Rules for Saving & Paying Down Debt

Saving money can be such a challenge for most of us.   When it comes time to buy a home or invest in real estate it can become even more of a struggle.   With mortgage financing, we must be sure to keep our debts low, while having  enough assets on hand to get our loan approved.  We will need to consider the budget for new mortgage payments while paying of credit card or consumer debts each month.  AND we must be mindful about putting money away into a 401K or other investments and maybe having a little extra to enjoy life. 

Image result for saving money

 

 

Below are 7 simple rules for saving your money and paying off debts. Following these rules will make it easier to get where we’d like to be financially before taking the steps to get your dream home. 

 

1. Automate It! 

Most places of employment offer direct deposit. Use that to your advantage. Set your direct deposit up for a portion of your paycheck to be deposited into several different accounts. One for your 401K, another into a savings account for the purpose of emergencies, also an account to save for home projects, vacations, etc. Then, set up your bills to be paid automatically. It would be beneficial to check with your loan holders to see if that would be an option. Ultimately, it comes down to this: if you can’t see the money then you won’t have the temptation to spend it.

 

2. Know How to Prioritize

Should you start paying down debt or saving first? Which debts should you start with? You need to know how to prioritize and compare the numbers. First, start by checking the interest rates on your loans and credit cards. The higher the interest rate, the more of a priority that should be to pay off. Save any extra money you get. Tax return? Put that into savings! Get a raise at work? Automatically deposit that extra percentage into savings each month. Eventually, you will have enough in that account for a nice down payment on your home. 

 

3. Imagine Your Future Self

Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Owning your own home? Not drowning in debt? Studies show if you imagine where you’d like to be in the future that will motivate you to take the necessary steps for the purpose of achieving those goals.

Image result for saving money

4. Stop Unnecessary Spending

Take a good look at your finances and what you spend money on regularly. Do this with the intention of determining what can be dropped or scaled back on. Maybe a gym membership that you pay for monthly and only go once every 3 months or so. Another common unnecessary expense is cable TV; streaming services are cheaper, and they have a great selection. Additionally, rather than getting a coffee at Starbucks every day, make your own coffee at home. You may be surprised to know that could save over $100 a month. Also, eat meals at home instead of going out to eat. Even dropping one expenditure mentioned will make a huge difference on your bank account. 

 

5. Reward Yourself

You can’t live your life to save and pay down debt. Every now and then you need a reward for all your hard work. Use that as a motivation to save. Got a bill paid off? Get yourself something! Reached your goal on an amount of money you wanted to save? Treat yourself! Be sure to make these rewards sensible, but you could be getting perks while saving and paying off bills.  

 

Image result for saving money

6. Take Advantage of Bank & Credit Cards Offers & Rewards

Take a good look at your credit card rewards, it may surprise you what they offer. There may be an opportunity for you to receive a percentage of what you spend in cash back. Who wouldn’t benefit from that? Make sure your bank account doesn’t charge you a monthly maintenance fee. If it does, research how to waive it or get a different account.

 

7. Start Young (Its never early or late to Start)

If this applies to you, pay attention. Starting off at a young age will set you up in the future. Even if you’re working at your very first job, you can start taking the necessary steps. Apply the rules above and your savings will grow faster than you could ever anticipate.

By following these rules, you can save, pay off debt   Whether your goal is to save for a home or prepare for the future, it’s all possible with a little hard work and knowledge on your side.

Think that your credit is hopeless and that you may never be in a position to buy a home? Don’t!  There is always a way with a good plan and a good team.  We have helped so many buyers get into homes when they thought it would never be a reality for them.  We have a great team that can help you build the roadmap to get there.  Want to know more about how to get started?  Let’ Connect

Credit: NPR Public Radio – https://www.npr.org/2018/12/12/676120025/get-started-saving & http://time.com/money/4266906/save-for-new-home-tips/

Posted on January 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Costs and Spending, First Time Home Buyer, Helpful Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Preparation for Winter Driving and Snow

Here in beautiful North Idaho we are lucky to have 4 very distinct seasons. Everybody loves the warmth of Summer, the freshness of Spring, the colors of Fall, and the coziness of Winter.  

With winter comes SNOW and that can mean snow storms!   Driving in the snow and knowing how to be prepared for winter driving can be a bit stressful. 

Knowing what to do or even where to start preparation can be one of the biggest hurdles. There are simple preparations that can be done to your vehicle and with your family to get through the longest and coldest season. Check out the below tips to help avoid winter from sneaking up on you and those you love.

 

 

Preparation Tips for Successfully Surviving the Winter:

 

Get a Vehicle Winter Maintenance Check-up Before Winter Hits:

~ Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers ~

~ Tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms, so get your check-up scheduled NOW ~

Keep a Basic Winter Survival Kit in Your Vehicle:

~ Flashlight ~ Batteries ~ Blanket ~ Snacks ~

Water ~ Gloves ~ Boots ~ First-aid kit ~

Load Your Car with Basic Travel Gear:

~ Tire chains ~ Ice scraper/snowbrush ~ Jumper cables ~ Road flares ~

Keep Your Fuel Tank Full:

~ Don’t let it fall below half a tank ~

Plan With Your Family

~ Create a plan that works well with your family ~

~ Practice it each year before the snow falls ~

Stay Informed:

~ Be sure to find your local station for traffic reports and emergency messages ~

~ Know the weather approaching so you are prepared for its arrival ~

Check Your Tires:

~ Make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm ~

~ Check tire pressure during cold weather ~

Image result for winter driving

………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………..

