Author: AdminPOM

Lawn and Garden Do’s and Don’ts

The season has arrived when homeowners and renters alike put forth their best efforts to keep lawns and gardens looking beautiful. Here’s what every aspiring gardener should know when it comes to putting their best on display. • For landscape plants, water deeply at least monthly. Any plants that are sensitive to frost should be pruned after leafing out with spring’s new growth. Mulch around the base of plants will help to preserve moisture and reduce weeds throughout the summer. All weeds should be removed while still young, as roots are much more manageable then. • Prepare garden soil for herbs by adding 2 to 4 inches of compost or mulch to the planting area. Stick to the directions on the package and thoroughly mix materials into the soil and water deeply. Water herbs such as basil, garlic chives, sesame, and sage every 5 to 7 days. • Fruit and vegetable varieties that work well through the summer are beans, carrots, melons, pumpkins, and summer squash. Put a shade cloth of about 50% over tomatoes, which will work to prevent leafhopper insects and curly-top virus. More than 150 plant types, many found in the southwest, are affected by the curly-top virus, which stunts and kills vegetables. • Plant potted-roses and give them soil that is well-drained and well-amended. Dig an 18-inch deep hole that is from 18 to 30...

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30-Year Fixed-Rate Remains Unchanged

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average did not change over last week and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage average edged up slightly over the prior week’s average, according to the data released by Freddie Mac in their latest survey on mortgage rate averages. Mortgage rates commonly track Treasury yields. Treasury yields move inversely to Treasury prices. Therefore, when Treasury prices go up, yields and mortgage rates go down. Mortgage rates have slid for the last few months as the yields on Treasurys dropped because of economic uncertainty. According to the most recent weekly survey on mortgage rates by Freddie Mac for the week ending Thursday, June 23rd, the average on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained at 4.5%. That average remains unchanged from the prior week, though the rate was below the 4.69% posted the previous year. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up slightly to 3.69% when compared to the 3.67% average the prior week. That average is still well below the 4.13% average from the previous year. In the same survey, the Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage average decreased to 3.25% when compared to the 3.27% average the week prior and the 3.84% average from the previous year. The One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage average edged up to 2.99%. That average is up from the 2.97% average posted the previous week, but that average far below the 3.77% average...

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Elimination of Fannie and Freddie: More of The Same?

Recent government plans to overhaul housing finance call for mortgage programs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be replaced by a number of smaller companies that would carry out the current role of these two large agencies. Currently both Fannie and Freddie create and sell mortgage bonds backed by the federal government, but current proposals suggest that these smaller firms would do so explicitly, operating on private capital without trading on a stock exchange. Also, unlike the two giants, portfolios would not be held by the smaller firms. The issue in Washington for many lawmakers is that the government would probably wind up having to guarantee a chunk of the mortgage market handled by these smaller firms, with taxpayers taking on the credit risk of home loans once again—the exact scenario the breakup of Fannie and Freddie is supposed to avoid. According to the plan, the government would be paid for its guarantees; however, many critics worry that this type of backing is all too often under-priced. Another problem perceived with the plan is that the government would compensate for any one firm’s losses by imposing fees on the others. Overall, the proposal’s approach doesn’t really change the current situation. It doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense to work toward the elimination of Fannie and Freddie if they’ll only be replaced by more of the same. The...

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