MONEY MONEY MONEY! Loans are out there, and people are buying, but what is best for YOU?
1. MORTGAGE DEBT IS BETTER DEBT THAN PERSONAL DEBT. Why? Mortgage debt can be tax deductible, and the rates are generally lower. Statistically, your home will appreciate in value. Your personal property will not.
2. DOWN PAYMENT should be based on your comfort range, remaining funds, and potential needed for move-in costs. You may want to put less down and pay off personal debt, due to number 1 above.
3. LOW DOWN PAYMENT CAN MEAN HIGHER LOAN COSTS! Be sure you ask your lender what the cost is if you put less than 20% down when you purchase. Then, compare the loans form there.
When you borrow to buy, know your choices. With 24 years' experience in lending, I can help you make sure you make the right decision to maximize the results in your financial plan.
Until then, happy house hunting! For more information contact me at 573-808-1102 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ring in 2013
It's that time again, time to set goals for yourself that you are going to stick with forever. Or for two weeks, or a month, or maybe even three months? But, don't get discouraged. According to research, people who actually make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who don't make resolutions. I am going to share with you "7 Strategies for Highly Effective New Year Resolutions," from Forbes.com.
1. Know Your Why. For a resolution to stick, it has to be aligned with your core values. Who doesn't want to get rich, or lose weight? But, your resolution has to go beyond superficial desires and connect with what truly matters most. If you don't, "know your why," you will lack the motivation when the going gets tough.
2. Be Specific. Resolutions to 'eat better, get fitter, be happier, relax more, or have better life balance' are destined to fail because they lack specificity. Describe your goals and resolutions in a way that allows you to track progress and measure success. For example, if you want to exercise, decide how many nights a week you are going to commit to an exercise regime. Motivate yourself.
3. Don't Just Think It, Ink It! A Stanford University study found that when people wrote down their goal, it increased the probability of the achieving it by over 70%. Write your goals everywhere! Place sticky notes with your goals all over your work space and home. Easy daily reminders.
4. Design Your Environment. Never underestimate the power of your environment to support or sabotage your success. Create an environment making it hard to Not do what your resolved. Make a chart or graph to track your success. Get your family involved! Ask your significant other to treat you to a special dinner when you achieve a goal.
5. Narrow Your Efforts. Trying to do too much at one time can make you so unfocused that you bounce around like Tigger on Red Bull, unsure of which direction to go. Set yourself up for success, start with just one major undertaking come January 1st. Then break your goal down into smaller steps. Easier to manage, easier to accomplish.
6. Focus On The Process. It's easy to get caught up in an initial wave of enthusiasm, only to come crashing down when your initial efforts don't produce immediate and amazing results. Focus on the process itself, and develop a greater competence of your goal or resolution. Persistence always pays off.
7. Forgive Your Failures. Your setback and failures will not define your success in the year ahead or any year. How you respond will. If you mess up, it isn't the end. When it comes to slipping up and tripping up, it happens to everyone. Do not let your mishaps mean more than they do. Use them for lessons, what can you do differently next time? Tap into your inner John Wayne and get back in the saddle. Life rewards those who work at it.
So, I hope you take this information and use it to get ahead in your life. As Oprah Winfrey said, "Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
Until next time,
~Beth Steele "The Best Move You'll Ever Make"
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Connecting you with the home to match your lifestyle... Decorating tips, home listing ideas, and homes for sale in and around Columbia and Mid-Missouri!
"The Best Move You'll Ever Make"
Updating on a budget...
So, you want to update your home, but you don't want to spend a lot of money. It is possible! With the Holidays approaching, you are going to be inviting friends and family over, I want you to be proud of your home! If you follow these tips, your home will look like you spent hundreds of dollars. But, really you are going to need less than $100! We will just keep it our little secret, unless you want to share this blog with your neighbors! #1 - Ask for my help! As a Realtor, I see a lot of homes. I have the ability to give you tips on simple solutions, such as paint color and furniture placement. Sometimes the smallest change has the largest impact! All you have to do is give me a call, and I would be happy to walk through your home and give you some ideas!
#2 - Look for inspiration! Search the Internet (if you haven't discovered Pinterest, look it up), look at magazines, decorating books, and even the homes of friends and family. Save images online, rip out pages of magazines, and make an inspiration notebook. Then, after you really learn your style, look for DIY projects! Several "designer" items can be recreated much cheaper!
#3 - Inspect your home! If you are afraid there is a problem that is not just cosmetic, consider hiring an inspector. A small leak, termites, or an electrical problem is much cheaper to resolve if you catch it early. If you wait, you could have a huge expense when trying to sell your home in the future.
#4 - Paint! A different paint color can completely transform a room. To save money, don't paint your entire house at one time. Several home improvement stores offer coupons and sales on paint. Take advantage! Make a list of the rooms you want painted first, to which rooms can wait. Talk to a professional in the store and make sure you are buying the right finish for your wall type. Do not buy the cheapest paint, it will look like the cheapest paint. Neutral colors are the most appealing to home buyers, so if you are considering selling your home in the near future, I would avoid painting your walls bright green, orange, red and yellow. Again, as I said in Tip #1, I would be happy to give you my professional opinion on colors!
#5 - Cut energy costs! Watch for an upcoming post on preparing your home for winter weather. Also, don't forget the basics. Turn off lights, unplug electronics not being used, and switch out lightbulbs for the energy efficient CFL bulbs. A faulty thermostat in your home can break you, make sure yours is up-to-date! Consider buying a new, programmable thermostat. You can set the heat to a lower setting when you are not home during the day, and warmer when you get home.
