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The Home Buyer News Roundup: March 17th, 2017

Every week, we scour the news for items of interest to people who are searching for a new home (or thinking about making the leap into homeownership) and share the most important stories with you. 

Here’s what we’re paying attention to today:

1. Mortgage rates rise again on Fed decision

With the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise the federal funds rate this week, mortgage rates went up again this week. Per Freddie Mac’s latest weekly market survey, 30-year, fixed rate mortgages surged to 4.30 percent. Fifteen-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.50 percent, up slightly from the previous week.

2. Many home buyers struggle to save up for the down payment

The down payment for first time home buyers continues to be stuck in the single digits. For many, that means they are having to pay mortgage insurance at a time when everything from credit card interest and car loan rates are expected to rise. If you are in the process of saving for a down payment right now, consider partnering with Unison to get more down payment funds and give yourself more flexibility in your home search.

3. The next generation of home buyers will change the industry

For years, the American Dream included a stable job and a comfortable suburban home close to good schools. If all went according to plan, that home was a solid investment for years to come. Times certainly have changed as a new generation of home buyers is turning home buying on its head. Check out this informative interactive survey to see how today’s home buyers are thinking about homeownership.

4. If you pay HOA fees, they probably went up in the last 10 years

Homeowners association fees have been on the rise throughout the country. In 2005, the average monthly HOA fee among all households in the country stood at $250. By 2015, the average fee was $331, a pace that’s not only outpaced the nation’s housing prices, but exceeded the inflation rate by 5.9%.

5. Financial Literacy Month is only two weeks away

In March 2004, the Senate passed Resolution 316 that officially recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month. Finance is the study of how money functionally applies to our lives, yet very few of us are taught the concepts and skills when we’re young. For example, how many of you learned how to do your taxes when you were in college or high school? Here are five financial literacy lessons parents should teach their kids.

6. Retirees need $260K saved to pay for healthcare costs

Consider this number: $260,000. That is the estimated amount a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2016 will pay in out-of-pocket healthcare costs over the course of their retirement, according to money managers Fidelity Investments. For some, that means they will need financial flexibility from their retirement accounts and the need to tap into the equity in their home.

7. The most financially healthy city in the country

An analysis from WalletHub ranks more than 2,500 U.S. cities for financial health on a scale of one to 100. The study uses eight criteria to determine where residents are the best at keeping their finances in order, including debt ratios, median credit score, debt delinquencies, average number of late payments, and home foreclosure rates. Find out who ranked first and where your city ranks.