Should You Schedule a Pest and Termite Inspection for the Home You’re Buying?

Whether you’re an aspiring first-time homebuyer and about to make your first offer or you have just purchased your second or third home, you’re probably excited to enjoy your new space. But wait, is that a little critter by the backdoor? Maybe it’s just an ant… nothing to worry about, right? Just to be sure there aren’t any other pests lurking about your new house, you might want to consider getting a pest and termite inspection. Here are five reasons you should schedule a termite and pest inspection before any unwanted visitors wreak havoc on your dream home.

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Why should you get a pest and termite inspection?

As a new homeowner, it’s always a good idea to cover all your bases and have a pest and termite inspection performed. Homes in more humid climates – think homes in Miami, FL or houses in Houston, TX – are more susceptible to termite infestations due to the increased moisture in the surrounding environment. If you’ve seen any signs of a termite infestation, it might be a good idea to have a termite inspection. These signs can include buckling floorboards, creaky floors, or damaged wood.

For those still in the homebuying process, if you see signs of termite damage in the house, you should consider adding a termite contingency when making an offer on a home. A termite contingency may give you the option to back out of the sale if there’s been significant damage found. Otherwise, you can try to negotiate with the seller to pay for the repairs. 

What if you’re planning on just getting a regular home inspection? Your home inspector likely won’t look for specific types of pest or termite damage. However, if your home inspector does find damage, contacting a pest or termite inspector should be your next step. A pest or termite control specialist can help you determine what the best course of action is, likely scheduling an inspection to determine the extent of the damage.

Is a pest and termite inspection required before closing on a home?

If you’ve already purchased your home, then you didn’t miss out on any required inspections. For most homebuyers, termite and pest inspections are not required before closing on a home. However, certain types of loans such as FHA and VA loans may require you to pay for a pest inspection before your mortgage approval, so it’s best to check with your mortgage lender or real estate agent. Your real estate agent will also know if your particular state or county requires a pest inspection before purchasing a home.

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5 benefits of having a termite or pest inspection

There are several benefits of having your home inspected for termites or pests.

1) Negotiating power. If the home you’re looking to buy ends up having damage from termites or pests, you’ll likely have better negotiating power. Your real estate agent can help you decide what negotiations to make. These negotiations may include asking the seller to reduce the price so you can pay for pest control services or asking the seller to pay for any repairs or fumigation services before you close on the home.

2) Peace of mind. These inspections will be able to tell you if there’s any structural damage from pests or termites. Your inspector will disclose any issues they find. Then you’ll have an idea of what kind of maintenance you might need as the home’s future owner. 

3) Save money. Moving into a new home can feel like the dream, but it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into. Without a pest or termite inspection, you may be foregoing a critical type of home inspection that may end up costing you more money down the road if a problem is left untreated.

4) Prepare for future expenses. If your pest or termite inspector finds certain types of pests in the home you’ll have a better idea of what to look out for as a homeowner. That way, you will know if your new home or the area you’ve moved to is susceptible to specific pests. It will also help you to plan ahead for any costs associated with keeping these pests away.

5) Find a local pest control company. Say your home is more susceptible to termites because you’re buying a house in a more humid area, or that spiders or mice are more common in your county. The good news is you’ve found a local pest control company to help you schedule regular maintenance. You’ll know just who to call for help if any critters start appearing in your house.

What to expect during a pest inspection

The inspection will take roughly 30 minutes but can vary based on the size of the home and whether there’s a basement, crawl space, or any extra areas. The inspector will examine the interior and exterior of the home for any signs of damage, infestation, or specific areas that might be more susceptible to pests. They’ll check for any signs of moisture. Damaged wood or buckled paint indicate the presence of wood-destroying insects like termites. They are more likely to be found in these areas vulnerable areas.

The inspector will check for a variety of different bugs such as carpenter ants, fleas, mosquitos, and moths, among others. Where you are located may also play a role in the types of pests your inspector will look for. Some pests are more likely to be found in certain areas or are local to your region. If these types of local pests are found during the inspection, your pest inspector may recommend regular pest control to keep these critters at bay. 

The post Should You Schedule a Pest and Termite Inspection for the Home You’re Buying? appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.

Source: redfin.com

How To Avoid Being House Poor

How Much Home Can I AffordEarlier this year, I published the post Is Being House Poor Limiting You? While no one ever thinks they will fall into being house poor, it does happen to some. Due to this, when asking yourself the question “how much home can I afford,” it’s best to think about ALL of the expenses that go into homeownership.

There are many “hidden” costs that go into homeownership that many do not think about when buying a home. While some homes may seem affordable, there are many factors and expenses to think about.

According to recent data from Zillow:

  • U.S. homeowners on average spend more than $9,000 per year in hidden homeownership costs and maintenance expenses
  • U.S. homeowners pay an average of $6,042 per year in unavoidable hidden costs: homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities
  • U.S. homeowners pay an average of $3,435 per year in annual optional costs including house cleaning, yard care, gutter cleaning, carpet cleaning, and pressure washing.

That’s a lot of extra money each year that many homeowners do not realize that they may need to pay for.

By not knowing about these costs, a person may become stressed due to the amount of debt they may rack up from being house poor. It may also delay retirement, lead to a house being empty (there might be no money left to decorate), and more.

There are things you can do though so that you can make sure you don’t fall into a house poor situation, though. When pondering the question “How much home can I afford,” think about the many tips below.

 

Add up all of the costs.

Buying a home can easily lead to being house poor if you don’t do enough research. This can limit you because you may be even more house poor than you originally thought.

When some families buy a home, they don’t think about the total cost of homeownership. While you may be able to afford the monthly mortgage payment, you may not be able to afford everything else if you don’t do your research.

Before you say “yes” to a home, I recommend you add up all of the extra costs that you may have to pay for if you decide to buy a specific home.

Other homeownership costs include:

  • Gas. Many homes run on gas in order to have hot water, to use the stove, and so on.
  • Electricity. Generally, the bigger your home then the higher your electricity bill will be.
  • Sewer.  This isn’t super expensive, but it is generally around $30 a month from what I’ve seen.
  • Trash.  This isn’t super expensive either but it does cost money.
  • Water (and possibly irrigation).  Water bills can vary widely. I know many who live in areas where the average water bill is a few hundred each month.
  • Property taxes. Property taxes can vary widely from town to town. You may find yourself looking at two similar houses with similar price tags, but the property taxes may vary by thousands of dollars annually. That is a LOT of money. While it may seem small when compared to the actual home purchase price, remember that you have to pay property taxes annually and a difference of just $3,600 a year is $300 a month for life.
  • Home insurance. Home insurance can be cheap in some areas but crazy expensive in others. Don’t forget to look into the cost of earthquake, flood, and hurricane insurance as well as that can add up quickly depending on where you live.
  • Maintenance and repairs. Even if your home is brand new, you may have to pay for repairs, which is something that many don’t realize. No matter how old your home is, repair and maintenance costs will eventually come into play.
  • Homeowners association fees. This can also vary widely. You should always see if the house you are interested in is in an HOA because the fees can be high and there may be rules you don’t like as well.
  • Home furnishings. Furnishing your home can be done cheaply, but I know some who buy huge homes but can’t afford to put anything in them, such as a table, a bed, and so on. Why own a $500,000 house if you don’t have any furniture?

Related: Home Buying Tips You Need To Know Before You Buy

 

Buy for less than what you are approved for.

Many potential homeowners are approved for home loans that are somewhere around 30% to 35% of their salary before taxes.

That’s a lot of money. This amount is before taxes as well, which means that your actual monthly home payment would be a significant portion of your take-home income each month. Many who buy at the full approval amount cannot afford their homes due to the fact that it is such a significant percentage of what they earn.

If you don’t want to be house poor, then you should make sure to buy a home that is less than what you are approved for. You should also add up all of the costs of owning a home and make sure it is an amount that you are comfortable with.

Related posts:

  • Renting Out A Room In Your Home For Extra Money
  • How To Live On One Income
  • Ways To Make An Extra $1,000 A Month

 

Have an emergency fund.

An emergency fund isn’t just to protect you from your job. They also exist to help you in case something goes wrong with your home.

Your roof could spring a leak, a tree may fall on your home, a pipe may burst, there may be an electrical problem and more. Homes have many things that go into them and you never know if something may need to be fixed.

By having an emergency fund, you will have a fund that will help you if something were to go wrong. It will be you be more prepared so that you don’t have to take on any debt in order to help pay for an expense.

What would you say to someone who asks “How much home can I afford?” Do you know anyone who is house poor?

 

The post How To Avoid Being House Poor appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

Source: makingsenseofcents.com

Thankful Investor – John Martinez

 

Hey, welcome back for another segment! This is the 3rd and final segment that I wanted to share with you from my recent live event called the Thankful Real Estate Investor. We hosted this live right before Thanksgiving and it was an interactive event. Our 3rd speaker is Mr. John Martinez, the top real estate investor sales trainer! Let’s get started!

If you’re not a member of the FlipNerd Private Facebook group yet, you can join here: www.flipnerd.com/pro-event, and get access to lots of upcoming live and interactive content like this going forward.

Resources and Links from this show:

  • Investor Fuel Real Estate Mastermind
  • FlipNerd Professional Real Estate Investor Network: Join for Free!
  • Investor Machine Real Estate Lead Generation

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

[00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:00] Professional real estate investors are a different breed. We’re not afraid to go all in and take educated risks to build stronger businesses and help our families live better lives.

This is the FlipNerd professional real estate investor show. And I’m your host Mike Hambright each week. I host a new episode live and bring you America’s top real estate investors as guests.

Let’s start today’s show. Hey everybody. Welcome back for another segment. This is the. The third segment of three that I wanted to share with you from my recent live events called the thankful real estate investor. We hosted this live right before Thanksgiving. It was an interactive segment. So, uh, hopefully if you weren’t there, you’ll join us on an upcoming events.

Uh, our third speaker is mr. John Martinez, by the way, I’d love for you to join us at our future live events. We’re going to be doing these several times a month, going forward events like this that are live and interactive, answering your questions in our private. FlipNerd Facebook group. The way you [00:01:00] get access to that group is you go to flipnerd.com/pro event has a hyphen there pro dash event flipnerd.com/pro-event.

Make sure you go there and register. We’ll get you in the group and you can join us if you didn’t this time on our next live and interactive, uh, event. Let’s go ahead and jump in with mr. John Martinez.

