Friday, December 18, 2015


- Your Checklist for Quick Houseguest Prep

- Job Growth to Finally Boost Homebuilding?
- The Hot, New Company Benefit: Student Debt Repayment
- Study Finds Majority of Millennials Have $1,000 or Less in Savings
- Half of all U.S. renters are over 40
- 8 Surprising Predictors of Housing Prices
- Tiny Huts, Cabins and Modular Houses for Remote Living


Job Growth to Finally Boost Homebuilding? - The construction sector is expected to add 790,400 jobs through 2024 – the fourth highest job growth projection among major industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). “In percentage terms, the construction sector ranks second in terms of expected growth,” the National Association of Home Builders reports on the findings. “The construction industry is expected to experience 1.2 percent compounded annual growth for jobs over 2014-2024.” However, even with the uptick, employment in the construction sector still would not be pushed above 2004 levels. From 2004 to 2014, about 837,800 construction jobs were lost on a net basis.

The Hot, New Company Benefit: Student Debt Repayment - A handful of companies are offering to pay part of their employees' student debts, an increasingly popular perk that could help employees improve their finances, such as having the means to save for a down payment on a home. However, student loan payment programs are still a relatively uncommon perk. Only 3 percent of more than 450 surveyed companies offer student loan repayment programs as a part of their benefit plans, according to the Society for Human Resource Management's 2015 Employee Benefit Survey. As college graduates have more and more debt to deal with, this benefit could become a more popular trend. Some predict that debt repayment will become as common as health benefits.

Study Finds Majority of Millennials Have $1,000 or Less in Savings - Millennials are projected to number 75.3 million for 2015, surpassing a projected 74.9 million for Baby Boomers. Millennials will therefore comprise a greater percentage of the population than Baby Boomers for the first time. conducted a survey to gain insight into the saving habits of this age group. Since millennials are growing as a percentage of the population, their savings and spending habits will increasingly have a major impact on the overall economy.

Half of all U.S. renters are over 40 - While millennials are certainly renting, so too are their parents—so much so that there just doesn't seem to be enough affordable rental units to go around. Christopher Herbert, Managing Director of Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, commented, “We’ve seen vacancy rates at their lowest level in decades and rents growing at their fastest pace in 30 years. With all those people looking for rentals, it's increasing competition and making the market ever tighter." The increase in older renters is a legacy of the housing crisis, and with all generations hoping to rent, prices are going up.

8 Surprising Predictors of Housing Prices - It’s no surprise that home buyers and owners like to know which way prices are heading. But when it comes to nailing the best deal in real estate, there are eight surprising indicators of change in home prices, according to®. For instance, a study found that for every $1 decrease in gas prices, home prices increase by roughly $4,000 and the average time to sell a property decreases by 25 days. And it’s not just gas prices that are worth monitoring. Homes near a Trader Joe’s are worth 5 percent more than homes near a Whole Foods, according to RealtyTrac. Also, moving a residential housing unit one mile closer to a professional sports facility increases its value by $793. Other indicators include marijuana laws, casinos, temperature changes, trees on a street, and proximity to highways.

Tiny Huts, Cabins and Modular Houses for Remote Living - City living got you down? Take shelter in the countryside in one of these latest designs fit for out-of-the-way living. Some of my favorites:

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