“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill

Whether you want to visit the Great Wall of China or start your own business, chances are you’ve got a dream in your life that you’d like to turn into a reality. The hard part is figuring out how to make that happen! With a little inspiration and some direction, it is possible to translate your dreams into achievable goals.

This month, I’m sharing a road map to help you begin your journey. You’ll find a few tips on how to turn your dreams into solid goals. There are also guidelines to help you craft your bucket list — and a few words on why a bucket list shouldn’t just be created toward the end of your life.

It is my hope that this information will leave you hopeful and inspired. Best of luck turning your dreams into goals, and goals into result.

What is a vision board?

A collection of pictures and images that inspire you to make your dreams a reality.

A good vision board could show your…

  • Dream job
  • Dream vacation
  • Family Goals
  • Career goals
  • Personal aspirations
  • Health and fitness goals

Actively seeking these dreams is a regular reminder of what you are working to achieve. 

Avoid images that discourage you or make you feel like you’re not good enough. These should inspire you, not take you down.

The Raw Materials:

  • Choose your canvas: blank poster board, cardstock, digital (think screen saver), corkboard, blank book, scrapbook
  • Find your pictures: magazines, online, Pinterest, Instagram, other social media, real-life imagery, Google images, business cards, tags stickers any imagery that inspires you
  • Keep it somewhere you will see it – digital? On your laptop or phone desktop is perfect – as a desktop image! Keep poster boards in a place you will see it daily, such as your office, your bathroom or bedroom walls for daily inspiration.

Build Your Dreams with a Vision Board

 

 

Oh, by the way®… if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me with their name and contact information. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Only 34% of Americans own their homes free and clear. All other homeowners have a mortgage they’re chipping away at. If you have a mortgage, you may want to consider paying it off early.

Before you begin, you should know… Some states allow lenders to implement prepayment penalties, which means it could actually cost you more to pay off your mortgage early. Regulations vary per situation, so before you proceed, find out from your lender if you’d face a prepayment penalty on your mortgage.

Ginger Easley Remax

If there is a penalty 

Decide if it’s worth it to you. Fines are typically a percentage of the mortgage itself. Carefully evaluate the risk versus reward before committing.

If there is no penalty.

Start chipping away at your principal as soon as you can.  The first five years is the best time to make additional payments toward your principal.

Here are 7 strategies to pay off your mortgage early!

Bi-weekly payment plan. Pay half your monthly payment every two weeks. Some months will have an additional payment, this could add up to an extra full payment per year.

Matching principal payment plan. Add your initial principal payment to every monthly payment that follows. This shaves years off your mortgage and saves interest.

Make an extra full payment. per quarter In some cases, this can take up to 11 years off your mortgage.

Cash influx. Put unexpected cash – like an inheritance, birthday gift, tax refund, etc. – toward your principal balance.

Refinance to a 15-year loan. This is helpful if you’re on track to pay it off early, rates are low, and you’re early in the mortgage. Consult your mortgage professional if you’re not sure.

Divide your mortgage payment by 12. Add this amount to your monthly payment and make one extra payment per year.

Do what you can. Make small budget cuts and save money to contribute toward your principal.

Ginger Easley Remax

For more insights on paying off your mortgage early, listen to The Brian Buffini Show podcast episode #124 – Getting the Mortgage Monkey Off Your Back.

Make sure you talk to your bank or lender and tell them your plans before you get started. If you want to learn more about these best practices, talk to a mortgage professional – call me for a great referral!

 

© 2019 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Although it’s impossible to predict the future current trends ad statistics create a picture of the market’s health. Home Prices are up 4.6 percent and the average home value is $264,800¹. Sales may be down, but prices will continue to rise. This is good news for

home in hand

sellers, but may keep buyers on the sidelines in high-price markets.

Home sales are down 1.5 percent from a year ago¹. Experts say that many buyers are priced out of the market or they’re waiting until more homes within their price range are available. Although it’s impossible to predict the future, current trends and statistics create a picture of the market’s health.

Homes are selling fast. Homes are on the market for an average   only 29 days, with 52 percent of homes on the market for less than a month.1

Inventory is tight¹.  People are staying in their homes longer and housing starts are at an all-time low.2  However, housing permits are up 8.4 percent over last year, which means more inventory to come.3

New tax code may have an impact. The interest deduction is capped at $750,000 (down from $1 million) and the property tax deduction is capped at $10,000. This may mean less expendable cash for those with, or needing, a big mortgage.

