Archive for January, 2006

Friday’s Mortgage News – We Told You So

Since I’m getting tired of saying that the market makes little sense, I thought today I’d let David Lereah, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, say similar things.  He also has a forecast of realty activity for 2006, and it’s pretty good.

New home sales were up sharply in December.  This is a trend, now.  New homes sell.  Existing homes don’t.  This is, of course, an oversimplification, and tells us, as I mentioned earlier this week, nothing whatever about your particular house.  But in general, homebuyers are more interested in brand-new houses than in existing homes.  I cannot explain why.  Especially in Utah, I prefer homes that are 20 years old, because the trees have had time to get taller than I am.  But I am weird, and I’ve learned to accept that.  What it means is that people like me are getting better deals on the homes they want to buy, and even better deals on the new homes they are building for sale.

If you were paying attention to this space, and some of you were, you knew this last fall and are now sitting on some very solid assets.  You’re welcome, Chad.

We’ve been playing lots of chess here recently, I guess to stay sharp.  If you’d like to get in on some of the action, stop on by.  I could use some help as black dealing with the Queen’s Gambit.

The Chris Jones Group would like to make you aware of the Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce meetings the first Tuesday of every month at the Harvest Restaurant at Thanksgiving Point at noon.  Lunch and the speaker and the networking and the whole enchilada is $15.  You won’t regret it.

Since there is nothing happening this weekend, there will be no predictions.  My prediction is that nothing will happen.  See that I am right.

Movin’ On Up!

Just saw this and wanted to make sure I posted – the Mortgage Blog has moved into the top 10 on Google’s rankings for the Chris Jones Group.
Thanks, guys.  I mean it.

Chris Jones Watch

The market reacted very, very negatively to the news that the housing market is cooling off rapidly, even more rapidly than was expected.  That ought to be a sign that interest rates are at a good level, and in turn to signal that the Fed likely will finish its interminable round of moves next week, but the bond markte did not take it that way and we have a cascade failure that lost us .125 on both the 15- and 30-year mortgage rates.  More tomorrow, even if, like today, none of it makes any sense.
Time for another Chris Jones Watch installment.  Today, I am a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings.  I guess.  I have no statistics, so it’s really hard to tell if I’m any good.  Thanks, as always, to Google.  This reference appears on page 12, right before the link to my page where I’m a developer for MobyGames.
If you’re interested in who I really am, try going to The Chris Jones Group main page.
But if you DON’T know who I am, what are you doing here?
Not that you aren’t welcome.

Dad’s Okay, I Think, and Thanks for Asking

I’ve gotten several calls today about my father, asking how he is doing after his cancer surgery yesterday. The answer is: I have no idea. Well, that’s not strictly true. It is true that no one has called me, despite my repeated attempts to raise someone at the hospital for information, and that none of my family seems to give a crap if I know what’s going on or not. It is also true that this is not surprising; it’s sort of how we do things in my family. The deal is, if nothing is wrong, nobody calls. It’s only if the World is Coming to an End that the phone will ring, so my assumption is that everything is cool. They would have called me otherwise, right?

Today’s economic news showed slow consumer spending and, again, no inflation. Miracle of miracles, higher energy prices are not bleeding into the rest of the economy. This is a miracle only because higher energy prices – those resulting from a major spike in energy costs, like the one we had in the fall – never result in increased general inflation. Right. Never. It’s never happened. Economists are mystified that the economy seems to be doing exactly what it has always done.

Bond traders, however, greeted the report with joy, and the bond took off. We lost about 1/8 to the 30 and 15-year rates over the last two days – good news for the .14378% of homeowners that have yet to refinance, and even better news for those buying houses. Of which, let me tell you, there is a plethora.

