Financing a home

10 Ways to Save for a House in MN

Saving Money to Buy a House in MN is not Easy

Let’s be honest. Spending money is fun, and for some, shopping is a sport. But when the packages from Amazon are coming every week, and you’re spending all of your discretionary income, you might want to consider changing the way you handle finances. No one was born with the saving gene. Saving is a behavior we learn. Many of us have been on the saving path since childhood because our parents encouraged us to save. But if that is not the case, as an adult, you can modify your spending patterns and experience the joys of saving.

Starting to Save Money for a Down Payment

An excellent starting point is to change how you think and feel about money. Don’t consider saving a sacrifice, but instead think of it as a means to a better future. Once you start practicing some of the savings strategies I’m going to share, you might be surprised to discover how good you will feel about having some money in the bank. 

1. Reward Yourself

Saving money is like putting your spending on a diet. Anyone who has counted calories will tell you, if you eliminate every guilty eating pleasure, you are going to fall off the wagon at some point. Give yourself a monthly “allowance”...

The Monthly Budget and Yes You Need One

Use a Budget to Control Your Money

When we gain control over our finances, many positive outcomes will follow. The door to new opportunities will open to us, and we will have more lifestyle choices to consider. How exactly do we control our money? We set financial goals, monitor our spending, keep a debt limit, save regularly, and invest wisely to achieve those goals. The very first step on the journey is following a budget.

A Budget is Powerful

A budget is a map we follow on the road to establishing a positive relationship with our money. With a budget, we can better plan how to spend if we know how much we have left after paying all the bills. When we have a snapshot of our spending habits, we will be more likely to use discrimination in our purchases.

We need a budget because it is critical to keep our financial house to build our future. Budgeting can help you rent and furnish your first apartment, buy your first home, take a vacation, and begin planning for retirement. (Honestly, it’s never too soon) That is powerful stuff!

Budgeting Tools

We all need a tool to keep track of income and expenses because it’s critical to know where our money goes every month. Many apps are available to help you monitor your finances, such as Mint, Wally, Envelopes, and You Need a Budget. Some are just plain and straightforward budgets, while others help you save or invest. Many are free, while others will cost you. Don’t forget you will need to include the fee in your budget. 

If you are not app inclined, another option is to keep a spreadsheet. Many of...

A FICO Score Explained By MN Realtor

A FICO Score Explained By MN Realtor

By the time you experience initiation into the adult world, you've probably heard the term credit score. It's a number you should be concerned about because others will be, and they will use it to judge your ability to pay back a loan.

So who cares about your credit score exactly? Credit card companies, banks, mortgage brokers, cell phone companies, insurance companies, and landlords, to name a few. Some companies even want to look at your credit score before offering you a job to see how responsible you are.

How is Your Credit Score Calculated

Your credit score is a number that captures your creditworthiness based on your credit history. Three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, track your financial information. The Fair Isaac Corporation takes this data and uses a model to assign a number known as a FICO score. Most creditors use this score to evaluate you when you apply for a loan such as a mortgage.  

The factors that FICO uses to calculate your score include

  • payment history,
  • amount of money you owe,
  • length of your credit history,
  • credit mix,
  • recent requests for new credit.

Each of these categories determines a percentage of your score to create a snapshot of the state of your finances and your ability to take on more debt. Let's take a close look at each of the segments and how much weight they...

Get Ready to Buy A House MN

Get Ready to Buy A House MN

The decision to buy your first home is a major, life-changing event and should never be taken lightly or made quickly. Not only is it the most significant financial purchase you will likely ever make, but it’s also a commitment to your lifestyle and personal sense of well-being.

Indeed, a home is a valuable asset, but it is much more than a number we see on a financial spreadsheet. It’s our haven. It’s where we plan to raise our children. It’s where we will dream about our future. It’s where we will celebrate our victories and cope with life's setbacks. There is the whole story of homeownership.

Yes, buying real estate is a big deal, and I won’t lie to you; it can be a stressful and intimidating process, especially for a first-time buyer. However, it isn’t written in stone that it will be this way for everyone. It can and should be an exciting and joy-filled process. Being financially ready is critical in making it work in your favor.

Let’s look at five positive signs that say you may be in the financial position to become a homeowner.  

1. Your Finances Are Solid

One of the critical factors to ensure a positive homeownership experience is stable finances. A reliable source of income that can cover your mortgage, property taxes, and homeowners insurance should not be more than 30% of your gross monthly income.

Also, consider that debt will feel when you apply for a mortgage. If you carry a high amount of credit card debt and other consumer loans, you might want to pay that down before buying a home.

If you are currently living paycheck to paycheck and not putting anything towards savings, you are probably not ready to buy as yet. Work out a plan to cut back on expenses or increase your income. Setting up a budget might help you achieve your financial goals.


2. You Have a Down Payment

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