Everyone has heard that purchasing a home is one of the hardest decisions that anyone can make.
One of most important things to know that you are ready to buy a house is to educate yourself a bit.
First of all a house sounds like a good idea if you have finally decided to settle down and don't expect to move or leave the general area for about 5 years or so.
Buying a house is not just about having the financial means to do so. It also means being mentally prepared for the unexpected.
First of all every home, regardless of whether is is brand new or whether its a half century old will need some sort of care.
In selecting a home to purchase, don't sidestep some of the important steps that one needs to follow to ensure the integrity and soundness of the property.
A good property inspection will reveal items that you will have to watch out for. You may decide the home is in the right place, at the right price, but it may need work. You have to consider the amount of the repair, whether you have the funds to actually go through with them, or whether you expect 'sweat equity' to be the solution.
Although the market is not in the best shape right now; at this very moment is a buyers dream.
Home prices have never been lower.
If you think about it, we all need someone to live. I rent a place, and I wish i owned it because it is a nice place.
If you own, you will live in your own place. If you rent, then someone else owns it. The point is homes aren't like rain that comes and goes, we need them each and every day.
Therefore, consider purchasing yourself a stable place where you can live, enjoy life, and maintain some value.
There trully is alot to learn about purchasing and owning a home. But remember, there a many people out there that own homes right now and are managing just fine.
Whats the difference?
Learn what you need to know about your specific area so that when the time comes, you are well prepared, well informed, and willing and ready to take on the new responsability.
Owning a home can be one of the most rewarding experiences next to being a parent.
Its a small sign of some success in life.
Archive for October, 2008
Everyone has heard that purchasing a home is one of the hardest decisions that anyone can make.
We all dream about being a celebrity and having the attention of the world. In our point of view it looks like there's nothing a celebrity needs, or could need considering they are usually able to get anything they want.
We all hear of a movie star making 20 million for one film. I tend to think about how many hours did they really have to work..and no.. I don't take traveling time into account.
It amazed me.
We all dream of making it to riches somehow someday..
I still dream..even though my wife tells me to be more realistic.
I tell her that at least it doesn't cost me anything to dream. We can cut expenses with other things...
Anyhow..i watch Survivor on Thursdays, and I actually worked with Dan for a few months, before he left our firm.
Its amazing that people so close can all of a sudden in the spot light with national attention.
Hopefully you guys have heard of "Survivor".
Well, I'm cheering for my old fried and previous co-worker DAN.
Anyone have celebrity ties?
I am always curious as to what people are happy with. It seems we are made to consume, consume, and consume some more. We never seem to be happy with what we have.
I want to hear from some of you guys.
What goals do you have?
What are you trying to accomplish starting from where you are now?
Do you consider yourself successful?
If not, what needs to be done to consider yourself to have succeeded?
Thanks for your comments.
We have all faced situations where we regret the decisions that we have made, which as a result have let us to where we are.
At one point or another we have all said to ourselves "Had I known what I know now, I would have made a different decision".
We definitively need to keep in mind what we have done in the past, as everything is a learning experience. At the same time, we should not worry so much about what we have already done, but rather think about what we can do. I agree that you should consider what you have done in the past, but do not dwell on it, as it is the past, and can no longer be changed.
Again, my point is think about the future, rather than the past.
The way I see life is that we shall all face great challenges. When we are able to surpass those challenges in front of us, we feel great. We feel that we have accomplished something great. When we fail, we feel horrible.
But do not be disappointed. Failing in one aspect only changes the road that you are traveling, it does not block you from moving forward in life.
So never give up, there is always hope in teh future.
Enjoy what you have and don't take for granted the great conveniences that you have.
Amazing, we are in the middle of another month. For me this means that I have more bills to pay. I am sure that all of you are aware of the dealines associated with the different bills we get.
Today is not a day of smiles as most people have to pay their mortgages of face penalties.
Penalties are free money to lenders for no other reason other than as a fine for not having paid on time.
I sometimes wonder why people who can't pay on time are the first to have to pay more.
At times I wonder why it's not the people that pay early that should be fine. (Aren't lender's making less money since they can't charge interest for a longer term.)
Actually, I advocate for no fees at all.
