The American Dream

I’d like to think that this picture accurately portrays the excitement that everyone feels when buying a home.  After all, it’s the American dream.  It’s what we work for and fight for and plan for.  And sign for.  And jump through lots and lots of hoops for.  And sometimes it feels like this:

girl

But in the end, its still the best investment that a family can make to secure a healthy financial future for themselves.  Especially now when interest rates are so amazingly terrific.

A Hodgepodge of Useless Information

Scotland has voted to remain part of the United Kingdom and will hash out their tax rate changes which take effect as early as 2015.    While doing a bit of research on the UK debacle, I ran across this bit o’ information about our taxes here in the U.S. that was of more interest to me personally.  The IRS claims that 47% of tax returns filed in 2012 reported adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $30,000, while only 3.6% of tax returns reported AGI of at least $200,000. There are about 300 million households, but in 2012 only 145 million tax returns were filed.  Of those who filed, 64% of the returns paid federal income tax while 36% of the returns did not pay any federal income tax.  So if you paid any income taxes in 2012, you are included the 31% minority of the population which did so.  Thank you for keeping our government afloat (is that the right word?  BTW: This is not a cry for a vote of secession).
Interestingly enough the National Association of Realtors shows that 54% of all licensed agents earn less than $50,000 per year while 7% earn more than $200,000 per year.  Real estate agents are more polarized in their incomes than the national averages listed above.  Realtors earn an average of $39,140 per year and it’s the 89th best job to have in the country according to US News and World report (#1 is software developer).
How is that for a smattering of useless information? Here’s what you really want to know: Thirty year FHA loans are at 3.5% and Conventional loans are at 4.25%. Fifteen year rates are way lower at 3.0% (APR will be higher, depending on the loan and down payment amounts, and amortization term–as closing costs and the presence of mortgage insurance affect each loan differently.)