up-front costs associated with a new home purchase.

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Will home buyers continue to flock in the weeks and months ahead? That remains uncertain, especially as COVID-19 cases spike to new all-time highs around the country.

If you’re looking to jump into a new home purchase, let Paramount Bank and our team of home buying experts assist your journey.

2020 Times Square New Year Economic Calendar New York City United States China Trade War

2020 Week 28 U.S. Economic Calendar

By Econ News, Economic Calendar

Week 28 of the 2020 U.S. Economic Calendar highlights weekly employment, CoreLogic house pricing, and a Consumer Credit report from the Fed.

Last week’s market recap:

July 4th weekend has come-and-gone in the United States.

The biggest headlines featuring COVID-19 included record-breaking cases in Florida and hospitals reaching ICU capacity in Houston. Neither location will see new COVID-19 patients resulting from July 4th gatherings for another 1-2 weeks to account for the virus’ incubation period.

Despite rising numbers, the DOW and S&P 500 nudged positive before the holiday weekend. The equity markets will look to find a consistent pattern in the week ahead.

Here are your key economic updates for the week ahead, July 6 – July 10:

Monday, July 6

  • ISM Non-Manufacturing data – consensus is 50.0 up from 45.4

Tuesday, July 7

  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • CoreLogic house price index for May

Wednesday, July 8

  • MBA will release mortgage purchase applications index
  • Consumer Credit report from the Federal Reserve

Thursday, July 9

  • Weekly unemployment claims – consensus is 1.400 million, down from last week’s 1.427 million claims. Consensus estimates have missed the last two weeks (trending higher).

Friday, July 10

  • Producer Price Index for May from the BLS. Consensus is a 0.4% increase in PPI and a 0.1% increase in core PPI.
Happy Fourth of July Paramount Bank 2020

Happy Fourth of July

By Good Reads, News and Updates

Paramount Bank wishes you a Happy Fourth of July!

A reminder that all of our offices will be closed on Friday, July 3rd in observance of Independence Day.

Here are some fun facts about our national day of celebration:

  • Americans consume an average of 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July alone!
  • Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe, three former U.S. Presidents, all died on the Fourth of July
    • Adams and Jefferson died on the exact same day in 1826, while Monroe died five years later.
  • Fourth of July celebrations from 1777 looked very similar to how we celebrate in 2020 (fireworks, eating, etc.)
  • The Continental Congress passed our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, but official notice was served to England’s King George III two days prior.
    • The actual Declaration of Independence document wouldn’t be signed by members of the Continental Congress until August 2
      • Others signed even later, including John Hancock and his famously-large signature.
  • Billions of dollars are spent on fireworks each year to celebrate the Fourth of July – from official shows to families partaking in the fun throughout the day.

While this year will look different, we hope you’ll still have time to enjoy the holiday. Face masks and extra hand sanitizer will make this Fourth of July one to remember.

2020 Times Square New Year Economic Calendar New York City United States China Trade War

2020 Week 27 U.S. Economic Calendar

By Econ News, Economic Calendar

Week 27 of the 2020 U.S. Economic Calendar highlights monthly employment records for June, manufacturing data, and a testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Last week’s market recap:

The novel coronavirus has killed more than 500,000 people around the globe, with roughly 25% of those deaths occurring here in the United States. Global confirmed cases soared above 10 million as more countries lift lockdowns and assess new infection rates.

The United States faces a violent resurgence in new cases and hospitalizations, as many citizens not working in a public service capacity are moving around without taking the bare minimum in precautions – namely, wearing face masks in public spaces at all times or maintaining at least 6-feet distance when possible.

With the July 4th holiday this weekend, many are concerned the next several weeks will bring more death and devastation to local economies. White House Administration officials have left the majority of lockdown decisions to state and local governments with little intervention or input from national health experts.

