Housing Costs and Economic Hardship for Low-Income Families


Mimura, Y. (2008). Housing cost burden, poverty status, and economic hardship among low-income families. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29(1), 152-165.

Brief Description: Poverty status better explains the economic hardship of low-income families than does the housing cost burden. However, poverty status explains the economic hardship of White and Black low-income families with children differently. It appears that poverty status can explain variation in hardship among White families better than among Black families. This presents further economic disadvantage …

Identifying Weaknesses in Practitioners’ Housing Affordability Indices


Jewkes, M. D. & Delgadillo, L. M. (2010). Weaknesses of housing affordability indices used by practitioners. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Education, 21 (1), pp. 43-52.

Brief Description:  Three housing affordability indices are commonly used to assess one’s ability to qualify for mortgages and for housing programs. Strengths and weaknesses are presented. Weaknesses include use of gross income instead of take-home pay, and no consideration of household size or preferences. The affordability ratio, paying 30 percent of one’s income …

Mortgage Professionals’ Perspectives on Abusive and Predatory Lending


Delgadillo, L. Erickson, L.V. & Piercy K.W. (2008). Disentangling the differences between abusive and predatory lending: Professionals’ perspectives. The Journal of Consumer Affairs 42 (3), 313-334.

Brief Description: This study describes how mortgage professionals differentiate abusive from predatory lending. The results indicate that some users of this term do not always adhere to a strict definition of predatory lending, but rather use it as a term for any general mortgage abuse and mortgage fraud. Existing laws at the federal and …

Consumer Empowerment and Welfare with Respect to Mortgage Servicers


Bone, P. F. (2008). Toward a general model of consumer empowerment and welfare in financial markets with an application to mortgage servicers. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42 (2), 165-188.

Brief Summary: Mortgage servicers, firms that collect and distribute homeowners’ mortgage interest, principal, and escrowed taxes and insurance, are prone to mistakes and may engage in predatory practices that negatively affect consumer welfare. Using this industry as a case study, this paper develops a general model of consumer empowerment and …

Steps to Buying a Home

Buying your home is an exciting experience and it may be the largest financial investment you will ever make. Taking the time to learn about the steps involved in the buying process will help ensure that you purchase a quality home at a price you can afford. There are seven basic steps to buying a home:


Family with house for sale


Step 1. Prepare for home ownership

  • Begin by seeking homebuyer education. You can contact The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to

Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Both buying and renting a home have advantages and disadvantages. To begin the home buying process, you first need to decide whether the benefits of buying a home outweigh the advantages of renting, given your present circumstances. Buying a home is a major decision that requires a lot of commitment. Before you buy a home you need to understand what is involved and how to navigate through the process from beginning to end.

Should You Buy or Rent?

How much …