19
Apr 18

Is Family Mortgage Debt Out of Control?

Is Family Mortgage Debt Out of Control? | Simplifying The Market

Some homeowners have recently done a “cash out” refinance and have taken a portion of their increased equity from their house. Others have sold their homes and purchased more expensive homes with larger mortgages. At the same time, first-time buyers have become homeowners and now have mortgage payments for the first time.

These developments have caused concern that families might be reaching unsustainable levels of mortgage debt. Some are worried that we may be repeating a behavior that helped precipitate the housing crash ten years ago.

Today, we want to assure everyone that this is not the case. Here is a graph created from data released by the Federal Reserve Board which shows the Household Debt Service Ratio for mortgages as a percentage of disposable personal income. The ratio is the total quarterly required mortgage payments divided by total quarterly disposable personal income. In other words, the percentage of spendable income people are using to pay their mortgage.

Is Family Mortgage Debt Out of Control? | Simplifying The Market

Today’s ratio of 4.44% is nowhere near the ratio of 7.21% during the peak of the housing bubble and is instead at the lowest rate since 1980 (4.38%).

Bill McBride of Calculated Risk recently commented on the ratio:

“The Debt Service Ratio for mortgages is near the low for the last 38 years. This ratio increased rapidly during the housing bubble and continued to increase until 2007. With falling interest rates, and less mortgage debt, the mortgage ratio has declined significantly.”

Bottom Line

Many families paid a heavy price because of questionable practices that led to last decade’s housing crash. It seems the American people have learned a lesson and are not repeating that same behavior regarding their mortgage debt.

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19
Apr 18

Peek Inside Heidi Klum's New $5M Fixer Upper Loft

The first glance of Heidi Klum’s new “no-frills fixer-upper” penthouse in SoHo has us channeling her Project Runway costar Tim Gunn and chanting: “Make it work!”

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19
Apr 18

BuzzFeed Life Editorial Director Peggy Wang's Queens Home Is a Vision in Blue — House Tour

Name: Peggy Wang
Location: Ridgewood, Queens
Size: 1100 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

A few years ago, I kinda just woke up one day and decided that I didn’t want to live in a tiny apartment anymore. It was like a weird sudden existential outburst in my usual lazy put-everything-off-forever mindset. My boyfriend’s friend happened to be looking to buy a two-family house, which is what planted the idea in my head. It took about eight months between that day I had the epiphany to the day I closed on the house.

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19
Apr 18

Survey Says This is the Grossest Thing You Can Have in Your Kitchen

I’m not swayed by inner satisfaction or the captivating sparkle of a spotless countertop. No—my main motivation for cleaning my space is almost always making sure that the people who see it don’t think I’m gross. (Even if those people are just the UPS guy and my local Thai place’s delivery driver.) I know I’m not alone, so I think all of us would appreciate the results of a recent study which discovered the things about our homes that are most likely to turn off potential guests.

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19
Apr 18

SMEG Adds Even More Appliances That Are Actual Works of Art

It’s Design Week in Milan and SMEG and Dolce & Gabbana are back with even more appliances turned art. If you thought the fridges were extra, just wait until you have a hand painted oven and range hood to match.

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19
Apr 18

Why You Should Always Travel with a Tennis Ball

When packing for a trip, you probably include a change of clothes and toiletries in your carry-on — in case your luggage gets lost — along with a travel pillow, moisturizer, good reading material, and a layer if it’s cold on the plane. But there’s one other item that doesn’t take up much space, and can get you to your destination feeling fresh and nimble.

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18
Apr 18

How Much Do You Need to Make to Buy a Home in Your State?

How Much Do You Need to Make to Buy a Home in Your State? | Simplifying The Market

It’s no mystery that cost of living varies drastically depending on where you live, so a new study by GOBankingRates set out to find out what minimum salary you would need to make in order to buy a median-priced home in each of the 50 states, and Washington, D.C.

States in the Midwest came out on top as most affordable, requiring the smallest salaries in order to buy a median-priced home. States with large metropolitan areas saw a bump in the average salary needed to buy with California, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii edging out all others with the highest salaries required.

Below is a map with the full results of the study:

How Much Do You Need to Make to Buy a Home in Your State? | Simplifying The Market

GoBankingRates gave this advice to anyone considering a home purchase,

“Before you buy a home, it’s important to find out if you can afford the monthly mortgage payment. To do this, some financial experts recommend your housing costs — primarily your mortgage payments — shouldn’t consume more than 30 percent of your monthly income.”

As we recently reported, research from Zillow shows that historically, Americans had spent 21% of their income on owning a median-priced home. The latest data from the fourth quarter of 2017 shows that the percentage of income needed today is only 15.7%!

Bottom Line

If you are considering buying a home, whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to do so in today’s market!

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18
Apr 18

Apartment Therapy Has Been Nominated for Two Webbys (and We Need Your Help to Win)

Thanks so much for being a loyal fan of Apartment Therapy — and for loving our content as much as we love putting it together every day. We wouldn’t be where we are without our incredible readers and that’s why we (that means you, too) were nominated for two Webby awards this year.

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18
Apr 18

HAY's Latest Collaboration With Sonos Is Music To Our Ears

Danish design brand HAY is no stranger to collaborations. In fact, we’ve seen them release furniture projects for IKEA and a kitchen line for MoMA. Today, you can add another major brand in the home space to HAY’s list of partners: Sonos, maker of wireless speakers and home sound systems.

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18
Apr 18

New Study Says NYC Has ‘Teflon’ Mice, And Here’s Why That’s Terrifying

Here is an entirely true story about my first week in my NYC studio.

I was cleaning the kitchen (because I am a certified grown-up), and I got out the vacuum to get the nooks and crannies beneath the dishwasher and cabinets. Before moving in, I had gone a full year without experiencing more than a spider in my living quarters and I was not going to entice any new friends with crumbs from my Cheerio-based dinner. As I moved the vacuum under the stove, it caught something. I pulled and got the corner of a sticky piece of paper that was home to about 500 dead roaches.

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