Did you know that children of homeowners are likely to perform better in school?

As if super-low interest rates weren’t enough of a reason to start looking for a new house, now a new study commissioned by the homeownership alliance says children of homeowners are likely to perform higher on academic achievement tests and are more likely to finish high school.

The study also found that children of homeowners also have fewer behavioral problems in school and are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers. The other good news about homeownership is that homeowners tend to be more civically involved.

Homeowners take better care of their homes, which raises property values. Homeowners are wealthier and the study found that they are generally happier and more satisfied than renters.

Turning to other consumer news, last week, an appeals court in Illinois upheld the lemon law rights of consumers who leased their vehicles.

Lemon laws make sure that manufacturers stand behind their products with a written warranty. In Illinois, your car may be a lemon if the manufacturer fails to repair the same defect four times, or if the car is out of service for 30 or more business days because of the problem.

Since 15 percent of car owners lease their vehicles, last week’s ruling means that in Illinois, if you lease your car, you have the same lemon law rights as a car owner.

Turning to Washington, at the end of last week, the House of Representatives passed the American Dream Downpayment Act. This nifty piece of legislation will provide $400 million in grants over two years. The money will cover downpayment and closing costs for low-income first-time buyers, which continues to be the single biggest obstacle for homeowners. The senate will now consider their version of the bill.

Finally, just when you thought hallmark had run out of card-giving opportunities, it’s financial planning week in the state of Illinois. And to help you get going, the Financial Planning Association of Illinois has put together a free brochure.

It’s called Planning for the Stages of Retirement.” You can get your free copy by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

34930 N. Highway 45
Lake Villa, IL 60046

Lemon laws

Published: Oct 7, 2003