home purchase http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8277/all en-US Will house prices keep dropping? http://www.wisebread.com/will-house-prices-keep-dropping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/will-house-prices-keep-dropping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/foreclosure-sign.jpg" alt="Foreclosure sign in front of a house" title="Sign Of The Times - Foreclosure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don&#39;t think much of the &quot;buy low, sell high&quot; model for house purchases.  I think a house should be purchased as a place to live, in which case the main questions are whether you want to live there and whether you can afford it, not whether prices have hit bottom.  Still, it&#39;s a question of interest to a lot of people, so I&#39;ve been meaning to write an article on the topic.  Happily, Vladimir Klyuev, an economist with the International Monetary Fund, has written it, so I don&#39;t have to.</p> <p>There are a lot of ways to look at what the &quot;right&quot; level is for house prices.  In the IMF Working Paper <a href="http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2008/wp08187.pdf">What Goes Up Must Come Down? House Price Dynamics in the United States</a>, Klyuev looks at two of them:  the supply and demand fundamentals, and an asset-market perspective.</p> <p>It&#39;s worth reading the paper, but I think you can get most of the story from just this one graph:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/real-home-price-vs-rent.png" alt="Graph of real house prices versus real rent" title="House Prices vs Rent" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>The red line is the real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) cost of rent.  The blue line is the real home price.  If we can expect the costs of houses and of rent to return to roughly the same relationship that they had between 1970 and 2000--and I think we can--then it looks to me like house prices still have a long way to fall.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-house-prices-keep-dropping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-live-in-one-of-americas-most-foreclosure-ridden-towns">Do You Live In One Of America’s Most Foreclosure-Ridden Towns?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everybodys-wrong-about-how-much-house-you-can-afford">Everybody&#039;s Wrong About How Much House You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-process-for-purchasing-a-house-with-cash">The Process for Purchasing a House With Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-paying-off-your-mortgage-early-costing-you-money">Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-buying-a-foreclosed-home-ever-a-good-idea">Is Buying a Foreclosed Home Ever a Good Idea?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Real Estate and Housing buying a house home prices home purchase house prices imf Tue, 29 Jul 2008 11:53:01 +0000 Philip Brewer 2274 at http://www.wisebread.com It Pays to Call and Ask http://www.wisebread.com/it-pays-to-call-and-ask <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/it-pays-to-call-and-ask" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/phone.JPG" alt="phone" title="Just pick up the phone and ask." class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>All you have to do is ask. Whether it&#39;s getting a fair shake from a business that treated you badly or getting a little extra, picking up the phone or sending an e-mail so often pays off. But here&#39;s the thing to remember: Sometimes you have to ask more than once. If the answer is no the first or second time, try again. Ask for a manager. Hang up and try a different operator. Ask about the appeals process. Write a demand letter threatening legal action. If you are in the right, you should eventually get what you deserve. </p> <p>Here are five examples of how speaking up has saved me money this year alone.</p> <p> 1) Credit card fees.</p> <p>It&#39;s nice to have a credit card that pays miles or cash back, but the $50 annual fee most of these cards require detract from the value. In the past, it was pretty easy to get this fee waived by calling the company as soon as you saw the $50 show up on your annual statement. However, for the past two years I have had to work a little harder. The first person I spoke to said the fee could not be waived. It was not until I said, &quot;OK, then please cancel my account&quot; that I was transferred to a &quot;retention specialist&quot; who offered either to give us a voucher for a free flight or waive the fee. Personally, I think the fee waiver is a better deal since the vouchers usually have a minimum purchase price and other limitations that can make using them more expensive than taking a cheap flight. </p> <p>Sometimes, you can cut the charade by just calling up and asking to speak to a retention specialist right away.</p> <p>2) Buying a home.</p> <p>There are obviously whole books written about how to get the best deal on a home, but one little tidbit here: Do not close the deal without asking for one more thing. Especially in this slow market.</p> <p>We had negotiated hard on the sale of our home. We got the price down significantly on the condition that we not nickel and dime the sellers on the inspection. But when the inspection came back, there were significant expensive repairs that, while not emergencies, we&#39;d want to make right away. Our agent advised us that after coming down so much on the price, the sellers were not likely to give us anything back for the repairs.</p> <p>We asked anyway.</p> <p>They turned down our request for them to split the cost, so I said, &quot;OK, give us $1,000 toward the repairs and we&#39;ll close this deal today.&quot;</p> <p>They did, and we did. I&#39;m typing this from my cozy new home. </p> <p>3) Home warranty. </p> <p>Our sellers gave us a home warranty on the old house we bought. Some people think home warranties aren&#39;t worth much, because they have called them and been told the repair needed wasn&#39;t covered. However, it&#39;s my experience that if you keep on the company day after day, they may relent and make the repair.</p> <p>Within the first few months, we had a clogged sink line. We called the home warranty company to send a plumber, and they did. The next day, water started flowing out of a hole in our basement floor, near the pipe that had just been rodded out. Yikes.</p> <p>We called the home warranty company and reported the damage. They sent out the same plumber, who said they were not responsible for the leak and that the home warranty company didn&#39;t cover it because the pipe ran outside the perimeter of our home.</p> <p>I called a local plumber and asked their opinion. They said the pipe stayed inside the four walls of our house.</p> <p>I called the home warranty company back and got them to send a different plumber out. With this company, this second opinion process is a gamble. If the new service person says it&#39;s covered, you pay nothing, but if they say it&#39;s not, you pay the standard $55 visit fee but get nothing done.</p> <p>It turned out the new plumber didn&#39;t do the work we needed. So the warranty company sent a third plumber, who said it was covered and fixed it. It would have been a $1,000 to $2,000 repair. Later, the same plumber returned to my house for yet another clogged drain and told me that technically, the warranty company shouldn&#39;t have covered the big repair! But I certainly didn&#39;t feel guilty if they made a mistake. I was completely honest with them the whole time, and persistence is not a crime!</p> <p> 4) Billing mistakes</p> <p>I noticed that my cell phone bill included a charge for roadside assistance, which I had never ordered. Then I looked at some old bills and realized I had been charged for roadside assistance for a year!</p> <p>I called the company and, despite cell phone providers&#39; reputation for lousy service, was able to get the charge removed retroactively for the whole year. Then I found the same thing had happened on my husband&#39;s bill. When I called back, at first the agent only wanted to credit me one month&#39;s payment. But I insisted, and he went back and refunded all the payments. </p> <p>5) Security deposit</p> <p>OK, I haven&#39;t accomplished this one yet, but I will. When we moved out of our apartment to our new home, we gave our landlords our forwarding address &quot;for the security deposit.&quot; Months passed and we received nothing, so we called and left them several messages. We emailed. Finally I wrote and mailed a <a href="http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&amp;contentID=3637">demand letter</a>. Again, we&#39;ve heard nothing, so I&#39;m going to have to send another copy of the letter certified mail. After that, according to Illinois Legal Aid, I&#39;ll have to file a legal complaint about this. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-pays-to-call-and-ask">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-save-if-you-dont-try">You Can’t Save if You Don’t Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-whats-in-your-envelope">Capital One: What’s In Your Envelope?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spending-patterns-affect-your-credit">Can Your Spending Patterns Affect Your Credit?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-we-really-need-help-in-getting-more-debt">Do we really need help with getting more debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/possible-protections-for-credit-card-holders">Possible protections for credit card holders</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs credit cards home purchase home warranty security deposit Thu, 06 Dec 2007 17:07:21 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1471 at http://www.wisebread.com