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Mortgage Rates Rise on Positive Employment Data

National home price data is published on a lag, so when we hear that the S&P Case-Shiller index showed July home prices up 6.7% yearly and down 0.5% monthly, a natural response would be “ok, but what about September?” In general, these trends (however outdated) can give us a broader market picture.

For one, rising home prices, rising mortgage rates, and fewer foreclosures, have helped reduce the “affordability” of for-sale real estate. Bargain pricing (and historically low mortgage rates) helped fuel the housing market turnaround, and that fuel is starting to appear burnt out. Thus: the S&P Case-Shiller price index shows a month-over-month slowdown.

The good news: new home sales rose 18% month-over-month. Builders have reacted to the high demand environment and have built new properties to add to the supply pool. This is a healthy step for the real estate market, which appears ready to balance out and get back to a steady pace of growth.

And speaking of steady growth, let’s talk about employment. Jobless claims continue to push pre-recession lows. After reaching a 14-year low two weeks ago, claims for unemployment benefits have continued to decline. Continuing claims fell 20,000 to 2.441 million to reach a new recovery low.

Last (but not least), payrolls added 248,000 positions in September. Equally important, the August total was revised from 142,000 to 180,000. Combine the strong September numbers with the previous month’s upward revision, and it appears that August’s low initial reading was simply an outlier.

The nation’s unemployment rate fell 0.2% to 5.9%. Central Coast Lending co-owner Jason Grote noted that the number is even stronger than it looks:

“Half of the 0.2% dip came because people gave up and left the workforce, and the other half came because more jobs were created. Lately, the unemployment rate drops have occurred because 80% were giving up and 20%  were getting jobs. This 50/50 balance is much better.”

Digging deeper, we find another positive tidbit from the quality of the jobs being added. Business services (“white collar”) added 81,000 jobs in September, compared to an average of 34,000 over the past 12 months. The increase in these “head of the household”-type jobs gives us another reason for optimism.


Mortgage Rates

Last week started out favorable for interest rates.

Freddie Mac Rate Movement copy“I think honestly the fears over Ukraine, Syria, Hong Kong, and even ebola were a big part of it,” said Grote.

As the week progressed with positive data, however, mortgage rates increased.

“When the future is bright, bets move to the stock market,” said Grote. “There is a pull back from bond markets.”

When bond markets sink, interest rates typically rise.


Loan Program Update

The Fannie Mae HomePath Mortgage program will be discontinued effective October 7, 2014. Give us a call at 805.543.LOAN with any questions. Read more here.


Central Coast Lending is a California mortgage broker and direct lender based on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo County. Call us today at 805.543.LOAN or email us here to set up a free pre qualification. We are The Mortgage Experts: ask us anything!

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San Luis Obispo Cal Poly

The CCL Workforce Housing Mortgage: Discounts for Middle-Income Buyers

Middle-to-low income homebuyers who currently do not own a home are eligible to receive a significant price break on their loan under the CCL Workforce Housing Mortgage program.

Continue reading “The CCL Workforce Housing Mortgage: Discounts for Middle-Income Buyers” »

Halloween and Fall (1)

SLO County October 2014 Event Guide

October on the California Central Coast might be the best month of the year for blending “fun for the whole family” and “fun with the friends.” You have your family pumpkin picking, haunted houses, and costume creations, but then you also have your Oktoberfest beer and bratwursts, clam bakes, wine festivals, and jazz.

Our 2014 San Luis Obispo County October event guide has something for everybody. We broke the fun down into categories: pumpkin patches, haunted houses, “oktoberfest”, Halloween/Fall, and annual events.

Read more »


Mortgage Rate Update (October 2)

Mortgage pricing has dropped significantly week-over-week, and now would be a good time to lock in a low interest rate!

  • Conventional Rates: 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and 30-year high balance are down over 3/4 of a point,
  • Government Rates (FHA, USDA, VA): Down between 1/2 of a point and 3/4 of a point.
  • Manufactured Rates: Down over 5/8 of a point.

Wondering if you should lock your rate? Every situation is different. Give us a call at 805.543.LOAN and we would be happy to talk it over.


