Home Prices Flattening in 2015

Posted on January 6, 2015 by RGraceLaw

Car logoLOS ANGELES (Jan 6.) - According to the California Association of Realtors for the 2015 forecast, we will see more home purchases over the next year, but with the prices flattening out at just under 15% below the 2008 peak.Stricter underwriting guidelines and an increase in self-employment have made it harder for most buyers to qualify to purchase a home. This is forcing many buyers to continue to wait to save money for a higher down payment. A higher down down payment puts buyers in a better financial position to make a home purchase. Many people have already been in this waiting period. Also it is now going on four years since many people filed for bankruptcy and they are now ready to qualify for a new purchase even with the bankruptcy on their record.

According to the report "The average for 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates will rise only slightly to 4.5 percent but will still remain at historically low levels."

The California median home price is forecast to increase 5.2 percent to $478,700 in 2015, following a projected 11.8 percent increase in 2014 to $455,000. This is the slowest rate of price appreciation in four years."

"With the U.S. economy expected to grow more robustly than it has in the past five years and housing inventory continuing to improve, California housing sales and prices will see a modest upward trend in 2015," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "While the Fed will likely end its quantitative easing program by the end of this year, it has had minimal impact on interest rates, which should only inch up slightly and remain low throughout 2015. This should help moderate the decline in housing affordability we saw occur over the past two years."

"Additionally, the state will continue to see a bifurcated market, with the San Francisco Bay Area outperforming other regions, thanks to a more vigorous job market and tighter housing supply."

Financial Stress Lowers Your IQ

Posted on January 6, 2015 by RGraceLaw

Forget Financial Stress

That's right: financial stress Lowers your IQ.

It's not that getting into debt was necessarily stupid. But its the decision of staying in debt needlessly or because you are unable to climb out of the debt that can reduce your ability to think your way out of the mess that has become of your finances.

The stress caused by debt reduces your ability to perform intellectually. You make new, bad decisions because of stress.

The researchers from Harvard tested IQ's in a controlled setting in a shopping mall in New Jersey and in the field in a farming community in India.

Constant worry about paying bills intrudes on your thinking, and diminishes the mental resources you have to apply to all of life's decisions.

In the American lab setting, financially worried subjects lost 13 IQ points. In the field, Indian farmers who got paid just once a year improved their IQ by 25% after the harvest when they had money in their pockets and no immediate money troubles.

Wherever it's found, stress over money makes you less intellectually capable. No matter how you got into debt, being in debt reduces your ability to make good decisions about anything.

Challenging myths

So, the challenge for those stressed by debt is to make good decisions about the alternatives to being in debt. That can be a tall order when you aren't thinking well.

Get good information. There's lots of it here on this site, from highly experienced bankruptcy lawyers.

Good financial counselors can assess whether you have a realistic chance to become debt-free in a reasonable time outside of bankruptcy.

Confront the myths about bankruptcy. Many are just that: myths. Fanciful tales unconnected to reality.

Recognize that lots of the "avoid bankruptcy at all costs" hype comes from people who profit by your continuing to pay on impossible debt, or people who want to sell you an alternative solution.

Get smart

A first step is to recognize that your debts may be impairing your thinking.

Get the facts, enlist some help, and consider whether the alternatives to living in debt are viable for you.

Just hunkering down and paying the minimums, and remaining impaired may be stupid.