Are House Prices Likely To Go Down?

balance house pricesWhenever you hear people talk about the housing market it’s all doom and gloom. Prices have been rising consistently for years and there’s a serious fear that a whole generation of young people isn’t ever going to be able to afford a house. Last year was set to be a positive one for housing and an increase in house building was predicted, but the reality is, that didn’t happen. Things did improve a little but not as much as we hoped they would. So, it doesn’t look good at the moment and it feels like it’s never going to get better, but is that really true? Nobody knows for sure but these are some of the major predictions from experts.

Prices Will Rise, But Not As Much

This is good news and bad news. Prices rose by a significant amount every month last year, especially in the latter half of the year. Some people predict that trend will continue, but the increases will slow right down. There are a couple of reasons for this prediction. Firstly, unemployment is going down and people are able to afford houses more easily. Demand is stronger and there will be a slight increase in the number of people that are actually buying houses.

Another factor to consider is the number of people opting for alternative housing situations. More people are opting for prefabricated mobile homes, sometimes called mobile homes. These are far cheaper because the components are made separately, shipped over, and constructed on site. The impact of this is minimal but people choosing to go for alternative housing is going to alleviate some of the strain in terms of housing shortage. It also means that houses can be built far more quickly.

On the other hand, real estate as an investment is on the rise so if all of the houses are being bought up by investors, prices could carry on increasing.

This prediction is good news overall because what they’re essentially saying is that, while there won’t be an immediate turnaround in house prices, we’re coming toward the top of the peak and will soon start to see a downturn in prices.

Affordability Will Go Down

Wages are forecasted to grow in some of the larger cities in America which you would think is good news for buying houses, unfortunately it’s not. The amount of homes that are affordable to somebody on a medium income isn’t growing. That means they are unable to access the cities where wages are growing in the first place, so they can’t get the higher wages they need to buy a house. This disparity is one of the biggest problems in the housing market at the moment. Even if house building does increase this year, they aren’t likely to build the affordable housing that is needed to redress that imbalance.

Credit Availability Could Improve

After the crash of 2008, the availability of credit was regulated more strictly in order to avoid the same thing again. However, the new Trump administration has floated plans to roll back a lot of that regulation so banks will be more free to lend money again. It could go one of two ways; either they’ll start lending more freely and people might be able to afford to buy a house, or they may carry on operating the way that they are at the moment.

There’s no telling exactly what will happen with the housing market but these are three of the best theories so far.

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Is Owning Your Home Worth The Hassle?

home owningA dream for many of us is to eventually own our homes so that we don’t have to worry about things like being kicked out by a landlord, or having to move because of renovations being done to the building. Also, once you have paid off your mortgage you no longer have to worry about paying towards the cost of the property unlike if you were renting. All you have to pay for is your utility bills and other essentials like food and clothing. However, with the rising cost of properties and the difficulty of obtaining one, is it worth owning a property? This article is going to explore why we think that even though it’s a hassle, it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

Cost

It’s a little known fact that when you buy a property, not only do you have to find the money for a deposit (it’s usually 10% but it can be lower depending on your lender), but you also have to find the money for upfront fees. These are usually from your realtor and they are to compensate them for handling your property and your move. These charges aren’t something that many people think about until their realtor puts it in front of them.

While these charges might be more of a hinderance than anything else, it’s definitely worth digging into your pockets to pay for it because when it’s all said and done, you’re officially a homeowner and can begin looking forward to creating memories in your new home.

Location

If you’re looking to buy a home away from where you usually reside, it can be difficult to pick a location for you to settle down in. Competa properties offer people that are looking into becoming a homeowner the chance to own their own property for much cheaper than you would in the USA or UK. So if the prospect of living abroad excites you, it’s definitely worth checking out what they’ve got on offer.

If you’re planning to stay local, then a simple trip to a realtor will help you discover what kind of properties are on offer, and it will even help you plan how much you’re going to need to save to get the property of your dreams.

