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Daily Market Watch for Friday, January 19, 2018 (Courtesy of Larry Baer and Market Alert )
Short Term Trend (5 days or less): Favors higher rates and lower prices.
Long Term Trend (6 days or more): Favors higher rates and lower prices.

This week global stock markets continued to sprint to new record highs while the ticking clock measuring the time Congress has left to get a continuing resolution passed to avoid a government shutdown has become almost deafening. This is definitely not the “stuff” that supports the prospect for steady to lower mortgage interest rates and higher prices.

Temporary government funding runs out at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, January 20th. A measure to temporarily prevent this outcome through February 16th passed the House of Representatives last night. The measure has run into exceptionally stiff headwinds in the Senate.

One of the primary sticking points affecting passage in the Senate appears to be demands by Democrats that legislation raising the debt ceiling should include a permanent provision shielding about 690,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. Republicans believe that issue should be addressed separately from budget and funding negotiations.

Senate Republicans do not have enough party-line votes to pass the legislation without Democratic support.

As I write, it appears the government currently is headed for its next shutdown following the shutdown in 2013. Brace yourself for a rousing round of the “political blame game” that is sure to follow.

A government shutdown, should it develop, will close most agencies and stop the payment of federal employees. It won’t happen all at once – but on a progressive rolling basis as each day passes without a funding resolution. Federal law enforcement, airport security, military payrolls and other vital services will continue. Social Security and Medicare payments together with the food stamp program will be unaffected.

The longer the Congressional impasse lasts, the more damage will be done to global investors view of the creditworthiness of our national debt instruments. In 2011 the debt rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of U.S. Treasury debt instruments due to “political brinkmanship.” Hopefully, the current Congressional logjam will clear before we are subject to another such downgrade.

I’ll keep you posted as the current drama on Capitol Hill plays out.

Looking ahead to the coming week Uncle Sam will be conducting a three-day, three-part debt auction series beginning on Tuesday and running through Thursday.

First up on the block will be $26 billion of 2-year notes followed on Wednesday by $34 billion of 5-year notes. The whole thing will wrap-up on Wednesday with the sale of $28 billion of 7-year notes.

If Congress is still duking-it-out trying to get a budget resolution passed, demand for these securities will likely be limited. If so, it will be difficult, if not impossible for mortgage interest rates to gain traction toward lower levels.

In terms of economic news -- mortgage investors will get a look at the December Existing Home Sales numbers on Wednesday followed by the December New Homes Sales stats on Thursday. Friday brings the December Durable Goods Orders figures and the government’s first guesstimate of overall economic growth in the form of the Q4 Gross Domestic Product report.

At this juncture, it is safe to say the debt auctions and the barrage of scheduled economic news will take a distant backseat to Congressional efforts to pass a debt resolution.
Rates Last Updated 1/19/18, 9:38 AM CST 
 Crdt. Score 
 Dbt. Ratio 
  *Rates and terms are subject to change at any time and certain variations, restrictions, or improvements may apply based on creditworthiness, loan amount, property type, etc. APR's do not include mortgage insurance which may be required for LTVs greater than 80%, or closing costs from undetermined third parties including the title company.
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Contact Information
Houston:Jim Norris (RMLO #304627)
12010 Miramar Shores Dr
Houston, Tx 77065
(281) 970-1082 ext 1
(866) 717-4556 ext 1
Houston:Ellen Roloff Norris (RMLO #304630)
12010 Miramar Shores Dr
Houston, TX 77065
281-970-1082 ext 2
866-717-4556 ext 2
Brenham:Gayle Valentine-Hill (RMLO #298234)
119 W Commerce St
Brenham, TX 77833

Brenham:Sandra Starnes (RMLO #298126)
119 W Commerce Street
Brenham, TX 77833

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