Here are your key economic updates for the week ahead, June 29 – July 3:

Monday, June 29

  • Pending home sales index for May – consensus is a 19.7% increase
  • Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey

Tuesday, June 30

  • S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for April
  • Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for June
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell provides testimony to Congress on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities Act

Wednesday, July 1

  • MBA will release mortgage purchase applications index
  • ADP employment report for June (private payrolls only) – consensus is 3.00 million jobs added in June, up from 2.76 million jobs lost in May
  • ISM Manufacturing Index
  • Construction spending for May
  • Light Vehicle Sales
  • FOMC Minutes

Thursday, July 2

  • Weekly unemployment claims – consensus is 1.400 million, down from last week’s 1.480 million claims.
  • June total employment numbers – consensus is 3.74 million jobs added and total unemployment to drop to 12.3% (May added 2.05 million jobs and unemployment was up to 13.3%)
  • Trade Balance report for May

Friday, July 3

  • U.S. Markets CLOSED in observance of Fourth of July Holiday
COVID 19 Stimulus Paramount Bank IRS FTC Federal Trade Commission Internal Revenue Service CARES Act March 2020

Didn’t Get Your COVID-19 Stimulus? Call the IRS

By Good Reads, News and Updates

Still have yet to receive your COVID-19 stimulus check? You should call the IRS about that.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), most of the stimulus checks have been distributed. However, there are some who have yet to receive the stimulus as part of the CARES Act, passed in March of this year.

Let’s break it down.

The IRS will NOT call you

In a recent post, the FTC warned about potential scams with regard to unpaid stimulus checks. The IRS will not call you about a missing check.

You will need to be proactive here. Call the IRS, as they have been tasked with fielding questions regarding the reception of stimulus checks via the U.S. Treasury.

Even if you owe back taxes or may otherwise be in warm water with the Feds, the IRS will never initiate contact with you via phone call.

Verify your COVID-19 Stimulus delivery

When the CARES Act became law in March, the IRS stated that the delivery of stimulus checks would be made based on the readily-available bank account information. If you received a refund on your 2019 tax return, and chose to have your federal tax refund sent via direct deposit, then the IRS will use that information in sending you the CARES stimulus check.

If you know your direct deposit information is correct on your latest tax records, but still do not have a stimulus check, then you should investigate with your bank.

Otherwise, the IRS sent your CARES stimulus check through direct mail via the latest address on your tax records.

If you’re looking to earn some cash on top of that stimulus check, take a look at Paramount Bank’s High Interest Checking option.

Housing Market Recovery COVID 19 Paramount Bank New Home Sales Existing Home Sales Purchase Refinance Forbearance Applications CARES Act

Housing Market (Mostly) Shrugs Off COVID-19

By Econ News, Good Reads, News and Updates

The housing market (mostly) shrugs off COVID-19 woes in our latest update about the market.

After months of economic pause, many in the housing industry grew concerned about existing home owners’ ability to pay their mortgage – in light of record unemployment – and new buyers ability to purchase – in light of unemployment and no breathing room to knock down existing debts.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that tell us how the housing market shrugged off COVID-19 issues, and where it may be heading in the near future.

COVID-19 Forbearance Applications peaked, then fell

At the height of the United States’ quarantine, Federal officials gave struggling home owners an option with the CARES Act: temporary forbearance.

Legislation allowed borrowers to forego their home mortgage payments in light of unemployment or financial duress caused by COVID-19 shutdowns. For a time, millions of home owners took advantage of the program.

It should be noted at this point that forbearance does not mean forgiveness. The CARES Act explicitly states home owners who chose to go into forbearance will need to pay each month’s missing payment in full after the forbearance period lifted this fall.

Whether or not more home owners understood that risk and ultimately chose against it, or their economic situations did not become as dire as others, the forbearance applications quickly dwindled.

As of last Friday, June 19, forbearance applications continue to fall across the United States.

Existing Home Sales plunged, but not by much

It is important to remember that all housing data is lagging. That means, the full picture of economic events – such as a COVID-19 shutdown – will not be fully understood until economists can review a prior month’s data.

Existing Home Sales, a key metric in monitoring homes currently on the market and whether or not they sell, plunged from February to May 2020. But not by much.

Realtors, citing May’s report, believe the market bottomed at that time. In other words, many within the housing industry expect June and July to recover as the Summer marches on.

Weekly Mortgage Purchase Applications and Refinances stabilized

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has a weekly tracker to identify new mortgage applications – purchase or refinance.

At the peak of the COVID-19 shutdowns in March, refinances spiked to all-time highs among existing home owners. Many saw an opportunity to refinance at a low rate and took it. The Federal Reserve, whose Federal Funds interest rate helps dictate the yield of the 10-year Treasury Note, continued to support the economy by purchasing assets and maintaining it’s funds rate target of 0%-0.25%. The 10-year note plunged, and refinances soared.

Defying expectations, new home applications also followed suit after a dramatic decline in the early stages. While 30-year home applications are still on the decline, the data has stabilized in recent weeks. Refinance applications have also stabilized in recent weeks.