I’m going to bring my buddy John Martinez and. John, how are you? You’re a little bit cut off. I think.

John: [00:01:27] Let me adjust the camera here.

Mike: [00:01:30] We want to see your good side.

John: [00:01:34] So you have to just deal with it.

Mike: [00:01:37] Yeah. So how are you? My friend.

John: [00:01:38] I’m good. I’m good. How are you  doing? How are you doing Mike?

Mike: [00:01:41] Good. Good. So as we’re kind of getting started here, I’ll ask a really a couple of things. First is if you guys have questions for John, if you don’t know John.

That’d be kind of unusual. So if you know, John is, and you want to ask some questions about what’s working now from a sales technique standpoint, or an approach of how you handle your leads, start to chat those in I’d love to get to your [00:02:00] questions. In the meantime, John, while we’re waiting on some questions, maybe you can share a little bit about what you’re most thankful about.

We’ve got so much to be thankful for. What would you share that, uh, I know you probably have, might have a long list if we had time to talk about it, but what are one of the things that come to mind that you’re most thankful for?

Uh, my health, uh, man, I turned 40 this year. So it’s funny how I that’s like more and more of a top of mine topic.

Like, uh, every year you get older. So, uh, turning 40 every day. I’m thankful for my health. Uh, thankful for parts of me that don’t hurt when I was picked up. And then, I mean the same with my family. Yeah, me too. My kids and my wife are all healthy. And I think, um, as long as you have that, you can basically basically get through anything else.

So that’s gotta be what I’m most grateful for.

Awesome. Awesome. Well, that’s great. So, so John, while we’re kind of waiting on some more questions, or maybe you could kind of share a little bit about what’s what’s working now, like we’ve been through, I wish we were through the COVID, so I don’t know if we’re through it earlier.

Trevor said we’re kind of. In the middle of this [00:03:00] code. And I’m like, hopefully we’re at the tail end. I don’t know where we’re at, but it’s, it’s changed. The dynamic has a lot of people that are doing stuff virtually now, or certainly vetting more out on the phone than they used to. What are, what are some of the things that are, that are kind of working now that people have had to adapt to over the last six or eight months?

Yeah. So it’s, you know, in sales, what’s worked for forever was having a plan or we call sales process. But I think it’s more important now than ever because we’re not doing as much kind of face to face or belly to belly selling. Um, so a lot of people who could kind of get away with just their wit and their good looks inside of a house and really building rapport that way and going buddy, buddy, and, um, having really good conversations because of, of that ability.

It’s it’s a lot harder to do that on the phone. So you have to start to rely on your plan or your sales process. I think even more now than ever before. Right? Your plan about what I want to accomplish during this call, how do I want it to begin? What do I want to, uh, [00:04:00] what’s the agenda for the middle? How do I want this thing to end?

What will, what will the acceptable outcomes be? Um, you know, if I run up against hidden decision makers, influencers, Pushback resistance. How am I going to deal with that? So I think it’s always, you know, the cornerstone of any good sales organization or sales person is, is process or having a plan. But I just think it’s more important right now than it’s ever been since we’re so disconnected.

Yep. Yep. So we’ve got a question from Matt here. That’s talking about kind of, how are you negotiate remotely? And I think, you know, a lot, like we just talked about a lot of people who have transitioned to doing this over the phone. And you lose some things on the phone, right? You don’t get to see the facial expressions or exactly how they’re living.

You don’t really get any indication of what the house is like by just walking in the front door. Um, maybe, can you maybe share some tips on how to make that transition for those that have had to make that transition that we’re buying at the kitchen table, if you will, to doing more over the phone?

John: [00:04:57] Yeah, I, I can’t so great point.

So usually in [00:05:00] a negotiation, you know, by the time you get there, A negotiation. You’ve got to walk a pretty tight line because you want to negotiate aggressively to get yourself the best deal. But at the same time, you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you, you upset someone or offend them in such a way that you kill your own deal.

Now, when you’re face to face, you can basically just read it. Right. Do you know the body language, the tonality? Um, no one can really hang up on you when they’re face-to-face either. Quit and say, get out of my house now they can, but it’s harder. Right? So in order to do that over the phone, one best practice I found what’s working right now is always assume the worst during the negotiation.

And then I’ll tell you what I mean by that. Um, you’re always safe if you assume the worst, um, uh, in a, in a sales negotiation and when it comes to keeping the conversation going and not offending someone or, or losing rapport. So here’s what I mean by that. Um, if you’re, if you’re making offers, you know, always assume that they’re not going to take it.

So here’s, here’s some examples, [00:06:00] uh, listen, I’d love to offer you a 75,000 for the property, but you know, based on this phone call, I’m guessing that if I offered that and I’m way out of the ballpark. Um, so, so you tell me, am I, am I, am I right? Am I in my way out of there? So just always assuming the worst there, you won’t put your prospect or the seller back on their heels and, and start that kind of confrontational negotiation.

So even as you go through the negotiation and you’re going back and forth, you know, Hey, I think I could offer you more money, but that would require you to, um, help it to clean out a little bit, or certainly shorten the timeframe or commit, uh, you know, within the next 48 hours. And, you know, we haven’t had a chance to think about that.

So I’m not sure if that, you know, the more, the extra money would even be worth, you know, you. Cleaning out a little bit more or painting the living room or getting their old car out of the garage. So I think, um, in order to be safe with negotiations, just err, on the side of caution and what it’ll actually do is it’ll build a, and it’s more amount of rapport.

It’ll [00:07:00] keep the conversation going. It’ll keep you out of that kind of enemy, confrontational battling type of negotiation and extend the conversation. So you can actually get through the negotiation and not end it prematurely.

Mike: [00:07:11] Yep. Good, good. That’s good stuff. So we’ve got another question here. I’m going to, I can’t tell with who the user is, but they’re saying what’s the best way to start a renegotiation or price with sellers.

So I don’t know the context of that, but let’s just say when people are buying virtually more frequently, now that they are, you’re making assumptions on repairs and stuff. And sometimes, you know, you find out that, you know, you told me the kitchen was remodeled, but it turns out is remodeled 20 years ago.

Right. And, uh, that it’s going to cost more. And so I think we all. You know, some people have an approach and I know John believes the same way that I do. You really want to use renegotiate as, as a. As a last defense, like you just really miss something and not this approach of like, well, I’m gonna try to lock it up and then go back and renegotiate.

I think we’re in agreement with how we, how we believe that. Um, but let’s just say we made [00:08:00] our best effort. We put an offer forward, an offer that we thought was good and later we found out we totally missed something or were misled on something. Cause we did it over the phone and we have to renegotiate.

So maybe talk about how to best start to renegotiate a deal with it. Somebody after they’ve agreed to something else.

John: [00:08:17] Yeah. So good question. So it pops up all the time. Um, it just happens. It’s the nature of the business is real estate and buying houses that are in disrepair or, or distressed sellers. Um, it’s going to happen.

So when you do it, you just need to really put yourself in the seller’s shoes when you go into that conversation. So here’s what I mean. We already know. And if you got one with a renegotiation and you’ve agreed to applies, and it might’ve been a tight negotiation to get to the price you originally agreed on.

When you go in and say the deal’s off, or I need even less, you have to understand how they’re going to feel. They’re going to be a little bit shocked. Um, they’re going to probably be a little upset and disappointed. And so as you go into the negotiation, first and foremost, you have to [00:09:00] realize what that will do.

If it’s with a seller it’s going to, they’re going to react the same way as is Mike, or I would react if we got upset or maybe even, you know, in that situation, you might even feel like you’re taking advantage of, or someone trying to pull one over on ya. Um, so you’ve got to realize that that’s going to be met with some type of resistance.

And now resistance in sales really shows itself in two ways. It’s either it’s kind of a fight or flight, right? If you get upset or you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, you’re either going to just shut it down and say fine, it’s off whatever. And I’m sure people have experienced that, right. They go in with the renegotiation and they just say, well, deal’s off.

No. Uh, or if there’s going to be a tremendous amount of pushback aggression, right. Um, get into a, uh, you know, a yelling confrontation or something like that. And that neither of those is going to lead to a smooth negotiation. I think we can agree on that. Right. If they’re shutting it down or, or getting pretty aggressive.

That’s not where you want to start off. So first and foremost, you got to know where your prospect’s mind is going to [00:10:00] be an address mindset first, before you get into the nego renegotiation. So knowing they’re upset, I’m just going to be open and honest and say, listen, I’ve got some bad news. I’m really reluctant to even bring it to you.

I feel like a schmuck because I know I’m going to rain on your parade today. Um, but I’ve, I’ve exhausted every option looking into this, and then we’ve got to have a really tough conversation and I want to let you know, I apologize up front because, um, it’s not going to be a fun one. Right. Uh, so if you see what I saw there, I just, I called the situation what it was.

Um, I took the temperature down using what we call tactical empathy in our sales training. Bye I’m going not okay. Just kind of, you know, going down and, and feeling bad cause you’re about to give bad news and that’s what a normal human being would do. Right. Um, and there’s some science behind it, but anyways, that’s it.

You want to go into it smoothly. And then, uh, I’m going to borrow from the last tip I gave, um, about negotiating over the phone. We want to, we want to come at it from a position where we’re [00:11:00] assuming the worst. So when I renegotiate, I started out just like I said, on the call, and then I’d say, listen, I, there’s no way I can pay 110 grand for the house.

It’s just based on what we found and everything going on. I, I can’t do it and I feel horrible about it, but I assume that if I had to pay even a dollar less, you don’t want to do it. And then just be quiet. Now, the reason why I didn’t say the number that I actually need is we feel tested this quite a bit.

And we found that we just say, you probably don’t want to sell at this point, or I’m not even sure I could buy at this point. Oftentimes sellers renegotiate down lower than, than what you need. Uh, I, I have countless emails and messages from people who said, I need a 10 K off. I went in with that exact read negotiating strategy.

And they said, well, would you take it if I took 20 K off? Right. And then, okay. Uh, so, so that’s it just know their mindsets slide into it, knowing you’re going to upset them and addressing and being real about it. And, and if it doesn’t [00:12:00] feel good to give bad news and don’t hide it, um, and then kind of go negative and assume that.

