Posted in Uncategorized

Which Type Of Pool Is Right For You? We Look At The Best Designs For Your Backyard

Which Type of Pool Is Right for You? We Look at the Best Designs for Your BackyardThe decision to install a pool is generally one that is applauded by at least certain members of the family. Whether you have children or not, however, having a pool at home is certainly something you can enjoy for yourself.

But what if you don’t think your yard is particularly suited to a pool? Don’t rule out the idea just yet; instead, consider some of these different pool designs to suit different sizes and styles of backyards.

Make The Most Of Your Small Backyard

For a relatively small backyard, you should always choose the right pool design that will ensure you make the most of the space.

A particularly good option for a smaller backyard is opting for an above-ground pool and having a custom wood deck built around one side of it, while leave the opposite side open for the kids to play in.

The addition, the wood deck will offer easy access for the kids to get into the pool, and will also give you a place to sunbathe while watching the kids splash around.

Single-Use, Modern Yard: Fiberglass Pool

For an ultra-modern backyard that is relatively small, and especially for a single-use backyard that is going to be dedicated to your swimming pool, a fiberglass pool might be your best option. Since the pool arrives in one single piece, already fully finished, the installation process is very quick and efficient.

Offered in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles, you can surely find a fiberglass pool that fits your single-use yard, and you could even have it ready to use within one week. You’ll find that the smooth surface of a fiberglass pool is appealing. These pools are also easy to maintain as only a few chemicals are required for cleaning.

With this type of pool that you’ll commonly find in vacation homes with modern, polished concrete backyards, you can turn your home into your favorite holiday destination, and much quicker than you might have guessed.

Customizable Concrete Pool For A Large Yard

If you have a large yard and aren’t concerned about using up too much space by having a swimming pool put in, why not opt for the most customizable concrete variety? A concrete pool can be constructed in virtually any shape or size you choose, allowing you to put your best creativity to use.

You can opt for texturized pool surfaces as well as well as plenty of add-ons and built-in features, such as a custom entry or a ledge for sunbathing. Customized concrete pools usually take about 12 weeks to build. You can also opt to have a concrete or tile surface installed around the pool, while still leaving plenty of grass and gardening space in your backyard.

These pools are also a great option for irregular backyards, as they can be customized to fit into virtually any shape, just as long as your yard is large enough.

When it comes to house shopping, you can opt to buy a house that already has a pool. Or if you’d prefer to be more involved in the process, you can simply look for a house with a suitable yard. For a list of suitable homes in your area that you can view today, get in touch with your real estate professional and get closer to that at-home dip you’ve been dreaming of.

Posted in Uncategorized

Creative Window Treatments That Will Totally Reinvent Your Home

Creative Window Treatments That Will Totally Reinvent Your HomeThere are a number of ways that you can improve the look and style of a room without having to spend an arm and a leg. Of course, painting and stenciling are the most affordable ways to bring new life and unique detail to an old room.

But if you’re intent on taking it to the next level, look no further than your windows.

Your options are nearly unlimited when it comes to sprucing up your windows – and the great news is that with a little creativity, you can use many products that are relatively inexpensive to buy.

Creativity doesn’t cost a thing, so check out these design ideas to get those creative juices flowing. You may be surprised to discover that many possible window treatments are already sitting in your attic or garage.

Bringing The Outside In

If you’re a scavenger and regular Sunday garage sale goer, you may discover the perfect piece of outer decor that can transition nicely into the interior. Consider a wood awning effect by using shingles or reclaimed wood for a rustic appearance.

Another trend that designers are seeing this year is in the use of stained glass or reclaimed woodcarvings that have been saved from demolition. Having a hand-carved feature is going to cost quite a bit to get custom made. However, many old doors and shutters can provide the same look without the need to have them custom built.

Creative Paint Projects For Fresh And Original Windows

When it comes to customizing your one-of-a-kind look, a painting project is a great way to create something original. You can get fabric-specific paints, as well as functional white or cream linens, for a minor sum. There are also services that can even print a design or picture directly onto your fabric for a unique and professional creation.

To create an immediate tie-in to a color scheme or accent color, consider painting the trim and wood slats of the window. This is an excellent and cost effective way to bring attention to your design features but also help to anchor a color within a room.