A few of the better links I’m reading:

Does This House Make My Butt Look Fat, a post by the always interesting David Porter of the Pacesetter Mortgage Blog

Overheard in New York, which accurately portrays exactly why I live in Lehi, UT

What is Your Dangerous Idea? for those of us that like living dangerously

Grim Times Ahead, by the most amusing – and consistently wrong – mortgage blog on the ‘net. The premise of this article is that an 8% decline in mortgage applications will usher in the Reign of the Undead. Frankly, if that 8% decline gets rid of 8% of the loan officers I know, we will not yet have gotten to the ones that are merely incompetent, and not willfully evil. This industry has tripled in size in the last 5 years, and could use a trim, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

And a new installment of the Chris Jones Watch, where I show you yet another of myselves out there on the www. Today, I am a pitching prospect for the Boston Red Sox. But for shoulder surgery, I might be with the big club already. But there is progress of another kind – our website, which when last seen was not mentioned on the web under Chris Jones Group, is now 21st and 40th on Google’s rankings, a dramatic improvement. Mostly thanks to you, I believe. We continue (as the Lehi Chamber Press Release says) to rank #1 on Technorati’s rankings under utah housing, and we’re intent on staying there.

Broncos beat the Patriots in overtime. Bears lose to Carolina by 7. Redskins just don’t have enough offense for Seattle, and Indianapolis crushes the Steelers.

The Jazz, the MIGHTY JAZZ, beat the Heat tonight for their ninth win in ten games.

Have a great MLK weekend.

New Lehi Chamber Chairman (Me) Speaks Out!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          12 January 2006               
Contact: Wells Kempter  801.310.9175

New Lehi Area Chamber Chairman Says Chamber Will Double in 2006

Lehi – The Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has named Christopher Jones, 37, of Lehi, its Chairman for 2006.  Jones laid out a very aggressive agenda for the Chamber in his inaugural address.  “We are gong to double the size of the Chamber this year,” he said, speaking at the Chamber’s monthly luncheon, held at Thanksgiving Point’s Harvest Restaurant.  Jones replaces Lisa Liddiard, also of Lehi, as Chairman.  Liddiard presided over one of the fastest-growing periods in Chamber history in 2005, where Chamber membership increased almost 25%.

“We are very excited to have Chris as our Chairman for 2006,” said Heather Miller, President of the Chamber.  “Chris brings a lot of energy and good organizational skills, which we need.  He also has a specialty in communications and marketing, which will be very important for us in the coming year.”  Recent announcements of development in Ivory Ridge and Traverse Mountain are expected to mean increases of up to three times the current retail square footage in Lehi in the next five years.

“We are going to substantially boost the community and commercial impact of the Chamber and its members,” Jones said.  “The Chamber has already become a solid force for good in the Lehi, Saratoga Springs, and Eagle Mountain areas, but we can do more.  We will be working closely with the American Fork Chamber and you’ll see a huge impact from the Chambers in all of north Utah County this year.”

Also elected to Board positions were Kris Belcher of Flowers on Main, who became the Chamber’s Vice-Chair, and Lisa Liddiard, who stepped down from the Chair position to become the Board’s Secretary.  Kelly Terry remains the Chamber’s Treasurer.

Jones mentioned that he had recently attended the Eagle Mountain Inaugural Ball and had a chance to speak to Brian Olsen, the incoming Mayor, as well as John Walden, the chief developer of Cedar Valley.  “There is going to be an explosion of commercial activity in the west of Utah County over the next five years.  The Lehi Area Chamber could exit the decade as the largest Chamber of Commerce in the county.  It’s our job as a Board, as a Chamber, to go out and find these new businesses, hook them into the existing economic network, and help them succeed.”

Chris Jones is the Resident Magician of the Chris Jones Group, a real-estate finance and mortgage company.  Resident Magician?  “When you found the company, you can call yourself anything you want,” Jones laughed.  “We are a little different as a company, and we wanted titles that reflected that difference.”  The Group’s motto is “Get a Home for Everyone in the World.  Then Start Over.”  Jones writes a blog at that rates as the #1 blog for Utah Housing, and he was recently asked to speak to the State Legislature on real-estate tax issues.

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