Monday, November 18, 2013

What The Next Few Years Will Look Like

Stories of young adults not finding work or settling to start off at a low paying job upon graduation has become the norm.  Expensive degrees that do not guarantee high paying salaries or young adults that work as bartenders or waitresses to get by is what we are seeing now a days.  Computers and robots taking away jobs and creating new ones for those that are savvy enough to understand and take advantage of new technology.  The middle class that is disappearing and not likely to come back in our generation blame it on the stagnation if you will. The recession of 2007-09 pretty much brought a correction to our economy.  Unlimited credit can't be given to all without appropriate measures, security markets can't go unregulated forever if so they will eventually take us down a sour road.

Young adults with less experience may not be able to land a full time job therefore are becoming free agents and taking on gigs or several part time jobs to survive.  Others may like the freedom and flexibility that part time employment offers.  All of these young adults are adapting to what the economy and job market is telling them.  We either learn to make more with less or pretty much sink into poverty.  The fact that the Internet gives us an enormous amount of services and information for free has pretty much changed the way things are done.

The point is you don't want to be a one trick pony in this new economy.  Be good at many things and your ability to do better than average or survive will increase.  During the recession stocks and real estate which most Americans have some exposure to brought a rude awakening.   At the same time gold, commodities and education were performing well.  Those that diversified and did not just own real estate did better during the recession.  Even now that we are out of the recession you should still diversify for example if you own an online business and this is your only source of income you could get burned.  Just consider a malware or virus attack on your site, Google could take your site off searches and this can quickly mean a loss of money or possibly the end of your business if you are living paycheck to paycheck.

The future seems to break down into two roads.  One road being for those that make good use of free information/technology who will learn to be resourceful and live a humble lifestyle.  The other for innovators that will cash in quickly on the opportunity to make much with less just like the creators of Facebook, Twitter or YouTube have done.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What To Do If You Want To Buy A House

Interest rates for a 30 year fixed mortgage are currently at 4.25% a few months ago the same 30 year mortgage was at 3.5%.  With that said rates are pretty low and your first step is to head to your bank and get a pre qualification letter.  Make sure you have good credit and can make a 20% down payment although there are banks outside of NYC in small towns that may ask for a lower down payment.

The pre qualification letter tells the real estate agent that you are serious about buying and not just wasting their time.  Your mortgage banker will ask you a few questions in regards to the state you want to buy in and a range you would like to consider as low or as high as your budget allows.

The letter will only last you 3 months then it will expire.  Take a look at a few homes and then make your choice.  Plan ahead set enough time to see the homes you want in the 3 month period you can go beyond that period but don't get another pre qualification letter as this will lower your credit score.

What to look for when inspecting a house?

Make sure you look at your home on different sites such as Trulia, Century 21 and Zillow.  Once you narrow your search get in contact with a real estate agent. If you are not familiar with the neighborhood then make sure you inspect the area to get a glimpse at who your neighbors will be and what the local economy for the town looks like.  Once you get to the property before you go in take a look at the roof.  Are there any shingles missing and are there nails sticking out? You also want to inspect for any cracks around the foundation of the home anything bigger than 3/4 of an inch may mean trouble.  If the home has a crawl space take a look if the floor inside looks wet that means rain is coming in and this can be costly to fix. Once inside the home look at the windows and make sure they don't look foggy or blurry. Make sure to check out the walls and floors for cracks.

Know the zoning on the home you don't want to buy a home that will not allow you to rent out to multiple unrelated tenants if that is the reason you are buying the home. The next steps will be to get the home inspected professionally and get the paperwork done once you have come to an agreement in regards to the price.
One thing to remember is that you don't need to get your mortgage from the bank you normally do business with, if a better rate is offered by another bank then this is another option to consider.  If you are buying a home in another state you may be better off using another bank either to save money because your bank does not have a branch in that state or if your bank will make the process more lengthy and more costly compared to the banks in the state you are buying.

I have seen banks in small towns charge less and demand smaller down payments to their locals due to the fact that the town's people have lower incomes.  Buying a home is a lengthy process but it can be a very good investment.  As with any major purchase careful planning and good counsel is a must.