It was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that officially completed the territorial expansion of the United States.
On February 2nd Christians observe Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, or the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Catholics, is a Christian Holy Day that celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, where he was officially converted into Judaism, and the purification of the Virgin Mary after giving birth to a child. This Feast Day focuses on hope, renewal, and purification.
On the same day in the United States, some people have replaced Candlemas celebrations with Groundhog Day. What many don't know, is that Groundhog Day was inspired by Candlemas. There is an ancient tradition where Candlemas was linked to weather predictions, and the weather on February 2nd would determine how much longer winter would be.
Candlemas is an important Christian holiday, but it is not a public holiday in the United States, so businesses and schools remain open.
The first Wednesday of February is known as National Signing Day, the day when high school senior football players can officially sign their contracts to play football in the college of their choice. College football is one of the most followed sports by fans and the media, and every year, star players will announce what team they are signing with. While in recent years there has been an early signing period has begun in late December, many top players choose to wait until National Signing Day as it gets the most attention and coverage. The signing period ends at the start of April.
Lincoln's Birthday, also known as Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, Abraham Lincoln Day or Lincoln Day, is celebrated annually on February 12, the date of President Lincoln's birth, in 1809. It is a legal holiday in some states, namely Illinois, Kentucky, Connecticut, Missouri, New York, Ohio, California and Indiana.
Other states celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birth on Presidents' Day, also known as Washington's Day.
Average mortgage rates held steady yesterday. Another fall had seemed likely but some markets whiplashed yesterday, meaning they changed direction sharply.
First thing this morning, it was looking as if mortgage rates today might increase or hold steady. But, as we saw yesterday, they often change direction sharply as the hours' pass. As CNN Business put it this morning: "Get ready for more wild swings. Volatile markets are back."
|Conventional 30 year fixed||3.772%||3.796%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||3.089%||3.128%||-0.02%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||3.426%||3.466%||-0.01%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||3.007%||3.079%||-0.01%|
|30 year fixed FHA||3.857%||4.634%||+0.01%|
|15 year fixed FHA||3.079%||3.73%||-0.02%|
|5/1 ARM FHA||3.75%||4.012%||+0.06%|
|30 year fixed VA||3.982%||4.188%||+0.04%|
|15 year fixed VA||3.275%||3.616%||+0.01%|
|5/1 ARM VA||3.606%||3.115%||+0.18%|
Here's a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time yesterday, were:
Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve's interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that's no longer the case. We still make daily calls. And are usually right. But our record for accuracy won't achieve its former high levels until things settle down.
So use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to rely on them. But, with that caveat, mortgage rates today are likely to rise or hold steady. However, be aware that "intraday swings" (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.
Here are some things you need to know:
A lot is going on at the moment. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what's going to happen to mortgage rates in coming hours, days, weeks or months.
Tomorrow, at 2: p.m. (ET), we'll see the publication of a statement by the Federal Reserve's monetary policy body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Thirty minutes later, Fed Chair Jerome Powell will host a news conference.
And what's said and written that day could have a big impact on mortgage rates, even though no major announcements are expected. Because we might get some hints over its plans for its asset balance sheet.
As of last Wednesday, the Fed owned $2.7 trillion ($2,686,262,000,000) worth of mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), the type of bond that largely determines mortgage rates.
It acquired the bulk of those to keep mortgage rates artificially low. Its purchases pushed up the price of MBSs, which sent their yields (and therefore mortgage rates) lower. Bond prices always move inversely to bond yields.
The Fed's already announced that it's slowing those purchases and will stop adding them to its balance sheet in March. However, it will continue to spend the money it receives when these bonds mature on new ones. So it's not completely ducking out of the market.
The first of two big questions is: For how long? The last time it ended a similar round of MBS asset purchases, it kept reinvesting receipts from maturities for 30 months. But some members of the FOMC are already saying that's too long. The sooner it fully pulls out of the market, the greater the upward pressure on mortgage rates.
The second big question is: When will it reverse the policy, reducing the MBSs on its balance sheet by selling them? No doubt, it will dribble them onto the market when it does. But that's still bound to add more pressure on mortgage rates to rise.
Nobody's expecting the FOMC to lay out a detailed timetable for changes to its treatment of MBSs tomorrow. But signals and hints are a different matter. That's how the Fed operates: by softening up markets ahead of actual announcements through series of those signals and hints.
In response, markets have turned the reading of those hints into an art form, parsing every sentence and poring over every word. And it can take a while for markets to do that. So, sometimes, it takes time for them to respond.
In other words, don't necessarily expect an immediate, sharp reaction to the Fed's words tomorrow. Unless their meaning is immediately clear, it may take days or longer for the message to sink in.
If you subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and wish to know more, read Fed Steps Up Deliberations on Shrinking Its $9 Trillion Asset Portfolio.
