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How Young Families Should Prepare for Their First Home Purchase

How Young Families Should Prepare for Their First Home Purchase

Buying your first home is a milestone for any new, young family, whether you’re newlyweds still on your own or you’re bringing a few little ones in tow. You need space to let your family grow and flourish, and the best garden for new families exists in your own home, where you won’t have to worry about landlords or picking up stakes after your lease. That said, planning for a home is no easy task–although going about it the right way makes the endeavor run much more smoothly.

Think About Your Dream House

Family planning is a huge issue when you’re ready to buy a home. You have to think about the size of your family because you don’t want to have to upgrade in a few years, sell your current home, and start the process over again. Do you plan to stay child-free or do you dream of a house full of children? Maybe two or three is your perfect number. Whatever the case, budget for bedrooms, bathrooms, and the perfect amount of space.

You likely have some necessities as well. What’s most important to you? Are you flexible on location, or are you determined to stay in, say, Tampa or Naples? Do you want a home in the city or a house surrounded by greenery? Think about both the luxuries and the essentials, such as:

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  • The number of floors
  • The number of bathrooms and bedrooms
  • A large yard
  • A ranch vs. a colonial
  • And the overall age of the home

Examine the Employment Situation

If you don’t have steady employment, you may want to think twice about buying a house. You don’t want to get stuck with a mortgage that you can’t pay. If your job is on the fence or you’re constantly changing careers, you might need to wait. Likewise, you should decide if both of you need to work. A single-income family situation might not work for the house of your dreams, even if your desires are flexible.

Get a Handle on Your Debts

New Home 2

    Your debts weigh heavily on your credit score. Are you in default on any of your school loans? Is there a credit card you’ve neglected to pay off that’s now coming back to haunt you? Before you even go see the bank or any lenders, check out your credit score. To determine your credit score, several aspects factor in:

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    • Your payment history
    • The amount you owe
    • The length of your credit history
    • Any new credit
    • The types of credit

    Don’t start opening credit accounts all over the place to boost your FICO score either. That will look even worse, and it will affect your mortgage rate. To get a good mortgage rate, you need a high credit score. At some lending offices, a credit score between 625 and 650 will get you a decent rate. If you want better options for financing and enviable interest rates, you need a score of 700, at least.

    If you fear your FICO score doesn’t pass muster, all hope isn’t lost. Start paying off your debts now. Use the snowball method if you have to, and pay off the card with the highest interest rate first, then work your way down the list.

    Work Out Your Mortgage Management

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    New Home 3

      The housing marketing is always on the rise and fall. Buying a home is a great idea now, because the housing industry is hot. Houses are being sold at lower rates for numerous reasons. That can work very well with your chances for an affordable mortgage rate through www.foundationmortgage.net. You can talk to someone at your local bank or other financial institution to see about your options. If the rates you’re quoted scare you, just remember this: having a mortgage is the same thing as paying rent, except you’re paying yourself to own your home. Your mortgage and interest rates create equity, which you can borrow from in times of trouble and write-off as a tax deduction. Be careful when doing this, you don’t want to borrow more than you can afford.

      There are 10.2 percent more single-family homes for sale in Florida than there were last year. That increases your chances of finding your dream home, but it will also help you get a better mortgage rate. The law of supply and demand that made good rates so hard to come by during the housing crisis is finally starting to calm down. You simply have to work out what kind of mortgage works for you:

      • A fixed-interest mortgage, which keeps your interest the same for life
      • An adjustable-rate mortgage, where the rate changes every year
      • Or an interest-only loan, which helps if you need a low payment in the beginning

      Stay Within Your Budget

      That being said, you still need to stay within your budget. Moving is a big deal anyway; just the cost of moving from a rental to a home you own will cost a bundle, especially if you need new furniture. Plan to spend anywhere between $5,000-$10,000, depending on where you’re going, what you own, and what you can do yourself. You can’t forget about broker’s fees, closing fees, and deposits, either, especially since the average cost of a home in Florida is up to $194,000.

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      Research Your Loan Options

      Whether you’re going for a Tampa mortgage, a Naples mortgage, or a straight Florida refinance plan, there are lots of loan options available to you. For instance, FHA loans come from the Federal Housing Administration, which backs you on insurance as long as you meet the qualifications. VA loans are available to active members of the military as well as eligible veterans. There are also loans from the government and housing offices in your local area, especially for people buying a home for the first time.

      Think Outside the Traditional Box

      If you’re thinking about an FHA loan, then realize that various HUD homes through the Department of Housing and Urban Development might become available to you. You have to meet strict qualifications, but they’re worth looking into if you’re having trouble getting a loan. You can even think about looking at foreclosed homes in your area, which may cost much less than other homes.

      Buying a home for the first time is scary but it’s also exciting; it’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Are you ready to take the plunge?

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      How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

      How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

      Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

      But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

      Sight – Visual Stimulation

      The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

      1. Maximize your exposure to light.

      Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

      Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

      2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

      Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

      Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

      Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

      3. Take note of your environment.

      Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

      By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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      Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

      What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

      4. Engage in conversation.

      Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

      Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

      Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

      Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

      5. Listen to upbeat music.

      Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

      Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

      Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

      If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

      6. Work your nose.

      Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

      If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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      Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

      Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

      If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

      7. Have a good breakfast.

      Start off with the most important meal of the day.

      Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

      Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

      Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

      20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

      8. Drink lots of water.

      Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

      So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

      How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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      Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

      3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

      9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

      Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

      Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

      Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

      25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

      Touch – Tactile Stimulation

      Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

      10. Splash cold water on your face.

      Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

      This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

      5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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      11. Use acupressure.

      Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

      Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

      12. Get moving.

      Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

      And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

      You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

      Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

      Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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