Amazon is Selling Homes?
Amazon started offering "entire house kits" on its website recently, with free shipping of course, which makes us wonder if they are thinking of going into the real estate market. The online retailer is selling tiny homes and prefabricated modular housing priced between $5,000 and $65,000, and they are selling out the same day. Just the other day a 172 square foot prefabricated cabin went viral for $7,250 and sold just after it was listed. It is said that these homes are built within just 8 hours, and can be an "ideal home office or guest house."
"I'm not surprised to see [homes for sale on Amazon], as selling these homes online presents a new level of opportunity for the retailer to reach consumers who are outside of their local area," said shopping expert Trae Bodge. Since 2013, the prefabricated and modular housing market has grown about 8.6%, growing 4.1% in 2018 alone.
It is believed that the increases are due to factors like affordability, alternative housing solutions, and the general need for extra space.
Credit Score Boost
Actor and activist Hill Harper is no stranger to speaking out about the world of financial security, and he is launching a new program with the credit bureau Experian to address financial inclusion and help consumers. This new platform is designed to help us tap into technology that will instantly improve our credit scores and therefore lower our rates on loans.
Access to credit is a big piece of being financially healthy.
Harper Hill, Actor & Activist
The program, Boost America, will require access to banking information to ensure things like the timely payment of bills. The goal is to reach out to more than 100 million consumers nationwide who don't have many credit cards or loans in an effort to reach those who may not qualify for favorable interest rates.
You can visit www.experian.com/boost to sign up for a free membership. But, remember, that not all lenders use Experian, which will cause the results to vary and that not all credit unions or financial institutions are able to be connected at this point. Once you verify the data and confirm you want it added to your Experian credit file, an updated FICO Score is delivered in real time.
"It's literally immediate," Harper said. "That's a real credit history of you paying your bills and that should be counted." Look forward to Harper addressing credit management over the next few months on blogs and through speaking engagements.
Early last month, it was announced that long-term mortgage rates fell in May for 5 consecutive weeks, making the key 30-year loan average well below 4% for the first time in nearly a year and a half. Many believe the decline is due to more potential purchasers.
This has an enormous impact on home buyers, as a 0.80% lower rate on a $350,000 mortgage calculates a savings of $170 a month! This means that you might be able to buy a home with an extra bedroom, or get into the neighborhood you really want for the same price. Although interest rates are predicted to increase in 2019, the estimates are less than previously anticipated. Late last year predictions held steady at an interest rate this year just over 5%, but with the current trend we are hoping to keep interest rates around 4.5% this year.