They’re not going to consider it or not like it, or you might not be able to get the deal done and then just go silent

Mike: [00:12:11] and see what happens. Yep. Yep. And I think some of it too is if you’re, if you shifted your model to bind more virtually, is there some things you can do to pre-frame that upfront? Like here’s our offer.

If part of your processes, we’re going to have an inspector come out and look what I want to try to give you a price. Now you can kind of pre-frame frame that is, uh, like we’re based on what you’ve told me. You know, here’s what we’ve come up with for repairs. And we’re going to have somebody come out and double check this.

And so you can kind of slip in there that in the event that any of that, that I missed anything here, we’ll find out and I’ll let you know, or right. You can kind of pre-frame them.

John: [00:12:44] Absolutely. Um, you know, that, that was kind of the assumption I was running with. No one likes surprises, prizes, especially bad news surprises.

So covering that upfront is definitely a best practice.

Mike: [00:12:56] Yeah. Good. We got a question here from our buddy John Harker, who [00:13:00] says hello?

John: [00:13:00] Hey John,

Mike: [00:13:01] uh, what do you do when a seller just won’t give you a price and just keeps. Saying look online. I don’t know what he means by that. Like,

John: [00:13:10] yeah. Maybe he’s, he’s referring to Zilla or do your research.

Mike: [00:13:13] They’re kind of celebrates online. They just won’t give you a price. And uh, so talk a little bit about what do you do when they just won’t show you their cards and they’re just waiting for you to give an offer.

John: [00:13:23] Yeah. So there’s a lot of strategies to get the number, but I want to come at this question two different ways.

Um, the first way is, okay, how do we get the number again? You’re probably seeing a pattern here. We’re going to pull back a little bit. Um, there there’s two ways to get it. One is I usually just suggest they don’t know the number cause people like to argue and push back. So one way to ask is. Listen, I’m guessing you don’t even know what you’d even what you’d want for the house we contacted.

You probably haven’t had time to do research, to think about it. That’s one way, another way to do it is to ask about a similar property. Oftentimes people don’t want to talk about themselves, but they’ll talk about their neighbors or a member of house in the [00:14:00] neighborhood. So another way you can ask is, Hey, listen, um, Houses in this neighborhood.

Do you know any that have sold recently? What are they going for? Right. And when you have a hundred K 200, 300 and you can kind of whittle it down from there real simply like really were you expecting to get more or less for yours? And now we’re starting to bracket them in and kind of drilling down on.

I was actually expecting a bit more. Well, why is that? Well, it’s a bigger house. It’s a nicer condition we rehab. So you can start to get to it in that round about way now, now that I gave the two ways that you’ll have more success doing it than just asking straight out, um, kind of some caution I want to throw out there.

Um, Oftentimes, unless you’re qualifying, let’s say this makes sense. If you’re qualifying, let’s say you have a bunch of leads and you want to find that, who am I going to work with? Who am I going to send my acquisitions out to? Who am I going to talk to? Where am I going to spend my time? Then you might be asking that price.

You, it’s a, it’s a level of your qualification. Now, if it’s not a level of your qualification, I’ll want to [00:15:00] caution you on asking what their expectations are, because it actually does more harm than it does. Good. Number one, it could get into your head. Um, I’ve worked with plenty of sales reps. Who’ve gone into sales calls gone.

We’re at two 50 for this house. They want 500 why even go, right? And they’re talking themselves out about, out of even showing up. But then when we show up and we run through the sales process and uncover some things, and sometimes those people actually sell for what they need to, right? No, one’s going to.

Call you up and you say, Hey, what would you like to sell for? And they’d say, Oh, 50% of what I think I could sell it for. That’s insane. Right? So sometimes that can kind of get in your head and stop you from even taking the appointment or really going full force at the appointment. The other negative.

About getting their offer is they’re setting expectations. And whenever you come in under it, cause you will come in under whatever they expect, 99 or 999 out of a thousand times. They’re going to be disappointed. [00:16:00] So, because I don’t want to disappoint them. I want to set expectations. I want to come in instead of saying, what would you like?

I’d like a hundred and me saying, I could give you 50 that’s bad. I’d rather go in and say, I’d love to give you 40, but with this, I think if we did it quickly, I could do 50. So then I’m setting, setting expectations. And then, uh, my comparison, it actually sounds a little sweeter. Um, so, so that’s my take on it.

So be careful asking, asking for asking price only do it. If you need it. Because of mindset and the expectations that sets, and then kind of the psychology that goes along with what’s called price anchoring. It could actually have a negative effect. So if you don’t need that information, you might not want to get it.

Mike: [00:16:36] Yep. Good stuff. Good stuff. So, John, we’ve got a really long question. I don’t want to put up on the screen cause I think it’ll block the whole screen, but effectively says, uh, you know, what kind of techniques are working well with speaking to homeowners or landlords? There’s a lot of trouble landlords out there these days because of all the rents, deferments and all this stuff, um, about.

COVID w on the value of their property versus kind of the future. So I think that there’s a couple of ways [00:17:00] I could translate that. I think, um, you know, there’s a, there’s probably a lot more landlords that are hurting now than there were before. COVID. And then on the other side yeah, for home owners and even, I guess for landlords is property values have gone up pretty substantially during, since COVID started because there’s just very little inventory, so prices have shot up.

So we’re, we’re kind of dealing with this whole COVID mess, but at the same time, knowing that prices just feel kind of artificially high right now because of what’s been going on. And so, uh, that’s like a huge loaded question ultimately, but kind of how do you integrate those things into. Talking about value when you’re talking to a seller.

John: [00:17:39] Yeah. So, uh, interesting questions. Um, we can break those

Mike: [00:17:44] down into a couple of smaller questions if

John: [00:17:45] you don’t know. It’s okay. It’s okay. I’m just thinking through it. So, uh, really I think having that conversation unless it needs to happen is kind of a trap. So I’m going into that question with the premise of, we’re [00:18:00] trying to convince someone that their house is worth a, when they’re trying to convince us that it’s worth B.

Yeah. And if you are in the real estate investment business, that’s, that’s not the conversation you want to be having. That’s a retail conversation, right? Um, that conversation is, is not going to do a lot for you as far as increasing your conversion rates. What you want to do is pivot that value conversation, not the price isn’t worth more because of COVID or is it worth less?

Two, what’s it worth to you right now? Uh, here is what I can offer. Let’s have a conversation about, is it worth even considering that offer? So shifting the conversation is where I’d want to take the answer to that question. If you’re having that conversation of, I think it’s worth 50. Well, I think it’s worth 60.

I think if we’re  that’s not a winning strategy and sales, you have to pivot the conversation. To listen, I’m going to give you an offer and I’m not sure it’s going to be more or less than, than what you were expecting, but let’s chat a little bit about what you want to accomplish. [00:19:00] And, um, so I know how to structure it and make sure I can maximize my offer.

And then you can just figure out at the end of this, Hey, with what I want to accomplish does accepting this offer makes sense or not make sense. And that’d be a pretty easy, easy answer for you. And then I’m shifting the conversation to, you know, what even got you started thinking about selling. Is there a, you know, is it, is it kind of a situation you want to get away from, or is there, do you want to use the money for something else?

Do you want to move across the country? What’s going on? And I want to redefine it and read it and just pivot that conversation to what’s your problem? What do you want to accomplish? And, and I’m going to ultimately give you an offer and then your only decision is in order to accomplish that. Is it going, is it worth it?

Is it worth taking the offer? And doing that you can, you can really stroke a tremendous amount of motivation. You can bring a lot of motivations to surface that your prospect may not have been thinking of. You can understand their situation a lot better. You’re going to build a lot more rapport, their urgency to take action.

The more they talk about their situation is going to increase. So I don’t know if I’m giving the right answer, but, but my answer [00:20:00] is that’s probably the wrong conversation to have, and we need to pivot.

Mike: [00:20:03] Yeah. Don’t look at the underlying issue of COVID it’s just the situation of what you think the value is versus what you can pay.

Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. I think there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of landlords that are hurting. Right. And I mean, there’s, let’s be honest. There’s a lot of landlords that didn’t buy, like. For me, all my rentals were bought at wholesale prices. And in fact, most of them were from many, many years ago. So like prices that are inconceivable now, uh, cause I’m actually older than John.

Uh, I was talking about age earlier, but, um, uh, but I think there’s a lot of landlords that, you know, they bought it off the MLS and they, in their mind, you know, or, or they bought a turnkey property at close to retail value and they never. Thought about like, well, what could go wrong? The house is newly renovated and like things go wrong, you know?

And of course, with, with COVID it’s even, uh, kind of unprecedented in terms of. You know, some States saying you don’t have to pay the rent and all that stuff. It’s just crazy. So I think what you really focus on there is that pain of like, you’re not even getting paid right now. When do you think you’re going to get paid again?

Right.

[00:21:00] John: [00:21:00] The reality of the situation is we all overpay for stuff happily because it’s worth it. Right. And we all take massive losses on things that we have when we sell them, because again, it’s worth it. So just think about any time in your life, where you said, you know what? I probably could have gotten more.

But I’m just thankful it’s over. I’m thankful I got rid of it. Yeah. I know. I overpaid for that, but here’s the opportunity it opens up. I’m glad I did. Right. And you’re excited about overpaying for something. So if you start thinking those terms, that’s how your seller’s thinking, right? It’s not always about getting, you know, fair market value to them.

Is what it actually accomplishes to them, not, not what Zillow says or what your, your, your maximum allowable offer is, or whatever you calculate the ARV to be. It’s, it’s going to be what’s it worth to them. So again, just another way to rephrase my answer is you’ve got to figure out what, moving that property is worth to them and get away from the ARV conversation.

Mike: [00:21:54] Yep. Yep. Well, guys, we’ve got time for a couple more questions, so please chat them in here. Uh, John saw this, [00:22:00] I got a question for you. How do you use, or how can you utilize the end of the year? Beginning of the year kind of phenomenon. Uh, and I’ve always kind of explained it as it’s like a health club.

Like people want to, you know, January 1st, there’s this line in the sand, that’s really just in their mind. And now I want to start the year and lose 40 pounds or whatever. There’s also people that have had. Problem rental property or a house they inherited, or a fixer upper of some sort that they’re like, I don’t want to deal with that next year.

I just want to get rid of it. How do you kind of utilize that in the year? Phenomenon of people wanting to start fresh?

