The crash of the stock market, the burst of the housing bubble, and the subsequent recovery all account for the last several years of turbulent events that have rocked real estate trends. As the housing market continues to recover, it's important to look back closely on the real estate trends of the last decade to help us avoid any potential pitfalls in the future—and to truly appreciate the market today. Before 2008: Declining Home Values, Overwhelmed Consumers By the time 2006 was over, property values across the country declined to all-time lows. On average, most homes lost 39 percent of their value, especially in depressed suburban areas and impoverished urban centers. At the same time, consumers who had purchased their properties using a variable rate mortgage could no longer afford their payments because rates began to balloon to amounts they could no longer afford. In many cases, consumers lied on mortgage applications and told banks that they could afford payments that were well beyond their means, while banks rarely checked to see if...Read more
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Summer is a popular time to move, mostly because it’s when kids are between years at school. In fact, almost half of all moves in the country take place in the summer. This convenient time to move can actually make things more difficult without proper planning. Here are some tips to keep in mind for moving during the summer months:Read more
- Keep in mind that prices are higher for moving services during the busy summer season. If you must move in the summer and plan to use a moving service, look for coupons and book early.
- If possible, schedule your move for a weekday instead of the weekend. This will make moving services more likely to be able to fit you in. Even though all of the summer is a busy time to move, the weekends are the busiest.
- Note which items do not do well in the heat of a moving truck during the summer, especially if you are moving long distances. Candles, CDs, and videos can warm in the heat. Leather upholstered furniture...
If you are hoping to purchase a house, or even just to improve your financial situation, you might find it best to start with paying down your debt. This action will allow you to improve your credit score, free up some funds for saving, and hopefully relieve some stress as well. Unless you are fortunate to have a small amount of debt, you will quickly find that paying down your debt is something that takes time. It doesn’t happen right away, and it can even take several years to achieve. For many Americans, it’s a struggle that requires constant commitment. Follow these simple steps for paying down your debt to help you succeed: 1. Evaluate your situation. To really fix your debt problem, you will need to think about how you got into debt in the first place. This will help you to find the habits that you need to change with your spending, and even help you take steps to prevent it from getting worse or happening again. This step should also...Read more
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