Category Archives: Financial Education

Responsibility and Financial Literacy at Home


Health

(Photo credit: Tax Credits)

Parenthood is such a privilege! I don’t think it’s possible for anyone else to be closer to your heart than your children (and your spouse, of course). With that privilege of being a parent, comes responsibilities – many of them, which include love, support, food, clothing, shelter, discipline, and so on.

Responsibility (noun): Taking care of your duty.

When we are blessed with things, it becomes our responsibility to provide continual care and maintenance. This applies to everything we acquire, but with this post, I would like to focus on the relationships of parent-child, family-home, and family-money.

Not only is parenthood a privilege with many responsibilities, but so is home ownership. Taking care of a home has its responsibilities as well, and even more so – a home with children. As parents we lead by example and teach our kids to help with household chores like cleaning their rooms, taking out trash, sweeping, clearing the table, etc. Those are life lessons that will follow children into their adulthood.

In my home my husband and I make sure chores are completed before some privileges. (It comes with battles just like everyone else’s home!) Sometimes, depending on the layout of the day and events, we help our children come up with a schedule to complete their chores and still have their pleasurable activities that allow for fun to come before work. The goal with this is to teach responsibility, self-discipline, and time management. It doesn’t work smoothly or perfectly every time, but it is preparing them for adulthood – if they like it or not.

Financial Literacy (concept): The skill sets needed to make smart financial decisions.

What about teaching financial responsibility? It is just as important. Along with chores, children need to be financially literate as well. Teach them to make smart decisions on spending and saving money. This could be as simple as teaching your kids to compare prices when shopping, letting them help clip coupons, and through allowances. All these instances allow for you and your child to start a dialogue about money-management. Also, understanding credit and credit card use is definitely a big topic that needs to be discussed and its foundation set in all households. My husband is great with this in our home!

Another big lesson in money-management (perhaps the biggest of all) comes from setting a budget for your family and involve your children in learning what will and will not fit into your budget. This is great for teaching decision-making skills, problem-solving, and determining what priorities are. You’ll be rewarded by teaching your children these values of responsibility and money management. The reward is raising responsible citizens.


Small Business Saturday ’12


(Photo Source: Wake Forest Downtown)

In support of our small businesses everywhere, Small Business Saturday, was created to show appreciation for all that small business owners do for our communities. Supporting such businesses also boosts our local economies.

Personally, I will be shopping downtown Wake Forest today – home to so many great small businesses with a unique collection of goods. It offers coffee shops, art studios, cafes, and many other appealing boutiques.

The downtown area of Wake Forest is beautiful and contains that friendly feel of being among family. It is my hope that you would go out within your communities as well to support Small Business Saturday. Let’s create long lines and pour into our communities with patronism. Small businesses are the backbones of our communities and we need to give back to them. Happy shopping!


Real Estate’s Black Friday


(Photo Source: Google Image)

We all know the biggest shopping day of  the year is the day after Thanksgiving.  I’m no stranger to Black Friday deals and lines.  I do believe that when great opportunities come along, I must pursue them.  The same is true for most of us.  We like to invest wisely.

Well, the same can be said about the housing market this time of year.  Now is a great time to buy or sell.  Generally around the holidays and winter months, real estate sales are down; however, I’m finding that in my neck of the woods, our real estate market in and around Raleigh, NC is remaining steady.

FOR SELLERS

If you’re considering to put your house on the market, now is a great time.  Buyers are still out there ready to invest.  Also, inventory is down (less competition) so that elevates your chances of selling and getting more attention.  Interest rates are low so buyers are looking to take advantage of great rates.  Just like Black Friday deals, the holiday season is a prime time to market  incentives on your listing, such as a home warranty, allowances, or closing cost assistance.

FOR BUYERS

Just like there are incentives for sellers to sell, there are terrific opportunities for buyers still.  Interest rates – I cannot stress how low they are!!  Interest rates for me are incentive enough!  But there’s more that I would like to mention.  When considering buying versus renting, buying is the better way to go in most instances because the price of rentals are rising.  Also, I’m seeing great incentives for buyers from  sellers – allowances, closing cost assistance, home warranty, upgrades, just to name a few.  Moreover, new home construction sites are offering cash and prizes as incentives to agents and their buyers for investments before the end of the year.