Where the Housing Market Goes From Here

A large contingent of full economic recovery lies within scientists and their ability to create a working vaccine against COVID-19. While doctors continue to make positive strides in effective treatments, the global economy will tilt toward full consumer rebound once a preventative solution can be made and mass produced.

Until then, the U.S. housing market has room to grow. Sentiment from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) continues to trend positive each week. Purchase applications are growing.

But what may ultimately give the housing market a complete 180-degree turnaround, apart from a vaccine, is state and federal forgiveness of existing debts.

Millennials are struggling to enter the housing market, burdened by a collective $1.5 Trillion student debt balloon. As housing prices continue to improve, that will leave more millenials in the dust. Many cannot afford a down payment on existing home values.

It may also benefit policy makers to identify other solutions of long-term relief for millions of Americans.

If you or someone you know is in the market for a new home purchase or refinance, visit Paramount Bank’s home loan center. We will get you on track for your home ownership goals with our home loan experts and wide array of product solutions.

2020 Times Square New Year Economic Calendar New York City United States China Trade War

2020 Week 26 U.S. Economic Calendar

By Econ News, Economic Calendar

Week 26 of the 2020 U.S. Economic Calendar highlights May New and Existing Home Sales and Personal Income and Overlays for May.

Last week’s market recap:

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in the United States. Weeks after a majority of the country reopened local businesses, following 8-10 weeks of mandatory quarantines, the virus continues to create new records in confirmed sick patients each day.

While Europe is on track to have a fully open economy with low-to-no new COVID viruses, officials cite the lack of mask protection in public settings as the cause for America’s spike in new cases. Hospitilizations and death records are lagging indicators, but until now the U.S. has seen a considerable decrease in the daily death rate since reopening. It is expected these numbers will also climb in the weeks ahead.

Here are your key economic updates for the week ahead, June 14 – June 18:

Monday, June 15

  • The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for May.
  • Existing Home Sales – consensus is 4.10, down from 4.33 Million last month

Tuesday, June 16

  • New Home Sales from the Census Bureau – consensus is 640 thousand, up from 623 thousand in April
  • Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey

Wednesday, June 17

  • MBA will release mortgage purchase applications index
  • FHFA House Price Index

Thursday, June 18

  • Weekly unemployment claims – consensus is 1.300 million, down from last week’s surprise increase of 1.508 million claims.
  • Durable Goods Orders for May
  • Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey

Friday, June 19

  • Personal Income and Outlays for May – consensus is a 6.0% decrease in personal income, and a 9.0% increase in personal spending
  • University of Michigan’s Consumer sentiment index – consensus is for a reading of 78.9
2020 Times Square New Year Economic Calendar New York City United States China Trade War

2020 Week 25 U.S. Economic Calendar

By Econ News, Economic Calendar

Week 25 of the 2020 U.S. Economic Calendar highlights manufacturing surveys, June Home Builder sentiment, Retail Sales, and unemployment.

Last week’s market recap:

Volatility returned to equity and bond markets last week as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave a bleak outlook for the U.S. economy. Powell and the rest of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) reached a conclusion that U.S. GDP would see a more-than 6% decrease by the end of 2020 with unemployment hovering around the low teens. Powell and the FOMC also estimated a 5% growth in GDP by the end of 2021, and a near-total fiscal recovery by 2022.

Powell tried to assure wary financial institutions of the Fed’s commitment to providing a backstop for markets. The Central Bank will continue asset purchases of junk bonds, failing broad-market equity trackers (ETF’s) and mortgage-backed securities while maintaining the Federal Funds Rate at the current levels of 0%-0.25% through 2022 — or until the economy shows signs of significant recovery. Despite these assurances, the recent rally in equity markets collapsed with the S&P 500 shedding 6.5% on Thursday alone. Trading floor circuit breakers trigger at 7% intervals. More sell-offs are expected this week as Powell testifies before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The United States reached more than 2 million infected citizens and more than 140,000 dead in the continued fight against COVID-19. Vaccine news is few-and-far between. Dozens of drugmakers around the world continue to invest significant resources in developing an economic get-out-of-jail-free card for the globe. Meanwhile, data from state reopening measures continue to be mixed: consumer sentiment is low, more Americans report an increase in disposable income, and significant spikes in new COVID-19 cases arise across the country each day.

