Tag Archives: personal finance

Money Monday: Homeownership rates affected by student debts

Student debts have seemed to affect homeownership rates, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

student loan debt

About 32% of those in their 20s owned a home in 2007, but that’s fallen drastically to 21% in 2016.

While the poor labor market and memories of the housing bubble certainly played a role, student debt can explain up to 35% of the decline, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released Thursday.

The results suggest that the rise in college costs will result in “weaker spending and wealth accumulation among young consumers in the years to come.”

It’s consistent with surveys that have asked those with student debt if it affected their decision to buy a home. Half of those under the age of 35 surveyed by the National Association of Realtors in 2016 said it had delayed their purchase. And 25% told Pew Research Center that student loans had made it harder to buy a home in 2011.

Read more of CNN’s article here: “Yes, student debt is delaying homeownership.”

Money Monday: Money terms and what they mean

It’s easy to be confused by all the different finance and money terms out there. Here are a few terms common to real estate:

Escrow

Escrow is a safe, intermediary account for money when it’s moving between a buyer and seller. Placing funds there tells the seller: “I’m serious about this deal and I can pay.” During the time the down-payment is in escrow, a homebuyer can take care of due diligence, including a home inspection. If it turns out something is off about the house — like structural damage — the buyer can pull out.

You can also escrow money (yes, it’s a noun or verb) for fees beyond your mortgage, like property tax and mortgage and homeowners insurance. Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages, for example, require escrow accounts. (“Money terms you’re too embarrassed to ask about.” 

APR

Even if you already know that APR means “annual percentage rate,” you might not understand what it is. Lenders are required to disclose the APR when lending, which is great for transparency…

The APR is the rate charged annually for borrowing money. But unlike an interest rate, it includes fees and other costs the transaction may include. So the APR is usually higher than the nominal interest rate. Also, unlike annual percentage yield (APY), the APR doesn’t take into account compounding interest. (“Money terms you’re too embarrassed to ask about.” 

Read up on more financial and money terms here, on Money.CNN.com: “Money terms you’re too embarrassed to ask about.”

Money Monday: Renters can buy

Even in California, buying can be more affordable than renting.

Renters That Can Buy

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: Don’t make these homebuying mistakes

When venturing into shopping and buying a home, avoid some common mistakes:

home buyer regrets

  1. Interviewing only one lender
  2. Not getting pre-approved right away
  3. Maxing out your mortgage limit
  4. Letting your dreams and emotions dictate which house you purchase
  5. Waiving contingencies without understanding just what that means

More tips for homebuyers are available in CNN’s article here: “7 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid”.

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.

Money Monday: Americans are paying more than they can afford for housing

Rising housing costs are putting a major squeeze on Americans.

“Nearly 39 million households can’t afford their housing, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Experts generally advise budgeting about 30% of monthly income for rent or mortgage costs.

“But millions of Americans are far exceeding that guideline.

“One-third of households in 2015 were “cost burdened,” meaning they spend 30% or more of their incomes to cover housing costs.”

Read more of Money.CNN.com’s article here: “39 million households are paying more for housing than they can afford.”

 

Money Monday: How to retire debt-free

Retiring already can put a strain on your budget; don’t exacerbate it by being deep in debt on top of it!

Picture from www.ccPixs.com

Here are a few ways to get and stay debt-free:

  1. Start and keep building up your savings — having at least an emergency savings stash is especially crucial.
  2. Spend less than you bring in — live below your means.
  3. Work on paying off your student loans early.
  4. Don’t overpay when buying your home — you need to get an affordable mortgage.
  5. Keep that credit card debt very low.

Read more on all five of these ideas on Money.CNN.com’s article: “5 steps to retire debt-free.”

Money Monday: Millennials saving for financial freedom

Millennials are saving for financial freedom—not retirement

Source: Yahoo Finance

Photo from Pictures of Money

Millennials often get a bad rap when it comes to financial responsibility. But it turns out those stereotypes may be off base. Millennials are saving more money than any other generation, according to a new study by Bank of America and Merrill Edge. But it’s what they’re saving for that really sets them apart from older generations.

Saving for financial freedom is the No. 1 priority for millennials — 63 percent of millennials said they’re saving a set amount of money to enjoy their desired lifestyle. This is a stark contrast to older generations: the majority of the Gen X and baby boomer generations prioritize their savings specifically to leave the workforce and retire.

This shift speaks to the bigger differences in the ways millennials and older generations view money, and what they prioritize in their lives. While it may not sound surprising that younger workers aren’t thinking about nest eggs as much as older generations, what’s a little different here is that they’re not thinking about retirement as a phase of life, let alone working to afford it. Millennials listed personal milestones as their top priorities: getting their dream job and traveling the world trumped more traditional goals like getting married and having children.

Read the full story from Yahoo Finance here