Category Archives: Interesting News

Home Buyers — Don’t Compromise on These Three Things

Unless you’re building, typically buyers won’t find their perfect home. Compromise is common and expected if you want to become a homeowner. But these three items are things where perhaps you shouldn’t budge from your ideal.

  • Layout
  • School district
  • Buying near neighboring houses that will lower your home’s value

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: How to know if you’re living beyond your means

“It’s a frightening statistic that 47% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 to cover an unplanned expense. Yet nearly half of today’s workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with no financial cushion whatsoever, and a big part of the reason boils down to living beyond our means.”

(“3 signs you’re living beyond your means.” CNN Money. 19 Sept 2017.  http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/19/pf/living-beyond-your-means/index.html?iid=SF_LN)

Some indicators that you’re not spending within your budget:

  1. You have a low credit score
  2. Your rent or mortgage payment is more than 30% of your income
  3. You’re not saving at all

Read why these are signs that you’re living too high on the hog here.

Money Monday: Financial priorities of the generations

Each generation has a different priority when it comes to their finances.

Our nation’s different generations (centennials, millennials, xers, boomers, matures) place five categories in different order of importance. While some focus on building a nest egg, others concentrate on paying down debt, keeping a budget and controlling spending, saving money for emergencies or what-ifs, or saving for something specific.

Financial priorities of the generations

This inforgraphic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: the Equifax hack

Worried about the Equifax hack?

Equifax

“The names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers for 143 million people may have been accessed. That kind of information could be used by someone else to open bank accounts, credit cards and loans in your name.

“The credit card numbers of an additional 209,000 people were also accessed. Those people will be notified directly. Everyone else must go to a website created by Equifax and submit their last name and last six digits of their Social Security number to find out if they were affected.” (“5 things to do right now if you’re worried about the Equifax hack.” 10 Sept. 2017. CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/09/pf/what-to-do-equifax-hack/index.html?iid=SF_LN

If you’re worried, here are some things you can do right now:

  1. Check your free credit reports to see if anything shows up
  2. Put a fraud alert on your credit reports and credit cards
  3. Pay attention to your bank accounts and credit cards for any suspicious purchases or withdrawals

Read more of CNN’s suggestions here: “5 things to do right now if you’re worried about the Equifax hack.”

Money Monday: Americans are saving a little more

A bit of good news: more Americans are saving.

“The percentage of people who have adequate savings to cover six months of expenses — a six-month-stash — has jumped to 31%, according to a new study from Bankrate.com. That’s up from 28% last year and 22% in 2015.

“Not everyone is there yet: a quarter of Americans still have no savings at all. But that is down from 28% last year and the report shows positive signs that saving habits are improving” (Bahney, Anna. “Americans are saving (a little) more.” money.cnn.com/2017/06/20/pf/emergency-fund).

Apparently, it’s the younger people and the middle-class that are doing well at saving; read more of this article at money.cnn.com.

Staying Cool This Summer

It’s only May, and already we’re experiencing too-warm of spring weather in San Diego County! Here’s some tips on how to stay cool this potentially hot summer (and save money and energy!):

BLOCK THE SUN.

If you’re installing new windows, your best defense against sun is heat-reflecting or low-emissivity windows. These windows contain a thin film sealed inside double-pane glass to slow heat absorption in summer and heat loss in winter.

INSTALL FILM ON EXISTING WINDOWS.

One type of film — a window tint — absorbs solar radiation; the other — a reflective film — reflects the sun’s rays and is more transparent than the window tint. Install the type best suited to the climate in which you live. Films are left on windows year-round. Both should last at least 10 years.

INSULATE YOUR ATTIC.

If you live in a climate where summers are hot and winters are mild, also consider installing a radiant barrier — a layer of foil to deflect radiant heat. Radiant barriers, however, do not replace the need for other insulation.

Attach awnings. Buy ready-made fabric or aluminum awnings, or build wood awnings that complement your house. Install awnings on east-, south-, and west-facing windows.

MOUNT OUTSIDE SUNSCREENS.

Block the sun by covering windows that receive direct sunlight with screenings of bamboo, wood, fiberglass, or polypropylene.

HANG LIGHT-COLOR INTERIOR SHADES.

Reflect the sun with shades made with a shiny outer surface. Some fabric shades are backed by light-reflective materials.

INSTALL A WHOLE-HOUSE FAN.

If the humidity in your area isn’t too uncomfortable, mount a whole-house fan in the ceiling just below the attic. These fans draw in cool air through open windows at night and push out hot air through attic vents.

CROSS-VENTILATE.

Exhaust air any time the temperature outside is cooler than it is inside. Make sure air can come in one open window and leave freely through another.

Stay cool!

Pets Influence Home Buying Decisions

The power of pets when buying real estate.

Care Your Pet

When home buyers have pets, that factors into their priorities for their future home. While the specific priorities differ from person to person, a massive 95% of consumers think that allowing animals within a housing community is important. Other preferences that consumers value include:

  • Nearby animal amenities (a walking path ranks at #1 at 54%; a nearby dog park or animal grooming also is included in the list).
  • Home features important to animal owners (not surprisingly, a fenced yard is vital to 91%, with a laminate floor coming in second as another priority for 66% of consumers).

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Those Who Make Sense of Community

Those who earn more have a greater sense of community where they live and work.

This higher the income, the bigger percentage of people who feel in community, both where they live and where they work.

Making sense of community in real estate infographic

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS at CAR.org.