BOTTOM LINE

As with retail sales, real estate has incentives as well during this time of year!  Fortunately enough, the housing market offers excellent opportunities not limited to just a day, but trends that have been consistent and will hold steady for the days and months ahead.


Home Prices on the Rise


Home Prices on the Rise

National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that home prices are slowly on the rise as of October 2012.

 


The Investments Cycle


This image was taken from the KCM Blog. I believe it speaks for itself.


Bought A Home? Scared of Being Unemployed?


Piggy Bank

The possibility of unemployment is a big threat or worry for lots of families these days.  Yet, we still need to move, get a bigger house, or are sick and tired of renting.

Well my company, Allen Tate, has a wonderful program,  The Job Loss Protection Program, which provides security if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being laid off after you’ve purchased a home.

Read more about this great program from the Allen Tate Blog, At Home In the Carolinas.  Let’s see what Regina Walker has to say.  Here’s her blog post:

Last year, I found myself in the very unfortunate position of being laid-off.
I had thought that with the downturn of the economy I could find myself
in this situation, but I really thought I would have some idea it was coming
before it happened. Well, I didn’t. I had no idea.

The first of many thoughts was, “Oh my gosh, how am I going to afford
my house?”, then I went into an immediate panic.

“What if I become unemployed after I purchase a home?” is a common concern we
hear in the Client Relations department at the Allen Tate Company. With recent
unemployment rates near 9%, what buyer wouldn’t consider this as a
possibility?

The “Job Loss Protection Program” is an option offered through Allen Tate that can
protect a buyer in the event they are laid off.

Job Loss Protection is not a new concept. It has been traditionally offered
in other industries, such as the automobile industry.

Basically, if a buyer loses his or her job in the first 2 years of
home ownership, they can qualify for payment benefits which helps out when
savings is not sufficient to cover mortgage payments.

Here are some points on the program:

  • Provides up to 6 months of mortgage payments during the first 24 months from
    date of closing if the borrower or co-borrower becomes involuntarily unemployed
  • Coverage up to $1,800 per month
  • Properties listed for sale by Allen Tate Company or purchased through an
    Allen Tate Realtor® are eligible for coverage under this program.
  • Cost of program is $595, payable at closing.
  • Buyer will receive information packet within 45 days of closing to explain
    program

In my case, I was able to find a position within 6 weeks. I would have liked
the safety net and peace of mind to know that my mortgage payments could have
been covered, but unfortunately I did not know that this type of program even
existed. If losing your job hinders your decision to purchase a home,
this is a program that can help put your mind at ease!

By Regina Walter

Very informative.  I wanted to share this blog because it is a great program that can benefit many families.  It’s a great way for a seller to get their home sold by offering this product.  Think of it being helpful just like offering a home warranty.  These days we need job security!  Amen?


No Down Payment Product for Rural Buyers – USDA Loans


Logo of the USDA Rural Development office, par...

Image via Wikipedia

This is a repost from The Raleigh Mortgage Guy.  Please see another related blog from him at the bottom of this post.

USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT GUARANTEED RURAL HOUSING NEWS

From the National Office in Washington DC

June 15, 2011

GUARANTEED LOAN FUNDING UPDATE:  SUMMER SIZZLES! 

GUARANTEED LOAN VOLUME UP!  PLENTY OF FUNDING AVAILABLE! 

The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) has $24 billion dollars of funding available for lenders, but it will expire on September 30, 2011!

SUMMER TIME IS HOME-BUYING TIME!  When temperatures rise, homebuyers arrive!  Summer is a perfect time to buy a new home!  Guaranteed loans offer eligible rural homebuyers tremendous benefits including, no down-payment required, flexible credit and qualifying ratios, and fixed thirty year interest rates.

SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE!  Congress has ensured ample guaranteed loan funding will be available throughout FY 2011!

As of June 15, 2011:

TOTAL $ OBLIGATED:      $9.96 BILLION

TOTAL # LOANS:                 78,075 

OVER $14 BILLION REMAINS TO

SERVE RURAL HOMEBUYERS! 

Related article:

Thanks for reading.  Interested?  More information?  Contact me today!


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