Advice for home buyers in Delaware

Buying your first home is an exciting proposition – but it’s also slightly terrifying. The small print, the sales-driven realtors and the abundance of choice make things a little daunting for those who have little experience in the market. It’s enough to send your head into a tailspin. Here’s some advice.

When looking for homes for sale in Delaware, it pays to do your research. If you’re a first-time buyer, make sure you consider the following tips before making that all-important final call.

Be Aware of Market Value

Buying a property isn’t just about what you can afford or whether you like the place or not – it’s also about making a good investment. Do your due diligence on the home you’re considering. Do the following to get your hands on a rough guide price:

  • Consult local real estate agents – don’t limit yourself to a single agent, but go to several. Ask for properties in the local area to get an idea of the market and the neighborhood you’re considering.
  • Past Sales – Many people don’t do this, but it’s a very good indicator of what you should be paying. Go through sales that have gone through in the last year or two.

This will equip you with a very good idea of what you should be paying for a given property. NEVER enter a buying proposition without being aware of the market – after all, you’re looking for a sound business deal as well as a home to live in.

Mind Your Budget

This is a mistake that a large majority of first-time buyers will make. The reason for this is that we stretch out our finances to the absolute maximum – that ‘dream home’ is sometimes too strong a pull, leading people to make bad choices.

Always stick to the budget you’ve set, no matter what. Just a few thousands dollars more can land you in a financial position that may lead to foreclosure in the future. Remember, there are several ‘ideal’ options for you out there – stick to the one you can afford. Use this handy calculator to find out just how you stand.

Boost Your Credit Score

Before you apply for a mortgage, make sure your credit is in top condition. You don’t want to end up with a subpar mortgage that doesn’t give you the best deal possible.

Maximize your options by checking your credit well ahead of time. If it doesn’t give you the results you’re looking for, work on it and try every trick in the book to boost it. Ensure your financial affairs are in order first – only then will you be in a good position to apply for a decent mortgage deal.  This article, from, has more on credit scores.

Finally, Do You Really Need to Buy?

Many people jump into buying a home without really knowing whether it’s right for them. It’s often assumed that buying property is the best investment you can make and while this is generally true, it may not be the case in your personal situation.

This isn’t aimed to dissuade you from buying, but rather to advise you to line up your options clearly and without bias. Consider whether buying a home fits into your financial picture. You can always stick it out another year or two and invest then. It’s all about waiting for the right moment.

Top five ways to improve your bank balance

If you’re knee-deep in debt it can be easy to bury your head in the sand, but this won’t make your problems go away. The only way to improve your finances is to address the situation head on and implement some money-saving strategies – so what should you be doing?

Speak to a financial advisor

Whether you want to consolidate credit cards or improve your credit score, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional. Financial advisors are there to help and can provide you with all the latest information regarding pensions, mortgages, loan repayments and much more. Personal information will be kept strictly confidential, so don’t hesitate to seek advice if you need it.

Pay off your credit cards

Credit cards make it easy to pay for things electronically. They’re a simple and efficient way to spend, but it’s important to use them wisely. Never buy things you can’t afford and always pay off the balance in time to avoid high interest charges. If you have already racked up a sizeable sum, try to pay off more than the minimal fee when you’re billed as this will help you get out of the red quicker.

Reduce your bills

These days, many of us have a mobile phone. If you have a contract agreement, however, you could be paying more than you need to. Call your provider to see how many text and minutes you use and ask if they can lower your tariff. As household bills are another big expense, it’s also worth comparing utility prices and switching companies if necessary.

Check your Direct Debits

Do you know what you’re paying out on a monthly, weekly or annual basis? If you’re not sure, it’s essential to check all Direct Debits. This might sound like an obvious thing to do, but it can be easy to sign up for internet movie rentals, magazine subscriptions and such like only to forget about them. Once you know the score, see if you can reduce you outgoings in any way.

Spend your money wisely

A pound here and a pound there soon add up, so spend your money wisely. Only buy the things you need and look for discounted products online. With the economy in a fragile state, many companies are offering promotions and deals over the internet and you might even find some great value items on the high street. To ensure you’re getting the most for your money, download a price comparison app and do some research before parting with your cash.

Improving your bank balance is easier than you might think, so why not give some of these tips a go?

Will a Financial Planner Help You?

If you are not using a budget of some sort for your family finances then you are not being proactive in your financial life. Some people use a Certified Financial Planner to help them get on track with what they are hoping to reach in life financially. A financial plan is a document that is in a binder and will break down all educational components as well as a tailored plan of action steps so that you can take action in a positive direction to meet or exceed your financial expectations of a future for your family.

