Debt Level Among Top Disagreements for Couple Homebuyers

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago  Print This Post Related Articles Tagged with: Generation X LendingHome Millennial The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Share Save Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News The stresses of moving are known to be extremely high, but recent data from LendingHome, a mortgage marketplace lender, says there are ways to relieve it—specifically if your client is moving with a significant other. New survey data showed that 60 percent of millennial and Generation X couples disagreed occasionally, frequently, or “a lot” when buying a house with their partner or spouse. Couples that have been together for five-plus years have a much more harmonious move, disagreeing frequently or more only 14 percent of the time. However, couples together four years or less disagreed twice as much at 30 percent or more.“Buying a home is stressful for just about anyone but even more so for couples and first-time homebuyers,” said Matt Humphrey, Co-Founder and CEO of LendingHome. “To navigate the home-buying process smoothly starts by first being aware of some of the pitfalls.The top disagreements among couples when moving are the level of debt to take on (49 percent), the style of house (46 percent), size of house (45 percent), and whether or not to buy a house in need of renovation (43 percent). Some couples struggled with different housing preferences based on their gender and location. Women typically wanted traditional or cozy homes (48 percent) over modern homes (34 percent) and suburbs (54 percent) over a big city (15 percent). Men are more open to the style and location of their home, having relatively equal preference to the aforementioned preferences.“Buying a home together is more than playing house and making Pinterest boards of dream kitchens; it’s a serious commitment with enormous financial implications,” said Samantha Burns,  a licensed Couples Therapist and Dating Coach in Boston, Massachusetts. “You need to feel secure and confident in your relationship before taking this step together. In searching for your dream home, get clear on your wants versus needs, firm deal breakers, and ability to analyze the pros and cons. By getting on the same page at the beginning, you’ll be able to minimize conflict throughout your home search.”The good news is 60 percent of all couples said their disagreements when buying a house really didn’t matter in the end and 50 percent felt more committed after the purchase. Knowing the pitfalls of buying with a significant other, however, can help navigate the process more smoothly. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago June 9, 2017 1,604 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation’s leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email [email protected] Debt Level Among Top Disagreements for Couple Homebuyers Home / Daily Dose / Debt Level Among Top Disagreements for Couple Homebuyers Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Generation X LendingHome Millennial 2017-06-09 Brianna Gilpin Previous: LoanCare Announces Adam Saab as COO Next: Fannie Mae Sheds 3,400 Delinquent Loans in NPL Sale Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago About Author: Brianna Gilpin Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

Harvard continues to face ‘foundational financial pressures’

