You Call That Tapering?

On the surface, the Federal Reserve appears to be diminishing its overwhelming presence in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities, by pulling back on its bond-buying program. But it isn’t. Little-appreciated fact: While it may be tapering down the purchases, it still is sitting on a huge pile of bonds that it isn’t drawing down.

End-of-World Money Moves

The coming financial crash always looms. End of the markets, end of civilization, end of the world. How do you prepare?

I, along with many other economists, agree with many of the concerns in these dire warnings. The growing debt and deficit spending taxes those holding dollars. The devaluation in the U.S. dollar risks the dollar’s status as the reserve currency of the world.

Homeowning for the Young

Your time has come to grow beyond renting a home. What now?

Gen Y, those born in the 1980s and early 1990s, look today to build equity and save on rent by researching the benefits of owning versus renting. Whether married or single, when it comes to renting and owning, you must consider these questions:

Trouble in Plain Sight

Economic and market weaknesses abound, but few see them. At some point in the not-too-distant future, there may well be plenty of heated discussion over how investors and the Federal Reserve could have been so blind.

Do Your Homebuying Math

The biggest purchase you likely ever make comes with many potential pitfalls. Here’s how to dodge some.

Home sales do remain sluggish. The number of contracts Americans signed to buy previously owned homes unexpectedly fell in October for the fifth consecutive month. The gauge of pending home sales decreased 0.6% after a 4.6% drop in September, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Mortgage Rate Outlook: Up

The Federal Reserve’s efforts to ease interest rates also pump up housing, because more people can afford mortgages, are a great plan – but what happens when the Fed stops? Mortgage rates head up.

Reverse Mortgages: Trickier

Would-be homeowners long turned to the Federal Housing Administration for affordable mortgages. That’s also true for older folks and reverse mortgages, which they use to supplement their income by tapping the equity value of their homes. But the agency is tightening the terms on these loans.

Expanded loan volume paired with what some suggest is a decrease in loan quality have led to increased defaults and depleted FHA reserve funds.

Know Mortgages’ Numbers

Buying a home is life’s biggest financial investment for most people. Because of the size of the commitment, most buyers need a home loan and must choose a mortgage with unusual care. Here’s what to look for.

Mortgage Backing: Tougher

Since the depths of the Great Depression, the Federal Housing Administration has helped cash-strapped Americans buy homes. This government agency recently toughened some rules, and here’s what you must know now before applying for an FHA mortgage.

Why Mortgage Rates Will Climb

Mortgage rates are up now and are driving higher in the future for two reasons, both emanating from Washington, including one that many are overlooking.

The first reason is well known: The Federal Reserve is planning to withdraw its bond-buying program. The second reason, whose impact is down the road, is the likely revamping or outright extinction of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-supported mortgage giants.


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