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The International Labor Organization reports today that global unemployment increased roughly 2.5% from 2012 to 2013, and there are now 202 million individuals out of work.  Closer to home, the Department of Labor shows that Americans’ hourly earnings have only increased 1.9% per year since January 2009, from $22.01 to $24.17 per hour.  At the same time, inflation has risen 2.1% per annum.

After seeing that, you might be thinking that it is time to look for a new job.  Were your grades good enough to get you into Harvard?  Though the cost to attend tops $56,000 per year, they have a $30 Billion endowment fund that might knock a buck or two off if you showed promise.  Harvard graduates’ average mid-career hourly earnings are $57.21 per hour.  So it’d only take you 6779 hours worked (just over three work years) to get your money back!

FHA is down at 3.75% and Conventional at 4.375% for 30 year loans. Fifteen year rates are in the 3.25-3.5% range (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.)