Here are your key economic updates for the week ahead, June 14 – June 18:

Monday, June 15

  • The New York Fed Empire State manufacturing survey for June will be released – consensus is a reading of -27.5, up from -48.5.

Tuesday, June 16

  • Retail Sales for May is scheduled to be released – consensus is 8.0% increase in month-over-month sales.
  • June’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey – consensus is a reading of 45, up from 37. A reading below 50 indicates poor sentiment among builders.
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies before Congress on the Central Bank’s outlook for the U.S. Economy (Day 1 of 2)

Wednesday, June 17

  • MBA will release mortgage purchase applications index
  • Housing Starts for May – consensus is 1.100 million, up from 0.891 million in April
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies before Congress on the Central Bank’s outlook for the U.S. Economy (Day 2 of 2)

Thursday, June 18

  • Weekly unemployment claims – consensus is 1.450 million, down from 1.542 million actual last week.
  • Philly Fed manufacturing survey – consensus is -25.0, up from -43.1.

Friday, June 19

  • State Employment and Unemployment for May (monthly)
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell will host a virtual discussion on building a stronger workforce in the face of COVID-19 slowdowns.
Fun Father's Day Gift Ideas 2020 Paramount Bank

Fun Father’s Day Gift Ideas 2020

By Good Reads, Paramount in the Community

There is still time to act on those fun Father’s Day gift ideas, and we have some suggestions for you!

Father’s Day is coming up fast, so get ready to practice social distancing for a run to the store, or pull up your online retailer of choice.

No matter if your father or father-figure is easily impressed with new socks and ties, we think these fun ideas will help surprise Dad on his day of the year.

BrüMate Hopsulator – Fun Father’s Day gift to keep his drinks cool this summer

Just in time for the summer, this nifty, double-insulated drink holder will keep the beer or other canned drink of choice nice and cold for longer.

If he’s a fan of the 12 oz drinks in taller cans, then we have the perfect item. Fear not, the company makes other “Hopsulator” products to fit more drink sizes.

At less than $20, we highly recommend this budget-friendly, fun Father’s Day gift.

Get it on Amazon (not an affiliate link)

Price – $20-$25

Apple AirPods – Wireless headphones that pair easily with dad’s phone and laptop.

If dad is prone to losing, well, everything, then you may want to skip this present.

But for the travelling dad, or the dad who enjoys wearing some earbuds around the house on Sunday, Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro are a great Father’s Day gift.

Apple users have the most seamless transition when setting up AirPods, but Android and Windows users can use them, too.

The latest Pro earbuds provide some of the best noise-cancelling technology we’ve found that doesn’t break the bank.

Get it on Apple (not an affiliate link)

Price – $159 (Airpods), $199 (Airpods with Wireless Charging Case), and $249 (Airpods Pro with Wireless Charging Case and Noise Cancellation)

TACKLIFE Magnetic Screwdriver Set – Out with the old, in with the new

Dad’s trusty screwdrivers from ages ago are looking worn, and he’s lost a few from the original set.

Help dad put his pride aside and give him this affordable new screwdriver set. There are 26 screwdrivers in this set.

Each driver has a magnetic end for gripping onto those screws – either while they come out or go back. The best part – this is an affordable way to help dad replenish his old tools.

Get it on Amazon (not an affiliate link)

Price – $40

We hope our fun Father’s Day gift ideas provided you with some much-needed inspiration. You still have time to snag that gift for Dad, but the hourglass is running out of sand. Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 21 this year.

2020 Times Square New Year Economic Calendar New York City United States China Trade War

2020 Week 24 U.S. Economic Calendar

By Econ News, Economic Calendar

Week 24 of the 2020 U.S. Economic Calendar highlights two FOMC meetings and Consumer Price Index reports.

Civil unrest spurred by the police killings of George Floyd continued through last week. As a majority of the nation works to hold law enforcement more accountable, the market did not react to protests or isolated instances of looting/rioting.

The market broke out last week in a major way, with equity markets moving higher (and the NASDAQ hitting all-time highs) and bond yields decreasing. This inverse relationship is back on course after weeks of lock-step movement.

COVID-19 cases are rising around the world and United States, as more nations enter the second or third week of lifted lockdown restrictions. Memorial Day-weekend-related cases in the U.S. are beginning to pile up. The data on a potential spike due to the protests around the country will not be fully visible for another week (two weeks of virus incubation/symptoms expressing in victims).

