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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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      Last Updated on January 17, 2019

      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

      Listen carefully:

      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

      1. Pray Daily

      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

      3. Smile Often

      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

      4. Organize Your Working Desk

      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

      How do you do that? This is my formula:

      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

      8. Go Exercise

      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

      The Bottom Line

      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

      More Resources About Mindfulness

      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

      Reference

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