Even when mortgage rates were amid an obvious upward trend, I'd occasionally trot out a list of things that could turn them around. And I'd say they were possible but highly unlikely. Suddenly, some of them seem a bit less unlikely.
My list would often include a new and highly damaging COVID-19 variant, a war involving the US, and a stock market collapse.
Hmm. The possibility of a new variant has never gone away. But the situation in Ukraine is a new danger. The Pentagon has put 8,500 troops on high alert and other NATO forces are also rallying in response to a highly credible threat from Russia.
Meanwhile, last week, Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of Boston-based fund manager GMO, wrote about his fears of a "superbubble" in stock and property markets. And he's expecting that bubble to pop soon. Of course, there are always a few doomsayers around Wall Street predicting such events. But, as The Guardian put it this morning, Mr. Grantham "called the dot-com and 2006-08 crashes with impressive precision."
Writing in a Wall Street Journal e-newsletter this morning, Jason Zweig acknowledged the risk: "I don't know whether we're on the cusp of a cataclysmic decline, or whether this is one of the market's normal see-saw rides." Food for thought.
So, mortgage rates might fall if any of these scenarios comes to pass. But at what cost!
For a longer overview of where mortgage rates are going, read the weekend edition of this daily rates report.
Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions last year, according to Freddie Mac.
The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Since then, the picture has been mixed with extended periods of rises and falls. Unfortunately, since last September, the rises have grown more pronounced, though not consistently so.
Freddie's Jan. 20 report puts that weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 3.56% (with 0.7 fees and points), up from the previous week's 3.45%.
Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.
And here are their current rate forecasts for the four quarters of 2022 (Q1/22, Q2/22, Q3/22, Q4/22).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie's were published on Jan. 19 and Freddie's and the MBA's on Jan. 21.
Personally, I was surprised that Fannie Mae only slightly increased its rate forecasts in January. It believes that rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages will average 3.2% over the current quarter. But, on the day its figures were published, we reported those for conventional loans were already up to 3.87%.
Do Fannie's economists expect those rates to plummet later this month or in February or March and remain lower in the following quarters? If so, they know something that I don't. And that their peers in Freddie and the MBA's teams don't, either, though I'm less optimistic than any of them.
Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual.
You should comparison shop widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
"Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan."
Mortgage rate methodology
The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.
In addition to being the home of several competitive sports teams such as the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Grand Rapids Griffins, Grand Rapids sports fans know there are tons of great places to catch a game on TV. Long-time residents can bank on a seat with a view at Peppino's, SpeakEZ Lounge (especially good for soccer fans), Buffalo Wild Wings, or The Score on Plainfield. Dave & Busters on 28th Street has great screens and space too.
While sports lovers in Grand Rapids have plenty of great spots to cheer on their team, there are few venues you might not know about, or might not think of, when it comes to watching sports. Check out these five sports bars the next time you're ready to yell, "Go, team!"
With 40 TVs and a large projector-sized screen, every seat at GP Sports offers a view of the game. Although it's housed in the Amway Grand Plaza Curio Collection by Hilton, you won't find anything formal or stuffy at GP Sports.
It's fun to walk through the elegant four-star hotel lobby with its beautiful gold leaf ceiling and into the sports bar, where you can kick back in a casual, fun atmosphere and comfortably enjoy a drink and game in jeans. Try the black Angus beef burger – it doesn't disappoint!
The first time you walked into Monelli's in Wyoming you may think, "Wow. Why haven't I been here to watch games before?"
Monell is had six-count 'em – six projection TVs as well as 54 other TVs throughout the restaurant and at the bar. The TVs feature stadium-quality sound, so you can hear what's happening from anywhere in the restaurant. Fans show up for games in droves because they know there will be a great view regardless of their seat and the atmosphere is downright electric during big sporting events.
If that's not enough, sports fans, it also has 52 beers on tap. Game on!
JT's Pizza has been serving up amazing homemade pizza and other Italian favorites from scratch since 1975, making it a long-time neighborhood favorite.
It upped its game last year with a 2,500+ square foot addition focused on sports fans. The new space features over 15 large TVs, a cozy, indoor fireplace, and 12 taps.
JT's designed the addition with garage doors that serve as walls. When warm weather arrives, they throw the garage doors open and allow guests to bask in the beauty of a Michigan summer. Sports, made-from-scratch goodness, and Michigan sunshine…what could be better?
You may know that Atwater Brewery opened its doors in Grand Rapids in October of 2016 and has 40 rotating taps, but did you also know it's a good place to catch a game?
In addition to a large projection TV, it has six others, including four in the dining area and a couple at the bar. You're closer to the taps when you catch the game at the bar, making it my favorite place to watch. Its speaker system is hooked up to the projector TV, which allows it to play the audio for big games.
