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Water! Kickball! And (sigh)...Rates.

To the person or individuals who are blackmailing me: I don’t have that kind of money, but for the love of humanity – no one wants to see a video of me dancing to Gloria Estefan’s Rhythm Is Gonna Get You. Releasing that not only hurts me and my family but also hurts anyone who watches it.

Water Quote of the Day: “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore

Today in Economic History: It was on this date in 1812 President James Madison enacted an embargo halting trade with the British with hopes of ending attacks against US merchant ships. Tensions with Britain eventually boiled over into the War of 1812. I know what you’re thinking, if you only had 13 facts about this war you’d be happy, right? Your favorite mortgage broker delivers again.

Wuss’up This Week: It’s that time of the month for job reports that can sway interest rates in either direction. Today we’ve got the ADP Employment Report (expected: 210k), tomorrow's Weekly Jobless Claims, and Friday’s biggie the Nonfarm Payrolls/Unemployment Rate for February (expected: 218k new jobs, 6.3% unemployment rate). If the numbers come out good for the economy you can expect rates to tick up, and vice-versa if the numbers come in worse than expected.

Interest rates…. where do I begin? In the 5th grade, I was the fastest Kickball pitcher in my class, and I remember challenging my gym teacher Mr. Lanners to try and kick it past me. I rolled a fastball at him and he kicked the ball at light speed back at me – the ball plastered my face and I was down for the count. Remember the checkerboard pattern on those red rubber balls – you could see it imprinted on my forehead for days after that incident. The last two weeks of February felt like that Kickball Massacre of ’77 as rates waved goodbye to the 2s, but as they say – 3 is a magic number. Today a conforming (*any loan at $548k or less) 30-year fixed can be found in the low-to-mid 3s with jumbo loans (*over $548k) at about that same low-to-mid 3 range. As usual, rates will vary based on if it’s a purchase or refinance, your credit score, type of home, equity in the home, and what inspectors have found inside the home.

Don’t Forget to Remember: Any purchase or refinance loan that closes with me I will waive $575 in lender fees! Grab a cup of instant karma and pass my info along to any friends, family, coworkers, or people that like to look at 50 uplifting things that can use this gift.

Water Quote of the Day 2: “Saying ‘shark-infested waters’ is like saying ‘human-infested houses.’ I mean, they live there man that’s just rude.” - @Melvinofyork

Timeout for Trivia: Congrats to those who last week guessed Kurt Cobain. Want to be entered into a drawing to win a Harry Potter Pez Set? Simply email me the answer to this week’s Who Am I? question. Good luck: “It was on this day in 1985 my show debuted on ABC – a drama that got me noticed as a comedic actor (in real life my co-star’s last name sounds like a breed of dog). From there it was onto the big screen where a trilogy of movies I starred in grossed over $700M worldwide and turned me into an action star as well – wooohooo! Or maybe some other interjection I could’ve used there. (Barry’s Blog note: Don’t know what an interjection is? Here’s my all-time favorite Schoolhouse Rock to teach you ). An interesting fact that in 1990 my ex-wife starred in a thriller yet sweet movie about the afterlife, and I did as well in 1999. One more note about my ex-wife – she married a guy from the 70s after our marriage ended. My favorite movie, you ask? It’s one that could be retitled – “What You’ve Heard About Orange Juice is Not True.”