Here are your key economic updates for the week ahead, June 8 – June 12:

Monday, June 8

  • No major studies or announcements

Tuesday, June 9

  • Small Business optimism index for May
  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Wednesday, June 10

  • MBA will release mortgage purchase applications index
  • Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics – consensus is a 0.1% decrease in CPI and Core CPI, respectively.
  • FOMC Meeting Announcement/Forecasts/Press Brief with Fed Chair Jerome Powell

Thursday, June 11

  • Weekly unemployment claims – consensus is 1.200 million, down from 1.877 million actual last week
  • Producer Price Index for May
  • Q1 Flow of Accounts of the U.S. via the Fed Reserve

Friday, June 12

  • University 0f Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index
National Chesse Day 2020 Paramount Bank Cheddar Bleu Parmesean Vegan Nutritional Yeast Cashew Recipe

National Cheese Day

By Favorite Recipes, Good Reads

Cheddar, Provolone, Feta, Gruyere, Muenster – these cheeses aren’t the only flavors celebrated on National Cheese Day. Take a look at a cheesy classic, and an alternative for lactose-intolerant or vegan friends.

Happy National Cheese Day!

Homemade Instant Mac-and-Cheese Recipe

View whole recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 21 grams powdered cheddar cheese
  • 5 grams powdered blue cheese
  • 10 grams powdered parmesan cheese
  • 5 grams buttermilk powder
  • 20 grams butter powder
  • 170 grams elbow noodles
  • Leftover pasta (about ¼ cup)

Steps:

1. Add all powders together in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add elbow noodles to water and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Drain water from pasta, reserving about ¼ cup in the pot.

4. Add the powder mixture to the pot. Stir to combine.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Vegan National Cheese Day Recipe: 5-Minute Queso*

View whole recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk – unsweetened, plain
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) diced green chilis
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Steps:

1. Add all ingredients into a high powered blender until creamy/smooth.

Enjoy!

*- Cashews should be soaked in a bowl of hot water for at least 30 minutes prior to blending.

 

529 Day College Savings Graduation Tuition Room Board Books Food Equipment

Celebrate 529 Day

By Financial Tips, Good Reads

Celebrate 529 Day today, May 29, by saving money for future college expenses!

Each state has a 529 program, named after the U.S. Code to help parents put aside money in a tax-advantaged vehicle for college-related expenses down the road. What are some of those expenses that you can include? Let’s take a look:

  • Tuition
  • Room & Board
  • Books
  • Equipment required for study

There are certain requirements in order to be completely eligible for a 529 tax-advantage savings program.

Visit 529 College Savings page to learn more about the advantages in your state. Also remember to check out Paramount Bank’s high-interest savings programs, including our 6-month Certificate of Deposit with a 1.00% APY!

Celebrate the future and let Paramount Bank help you with your own 529 Savings plan!

Modern Bathroom Blog

Modern Bathroom Style Guide

By Financial Tips, Good Reads, Mortgage Tips

Check out our modern bathroom style guide to help modernize your pad.

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or simply upgrade your space, these tips can help your bathrooms feeling fresh and modern.

The Modern Bathroom Style Color Palette

Long gone are the days of bright, singular color schemes in bathrooms. So too are the carpeted toilet seat coverings (bonus tip).

In place of mono-color scheme bathroom paint, consider the modern bathroom color palette of black, white, grey, and hints of gold. Our modern bathroom style guide is geared toward this look, which has steadily gained in popularity over the recent years.

The black and white color pattern typically dominates spaces like the shower wall splash, cabinets, and even some light fixtures. White on the rest of the bathroom’s walls is a must. You want the space to feel modern, not spooky (unless that’s your style, then go for it!)

Gold should be used sparingly. Mirrors with gold frames are available at all manor of home improvement stores and decor sections of major retail outlets like Target or Ikea. Not only do you not need access to U.S. Gold Reserves, you can save some cash by taking advantage of the gold-framed-mirror bounty.

Remember to make your colors work for you. Consistency is important, especially if you’re looking to put your house on the market soon. Modern buyers will notice poor workmanship. That includes not taking the time to “see” your modern bathroom before applying fresh paint.

Update Your Bathroom Sink Area

You don’t have to go “hog-wild” to update your bathroom sink area.

There are plenty of look-alike materials that perform similar to expensive granite. Top points will be given for picking a material to match the new color scheme in your bathroom.

