Have you been paying attention to the housing market lately? Ever since the value of homes began rising in late 2011, they just haven’t slowed down! In the past few months, I have seen only a hand-full of for sale signs out in the front yard, and they certainly don’t last long. Many of these houses are being sold in 15 days, 11 days, and others in just 2 days! The housing market has certainly picked up steam, and the rising housing prices are an obvious indicator of this.
To be completely transparent, this is awesome news for me as I just so happened to purchase my first home in August, 2011. I mean, take a look at Zillow’s estimate of my home value after I made the purchase (that dollar sign is my purchase, and the solid blue line is my house value).
This chart always . . . → Read More: Is The Next Housing Market Crash Coming?
I think it was two years ago already that my neighbor walked up to me, introduced herself, and then quickly asked, “So when do you think you’ll paint the house?” I was obviously a taken off-guard a bit, and eventually responded with, “Probably soon.”
I still haven’t painted the house…
My neighbor is probably sitting in her chair right now, stewing at the fact that I have not yet improved my home with a little bit of paint, but I have a dilemma on my hands! If I hire someone to paint my house for $3,500 (I got a quote last year), then I will certainly not hit my goal of paying off the home mortgage this year. And, as you all have probably gathered by now, I am slightly goal oriented (note the sarcasm) and always have a strong drive to succeed.
Thoughts of Painting the House . . . → Read More: To Pay the Mortgage or Paint the House?
So how much money was I able to scrounge up for my mortgage payment in May? Well, if you remember, I did get paid 3 times in the month (which is the beauty of bi-weekly pay – you get an extra check two months out of the year) and I was reimbursed for my classes from the Winter semester. Yup, May had the makings of one huge payout.
When I began this mortgage payoff journey in February (just 3 months ago), my mortgage balance was at $53,800. My goal was (and still is) to get this balance down to zero by the end of December, 2014. In March, I was able to put $10,000 toward the mortgage. And, in April I scrounged up another $3,524.08. After just two months, my mortgage was down to $39,999.99!
The Mortgage Payment in May
I honestly wish May had been a little . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage Update: May 2014
Our culture today is all about making a large income and buying a bunch of stuff on credit to “enjoy life to the fullest”, but in my experience, this often leads to discontentment, stress, and a constant want for more. One would think that the higher income earners would have a ton of money socked away in the bank, ready to retire at any time, but this isn’t how it typically works is it?
If one’s salary is $50,000 a year, they might finance a brand new Chevy Malibu. If their salary bumps up to $100,000 a year, they finance a mid-level Mercedes. If they are earning $200k+, they suddenly find themselves in an $80,000 Infiniti SUV and an executive home on the lake! As the pay grade increases, so does the lifestyle. As for that savings account, it might be a little beefier, but nothing like it could be.
. . . → Read More: How Quickly Could You Retire If You Had No Debt?
Google chopped my legs off last week, metaphorically speaking of course, but it was still quite painful. Because Google believes that I have some unnatural links on my website, they have downgraded my Page Rank from a PR3 all they way down to a zero. Due to this downgrade, my site will no longer rank as highly when someone performs a Google search, which means fewer visitors, which then means less money will come my way. And now, my goals of paying off my mortgage may be at risk.
A Reduction in Income
Ever since 2011, my website has comfortably earned between $800-$1,500 a month, and it was pretty steady. Now that I have been Google slapped, I expect that my earnings per month will fall to half of the average – somewhere between $400 and $800 a month, which means I can expect about $600 less each . . . → Read More: Google Slap May Cost Me My Goals
Have you ever been faced with the dilemma between buying a house with a 30-year mortgage or a 15-year mortgage? For many people, the 30 year mortgage is just a given and they don’t think twice about it. The payout per month is lower, so by going the 30 year route they can afford to buy a bigger house with their limited cash. This makes sense to most people since their goal is to buy the nicest house possible on their limited salaries.
But then there is the another (smaller) group of people that step back for a moment and realize that the interest rate on the 15 year loan is always less than the 30 year loan, so there are some obvious savings to be had by making slightly bigger payments with the 15 year loan.
The “Smart” Guy That Tells You To Go For The 30 . . . → Read More: The Debate Between the 15-Year Mortgage and the 30-Year Mortgage