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Chris Salese: Napa's Loan Ranger: The mortgage rate cruise ship

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If you’re wondering where the summer of 2021 went, you’re not alone. It went fast and now it’s officially over. However, this past summer brought back tons of familiar activities and normalcy for many of us.

For example, the start of a new school year with in-person learning again packed college football stadiums around the country and our local BottleRock music festival weekend.

OK, maybe the 2021 versions of each were not exactly how you remembered them from years past, except the packed college football stadiums of course, but who cares, it’s positive forward progress.

Unfortunately, there’s something else that has picked up a bit of forward momentum too. I’m not talking about those interest rate sticky ads that you find on the front page of a few of the major regional newspapers in the Bay Area.

You know what I’m talking about, the small square ad that looks very patriotic in an almost red, white and blue color scheme. The sticky peels off easily, yet it’s rather challenging to read the disclosure language on the flip side of it.

My eyesight is probably deteriorating because I can’t read the disclosure language in that font size. I can only take a picture of it on my phone and zoom in to read it clearly that way instead. I’m sure everyone does.

Anyhow, I’m referring to the direction of home loan rates. For those of you who have been on a cruise ship before, you should appreciate this visual.

Typically, a cruise ship leaves from what’s called a port. Usually, there are areas on the port where you can watch the ships sail away while you eat, drink, and enjoy the views. If you happen to be on the cruise ship that’s sailing away, you might be on the upper deck looking out, having a great time and waving back to any family, friends or even strangers down below along the port.

The cruise ship experience is similar to the interest rate environment today. Home loan rates have been incredibly low for an extended amount of time now.

There has been a rate party on the cruise ship for homeowners and new home buyers who were lucky enough to lock down a once-in-a-lifetime type of rate and get on board.

Prospective sellers have been content to have what seems as though a never-ending pool of buyers. Lenders are enjoying record-setting volumes and appraisers are capturing three to four times their normal per report revenue due to the ridiculously high demand.

The best part of a cruise ship leaving a port is that it takes time. It’s not a quick jet boat ride out to sea. Therefore, it sort of feels like you’re not really moving when you’re on the ship.

Also, because the ship is so darn big, when you’re watching it from the port, it appears it could take forever before it officially sails out of your view. I guess that depends on your eyesight as well.

Chris Salese can be reached at or 707-363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage lender (LO NMLS #254469 — CA-DBO #254469 Corp NMLS #1850 Equal Housing Opportunity.

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