I am sure most of you are aware that if you pay a credit card late, they charge you anywhere from 15 to 40 dollars as a late fee. (Even if all you owed was $20.00). You should also be aware that credit cards will almost automatically hit you with the highest interest rate possible once you haven't made your payments.
Not only that, if other credit cards know of your default; other credit cards who are getting paid on time can also punish you.
Someone once commented to me that banks no longer make the bulk of their money from interest earned on loans, but rather from the fees they charge people when they pay late, when they default, bounced checks, etc. etc.
The lesson for the delay...STAY INFORMED.
That is the only way to get ahead these days.
I have been working from a very young age. I learned to take care of myself early on. I haven't really made much money during this time, just sufficient to cover my expenses as the years have gone by.
I have also had my struggles at times. During college, each semester I could barely afford my tuition. In order to make it through, I would purchase all by book with a credit card, roughly $400 to $500.00 each semester, and would pay it off gradually during the semester.
Each semester I had two goals. The first was to pay off my credit card, and the second was to save the roughly $3,000.00 to $4,000.00 that I would need to pay out of my pocket for tuition.
I was very lucky to have made it. But I did have to sacrifice a lot of time. I worked roughly 20 to 30 hours each week.
I worked as a bus driver, so at the time my pay was between 8 and 9 dollars.
I did have to sacrifice my free time. Rather than going out to have some fun, I would look for extra hours of work.
There were things I wish I could have changed, but at the same time, had I not had to go through what I did, I wouldn't be the same person.
Not many know that I also took extra classes each semester to take advantage of what I was paying for. Rather than taking the full fours years to graduate, I manages to complete my college education in only three (3) years. I did this by taking a few extra classes each semester and taking two summer session courses.
There was an advantage to this.
I could keep working on campus, and at the same time advance my academic goals.
In the end, in three years exactly, I graduated with a 3.24 GPA with a double major in economics, psychology and a minor in Spanish.
I can't believe it myself. But its all said and done. I still struggled finding work after graduation because in reality no had had taught me to think about the future.
In reality, I thought I would be going to law school. But I was rejected. There is no worst feeling than being rejected.
How did I get where I am, well that's another story for another day.
What a way to start celebtrating a happy columbus day. I just when for a ride this morning and since I was parked on the main street where the parade will be this morning, my car already had a parking ticket.
Not the best way to start saving or paying off debt. Let my bad experience be an example to all.
Something as simple as not reading a sign as you park you car can cost you big. This is coming out of my emergency funds, which at the moment doesn't really have any money.
The fine was $75.00, so we are not talking spare change here.
Wish me luck as I move to appeal the ticket. Worst case scenario, I still have to pay the ticket, but get 3 months to come up wth the money.
Happy Columbus day to all!!
and the lesson to you all.
Start a emergency fund. You never know when you are going to need it.
For most people, Friday is payday. If that's the case for you "Congratulations", but that is not the case for me. I must bear through and survive the remaining six days with only what I have remaining. I am sure many of you are on the by-weekly pay schedule as well. I have never really been able to figure out why companies do the by-weekly payroll thing. My guess, and this is only a guess, is that perhaps they only have to do the work of tallying up hours and printing checks 50% less times than if they had to do it every week. There are 52 weeks in a year, therefore they now only have to do this tallying and payroll processing 26 weeks each year.
I love my paycheck when it comes, I wish I actually received one with the same amount on a weekly basis.
Sometimes I forget that my checks come every two weeks and in my mind it seems I make a lot of money, but let me assure you that is not the case here.
For those of you not thinking about money right now, where's the party at?
I am looking forward to this particular weekend. My nephew is celebrating his birthday. He will be 4 years old. He is so cute.
It's amazing to believe that four years ago he didn't exist, he wasn't part of my life. (It's really weird imagining how this were before someone was born.) It's hard to think backwards in this sense, because when someone asks you to do say a task, you can't really go backwards.
For example, anyone can name places they would love to visit for vacation.
For example, how many examples can you think of when I ask
"Name 5 places you would to vacation at?"
The same is not true, when I ask
"Name 5 places you would never go to for Vacation".
Getting off the subject; for many of each each day is a struggle. Financially and mentality. When facing hard times, there's no better advice than to stay positive. You would be amazed at how easy to remember that everyday life challenges are trivial in the sense of the importance of our lives.