When working with a San Francisco Financial Planner you will know that you are working with a third party unbiased person who is sometimes fee based and looking to help you gain a positive financial future.Working with a fee based financial planner may be easier for some that feel commission or sales based financial planners are working more for “a buck” than for you. I will be honest that no matter how someone is being paid, most are working in the position they are working in because they are passionate about helping others. It’s all a matter of what you are comfortable with.

Based from personal experience, never having worked with a financial planner I can say that it appears having one may help lead me, my family and my business in the direction I want it to go in. I know that when I sit down and use my budget sheet and stick to the budget set forth I end up making my financial stress load go down. Speaking of which I am going to end this post here, let you determine what’s best for your financial future, and go work on my budget sheet!

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CLOSED Get Financially Naked Review and Giveaway

Get Financially Naked How to Talk Money with your Honey Today I am going to talk to you a bit about this book called Get Financially Naked How to Talk Money with your Honey. I received a copy of this book for review for free and am now share this book with you as well as to tell you I really enjoyed reading this book.

About The Author
Manisha Thakor, MBA, CFA (Houston, TX and Santa Fe, NM) and Sharon Kedar, MBA, CFA (San Francisco, CA) both earned MBA degrees from Harvard Business School and are Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholders. As personal finance experts, their work has been featured in national media. Thakor and Kedar are fully committed to Getting Financially Naked with their husbands and effectively managing their household finances.

About Get Financially Naked
This step-by-step guide shows the reader how to:

  • Own your finances, own your life: To achieve satisfaction with your honey, you first need to know how to achieve it on your own.
  • Uncover your current financial beliefs: Your attitude is the key to your success.
  • Do it with your partner: Eliminate the last taboo.
  • Talk money with your honey: A little financial foreplay.
  • Discover your financial compatibility: Are you dating a deadbeat?
  • Take the five steps to financial success: The hard questions you must ask.
  • Plan for a family: Your little bundle costs a bundle.
  • Save wisely for your financial goals: Saving now means spending in the future.
  • Make your hard-earned money work hard for you: Keep it simple.
  • Sustain your financial plan: The right way to live happily ever after.

My Thoughts

Get Financially Naked How to Talk Money with your Honey was a very easy read. Normally it takes me a long time to complete a book but this was a fly by book, meaning I couldn’t put it down and each page flew by me as I kept on reading. I found some of the information quite useful because honestly I have never really planned anything financially in my life, let alone within my relationships. My overall opinion of this book is that I would recommend this book to all of you to read at least once!

Buy Get Financially Naked How to Talk Money with your Honey

By Manisha Thakor, MBA, CFA and Sharon Kedar, MBA, CFA
Adams Media, January 2010
$12.95 U.S. / $15.99 Canada
208 pages; Business/Finance

Win Get Financially Naked How to Talk Money with your Honey

One person will randomly be chosen based on the below entry requirements to win a copy of this book for themselves!

Giveaway ends at 12am EST on 02/15/2010

Enter By Completing any or all of the below – leave one comment each. One comment for each task counts as one entry:

  • Tell me who you would want to win this for; yourself, a friend, relative or someone else?
  • If your name is on the extra entries list found here, leave one comment with the words “Extra Entries”
  • Follow @brandyellen on Twitter and Tweet 1 time per day.
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  • Comment on another non-giveaway post and leave the name of the post here within a comment.

Disclosure: Moss Media Relations, Inc. provided me with a free copy of the product referenced in this review/giveaway post and will ship the winners product directly to them. All opinions on the product & company are that of my own.

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New Year, New Business?

Are you thinking about starting a new business this New Year? It’s a great idea and I say go for it but here are some things to think about prior to starting your business:

  • What is your niche?
  • Is the market already full of this particular niche? If yes, what will you do to be unique?
  • Will you be selling a product, service or a mix of both?
  • Research all costs beforehand and create an estimate so that you are aware of the upfront out of pocket start up costs.
  • What will you use to market your business; social media, word of mouth, business cards, customized pens?

I have seen many people want to start a business and they are ready to jump right in, this is risky. When I finally registered Brandy Ellen’s Business Solutions it was after I had spent at least a year determining what services I wanted to offer. I also spent a couple of years in direct sales which allowed me to focus on my network marketing skills. I knew that there was money to be made from home, I knew I could succeed in reaching my financial goals. Within a year I can honestly say that I am at a point where I can see a future in working from home, my income has become more than my out of pocket costs and I am now almost financially independent so that I can pay my bills monthly.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not 100% free yet, I still have weeks or months when I am just a tad bit short for the bills and fall behind a little bit but I keep plugging away and putting myself out there. Starting a business is an exciting time and one thing I learned the hard way is that expenses should be kept to a minimum so that you are allowing yourself the best possible chance at a profit when end of year hits.

So have you started a new business this year? Did you already have a business in place but are focusing on new marketing strategies? I would love to hear your stories!

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