(Washington Post) Home buyer demand is the strongest since 2000, according to a new survey from Genworth Mortgage Insurance. And, according to the National Association of Realtors, home prices have risen 40 percent over the last five years, while income has barely budged.

That means home buyers who focus on their personal finances are going to be the winners, because they will have the means to make fast, substantial offers.

But as millennials are still struggling under the weight of massive student loans (only 55 percent make their payments on time, according to the latest research), getting your finances together enough to buy a home could be more difficult than imagined. Mortgage lenders follow strict guidelines that limit how much debt you can carry relative to your income.

So as we move into 2018, and everyone heads back to the gym and goes back on their diets, here are some personal financial resolutions you might want to make: . . .  (read more)