If you have a stand-alone sink space in a smaller bathroom, brilliant combinations of single-sink countertop and below-sink storage space should be available at your hardware store.

Another bonus tip: if you have the space, consider installing a new chrome towel holder or towel rack. You provide a convenience to your guests with hand towels near the sink, but also add that extra bit of “shine” for a potential home buyer.

Keep It Simple – Your Bathroom’s Long Lasting Appeal

This style guide is merely a suggestion of how to keep your bathroom looking great for a long time.

The color scheme and sink suggestions are only part of the equation. By keeping it simple, you create a living space that is enjoyable to use time and time again.

Simple contrasts in color and modern finishes around the appliances will keep the room feeling light. You can add your own personal flair, of course, with things like wicker baskets for spare towels or cleverly-integrated laundry hampers.

Too much clutter will hurt the flow of the space, and could provide signs to a potential buyer that you rushed through the space. Signs of a rush-job bring up valid, even if irrational questions such as; what did not get completed? Are vital appliances working properly? Is there damage that we can’t immediately see?

Keep it simple, be thorough, and make your bathroom habitable for you and a potential home buyer down the road.

If you’re looking to take advantage of your property’s equity and give your bathroom a serious makeover, chat with our refinance experts today!

Free Weekly Credit Report Experian Transunion Equifax

Get Your Free Weekly Credit Report

By Econ News, Financial Tips, Good Reads, News and Updates

Get your free weekly credit report from the major credit reporting agencies, now through 2021.

As part of the incentive to help consumers stay abreast of their finances during the uncertainty of COVID-19, the three major credit reporting agencies are allowing free access to their credit recording profile services once per week. Before, you could only access your credit report once a year for free.

Equifax, Experian, and Transunion allow Americans to stay on top of their existing credit profiles with this news. A free weekly credit report check-in could be a great way for you to stay on top of financial accounts both past and present.

Why do I need this free weekly credit report?

In order to stay on top of your open lines of credit, or to prevent fraud, you need access to this report.

That does not mean you need to check in each week, only that the option is available to you.

If there are issues with past or present accounts, including errors about skipped payments or other inaccuracies, you can quickly correct each mistake with the appropriate creditor.

Use your free weekly credit report to stay on top of your financial well-being during these tumultuous times.

Where can I get this report?

You can visit AnnualCreditReport.com and start the process now. Remember, once per week is free.

What will I see on my profile?

Each credit reporting agency listed above will include a long list of all recorded credit profiles tied to you. You will also see a running list of on-time or delinquent payment calendars. This will allow you to make sure that your credit profile reflects the reality of your monthly obligations. For instance, if you see a month reported late, but you paid on time, this would be a good time to follow up with that creditor.

You will not see, however, a credit score on your account.

If you’re ready to take advantage of your strong credit history, you can apply for products at Paramount Bank. Take a look at our home loan products for new buyers and existing home owners. We also offer strong banking products. Paramount Bank has been serving customers for more than 50 years, and are eager to speak with you soon.

2020 Times Square New Year Economic Calendar New York City United States China Trade War

2020 Week 21 U.S. Economic Calendar

By Econ News, Economic Calendar

Week 21 of the 2020 U.S. Economic Calendar highlights key housing data, manufacturing data, and unemployment.

Markets are reacting positively this morning on the back of Moderna’s newest COVID-19 vaccine results. Cases continue to rise in the United States and many states are now re-opened for business. In two weeks, we will know the effects re-opening the economy without a vaccine or universal treatment.

Over the weekend, Fed Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated a no-negative rates position during an interview on 60 Minutes. Powell also mentioned that without a vaccine, the U.S. economy may never recover from the COVID-19 shutdowns. However, according to Powell, the U.S. economy could very well make a complete recovery by the end of next year or sooner. His statements regarding the underlying strength and value of the U.S. economy were seen as bullish indicators.