Atwater is housed in an impressively renovated space, originally built in 1923. In addition to simply being a beautiful old building, the high ceilings make it easy to take a peek at other screens when you want to keep track of multiple games.
Vitale's has long been a favorite spot for great Italian food, grabbing drinks with friends, and watching a game. With six huge screens in the dining room as well as lots of TVs around the 36-seat football-shaped bar, sports fans don't miss any of the action-watching games here.
If you haven't visited its gorgeous, new patio – which they use for three seasons – you'll want to plan a visit soon. With glass garage doors and radiant heat flooring, it's a light, airy, and cozy place for sports fans to gather. It has five large TVs and a second bar that seats 14. Cheers!
This list doesn't nearly cover all of the great venues in Grand Rapids where you can catch a game. For other ideas, check out our full listing of sports bars. And be sure to let us know your favorite. It's always fun to experience watching a game in a new place!
This Monday, January 17, we celebrate a national holiday in honor of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, a tireless fighter for the civil rights of African Americans who was assassinated in 1968. For this reason, many offices and other entities will be closed throughout the country. We also tell you what will open.
The date is commemorated on the third Monday of January, a date close to January 15, the date of his birth in 1929.
What will be closed?
What businesses will be open?
Martin Luther King was a man who from a very young age defended the causes and rights of the African-Americans and people of color, which at that time were the victim of racial segregation and violence.
He led several protests, for which he was very besieged by white segregationists, who considered him a real danger, however, he achieved many transformations so that the rights of African Americans were accepted, such as the use of transportation or entry to public places.
He was the victim of several attacks, until, in 1968, he was shot to death while he was in the city of Memphis, United States, where he would participate in a strike organized by an African-American movement.
Just four days after the assassination of activist leader Luther King in 1968, Democratic congressman from Michigan, John Conyers, was the first to introduce legislation for this commemoration, but the proposal did not have enough impact in Congress, despite the signatures of more than 6 million people.
Each year, Conyers and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, sent the proposal to Congress at the beginning of the session, but it was not successful. During 1982 and 1983 the civil rights marches on Washington constituted significant public pressure. And finally in 1983 US President Ronald Regan enacted the holiday.
2022 is finally here and many of us are thinking about what home renovations we'll be making this year. Home improvements make for great New Year resolutions because they not only provide a sense of personal achievement but also benefit you financially in the long run.
The tricky part about planning home improvements is it's often difficult to know where to start. If you're looking for some ideas to start your year off right, here are some recommendations from our real estate agents:
Contact us today for more home improvement recommendations!
Crane's In The City opened its doors on July 27, 2010, at 11 East 8th Street in the beautiful downtown Holland. Chad & MaryJo Creevy are co-owners of the original restaurant, Crane's Pie Pantry in Fennville, MI (MaryJo is a niece of the original founders, Bob and Lue Crane).
Our urban restaurant brings all the fun foods from its rural roots like Sloppy Joes, homemade soups and chili, and, of course, their famous homemade pastries. Our menu is full of delicious Salads, Sandwiches, and Soup that are great for lunch or dinner. You can sit and dine with us in-house or take your food to go! We are speedy! There is seating for about 35 in-house, including a dozen patio seats outside.
We are proud to serve Crane's homemade pies. Our selection includes over 12 fruit pies and crisps, apple-walnut cake, strudels, apple dumplings, and the famous cider donuts made fresh daily in-house. We also offer coffee and espresso drinks of all sorts and serve the delicious Plainwell ice cream atop your favorite slice of pie, or all on its own.
We also have Crane's classic line of blueberry and raspberry preserves and of course apple butter, local honey, hot fudge, and caramel sauce.
We've had a great crowd since we opened back in 2010. Downtown Holland is a fun place to be! Eighth Street seems to be the center of activity, and even in the Snowbelt, there is always something going on.
|Homes for Sale 1||110||-22.0% decrease in inventory|
|New on Market||53||-48.5% decrease in new listings|
|Avg. Asking Price/Sq.Ft.||$175||$7 decrease in List Price/Sq.Ft.|
|Avg. Sale Price||$316,156||$20,768 decrease in avg sale price|
|Avg. Sale Price as % of Asking Price||99.8%||-1.7% decrease in Sales to List Price|
|Avg. Sale Price/Sq.Ft.||$172||$1 decrease in Sale Price/Sq.Ft.|
|Avg. Days on Market of Sold||52||2 decrease in days on market|
Burgers, steak, chicken, sandwiches, and pizza, what's not to love about classic American cuisine? Not only does American food combine flavors from a variety of cultures, but there is also something very comforting about it. Whether it's a diner breakfast or a classic American entree for dinner, our real estate agents love warming up each winter at these Holland restaurants: