This is an updated version of a story that previously ran on April 28th.
So if you’re looking for ways to protect yourself financially, while also making the most of what you have, here are some options to consider.
“If you are not working, or are looking for a better position, now would be a good time to take advantage of the very strong job market and lock in a position,” said Florida-based certified financial planner Mari Adam.
To help in your search, here are some resume dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
Cash in on the housing boom
If you’ve been on the fence about selling your home, now might be the time to make the leap.The housing market has been on a tear, with year-over-year home prices up nearly 15% in April and rents nearly 17% higher.Meanwhile, mortgage rates are now about 2 percentage points higher than they were at the start of this year, which makes buying a home much more expensive and that may dampen demand. “I would suggest that anyone planning to put their house on the market do so right away,” said Adam.
Home loans: Lock in fixed rates now
If you’re close to buying a home or refinancing one, lock in the lowest fixed rate available to you as soon as possible.
That said, “don’t jump into a large purchase that isn’t right for you just because interest rates might go up. Rushing into the purchase of a big-ticket item, like a house or car, that doesn’t fit in your budget is a recipe for trouble, regardless of what interest rates do in the future,” said Texas-based certified financial planner Lacy Rogers.
If you already have a variable rate home equity line of credit, and you used part of it to do a home improvement project, ask your lender if they would be willing to fix the rate on your outstanding balance, effectively creating a fixed-rate home equity loan, suggested Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst.
If that’s not possible, consider paying off that balance by taking out a HELOC with another lender at a lower promotional rate, McBride said.
Cover your near-term cash needs
Having liquid assets to cover you in emergencies or severe market downturns is always a good idea. But it’s especially crucial when facing big events beyond your control — including layoffs, which typically increase during recessions.
That means having enough money set aside in cash, money market funds or short-term fixed income instruments to cover several months of living expenses, emergencies or any big, anticipated expense (e.g., a …….