first_imgIn an interview with the Harvard Gazette about the University’s annual financial report, released today, Executive Vice President Katie Lapp and Treasurer Paul Finnegan struck a cautious tone while highlighting the “ongoing foundational financial pressures” confronting Harvard. GAZETTE: The University posted a $2.7 million surplus. How significant is that?LAPP: The $2.7 million surplus is obviously good news for the University. We are making progress. We had to make a one-time $46 million adjustment to our surplus, related to a change in accounting methodology for the defined-benefit pension plan. Without that adjustment, the surplus would have been $49 million. But to put it in context, that’s a little over 1 percent of our operating revenue. Last year, we had a deficit of $34 million, and that was a little less than 1 percent of our operating revenue. So, just as we did not have undue concern about the $34 million deficit last year, this year’s surplus, while good news, is not a cause for excessive optimism — it is essentially a break-even result.GAZETTE: Can you give us some of the report’s highlights?LAPP: Sure. On the revenue side, the numbers reflect the effects of The Harvard Campaign, including an increase in current-use giving, and an increase in the annual distribution from the endowment. We are also experiencing revenue growth in areas such as executive education, particularly at Harvard Business School (HBS). The opening of Tata Hall has really allowed them to expand their executive and continuing-education programs. Many other Schools are doing the same. In total, revenue from executive education increased 11 percent.One of the areas where we find some interesting development and a lot of pilots going on right now is in HarvardX. We are undertaking a number of revenue experiments, trying to recoup some of the cost. Those efforts include charging learners who take HarvardX courses for verified certificates. We are experimenting with licensing some of our lectures or courses to other universities. So we are excited about that, and we think that’s an area where we can have some revenue growth.Most importantly, however, HarvardX is helping to reenergize teaching on campus, with our own faculty and students. The first priority of HarvardX is to empower Harvard teachers and learners to use technology in our classrooms in ways designed to improve on-campus teaching and learning. Going forward, we also see HarvardX as starting to provide greater opportunities for executive-education programs, for our graduate schools in particular.GAZETTE: Could you comment more on the progress of The Harvard Campaign thus far?FINNEGAN: It’s extraordinary. Just over a year into our public phase, we’ve already had more than 100,000 people contribute to the campaign, and we recently announced that we have raised $4.3 billion to date. The campaign is going very well. We are actually overwhelmed by the response of alumni, and I think it reflects extremely well on their confidence in Drew Faust, her leadership, and the direction of the University.LAPP: In terms of the impact of FY14, current-use giving was up 24 percent, or $81 million, which was great. Total receipts, which are in our financial statement, were up 46 percent to $1.2 billion. Those are positive things that have helped the FY14 result.GAZETTE: The tone of the report remains conservative despite the campaign performing well in this first year.LAPP: The campaign results so far and the endowment return of 15.4 percent are both in the positive column, and we are very happy to see those. As I mentioned, revenue from executive education is up 11 percent, and publishing is up 12 percent. Those are positive signals, but we do have our challenges as well. Our overall research spending declined 2 percent after growing 1 percent in FY13. Most concerning is that federal research dollars continued to decline. Harvard’s federally sponsored research, which represents 75 percent of our whole sponsored research portfolio, declined 5 percent in FY14, compared with a decline of 3 percent the year before. It is worth noting that our non-federally sponsored research, which is a smaller piece of the pie, did go up 9 percent to roughly north of $200 million. But again, it’s a very small percentage of our sponsored research. Sponsored research funding is something we must watch carefully because it’s a really significant driver of our results, and of what we are trying to achieve as a university.We’ve also seen some other things that will continue to impact our results in future years. For instance, salary and wages went up 6 percent. A little less than half of that went to new people, particularly in strategic areas like IT and areas supported by outside funding. The remainder reflects budgeted merit-pay increases. And when you consider the fact that salary, wages, and employee benefits represent roughly 50 percent of our operating budget, that’s an area we must stay focused on.Our benefits overall went down about 5 percent, and that was primarily related to the change in our actuarial assumptions for the defined-benefit and post-retirement health plans, so that was an adjustment. We also