Homeownership Rising in the U.S.

After increasing in the third quarter for the first time in two years (from a 48-year low), American homeownership rose for a second consecutive quarter from 63.7 percent to 63.8, the Census Bureau announced Thursday. Fueled by job growth and flexible lending, these successive increases, albeit minuscule, are welcome news after a span of incessant downturns that began in 2013. Continue reading

The Effect of Oil Prices on Real Estate

As housing starts showing improvement, a new worry has crept in: can the dip in oil prices impact the recovering real estate market? At $30 per barrel, oil costs are the lowest they have been in almost 12 years and this could mean that gas prices will soon show a decline too, which will be favorable for millions of drivers across the nation. But is there a negative impact on the housing market?

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Cities Where You Can Pay Off Your Mortgage the Fastest

What are my payments, what is the interest rate and how long will it take me to pay this off? Those are the big three factors we all consider when we have settled on a significant new purchase and especially the biggest purchase of most people’s lives, a new home. The lowest the answer to these three questions the better for the homebuyer, who is typically on the hook for either 15- or 30-year mortgage agreements.

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Women’s Progress Through Homeownership

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 3.25.08 PMAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Selected Economic Characteristics, based on 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, 30.9 percent of American families headed by women with no husband present are below the poverty level. As women make advancements in the American workforce—by progressing to executive roles, achieving higher pay and eliminating longstanding barriers—the percentage of women householders living in poverty will decrease accordingly, and as this progress occurs, it is important to secure it with tangible assets.

Homeownership is one of the most powerful avenues through which to cement one’s economic foundation. An increase in women’s homeownership levels would safeguard their advancements and provide a platform for future generations to do the same. From financial security and independence to confident personal and professional lives, the benefits of women’s homeownership are decisive.
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Mortgage Rates Drop Further: Is This Hope for Potential Homebuyers?

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for this week, mortgage rates have continued to drop for the third week in a row. The organization polls approximately 125 banks and lenders nationwide regarding fees, rates and closing discount points for different mortgage products like the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM), 15-year FRM and the 5-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

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Picking the Right Accommodation: Hotels Vs Airbnb

Airbnb, a San Francisco based “community marketplace” for travelers has revolutionized the way people choose to stay during a business trip or vacation. The human aspect of the deal is probably what attracts most travelers who prefer to live like a local rather than a tourist. But is the company staying true to their original vision, of connecting private parties who want to rent out their homes with travelers who prefer to stay in a home or shared lodgings while traveling?

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The Struggle with Housing Affordability

The theme for the 2016 housing market is “the challenge of housing affordability coupled with expected modest economic growth,” according to a recent report from Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group. The research group asserts that continued labor market demand will result in higher wages and job security in the coming year, and that banks will release more flexible lending programs making the process of obtaining mortgage loans easier for millions of Americans. These characteristics indicate a housing market on the upswing with happy, capable buyers; but it’s not that simple. Continue reading

Honoring the Life and Work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Most admired for his “I have a dream…” address, Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent Baptist minister and civil-rights activist who left a lasting impression on the nation’s dealings with race. He had an important role to play in the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and we decided to honor his memory with some interesting facts from his revered life.

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