The important thing about looking ahead is to prepare so that we aren’t caught unaware.
With that in mind, here are my comments on the predictions for the New Year.
Forecast: Interest rates will go up.
Comment: For the past five years, economists predicted rates to rise. Only in 2018 were they right. The year ended with rates about .5% higher than 12/2017. My opinion is that rates will increase moderately in the first quarter and then go flat.
Forecast: House sales will increase but at a slower pace than the past two years.
Comment: I don’t see how that could be wrong. Young people are coming into home buying age faster than old people are going into assisted living. Immigrants also need housing. The frantic, insane bidding wars are over — and that’s good.
Forecast: About three quarters of economists believe a recession is coming somewhere between late 2019 and 2021.
Comment: Get out of debt. Stay out of debt. Have a savings as a cushion to live on in case your income drops or you need to find another job. If you have a financial safety net and top tier credit, then you can afford to purchase luxuries. If you are thinking of going into debt (such as taking a home equity loan) for non-essentials like a prettier kitchen, then that is unwise and a bad idea. Save the home equity loan option for a true need such as when your furnace quits or your roof leaks.
Additional comment: Having too much debt lowers your credit score. When your credit score is low, you lose financial power. You lose the ability to get the lowest insurance premiums and lowest interest rates. You lose respect in the business community. That is no way to live!
If your score is below 740, then take steps to educate yourself and improve your finances. YOU are in control of your credit score. You are not a victim to FICO. Learn what it takes to achieve top tier credit and then proceed with confidence!
If saying goodbye to rent and buying your own home is your goal, then don’t procrastinate. Speak with a mortgage broker (not a banker) to learn your options.
Here’s to the New Year!
Let’s make 2019 the best year so far. How? By writing down a plan and then working the plan. A goal that is not written down is only a dream. Turn your goal into reality by having a written, workable plan; and then share that plan with someone you can trust to keep you accountable.
Happy New Year! May we have peace and God’s guidance every day and every step of the way.