Strict lending standards and intense home buyer competition has led to a huge, record setting number of buyers coming to the bargaining table to make cash purchases for their new home. According to a new report issued by RealtyTrac, a record number of homes were bought with cash in the first three months of 2014.
CNN Money reports the U.S. economy has stalled for the first several months of this year, but they are calling the chilling effect nothing more than a winter weather phenomenon. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Wednesday that the U.S. GDP or gross domestic product, which measures the United State’s economic activity, grew at sluggish 0.1% annual pace in the first quarter of 2014.
CNN reports home prices are on the rise, helping almost two million American homeowners get back “above water.” According to RealtyTrac, in the first quarter of this year there were an estimated 17% or nine million homeowners whose mortgage debt was more than 25% of the value of their home. This number sounds bad, but according to RealtyTrac, it’s an improvement from earlier reports that an estimated 10.9 million, or 26%, of all property owners were underwater last year.
How much money would you have to be paid to quit your job? Amazon is betting they can get some of their warehouse workers to quit for as little as $5,000. Why would Amazon promote a pay to quit program? According to CEO Jess Bezos in his letter he issued to Amazon shareholders on Thursday he wants to make sure the company employees people who really want to work there.
It’s not just the Federal Government who is defending their right to your data, now Microsoft also joins the fray by admitting in federal court documents this week that they are also willing to use the same tactics if necessary. CNN reports that Microsoft has admitted they “forced its way into a blogger’s Hotmail account to track down and stop a potentially catastrophic leak of sensitive software.” Not only did the company not defend their decision, they said it was “justified.”
Assuming your credit score is decent now might be a good time to buy a home. According to a CNN report this week, the 30-year fixed, mortgage interest rates have been declining. Now, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, the weekly average mortgage interest rates have declined to 4.28%, down from 4.37% last week. It might also be a good time to refinance, especially if you want to refinance with a 15-year fixed, mortgage interest rate. These rates also decreased this week down to 3.32% from 3.39% last week.
If you have declared bankruptcy, cannot get a credit card, have trouble not overspending or want to avoid overdraft charges, credit card giants have the perfect product for you- the prepaid credit card. While these cards are not just for those who have a sketchy credit history or who do not have banking accounts, these cards will allow you to load and withdraw as much money as you want onto them from ATMs and make payments anywhere that debit or credit cards are accepted. The prepaid credit card will also allow you to avoid risk of overdrawing a checking account and getting charged exorbitant fees.
The Obama administration admitted last week that Obamacare has failed to meet its young adult enrollment target. The administration and insurers are now beginning to admit they are worried as low enrollment numbers could plunge Obamacare into what has been termed a “death spiral” by economist John Goodman. In question, is whether enough young and healthy people have signed up for coverage to subsidize coverage for the sickest consumers.
No one questions that a college degree pays. Data suggests that graduates with a four year degree have had earnings which have doubled over their high school graduate counterparts over the last 30 years. College degrees are also immune from economic crises and cannot be lost if the bank repossesses your home, but data suggests that starting in 2010, student debt exceeded credit-card debt for the first time in history. This fact has left many wondering if taking out student loans is still a good idea.