Cornice Boards Can Add A Finishing Touch

In the past, cornice boards were used to add weight and height to a window treatment. These days, they can also add architectural detail to spice up a room that appears flat and boxy. The great thing about cornice boards is that they can be individualized to suit the design and color scheme of the room: either with a solid paint job, or with monograms or stenciled images.

Thanks to the unique designs that you can create with these window treatments, you’ll never again have that “pre-packaged” look for your windows. As your lifestyle changes, a fresh coat of paint will rejuvenate the look and can quickly be adapted to match the new color palettes of future trends.

Reinventing windows is a great way to aid in a home staging project in order to prepare and beautify a home for sale. For more tips on updating your home’s look, call your trusted real estate professional today for answers and advice.

Posted in Uncategorized

Five Elegant Lighting Ideas That Will Transform Your Living Room

Five Elegant Lighting Ideas That Will Transform Your Living RoomWhen it comes to selling your home, there are many measures you can take as a homeowner to increase its value and appeal. You can often accomplish this through something as simple as updating your home’s light fixtures.

Here are some easy lighting solutions you can bring into your home that will transform your living room, and make the space much more appealing to your prospective home buyers.

Add A Chandelier For A Shimmery Focal Point

Here’s how you can lend your living room an air of class that can’t be paralleled: install a beautiful crystal chandelier. As something that never goes out of style in the world of interior design, chandeliers have actually seen a big comeback.

You’ll be immediately surprised how something so simple and classic will transform your living room, suddenly making it your new favorite room in the house.

Balance And Character: Side Table Lamps

If you’re looking for a way to transform your living room that will tie the design together and won’t be too difficult to install, perhaps opt for matching side table lamps. Just by adding a pair of matching lamps to your living room, you’d be surprised by the level of cohesion your living room will suddenly have. Table lamps can offer the perfect amount of lighting for a more intimate or relaxed setting, as well.

Demure Brilliance: Recessed Spot Lighting

Recessed spot lighting is something homeowners sometimes opt to have installed throughout their entire home, since it offers a sense of demure brilliance. Well hidden and offering the best of warmth and light, recessed spot lighting can highlight your living room’s focal artwork or simply light the entire room for a welcoming sitting area.

Retro Style: Arc Floor Lamp

The arc floor lamp has become a hit in the world of homes, too, bringing with it a sense of retro fun we’ve missed for so long. This is a simple and easy fix that can transform your living room without the need for screws and tools. This grandiose arc-style lamp also creates a focal point similar to how a chandelier might, but is much easier installed: just plug it in!

Subtle Modernity: Mounted Ceiling Fixture

For an update that is quick and easy but will allow for ample lighting in your living room, consider the installation of a subtle ceiling light fixture that is mounted close to the ceiling. This is a perfect solution for a living room that has another focal point, like a piece of artwork, and it will bring a sense of modernity to your space that will transform it more than you might expect.

In the world of home lighting, you’ll soon realize just how many options are available to you that will surely increase your home’s appeal. Creating a warm and welcoming space, especially one as significant as the living room, is key to ensuring that your home shows well and is something that prospective homebuyers love.

For more information on how you can increase your home’s appeal to the buyers in your market, call your trusted real estate professional today. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Stop The Rot: The Easy Guide To Preventing Dry Rot In Your Home

Stop the Rot: The Easy Guide to Preventing Dry Rot in Your HomeDid you know that dry rot is ironically created from having too much moisture come in contact with wood?

The fact is many homeowners are unaware that dry rot is even setting in, so the first step toward prevention is being able to diagnose possible areas of exposure before dry rot becomes a major renovation expense.

Remember that dry rot to your foundation can be an extremely costly repair and will definitely figure prominently into the total value of your property when a house inspection is completed prior to a sale.

As well, fungus and mold spores can affect the air quality of your home, which is a health problem for not only you and your family but also for prospective buyers.

Identifying Leaks To Your Water Membrane

In a very simple sense, discovering moisture or a leak on a wall or ceiling is an early sign that damage is occurring. Always inspect ceilings for particular evidence, especially around skylights and exhaust piping, as well as heating or cooling ducts. If damage was done to your roofing membrane during an installation or renovation, water can seep through.

