housing bubble http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9398/all en-US Once Again Safe as Houses? http://www.wisebread.com/once-again-safe-as-houses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/once-again-safe-as-houses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/allerton-mansion-large.jpg" alt="Allerton Mansion across the pond" title="Allerton Mansion across the Pond" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A good reason to buy a house: It's affordable, and you want to live in it. A bad reason to buy a house: You're worried about &quot;missing the bottom&quot; in the housing market. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-equity-was-always-imaginary">Your Equity Was Always Imaginary</a>)</p> <p>As soon as housing prices made their initial leg down, I started seeing people thinking that it was time to buy. But very few of those people were saying, &quot;I just saw this perfect house!&quot; Most of them were saying, &quot;Maybe I'd better buy now, before prices go back up.&quot;</p> <p>I saw so many people talking that way, I wrote a post &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-worry-about-missing-the-bottom-in-houses">Don't Worry About Missing the Bottom in Houses</a>. My point was that &mdash; unlike the stock market, where prices turn on a dime and zoom back up so fast that it's hazardous to your wealth to try to time the market &mdash; the housing market turns very slowly. After the bottom is long past, there will still be houses whose owners didn't sell as prices were falling. Some of them will move to sell at the first sign of rising prices. And, of course, there will always be the occasional motivated seller who simply has to sell.</p> <p>You never need to rush to buy after a housing crash &mdash; house prices will stay down for years. But now, it's been years.</p> <p>One never knows the future, of course, but sometimes the trends are so strong and so obvious it seems safe to make a prediction. That's how I saw the housing market back in March of 2009, when I wrote that post.</p> <p>Having done so, I figured I was obliged to mention when it's no longer the case.</p> <p>I'm certainly not calling a bottom in the housing market. I'm not predicting that prices will go up soon.</p> <p>All I'm saying is that the abnormal situation where you really can predict a market is coming to an end. Three years ago, I was willing to bet that there was no reason to rush into the housing market. There was no danger of &quot;missing the bottom.&quot;</p> <p>Now things are returning to normal. I don't know that prices will head back up any time soon. But after years in which they really couldn't, I've begun to figure that now they could.</p> <p>I still think that the only good reason to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-process-for-purchasing-a-house-with-cash">buy a house</a> is that you've found one you really want to live in, and you're able to get it at a price you can comfortably afford. And when that's the case, you don't really need to worry about whether the market is at the bottom or not.</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/once-again-safe-as-houses">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-4"> <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/is-a-buying-a-foreclosed-home-ever-a-good-idea">Is Buying a Foreclosed Home Ever a Good Idea?</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/5-signs-youre-ready-to-sell-your-house">5 Signs You&#039;re Ready to Sell Your House</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/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house">7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House</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/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-a-home-appraisal">9 Things You Need to Know About a Home Appraisal</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/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt">Should You Sell Your Home to Pay Down Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing first time home buyer housing bubble housing market recession Tue, 24 Jul 2012 09:37:00 +0000 Philip Brewer 943654 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Interest Rates Are About to Go Up http://www.wisebread.com/your-interest-rates-are-about-to-go-up <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-interest-rates-are-about-to-go-up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/visavisavisa.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The thing about financial crises is that they never fail to affect everyone. Just because your entire investment portfolio didn't implode when the dotcom bubble burst doesn't mean that you weren't <a title="Tips and resources for the recently laid off" href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">laid off</a> like thousands of other people. Didn't get sucked into a subprime mortgage? Lucky you. You still need to watch your back, because your fiscal responsibility <a href="http://www.twincities.com/ci_9727875">doesn't mean that you're safe from the crisis fallout</a>.</p> <p>Our economy is in the midst of a serious slide (bordering on a full-fledged recession). The causes for it are numerous, but the subprime mortgage crisis is causing some of the most accute problems.</p> <p>One of these problems is that your credit card company might decide to raise your interest rates. How is this different from the way credit card companies usually behave? The problem is that now, credit card companies are going to start raising interest rates for customers with an excellent credit history.</p> <p>Why? Because banks are hurting financially. Their problems are two-fold <strong>and</strong> causal:</p> <ul> <li>Banks are losing millions on defaulted subprime mortgages.</li> <p></p> <li>Americans have been running up huge credit card bills in the past few years, with the assumption that a home equity loan could be secured to pay off the personal debt. Now that home equity loans are difficult to get, credit card delinquencies are on the rise.</li> </ul> <p>This means that banks need to make some money, stat. How do they plan on doing this? They're going to raise interest rates on new and existing lines of credit and charge you even more in junk fees.</p> <p>It doesn't matter to banks that you're a good customer with a good credit standing. What matters to banks is their bottom line, and the only way they can think of to prevent more massive financial losses this year is to rip off their remaining customers. The result is that banks are looking for reasons to consider you an &quot;at-risk&quot; customer.</p> <p>Traditionally, at-risk customers are usually customers who run up a huge debt, pay late, only make minimum payments (although this is a tough one, as banks also LOVE you for only making minimum payments), or who have delinquent accounts. But now that banks and credit card companies are faltering, they're willing to look for all kinds of other at-risk factors, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Paying for necessities, like food, gas, or your mortgage, using credit.</li> <p></p> <li>Buying items that aren't considered high-quality, like retread tires (that's right - according to Robert Manning, your credit card company is monitoring your purchases and will raise your rates if they think your purchases indicate that you are entering a time of financial difficulty).</li> <p></p> <li>Paying your bill too close to the deadline.</li> </ul> <p>This is bad news for people who buy everything on credit in order to earn air miles or other bonus rewards. It's also drastically unfair and an incredible invasion of privacy. It's also another example of how we all end up paying for the collective financial stupidity of a few rogue investment bankers and mortgage lenders (yeah, I'm looking at <em>you</em>, Countrywide).</p> <p>Although you are always supposed to keep an eye on your credit rates, be especially vigilant in the comings months - check every statement for bogus fees and unnecessary rate hikes. You may consider not purchasing items like groceries&nbsp;with a credit card&nbsp;for the&nbsp;considerable future.&nbsp;Be sure to call and harangue your credit card company if they try to peg you as at-risk despite a clean payment record. Try to pay your credit card bill at least three days in advance of the due date, if not significantly sooner.</p> <p>Tedious though it may be, close monitoring of your statements can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-interest-rates-are-about-to-go-up">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-5"> <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/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</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/i-dont-love-capital-one-how-to-get-a-lower-apr-or-possibly-not">How to Get a Lower APR, or Possibly Not</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/8-things-people-with-good-credit-never-do">8 Things People With Good Credit Never Do</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/5-strategies-to-wipe-out-your-credit-card-balance">5 Strategies To Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balance</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/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management APR bank fees credit card debt housing bubble loan subprime mortgage Wed, 02 Jul 2008 20:38:52 +0000 Andrea Karim 2215 at http://www.wisebread.com