My advice, enjoy the weekend. Have some fun. Do something you enjoy.
If want to find meaning in your life, make someone happy; than in turn will make you feel better and happier too.
I have always taken into account random acts of kindness. While at times the subject disappears, its always nice and amazing what a difference can make doing something really nice that someone else doesn't expect.
Believe me, you can definitely change the world with that thinking.
Party hard, party long, but be responsible and return to work next week.
The day almost slipped by and it almost seemed as if I would not be able to tell you all what exactly I did. It wasn't exactly the most exciting day of the week, but I felt like I accomplished quite a bit.
First of all, I did manage to have a very productive day during work. My work varies throughout the week, but still manage to work only during my 9 to 5 hours on weekdays.
I work as a real estate paralegal. I handle pretty much everything in a purchase or refinance transaction. I did want to mention that today, I really felt I made great progress in clearing up my desk. The work never seems to end.
Anyhow, my day went well. I schedule closing, prepare the closing documents, draft up the loan policies, and while I enjoy researching discharges, there can be at times frustrating and a challenge.
As for the rest of the day, I went down to the local laundromat with my wife to take care of our laundry. There isn't anyone in the work that doesn't need to get their clothes washed on occasion.
By the way, to the left, you will see the great challenges that I am currently facing. Two credit cards with the accumulated debt of about $19,000.00.
I have gradually been paying this off and so far, the current balances are indicated. Its a challenge to be in a hole while trying to keep up with my daily expenditures.
I wish I made more money. (But as many of you may have already realized, more money doesn't necessarily mean less debt.) It has been shown that as we get increases, we then to overshoot when we spend, and hence aren't anywhere better than we were before.
In my case, I was not careless. (Well 50/50). The first half of my debt (1 credit card- debt of $10,000.00- was a bad decision- perhaps one day I will go into it and explain.)
The other has a perfectly good explanation. One worth the challenge.
I may have mentioned it in passing, but I got married recently, MAY 08.
I needed to finance my own weeding and did just that. On the one hand, I got the almost perfect wedding that my wife and I wanted. On the other, there's debt.
My goals are to be debt free within three years. It's a little aggressive and haven't made much movement, but I need to set a goal and will aim for the one just stated.
For those of you that may be in shock about 19K in credit card debt, and wondering what I pay in interest. I have a pretty good deal actually.
My first credit card has an interest rate of 4.99% until I pay the balance off in full. *By the way, I will not be using this credit card any time soon, otherwise charges at a higher rate will kick in. I believe I spend about $45 in interest each month, with an average payment of about 150 being the minimum due.
On the other card, I have the same interest rate of 4.99%, but it is only good through Jan 2009.
I will have to either pay it off very very quickly, or move the money to another card (make a transfer).
I wouldn't recomend transfer unless there is absolute no fee for doing so.
Credit card companies get you with the transfer fees.
Sometimes they are about 3% with a maximum fee. But recently, I have noticed most credit cards have eliminated their maximum fee. Now you will pay 3% regardless of the amount of the transfer.
Sometimes its just not worth the effort.
Remember that the transfer fee is due the following month of the transfer. Its is charged as interest due.
Well I hope you all learned something today.
Time for bed, I will continue with this later....
So today, after work, it was time to go grocery shopping. This is one of the thing hardest to budget for. The reason being we all love to buy new things and every week our needs are different. There have been weeks that we spend about $100.00, and then there are times were all we need can be bough for about $30.00. My average weekly expense is usually around $50.00
I learned to pay attention to what you are buying the hard way.
I had just moved into my new apartment and I had nothing there. I went with my wife to the supermarket and just start adding items to our cart. We are two people, so we know we don't need that much. I was used to going to the supermarket with my mother or father, and since I come from a large family it didn''t surprise me seeing the cart overflow with everything each week.
I was carrying cash in my pocket, since this particular week was a week of expenditures.
Anyhow, once we were done shopping, I eagerly went to the line to pay for my groceries and other household needs. And the total came to almost $200.00, probably around $187.00. The point was since I was not paying attention, this seemed unusually high.
