Having trouble selling your house? A slow Internet connection may be to blame.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that “the availability of speedy Internet service is starting to affect Americans’ biggest purchase: their homes.”
In a study released earlier this week, researchers at the University of Colorado and Carnegie Mellon found that fiber-optic connections can add $5,437 to the price of a $175,000 home. A 2014 study by the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater showed similar results. It found that high-speed access could add $11,815 to the value of a $439,000 vacation house in Door County, Wisconsin.
Some real estate agents are going so far as to tout high-speed Internet service in listings, along with the number of bathrooms and other desirable features.
For most Americans, adding a high-speed Internet line is relatively cheap and easy. And it sure beats renovating the kitchen.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson will propose increasing the rent obligation for low-income households receiving federal housing subsidies, as well as creating new work requirements for subsidy recipients. Some details via The Washington Post: “Currently, tenants generally pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent or a public housing agency minimum rent not to exceed $50. The administration’s legislative proposal sets the family monthly rent contribution at 35 percent of gross income or 35 percent of their earnings by working 15 hours a week at the federal minimum wage -- or approximately $150 a month, three times higher than the current minimum.” (The Washington Post)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is preparing to announce a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job paying $15 an hour and providing health-care benefits to every American “who wants one or needs one.” The jobs would be on government projects in areas such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment and education. The proposal is still being crafted, and Sanders’ representative said his office had not yet come up with a cost estimate or funding plan. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) last week tweeted support for a federal jobs guarantee, but Republicans have long opposed such proposals, saying they would cost too much. (Washington Post)
Childhood poverty cost $1.03 trillion in 2015, including the loss of economic productivity, increased spending on health care and increased crime rates, according to a recent study in the journal Social Work Research. That annual cost represents about 5.4 percent of U.S. GDP. “It is estimated that for every dollar spent on reducing childhood poverty, the country would save at least $7 with respect to the economic costs of poverty,” says Mark R. Rank, a co-author of the study and professor of social welfare at Washington University in St. Louis. (Futurity)
A new survey by the Spectrem Group, a market research firm, finds that almost 80 percent of investors with net worth between $100,000 and $25 million (not including their home) say that the U.S. political environment is their biggest concern, followed by government gridlock (76 percent) and the national debt (75 percent).