Wealth Isn’t About Money;
It’s About Freedom to Do What You Want
True wealth is the freedom to spend your days doing what you’re passionate about and what you think is important. If you are not living within your means and your cost of living is high, you may have no choice but to keep slogging away at the job you don’t like. But if your costs are low, you’ll find it easier to save money and you’ll be in better shape if you get laid off. You’ll need a smaller nest egg to retire in comfort, and you may have the financial freedom to take a lower-paying job that you like.
But store up for yourselves riches in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20
Want to get your living expenses under control? Try these three steps: Read more →
More than 60% of Americans own their homes, and while there are certain benefits to ownership, there’s also a downside: the cost.
You may have thought that coming up with a down payment was the greatest financial hurdle you’d face, but as you’ll soon come to learn, there are numerous expenses associated with owning a home. Here’s how to handle them. Read more →
People without college degrees are less likely to own homes as they tend to earn much less and aren’t as likely to get help from friends and family.
Student loans are often blamed for the record-low homeownership rate among young adults. But new research suggests that young people without a college diploma face especially big hurdles to owning a home.
College graduates ages 18 to 34 years old without student debt will need just over five years of additional savings to afford a 20% down payment for a starter home, defined as the median home at the bottom third of the market, according to research by Apartment List, a rental listing website. In comparison, it takes college grads with student loans about 10 years. For those who haven’t graduated from college, the wait to buy a home swells to nearly 15.5 years. Read more →
Getting Mom and Dad to co-sign a jumbo mortgage is a tough sell all around.
The practice is rare, but a few lenders will allow parents to help their adult children qualify for jumbo mortgages, which exceed conforming-loan limits of $417,000 in most places and $625,500 in high-price areas such as San Francisco. A typical scenario: a first-time home buyer whose salary has a strong upward trajectory but who hasn’t been on the job long enough to meet income requirements to buy property in a pricey locale, such as New York, says Ray Rodriguez, regional mortgage sales manager for Cherry Hill, N.J.-based TD Bank, which lends in 15 East Coast states.
Knowing who will lead the demand will guide agents where to focus their business efforts in the future.
We all know the population will grow and age in the future. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) believes that between 13.9 and 15.9 million additional households will be formed by 2024, making the next decade one of the strongest in US housing history.
At the upper end, this results in a growth rate of 1.6 million households per year. Boosted by the aging of the population, the aggregate homeownership rate will rebound to between 65 and 66%.
In their new research paper, Housing Demand: Demographics and the Numbers Behind the Coming Multi-Million Increase in Households, the MBA’s researchers conclude that the housing demand surge will be driven by Hispanics, Baby Boomers, and Millennials. Read more →
The Timing of Certain Financial Decisions Can Hurt Students’ Eligibility for Assistance
Most families know the basics of college financial aid: Several months before school starts, students apply for assistance, parents detail their financial situations, and then everybody waits for the powers that be to tab the bill.
What many don’t know—or at least, don’t realize until it’s too late—is that the timing of certain financial decisions made well before and even during college can significantly alter a student’s eligibility for aid from both the federal government and the university itself. This has been quite an eye opener for several families. Read more →
How old will you be when you finally pay off your student debts?
Rosemary Anderson, from Watsonville, California, took out two student loans in her thirties when she earned her bachelor’s degree, and her master’s, totalling $64,000. She has worked at least one job most of her life, in addition to raising her two children.
But after health complications from lupus, and expenses from a divorce, Anderson, 57, fell behind on her payments eight years ago. With compound interest, the loans have ballooned to $126,000. With payments of $526 a month, she will be 81, she estimates, when she pays it down.
A growing percentage of aging Americans struggle to pay back their student debt. Tens of thousands of them even see their Social Security benefits garnished when they cannot do so. Read more →
A Short Sale may be an alternative when you can’t pay your mortgage.
It is called a short sale because you do put your home up for sale, but the mortgage bank agrees to accept a buyer that will not be paying the full loan amount, an amount “short” of what is owed on the loan. The bank is “shorted” After the sale the Seller is usually able to walk away from the home without owing the bank the difference.
There are occasions where the bank will seek a deficiency judgment against the former owner, so be sure to have this discussion with your agent and work to include language in your closing that protects you against deficiency judgments.
Why would you opt for a “Short Sale” versus a “Foreclosure”? Read more →
Owning investment properties is hard, time-consuming work, and it can be very stressful and disastrous to your finances if you are not prudent in your endeavors.
However, even though it does have its challenges, it can also be very financially rewarding on a long-term basis. With some hard work and smart choices, just about anyone can retire with many properties that provide a nice income stream. So if you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty, being a landlord might just be right for you.
Here are a few factors to consider when determining whether being a landlord is right for you. Read more →
Putting your hard-earned IRA assets into a “self-directed” IRA can be a very good idea to grow long-term, tax-deferred or tax-free assets. But it doesn’t work for everyone.
With taxes going up for most people, you might be paying more attention to your tax-deferred retirement investing options, such as your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). And with property prices going up, you might ponder whether you can invest those IRA funds in real estate to both defer (or eliminate) taxes and earn a fair rate of return.
Here are a few things you should specifically consider if you think using an IRA to buy investment properties could work for you. Read more →