Tag Archives: Americans

Money Monday: Emergency cash is lacking for many Americans

You never know what might come up, which makes savings for a rainy day important.

Emergencies come up. “But a lot of Americans aren’t ready for them financially, according to new research from the New York Federal Reserve.

savings

“The average American age 40 or under says there’s nearly a 50% chance they would not be able come up with $2,000 next month if there were an emergency.”

“Overall, Americans said in October there was a 34% chance they couldn’t come up with that amount of money if they had to. That’s down from a 42% chance in 2013 when the New York Fed first started asking the question in its Survey of Consumer Expectations. But it’s still up from 32% in February.” (Gillespie, Patrick. “Many Americans Don’t Have Enough Emergency Cash. CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 7 Dec. 2016. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.)

Read more at CNNMoney here.

Money Monday: Many Americans aren’t saving enough

In a Bankrate survey, half of Americans are saving 5% or less of their income, with only a quarter saving 10% or more.

That’s far below the recommended 15% savings that Bankrate recommends — only about 1 in 7 Americans are saving that much.

The middle class appears to be doing the most saving, with 35% of income earners of $50,000 to $74,999 annually saving more than 10%. Those in the $75,000+ annual wage bracket are a close second, with 32% saving 10% or more of their income.

Read more about Bankrate’s findings in CNN’s article here: “Half of Americans are saving next to nothing”.

Do you need more Money Monday tips, so that you’re saving more of your money? View all of my posts on money here. Some related Money Monday topics: Common money mistakes, Frugal living rules, and Prioritize bills when you’re low on cash.

Money Monday: Americans are saving more than spending

Americans are saving faster than they are spending.

money“It’s a key shift in spending habits that started during the Great Recession. And the trend continues as we head into the holiday shopping season this weekend.

“The savings rate in the United States rose to 5.6% in October — its highest mark in nearly three years. In September, the savings rate was 5.3%. Put another way, Americans put aside an extra $40 billion in October rather than spend it.

“The personal consumption expenditure, a measure of spending, only rose 0.1% between September and October…”

This article is from CNN Money. Read more of this article at CNN Money here.

The State of Real Estate

Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey: Home Ownership Is Increasingly Important to Younger Americans

Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Infographic-final-large-web

Read about the report:

Continue reading

A Memorial Day & Real Estate

2012 Memorial Day was one to put in the record books for the rest of your life, wasn’t it? While the proper and fitting focus was on our United States Military, who have in most cases spilled their BLOOD for ALL Americans, we also remember our immediate family as well as those who have passed on. If ever aligned with the military or not, EVERY AMERICAN has been touched by Memorial Day, 2012–and ALL Americans have a connection to someone in the military, whether still alive, not survived, or wounded. Of those three latter-mentioned scenarios, my heart goes out to the wounded who are still alive which are the most important example for all living Americans, they continue to push ahead no matter what the road brings. As Americans, this men and woman are our pinnacle example for ALL; but in most cases ALL our problems are so insignificant in comparison!Memorial Day 2012

Which brings us to the current real estate market and the effect on it that the government has on the economy, from being able to buy a property for a 1st time buyer or a family purchase, to a family trying to keep their home while being innocent bystanders so to speak, meaning these families become victims of ultimately the government and banks. The government and the banks work hand-in-hand, have the ability to save a majority of people’s homes, while keeping them in their homes, and until there is justice for the hardworking families, who do whatever is necessary in the eyes of common sense and good, but to consistently get put back in a position of rejection makes seeing the American Dream Ideal appear as faint as a lightower on a coast subjected to immense fog.

My job includes finding homes for people who are so excited to buy a home that it is such an exhilarating experience on the surface.  However in today’s market, the average buyer knows little about how difficult it is to buy, from getting a loan secured and closed to just securing a property. Competition from “all cash” buyers who are holding and renting to flipping the home for a profit that needs renovation, presents an owner-occupant buyer the immensely daunting task of securing a home. Because buyers who need loans are second class due to sellers getting a higher net and avoiding buyer loan problems in closing, these non-investment buyers have a difficult time ahead of them. The average 1st time buyer has no chance unless they literally hit the lotto or find a great experienced full-time agent to represent them in tandem with the same experienced lender to weave their way through the maze of securing a home. I am that real estate agent and work with a strong lender who can in most cases get a better rate, loan program, and a higher qualifying loan amount than most other lenders.

Then the other side of the spectrum is for owners trying to keep their home who need the right advice dealing with their bank or servicer. Or they may not really know the positive results for getting out of debt in selling an upside-down home and avoiding bankruptcy in the process. Don’t you owe it to yourself to know ALL the details? Call me now before the laws that could immensely benefit you expire.

Americans More Optimistic About Housing, Economy

Americans’ concerns over housing and the economy are subsiding, according to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey from February.

An improving job market is a big part of what’s behind Americans feeling more confident about the housing market and the direction of the economy, according to the survey.

“The pickup in the pace of hiring over the past few months has helped soothe consumer concerns, lifting their moods regarding their personal finances, the direction of the economy, and their views on the housing market,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist of Fannie Mae. “As a result, we’ve seen more potential for economic upside, creating a more balanced near-term outlook.”

