To the inevitable question, "What are you going to do with all that money," the answer by winners of the state lottery is almost always the same: They want to buy a home.
If not that, then it's travel or buying a new car. Usually, the instant millionaire also condescends to "pay off all my bills."
The 53-year-old orchard field foreman who won $10-million last month in the Big Spin jubilantly announced that he's going to buy eight homes--one for each of his children. Irineo Carranza already owns two homes himself, one in Riverside and the other in Tecate, Mex.
But from the luck of the draw to date, most winners appear to be persons who don't own homes and the "I want to buy a home" answer seems to be the the most frequent initial reaction among winners.
That kind of response, of course, gladdens the hearts and purses of many a realtor and lender.
Our present binge of home buying, comparable with what happened a decade ago throughout Southern California--but without the accompanying inflationary aspects--keeps rolling along and is newly fueled by interest rates on conventional loans dipping into single-digit territory.
The latest available tabulations show that the conventional 30-year rate in California is at 9.98%, 9.70% for 15-year loans, and what some lenders like to call bargain rates of 8.34% for adjustable rates.
All major housing markets surveyed by HSH Associates, the nation's largest publisher of mortgage information, were under the 11% mark. Texas, with 9.69%, was lowest, New York was highest with 10.11% (10.54% for cooperatives), while the national figure was 9.94%.
Nationwide, the dip in rates, from 10.02% to 9.94% in one week, prompted Paul Havemann, vice president of the Riverdale, N.J.-based HSH firm, to comment:
"If you didn't refinance your existing mortgage the first time around (last spring), it's now or never. It's more likely than not that long-term interest rates will be increasing within a few weeks," citing the firming up of oil prices and the pending tax reform bill.