John: [00:22:33] Yeah. I mean, you can use it just like you said. I, I typically don’t care. What time of year. It’s a great time to use scarcity. I can use really use scarcity no matter what time of year it is, but it works really well at this time.

Um, I’ll tell you when I was out, uh, training salespeople and kind of men buying houses coast to coast. Whenever we didn’t get one at the kitchen table, we would drive two blocks away and I would call and say, listen, We could give you a little bit more money if we can walk this up in the [00:23:00] next 60 minutes and we would often lock them up then because that’s scarcity.

So having, having a cutoff, and I think it speaks really to the broader, uh, sales strategy of having an offer expiration or having, uh, making a, no one, no right Treme salespeople out there, 20 acquisition agents and real estate investors, I think because there’s a fear of losing a potential deal. They never make their prospects actually make a decision.

Right? Think about it. Think about it. I’ll continue to follow up with you. And there’s never any cutoff where a decision has to be made. So the prospect never feels a fear of loss, a fear of actually losing the deal. So, um, cause the investors

Mike: [00:23:40] is afraid to say, I’m never going to call you again, right?

John: [00:23:43] Yeah, absolutely.

Uh, so sorry, my Alexa just went on and off. I don’t know what happened to you guys

Mike: [00:23:52] are winding it down. Guys, ask the questions. Cause the lights are going

out

John: [00:23:56] probably in the other room it’s like in it, but yeah, no. [00:24:00] And anyways, I want to just, just go back to that and say, Hey, every time you make an offer, you just word of advice.

You need an exploration, whether it’s by the time I, you know, if it’s not a yes. You know, by the time we wrap up our conversation. Totally cool. It’s no, uh, you know, don’t be a jerk about it. Uh, or Hey, you know, offers you a stand for a week. Obviously I can’t make an offer on a property and let it hang out there for a year.

If things change, my situation will change. Number of houses. I need changes the real estate market’s going to change. So I can, I can let this offer stand for three days, seven days, whatever it is. So you’ll do yourself a favor. If you just start giving a cutoff to when your

Mike: [00:24:34] offer expires. Yeah. Yeah. I remember when I first started this a long time ago now.

Um, and I used to sit there like, how good, how good is the offer for? And I was like, Oh, you know, 30 days. But even then I’d still be interested in buying it. And I was like, well, would I in hindsight, you know, so stupid, what would you do? You’d like, you’d go shop at everywhere in town. And like, I’m like plan B if they need it, which they would never need it.

So then we, then we got better. [00:25:00] Yeah. Awesome. Well, John, what do you think differentiates, let me ask you a question. What differentiates you? You, you’re a member of investor fuel as well. You know, you surround yourself with a lot of amazing people, just like I do for Schwartz, I’ve run in some of the same circles.

What do you think differentiates those that are doing really well at crushing it from those that are good, doing some deals, but kind of just getting by and kind of stuck in the grind. What do you think differentiates those two people from a sales perspective,

John: [00:25:26] from a sales perspective, It’s gonna sound funny, but it’s, uh, getting out of the sales role.

Um, I think the, the more successful people in invest a fuel, um, and, uh, you know, just, just investors in general. Um, even if they’re really good at it, uh, sometimes even if they like it pulling themselves out so they can grow, right. If they can have three acquisition agents that are half as good. Uh, the numbers typically work where you can turn up lead flow and, you know, still, uh, grow them at, uh, in the business.

So I think it’s [00:26:00] getting out of the seal rule so you can focus more on actually growing the business. And I, I train sales people, so I love to train an investor. So I don’t want to talk anyone out of, uh, investors buying houses, but at the same time, getting out of the sales role, hiring others to do it.

Even if they can only do it a fraction as well as you will allow you to focus on the actual and pull the levers that will grow your business and then turn everything off because now you’ve got the bandwidth to handle, increase everything else. So that’s when you can do sales. If you’re an investor business owner, entrepreneur is get out of the sales role and get yourself a couple of people who can do it

Mike: [00:26:36] for you.

Yeah, you can even say that about your whole business. Like we’re we’re in our way, right? I, I just, uh, before today’s event here, I did, uh, I recorded an investor fuel show with clay Rockwood. They’re doing a hundred wholesale deals a year and adding a hundred rental doors a year to their business. They’ve been in business for three years.

These guys are crushing it. And that’s what he said. That’s what he said is like, we just. I’m not the best at [00:27:00] anything that our company has to do. And I just had to get out of the way. And so I can focus on, you know, being the visionary or God forbid living your life. Right.

John: [00:27:09] You know, I’ve, I’ve, I, um, we’ve got one client in York, Pennsylvania.

This guy is probably one of the best natural salespeople I’ve met in my life. Like just, just he’s got it right. He was born with it. Um, that being said he doesn’t train the sales team. Um, he outsources that to, to me. Um, and the reason is, is not because he can’t do it. Um, but he knows his, his focus is spent elsewhere.

Now he’s doing 70 deals a month consistently and half for the last year or so last year. So we’re talking about how do you hit that volume? Um, and he’s not involved in the business that much anymore. So I just wanted to kind of throw that out there. He’s probably one of the best sales people I’ve met in my life.

He’s not selling his, he’s not even training his team, let alone selling the deals or buying the houses that are just positioning him because he knows he needs to [00:28:00] keep stepping up and taking kind of a higher level view of what’s going to grow the business instead of just taking that micro view.

Mike: [00:28:08] Yeah.

Awesome. Well, John, appreciate you spending time with us today. Great. To great to see you. My friend.

John: [00:28:12] Yeah. Good to see you, Mike,

Mike: [00:28:13] have a great Thanksgiving and a, well I’m sure we’ll be talking again soon. Okay. Thanks for joining me. On today’s episode, there are three ways I help successful real estate investors take their businesses and their lives to the next level.

First, if you’re in search of a community of successful real estate investors that help one another, take their businesses to the next level and a life changing community of lifelong friends. Please learn more about my investor fuel real estate mastermind. By visiting investor, fuel.com. If you’d like a cutting edge solution for the very best done for you lead generation on the planet where we’re handling the lead-generation for many of America.

Top real estate [00:29:00] investors. Please learn more@theinvestormachine.com. And lastly, if you’re interested in a free online community of professional real estate investors that isn’t full of spam solicitations and newbie questions, please join my free professional real estate investor Facebook group by visiting flipnerd.com/professional.

 

Source: flipnerd.com

Chase Credit Journey: Check Your Credit Score For Free

Chase Credit Journey is one of the many credit monitoring services that gives you a credit score for free. Launched by Chase, Credit Journey also monitors your score and gives you advice on to improve it.

One of the best ways to get approved for a loan or a credit card is to have a good credit score. Think of this 3-digit number as a representation of your credit worthiness and credibility.

In fact, lenders use your credit score to see how risky it is for them to let you borrow.  The higher your score, the better.

So,  it is very important to use a free tool like Chase Credit Journey, to know your credit score before applying for a loan, a credit card, or an apartment.

Doing so will give you an idea whether or not you will be approved or denied.

One way to get a credit score for free and monitor it is through Chase Credit Journey. If your credit score is excellent, then you are all good.

All you have to do is maintaining it. If it’s bad, then you can take steps to raise your credit score.

In this article, we will address what Chase Credit Journey is, why you should use it, and some of its limitations.

What is Chase Credit Journey?

Chase Credit Journey is a free online service offered by Chase that gives consumers a credit score and credit report for free. You don’t have to be a Chase customer to use the service.

You’ll need to register by entering personal information, including your credit cards information, existing loans, etc.

Checking your credit on Chase Credit Journey does not hurt your credit score, because it counts as a soft credit inquiry. Soft inquiries, as opposed to hard inquiries, leave your credit score untouched.

In addition to getting a credit score from Chase Credit Journey, you can get one from the following credit monitoring services all for free:

  • Credit Karma
  • Credit Sesame
  • Credit.com
  • Lendingtree
  • NerdWallet
  • WalletHub
  • Creditcards.com

How Does Credit Journey Work?

Chase Credit Journey uses Experian, one of the three credit bureaus, to give you a credit score and report.

Chase Credit Journey uses the VantageScore 3.0 model, which is a collaboration from the three credit bureaus.

Your score is updated weekly but you can access it as much as you can and anytime you want.

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Also, you can sign up for credit alerts through Credit Journey which can notify you if your score changes or if something suspicious is happening on your credit file.

If there are errors, Chase Credit Journey will guide you on how to file a dispute with the credit bureaus. You can’t get your FICO score via Chase Credit Journey.

In addition to getting a free credit score, you also get an analysis of your score and advice on how to raise it and other free resources. This way you can take steps to improve your credit score. 

If you’re ready to give Chase Credit Journey a shot, go online to the homepage to see how Credit Journey works.

You can also access the Chase Credit Journey through the Chase mobile app as well.  If you’re not convinced yet, keep reading.

Chase Credit Journey helps you understand the 6 factors to come up with your VantageScore credit score. They are:

1) Payment history (or late payments): payment history accounts for 35% of your total credit score. In fact, it is the most important factor in your total credit score. Late or missed payments can negatively affect your credit score.

2) Credit utilization ratio (or credit usage): Credit utilization is how much of your credit limit you’re using versus your balance. Credit card utilization accounts for 30% of your total credit score. So keeping it low is ideal. Keeping your credit card balance under 30% is the way to go. For example, let’s suppose your credit card has a credit limit of $5000. You have used $2500 of that credit. Then your credit utilization is 50%. To keep it below 30%, you should only use $1500 of that credit.

3) Credit age: The third most important factor of your total credit score is your credit age. That means how long you have had credit. Lenders like to see a longer credit age. In your credit report, you’ll be able to see your average credit age.

4) Hard Inquiry: The higher your credit inquiries, the lower your credit score can become. Anytime you apply for a loan or a credit card or when a landlord checks your credit, it can cause a small dip in your credit score. So multiple credit inquiries can hurt your credit score rather than improving it.

5) Total Balances: total balances refer to the amount owed over all of your credits, including your mortgage, student loans, credit cards, personal loans, etc.

6) Available credit: This factor represents the current amount of unused credit you have over your accounts.

Chase Credit Journey best feature: the score simulator

In addition to providing you a free credit score and report, a credit alert, and credit resources, Chase Credit Journey has an invaluable feature called the score simulator.

The score simulator gives you an estimate of how certain changes in your credit behavior can affect your credit score. Those changes include missing a payment, card balance transfer, and closing an old account, etc.