Do an inspection of your basement in order to determine if any discoloring is happening to walls or wood. If you can smell mold or mildew, you may have a problem. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re already suffering from dry rot, just that the area is a hazard and should be sealed properly. Deal with the cause of the leak before you proceed to the repair stage.

Replacing The Affected Areas

If you have discovered wood that is either in the process of rotting, or has succumb to some water damage, the best thing to do is simply replace it. Once you’ve sealed the leak that initially caused the damage, discuss with your contractor the scope of the replacement job.

When installing new wood, it’s best to make sure that it’s treated with a Borate wood preservative to prolong its life and resilience to fungal infection. In some cases, you may not need to replace wood at all. You may be able to get away with only cleaning and then treating the area with Boric Acid, a fungicide that will slow down the spread of existing fungus and kill future growth.

Choosing The Right Fungicide And Preservative

This step will depend on the unique needs of your home’s situation. Generally, you have the option to choose between a dry powder and a glycol-based liquid concentrate. While the powder may appear less expensive, it may not do as thorough a job of absorbing deeply into the wood fibers.

Depending on the depth of fungal intrusion, you may need to use the more powerful liquid substance. Both are easy to apply, so you should be able to tackle this task yourself.

Maintaining the quality of your home is essential for keeping up its value when it comes time to sell. Call your trusted real estate professional today for more advice on preserving the value of your investment and identifying areas of risk and exposure to dry rot.

Remember that it’s far easier to deal with problems now before they develop into major expenses down the road.

Posted in Uncategorized

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 12, 2014

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - May 12, 2014Results from a Federal Reserve survey of senior bank loan officers indicated that lenders have held the line on prime lending standards and have raised standards for sub-prime and non-traditional home loans.

Survey respondents represented 74 U.S. banks and 23 foreign banks. Survey respondents also said that demand for mortgage loans was lower; this could be an unintentional result of tight credit standards for mortgage loans.

Analysts said that tight credit requirements and less demand for home loans could mean more trouble for the housing industry.

Home Prices Rise In March, But At Slower Rate

The annual rate of increase for national home prices was 11.10 percent as compared to February’s 11.80 percent year-over-year rate of increase.

February’s reading was the fastest pace of home price growth in eight years, but March’s slower level of home price appreciation was the lowest month-to-month reading in three years. Fewer affordable homes were cited as a reason for slower growth in housing markets.

CoreLogic reported that home prices rose by 1.40 percent in March, and that Arkansas was the only state that posted a drop in home prices. Several states, including North Dakota and Texas, achieved new peaks in home prices due to strong job growth.

The slow-down in home price growth isn’t necessarily all bad news; analysts said that home prices could not continue to climb when household incomes aren’t keeping up.

Many first-time buyers have been sidelined with a combination of slow job growth, higher home prices and tight mortgage credit. CoreLogic reported that these factors contributed to their forecast for home prices to grow by about 6.70 percent in 2015.

Mortgage Rates Fall, Fed Chair Speaks

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates on Thursday. The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.21 percent as compared to last week’s reading of 4.29 percent. Discount points dropped from 0.70 to 0.50 percent. The average rate for a 15-year mortgage was 3.32 percent and six basis points lower than the prior rate of 3.38 percent.

Discount points were unchanged at 0.60 percent. The rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was unchanged at 3.05 percent, but discount points dropped from 0.50 to 0.40 percent.

Janet Yellin, chair of the Federal Reserve, spoke before the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday and said that the Fed can shrink its current balance sheet of $4.3 trillion by not reinvesting proceeds from its portfolio of maturing bonds.

This is directly connected to the Fed’s tapering of its quantitative easing (QE) program, which is currently at a level of $45 billion per month in mortgage backed securities (MBS) and treasury securities.

Some analysts believe that members of the Fed’s FOMC meeting discussed the end of QE in their last meeting, but this cannot be verified until the minutes of the meeting are released May 21.

The end of QE could cause higher mortgage rates as the program’s purpose is to hold down long-term interest rates.

Weekly Jobless claims fell to a new low of 319,000 against predictions for 325,000 new jobless claims and 345,000 new claims for the prior week. Seasonal anomalies caused by the Easter holiday and spring break schedules were cited as causes for ups and downs in new jobless claims in recent weeks.