While choosing a location might be something that blows your mind a little, think about the fact that you’re in a position to live anywhere that you want, whereas people who rent don’t often have a wide choice.

Upkeep

Another thing that puts people off buying their own homes is the upkeep of the property. When something goes wrong, it’s up to you to make the repairs to your home. Unless of course, it’s on the pavement that you don’t own. If for example your boiler breaks, it’s up to you to either replace it yourself, or hire a professional to come and do the work for you. Obviously this can be costly, and if you’re salary is only making enough to pay your mortgage and other bills, this could be a problem.

One way of solving this is to arrange with your bank a saving scheme for when times like these arise. Most banks these days offer something to help you save money, whatever it’s for. Alternatively, you could put as much money as you can afford away each month so that if something does happen, you know that you’ve got some money to dip into for repairs.

Again, while this is something that puts people off, it can also be turned into a good thing. This is because when you do have repairs made, you can ensure that it’s done to the best quality so that you don’t have to pay for it again any time soon. Whereas if you were renting, you’d have to contribute to your landlord who might go cheap on the repairs and keep the extra money for themselves.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many downsides to owning a property but in the long run there are always solutions around it. For example, if you ensure that you have home insurance, some repairs you might be able to claim from that, especially if it’s caused by a natural disaster or robbery. While it might be difficult to begin with, wouldn’t you rather have your home to own when it comes to later on in life too?

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Making Your Retirement Fund Last

retirement timeNo matter how big or small your retirement fund is, it is always going to be in your interest to make it stretch further and last as long as possible. Retirement, when you’re finally free from responsibilities, can be great fun, but only if you have enough money to actually enjoy yourself, even if that just means enjoying the simple things in life without having to worry about how you’re going to pay the power bill.

To ensure that your retirement is the best it can be, here are some tips to help you save cash and make your fund go further:

Create a Retirement Plan

Obviously (or at least it should be obvious), sitting down with a financial planner and actually looking at your finances so that you can come up with a realistic retirement plan, is the most essential thing you can do to make your retirement fund last.

A good financial planner will always tell you the brutal truth about your finances and help you to maximize the money available to you through wise investments and a realistic budget, As long as you stick to the plan you create, you should not, barring any serious financial calamities, have to worry unduly about your retirement fund.

Liquidate Your Assets

When you finally get to retirement age, chances are that you will have accumulated a lot of stuff and although many of the things you have you will use regularly or get a lot of enjoyment out of, chances are there’s a lot of stuff you no longer get anything out of too. It’s foolish to hold onto this stuff when you could sell it and liquidate that cash, add to your retirement fund and keep yourself going for longer.

Downsize

In a similar vein, if you own your own property, you might want to think about downsizing and releasing some of the equity in your home. Moving to a smaller place or even an independent living community could three up several thousands which you can then use to pay the bills, have fun during your retirement, or even invest in stocks and shares that will actually give you a return, rather than sit doing next to nothing like the equity in your home does.

Look After Your Health

If you want to avoid expensive medical bills in the future as you age, then the best thing you can do now that will prolong you5r retirement fund in the future, is to take good care of your health. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and take any preventative measures you can to cut your chances of getting seriously ill and you won’t have to worry half as much about your retirement fund and how fast it’s dwindling!

Review Your Bills

No matter whether you’re retired or not, one of the best ways to make your money go further is by using price comparison sites to ensure that you are always getting the best deals on everything from electricity to your cell phone bill. You might not think it would, but reviewing how much you’re paying and whether you’re paying over the odds every six months or so will really make a huge difference to your financial situation and how far your retirement fund will stretch.

Living on a retirement fund isn’t always easy, but if you’re sensible and you do all of the above, it shouldn’t be too difficult either!

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Selling Up? Here’s How To Do It On The Cheap!

home selling optionsThere is no question about it; your home is the most expensive item that you will most probably ever own. Buying a home is no easy task, which is why it is so upsetting that when it comes to selling up and moving on, it can cost so much, eating into your valued investment.