Conventional Loan Programs 

30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, 30-year high balance

October Conforming Mortgage Rates copy

Specialty Loan Programs


October FHA, USDA, VA Mortgage Rates copy

Manufactured Home Loan Programs

FHA Manufactured, Conventional Manufactured

October Manufactured Home Mortgage Rate copy

Jumbo Loan Program

Jumbo ($700,000 loan amount)

October Jumbo Mortgage Rate  copy

Rates Directly to Your Inbox!

If you would like to receive a more detailed Mortgage Rate report, you can subscribe to our “CCL Rate Tracker.” The CCL Rate Tracker follows 10 loan programs and publishes three rate options closest to 1 point, par, and 1 rebate for each program every two weeks and delivers the results in an email. To sign up, please email [email protected] with the text “Rate Tracker.”

Apply Online Today!

When you register for a Loan Center account, you can submit a loan application online and the sensitive information that you provide will be transmitted securely. Your account also enables you to easily modify your loan application and view the status of your loan. Any questions? Call us at 805.543.LOAN or email us here.

About the Loan Programs:



  • Mortgage rates assume purchase of a singe-family, detached, owner-occupied, residential property.
  • Mortgage rates assume borrower credit score of 760 and a Debt-to-Income ratio of 35%. Rates for conventional loan programs assume a loan-to-value of 80%.
  • Loan amount is $417,000 for all programs (appraised value of $522,000), except for the high balance ($561,200 loan and $722,000 value), and Jumbo ($700,000 loan and $1,000,000 value)
  • Mortgage rates and APR subject to change.

Mortgage Matters Radio: September 27 (NEW)

Guests: Chris Richardson, Richardson Properties.

Central Coast Lending Soundcloud (full episode downloads). September 27, 2014 (link to episode).



Mortgage Matters Radio: September 20 (NEW)

Guests: Wes Burk, Patterson Realty.

Central Coast Lending Soundcloud (full episode downloads). September 20, 2014 (link to episode).



Monday Market Update: Home Sales Slow, Employment News Remains Strong

The pace of nation-wide existing home sales dipped by 1.8% month-over-month and 5.3% year-over-year in August. By region, the West’s -6.0% drop was the largest decline.

Home sales have been slowed by low supply and rising prices. The rate environment remains favorable, but without homes to buy, many first-timers remain on the sidelines. The supply of “distressed” properties (foreclosures and short sales) has dried up, which has eliminated a source of affordable housing and contributed to the current supply crunch.

New home development has stepped into the vacuum. Sales of new homes jumped 18% percent in August. The Western region (which had the largest existing sales dip), saw new sales jump by 50%. Here in San Luis Obispo County, stakeholders have come together to plan for more “workforce housing” developments and alleviate the supply crunch. Click here for the full story.

In other economic news, jobless claims increased slightly, but keep in mind that the rise came after the lowest recorded volume of new claims in 14 years. The increase was small (281,000 two weeks ago to 293,000 last week), which suggests that the nationally jobs situation is making solid improvements.

Second quarter GDP was revised up to a 4.6% growth rate. The first quarter churned out an alarming 2.1% drop in GDP, so the strong Q2 recovery has provided a nice salve for markets.


Mortgage Rate Movement

30-Year Fixed MovementMortgage rates have dipped back to early-September lows. After a mid-month spike, the Central Coast Lending 30-year fixed dropped 3/8 of a point week-over-week. For 3/8 of a point in cost, we are now advertising the 30-year fixed at 4.125% (4.171% APR).

The Freddie Mac national mortgage rate tracker reflects this decline. Last week, the 30-year fixed national average fell back to 4.20%, which is only slightly higher than the 18-month low of 4.10% set in late-August.


Loans Program Updates

Remember: monthly USDA mortgage insurance fees are set to increase from 0.4% of the loan to 0.5% on October 1, 2014. For a loan of $400,000, this would increase the monthly mortgage payment by about $33. Read more here.


Central Coast Lending is a California mortgage broker and direct lender based on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo County. Call us today at 805.543.LOAN or email us here to set up a free pre qualification. We are The Mortgage Experts: ask us anything!