My wife and I were thinking to ourselves that all those small items must just add up. (spices, and other items than come in small boxes yet range between $2 to $5.00.)
My wife had forgotten something so she returned to the supermarket. I stayed in the parking lot and finished loading the items onto the car. I was done, so I started looking though my receipt. Then I came a huge surprise. The second or third item charged was for a loaf of bread and it COST ME $89.00. I couldnt believe it.
I immediate walked back int the store and pointed out the discrepancy to a cashier. They were surprised that the error had occurred. The cashier called a manager, and when he came over, he just giggled. He apparently was aware that had been happening all day. Basically the error was that that the dummy who printed the labels had to issue 1 laber per unit for $.89; but the labels were printed with the quantity of 100; therefore the price was $89.00.
Amazing but true. I found this to be the most expense loaf of french bread that I have ever purchased. Good think i managed to get my refund. I didnt get to keep the bread for free.
I watch closely when I am paying for something. I don't worry about items being on sale or not, but I do try to make sure the cost for items are reasonable.
I would not doubt that all of us have been robbed before at the supermarket.
My recommendation, pay attention. Just by standing right by the cashier, they will too make sure items are coming up correctly.
By the way, today I spend $66.00 on groceries.
With all the problems in the stock market right now, the famous quote "Cash is King" applies. With everyone facing harder times, now is the best time to start being conservative on credit card & debit card use. One of the first things most people should do is carry cash to buy daily things. For example, I have limited my use on my credit cards and carry roughly $100 dollars in my wallet. My goal is not to spend it, but rather to see how long it will take me. By having cash on hand, I am more able to limit my spending, especially when I have the goal of having it last me the whole week. I commute to work via mass transit, so I have to purchase my monthly pass ahead of time.
There's no daily commuter expenses. There will always be other expenses on a day to day basis. On occasion I will actually run into a situation where the business only takes cash.
If you get used to carrying cash to purchase anything you need, you will see where your money is actually going.
The goal at the very beginning is not to cut spending...unless you are ready to do so..but rather maintain your lifestyle, just physically see where you are spending your hard earned money.
Eventually you will release that physically counting away your money mentaly will prepare you to start conserving. There not much differnce in buying a $2.50 cut of coffe on your credit card, with buying a $105.00 item. Both require the same actualy on your behald. Sign the receipt, give it back.
But when you really hand over $2.50 to buy cash, you say "that's agood deal".
And when you are about to spend it on an expensive item, you wonder "What else could I do with this money."
Take a minute to count your $100.00 dollars. You will notice it takes longer. The longer it takes, the harder it is to part from it.
Try spending $100.00 in singles.
Not a delighful experince, but you would be surprised about the emotions that will run through your body.
Give it a shop.
All you reading this, please let me know -
WHAT IS THE MOST YOU HAVE SPEND- ALL CASH WITH SINGLE BILLS??
I am starting to like this place already. You guys are all so welcoming. It puts me at ease, especially since as I mentioned before, this is my very first blog. I will definetely look forward to writing a lot more.
And of course you guys are in good shape, you guys are the smart ones here who like myself trying to give advice rather than receive it. Thanks for the grand welcome to all.
Well, hello to everyone. First of all I want to say that I am new here. I happened to run accross the website this past week and just feel in love with the idea of sharing my personal experience and advice. I am sure that in some minor way, I will be able to help someone out there in the world to maker a better financial decision that will somehow save them money.
Since I am new here, don't expect many pictures and amazing HTML graphics. I will work on that later.
I work as a real estate paralegal, so I am very familiar with real estate transaction, in regards to purchasing, financing, and the buy/sell process. If anyone has any quesstions about this, feel free to ask and I will answer.
I am personally in credit cards debt, who isn't?
The important thing is that I have done my research to manage it appropiately so that it costs me the least on a month to month basis (i.e. paying the lowest interest around).
I manage my personal finances on a budget, month to month, so I will definitely begin to post and advice on how to get started on one. I am sure many of you have heard it before, but sometimes, it takes a real example to see how its done. Then you can just follow along.
The one thing to remember is that you have to be truthful about where you money is going. If you lie to yourself about where you are spending your money, than you can't track it accurately to see where it is going.
Well, that its for now, i got to get back to work.