I hope these tips help you improve your home! Remember, there are many more things you can do, and you do not have to spend a lot of money! Check out HGTV's home improvement website for more ideas! Stay tuned for more useful information!
The Holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, especially if you are in charge of hosting the family meal. Sometimes it just isn't practical to spend a fortune on Thanksgiving, and then throw out half of the food. I have some money saving tips to help you enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!
First, buy food in season. Try to stay away from spring veggies or summer fruits, they are going to be the most expensive. Also, buy fresh herbs rather than dried herbs. The dried herbs tend to be more expensive and may even expire before you use them again... next Thanksgiving. Second, buy a supermarket bird. Though we all might want that expensive turkey, with the right seasoning and preparation, your guests will never know the difference. Next, start from scratch. Make your pie crusts, gravy, and rolls from scratch. In the end you save money, as well as saving your family from mystery ingredients. Another tip is knowing when to buy canned, or frozen foods. Frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh, and much better than canned. Although, canned pumpkin is always a safe choice. The store brands are usually just as good as the name brands, as well. Next, you do not have to follow the recipe exactly. If the recipe calls for an expensive seasoning, skip it. Your guests will never know you didn't add that one seasoning they have never heard of. Finally, don't be shy, ask for help. Remember, we are talking about family members. If you sister, brother, aunt, grandma, or mom has an awesome recipe, ask them to make it! They will be flattered, not insulted.
I hope this helps make your Thanksgiving enjoyable, rather than stressful!
For more helpful tips, great recipes, and a Thanksgiving menu under $80, visit www.epicurious.com!
January in the mid-west; it's a time when people are recuperating from December, especially if reflecting on the money spent for the holidays. It's a time for new beginnings, working on committing to those resolutions of the new year. It's a time for planning and reflecting, working towards forgiving ourselves for the mistakes of the past and grasping on to our hopes of the future; the near future . . . a successful and happy 2012.
Embrace this time and set your goals. Give yourself a break if you don't achieve your strict exercise schedule and pause to be thankful for our lives. Spend time with those close to you, and remember those in need.
Thank you for a fabulous 2011. I look forward to 2012 and its new challenges and successes.
Until next time,
~Beth Steele "The Best Move You'll Ever Make!"
Let's wait until the economy gets better! Really?
Go to Google and type in a search for Millionaires made during the depression. You will find that there were many who became millionaires during that time because they saw the reality of being able to buy low and sell high during hard economic times.
I originated mortgage loans for 23 years. Some of my time was also spent preparing written responses to FDIC audits, teaching compliance, teaching goal planning and prospecting for Realtors and loan officers, managing many people, and teaching home buyer education classes. In 1990, I saw people paying off their loans from 1960, and their rate for 30 years was 7.5%. Yes, prices were lower then, but so were salaries. The balance isn't the same . . . that's a fact, but the concept is the same. Today's rates are the lowest they've been!
I received my first mortgage loan in 1990, and my rate was a discounted employee rate at the bank. It was 10.25% on a 3-year ARM. I was in heaven! Ah...perception!
Today, my $67,000 house payment in 1990 would be a $126,000 today, with the same payment.
Today, one can take advantage of low rates, a bit softer prices, and 10 years down the road will feel the affordability in housing like no other time. After all, if you're renting, your landlord will probably raise rents over that same 10-year period, so I suppose paying your landlord's mortgage is an option.
Visit a mortgage lender and find out what you need to do to put yourself in a position to buy at today's low rates.
Wouldn't waiting until the economy gets better be like waiting until stocks rise before you invest??
Until next time,
~Beth Steele "The Best Move You'll Ever Make!"
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Interacting with Facebook - Making Important Decisions
to interact with several others on current real estate subjects and needs. Why is this important? According to Facebook, there are over 800 million users and over 50% of those log on to Facebook on any given day. You'll get instant information and interaction. Have a question? Post it. We'll help you find the answer. Listing your personal home? It will be here. Looking for selling advice? Want multiple opinions so you can make an educated decision? Try it here.
Interacting with others you trust can really help you make a decision that will feel more solid in your buying or selling situation. On the flip side, sometimes you can get too many pieces of input when trying to make a decision. Remember, your decision is based on your logical and emotional drives. Others post their opinions on their logical and emotional drives. If it doesn't feel right in your gut, don't do it.
Information you receive will come with one of three choices: 1. "Slam Dunk" - absolutely a great decision... go for it! 2. "No Go" - no matter what others may say, this is not for you... leave it! 3. "On the Fence" - it's time to gather more information before you make a decision. #3 is one that could be critical, and will eventually become a #1 or a #2. Until it is a #1 or #2, it should only be considered as an idea.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts...
Internet is 1st Look for Property
Did you know most people begin searching for a home by looking on the Internet? What does this mean for you when you're looking for a home? It means we, REALTORS, need to be much more cognizant of your wants and needs before we even know you! It's obvious as the day you walk through the front door of a home, it is your second, third, or even 10th look at a piece of property. You've already seen pictures, videos, virtual tours, utility costs, seller's disclosures, and more. Things you want to know: 1. Start online, and save favorites. Go to My Home Finder at www.BethSteele.com to search for property with no obligation. 2. Sign a Buyer Agency Agreement, which will protect your motivations and interests when we look for property. 3. Work with someone you can trust. 4. Take your time. Making the right decision can take time. 5. Have fun. To have fun with your next real estate experience, give me a call at 573-256-3147.