Conventional down payments of 20% are no longer conventional.

About 1 in 5 home buyers put down 5% or less for a home purchase.  This used to be primarily FHA loans, but has slowly shifted to more and more conventional loans under 5%.  About as many people buy outright in cash, but this has a skew towards various combinations of older and foreign investors.

Until about 20 years ago, people were more likely on average to put down 20% or more.  Now they’re more and more likely to put down 5-10%, and some banks will do PMI-free loans at 15%.  So there’s increasingly little incentive to put down 20%.

The average home price is 200k, but the average mortgage is over 300k.  The average FHA mortgage is 190k, however.

In Elizabeth Warren’s book The Two-Income Trap, the home buyers are FHA-loan households.  Something to think about regarding the conclusions she draws in the book about debt and bankruptcy.

Boomers denied Gen X help and Gen X is shelling out on Millennials.

This is a note to self post to put up the relevant files when I have some actual free time, but it appears that the narrative around Boomers coddling Millennial children isn’t necessarily so.  It appears to mostly be older Gen Xers and not that many younger Boomers paying 20something rents and bills and backstopping their kids financially into advanced ages.  Boomers (and Silents) heavily and overtly didn’t support the oldest Gen Xers and the very youngest Boomers.

So now the cohorts that didn’t get much support and did work and school together now pay their kids to not work and focus only on school, which under current trends isn’t adding up to stronger earnings patterns or career trajectories, as would have been predicted by models around education completion.

The expensive state of all parenthood in 2018.

This is an extension of the previous post that limited itself to the majority of children, who are, in America, born into married couple households.  But the basic pattern of increase remains even when all family structures for children under 18 are considered.

  • Over half (~52%) of all children under 18 are in households earning $75,000 or more per year.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 are in households earning $100,000 or more per year.
  • Roughly 3  in 10 are in households earning $10,000/month or more.

The expensive state of married parenthood in 2018.

  • 40% of married parents had 10k/month or higher household incomes.
  • 51% had incomes of 100k/yr or higher.
  • 67% had incomes of 75k/yr or higher.
  • Less than 18% had incomes below 50k/yr.

The distribution shifted further upward since 2017, with the percentage of married parent households earning 50k or less shrinking nearly 10%, which was a big contributor to that 51% above 100k milestone number.

Births by education level, 2016


(click to expand)

What is interesting about this is that education aids in married fertility, but a little goes a long way.  Completing a level of education corresponds to lower out of wedlock birth rate regardless of how high the level of education is.

Thus in a lot of ways, simply having people complete the highest level they reasonably can of education would be a better way to structure the educational system and allow for more options to enter the workforce successfully at younger ages.  This would probably have a side effect of increasing marriage before 25 in a way that favored long-term marital stability.


Good housewife blog on frugality and homely arts.

Sometimes there’s a value to the way the internet shows you people in very different places in life, working with very different talents and resources, and yet coming to a lot of the same ways of thinking that you are.  Not because of the similarity itself, but because human experience is frequently still broadly similar along many axes and sometimes technology whispers otherwise, that we’re all uniquely exceptional in our experiences unlike our ancestors.

I use homely in the Tolkeinian sense.

Anyway, it’s a good blog, I’m glad she has time to post more often these days and it’s got good concepts, discussion and information.  Really, you can start anywhere, it’s all good reading.