Homeownership Still Holds Promise for Nine in 10 Americans

A new survey shows the vast majority of Americans still regard homeownership as a “highly desirable goal,” despite lingering effects of the housing crisis in the market. The results stem from the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey and overall it was found that Americans are feeling more optimistic, likely due to an improving economy and labor market.  Source: DSNews.com

Making sense of the story

  • The survey found that 89 percent of Americans feel that buying a home is an important part of achieving the American Dream.
  • Furthermore, 64 percent of respondents expressed belief that owning a home is an attainable goal for a typical middle-income family, a significant improvement over last year, when just 41 percent said the same.
  • There was a generational split on opinions regarding whether or not the goal of homeownership is achievable. Respondents among the ages of 30–39 and ages 50–64 were most likely to be negative in that regard, with 26 percent and 20 percent, respectively, saying owning a home is not an attainable goal for a middle-income family.
  • Among non-homeowners, a quarter of those under age 30 and a fifth of those ages 50–64 said they have no interest in owning a home.
  • For those who currently don’t own a home, financial limitations represent some of the biggest barriers to homeownership. Fourteen percent say a low credit score is the primary obstacle.
  • Americans also cite a lack of a down payment (13 percent) and the price of homes in the area (12 percent) as impediments to homeownership.
  • More than half (56 percent) say their home is a long-term investment of 10 years or more to help fund retirement goals. Half of Americans also said they would avoid taking out a home equity loan unless absolutely necessary.

Read the full story

Talking Points …

  • California home sales pulled back in August, reversing two months of increases, as the median home price rose from the previous month and year, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
  • August marked the 10th straight month that sales were below the 400,000 level and the 13th straight month that sales have declined on a year-over-year basis.  Sales in August decreased 1.2 percent from 398,940 in July and were down 9.3 percent from 434,910 in August 2013.  The August 2014 sales level was the second highest for the year so far.
  • The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home rose 3.3 percent from July’s median price of $464,750 to $480,280 in August and up 8.9 percent from the revised $441,010 recorded in August 2013.  The August 2014 price was the highest observed since 2007.  The statewide median home price has increased year over year for the previous 30 months, marking more than two full years of consecutive year-over-year price increases.

From C.A.R. ~ C.A.R. Market Matters is published by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade association representing more than 155,000 REALTORS® statewide.

  

Dave Thurman Real Estate

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How to Survive a Heart Attack When You Are Alone

What are you to do if you have a heart attack while you are alone?

Let’s say it’s 6:15 p.m. you’re driving home alone after an usually hard day on the job. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home.

Unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far. What can you do? You’ve been trained in CPR but the guy that taught the course didn’t tell you what to do if it happened to yourself. Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article seemed to be in order.

Without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

Tell as many other people as possible about this, it could save their lives!

 

 

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How Are American Families Doing? A Guided Tour of Our Financial Well-Being

 

A new report from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances presents a comprehensive overview of the personal finances of Americans. Thousands of American families (6,026) were interviewed about their income, savings, investments, and debts to capture the financial well-being of Americans during the inconsistent recovery after the Great Recession.  Source: New York Times

Making sense of the story

  • Incomes rose nicely in the 2010 to 2013 time frame for the top 10 percent of earners (who had a median income of $230,000 last year). They rose slightly, by 0.7 percent, for the 80th to 90th percentile of earners (median of $122,000). But real incomes fell for every other group of earners.
  • Both young adult households (those headed by someone under 35) and those households headed by someone over 75 have seen steep income declines in that same period.
  • The report shows that the economic recovery has not resulted in higher incomes for anyone other than those who were already doing well. And very large groups of Americans have experienced falling incomes.
  • Most Americans, particularly those in the middle- and lower-income brackets, derive most of their income from wages and salaries. In contrast, for the wealthiest 25 percent of households, only 47 percent of their income comes from wages.
  • Wages and salaries have fallen as a share of total household income, to 62 percent in 2013 from 68 percent in 2010. Capital gains income rose from 1 percent to 5 percent. This goes a long way to explaining the disparate trends in total income among different groups.
  • The financial crisis appears to have scared Americans, especially middle-income Americans, away from financial investments. Among all Americans, the proportion owning stocks in some form, either directly or indirectly (via mutual funds or retirement accounts) has fallen from 53 percent before the crisis in 2007 to 49 percent in 2013.
  • For all families, debt service payment is the lowest share of income it has been in any survey going back to 1989. For those key middle-income consumers, debt service isn’t the lowest on record, but it has still fallen from nearly 20 percent of income in 2007 to 16 percent today.

Read the full story

Talking Points …

  • New research from Labor Department data and a Dartmouth College professor shows that today’s young Americans are burdened by debt at a far greater rate than prior generations. Overall, more than a third of Americans age 24 to 28—or 35 percent—have debts that exceed their assets.
  • Younger Americans today are taking on far less mortgage debt and far more student and credit-card debt than the early and late boomers did at the same age.
  • Only 19.8 percent of today’s young Americans have home-related debt, down from 29.9 percent of their peers in the late 1980s and 43.1 percent of those in the mid-1970s. Conversely, 22.4 percent of young Americans today have education debt, compared with 5.1 percent among late baby boomers.

From C.A.R. ~ C.A.R. Market Matters is published by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade association representing more than 155,000 REALTORS® statewide.

 

Dave Thurman Real Estate

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Housing Market Activity After Labor Day Likely to Be the Strongest in 5 Years

Home buyers who have been willing to wait for better deals will be rewarded for their patience, as sellers drop listing prices to meet buyers’ more value-focused expectations, according to the latest Housing Market Tracker from Redfin. In the report, Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson explains that a slowdown in home price growth and a shift in pricing power from sellers to a more balanced market combined to cause this change in housing activity as the market transitions from summer to the fall buying season.

For the first time in five months, price growth was flat in July across all 35 markets included in the report. That shift has been nearly nine months in the making from when sales began to first decline last November. As a result of this shift, the number of homes that sold above list price in July is down nearly 7 percent to 20.1 percent from 26.8 percent a year ago, the biggest drop of the year.

Redfin expects an unusual surge in home sales this fall and that prices will continue to flatten and potentially decline month over month in September or October. If that happens, it will be the first three-month price decline since fall 2012.
More info

Fast Facts

Calif. median home price: July 2014:

  • California: $464,750
  • Calif. highest median home price by region/county July 2014: San Mateo, $1.1 million
  • Calif. lowest median home price by region/county July 2014: Glenn, $145,000

Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: July 2014: Decreased 2.3 percent from 107 in June to 104.5 in July.
Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Second Quarter 2014: 30 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
Mortgage rates: Week ending 9/4/2014 (Source: Freddie Mac)

  • 30-yr. fixed: 4.10% fees/points: 0.5%
  • 15-yr. fixed: 3.24% fees/points: 0.5%
  • 1-yr. adjustable: 2.40% Fees/points: 0.4%

From C.A.R. ~ C.A.R. Newsline is published by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade association representing more than 155,000 REALTORS® statewide.

 

Dave Thurman Real Estate

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Buyers’ Social Media Use Is on the Rise

One Cool Thing is published by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade association representing more than 150,000 REALTORS® statewide.

Dave Thurman Real Estate

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