What’s Next

This week’s scheduled economic news includes several consumer-related reports including Retail sales, Consumer Price Index, core CPI, Homebuilder’s Index, and Housing Starts.

Posted in Uncategorized

DIY Play House: Easy Play House Designs Your Kids Will Love All Year Long

DIY Play House: Easy Play House Designs Your Kids Will Love All Year LongWhen it comes to creating a play house for your kids, you are limited only by your time, imagination, and to some degree, your budget. Most play house designs are constructed out of affordable wood products, and the plans are generally box-like in appearance. If you have the appropriate tools on hand, the project can take only a couple of weekends to construct.

Whether you choose a simple “look out” fort or a fully gable-roofed design, your kids will thank you for years to come.

Of course, the benefit to you is that they will have something to do to occupy their imaginations and get them away from the television. Instead of running out to the big box stores for pre-made forts, consider building one yourself.

Create Your Kids’ Home Away From Home

You can enhance simple playhouse designs by incorporating a climbing wall, a rope swing or even a slide (if you are able to build high enough.)

You can place a rubber climbing apparatus on the outside as long as there are some safety features installed as well, such as a soft area of wood chips or rubber pellets placed at the base of the wall. Also remember that climbing on the roof can be a falling hazard, so consider adding railings.

If you’re hoping to create a play house with some functionality, why not add some shutters and quaint furniture? Just remember to use furniture that is intended for outdoor use in order to prevent mildew and rot.

Play House Designs For The Cold Months

Outdoor fun doesn’t have to be restricted only to the summer months. It’s not impossible to simply run an electrical extension and attach a heater so your fort can be used all year round.

It’s an important cautionary note to be sure not to use any heating equipment that is powered by propane or gasoline. These heaters can emit toxic carbon monoxide that can build up inside a small space, which is an extreme health hazard. Instead, consider safe methods to install and insulate electrical heating devices, especially those designed for outdoor use that are resilient against water and snow.

 Backyard Play House Designs: No Construction Needed

If you’re all thumbs when it comes to picking up a hammer, why not make a teepee? Simply by purchasing some six-foot long, wooden sticks (bamboo works best) and some twine, you can create a teepee form in less than 5 minutes.

Once your form is complete, dress the top with sheets held on with clothespins. While this won’t withstand the elements nor last through seasons, it can quickly provide a shaded play area that comes down as quickly as it goes up.

In many ways, having your kids help to design and build their “dream home” is the main goal of any DIY project, so first and foremost: enjoy the process. While this “addition” to your home doesn’t have a tangible economic impact on the value of your house, it prepares your home to be viewed as family friendly, if nothing else.

For more great home project ideas, call your trusted real estate professional today to discover how easy and fulfilling building your youth-oriented dream home can be.

Posted in Uncategorized

Protect Your Home When You’re On Vacation With These Five Simple Tips

Protect Your Home When You’re on Vacation with These Five Simple TipsWhen making plans for a fun-filled vacation, you shouldn’t forget implementing certain home security measures to ward off thieves. Nobody wants to return home only to find that intruders had ransacked the residence from top to bottom.

If you’re going away on vacation, make sure you protect your home against break-and-enters with these five tips.

Alarm Intruders With Audible Deterrence Measures

Installing a professional home security alarm is one of the most cost-effective ways for people to protect their homes when they are away.

Buying and setting up the right system will ensure that the proper authorities will be notified if thieves break in or attempt to force their way in.

While determined crooks will be hard to discourage, most would-be intruders will look for easier targets if they inadvertently trigger a loud, piercing alarm that attracts too much attention from anyone who could call the police.

Make Forced Entry Difficult With Solid Doors

Some thieves will take a very direct approach to break-ins by simply trying to force their way through a locked door. If the exterior doors are hollow, thieves will have a pretty easy time getting through. This is why it is important to install solid doors rather than hollow ones; solid doors are much harder to break through. 

If you’re concerned about intruders forcing their way through your hollow doors, your best recourse is to upgrade to solid doors. Upgrading will cost a pretty penny, but the added protection they will provide will be well worth the investment.

While getting solid doors installed, you can go one step further by investing in good locks, deadbolts and reinforced strike plates.

Do Not Advertise Your Departures

A pile of newspapers at the front door or a mailbox full of mail and flyers will be proof positive to crooks that no one’s home. Homeowners who are going to be away on vacation should ask neighbors or other people they trust to collect their mail while they are away. 

