Goodwill Manasota wins grant to provide homebuyer education

June 27, 2014 

Goodwill Manasota wins Wells Fargo grant

MANATEE -- Goodwill Manasota will be offering homebuyer education and financial classes after receiving a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo.

The classes offer the financial education and skills needed to manage personal finances and transition from poverty to economic independence. In addition, it will also offer home buyer/owner counseling on financial planning, home maintenance and other financial issues related to home ownership.

The grant will allow Goodwill Manasota to continue to make its financial education classes available to the public at all 10 Job Connection Centers in four counties. In 2014, the nonprofit will open three new centers, making it more convenient and accessible for low-income individuals.

An overview of those served by Goodwill Industries Manasota in 2013 shows that 31 percent were looking for assistance in improving their financial literacy and repairing their credit; 24 percent were seeking affordable rentals or subsidized housing; 20 percent were behind on on monthly bills or rent/mortgage; and 60 percent were unemployed or dislocated workers.

Crowded roads expected for July 4 weekend

Expect more traffic on the road this Fourth of July weekend, as 41 million Americans travel for the Independence Day holiday, a 1.9 percent increase compared with last year.

The forecast by AAA attributes the increase to a rise in consumer confidence, a greater willingness to take on credit card debt and an improved employment picture.

Road trips will continue to be the most popular vacation option, with nearly 85 percent of Americans planning to drive for the holiday, according to AAA. This will come despite gasoline prices that will be the highest since 2008.

The national average price of a gallon of gas is about 20 cents higher than it was on July 4, 2013, according to the auto club. Hotel rates are also up between 9 percent and 15 percent, depending on the type of hotel, the AAA said.

The outlook is based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight.

Average 30-year mortgage rate falls

WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, hovering near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year loan eased to 4.14 percent from 4.17 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.22 percent from 3.30 percent.

Rising prices and higher interest rates beginning in mid-2013 have made homes less affordable for would-be buyers, even as a limited supply of homes is available. Sales of new homes are running about half the rate of a healthy housing market.

-- Herald staff and wire reports

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