Cheryl Caldwell - William Raveis - The Dolores Person Group



Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 9/4/2020

Home prices may vary greatly throughout the country. But, buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your life.

Deciding just how much to spend on your home isn’t just a matter of numbers--it also depends on your lifestyle and long-term goals.

In today’s post, I’m going to give you a few ways you can help determine how much is a safe amount to spend on your home so that you’ll feel confident moving into the home buying process that you’re making the best decision for you and your family.

Mortgage as a percent of your income

Like most large purchases, buying a home typically isn’t dependent on the amount you have in the bank. Rather, it depends on several factors including your income, credit score, and the type of lifestyle you want to maintain.

One of the simplest ways to determine how much house you can afford is to figure out what percent of your monthly income your mortgage and insurance will be.

For most homeowners, a mortgage payment that is 25% of their income or less is ideal. So, if you earn $6,000 per month, you don’t want your monthly mortgage payment to exceed $1,500.

This “25% rule” does have one flaw, however, and that does not--and cannot--account for each individual’s financial circumstances.

Let’s say, for example, that you earn $6,000 per month, but that you have a large monthly car payment and are trying to aggressively pay off your student loans. You might find that paying another $1,500 toward a mortgage on top of your current bills is bringing you over budget, especially when combined with your other monthly expenses and retirement contributions.

Plan for homeowner expenses

Another caveat to determining how much to spend on a home is that the home itself will require a budget for maintenance. When renting an apartment, repairs are mostly the responsibility of the landlord or property manager.

Homeownership, on the other hand, requires you to make the repairs yourself or hire a professional. And, if you neglect these repairs, you might find that they cost you even more in the long run or drive down the value of your home.

Create a comprehensive budget

Throughout a given person’s life, they’ll experience raises, promotions, layoffs, medical expenses, childcare costs, and any other number of financial changes. While it isn’t possible to foresee all of the financial fluctuations you’ll experience in life, it is always helpful to have a comprehensive budget.

What do I mean by “comprehensive budget”? The goal of a good budget is to know where each dollar of your income is currently going and to have a plan for each cent that you make. This is a proactive approach to budgeting that will give you an exact number for the amount you can afford when it comes to a mortgage payment.

Within your budget, it’s vital to account for things like an emergency fund, retirement, savings for vacations, and so on.

If you take this due diligence, not only will you have a better sense of where your money goes, but you’ll also be confident in knowing exactly how much you can spend on a home.




Tags: Buying a home   budgeting  
Categories: Buying a Home   budgeting  


Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 3/2/2018

Keeping up with household expenses can be a daunting task. Service providers are making it easier than ever to set up auto-pay features for their products. Furthermore, playing with credit cards makes it seem like you hardly ever have to look at your account balances. Unfortunately, that can make it easy to go over your allotted budget each month. That’s where the home budget app comes in.

In recent years, a growing number of budgeting apps have hit the app stores. You could scroll for hours through all of the various apps, comparing their needs. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you.

Some apps are geared towards families, where others are designed for a single user. Some sync with bank accounts and others depend on your own input to keep track of your expenses. In this article, we’re going to break down some of the best budgeting apps for keeping up with your household and living expenses.

HomeBudget

If you’re hoping to split expenses and plan your budget with your spouse, family, or roommates, HomeBudget is a good place to start. With HomeBudget you can assign one person to be the payee, making it easy to determine who pays certain bills.

You and your family members can also assign expenses and attach images of your receipts to see who paid which bill.

At the end of the month, you can view reports that will tell you if you stayed under budget. You can then compare the month’s budget to the previous six months and decide if you need to increase your budget or try to cut some expenses.

YNAB: You Need A Budget

If you’re new to budgeting or are having trouble paying off debt, YNAB is the budgeting tool you need. Aside from keeping track of your spending, YNAB is also a learning resource. Signing up gives you access to budgeting tips and information that you may not be familiar with.

YNAB links up with your bank accounts to tell you just how much you need to save each month in order to keep up with everyday expenses like mortgage payments and utilities, and get out of debt.

