Student Debt Could Buy the Real Estate Market

Student Debt Could Buy Every Home on the Market
If you wanted to buy all the homes on the US real estate market, you’d need around $780 billion, according to To pay off all the outstanding student loan debt in the US, you’d need $1.5 trillion.

Why is student loan debt nearly double today’s real estate market? It’s because almost 43 million Americans are shouldered with student loan debt, and this burden is blocking many of them from homeownership.

This statistic isn’t surprising when we compare the typical down payment for a home to average student loan amounts: $26,000 versus $34,500. Twenty-six percent of Millennials say student loans are the main obstacle they face when trying to save up for a down payment on a home.

Fortunately, there are many options for buyers in this situation. If you’re among them, here are some steps you can take to put yourself on the right track.

Improve your debt-to-income ratio: This ratio is key to qualifying for a mortgage. Lenders want to make sure you can handle the additional house debt with your current income. To improve your ratio, pay down (or pay off) any debts where you can, and increase your income if possible. Consolidating your student loans may also help.

Improve your credit score: Your credit score is another critical number that lenders consider. To increase your score, pay all your bills on time, avoid opening new lines of credit, and lower your use of credit. It’s also a good rule of thumb to check your credit report at least once each year to ensure it is accurate. If there are any errors, report them to the credit bureau immediately.

If you or someone you know is facing student loan debt and are interested in learning more about your options, I can connect you to a mortgage professional who can help you make owning a home a reality.

Laughter May Be the Best Medicine After All

As the festive season passes, leaving behind joyful echoes of feasting and family, thoughts naturally turn to the new year and making a fresh start. New Year’s resolutions can be met with either trepidation or confidence, but why not tackle them with a belly laugh and a radiant smile instead?

“Laughter is the best medicine” may seem like a well-worn adage, but the phrase carries glimmers of scientific proof. Known to trigger positive physical and emotional changes, a good giggle not only lifts your mood but has also been found to boost the immune system and provide pain relief, according to the research of American journalist, professor, and inquiring mind Norman Cousins.

Cousins and his upbeat attitude were put to the test when a connective tissue disorder left him in an almost quadriplegic state with a slim chance of recovery. Embarking on his own treatment course, he undertook a “laughter routine” in which he induced hours of laughing, leading to significant pain reduction and an eventual clean bill of health.

Whether this medical miracle resulted from his unorthodox cure or the placebo effect, it’s worth taking a page out of Cousins’s book this new year. An often-untapped wellspring of healing and renewal, laughter stimulates the production of the happiness hormone serotonin, leaving you calmer and better able to handle life’s curveballs.

Seek out more opportunities to laugh in 2020. It’s the perfect excuse to head to the theater, enjoy a comedy show, or make a friend laugh.

Could a Vacation to Mars Be in Your Future?

The skills and technologies needed to take people to Mars already exist, with most of them being developed during the Gemini missions that sent astronauts into space in the 1960s.

Since then, NASA has done extensive testing on the International Space Station and explored the surface of Mars with robot landers. They’ve developed exploration vehicles, lightweight, flexible spacesuits, and habitats that would enable astronauts to live and work on Mars.

And Virgin Orbit, a subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic enterprise, has announced plans to send small spacecraft to Mars within three years. The company has partnered with several Polish universities and a Polish satellite maker to design robotic missions to the Red Planet and says it has found a way to send small, light vehicles into deep space on its own proprietary rocket, LauncherOne. If successful, these would be the first entirely commercial missions to Mars.

There are still obstacles to overcome before people start booking vacations to the Red Planet. For starters, a journey to Mars would involve a two-and-a-half-year round trip: six months to get there, six months to return, and a year and a half hanging out waiting for Mars and Earth to move back into position for the return journey.

And there are other challenges as well. For example, we don’t know how humans might respond to long periods of microgravity or how to supply (or produce) adequate food, water, oxygen, and fuel needed for their survival. Then there are the problems associated with landing a payload the size of a Boeing 737 on Mars and logistical issues around getting back to Earth.

Will these advances make Mars a top vacation destination someday? Time will tell.

Wondering What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for? Do I need a house inspection? These are all critical questions that shouldn’t be overlooked when thinking about buying or selling your home.

Whether you’re curious about prices in your area, whether it’s an excellent time to sell, or just need an expert to answer your questions, I can give you the tools and offer guidance through the entire buying or selling process.

If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.

Click the market report below or select San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!

3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a House
Whether you’re thinking about buying or are already in the market for a new home, make sure you ask yourself these questions before making a move:

1. What are my “musts”? As you start your home search or are considering a particular home, make a list of your “must-haves.” These are your top priorities. They might include a certain number of bedrooms, a garage, or a specific school district. Note which items are not up for negotiation so you can refer back to this list as you look at homes.

To maximize your options, limit your “must” list to items you can’t easily change after purchasing the home. For example, you can’t change the home’s location, but you could easily switch out the flooring.

2. How long do I plan to stay? Consider various life factors that might influence how long you’ll live in your next home. Will you likely relocate due to a job transfer? Are you getting ready to settle down in the next couple of years? Is your family growing?

The answers to these questions will help you determine if it’s a good time to buy and, if so, what size and style of home to include in your search.

3. How’s my credit? If you’re planning to take out a mortgage to buy a home, your credit score will be a crucial factor. Lenders look at this number to determine the amount of money they are willing to loan you and at what interest rate.

Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Scores between 750 and 850 are considered excellent, while scores lower than 650 are considered weak. You can get a free copy of your credit report annually from the three consumer credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Examine these reports carefully to determine if everything is correct and if you’ll need to raise your credit score before you can qualify for a home.

If you need assistance with your credit, feel free to give me a call. I can provide additional resources to help put you in a buy-ready position.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Are You a First-Time Buyer? Get My Free Guide
Buying your first home is a big step, and one that is likely to impact your financial future for years to come.

Make it easier by requesting my free guide, “How First-Timers Can Make a Wise Buy.”

Just call me and I’ll send it right out to you.

Quick Quiz
Each month I’ll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

The first VCR, which was made in 1956, was the size of what musical instrument?

Easy Corn Chowder
There’s nothing like a bowl of hearty, nourishing soup to fill hungry tummies. This delicious, wholesome chowder will satisfy the adults at your table and even get the kids to scarf down their vegetables.
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons butter
2 or 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans cream-style corn
2 cups half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika and parsley to garnish (optional)
Sauté the potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots in butter for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth and creamed corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, warm the half and half in a saucepan until bubbly but not boiling. Blend it into the chowder just before serving.

Dust the chowder with paprika and garnish with a sprig of parsley for a festive look. Serve with breadsticks and a salad for a quick, easy, crowd-pleasing meal.

Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
Should I accept the first offer on my house?

While it might be tempting to hold out for better offers, there are three particular situations in which you might want to accept the first offer on your home. The first thing to consider is the time of year. While spring is typically a hot time for real estate, the holiday season is often slow. If you receive an offer during this time, you should keep in mind that it might be quite a while before you get any more bites.

The second consideration is the length of time your home has been on the market. If your home has been on the market for more than three months, strongly consider taking the offer. If your home remains on the market for longer than this, potential buyers start to wonder what is wrong with it, and you don’t want that.

The third important factor is whether you’ve found a new home. If you need to sell your current property to move into your new one, accepting the first offer may be necessary. This could free you up for a smooth closing on an existing contract or give you the freedom to start shopping.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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