If having a neighbor collect your mail isn’t an option, go to the post office and request that mail service to your home be suspended until you get back. It is also best to suspend newspaper deliveries for the vacation period as well.

Neighborhood Watch To The Rescue

One great home security solution that won’t cost a penny is having neighbors who look out for you. Homeowners would do well to ask trusted neighbors to keep an eye on their property while they are away on vacation. Tell those trusted neighbors to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and to call the authorities if necessary.

Protect Sliding Doors With This Simple Trick

Before heading off on vacation, you should safeguard the sliding glass doors in your home by putting something like a metal rod in the track. This way, thieves will not be able to force the door open.

Vacations are a time to unwind and to have some fun. However, responsible homeowners will do what it takes to make their residence less attractive to would-be thieves while they are away.

For more information on how to safeguard your home, or to get answers to your pressing real estate questions, contact your trusted real estate professional for prompt and practical advice.

Posted in Uncategorized

Vegetable Garden 101: Get The Kids Started On A Veggie Patch Project Today

Vegetable Garden 101: Get the Kids Started on a Veggie Patch Project TodayThinking about ways to engage your children in gardening and educational opportunities outside of the classroom? Creating your very own veggie patch with them is a great way to help them develop interest in the wonderful hobby of gardening!

Growing a vegetable garden links together many concepts your children are learning about in school while teaching them the art of discipline, responsibility and delayed gratification. Here are some great tips on how to nurture this project with your children.

Choose Pick-And Eat-Vegetables

The joy of being able to eat the fruits of their labors straight out of the garden will be an amazing reward for children. Vegetables like snap peas and cherry tomatoes are great for this. A bonus is that pea seeds are big and easy for those tiny hands to plant if you are going to have your children involved in the garden from the very beginning.

Pick Fun Vegetables The Kids Can Use Later

Another great route when choosing what to plant is picking vegetables that children have a strong connection to. Pumpkins are a great example of this. Children will love to grow pumpkins because of the promise of carving a jack-o-lantern later in the year.

Ensure Your Garden Is Conveniently Placed

One thing you don’t think about until you have kids is how to streamline your garden activities in a way that accommodates them. Convenience is critical when trying to manage children and do gardening at the same time. Go easy on yourself by placing your garden as close to a water source as possible.

Plant A Few Seeds That Will Grow Quickly

It is always nice to give children a bit of excitement right off the start. Lettuce is always good for this. It grows fairly quickly and will grab the interest of your children while they wait for the other plants to sprout.

Make Your Children Planting Assistants

Involving your kids in the planting is definitely a lot of work, but it really helps build their interest and education later on. Get them to hoe rows, dig holes, or water as you plant. This will help them connect all the processes together in their minds, and will keep the engaged later on.

Keep The Garden Front Of Mind

Make the garden an ongoing, continuous project that the children are involved in. Don’t let weeks go by before you bring the kids out to it again – they might get bored or develop other interests. Always look for opportunities to involve them in the work.

Plant A Colorful Garden

One of the easiest ways to get children excited about what is growing in the garden is to make it come alive with color. There are many different ways you can bring a splash of color to the garden. Choose a variety of lettuce, radishes, or squash to bring interesting and unique shapes, sizes and color to the garden!

Building a garden is a fun way to teach your children the value of hard work and perseverance, and to help them learn science! A garden can engage children and draw you all closer together as you work toward a common goal. If you have questions as to whether a garden will increase the value of your property, call your trusted real estate professional today for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized

Maximize Your Backyard’s Privacy With These Unique Ideas

Maximize Your Backyard’s Privacy with These Unique IdeasIf you’re a homeowner, your backyard is probably a space where you look forward to spending private, quality time watching your children play or entertaining dinner guests.

The privacy you and your family treasure could suddenly be put at risk if your neighbors finish renovations allowing them to see into your backyard, or if a tree that once hid your backyard from view needs to be removed. If you’re looking to reclaim the privacy you’ve lost in your yard, here are some options you will want to consider.

Your Property Line Is A Natural Barrier That You Can Use To Reclaim Your Family’s Privacy

The first option you might consider if you’re looking to reclaim your yard’s privacy is probably building a fence – but depending on your budget, your relationship with your neighbors, and the look you want in your yard, a fence might not be the best option.