The survey found that 28 percent of Americans expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months while 53 percent say prices will likely stay the same. Fifteen percent say they expect home prices to decline.

Meanwhile, the majority of those surveyed see rental prices continuing to increase over the next year.

Sixty-five percent of those surveyed say that if they were going to move they’d buy their next home; 29 percent say they would rent.

With low mortgage rates and falling home prices, 70 percent of those surveyed say now is a good time to purchase a home. Also, more Americans surveyed say now is a good time to sell, rising to 13 percent in February, which is the highest level in more than a year but still low by historic standards.

Overall, Americans expressed more confidence about their personal financial situation, with only 12 percent saying they expected their personal financial situation to worsen in the next 12 months — which is the lowest number in more than a year.

Source: Fannie Mae 

This article is by RealtorMag.org

Five bright spots in the real estate recession

The real estate market meltdown was much more severe and has lasted much longer than even the most bearish housing market observer would ever have predicted. Rather than values taking a dip, they’ve taken a double dip in many places; and the housing sector drama has infected the job market and the entire world’s economy.

Yet, there are some very shiny silver linings to this whole mess — a handful of ways in which our mindsets, habits, behaviors and approaches to money, mortgage and even life decision-making — have been changed by this real estate market debacle. As I see it, here are the five best things about this housing recession:

1. People now buy for the long term

Even Jeff Lewis, that reality TV house flipper extraordinaire, has declared that he’s tapped out of the flipping business for the foreseeable future, trading in his real estate wheeling and dealing for the design business.

Recently, he mentioned having lost six homes in the real estate market crash.

While Lewis flipped homes as his business, just five years ago, many Americans — homeowners and investors alike — took a short-term view on their homes, buying them with the idea that they could count on refinancing, pulling cash out or even reselling them anytime they wanted, at a profit.
Reality check — those days are gone. Now, buyers know they’d better be prepared to stay put for somewhere between seven and 10 years (shorter in strong local markets, longer in foreclosure hot spots) before they buy if they want to break even. And this is causing them to take mortgages they can afford over time, and make smarter, longer-term choices about the homes they buy.

2. Dysfunctional properties are being weeded out and creatively reused

real estate market recessionMunicipalities like Detroit and Cleveland are demolishing blighted and decrepit properties in dead neighborhoods en masse, intentionally shrinking their cities to match their shrinking populations. These efforts are also eliminating breeding grounds for crime, and focusing resources on the neighborhoods that have a better chance of surviving and thriving in the long term.

In the so-called “slumburbias” of central California, Nevada and Arizona, McMansions are being repurposed into affordable housing for groups of seniors, artist communities and group homes.

3. American housing stock is getting an energy-efficient upgrade

The news would have you believe that every American has lost his or her home, walked away from it, or is now renting by choice. In fact, the vast majority of homeowners have simply decided to stay put.

Instead of selling and moving on up, homeowners are improving the homes they now plan to stay in for a long(er) haul. And this generation of remodeling is focused less on granite and stainless steel, and more on lowering the costs of “operating” the home and taking advantage of tax credits for installing energy-efficient doors, windows, water heaters and more. And while the first-time homebuyer tax credit is a thing of the past, the homeowner tax credits for energy-optimizing upgrades are in effect until the end of this year.

4. People are making more responsible mortgage decisions, and building financial good habits in the process

Buyers are buying far below the maximum purchase prices for which they are approved. They are reading their loan disclosures and documents before they sign them. And, thanks to the stingy mortgage market, they are spending months, even years, in the planning and preparation phases before they buy: paying down their debt; saving up for a down payment (and a cash cushion, so that a job loss wouldn’t be disastrous); being responsible and sparing in their use of credit to optimize their FICO scores; and creating strong financial habits in one fell swoop.

5. Our feelings about debt and equity have been reformed

Americans no longer use their homes like ATMs, to pull out cash, pay off their credit cards and then start the whole overspending cycle over again. Many can’t, because their homes are upside down and cannot be refinanced in any event — much less to pull cash out.

Others have been reality-checked by the recession, and are dealing with their non-mortgage debt the old fashioned way: by ceasing the pattern of spending more than they make, and applying the self-discipline it takes to pay their bills off.

Home equity, in general, is no longer viewed as an inexhaustible source of cash. Rather, we see it as a fluctuating asset to be protected and increased — not so much through the vagaries of the market, but through the hard work of paying the principal balance down. Many of those refinancing into today’s lower rates aren’t doing it to pull cash out, as was the norm at the top of the market; instead, they are refinancing into 15-year loans to pay their homes off sooner than planned, or reducing their required payment so their extra savings can be applied to principal.

Of course, it remains to be seen how lasting these changes will be if and when home prices go up and mortgage guidelines loosen up. But since neither of these things look likely to happen in the short term, hopefully there’s a chance that these behavior shifts will become part of a permanent mindset reset for American housing consumers.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is an author and the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com. ClientDirect.net.