Naples Florida real estate agent Ruth Bethem of Premier Sothbys International Realty

How To Shape Up Your Finances


Take the time to put together a family budget. Figure out what you spend over a 6 month period by looking at your receipts and then establish a budget based on your figures. For most people its easy to think of the mortgage or rent payment, car payment, phone and electric, but the little items need to be considered such as lunch at work, dry cleaning, etc. Write down in a notepad every single dollar you spend in a months time. You'll probably be surprised, but also you will find ways to save.

Normally lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 35-40 percent of your income. Since your mortgage typically ranges between 25 percent and 28 percent of income, you need to keep your other loans in the 8-10 percent range.

Make more money. Sounds simple, but sometimes you just have to pull up the boot straps and get a second job or part-time job to increase your income.This extra money may be enough to allow you to qualify for your first home or your dream home.

Save. Save. Save. The more money you save for a downpayment the better off you'll be in the long run. Now a days you can get a 100% loan with no money down, but in some cases a small downpayment might give you a better interest rate with a smaller mortgage payment. Try to aim for a 20% downpayment.

Establish a downpayment fund. When you pay your bills each month, consider the downpayment fund a monthly bill. Don't wait to see what's left over. There's never anything left over. Pay into your downpayment fund each month and before you know it you'll have enough money to go forward in purchasing a home.

Most lending institutions like to see continuity in your employment history. Try to establish at least two years in the same job to show stability plus it may give you a chance at a better interest rate.

This last tip should always be on your mind. Develop a good credit history. Your credit rating makes all the difference when applying for a big loan such as a car or home. Make your payments by the due date and try not to carry a balance. A good credit rating will save you a lot of money over the length of the loan.

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Premier Sotheby's International Realty
4001 Tamiami Trail N, Suite #102
Naples, Florida 34103

Phone: 239-777-7007 or Toll Free 877-777-7545

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