Mint

Mint is designed to be your one-stop shop for all things financial. It combines your bills, bank accounts, student loans, credit cards, and more all in one place.

Mint enables you to track your spending, plan a budget, and gain access to resources like free monthly credit scores.

Unsplurge

Having an organized budget is a reward of its own. But, if you need even more of an incentive, Unsplurge is here to help. With Unsplurge, you can focus on saving up for a goal. You’ll get updates when you save enough to “splurge” on your goal.

It’s a great tool for people who like to see their progress and feel the sense of accomplishment when they meet their objective.


Now pick the app that sounds right for your needs and get started with saving money and managing your household budget today.




Categories: budgeting   budget   bill   utilities   home expenses  


Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 6/2/2017

When you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be excited to find out that you can afford a lot more house than you thought you could. Don’t be so fast, this is just what you can get a loan for. The bank doesn’t know a lot of factors about your finances. While you most likely had to provide a ton of income verification statements and information in order to get this ballpark figure, relying solely on the pre-approval number can put you in a bind when it comes to your finances. Your lender doesn’t know certain things like how much you spend on groceries or how much your cell phone bill is each month. 


What Lenders Consider


Lenders look at the health of your credit history, how much income you have and how much debt you have. These are the big factors that tell your lender about how much house you can afford. Yet, your home lender is not your financial advisor and can’t help you with household expenses and the like. When thinking about what price range of home you really can afford, consider these factors beyond the bank:


Your Monthly Budget


Your spending habits will ultimately affect your ability to pay the monthly mortgage bill. If you’re spending all of your disposable income, then you may not be able to afford much at all beyond what you’re already paying for rent. You don’t want to stretch your finances so thin that you won’t be able to afford food! 


Owning A Home Requires Additional Costs


Lenders do factor into their number the cost of homeowner’s insurance and property taxes, but don’t consider other things like utility bills, trash pickup and home repairs. All this can certainly add up when you’re a homeowner! 


Your Savings Is Nonexistent


If you’re unable to save any money at all if you’re a homeowner, then you’ll be in trouble. You need money stashed away in case of unemployment or an emergency. You also may be planning for things like retirement and future costs like children’s education. For the initial purchase of a home, you’ll need upfront payments available for the down payment and closing costs. However, you’ll need some more savings beyond that for everything that life brings your way!  


You Have Big Plans


Are you thinking of quitting your job and heading out to start your own business? Now may not be the best time to buy a new house. These changes could have a huge impact on your finances and leave you unable to pay your mortgage. Your lender won’t be asking about these plans, so you’ll need to know what the future holds (for the most part ) in order to keep your own finances secure. 


The bottom line is that anything that could leave you financially stressed is not a good idea. Considering that buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make, you want to be sure that you keep your finances in check during the purchase process.  




Tags: Mortgage   loans   budgeting  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 3/18/2016

Is there really a secret to saving money? It may seem as though it is mystery how your bank account ends up empty every month but there is no mystery to it. While it may be no secret there are three important tips you can follow to help you put more money in your pocket. The challenge is to follow the tips in order to be successful at saving money. The rest is up to you.

1. Create a Budget

You need to know where your money is going. Once you have established where you spend your money you will be able to find places to make cuts. The first thing to do is figure out how much is being spent on housing, utilities, groceries, debt, and entertainment. Once you know where the money is going you will be able to set limits for problem areas. This is the money that you will apply to secret #2.

2. Pay Yourself First

This is a huge secret, pay yourself first. Yes, before you dole out money for bills as soon as your paycheck hits your account; deposit a specified amount into savings. It doesn't matter how small the amount is, at least you are saving. Even better , create an automatic savings plan that will automatically deposit money into your savings account before you even have a chance to spend it. This can be done right through your employer’s direct deposit or with a recurring transfer with your bank.

3. Spend Less Than You Earn

If you don't learn to obey this rule you will never be able to save money. You simply have to spend less money than you earn and there’s no way around that. If you are spending more than you earn you are borrowing money and thus putting yourself into debt.  




Categories: Uncategorized  




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