Competition is high. First-time buyers made up 31 percent of home purchasers.1 For those in the market to buy, get preapproved for a mortgage to stay competitive. If you need a lender, I can refer you to a great one in my network. Let’s set a time to talk about tour local market. I’d love to share my housing market insights with you and do an annual review if you currently own.

Will we see a market correction?5

Recently, you may have seen news headlines predicting the next recession.  The economy has been growing since 2009, the longest stretch in US history.5  Since the economy is cyclical, it’s onlythinking of buying or selling natural to wonder when the economy will begin to retract.

 Causes of a downturn. Recessions are often caused by unforeseen events or circumstances that shock the market. Sixty-two percent of experts say an overheating economy will lead to the Fed tightening its belt.5 Others say a financial meltdown may be caused by an asset bubble, fiscal crisis or international trade disruptions.5

Reason to be optimistic. Housing isn’t like

Take headlines with a grain of salt. Experts predicted recessions in 2011 and 2016, and  neither transpired. It is important to remember that growth doesn’t last, so a downturn would be considered natural. Over the next year, economists predict the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will continue to grow and unemployment rates will fall further. The risk of recession in the next year is only about 15 percent, and the changes to the tax code effective this year are expected to drive business investment spending.

three things to watch for

 

 

Sources:

  1. National Association of REALTORS
  2. CNN Money
  3. National Association of Home Builders
  4. HousingWire
  5. Wall Street Journal

© 2019 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JANUARY S

Here are some essential tips for sellers and aspiring home buyers. Make sure you also lean into your trusted real estate professional for additional insight and guidance.

SMART STRATEGIES FOR SELLERS

Putting a home up for sale can be stressful, and some owners have a hard time making objective decisions when it matters most.

Homeowners consistently overestimate the market value of their homes by 5 to 10 percent.1

PRICE IT RIGHT

Your listing agent will perform a current market analysis.Look closely at the sales of similar homes that have closed in the last 90 days and take the number of available listings into account when agreeing to an asking price.

Sources: 1. Smart Money Magazine, February 2, 2011

2. National Association of REALTORS, 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

KEEP IN MIND

Homes that have failed to attract a buyer in a reasonableperiod of time may be overpriced.

Foreclosures or short sales in your neighborhoodcan impact your home’s market value.

It doesn’t pay to set the price too high; mostbuyers will need financing and the bank will generally use an appraisal based onrecent sales to justify the amount.

Your agent may recommend  that you perform repairs to  correct visible flaws—or even  suggest staging your home so it  feels more spacious and potential  buyers can picture themselves living there.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF  YOUR MARKET DEBUT

Pricing your home competitively  from the get-go increases the odds  of a quick sale.

Nearly 43% of buyers looked online  for properties as their first step and  43% found the home they ultimately  purchased on the Internet.If your  home is priced too high when it hits  the market, you run the risk that active,  qualified buyers will scroll right past it.

New listings are called “hot” for a  reason—buyers get excited about  them. Showings are likely to cool  off noticeably after the first 30  days on the market.

When weighing an offer, make sure to consider the potential costs of holding on to your property longer than you want or need to (including the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.).

Get the home you want

Get Ready

Talk to your mortgage professionalabout your financial situation and credit history to determine your loan options. It’s important to know how much house you can afford based on your down payment and income. A strong letter of pre-approval can really add to your bargaining power.

Have a meeting with your real estate agent. Discuss your needs and preferences and establish the best method for your agent to send listings and communicate with you about available properties. Tap into his or her knowledge of the local market.  When it comes time to act, your agent will represent your interests in negotiations and work to ensure a smooth transaction.

Shop Smart

Expect to pay more for a showplace: if you consider a fixer-upper, judge structural deficiencies more harshly than cosmetic flaws. It can be costly to replace major components or to change the layout, but redecorating with flooring, fixtures or paint is relatively easy and sometimes offers instant equity potential.

Location is key. Even if the site seems perfect for you at the present time, think about whether it will appeal to a large pool of buyers if you should decide to sell in the future.

Go for It!

To write a winning offer without overpaying, look at the prices for comparable sales. Consider whether the property is in a high-demand area or if there is plenty of competition. Ask your agent to find out why it is for sale and if the seller seems motivated. If you accommodate the seller’s preferred closing dates or other terms, he or she maybe more flexible with the price.

Do Your Due Diligence

Schedule a home inspection after coming to terms. Many sellers expect to address issues related to safety or building codes, and additional repairs (or a credit) may be negotiated. Make sure all of your questions or concerns regarding the home’s condition are answered through the inspection process.