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Chris Salese

We’re only a couple of weeks into 2017 and there has already been certain events that have set the tone for what could be an uncertain year.

For instance, if you follow the NFL, its billionaire team owners and their NFL executive friends continue efforts to extort money from the public to build new mega-stadiums for their teams.

Some are successful and others are not. When they don’t get their way, they pack their bags onto private jets and fly to another city in expectation of a greener money pasture elsewhere.

The damage that’s left behind, such as angry fans and empty semi-old stadiums, is slowly destroying the NFL and creating a feeling of uncertainty for what could happen in the future to one of the most valuable brands on the planet.

Then there’s been the recent rain.

I’m not talking about a few light showers, but storm after storm of major wet weather conditions. We begged for it, we got it and thank goodness Napa County has been soaked so generously by Mother Nature.

Not too long ago, California was implementing emergency drought measures throughout numerous counties and residents were contemplating extreme actions for how to get through upcoming years without anywhere close to normal rainfall.

However, as of late, Napa County is all of a sudden out of the drought zone, according to U.S. Drought Monitor data. Although certain parts of California are still in the zone, 2017 is off to a nice wet start.

Of course, not to be out done by the all-mighty NFL and Mother Nature, once again the government has stepped into the spotlight.

This time it was with a surprise announcement regarding its FHA mortgage insurance program. If you’re purchasing a home or trying to refinance one with an FHA-insured loan, you’re in luck because the annual mortgage insurance premiums will be lower for FHA-insured loans that close on or after Jan. 27.

In many cases, you could be looking at a .25 percent reduction to your overall rate. Nonetheless, you should consult with your local mortgage professional to determine if there are any other loan configurations that make more sense for you.

Despite this being a major move by the government to help counter the rise in home loan rates that have occurred since the Presidential election, it’s probably just the beginning of what may or may not surprise us after Inauguration Day.

We must all remember that while interest rates are certainly important to the housing industry, it’s the number of available good jobs that really lubricate the market.

Home loan rates are destined to go higher, yet if more people are working in each household, it creates a bigger sponge for consumers to absorb further increases in rates.

Now if wages don’t go up, home purchases could be smaller, which will certainly be an interesting dynamic to watch for the rest of 2017 and beyond. Let’s hope we get the “Goldilocks effect” across the board.

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Chris Salese can be reached at or (707) 363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage banker (NMLS 254469 /1850 CA BRE 01377933/01215943) and equal housing lender.