were able to bend the growth curve for our post-retiree health benefits costs. We made changes to the plan a year or so ago that have actually helped us bend the cost curve, so that’s good. But when we looked at the cost of health benefits, they actually increased 5 percent, primarily due to an increase in enrollment and health care cost inflation. That’s something we are seeking to address with the health benefit changes that take effect in January. Again, the goal is to bend the cost curve.GAZETTE: Can you say more about the financial challenges the University faces?FINNEGAN: Harvard is not immune to the challenges within the world of higher education. Katie mentioned a number of them: Federal research dollars are in decline, and we see upward pressure on expenses. We have benefited enormously from the positive capital markets. The equity markets have been strong. It would be inappropriate to assume that the markets will continue at this pace over the longer term. The endowment contributes 35 percent of the operating revenue of the University, which is high, so we should be prudent in our assumptions. From my standpoint, it is important that we take a long-term view on both revenue and costs. The headwinds in higher education are not going to disappear.LAPP: In addition to our personnel costs being 50 percent of the budget, our space costs represent another 20 percent. Those two costs — personnel and space — are very sticky. Seventy percent of the operating budget is going toward those two areas. Our space costs include the renewal of the undergraduate Houses, which is a key priority of this University. Upkeep of our overall footprint and our campus is really critical. Those are significant demands on our resources. So, as I said earlier, the surplus is good news, but it’s also not reason to pull back on some of these measures we’ve implemented to control costs.GAZETTE: Can you talk a little bit about the Harvard’s investments in new opportunities for the future, like the development plans in Allston?FINNEGAN: It’s actually an amazing time in the University’s history. We have the Allston development to consider, and we also have House renewal. Both put demands on our balance sheet and fundraising. They are terrific opportunities, but at the same time they do represent challenges from both a fundraising and an operating standpoint going forward.LAPP: Allston is a great opportunity for this University. It’s a significant amount of acreage where the University can grow and achieve various aspirations. And our master plan for Allston does include plans to expand not only the HBS campus, but also plans to build a facility for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. We think it’s an amazing opportunity for the University, and we think that the campaign is a great way in which to move those plans forward. We are very excited about what Allston means for this University, and we look forward to developing that and having the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Allston.GAZETTE: I know that there have been some constraints on spending in many areas. But at the same time, the University’s commitment to financial aid increased by almost $20 million. Given the challenges facing Harvard, can you comment on the sustainability of financial aid funding going forward?FINNEGAN: Providing to all who qualify for the opportunity to have an education at Harvard is central to our mission. Since 2004, the College’s financial-aid budget has increased by more than $100 million. Across the University, I believe we spend close to $500 million. Affordability is a very important part of who we are. There are very large parts of the capital campaign devoted to increasing the endowment of this financial aid. So, it’s a critical part of our budget and will continue to be.LAPP: The gift given by Ken Griffin last year — $150 million largely committed to financial aid at the College — really symbolizes our commitment, and the commitment of our alumni, to financial aid. As Paul indicated, this is a key area for this campaign.GAZETTE: Is there anything else in the report you would like to highlight?FINNEGAN: The enhancement of our financial management over the last five or six years is striking, and such efforts have helped the University to achieve these results. It really began with the governance change and the creation of the finance and facilities committees of the Corporation. Katie and Dan Shore put in place risk-management systems, other policies around liquidity, multi-year financial planning and budgeting, and these have had a huge impact on our ability to project and achieve certain results. We very much appreciate Dan’s work, and Katie is spearheading the recruitment of a new CFO. We feel really good about this whole area.LAPP: I would also say that Jane Mendillo and her team at Harvard Management Company have been fantastic partners with this University, and key contributors as well. Jane has done a tremendous job, and we really wish her all the best in her future endeavors. But we also know that Stephen Blyth is just going to be a strong partner with us as we grapple with some of the challenges ahead.last_img read more