Consider planting a fast-growing hedge or other greenery along your property line instead. Italian cypress, for instance, will look great, grow very quickly, and will eventually give you all the privacy you need. 

Break Up Your Nosey Neighbors’ Line Of Sight By Installing Raised Beds Or Berms

If you already have a green thumb and love nothing more than working on your backyard garden, you can have your cake and eat it too by replanting your current backyard plants in raised beds or berms.

Raised beds will add up to two or three feet of height to your plants without taking away the area or square footage in the rest of your backyard, making it an ideal option for homeowners will smaller backyard spaces. Installing raised beds or berms could also be a great solution for your garden if you have trouble planting due to the presence of clay or simply poor soil.

Lumber Isn’t Your Only Fencing Option

Though fencing seems like an obvious and possibly boring option to liven up your backyard and improve the aesthetic of your space at the same time, there are ways you can get creative with fencing that you might not have considered. Putting in latticework can alleviate the claustrophobic feeling that might come with enclosing your space fully with a solid fence, giving you some visibility through the lattice.

You can spice up the look of your enclosure by weaving plants through your lattice, or if you have the patience, get some ivy growing through your enclosure.

Maximizing the privacy of your outdoor space is easy if you’re creative and you enjoy working outdoors. If you love nothing more than pruning and shearing, then try to reclaim your space through planting rather than installing a fence or another permanent structure that you can’t change and therefore might regret later.

If you’re worried about how your backyard transformation could affect the value of your home, or if you’re looking for more privacy options, contact a real estate professional that you trust for the backyard design help you need.  

Posted in Uncategorized

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 5, 2014

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 5, 2014Last week’s economic news included several reports related to housing and mortgages. The NAR started the week on a positive note with its Pending Home Sales Index released Monday. Pending home sales in March were higher with an unexpected increase of 3.40 percent over February for an index reading of 97.40.

This is encouraging news for home sales that were severely affected by a hard winter in many areas, and suggests that as warmer weather approaches, home sales will pick up. Analysts do not expect the rapid rate of price appreciation seen in 2013. The Fed’s tapering of its “quantitative easing” program has caused mortgage rates to rise, and last year’s rapid run-up of home prices has made affordability an issue in many areas.

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for February performed slightly better than expected with a seasonally-adjusted month-to-month reading of 0.80 percent. The expected reading was 0.70 percent.

The year-over-year reading fell short of January’s reading of 13.20 percent and the expected reading of 13.00 percent at 12.90 percent. Analysts noted the continuing trend of slowing momentum in home price growth, but seem confident that home prices will continue to increase over the spring months.

Fed Continues Tapering Of QE, Mortgage Rates Mixed

Wednesday brought the FOMC’s customary statement after its two-day meeting concluded. There were no surprises as the statement verified another monthly tapering of $10 billion from the Fed’s quantitative easing (QE) program of asset purchases.

The tapering was evenly divided with $5 billion less in MBS purchased and $5 billion less in treasury securities purchased. The ongoing tapering was seen as contributing to rising mortgage rates, but the Fed asserted that its asset purchases remain sufficient to dampen rapid increases in long-term interest rates, which include mortgage rates.

The Fed repeated its usual reminder that its decisions are not on a pre-set course and that the committee members would closely monitor economic and financial developments as guidance for future decisions.

Freddie Mac reported mixed results for mortgage rates on Thursday. Average rates rose by four basis points to 4.29 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with discount points of 0.70 percent.

The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage dropped by one basis point to 3.38 percent; discount points steady at 0.60 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose by two basis points to 3.05 percent; discount points dropped from 0.50 to 0.40 percent.

Weekly jobless claims made an unexpected jump to 344,000 as compared to the prior week’s revised figure of 329,000 jobless claims and an expected reading of 320,000 new jobless claims.

Analysts note that week-to-week figures continued to show volatility, but said that on balance, the rolling average for jobless claims appeared consistent with moderate growth in labor markets.

This Week

This week’s scheduled economic news shows no events related to housing and mortgages. Highlights include Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s appearance before the Joint Economic Committee in Washington, D.C. and the usual releases of mortgage rates and new jobless claims on Thursday.