In just one year, homeownership became impossible for many
You’ve probably already heard that buying a home has gotten astronomically more expensive in just the past 12 months as interest rates on mortgages have shot up, an intentional shift as the Federal Reserve fights against record-high inflation. You may have also heard that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage are approaching 7%, rising steadily from less than 3% a year ago.
But when you actually break down what that means, the new rates mean potentially paying hundreds of thousands more than homeowners would have just a year ago.
Let’s take the hypothetical example of a $400,000 home (the median price of homes this year was $440,300). In September 2021, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 2.88%. With a 10% down payment, the monthly payment would’ve been about $1,495.
By comparison, with mortgage rates averaging 6.7% by the end of September 2022, that $400,000 home would cost $836,280 over 30 years, with the monthly payment at about $2,323.
Homeowners can, of course, refinance if interest rates drop, and most of them will move before their loan is paid off in 30 years. But as the economy remains in a period of unpredictable transition, it’s a good time for homebuyers to think about their priorities and not become too emotionally invested in homeownership if the conditions no longer make sense.
“Your life is more than just a house,” said Amy Richardson, a certified financial planner at Schwab who's also rethinking her home ownership plans. “It's your goals and your dreams and your needs over the next couple of years.”
Gas crisis in Europe
Europe faces “unprecedented risks” to its gas supply this winter, the International Energy Agency said. Due to the war in Ukraine, Russia has cut off many gas pipelines to Europe, and the EU has agreed to mandate an electricity use reduction by at least 5% during peak price hours, AP reports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine has recaptured the city of Lyman. The Washington Post described the city as "a key logistics hub in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region" for Russia, making Ukraine's victory a pivotal one against Moscow's annexation plans.
Families of the Uvalde shooting victims are camping outside the school district's office, demanding action. “My son is dead because of the inactions of your school district, of the city, of all the police involved, starting with the school to the city to the state, they all failed,” said Brett Cross, father of Uziyah Garcia, 10. “They all failed. If you're sorry, do something."
Tua Tagovailoa's brain injury exposes the NFL's priorities. This alleged isolated incident is actually the inevitable outcome of systemic indifference — a deep-seated acceptance that football’s violence is ultimately part of its appeal.
King Charles III will be on coins in the UK by the end of the year. Coins depicting the Queen will still be legal tender, and it’s expected to take years for them to fully exit out of usage.
At least 62 people were killed in Hurricane Ian, and the death toll could rise
At least 62 people have been killed in Hurricane Ian, and with search and rescue teams still active in Florida, that number may increase.
Authorities are continuing to take stock of the full death toll and damage after Florida’s west coast was battered by high winds and inundated with a devastating storm surge. Some parts of North Carolina, Florida, and Puerto Rico are without power, with nearly 1 million people in Florida alone as of Saturday evening. Clean drinking water is scarce for many residents in Florida, and several counties are under boil-water advisories.
The hurricane, now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone as it moves over Virginia and North Carolina, is expected to be among the costliest in US history.
Ian initially made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Entire neighborhoods were leveled. Part of the Sanibel Causeway bridge, which connects the mainland with the Sanibel and Captiva barrier islands, collapsed. The storm also inundated Florida’s southwestern regions with catastrophic flooding; some parts of North Port are still under 7 to 8 feet of water, according to the local fire chief.
CDs were unveiled 40 years ago. Long live the CD.
On Oct. 1, 1982, CDs began to be sold commercially for the first time in Japan, though they wouldn’t make their way to North America and Europe until March 1983.
The discs were new and an enormous technological advancement at the time. They were far more portable than the decades-old vinyl record, and a sleek alternative to cassette tapes.
In the 1990s, CD album releases at record stores like Tower Records and Virgin Megastores became huge events, with lines of people often waiting overnight and a multitude of famous musicians making in-store appearances for promotional purposes. But by the late 2000s, the CD lost popularity in favor of iTunes and streaming services like Spotify.
Let’s not forget, though, that for a little more than two decades, the CD was king:
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