Ringing in the New

New Year Quote of the Day: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

Wuss’Up This Week: Three reports about employment are released this week with tomorrow’s Weekly Jobless Claims and ADP’s Employment Report, and Friday’s Employment Report. Friday’s is the most important as it can sway rates the most of the three reports. Payrolls are expected to be up by 115k and unemployment is predicted at 8.8%. In completely unrelated news I won the Nintendo Tecmo Bowl Super Bowl using the 1991 Bears on New Year’s Eve. No one in my house seems to care so I’m using this forum to brag about it.

Wuss’Up This Year: In her 1976 hit “Mahogany” Diana Ross sang, “Do you know where rates are going to?” It’s still a great question today. Nobody knows what will happen in 2012 but here is what we do know: Interest rates will remain volatile until the economy gains some stability. It is possible for rates to go down more as the Fed still wants to keep rates relatively low, but the Fed is like Oz – all-powerful in appearance and, uh, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. He only has so much power, Mortgage Fans. 90% of the rates we see are determined by the supply and demand of mortgage-backed securities. So…I’m not going out on a limb here but I think at its lowest we’ll see 3.75% on a 30-yr fixed and maybe 5.25% on the high end.

Dates to Remember: March 15th – the day most banks will (supposedly) hop onto the HARP 2.0 bandwagon. This is a program that will let people refinance even though their homes are underwater (I’m one of them!). Be sure to contact me that week if you are interested. Also, May 24th – my birthday. You’ve got 142 shopping days left; don’t wait until the last minute.

New Year Quote of the Day 2: “Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average…which means, you have met your New Year’s resolution.” – Jay Leno

Timeout for Trivia: Congrats to all who guessed Jennifer Beals as last week’s answer. Want to be entered into a drawing to win a box of strawberry-flavored Pop Rocks? Simply email me the answer to this week’s “Who Am I?” question. Good luck: “Tomorrow I turn 37. Stay away from my girl, Owen Wilson – if that’s really who you say you are! Just kidding – I’m not mean in real life like I was in that movie. In real life I like people and People likes me. But Vegas and Mike Tyson do not like me.”

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