Here are your key economic updates for the week ahead, May 18 – May 22:

Monday, May 18

  • NAHB homebuilder survey – consensus is 33, up from 30. Any score below 50 indicates poor conditions amongst survey participants

Tuesday, May 19

  • Housing starts for April – consensus is 0.950 million, down from 1.216 million in March

Wednesday, May 20

  • MBA will release mortgage purchase applications index
  • FOMC Minutes

Thursday, May 21

  • Weekly unemployment claims – consensus is 2.500 million, down from 2.981 million actual last week
  • Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey for May – consensus is -45.0, up from -56.6
  • Existing Home Sales for April from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) – consensus is 4.30 million, down from 5.27 seasonally-adjusted units

Friday, May 22

  • State Employment and Unemployment for April 2020
Quarantine Home Renovation Projects COVID 19 Paramount Bank Rearrange Furniture Bookshelves Lights Dust Lamps Appliances

Quarantine Home Organization Projects

By Good Reads, Paramount in the Community

Quarantine home organization projects are a great way to pass the time while improving the feel of your home.

Being couped up at home can bring about a lot of distraction, especially if you’re adjusting to a new work-from-home situation. When you have completed your daily 9-5 at your new home office, take a look at some quarantine home organization projects to keep you productive.

Home Organization Project #1: Quarantine Furniture Shuffle

We all have extra time for thinking during quarantine. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your couch might look better in a different spot, or that bookshelf could be organized by author last name instead of book height/thickness.

Open up the center of your living space by moving furniture against a wall, or rearrange a large rug.

These don’t have to include you moving giant pieces of furniture. Small shuffles work, too. Move that lamp, swap the position of those kitchen appliances, or whatever you want! Small rearrangements here-and-there will make the big picture of your room look and feel a lot different in short order.

Organization Projects with Lighting

Speaking of lamps, you can take this time in quarantine to work on simple lighting projects.

Don’t worry, the electrician won’t be necessary for these simple lighting projects.

Instead, you can replace incandescent bulbs with more efficient, longer-lasting LED lights.

Wipe the dust off your lamps and curtains. Experiment with curtain positions through the course of the day to see if you can squeeze in a little more natural light during the day.

If you’re feeling extra spicy, you could order some LED strips from an online retailer and make the underside of desks pop (or add them behind the TV to help your eyes during a Netflix binge session).

 

What kind of quarantine home organization projects do you want to undertake? We’re all wondering what to do with this extra time in our lives. It can be difficult to process this new reality, but rest assured that we’re all in this together! As we adjust to the new normal in the short-term, we can take solace in knowing we’ll all be able to make the best of this situation and come out the other side even better than before.

 

April Mortgage Applications Report 2020 COVID 19 Summer home buyers Paramount Bank sellers

April Mortgage Applications Report

By Financial Tips, News and Updates

While COVID-19 continues to cause widespread economic impact, the April mortgage applications report has dropped from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

As expected, April mortgage applications dropped by 25% compared to March, and 12% year-over-year. However, the MBA expects applications to jump by summer.

It might sound hard to believe, but part of the logic from the MBA revolves around an already-present increase in buyer demand. April mortgage applications are expected to be an outlier by summer. As lockdowns lift and some jobs return, sellers will drop listing price (or accept lower bids with higher cash offers) to accompany an influx of buyers.

Here is more data from April’s mortgage applications report:

  • Conventional home loans made up more than 60% of all new purchase applications. FHA loans made up 23.3% of all purchase volume while VA home loan products made up 13.3% during the month.
  • Average home loans in the April mortgage applications report came in at $334,641 – down from $344,556 in March
  • Seasonally adjusted new home sales landed at 51,000 which is lower than the 71,000 new home sales the month prior

Keep your eyes peeled on May’s mortgage applications report which should drop sometime in early-to-mid June. At that time, we may also know more about active home sales as the Census Bureau records sales in real-time each month.

Paramount Bank is ready to help you achieve your dreams of home ownership. Whether you are a first-time home buyer, a military veteran, or purchasing a second home; our home loan experts are primed to help you. Our main goal is to help set you up for financial success in the long run. To that end, we use the latest technology in the home loan industry to set your buying experience apart from the other lenders.

Start your home loan journey!

2020 Times Square New Year Economic Calendar New York City United States China Trade War

2020 Week 20 U.S. Economic Calendar

By Econ News, Economic Calendar

Week 20 of the 2020 U.S. Economic Calendar highlights April production and retail sales data.

Many States are reopening their economies this week following several weeks of self-imposed lockdown due to COVID-19. Investors this week are looking forward to potential economic data to suggest a wide-range of results, including slow growth to unexpected increases in retail sales volume from pent-up demand. On the other side, investors are skeptical that the U.S. will steer clear of a second wave of lockdowns forced by re-opening economies too early. There is still no vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Global deaths from the virus reached more than 280,000 over the weekend. Several million cases have been confirmed around the globe. Some countries are easing lockdown restrictions to mixed results. Consumer spending has so far not returned to pre-COVID levels. Some countries, including world-leaders in the fight against COVID-19 Germany and South Korea, are facing a potential second round of lockdowns due to loose social enforcement and business-friendly guidelines. Hospitalizations and new cases spiked in each country this past week.