Blind with eyes open (Jn. 9:1-41)

first_img 49 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring! FaithLifestyle Blind with eyes open (Jn. 9:1-41) by: – April 5, 2011 Tweetcenter_img Share Share By: Father Henry Charles Ph.dPhoto credit: riverblindness.orgSomeone once asked Helen Keller, who was blind from the age of nineteen months, if blindness was the worst thing that could befall a person. She answered that the worst thing that could happen to a person was not to lose their sight but to lose their vision.The Gospel today is focused on the blindness that Jesus cured, but the blind man cured is not the only blind figure in the passage. The Pharisees who are equally central figures are blind in another sense, not simply spiritually but wilfully. They don’t see what they don’t want to see.What confronts them is a clear instance of God’s doing – someone blind now clearly able to see – but they refuse to acknowledge this. Why? Because they’re against Jesus, the one responsible for the miracle.  Anybody with eyes can see what’s in front of them, the erstwhile blind man tells them; but they can’t bring themselves to do this. Why? Because it turns their presumptions upside down, and detracts from their standing in their own eyes. Rather than make the obvious admission, they choose to remain blind.This is wilful blindness, as I say, and we should all recognize something of it in ourselves. Often when we are confronted by some novel view, our reaction is not to examine the matter but to respond in a way that says in effect: I do not want to be disturbed by anything that upsets my universe. Why are you bringing up things like that? I was quite content, at peace till you started. Why can’t you keep your views to yourself?What we perceive as a threat not just to our standing (as with the Pharisees), but to our interpretation of the world, our basic view of things, makes us quick to remain blind and defend our blindness. It’s more comfortable to be wrong in thinking than to be at sea, not knowing what to think.How does someone who thinks they’re seeing clearly but are actually blind, come to acknowledge their true state? Hardly through persuasion. When the will stubbornly says no, reason can be quite powerless. When our insecurities are exposed, the most natural thing to do is not to listen to the person pointing this out, but to reject the bearer of bad news. We choose to remain blind.The clearest breakthrough in situations like that comes only through conversion. All conversion stories have one thing in common, when the person in the moment recognizes their true state: I was blind, but now I see. Which means that you couldn’t have convinced me otherwise, before I came to this point. I would have insisted that I saw. NOW I see that I was blind.What conversion does in other words is break through our defences. It forces the scales to fall from our eyes; it reveals our tendency to self-deception, to be selective and self-serving, to keeping truth at some distance from ourselves. Conversion brings us face to face with all of this.  It’s a humbling moment, when we see ourselves without blinders.This will happen to many people during the course of this Lent. They will go to a mission, for instance, not thinking very much about anything, and suddenly something the preacher says, or a hymn is sung at exactly the right moment, and suddenly they’re standing with all their defences exposed. What they become aware of is what was there all the time, only they didn’t see it.  They were blind with their eyes open.The next best thing to conversion is being honest in how you pray. We should keep asking for light, guidance, and wisdom. Such a prayer means that you may be in darkness, if not now, at some other time; you may need to find your way, perhaps more clearly now, and you always need the ability to discern truth from fiction in your decisions and judgements.  Perseverance in praying honestly is a sure path to genuine self-discovery. It’s a form of continual presence before God, with open hands and heart.last_img read more

Baines hails midfield strength

first_imgEverton defender Leighton Baines believes having the strongest midfield he has seen during his time at the club bodes well for the future. “We’ve been working on different things and people have begun to enjoy watching some of them. “We’ve just got to tighten up the other aspects and keep developing.” Baines told the Liverpool Echo: “We’ve still got things we need to improve on. We gave the ball away too quickly high up the pitch to allow us to get any momentum. “So every time we started to creep forward we’d lose it and that’d one of the things we’re working on improving; being better in possession in the opposition’s half. It’s about sustaining attacks. “Not doing it against City meant we kept ending up on the back foot again and susceptible to the counter-attack. “We shouldn’t have to just reflect on it afterwards. The next step tactically is to show that awareness during a game and say ‘Okay, we’ve seen what you’re doing,’ and then change, but we didn’t. “Now we want to come back from the international break and get back to winning ways.” The 28-year-old is in his seventh season at Goodison Park and thinks the options available to Roberto Martinez are the best during that spell. Summer arrivals Gareth Barry, on loan from Manchester City, and James McCarthy, a £13million signing from Wigan, have increased competition in central midfield and the return from injury of Darron Gibson in Saturday’s defeat at Manchester City has added to that. Press Association “It is great to see someone of Gibbo’s quality back, it just adds to the strength we have in the squad – there is plenty of competition for those places in midfield especially,” said Baines. “That is great for the manager and it gives him the opportunity to rotate sometimes and that is only going to help us.” Asked whether it was the strongest Toffees midfield he had played alongside, he added on evertontv: “From what I can remember it is, just because of the quality we have and there are a lot of players fighting for places. “We have Steven (Pienaar) to come back (from injury) so if we have everyone back fit we will have a really good squad and the manager has some decisions to make.” While Everton may have lost their unbeaten record at the weekend, they have enjoyed a good start to the season as the squad have embraced the change in style brought by the new boss. Many predicted a dip in fortunes because of the readjustment period required after Martinez succeeded David Moyes but there has been no evidence of that so far. “It’s a work in progress but we’re working towards being a much better team,” added Baines. “I’m enjoying that aspect of it. I’m learning and hopefully we will continue to build on what we’ve started. last_img read more