About   ||   Mortgage FAQ   ||   Market Update Blog   ||   Radio Show   ||   Contact


Mortgage Rate Update (September 24)

Wondering if you should lock your rate? Every situation is different. Give us a call at 805.543.LOAN and we would be happy to talk it over. Below, see mortgage rates for the week of September 15 – 19. Read more »


Why Own Precious Metals?

I was out of town last week visiting friends who live in the Pacific Northwest half the year. On the way home, I sat next to a family man, who has a wife and four children. He told me how he had purchased silver in the not too distant past. His investment in silver has done nothing but lose value. The markets and cycles have not been in his favor. It may take years before they are again.

David Cryden 

DWC Photo 3 6 7 13Blakeslee & Blakeslee 
Co-Owner, Vice President & Certified Financial Planner

How do I feel about owning precious metals?

Precious metals are a commodity. Many have no daily use or need, while others have some. In every case, a metal itself is simply that, a metal. Therefore, the only way it will rise is based on people’s actual demand or use of those metals; or, by short term market factors which can drive up its value.

I have not been a fan of this type of investing for the vast majority of my 31 year career. Here’s why I just don’t find precious metal investing that compelling:

1. You have no income or dividends which can be derived by the metal itself.

2. If you own the actual metal, you may have to pay fees to store it somewhere safe.

3. The commodities markets can be very cyclical. If you don’t hit the valleys and peaks just right, you may wait a long time to get your money out whole or make profits. (Remember, in investing, time is either your ally or enemy.)

4. Commodities are not businesses. Therefore, they are unable to create any products or services that can enhance the bottom line.

5. Since commodities cannot create additional profits and/or revenue streams, they do not have an intrinsic way to grow in value.

Commodities are not able to grow in value or create jobs, services, and/or additional income. Common stocks can do all of the above. During most of my career, I’ve been a believer in basic or fundamental investing in common stocks and common stock mutual funds. I simply haven’t gotten the inherent value or merits of owning precious metals. In the long term, I think they can carry more risk with fewer intrinsic economic opportunities.


David Cryden is Co-Owner, Vice President, Certified Financial Planner™ at Blakeslee & Blakeslee, a financial planning and investment company based in San Luis Obispo (website). Reach him by email ([email protected]) or phone (805.544.PLAN). Member FINRA. Member SIPC.


Monday Market Update: Fed Stays the Course

The Federal Open Market Committee – the policy setting wing of the Federal Reserve – concluded its monthly meeting last Wednesday (September 17).

As expected, the FOMC will stay the course. The FOMC will keep short-term interest rates at their lowest level, with the expectation that an increase will come in 2015. The target inflation rate remains 2.0%.

The FOMC will also continue to “taper” its stimulus program (quantitative easing), with the conclusion to come by Halloween (2014). QE3 helped mortgage rates reach the lowest level on record in 2012, but “tapering” has alleviated some of that downward pressure on rates.

Still, rates remain near the lowest levels because low supply of mortgage-backed securities and high investor demand has helped fill the FOMC’s place.

In other economic news, weekly jobless claims hit a fourteen-year low at 280,000, and the four-week average dipped below 300,000.


Mortgage Rate Movement

Freddie Mac 30-year fixed movement copyMortgage rates inched up, but overall there isn’t all that much to report.

Despite the positive jobless claims report, the impression seems to be that the U.S. jobs market is soft. The Fed cut its 2015 economic growth predictions, and also dropped its September expectations. Unremarkable U.S. economic growth at home and turmoil abroad has helped maintain the low mortgage rate environment.

All eyes will be watching the jobless report this Thursday, and we will also see data on existing home sales, new home sales, durable goods orders, and GDP. All in all, a busy week.


Loans Program Updates

Funding for second mortgages – Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC), for example – is making a strong comeback. The savvy buyer / owner can use the second mortgage to solve complicated financial situations. Read more here.


Central Coast Lending is a California mortgage broker and direct lender based on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo County. Call us today at 805.543.LOAN or email us here to set up a free pre qualification. We are The Mortgage Experts: ask us anything!

About   ||   Mortgage FAQ   ||   Market Update Blog   ||   Radio Show   ||   Contact