Here are your key economic updates for the week ahead, May 11 – May 15:

Monday, May 11

  • No major economic releases are expected.

Tuesday, May 12

  • NFIB releases the Small Business Optimism Index for April
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a Consumer Price Index for April – consensus is 0.2% core decrease

Wednesday, May 13

  • MBA will release mortgage purchase applications index
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak on the current economic climate via webcast – consensus is for Powell to reiterate no negative interest rates in forecast

Thursday, May 14

  • Weekly unemployment claims – consensus is 2.800 million versus 3.169 million actual last week

Friday, May 15

  • Retail Sales report for April – consensus is a 11.6% decrease in overall retail sales
  • Fed report on Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
  • Consumer Sentiment Index released by University of Michigan
  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover report for March from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
2020 Times Square New Year Economic Calendar New York City United States China Trade War

2020 Week 19 U.S. Economic Calendar

By Econ News, Economic Calendar

Week 19 of the 2020 U.S. Economic Calendar highlights monthly unemployment totals for April.

COVID-19 continues to dominate, and will continue to dominate, economic headlines around the globe for many months to come.

As the states continue to open throughout May and into June, we will see how bad the second round of COVID-19 diagnoses and resulting deaths might further weaken various structures of the economy. Of course, a breakthrough vaccine or treatment announcement would accelerate growth and a return to “normalcy” ahead of the projected timelines.

Here are your key economic updates for the week ahead, May 4 – May 8:

Monday, May 4

  • No major economic releases are expected.

Tuesday, May 5

  • Census Bureau releases Trade Balance Report – consensus is trade deficit of $44.2 billion for March versus $39.9 in February
  • ISM non-manufacturing index – consensus is a reading of 44 down from 52.5
  • Corelogic House Price index for March to be released

Wednesday, May 6

  • MBA will release mortgage purchase applications index
  • ADP Employment Report – consensus is 20,000,000 jobs lost in April versus only 27,000 lost in March

Thursday, May 7

  • Weekly unemployment claims – consensus is 3.30 million versus 3.898 million actual last week
  • Consumer Credit report from the Federal Reserve

Friday, May 8

  • Employment Report for April – consensus is 21,000,000 jobs lost and 16.0% unemployment (compared to 701,000 jobs lost and 4.4% unemployment in March).
CoreLogic February Housing Report 2020 Covid 19 Paramount Bank Case Shiller S&P 500

February Housing Report from CoreLogic

By Uncategorized

The S&P/Case-Shiller CoreLogic February Housing Report released on Tuesday, April 28.

While the country continues to look forward and assess the economic damage due to sustained COVID-19 lockdowns, we know for certainty the health of housing prices before shutdowns began.

S&P/Case-Shiller and CoreLogic released their survey of February Home Prices, and there was quite a surge in buyer demand. Let’s break down the results.

South and West dominate February Housing data

Regions in the South and West United States continued their hot streak from January 2020.

Phoenix led the nation at 7.5% home price growth, followed by Seattle at 6.0%.

As the data continues to be compiled for March, it will be interesting to see if South and West housing data takes a sizable hit or if the prices remain favorable to sellers in the regions.

No COVID-19 impact on February Housing Report

The CoreLogic housing report reveals no impact on sale prices due to COVID-19.

Much of the country closed down beginning in March, which will be reflected in the data set.

With an expected release of March’s data sometime in May, we will not know the extent of COVID-19 impact on March Housing Data for a while.

Continued Home Sales growth since the early 2000’s

The Case-Shiller CoreLogic report aims to accurately represent the value of single-family home sales across the United States.

Baseline metrics measure growth on a scale. Typical measurements include 10-city and 20-city surveys to get a composite average.

Based on the February Housing Report information, home prices in the United States measured at a 150 on the scale, with a 100 score applied in January 2000.

The composite average means nationwide home sales have appreciated approximately 50 percent in the last 20 years. Great news for existing home owners as well as future buyers looking at the long-term value prospects of a property. Of course, there are other variables to consider with a home including neighborhood values, crime rate, city proximity, transit times, and more.

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