• Downpayment for Buying First Home an uphill task

    A first-time home buyer earning an average income in Florida needs 22.64 years to accumulate a 10 percent downpayment for a median price home, according to a new analysis from Builder.

    Households in Hawaii need more time to save up for a downpayment – 26.79 years.

    Rule of thumb dictates that households should not spend more than 28 percent of their gross income on total housing expenses. Its  calculated how much of that 28 percent is spent on rent every month in each state to pinpoint the balance that people would be contributing to a downpayment savings account each month.

    Overall, an average U.S. family needs almost eight years to save a downpayment, according to its calculations.


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  • Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Programs by HUD

    Law enforcement officers, pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians can contribute to community revitalization while becoming homeowners through HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program. HUD offers a substantial incentive in the form of a discount of 50% from the list price of the home. In return you must commit to live in the property for 36 months as your sole residence.

    The Neighbor Next Door initiatives are a collection of FHA’s home sales programs designed to help communities and promote homeownership.
    Eligible Single Family homes located in revitalization areas are listed exclusively for sale through the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales program. Properties are available for purchase through the program for seven days.

    Check the listings for your state. Follow the instructions to submit your interest in purchasing a specific home. If more than one person submits an offer on a single home a selection will be made by random lottery. You must meet the requirements for a law enforcement officer, teacher, firefighter or emergency medical technician and comply with HUD’s regulations for the program.
    HUD requires that you sign a second mortgage and note for the discount amount. No interest or payments are required on this “silent second” provided that you fulfill the three-year occupancy requirement.
    The number of properties available is limited and the list of available properties changes weekly.
    To learn more, please see check Good Neighbor Sales Frequently Asked Questions!

  • Florida Selected as Most Desirable State to Live

    For the first time since 2001, Florida – the nation’s 27th state – is back on top as Americans’ most desired state to live.

    When asked where they would most like to live (excluding their current state), Florida landed at the top of the list. Overall, sunshine and waterfront acreage were consistent themes among the most popular states, with California (2) and Hawaii (3) rounding out the top three. However, non-beach states Colorado (4) and New York (5) closed out the top five states.


  • Zero-interest-rate policy is over, but don’t expect rapid rate hikes

    The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time since 2006.The Fed’s short-term rate had kept near zero for seven years, marking an unprecedented era in the history of U.S. monetary policy triggered by the worst financial crisis and economic downturn since the 1930s.

    Policy makers on Wednesday voted 10 to 0 to lift the Fed’s short-term borrowing rate by a quarter-point to a range of 0.25% to 0.5%.

    Fed officials said an improved economy was ready for a rate hike, pointing to “solid” consumer spending, a rebounding housing market and stronger business fixed investment. The central bank also took careful note of a healthier labor market in which the unemployment rate has tumbled to 5% — just half as much compared to the early stages of a recovery that began in mid-2009.

    The central bank didn’t change its so-called dot plot for 2016 that projects one rate hike each quarter. According to this forecast, the target fed-funds rate would reach a 1.4% rate at the end of 2016.

    The median path for the “dot plot” declined by 20 basis points in 2017 to 2.4%, and 10 basis points in 2018 to 3.3%, suggesting one fewer cut over the two years than the FOMC had projected in September.

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