Category: Mortgages

Question of the Day: What is the median sales price for existing homes in the U.S.?

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Nov 29, 2017
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Mortgages, Economics, Math
Answer: $247,000 (as of October 2017) From National Association of Realtors: "The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in October was $247,000, up 5.5 percent from October 2016 ($234,100). October's price increase marks the 68th straight month of year-over-year gains.Total housing inventory3 at the end of October decreased 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 10.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen...

Video: Suburbs and Cities: Why Do We Live Where We Do?

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Mar 22, 2017
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Budgeting, Mortgages, Research, Purchase Decisions, Video Resource
Hat tip to Big Picture blog who brought this well produced and engaging 10 minute video to my attention. It provides an historical perspective on how cities developed and the factors that determine where people live in in the U.S. compared to Europe. This would be a good supplement to your budgeting lesson as housing costs tend to be the largest expense so where you live is consequential: Questions for students: Why did cities in Europe develop differently than those in the U.S.? Where do rich...

Question: How Much Debt Do Consumers Have?

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Jan 15, 2017
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Chart of the Week, Mortgages, Question of the Day, Research, Credit Cards, Student Loans, Current Events
A great opener to your Types of Credit unit. Start by asking your students to rank from largest to smallest the various types of consumer debt: Credit Cards Mortgages Auto Loans Student Loans —————- Answer and visual below (from Visual Capitalist and Equifax): $12.4 trillion (as of August 2016) Questions for your students: Which of the loans above involve an asset that a lender can recover if you don’t pay your loan back? Which loan type above involves...

Chart: How Do Debt Levels Differ By Age?

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Dec 05, 2016
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Chart of the Week, Mortgages, Research, Credit Cards, Student Loans, Payment Types, Current Events
Here’s a meaty set of charts to include in your Types of Credit unit. I love it because it provides a more holistic view of the various types of debt that consumers have and how their balances vary over an adult’s life: Hat tip to Sarah Tavel of Greylock Partners who included this chart in her excellent presentation “Saving people money.” First, some orientation is in order. The charts show various types of debt: mortgage, HELOC (home equity line of credit), student...

Chart: What's the Cost of Having A Low Credit Score?

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Nov 21, 2016
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Chart of the Week, Credit Scores, Mortgages, Activity, Question of the Day, Research, Current Events, Activities
Answer: Tens of thousands of dollars when looking at long-term loans like mortgages. Great chart recently released by myfico.com (hat tip Motley Fool) demonstrates how current interest rates on mortgages vary based on credit scores: Here’s a quick mini-activity for students to see how much a low credit score could cost them: Using this simple mortgage calculator, plug in the following assumptions: Home value: $234,000 (median sales price in September 2016) Interest rate: 3.248% (high...

Question: What's the Biggest Source Of Financial Stress (by State)?

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Aug 24, 2016
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Chart of the Week, Mortgages, Credit Cards, Student Loans, Current Events
Here are the choices: Paying my mortgage or rent Lack of stable income Paying for education Not being able to retire Not having enough money to fund an emergency Wanting a nicer lifestyle Paying off my debt Envelope please… Answer: Paying off Debt! From GoBankingRates.com (click on this link to find details about your state): Want to teach your students to use debt responsibly? Please check out the NGPF Unit on Types of Credit! ...

Chart: What Percentage of U.S. Households Own A Home?

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Aug 01, 2016
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Chart of the Week, Mortgages, Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions, Current Events
Answer: You have to go back to 1965 to find home ownership rates equal to today’s rate of 63%. Questions for your students: Do you want to own a home some day? Why or why not? What’s an appropriate headline for this chart? How many years did it take the housing bubble to inflate (trough to peak)? How many years has it been since the market peaked? Where do you think it will bottom out? What explains the drop since 2006? What tends to happen with homeownership rates during...

Are Farms and Homes A Good Investment Opportunity?

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Jul 21, 2016
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Article, Mortgages, Question of the Day, Research, Investing, Current Events
Answer: Not so much. From Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller at New York Times: Over the century from 1915 to 2015, though, the real value of American farmland (deflated by the Consumer Price Index) increased only 3.1 times, according to the Department of Agriculture. That comes to an average increase of only 1.1 percent a year — and with a growing population, that’s barely enough to keep per capita real land value unchanged. According to my own data (relying on the S&P/Case-Shiller...

