- Trust your instincts as to the layout of the home you want. For example, if you know your family lives in the kitchen, don't sacrifice the kitchen size for other things.
- When you are looking at houses, picture where you would put all you things. Do the closets make sense? Is there a place for coats? Is there enough room in the master bedroom?
- Make a scenario to work from for collecting good faith estimates (GFEs). That way you can present the same information to various people and banks and get comparisons. Be honest, and they will hedge offers because they haven't done the actual research yet, but this can be useful.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
How do I handle a small outstanding loan (payable in full immediately) while preparing to purchase first home?
I have a few thousand dollars of outstanding college loans and am looking into purchasing my first home this summer. I could easily pay off the loan with savings, but that would eat into my fairly pathetic down payment. I just read that paying off debts helps your credit score, which is why I am asking. Until now I was trying to maximize my down payment.
The response was mixed, although slightly leaning toward using the money toward the down payment.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Then I remembered that my Personal Finance class has provided tools for calculating these sorts of things. Here are two useful ones for my situation:
Sunday, March 15, 2009
- Go to the ESPN Tournament Challenge site
- Sign up with a new Id or sign in if you already have one
- Join my group:
- Group name: "Nelson's Madness"
- Group password: "toothfighter"
- Group name: "Nelson's Madness"
- Create your entry
Invite whomever you want. I'm curious to see if the group will be just me, or if it will get out of control crazy, or if it will get somewhere in between.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Here is what my friend says about NFCU:
The reason is they require far less up front than anyone else I know AND they are amazing to work with. Our realtor (we used the same one twice) bragged about these people who worked really hard for us in a tight squeeze. The example I'm thinking of was with our last purchase. We were pre-approved with a certain rate that expired after a certain time period. The rates would have gone up after the period expired. We found our current house with a little less than a month left in the period and the whole process usually takes at least a month or more. BUT, they worked with us and kept our loan process moving quickly and we finished with 2 days to spare. That kind of service was apparently unheard of.
So, if you have an in to NFCU, I would also suggest adding them to your list of potential lenders. Probably towards the top.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Up until this point we were going off our own vague understandings. Most of this was based on the fact that the economy is collapsing and my personal finance class. In other words, we were pretty sure home ownership in New England just wasn't going to happen in our near future, if ever.
We knew this was an assumption based on poor information, so we resolved to learn a little bit more. I emailed my father to get some advice. He suggested four things:
That was the first step, taken a few weeks ago. We are going somewhat slow through the process and learning a lot along the way. I'll try to get caught up with the information.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
He quit his job as a software engineer to be a singer/songwriter instead, and now he makes more money doing that than he did as a software engineer. The "crazy" part about this is that he offers a lot of his content for free from his web page. He allows people to use most of it in derivative, non-commercial work (license). This is counter-intuitive to most people. What is also counter-intuitive is that people buy banana, robot, and monkey gifs on his site as a way of donating money. The point is that if you create quality content, somebody will pay for it. The trick is finding your niche. Coulton's niche is the tech nerd (Code Monkey is one of his more famous songs). I am having a hard time explaining. Check out his site and listen to TWIT 133.
Also, I think I saw him in Atlanta when I was flying back to Utah from my job interview at BAE a year ago. The airport was pretty messed up due to some ice (I was delayed for a number of hours) otherwise I think I would have got an autograph or something. It would have been a little awkward, since at the time my only exposure to him was TWIT 133. Don'y worry, I now have the whole year of Thing a Week.
Let me be clear: this is not a get rich quick scheme. At first I thought this was a new dot-com bubble. Maybe it was, to some extent. However, the bubble burst in October. Producing quality content that someone will pay for takes a lot of hard work, talent, and time. I do not have the time to put in the work, so my blog remains cluttered and not updated. However, many people I know have the time or have talents that are more easily shared over the internet (e.g. writing).
Speaking of writers, TWIT 184 talks about the death of print media. It is just not cost effective, especially with devices like the Kindle 2 coming out. One journalist I know had his local branch shut down this past year, and another newspaper employee I know was laid-off this week. If you have relied on printed media to publish your work in the past, I would highly recommend listening to TWIT 133 and TWIT 184. Then start self publishing on the web as much as you can. Create your own brand. It is worth something to the right people, and the right people are out there.