What do most people do when they can't afford that hot, new item they just can't live without? Charge it. Credit cards have made instant gratification a way of life, but getting what you want whenever you want is not always a smart move for your finances. Credit card debt can add up quickly, and too much debt can actually be a hindrance to achieving your long-term goals, like buying a home, getting a new job, starting a business, or saving for retirement. According to NerdWallet's 2016 American Household Credit Card Debt Study, the average U.S. household carries about $16,061 in credit card debt and pays around $1,292 in credit card interest each year.
 
If you're trying to dig your way out of credit card debt, rest assured, there are ways to pay it down. Before you start, make sure you've saved up enough for an emergency fund so you no longer have to make purchases on credit. Once you've got enough of a cushion to fall back on, use the following strategies to start paying down your debt:

1. Pay off the highest interest rate first.
Paying off the card with the highest interest rate first allows you to reduce the amount you spend on interest, which saves you the most money in the long run. To do this, continue making minimum payments on your other credit cards, and put more than the minimum amount toward your highest interest card.

2. Pay off the lowest balance.
Also known as the snowball method, this is the opposite ...


Housing is set to smash records in February, with realtor.com® forecasting both the fewest days on market since the recession and the month's highest list prices—an early start to the spring home-buying season, says realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.
 
"The spring buying season is off to a booming start," Smoke says. "Not only is the season starting a month early, February is also expected to see the fastest-moving inventory in a decade, as well as the highest home prices the month has ever seen. Homebuyers, take note: This year is shaping up to be even more of a seller's market than last year."

Mortgage rates showed minimal movement this week, marking the fourth week in a row of negligible change, according to Freddie Mac's recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.16 percent with an 0.5 point, a one point increase from 4.15 percent the previous week.


You’ve taken all the necessary steps to get ready to buy a home. You’ve saved for a down payment, improved your credit score, got all your financial documentation in line, and figured out what price range you can afford. And then the interest rates had a slight increase, so stopped everything!

Don’t run off so soon. The facts are event with increases in interest rates from last year’s historic lows, the rates are still favorable for buying. According to realtor.com®’s January survey of active homebuyers, 44 percent of buyers planning to buy in spring 2017 are first-time buyers. With inventory shortages and rising home prices, the urgency to buy now has never been greater. So before you shelve your plans for buying a home this spring, know the facts about rising rates and home prices.

So what are you waiting for, another increase?

Take a cue from repeat homebuyers who are actually being spurred into action by rising rates. Even with the current increases, interest rates remain historically low, and the movement in rates hasn’t yet tipped overall buyer demand down. Experienced buyers, in fact, are trying to close before rates increase further, as evidenced by increased realtor.com® listing views and decreased inventory. In the short term, the rate movement seems to have encouraged, rather than dampened, overall demand.

While concerns about ...


If you are dreaming of life away from New Jersey’s winter chill, here are a few healthy reasons you should become a “snowbird”.

·         Moving to Florida full time or part time means an escape from cold, wintery weather and a change of scenery

·         Cold weather can be harder to endure as we age.  A slip on the ice could be more likely to result in injury serious injury, and shoveling snow can become too physically taxing as well. 

·         For outdoor enthusiasts, it offers the opportunity to stay healthier with ...


We think about the relationships with our family, our loved ones and our friends often enough, but we tend to forget about the other big relationship we have in our lives: Where we live. The house or apartment, the neighborhood, the city. It's a relationship that requires upkeep and tenderness, like all others. And when it's suffering, it can cause a whole lot of suffering in your life. Here's what to do if you find yourself falling out of love with your home.

There are lots of reasons why you could be falling out of love with your home. Maybe your house has become too small to fit your needs. Perhaps your neighborhood and city have changed around you, too. Maybe traffic's worst than it's ever been. Maybe you are just ready to make your move to something different. If you need to sell your current home in order to buy a new one there are tips to help you get started.

Here are 8 ways you can prepare your Home to get back in the market and meet new people (buyers):

  1. Repaint the walls neutral colors. As much as you love your dramatic red dining room, it could turn off a good portion of your buyers. So repaint your rooms in neutral tones like tans and whites that allow buyers to focus on the spaces themselves, not the color of the walls.
  2. Keep the décor simple. To help buyers imagine themselves in your space, get rid of any art or other décor that might turn off people with different tastes. A ...

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