Wednesday, December 6, 2017 / by Calvin Lown
Fed rate hike is expected next week and three more increases are expected in 2018: Reuters poll
The U.S. Federal Reserve is almost certain to raise interest rates later this month, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
A majority of economists now expect three more rate increases next year compared with two when surveyed just weeks ago.
Most economists surveyed said tax cuts were not necessary and the passage of the bill means the forecast risks have shifted toward higher rates, and faster.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is almost certain to raise interest rates later this month, according to a Reuters poll of economists, a majority of whom now expect three more rate rises next year compared with two when surveyed just weeks ago.
The results, from a survey taken just before the U.S. Senate voted to pass tax cuts that are expected to add about $1.4 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, show economists were alrea ...
Friday, December 1, 2017 / by Calvin Lown
6 Ways to Build Your Home Equity (and Savings) Faster
A home purchase brings together so many things under one roof: dreams, shelter, status, maybe a passport to better schools and neighborhoods. And one more thing: It gives you a forced savings account.
It does that by letting you build home equity, which is the difference between your home’s market value and what you owe on it. Your equity increases with each house payment you make. When home prices rise, your equity grows faster as your home’s value increases.
Stockpiling home equity gives many savers an exceptional feeling of satisfaction. Those forced savings also are a mighty resource to tap if you’re hit with an unexpected expense or want a boost on one of life’s milestones, like helping a kid through college or upgrading the home.
For these big life expenses, you can draw on your equity with a home equity loan or line of credit. The secret& ...
Thursday, November 9, 2017 / by Alex Clark
Invest or Pay Off Your Mortgage? How to Decide
Should you invest extra cash or use it to pay off your mortgage?
It’s a heated debate that rivals French press versus pour-over coffee and “Star Wars” or “Star Trek.” But while all three topics might get passionate believers on both sides all worked up, investing or paying off your mortgage is a choice with serious financial consequences.
Here’s how to know which way to go.
The six variables to consider
To decide between the two, Justin Goodbread, a certified financial planner in Knoxville, Tennessee, suggests you consider six variables:
Your home’s current market value
Your mortgage interest rate
Home appreciation in your area
Your income tax rate
Expectations for inflation
An assumed rate of investment return
In an analysis on his blog, Financially Simple ...
Thursday, October 19, 2017 / by Tanya Osmus
Portland Home Energy Score Ordinance
Starting January 1, 2018, the city of Portland will require a Home Energy Score be performed prior to publicly listing a home for sale. The Home Energy Score must be provided to all potential buyers, their realtors and the City of Portland while it’s for sale and the score be posted on all listings (MLS, Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, For Sale By Owner etc.). There is a repeating $500 fine for noncompliance.
The law does not require you do upgrades or meet any level of energy efficiency, you only need to make it available.
For exemptions and waivers see: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/655310
Law only applies to homes within the City of Portland. City boundary map below.
What is a Home Energy Score?
A Home Energy Score is an energy audit that prioritizes energy upgrades and details the cost savings of each upgrade. It's also used as a method of comparing homes based on energy use ...
Thursday, October 12, 2017 / by Alex Clark
Student loan debt has been a huge topic of conversation the past couple years. And it's no wonder. The average 2016 graduated has $37,172 in student loan debt. That's about $9,000 less than you'd need for a down payment on the average existing home in the U.S. at the end of 2016 and the thought of saving all that money while paying off between $219 and $389 on student loans a month can be pretty intimidating. But buying your first home can be about more than having a place to call your own--it's also a great way to build wealth. And there are steps you can take to make your dreams a reality.
Set a goal
Chances are you don't have a huge nest egg right out of college, so the first step in buying a home is setting a goal and then making a plan to achieve it. Search homes on our website to see how much homes in your area cost. Calculate how much you would need for a 20% down payment, then use our mortgage calculator to see what your ...