The importance of checking your score via a free credit service like Chase Credit Journey

Your credit score is perhaps the first thing lenders look at to decide whether to approve you for a loan or credit card. The better your score, the higher is your chance of getting that loan.

On the other hand, if you have a bad credit score, getting a loan or a credit card not only can prove very difficult, but applying for it puts a hard inquiry that can actually lower your already bad credit score.

So knowing your score before you actually apply will give you an idea whether lenders will approve you. It will also allows you to apply for credit with confidence. That’s why is important to use a free credit service.

Additionally, checking your credit score and credit report on a regular basis will help you identify what is on your credit report. Outstanding debts and a history of late payments can directly impact your credit score.

You can get your credit report for free by logging on AnnualCreditReport.com from each of the three credit bureaus. But these credit reports do not give you a credit score. Moreover, you get these reports only once every year.

While there are several options, Chase Credit Journey is just another option. It’s never a bad idea to have several options to choose from.

In other words, it’s better to get your score from more than one source. However, there are some limitations to using Chase Credit Journey.

Chase Credit Journey Limitations

One of the limitations Chase Credit Journey has is that it only uses one of the three major credit bureaus, which is Experian. When you get your score from only one credit bureau, you might not see the whole picture.

So, your credit score might not be entirely accurate.

For example, let’s say you transfer a credit card balance to a new credit card. If Transunion and Equifax are the only credit bureaus that recorded the card was closed during the transfer, you credit score might drop, because Experian recorded you opened a new card.

Another disadvantage of Chase Credit Journey is that the VantageScore’s scoring model is not the industry standard. Most companies use FICO scores to decide whether to approve or decline you for a loan or credit.

And while VantageScore and FICO scores range from 300 to 850, the two models use different criteria in coming up with your credit score. In other words, each model weighs the factors differently in calculating your credit score.

So your Chase Credit Journey credit score might be different than a FICO score. So, if you are ready to apply for a loan, find out which actual credit score your lender will use to improve your chance of approval.

The Bottom Line

Chase Credit Journey provides free credit scores and reports from Experian. The scores are updated weekly. The free credit score is based on the VantageScore 3.0 model.

However, while VantageScore’s system is accurate, it is not what most companies use. But one important thing about Chase Credit Journey is that it one other free tool that allows you stay proactive and monitor your credit on a regular basis. In turn, it allows you to know your score before applying for credit.

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

The post Chase Credit Journey: Check Your Credit Score For Free appeared first on GrowthRapidly.

Source: growthrapidly.com

Here’s What You Need To Know About Becoming A Cosigner

Are you thinking about becoming a cosigner for someone? Have you ever been asked to cosign on a loan before? 

becoming a cosignerMany people have been asked to cosign loans for family members and even friends. However, many people do not understand the full cosigner meaning, and becoming a cosigner is never something you should do unless you completely understand what it means.

If someone asks you to cosign a loan for them, you might be hesitant to say yes at first. You also might not want to offend the person or make them mad.

Whatever you may be thinking, I want you to fully understand what you are getting yourself into.

Becoming a cosigner can actually turn into a big financial mistake if you do it without really thinking it through.

Okay, now some of you may think that I’m a mean person for saying that, but I’ve heard many stories from people who’ve had their credit wrecked, have been stuck paying a loan for someone else, and even had their relationships ruined.

All of that from cosigning a loan.

Perhaps you have cosigned before and it went fine, or you know a friend of a friend who has done it. Perhaps you think that things won’t go bad for you or that you are hurting the person by not cosigning for them.

But, I want you to be careful before becoming a cosigner. I’m saying this to help you!

No matter how well you think you know someone, mixing money and relationships can change things. What you may have thought was a wonderful friendship or family relationship can turn into a nightmare.

It may seem very innocent – you’re just helping a good friend or relative get a loan. 

Really, if it was that simple, I’d tell everyone to do it. But, becoming a cosigner is a major financial decision that you need to seriously think about before agreeing to.

Before you cosign a mortgage or another type of loan for someone, it is always wise to be 100% positive of what cosigning a loan actually means and how it may affect your relationship with the person getting the loan.

Surprisingly, many people don’t know exactly what happens when they agree to being a cosigner. Many people just think that all you’re doing is helping a person get approved, but that’s not just it.

Sorry to break it to you, but the bank, landlord, etc., does not care if the applicant has a friend with a good credit history. 

There’s more that comes with being a cosigner.

As the cosigner, what’s actually happening is that you are taking on the full responsibility of the debt if the original applicant is unable to pay.

And, that happens more often than you might think.

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According to a survey I found on CreditCards.com, 38% of cosigners had to pay some or all of a loan that they cosigned for because the primary borrower failed to pay. This is a HUGE percentage of cosigners, so please keep that in mind.

Other statistics I found about becoming a cosigner include:

  • 28% of cosigners saw a drop in their credit score because the person that they cosigned on a loan for paid their loan late or skipped a payment.
  • 26% of cosigners said that cosigning damaged the relationship with the person that they cosigned a loan for.
  • 90% of private student loan borrowers who applied for cosigner release were rejected. So, if you think that you are going to cosign for a loan and then remove yourself from the loan later, that is much more difficult than you probably think. Stat from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

So, who is finding cosigners for loans?

According to the survey mentioned above, 45% of cosigners are cosigning for their child or stepchild. And 21% of cosigners are cosigning for a friend.

The rest is a mixture of cosigning for spouses/partners and parents.

Today, I am going to answer common questions about becoming a cosigner for a loan.

What to know about becoming a cosigner.

 

What is a cosigner?

If you’ve been asked to become a cosigner on a loan, you may not know what that fully entails.

A cosigner is someone who agrees to be on a loan with another person so that they are more likely to be approved. 

A cosigner may be needed for different things such as a:

  • Car loan
  • Student loan
  • Mortgage
  • Apartment or other type of rental home

And more.

Here’s an example of when someone may want a cosigner: if your child wants to buy a car but doesn’t have a long enough credit history to be approved for the car loan. Your child may ask you to cosign their loan so the lender takes your credit score and financial information into account. This improves your child’s chances of being approved.

Other reasons you might be asked to be a cosigner is if the borrower doesn’t have a high enough credit score or doesn’t make enough money to pay the loan (that is a red flag right there).

However, as a cosigner, you are agreeing to pay off the debt if the original borrower is unable to pay it in the future. So, even if the original borrower doesn’t pay a penny, the cosigner would have to make all of the payments or risk being sued, having credit report damage, and more.

In that example I gave, the parent would be responsible for the car loan if their child could no longer make their payments. Not only that, if the child for some reason refused to make payments (I’ve heard of situations like this), the parent would be responsible.

Remember, like I stated above, 38% of cosigners had to pay some or all of a loan that they cosigned for because the primary borrower failed to pay. 

And in some circumstances, even if the borrower files bankruptcy, while their other loans might be discharged, the cosigner may still be responsible for paying the cosigned loan.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About How To Build Your Credit Score

 

How does a co signer work?

Here’s what happens when you agree to become a cosigner for a friend or family member. 

You will start by giving your personal information to the bank or lender. This is information like bank statements, tax returns, paycheck stubs, and so on.

You will also have to complete the loan application, and once you agree with all of the loan terms, then you sign it.

But, becoming a cosigner doesn’t mean that you will own or have partial ownership of the vehicle, house, or whatever else you are cosigning for. It does mean that you are taking full financial responsibility and promising to pay the loan yourself if the borrower does not pay.

Becoming a cosigner is nothing to take lightly.

 

Does cosigning hurt your credit? Is it bad to be a cosigner?

Becoming a cosigner can hurt your credit score and prevent you from future loans in some circumstances.

Here’s why:

  • If the person doesn’t pay the monthly payments on time, then you may be rejected for a loan in the future. Missed payments can damage your credit score and your credit report.
  • As a cosigner, you are increasing your debt-to-income ratio. So, even if your friend/family member pays every single bill on time, a lender will still see this as YOUR debt. Unfortunately, this may prevent them from approving your loan because they will think you have too much debt on your plate.

If you might be buying something soon that will need financing (house, car, etc.), you should think long and hard before you decide to be a cosigner on someone else’s loan.

 

Can cosigning a loan hurt a relationship?

Unfortunately, many cosigning relationships go sour. 

I have heard many stories where someone cosigned a loan for someone else and then didn’t talk to them for years or even decades because of a falling out of some sort.

I have always been a firm believer that money and relationships do not mix well. 

If you are going to cosign or lend money to someone, then you should consider it a gift because there is a chance that you will never see that money again.

 

Can you remove yourself from a loan as a cosigner?

Remember the statistic above – 90% of private student loan borrowers who applied for cosigner release were rejected. 

There’s not much you can do to remove yourself from a loan that you cosigned on. If the person isn’t making payments, you are stuck with it for the most part.

The loan would have to be refinanced to take yourself off the loan, and there are many horror stories out there where the original borrower refused to refinance because then they wouldn’t be able to force the cosigner to continue to pay the monthly bill.

Plus, there are instances in which refinancing is impossible because of the value decreasing, the economy changing, a person’s financial situation getting worse, and so on. 

So, while the original borrower may be okay with getting you off of the loan and refinancing, it’s still up to the lender whether or not they will refinance the loan.

 

How do I protect myself as a cosigner?

There is no guarantee that becoming a cosigner is going to work out, but if you’re determined to do it, you will want to know both of these two things for sure:

  1. That you can trust the person you are cosigning for.
  2. That YOU can make the payment.

Many people who are thinking about becoming a cosigner may not think about that last one, but it is just as important as the first one. Being stuck with the loan payment would be awful, but not being able to make the payment could cause you to go into serious debt and destroy your credit.

You may be certain you won’t be stuck making the payment, but you don’t want to be stuck in a bad financial situation.

 

Should I cosign a loan?

Even though those cosigning horror stories are real cautionary tales, most people don’t believe they would ever happen to them. 

However, don’t you think most (if not all) cosigners felt the same way in the beginning?

It’s up to each person to decide if they will cosign, and you should never feel forced to do it. However, I want you to remember that if you cosign, then you should make sure that you can afford to make the monthly payment.

You never know, one day those payments are being made and everything is going well. The original borrower may be a great person, but then they may lose their job, have an unexpected expense come up, or something else that prevents them from paying their bills.