So what can you do to cut costs when selling up and ensure that you are able to hang onto as much of your hard earned cash as possible? For all of the best tips and suggestions, read on.

Haggle

When it comes to dealing with estate agent’s fees, the best thing that you can do is haggle. Take the time to have a look for estate agents in your area – pick a mixture of corporate and independent ones – and then compare their prices. Choose the ones that you like best and think will be the most successful at selling your home and ask for quotes. What you can do then is haggle – tell your estate agent of choice the other offers you have been given and ask them to beat them. Stay firm and stand your ground, and you should end up getting the help of an estate agent on the cheap. As for the solicitors, the same advice applies. Their fees can be extortionate, which is why haggling is vital. Get a range of quotes to use, compare different companies, and then haggle on the price and ask who can beat the lowest price. The more you can haggle, the better.

Look at your selling options

The next step is to look at your selling options. When it comes to cutting costs and saving money, it is important to look at each and every option that you have when it comes to selling home. There are some fantastic services out there that can help you to get the best deals possible when it comes to selling your home. Take the time to research and compare all of the best services, to ensure that you are able to get the best deal on your property sale and keep costs as low as possible.

Ensure you get what you pay for

If you are going to pay for a service, it is vital that you get what you have paid for. The fact is that when it comes to selling up, prices can be high, which is why you need to ensure that whatever you pay for, you get. After all, the last thing that you want is to waste money, right? So make sure to monitor every service that you use, to ensure that when it comes to what you are spending, every penny is worth it.

There you have it, everything that you need to know about selling up and doing it on the cheap. Admittedly, selling a house is never going to come cheap, but you can cut costs and make the process more cost-effective if you take note of the tips and advice above.

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Mortgage Repayments: What to do When You Can’t Pay

payment for home loanStruggling to pay your mortgage can be a scary time. When taking out a mortgage, every person is told that failure to make repayments could result in repossession of the property. For many people with families, this is a terrifying thought. In fact, it’s so terrifying that many people bury their heads in the sand and try to ignore the problem instead of addressing it. However, addressing the problem before it gets out of control is the best way of handling it. So, what do you do if you’re worried about making your mortgage repayments on time?

Talk to Your Mortgage Provider

There are lots of consequences to not paying your mortgage, including bad credit reports. The more you ignore the problem, the worse off your credit score will become, which puts you at risk of not being accepted for future credit. Take a look at some tips from bestcreditrepair.co for restoring your credit ratings. If your lender knows you’re struggling to come up with the repayments for your mortgage there could be something they could do. For instance, many mortgage lenders offer payment holidays if you’re unable to work. You could also ask if it’s possible to extend the term of the mortgage so you’re paying smaller amounts for a longer period.

Get Advice

There are so many agencies out there that are ready and willing to help in a financial crisis. You don’t have to feel like it’s all on your shoulders to get the problem solved. Managing debt well takes a lot of skill, so it’s okay to ask professionals for their help. If your debt problems are making you feel depressed, it’s also worth calling a depression hotline to talk to someone about your worries. Bottling everything up won’t help you find a solution to your problems and won’t help you maintain your health.

Repayment Holiday

There are certain times when a lender may consider giving an account holder a repayment holiday. Often times, many people just need a financial boost to get back on track and a repayment holiday could be the ideal solution. Talk to your lender about a repayment holiday and agree to the terms and conditions. During your repayment holiday, do what you can to save up as much money as possible so you don’t have to face the same struggle again.

Create a Budget

Creating and sticking to a budget is easier said than done, but once you get used to it, you may never have to face financial pressure again. Write down your income and all of your outgoings and stop any unnecessary payments, like TV subscriptions. Limit your spending to things you need, instead of things you want, and use any disposable income to lower your debt. The less you have going out on a monthly basis, the less likely you are to find it difficult to pay your bills when something unexpected occurs.

The most important thing you can do when you can’t make a mortgage repayment is be open about it.

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