Market News 11-27-2020
Mortgage Market Update
Decor that Improves Relations in Your ‘Home Office’
With much of the nation shifting to remote work, it is no surprise that both interior designers and couples’ therapists have seen a surge in business. Before hiring professional help, choose a room big enough to accommodate two workstations with space for separate storage and individual lighting. Dedicate a surface as shared for printers, plants and decor, or the coffee maker. Noise-canceling headphones also can help you maintain focus or drown out sounds from others in the room. You can also reduce noise by closing doors or soundproofing with thick rugs, window treatments, and houseplants.2
401(k) a Tool for Mortgage Prepayment?
Barring the threat of bankruptcy or foreclosure, most money experts strongly advise against using your 401(k) to pay off your mortgage. Removing a lump sum from your retirement account will result in losing years’ worth of accrued interest on that money. If you are younger than 59½ years old, you must pay a 10% penalty on any money withdrawn – or $100 on every $1,000. The IRS also considers any early distributions as income, which is subject to income tax. A better strategy that protects your retirement account would be refinancing or recasting your mortgage. Consult a loan officer about objectives like payment reduction, faster payoff, and reduced interest costs.3
What a Surge in COVID Cases Means for the Housing Market
When the coronavirus first swept the nation, the housing market sharply declined for a month before recovering and posting an impressive 25-week streak of year-over-year growth. With COVID-19 cases surging again, analysts predict two factors will prevent impacts on par with the spring of 2020. First, the public has endured the virus for nine months, so people are not panicking or hoarding this time around. Secondly, investors are cautiously optimistic because COVID tests are more widely available, treatments for infections show great promise, and vaccines appear to be just around the corner.4