Then, what if something happens to you and you can’t make those payments either? Unfortunately, being unprepared and not really knowing what you are getting into can turn into a disastrous situation.

Cosigning a loan may not always be bad. However, I believe it’s better to realize what the consequences are before going into something that can negatively impact your life. It’s always better to be prepared!

 

Is it a bad idea to cosign for someone?

Cosigning a loan doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

However, I want you to remember that there is a chance that you will be on the hook for the loan.

So, if you cosign, whether that be for a car, mortgage, apartment, student loan, or something else, you should make sure that you can afford the payment as well. Because, there is a chance that you may have to pay it one day.

Everyone has a different situation, and ultimately, you have to do what’s right for you. 

What do you think of becoming a cosigner for a mortgage or other type of loan? Would you ever do it?

The post Here’s What You Need To Know About Becoming A Cosigner appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

Source: makingsenseofcents.com

6 Reasons to Try the FIRE Movement

The idea behind FIRE is if you can earn more money, live on less, and save and invest the rest, you can cut years — or even decades — off of your working career. Of course, the FIRE movement has its problems. 

Not everyone can save 50% or more of their income to work toward FIRE. And most who retire early continue working in some capacity to avoid running out of money early. Also, achieving FIRE is considerably easier during times of economic prosperity — no matter what anyone says, it would’ve been a lot harder to get excited about FIRE in 2008 when the Dow dropped by 33.84%!

Achieving FIRE and retiring early sounds good in theory, but it’s actually very hard to execute in a real-world sense. But here’s why you should try anyway.

6 Reasons FIRE Still Works

But, you know what? I would argue that anyone who can, should at least try to pursue FIRE anyway. As I’ve become more interested in financial independence, I’ve learned that there are side benefits to cutting expenses and learning to save money and invest more. Some advantages to FIRE don’t even have anything to do with money at all.

If you’re on the fence about FIRE, here are some of the reasons you might want to change your way of thinking and get on board.

1. Encourages Living With Intention

After reading Michael Hyatt’s book, Living Forward, its concept of “drifting” stuck with me. Drifting occurs any time you’re going through the motions in life, but living without any concrete plans or goals. 

Maybe you’re going to work every day, taking care of your kids, and keeping up with bills. But in these day-to-day tasks, you’re not actively achieving anything in particular. 

You’re just waking up and getting by.

With the FIRE movement though, you learn to live with intentionality because you’re forced to focus on your spending, and the specific goals necessary to reach financial independence. 

As you pursue FIRE, you can’t simply drift through life in hopes that the numbers work out in your favor. To have enough money to retire early, you need a plan. You have no choice but to set goals, and the act of doing so forces you to get real about how you’re living and what you really want in life. 

Are you saving to buy a house? Are you saving to pay for college? Are you saving to retire early? Whatever your goals are, FIRE forces you to reverse engineer your long-term plan so it’s actionable and intentional today.

2. Feels More Financially Secure

Here’s another potential side benefit of pursuing FIRE — you get the opportunity to feel more secure and sleep better at night. This is something I personally experienced when I started becoming FIRE-minded, but it’s also backed up by research. 

In fact, a 2019 survey from Schwab showed that 63% of people with a written financial plan said they felt financially stable, compared to only 28% of those without a financial plan. Further, 56% of people with a financial plan said they felt “very confident” about reaching their financial goals.

If you’ve ever felt helpless about your finances before, then this probably makes total sense. Having a plan provides some comfort — even if you are far away from your goal. At least you’re working toward something, and that provides peace of mind. 

3. Forces You to Take Control

I don’t always agree with everything Dave Ramsey says, but I do love some of his best quotes. One example is:

“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” — Dave Ramsey

The point I’m making is that, if you don’t ask yourself important, uncomfortable questions, you might never get control of your finances — or your life. 

Think about it this way. If you’re drifting through life and spending money without really saving for a goal, you’re at the mercy of your job and outside factors that affect your income and savings. But if you learn to take control of your spending, you’ll also learn to take control of your future finances in ways you probably never realized before.

When most people start pursuing FIRE, they realize right away that the biggest part that’s in their control is their spending. The other side of that coin is, of course, how much you’re able to save.

A recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the average American set aside 5% to 8% of their income in savings. In contrast, those who pursue FIRE, frequently save 50% to 70% of their incomes toward their goals. 

When you find a way to save a large percentage of your income, this means you’ve taken control of the reins. You have goals and you have a purpose, and your money is no longer controlling your future. You are.

4. Empowers You with Information

According to a joint study from PwC US and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) at the George Washington University, only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy. And, even with minimal knowledge of their own, only 27% had sought out professional financial advice. 

This is one area where even studying FIRE can leave you dramatically ahead. After all, pursuing FIRE or even reading about it forces empowers you with information about saving and investing for the long haul. 

For example, through FIRE you’ll randomly learn personal finance lessons like the 4% rule for retirement and how to create a budget. These are cornerstone concepts of the FIRE movement. 

You’re also forced to think about your income and your financial situation in a brand new way. This includes questions, like “How much are you actually earning?” and “How much interest are you paying toward debt every month?”

As a financial advisor, I can tell you for sure that a lot of people don’t know the answer to any of these questions because they’ve never thought about it before. You wind up learning so much that can help you along the way toward your goal.

5. Learn How to Budget and Question Yourself

I remember back in the day when my wife and I first started getting serious about budgeting. We’d sit down to look over our bills, and were shocked by some of our ongoing expenses and subscriptions. 

These budgeting “meetings” made a big difference in how we worked together to achieve our financial goals. When we sat down to look over our expenses, our income, and where we were headed, we found ways to spend less without affecting our quality of life.

Now, I hate budgeting, but I do think it’s an important part of pursuing FIRE — especially at first. After all, you can’t really work toward major financial goals if you have no idea where your money is going every month. 

And, the thing is, you can’t really argue anything when you start budgeting and tracking your expenses. You get the chance to see where your money went, in black and white, and you get the opportunity to act accordingly. This may sound like a huge buzzkill, but I’ve found that taking control and budgeting is actually really empowering. 

Crazily enough, not enough people have any idea how they spend the income they work so hard to earn. In fact, a recent survey from the budgeting app Mint found that 65% of respondents had no idea how much they spent last month. 

When you ask someone pursuing FIRE how much they save each month, these people know. In fact, they often know their savings amount down to the penny. 

6. FIRE Helps You Be Grateful

Finally, there’s one more major benefit of FIRE that goes largely ignored. I’m going to call it the “contentment factor”. It’s the ability to be content with what you have. 

Everything involved with FIRE — tracking your spending, cutting things you don’t care about, creating long-term goals — can really put your life in perspective for you. It also makes you realize you might have more power over your life than you realized. That’s a pretty amazing lesson. 

And of course, learning contentment leads to learning how to feel grateful. How amazing is it that, in this broken world we live in, you can earn a living, care for your family, and set aside something for the future? How amazing is it that you have the chance to work hard and retire early, and then spend decades doing whatever it is you love?

This brings me to a quote I love from Oprah:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ―

Oprah Winfrey

This is what I love about FIRE; it really encourages you to be grateful and teaches you to be content with what you have. After all, there is no way you could ever save 50% or even 30% of your income without these lessons. 

Pursuing FIRE teaches you that you don’t need the hottest pair of sneakers, and that you might not need that cable television package you pay for each month. It teaches you that a huge car payment isn’t worth it, and that any “friend” who judges your car probably isn’t a good one. 

Learning about FIRE makes you ask yourself all of these questions, and sometimes, that’s all it takes to realize how good you have it.

Garth Brooks once said that “you aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy.” 

And perhaps that’s the greatest benefit of pursuing FIRE. You learn that happiness and true contentment comes from within. And that, my friends, is priceless.

The post 6 Reasons to Try the FIRE Movement appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

Source: goodfinancialcents.com

Game Changing Mom Life Must Haves!

As busy moms, we need to cut the time, trim the cost, and lessen the mental load, and here are the mom life must haves to help you do it!

Ugh! You just crossed off two items on your to-do list (yaaa!), and then you immediately added four more on to it! #momlife Seriously, you feel like you’re bailing out a sinking battleship with a sippy cup, and there’s no end in sight. Or so it seems…

Every good General knows you need the right tools & resources to win the war, so it’s time to fill your arsenal with the best mom life must haves! These are the things that will help you triumph over errands, chores, and mealtime! All while helping you feel calmer and happier, settling your racing mind, giving you the space to do what’s most important!  

Yes, snuggling your kiddos, kissing on your honey, or maybe hiding in the bathtub for 2.5 hours reading a good book and eating chocolate. Hey, self-care is in, right? So sit tight, and get ready to rock your to-do list!

game changing mom life must haves

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How to be a better mom (by having the right support)

Whoa, that’s a loaded statement! I mean, “be a better mom” implies that you’re doing a bad job now, right? NO! We are all doing the best job we can in the life we have right now. No one wakes up and says, “I want to be mediocre today”! No, we want to do a great job every day. Yet, sometimes, at least for me, I fall short.  

Some days I’m exhausted, have too much on my schedule, or run out of brown sugar, so no cookie baking today (true story, huge tears ensued from my 5-year-old). When these days happen more than I would like, I know that I need to sit down and recalibrate. Take stock of the common themes, look for overlapping reasons why the $hit keeps hitting the fan, and then figure out what I need to do to get back on track.

Usually, either I need a mini-vacation (sigh), or I need to check out my tools and see where I need more support and even some tools that I may have forgotten about. I call these my mom life must haves! I’ve rounded up my best tips, tools, and resources on the items that help me be a better mom!

When I say “better mom,” I mean…

  • less frazzled, more calm
  • less scatterbrained, more organized
  • less tired, more energized
  • less scroungy, more stylish
  • less last minute, more prepared
  • less mediocre, more badass!

Being a better mom can mean anything that you want it to mean! Don’t let my own definition put restrictions on your best version of you! You can use my ideas to be a jumping-off point, and then tailor them to your own personality and goals!

Take advantage of Amazon Prime Day for huge savings!

I know that spending money on ourselves is hard. I will convince myself that I don’t really need something, or that the money would be better spent on a new thingamajig for my little one. I don’t know why I feel guilty spending money on myself, I just do sometimes.

