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A Few Things to Stock Up On in 2013

So December 21st came and went without any major changes or shifts in the world’s climate patterns. New Year’s Eve came and went without any major computer malfunctions (we know, that one was over a decade ago, but we’re just talking here.) Yes, 2012 went out pretty smoothly, with a fiscal cliff deal and all, and 2013 is now here. But while you’re busy trying to keep on top of all those resolutions, here are some things you should also be stocking up on – because they’re about to go up in price.

Smart Phone Apps
We’ve been spoiled for years now. All you have to do is plunk down the initial investment for any smartphone and suddenly, an entire new world opens up at your fingertips. You can now play games, get news, chat with friends, read books, and more – all with those millions of apps designed for your smartphone. And up until now, they’ve come at pretty cheap prices, usually free or no more than $1. But that’s changing.

“The days of cheap software are over. Consumers and businesses should say farewell to 99-cent apps and get ready to pay more,” says Jordan Stopler, CEO of StoryDesk. He says that software developers currently are making mere pennies for the apps they put out, simply because they need to be marked down so much just to stay competitive. Developers will soon do away with this, and start to charge real money for their apps. But you likely still won’t have to drop $20 at once just to get that news feed or game you want. More likely, says Stopler, is that apps will come with subscription fees, such as paying $1 per month in order to use the app.

Used Cars
This one’s going to hurt your pocketbook a little more than smartphone apps will, but if you’re in the market for a new car, this is the year to buy one. Oh, and don’t buy new. The price of used cars is going down, and at the same time that prices on new cars are going up. By spring, according to the Black Book used in the auto pricing industry, this trend will be in full effect by spring. Just how much will you save by going with used versus new? In 2012 car buyers saved about 11.5 per cent when buying a car of the prior year’s model. Black Book expects that rate to increase much higher this year.

Real Estate
Of course no one should rush out and buy a home just because it’s about to get more expensive; but if you’ve been thinking about it, make sure you buy that new piece of property by the end of the year. Prices might continue to decline slightly over and above that time, but interest rates are going to rise by that time, too – making any property you buy much more expensive. But it’s not just purchasing property that you should also square up by the third quarter of this year. If you’re considering a home equity loan, home refinancing, or applying for a HELOC, do it now, and speak to a mortgage broker about possibly locking into a fixed loan, too.

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