Buying or renting — what’s best for your family?
Well, what do you know? Buying one’s own home is at an all-time low …how come I’m not surprised? The National Realtors Association reported a 6.1% drop in home sales from November to October 2014. And yet that’s not all: Home sales dropped from $5,250,000 to $4,930,000 last month, from what was a 14-month high! Further, first-time buyers, typically holding around 40% monthly, have dropped to 31% –and both percentages are the lowest from the last 27 years, since 1981.
“The headwinds facing young buyers are well known: Higher student debt, rising rents, and a weaker job market have made it harder for would-be buyers to save for a down payment and to qualify for a mortgage, particularly in a lending environment where banks are much less willing to overlook credit blemishes or spotty incomes,” stated Nick Timiraos from the Wall Street Journal.
Let us not forget the foreclosures that ravished our country leaving millions homeless due to bankers and their housing financing scams (and don’t forget how our government has bailed out Wall Street time and time again). So not only do potential home buyers face a tight employment market, but there’s that tiny issue of truly trusting banks and our government. We used to believe that they had our backs, but as more and more scandals surface, people are starting to understand our place in the hierarchy and understand that we are simply a dollar sign to them in the hopes they can profit off us in any way they can.
Well, that’s my take… not to be negative –rather realistic. Turning a blind eye to us routinely getting the short end of the stick for decades, if not centuries, is foolish on our part. I want to trust the banks and government; however, their schemes and scams make it incredibly hard. It seems renting a home is much more attractive these days, yielding several benefits: No down payment needed, credit need not be squeaky clean, call the landlord when appliances or other problems surface, and saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars not having to fix said issues, easier to just get up and move if you and your family desires… are just a few advantages from renting.
Sometimes emergencies arise, and a credit card may be your only option
Just like I enjoy giving a practical gift, such as homemade chai tea this holiday season, I enjoy giving practical advice. Suggestions that are easily understandable, very useful, and identifiable by most people …enabling you to start using them today. Here are some suggestions on credit cards –and Heaven forbid, I don’t even recommend obtaining them in the first place. But if it’s something you “must” do, then I’d rather you have the information at your fingertips then pay exorbitant amounts in fees!
These credit cards boast no interest until 2016, so that gives you one year –one year only– to get your ducks in a row to pay off your purchases. Again, a bit of me is cringing as I forward this info, not wanting you to get caught or stuck in the debt web, especially through these major players, yet sometimes emergencies surface and there may be nowhere else to turn. So please please please be ever mindful and write down (and follow) your practical, realistic, and do-able plan to repay this credit.
These have been labeled the top six cards with no interest accruing (at least for now …read the fine print and ask customer service to confirm) until 2016: Citi Simplicity, Citi Diamond Preferred, Discover It – Balance Transfer, Chase Slate, Citi Double Cash, Blue Card Preferred from AmEx. (1)
Okay, dear Ones, I even googled “ways to pay off credit card debt” and included the following ideas for you. Again, take these with a grain of salt, and absolutely contemplate deeply before doing any of these, and seek out a credit counselor (especially, if you’re considering cashing out your savings and filing bankruptcy, if in a desperate circumstance). I’m not advocating these, rather mentioning them as others have, as options to assist if you find yourself in such a dire situation.
Try these ideas to help pay off your credit card debts… “pay more than the minimum; snowball your debt payments; cash out your savings account; borrow against your life insurance; [ask] family and friends; get a home equity loan; borrow from your 401k; renegotiate terms with your creditors; and as a last resort, file for bankruptcy.’”(2)
We all handle our finances differently, yet learn how seasoned couples have made money work for themselves!
Well, look here… I’ve found this next perfect article to flow seamlessly with our News Roundup for the day! This story features “happily married couples at all stages of life. In their own words, they explained how to avoid both breaking up and going broke –and how they stayed invested in each other.”
One couple, Scott and Gail, say “To be serious, there is no his or her money. She has total transparency. That’s the only way it works. Relationship wise, money is not a fulcrum, it’s a vehicle for getting wherever you want to go. We could end up in a flophouse in Utica, and we’d be happy. It’s not money itself that’s important, it’s the attention. Attention and commitment…. We both spend money so we forgive each other when we don’t have any.”
Our next glorious couple shares, “We’ve never had any conflict over money. We’ve never been affluent, but we’ve never been poor either — although there were tough times when we were unemployed with three children. We worked together to make decisions, consulted with each other on large purchases, and never gave a reason to distrust each other. Loss of trust is the worst thing.”
Being married for an admirable 60 years, Juanita and Albert tell us, “We have a different way for handling our own money, to each their own. But if it’s a big purchase — like if I wanted a new sofa — we discuss the pros and cons…. I think the most important thing is that we don’t go to bed with our partner without speaking. Don’t go to bed huffy-puffy. That applies for everything, whether it’s children or finances or what. Don’t go to bed without being able to say, ‘goodnight, honey.’”
Please do yourself a favor and take a moment to follow up with this story. Because it is precious –rather, these couples are and their love for one another is most contagious! Enjoy, beloveds, and look for the silver lining wherever you find yourselves… it is there, if you search for it.
Don’t fret. If your situation is heavy, then know that this too shall pass. Happy New Year to all… see you next year!
We Are All One