One thing that always helps me feel better about spending money on myself is if I get it at a good deal! I love saving money! (yes, I’d save a whole lot more if I didn’t buy “it” at all but sometimes we need something! Especially when that something makes our life better or easier! So that’s why I am super excited about Amazon Prime Day!

What is Amazon Prime Day?

It’s a two day event where Amazon offers up steep discounts on millions of products across all categories! People use this time to stock up for holiday gifting, or to splurge on normally expensive items. If you’re a Prime Member you get early access to some of their deals so if you have been thinking about getting a membership, then now is the time! Don’t forget to snag your free 30 day trial!

When is Prime Day this year?

It’s October 13th & 14th this year, but if you’re a Prime Member you’ll get early access!

I am so happy to say that Amazon will be supporting small businesses this year too (sounds counterintuitive but hear me out). Small Businesses can be a partner shop on their platform, and if you purchase starting now through October 12th, if you purchase $10 worth of items from a participating small business you will get $10 credit to use on Prime Day! Check out all the small business partners here!

Amazon Prime Day Deals

Now the following items aren’t a part of my own person list of mom life must haves, yet so many people swear by these. Starting today, Prime members can shop early offers and deals everyday leading up to Prime Day on October 13 & 14.

  • Amazon Devices: 
    • Get two Echo Dot devices for $39.98 
    • Fire TV Recast for $129.99 to store up to 75 hours of HD programming.
    • Save up to $100 on Toshiba 43-inch Smart HD Fire TV Edition TV for $179.99.
    • Insignia 43-inch Smart 4K UHD Fire TV Edition TV for $199.99;
    • Save $40 on Echo Show 5
  • Amazon Music: For just $0.99, Prime members who haven’t yet tried Amazon Music Unlimited can get four months of the premium streaming tier with unlimited access to more than 60 million songs ad-free, and now a wide selection of popular podcasts.
  • Audible: Prime members can save $50 on a year of Audible Premium Plus. Audible members will also get access to the Plus catalog, featuring more than 10K Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts, all at no additional cost.
  • Kindle Unlimited: New customers to Kindle Unlimited save 50% off a 6-month subscription.

The main question with Prime Day Deals, is did you want this item before you heard about it on Prime Day? Or did you simply see it and think “ohhhh, shiny!” Remember, it’s only a deal, if you were going to buy it anyway!

Mom life must haves for the home

1. Family charging station

mom life must have #1 - family charging station
4 1/2 stars with 4,300 ratings

Hercules Tuff Charging Station

  • charges up to 80% faster!
  • charge six devices at once
  • gift-ready packaging
  • includes 4 Lightning Cables, 1 Type-C Cable, and 1 Micro-USB cable perfectly sized to keep your space organized

This is honestly one of my favorite things, and I’m not usually a gadget person. If my phone isn’t in my hand, I always know where it is, the family charging station is the natural place to put it down, so it’s an easy habit to start. There’s no worrying about your hubby or kiddo walking off with your charging cables! Plus, it makes mealtimes more family-friendly.

We can sit down to a meal without having our phones on the table or in our pockets, where it’s so easy to start scrolling or get sidetracked by notifications!

Time Saved by less distractions and mindless scrolling!

2. A great handheld vacuum

mom life must have #2 - a great handheld vacuum

Black & Decker Max Pivot Handheld Vacuum

  • Lithium battery for strong suction that never fades
  • cordless
  • 4 stars with over 12,000 ratings!

I’m not a Roomba vacuum kind of person, even though the concept sounds great. I don’t trust them 🙂 I don’t think they’ll do a great job, and I’ve heard the horror stories of them eating cords & carpets. So that means a handheld vacuum, which sounds lame as they don’t usually have a lot of power. Until I found this one, the Black & Decker Pivot! He’s lightweight and super fast to pull out of the pantry for a quick clean up!

Honestly, this vacuum is amazing! I got mine for Christmas 2015. Yes, 5 years ago, and I can still say it’s amazing! It has so much power to it; it vacuums up everything! I’ve only had the battery run out one time; it was when we were moving, and I cleaned the whole house for the entire day. So I don’t blame it 🙂

I hate to admit this, but I didn’t know that there was a removable filter that you had to take and shake out for the first two years. Yes, I emptied the chamber, but I didn’t know about the filter. I didn’t notice it, and it still worked great!  Shhh… don’t tell anyone how dumb I was!

Besides, you cant lift a Roomba up and vacuum huge spiders off the ceiling like you can with this handheld vacuum! (Just this past week, it was two mornings in a row that I had to climb on the bathroom counter and get ’em!)

Both time & money saved, as it’s very convient for a quick clean and money saved as this is a quality vacuum, and I expect it to last a long time!

3. An Amazon prime membership

This sounds so silly, as everyone must have it by now, right? Nope, they don’t, but it’s such a lifesaver! Every one should find a way to fit this into their budget. It’s $119 a year for an annual subscription or $12.99 a month. But the main question busy mom’s ask is, “Is it worth it?”

“The actual value of Amazon Prime is estimated to be around $784 annually after all of its individual perks and benefits are considered, according to a recent analysis by JPMorgan”, says Business Insider. So the resounding answer is yes! Click here for your 30 day free trial to Prime.

You get free shipping, two-day shipping, movies, free ebooks, music, file storage, and more! Prime members also get extra discounts to Whole Foods and member-only deals.  

Plus, there’s Prime Reload, which gives you 2% by linking up your debit card and reloading your “available shopping balance” from there! Saving money without the lure of a credit card is a great option!

Their Subscribe & Save program also offers great perks! You pick out which items you order all the time, like bar soap or diaper pail liners, and you signup to get them regularly delivered to your door; with this you can save up to 15% on these purchases!  Amazon Prime Family also offers 20% off diapers and special baby registry benefits!

Don’t forget to look for available Prime Membership discounts:

  • Prime Discounted Monthly offering is just $5.99/month for qualifying customers with an EBT or Medicaid card
  • Prime Student has a 6-month trial and then $6.49 a month 

Amazon also has their Signature Visa, where you get 3% back at Whole Foods, 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores. 1% back on utilities and all other purchases (see terms & conditions for current details).  

Don’t forget you can get a 30-day free trial on all Amazon Prime!

Money saved! You will find great deals on Amazon, but you might need to spend some time digging through reviews and products.

4. Easy & fast dinners

Meal kits certainly aren’t new anymore, so the novelty has worn off. They’re not just for “fun” anymore, but they are a lifesaver! And there are so many different companies you can choose from, meal kits for any diet and lifestyle!

We like EveryPlate, as it’s one of the cheapest out there at $4.99 a serving! Meal kits save me so much time and brain angst (is that even a thing?). But you get me, I mean I would waste so much time trying to figure out what to make for dinners for the week. Then I have to go buy it all, and the prep it. Ugh! My brain hurts just thinking about it!

With EveryPlate, it takes me 12 minutes every month to go into their dashboard and pick my meals. That’s it. The recipes are easy to make, tasty, and I feel good about not serving up a frozen pizza or take out every night.

We have also started trying Dinnerly too. I’m not into blindly following brands, I like to be sure that I am getting the best deal for the best value out there! So of course I am going to try the competition! Dinnerly and Everyplate are similar in cost, program, and quality.

YET, Dinnerly just started offering extra protein portions (in case you want to make a little more). AND, they just started offering desserts too! This next week I signed up to get a caramel apple spice cake and the following week pumpkin pie cheesecake bars! (fall flavored treats are my weakness). Click the here to start making meal time easy (finally!) and treating your family!

Don’t get me wrong, meal kits have their drawbacks, sometimes the cucumber arrives soft, or it’s not enough for my hubs, but overall it’s a great option, and it totally works for us!

We also use our trusty old slow cooker! It’s still great for making a good amount of food that we can use as quick leftover meals throughout the week. Things like chicken fajitas, or three-bean chili, or mac & cheese are great options.

This slow cooker is great as it’s programable for temp & time. Then when it’s done cooking, it switches to warm mode, so you don’t overcook your dinner! It also comes with a temperature probe, so if you’re cooking meats you can be doubly sure it’s fully cooked!

On my wish list is this Instant Pot; I mean, it has 4 1/2 stars with over 100,000 reviews! That’s crazy, right! Besides, any gadget that says it’s perfect for beginners is for me!

Time & money saved! But more so, my sanity as I hated trying to decide what to make for dinner!

Mom life must haves for our kids

So we wouldn’t be busy moms if it wasn’t for our kiddos, right? These things are ones that I love, and have made this crazy journey a lot easier!

5. Honest Company products 

mom life must have #5 - safe products for our kiddos - The Honest Company
4 1/2 stars with 4,000 ratings
mom life must have #5 - safe products for our kiddos - The Honest Company
4 1/2 stars with 3,500 ratings
mom life must have #5 - safe products for our kiddos - The Honest Company
4 1/2 stars with 7,000 ratings

So this sounds corny, but I honestly love Honest Products! Actress Jessica Alba started the brand. Honest’s bio page says, “When she couldn’t find one brand to trust for all her everyday needs, she had to create it. And she knew that there had to be others out there looking for safe products, simple solutions, and clear information about their choices, just like her.”

Did I ever tell you that I am a natural skeptic? When someone says their product is safe and uses only the best ingredients, I look to the experts to tell the truth. I use the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep app on my phone all the time for this! I scan the barcode of an item, and it tells me if it’s considered safe by their 3rd party unbiased testing. EWG is a “non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.” Their app doesn’t have every product in its database, but they have a lot (mostly in the beauty and cleaning area). 

When I am standing in Target and looking for something for my kiddo, I scan all the brands to find the one that is the least toxic, and then I go to Amazon to check out the reviews on that item. If people love it, then I buy it!

I just used it this past month, we stayed at my mom’s house for a few days, and my daughter used their bubble bath; she loved all the bubbles. But a few days later, she broke out in a rash, sure enough, I found it was rated an 8 (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst). Whoops!

So I went to target and scanned a few and settled on The Honest Company’s lavender bubble bath, and it was rated a 1! I bought it, and it worked great (as much as a bubble bath works), the bubbles lasted forever, smelled great, and she loved every second of it! (oh and no rash!)

I bought…

  • The Honest Company Truly Calming Lavender Shampoo & Body Wash
  • The Honest Company Truly Calming Conditioner
  • The Honest Company Truly Calming Bubble Bath

I feel great about these products as I know they’re safe (peace of mind is priceless), work great, and don’t cost a fortune!