Let's Get Serious (or Not): Cartoons To Consider

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Jul 05, 2016
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Cartoons, Mortgages, Behavioral Finance, Teaching Strategies, Advertising, Purchase Decisions, Current Events
Ran across a few cartoons that you might bring some levity to the classroom or amplify a key point. From Barrons: Why did I select it? Too often people think just because the bank lends you money, you can afford to take it. Since housing is the largest purchase most people make in their lifetimes, buying too much house has long term implications Use in conjunction with NGPF Lesson on Mortgages _________________ Why did I select it? Most people do not know that they can bargain to reduce...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Brian Yanizeski of Fox Chapel Area HS (PA) About Online Learning

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May 24, 2016
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Featured Teachers, Mortgages, Teaching Strategies, Audio Resource, Professional Development, Podcasts, Tips for Teachers
I recently had the pleasure of having Brian Yanizeski, a Business Teacher from Fox Chapel Area High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the show. We recently honored Brian as an NGPF Teacher-Innovator for his “Home Buying Project.” Brian has five years experience teaching an online Investing and Finance course at his high school. Listen to this podcast to hear Brian share how he developed his online course (including his favorite resources), as well as how he manages it to keep his...

Interactive: How Has The Housing Market in Your Neighborhood Performed Since 2004?

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May 14, 2016
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Activities, Mortgages, Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Chart of the Week, Interactive
  Interesting interactive tool (from Washington Post) to teach students about the hyper-local nature of real estate. Type in a Zip Code and the color coding on the map will show how housing markets have performed since 2004. Here’s a map from the Portland, ME area: Why do I these graphs are important? Primarily in helping students understand the old adage in real estate about the importance of Location, Location, Location! Here are some questions to get the conversation started: ...

Interactive: Is It Better To Rent or Own?

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Apr 10, 2016
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Mortgages, Activity, Research, Purchase Decisions, Current Events
  Great interactive tool from NY Times to aid in one of the most important decisions that individuals make in their lifetimes. This screenshot demonstrates how the user can adjust a set of variables (home price, time in house, mortgage details, growth in home prices and rental costs, taxes, closing costs and fees and maintenance costs) and immediately see its impact. Yes, that seems like a lot of variables, but you can see which ones really influence the outcome based on the shape of the...

Interactive: How Much Salary Do You Need To Afford A House in A Given City?

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Mar 14, 2016
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Mortgages, Purchase Decisions, Budgeting, Research, Activity, Current Events
Simple interactive tool to teach students the variance in the cost of living within the United States. Since housing (rent or mortgage) is usually the single biggest cost factor in an individual’s budget, this is an important concept for students to grasp. Students can click on a city on the map to collect the information about that metro area’s housing market:   Questions for students: Pick three cities where you think you might be interested in living...

Video Resource: How Was The Housing Market in 2008 Like the Game of Jenga?

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Jan 26, 2016
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Mortgages, Behavioral Finance, Investing, Current Events, Video Resource, Financial Scams
I went to see the movie, The Big Short last week.  I had enjoyed the book by Michael Lewis (I read everything he puts out) and wondered how it would translate to the silver screen. In particular, I wondered how they would take the alphabet soup of the “Great Recession” (CDOs, CDSs..) and make it understandable for a broader audience. Let’s just say, they succeeded. So then I wondered how I might bring this into the classroom and found a short clip that I thought might...

How Much Do Americans Pay In Interest On Their Debt?

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Aug 13, 2015
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Mortgages, Question of the Day, Research, Credit Cards, Student Loans, Current Events, Chart of the Week, Math
This chart released quarterly by the Federal Reserve presents several learning opportunities: Lesson 1: Mortgage debt far exceeds all other consumer debts with a total of $8.12 trillion as of the end of Q2 2015. The next closest, student loan debt, stood at $1.19 trillion or almost 1/8 the amount of mortgage debt. Lesson 2:  Secured debt, loans secured by property such as home mortgages or auto loans, carry lower interest rates than unsecured debts like credit cards. I did a quick set of...

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