Elizabeth Harris at Forbes examines recent data showing the spike in rent for lower-income families since 1996. Decline in homeownership among the middle and upper-income households has resulted in a limited supply for rental options. Additionally, median household expenditures increased across the board between 1996 and 2014.
Normally, this is something one researches only when already deeply entrenched in divorce. But, some forethought could preserve finances, and work to make a sometimes deeply contentious situation, less contentious. By utilizing calm decision making skills—free of emotion—both parties may be better prepared for their new lives. Time.com has some advice on their site.
USA Today has a short piece on what to look for in a real estate agent. We all want to support our friend or family member who happens to be an agent, but the article has an interesting anecdote that may give us pause depending on the transaction.
Seniors currently have $5.83 trillion in home equity, which is 16% above the pre-recession peak. Bankrate has a piece today detailing the new data, and what options it offers to senior citizens. President and CEO of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, Peter Bell, says “”For the millions of seniors without a pension, home equity is a valuable resource and can be an integral part of their retirement funding strategy.”
Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, says that early May is the peak time to list your home. Basing his advice on a lower inventory this year, he posits that increased buyer competition will result in a faster sale. Furthermore, Thursday is apparently the best day to list your home, because buyers are preparing to go shopping over the weekend. CNBC has an article and accompanying video worth checking out.
Previously-owned home sales decreased 7.1% in February. Winter weather played a role in the drop, with the areas subjected to the harshest weather affected the most. February sales are up 2.2% from last year at the same time. Forbes has more information here.
MSN has some tips for giving your children your home, and avoiding tax debt in the process. The options range from the incredibly simple, sell at the lowest price allowable by law—to the somewhat complicated, create a qualified personal residence trust (or QPRT). There are a few more ideas worth perusing in the article.
U.S. News and World Report has a slideshow dedicated to investing in land successfully. Much of the advice is common sense, but there are a few tips that were of particular interest. Ensuring you have mineral rights, and that you’re on the water wait-list stood out as things a neophyte investor may overlook. All 14 tips are worthwhile if you’re interested.
Fox News published a short piece on why your mortgage may not be showing up on your credit report. This could pose a problem in a few instances, namely if you were attempting to improve your credit scores. The article is worth a read.
The LA Times published a succinct, but informative piece offering some tips to increase curb appeal. Laura Morton of Laura Morton Design shares some valuable insight into—some simple, and some not so simple—upgrades to increase a home’s attractiveness. She also has a clear aversion to treating the walkway and driveway like an airport runway.