Mental space & time saved! As I don’t wonder anymore (or feel guilty) about knowing that the products I use on her are safe!

6. The best safety in the industry

mom life must have #6 - the best in car seat safety
Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat
5 stars with 1,800 ratings
mom life must have #6 - the best in car seat safety
Britax Boulevard ClickTight convertible
4 1/2 stars with 3,300 ratings

Along the same vein of keeping our kiddos safe, I researched a lot of items when I was pregnant, and one of the most researched items is a car seat! I finally chose the Britax B-Safe 35 (funny story here), and then when she got older, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight convertible car seat.

I honestly spent way too much time agonizing over the car seat choices. I wanted the best for her without spending a fortune. Yes, Britax is a teeny tiny bit expensive, but a car seat is so important, as a bad car seat can have horrible repercussions!

Anyway, funny story, so I was agonizing over which to choose for weeks. One day, as I watched TV, a clip about Prince William & Kate came on, as they just had their first baby. The TV shot was of them standing at the top of some stairs, walking down and outside to their car. Prince William was holding the car seat, and I recognized the colors (black & red) of the car seat.  

I paused it, screenshot it, and zoomed in; sure enough, it was a Britax B-Safe! Within two minutes, I was on Amazon and ordered it! If this was the brand & model that the Royal Family trusted, then this was the one for me! Problem solved, no more worries!

All of their models’ rates very high for safety, their quality is great, and they are easy to use!

Peace of mind! Knowing that I have done everything I can to protect my daughter, while in the car, is important to me!

7. Car Snacks

mom life must have #7 car snacks - packaged nuts
4 1/2 stars with 2,000 ratings
mom life must have #7 car snacks - whole grain fig bar
5 stars with 76 ratings

A busy mom’s best friend is without a doubt her car snacks! Car snacks for the kiddo and absolutely car snacks for us!

Car snacks keep everyone happy, and they keep you out of the drive-through! Oh, and did I mention that when your kiddos are eating the snacks they’re not asking you 459 questions!

I have two go-to’s for this.  

  • Emerald nut mix, variety pack 100 calories packs. Right now, it’s $9.44 for the box of 18 small individual packs. That’s $.52 a pack.
  • Nature’s Bakery Whole Grain Fig Bar – these are the best, as they don’t harden into rocks when your car has been sitting out in the freezing cold. They don’t melt in the summer, and they don’t crumble and get a mess everywhere! Plus, they’re tasty and not total garbage nutritionally speaking! 

Time & money saved, as you’re not stopping for fast food! More importantly, I can say that the magic of car snacks has saved my own personal sanity!

Mom life must haves for ourselves

8. An organized life

If I had to get married again (and not to my husband), I would marry Trello! Seriously, I feel that strongly about this app! If you’re not familiar with Trello, it’s basically a place where you can put your entire life & brain to help keep you organized!

Picture this; it’s like a giant whiteboard with lists and sticky notes, links, files, and images. It’s sharable so you can work with people on projects too! It gives you the big picture and zero’s in on the tiny details. It’s for desktop and mobile, and it’s free! Yup, FREE!

If you have a daily planner or 489 sticky notes, then you have to check out Trello!

If you absolutely love your pen & paper style organizing, then check out my Brain Dump printables! It’s for when you’ve got way too much swirling around in your brain. You lay it all out in formatted sections, and it helps you plan, prioritize & delegate your to-do list!

Time & sanity saved! I don’t forget things nearly as much (but I’m not perfect).

9. A delicious nutritional home run

mom life must have #9 - a good protein powder
4 1/2 stars with 800+ ratings

Garden of Life Sport Certified Grass Fed Clean Whey Protein

  • vanilla or chocolate flavor
  • 24 grams of protein
  • no added hormones, sugars, or rbst free, and gluten free
  • delicious! (truth!)

As busy mom’s we’re run ragged sometimes. So much to do, and it’s easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. Or we push it to the back burner, always meaning to get to it later, but never actually doing it.

Ugh. Fail.  

We know we feel better when we take care of ourselves, yet it’s hard to prioritize yourself over your to-do list (at least I do). So make a promise to yourself to start taking better care of you! For me, that looks like having a healthy smoothie! For you, it could look totally different, and that’s fine!

My favorite protein powder is Garden of Life Whey Protein Powder, I don’t need anything crazy with 78 grams of protein, I just need something to feed my body, without a ton of crazy chemicals. (Yes, I do realize that protein powders are processed, but this is a very well respected brand, and it was recommended to me by super knowledgeable staff at a natural grocery store.)

“We start with what goes IN our products—true, whole food ingredients. But we don’t stop there. We also pay very close attention to what we keep OUT of them.  And once again, we look at food—real nutrition food. When is the last time you picked up an apple, turned to read the ingredients, and saw a list of chemicals?  If it’s not in your food, then we don’t want it in our supplements.  We use third-party (never self-affirmed) certifications to prove we are clean!” (source).

My base recipe…

  • 1 scoop of protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds

Then either…

  • 1/3 can pumpkin puree with 1 tsp of pumpkin pie seasoning

Or

  • a handful of frozen mixed berries with 1 tsp of vanilla

These smoothies are a part of 21 Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide, which I did last year! I felt so good about focusing on my health and I plan to do the program again (as life happens, right).

For those of you a little wary of the can of coconut milk, I want you to try it at least once. It’s delicious, and it fills me up all day long! Yes, it has a lot of fat in it, but so many vitamins and nutrients. I’m not a food or weight loss blogger, so I won’t try and convince you of the scientific health benefits.  

It’s delicious (truly, I’m not exaggerating), and it makes me feel great, and it’s healthy! That’s good enough for me. Besides, when I make it in my Vitamix, cleaning up is super easy! I just give it a quick rinse in the sink, pour some dish soap in it, fill it with hot water, put it back on the base, and turn it on for 40 seconds! No taking apart pieces and scrubbing it! (of course, if I use dairy, then I do put it through the dishwasher)

Time saved! Smoothies are quick and easy, plus I feel good knowing that I am taking care of myself so that I can have the energy to take care of my daughter and answer her 45,871 questions!

10. Chug Chug Glug

mom life must have #10 - a good water bottle
5 stars with 16,500 ratings for standard mouth
mom life must have #10 - a good water bottle
5 stars with 225 ratings for wide mouth

That’s code for drink more water! We all know this; it’s been drummed into our head with 1000 hammers. Yet, it’s still true; we all need to drink more water!

I love my Hydro Flask! It keeps my water cold for FO-EV-ER! It never sweats, I have dropped it a billion times, and it only has one dent (haha). I love the lid with the loop, as I can hang it from my mommy hook on my little one’s stroller. (Mommy hooks are great too, you can hang anything with it!)  

My current one I’ve had for two years, and the only reason I needed a new one is I lost my older one, which was at least three years old (my Amazon order history only goes back so many years, I guess). So that ‘a good sign; they last forever! Well worth the price! Plus, they come in super cute colors!

Oh, and did I mention Hydro Flask makes a wine tumbler too! Ha! This might absolutely help me be a better mom!

Money saved, as this water bottle lasts forever! Probably money saved too, as I eat less snacks and less at meal time as I’m well hydrated.

11. A simple cute & comfy style

mom life must have #11 - comfy yoga pants
4 1/2 stars with 25,000+ ratings
mom life must have #11 - comfy yoga pants

This is a hard one, as I’m a little bit ashamed of my path to this product. I got to a point where I was getting a bit scroungy; you know sloppy. My sweatpants were old, and the t-shirts were stained. Sexy huh!?!

It was time for a mini mommy wardrobe makeover! I have been reading a lot about minimalism and especially capsule wardrobes, and am in love with the nice, basic simplicity of it! It appeals to me on all levels! Find pieces that fit & flatter, that all go together and stick to it!

So I went through, purged my closet (I got rid of 75% of my clothes), and focused on an inexpensive capsule wardrobe! The base of the collection is these amazing IUGA high waist yoga pants! I got a pair in black, and I love them! With 4 1/2 stars with over 25,000 reviews, they have to be amazing, right? They are! An absolute staple for this mom life must have list!

And they don’t cost a fortune either! Just $25 for this pair! I did buy some nice yoga pants at Target before finding these, but they didn’t come in black). These IUGA pants…

  • come in 26 colors
  • inside waistband pocket for keys
  • hip pocket for phone
  • aren’t see through (whew!)
  • 30 day money back love it guarantee

Time & sanity saved! As I don’t stare blankly at my closet for 12 minutes every am, wondering what to wear, of if it will look okay! It’s a quick scan the closet, grab the pants and it’s go time!

12. Survival in a can

mom life must have #12 - canned wine
4 1/2 stars with 50 ratings

If I didn’t mention my absolute favorite must have for moms, I would be doing you a disservice. I would also be hiding the real me. I don’t want to do that, as that’s lame. So my favorite mom life must have is canned wine.

…cricket cricket…

Let me explain. I love canned wine. I really do. I like wine, but I don’t like opening a whole bottle of it. If I drank a whole bottle, that’s bad news. Yes, I could put a stopper in a bottle and save it. But my favorite one is The Bubbles, a sparkling white wine (kind of like a Pinot Gris). So if I used a stopper, the bubbles wouldn’t be as amazing a few days later.

A can size is perfect, usually consumed over two nights. And then I don’t have to worry about it going bad, or feeling like I need to drink more than I should, just because I don’t want to “waste” a bottle.

Besides, canned wine is coming up in quality and popularity! It’s not like those jugs you see at discount grocery stores for $4.99. Trust me; it’s delicious!

The Bubbles is my favorite, and you can get it from Whole Foods through Amazon Prime delivery! Plus, add a snack tray and a heavenly chocolate bar from WF, and you’re set! This is my perfect meal for a relaxing evening on my own!

I wish that I could say that this saved me time or money. But this is just something that makes me happy!

At the end of the day

As busy moms, we have our hands full, not to mention our brains! We need all the help we can get, and I am not too proud to accept help from great tools and resources! These mom life must haves help me be a better mom by taking away the unnecessary, automating what can be, and making me feel better in my skin, my mind, and in my heart!

Posts related to mom life must haves:

  • The Secret Formula for Getting the Best Gift for Mom
  • Want to be a Stay at Home Mom? Read This First!
  • Mamas Talk Money Goals!

What’s your mom life must have item? Let me know in the comments below!

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