Columbus Day

First Landing of Columbus on the Shores of the New World; painting by Dióscoro Puebla (1862)

Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1906, and became a federal holiday in the United States in 1937, though people have celebrated Columbus’s voyage since the colonial period. In 1792, New York City and other U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the four hundredth anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These patriotic rituals were framed around themes such as citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress.

Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries in the Americas and elsewhere which officially celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus‘ arrival and Discovery of America, which happened on October 12, 1492. The landing is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Día de la Raza (“Day of the Race”) in many countries in Latin America and as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, where it is also the religious festivity of La Virgen del Pilar. It is also celebrated as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Belize and Uruguay, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity) in Argentina and as Giornata Nazionale di Cristoforo Colomboor Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo in Italy and in the Little Italys around the world. These holidays have been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century and officially in various countries since the early 20th century.

Mortgage Rates Decrease

Despite the economic slowdown due to weakening manufacturing and corporate investment, the consumer side of the economy remains on solid ground. The fifty-year low in the unemployment rate combined with low mortgage rates has led to increased homebuyer demand this year. Much of this strength is coming from entry-level buyers – the first-time homebuyer share of the loans Freddie Mac purchased in 2019 is forty-six percent, a two-decade high.

Monthly Market Overview North San Diego County September 2019

As the summer draws to a close, multiple opposing factors and trends are competing to define the direction of the real estate market. After the Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate on July 31, 30-year mortgage rates continued to decline, approaching all-time lows last seen in 2016. Yet most experts agree these reductions are unlikely to bring sufficient relief, at least in the short term, for first-time home buyers. The lack of affordable inventory and the persistence of historically high housing prices continue to affect the housing market,leading to lower-than-expected existing home sales at the national level.

  • Closed Sales decreased 7.3 percent for Detached homes and 8.1 percent for Attached homes.
  • Pending Sales increased 10.8 percent for Detached homes and 19.2 percent for Attached homes.
  • The Median Sales Price was down 2.7 percent to $720,000 for Detached homes and 1.2 percent to $447,500 for Attached homes.
  • Days on Market increased 2.8 percent for Detached homes and 26.9 percent for Attached homes.
  • Supply decreased 14.7 percent for Detached homes and 12.0 percent for Attached homes.

As many homeowners refinanced their homes to take advantage of declining interest rates, consumer confidence in housing was reported to be at historically high levels. Even so, real estate professionals will need to monitor the market for signs of continued imbalances. Although the inventory of affordable homes at this point remains largely stable, it is stable at historically low levels, which may continue to push prices higher and affect potential buyers across the U.S.

San Diego North County Monthly Housing Market Indicators September 2019. Listings, Sales, Days on Market and more.


Bless! Converted Church From 1873 Is This Week’s Most Popular Home

Praise be! A Pennsylvania church converted into a cozy home sent clicks soaring toward the heavens this week. The former house of worship from the late 1800s wound up as this week’s most popular home on®.

From the heavy wood double doors to the original stained glass and church bell, the property has held onto certain features of its ecclesiastical past, while being effortlessly transformed into a bright, airy family house.

Apart from this divine cathedral conversion, you also clicked on a brand-new castle in Illinois decorated in a pristine Scandinavian aesthetic, designer Betsey Johnson‘s $2 million hot-pink beach mobile home, and a Spanish Colonial Revival in the O.C. with a crow’s nest rooftop deck to take in water and city views. Plus there’s an appearance by former Packer wide receiver Randall Cobb, who’s selling his home in Green Bay, WI, after parting ways with the team last year.

No helmet required—but we ask you to tackle the complete list of this week’s most popular homes by scrolling down…

See the homes here!

What is a balloon payment?

A: Final/balloon payment mortgages contain due date provisions calling for final payment of the principal balance in a lump sum before the principal is fully amortized through periodic payments.

For homebuyer mortgages, a final/balloon payment mortgage has a scheduled final payment that is more than twice the amount of any of the six regularly scheduled payments immediately preceding the balloon payment date.

Final/balloon payments on consumer-purpose, homebuyer mortgages have become rare due to consumer mortgage legislation, known as Regulation Z (Reg Z).

When your mortgage complies with Reg Z qualified mortgage (QM) standards, your mortgage needs to be fully amortized in substantially equal
regular installments, a rule eliminating the inclusion of a final/
balloon payment provision.

Business-purpose mortgages often have a due date for a final/balloon payment as they are not subject to federal consumer mortgage law.

When your consumer mortgage has a final/balloon payment, your lender needs to document their good faith effort to determine your ability to actually repay the mortgage when it is due.

A consumer or business mortgage with a term exceeding one year which is secured by your primary residence and contains a final/balloon payment due date is required to include a 90/150-day due date notice provision.

The notice reminds you of the final/balloon payment and gives you an opportunity to modify, refinance or pay off the remaining principal balance before the final/balloon payment becomes due.

The notice needs to be delivered at least 90 days, but not more than 150 days, before the due date (hence the term 90/150). When the notice is not timely delivered, the due date of the final/balloon payment is extended until 90 days after proper notice is delivered. No other terms of the note are affected. Thus, the accrual of interest and the schedule of periodic payments remain the same during the extended due date period.

What Is Hardscaping? The Landscaping Element Every Gorgeous Garden Needs

Looking to make your outdoor area more livable? Consider adding a hardscape feature to complement your plants and flowers. A decked-out backyard can give a big boost to your property’s value, and hardscaping can be a central part of this. So what is hardscaping and how much should you budget to make it into a reality for your home? Read on.

What is hardscaping?

Your home’s outdoor spaces consist of hardscapes and softscapes.

“While softscapes are your plants and living elements, hardscaping encompasses the nonliving elements of landscaping—like a paver patio, stone wall, or a gazebo,” says Joe Raboine, director of residential hardscapes at Belgard, which makes residential and commercial products.

Hardscaping can increase the functionality of your outdoor space and can be designed to match your preferred style: traditional, modern, rustic, you name it.

“Using materials such as wood, stone, metal, and concrete, hardscapes can also add physical boundaries and dimension to your yard,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

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