Here are some tips that will keep the dream of buying a home from turning into a nightmare.
- Decide first whether this is the right time to buy.
- Investigate financing early on. Shop around for the best rates and terms.
- Be certain you can afford the monthly mortgage payments. A rule of thumb: mortgage should never exceed 30% of your gross income.
- When budgeting, include amounts you’ll pay for real estate taxes, insurance, utilities and general repairs.
- Secure the services of a real estate attorney, at least for your closing.
- Always consider the future marketability of your home. You never know when you will need to sell or move.
- Secure adequate home owner insurance.
A good plan can provide a financial safety net at a time when it’s most needed.
Unemployment: Having a rainy day fund can be an enormous help in warding off financial disaster. Your goal should be to save 6-12 months of expenses or take-home pay. Also, take full advantage of everything your company, the government and your
Divorce: Whether or not you hire counsel, you should consider the following issues: What are your wishes regarding custody, visitation, and child support? Do you earn enough money to adequately support yourself? Which assets do you really want, and which
are you willing to let your spouse keep? Do you want/can you afford to keep the family home?
Disasters: Disasters can take many faces: health crises, fire, flood, earthquake, death of a spouse. Whatever the disaster, there are some common financial strategies that will help you weather the crisis: get advice from professionals such as insurance agents, financial
advisers and/or lawyers, locate important documents and financial records, evaluate short term income and expenses, avoid making hasty decisions.
Sandwich Generation: That’s the term coined for those caught in the middle between raising and educating their kids and tending to the needs of aging parents. First, you need to identify priorities: setting aside funds for retirement, paying for your kids’ schooling, and helping your parents with the cost of long-term care. Also, it’s vital to learn about your parents’ ailments so you can make a realistic budgeting assessment. Elder care experts can be especially helpful.
To be continued…