Click on the Checklists Below for More Information:

Get Ready for Freezing Temperatures & Snowfall

Get Ready for Winter Weather Driving

…………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

AND REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE SAFE OUT THERE!!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Sources:

Washington State Dept of Transportation https://www.wsdot.com/winter/emergencykit.htm

Take the Winter by Storm https://takewinterbystorm.org/

Posted on November 21, 2018 at 12:21 am
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fall Leaf Fest 2018

Is that beautiful time of year again here in Coeur d’Alene… Fall!

 

 

With Fall comes all of the beautiful and colorful leaves that we love and enjoy for about the first 2 weeks.  After they have fallen off the trees, the fun begins with leaves all over our yards and driveways.  We then being the clean up as we ready our yards for winter.  The raking of those beautiful leaves into piles and then scooping them into bags to take to the landfill to throw way. 

DON’t BOTHER with that this year! Spend more time inside this year enjoying your hot cocoa and cozy PJ’s!  Our City of Coeur d’Alene is not only beautiful but they are also awesome!  One of the benefits of living is Coeur d’Alene and our Leaf Pick Up program and its absolutely FREE for you! 

Leaf Pickup! Starting Friday November 13th

Image result for leaves in a yard

 

Click the link here for leaf pickup map. Find your zone – leaf pickup will happen in alphabetic order.

 

Some things to keep in mind:

Do:

  • You may start putting your leaves out Friday November 2nd.
  • Please move cars out of the street if at all possible during leaf pick-up.
  • Keep the leaves about one foot off the curb line to facilitate storm water flow.
  • Be alert for leaf pick-up equipment traveling through your neighborhood.
  • Keep a safe distance away from leaf pick-up heavy equipment.
  • Recognize that we have a tough job to do in a very short window between when the leaves fall and when the snow flies.
  • Understand that city and private trucks are exempted from covering loads during the leaf pick-up period. Sweepers will follow city trucks to collect remaining/excess leaves.

 

Don’t:

  • Place bagged leaves in street.
  • Mix branches, rubble or other refuse in with the leaves.
  • Miss the deadline… we only have time for one pass!
Posted on October 29, 2018 at 10:02 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Our Great City, Whats Happening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is a SHOME?

We get a lot of questions about this. What… is a SHOME?

A SHOME is a shop + home. In this case a 40×60 shop with a large RV drive through bay on one side and a 1200 SQFT “home” on the other side. Viola, the SHOME. This is something you will find in Idaho and other rural areas.
Property is purchased with the intent of building the dream home. First a shop is erected so that there is a base for all of the future building. Then an apartment or living quarters are built as temporary housing. The plan is to then start the dream home.
Quite often the dream home never gets built and the SHOME becomes the home. Sometimes the Shome was the plan all along.  Here in Idaho we see beautiful Shomes with gorgeous high end finishes and all of the creature comforts that most people want. This shome offered 1 bedroom and 1 bath with a great room and large kitchen. Beautiful views and 20+ acres nearby national forest lands.
The challenge with the SHOME is being able to sell them like you would a home on acreage. Financing is limited and often Shomes don’t qualify for any financing. We were able to sell this SHOME quickly and get it financed. There were a few hoops but thankfully we had amazing clients on each side and our certified pre-owned program really paid off.
Have questions about Real Estate or the market in North Idaho? Get in touch with us, we are always happy to help. www.johnandtracey.com 
John and Tracey Tindall, Realtors
Windermere, Coeur d’Alene Realty
www.johnandtracey.com
208-818-2365 or 2456
Posted on September 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Listings & Selling your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Four Reasons to Sell This Winter

Maybe Winder is the best time for you to consider selling?

With Demand remaining high in our area combined with low inventory which continues to drop, this winter might just be a great combination of factors making it an ideal time for you to sell. 

A balanced market will sit at six months of inventory.  Less than six months of inventory and you start heading into a sellers market.  Lower the inventory the greater the sellers market.   In Kootenai County, our inventory sits at less than 3 months in most price sectors.  A large number of price sectors are sitting at just one month.   Low inventory with high demand will increase market values and your list price.  Interest rates continue to remain low which continues to create a tremendous amount of buyers.      

Winter is often thought a difficult time to sell, but in this buying climate it creates a perfect storm for selling!  In the winter months there is even less competition and this increases demand even further.  Buyers out looking in the cold and snow are much more serious buyers too! 

If you are interested in knowing more about the inventory levels in your neighborhood or more about our market and in determining your next step, let’s connect, we would love to assist in keeping you up on the market.    

 

 

Let’s Make Awesome Happen

Team Tindall

 

John and Tracey Tindall

Windermere, Coeur d’Alene Realty

208-818-2365 or 208-818-2456
Posted on December 12, 2017 at 11:19 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Real Estate Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Radon, A Five Letter Word!

What is Radon?

If you are buying or selling a home, Radon might not be on your radar, but it should be!   Learn more about Radon,  and what you should consider before you sell your home or buy your next one.

Learn more about Radon with John and Tracey 

Let’s Make Awesome Happen!

John and Tracey Tindall 

Windermere, Coeur d’Alene Realty 

208-818-2365 or 208-818-2456

Follow us on:  

Posted on September 29, 2017 at 1:05 am
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips, Keeping it Real - With John & Tracey, Services for Buyers and Sellers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What documents to keep and what to toss?

Tax time again and a mound of documents and not sure what to do with it all?

Hopefully you made it through another tax season and found all of your documents needed to file your return.  Now, what documents do you need to keep and which ones should you toss?   Here’s a little guideline which will help you with clearing out the old paperwork, but not throwing away anything that you might need later.

What to keep and what to toss?

 

John and Tracey
Keeping it Real…Estate

John and Tracey Tindall

208-818-2365 or 2456

www.johnandtracey.com

johntindall@windermere.com

traceytindall@windermere.com

Posted on April 18, 2017 at 6:13 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Helpful Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

January’s Market Update – Is this a good time to sell?

Is this a good time to sell?

Here is your housing snapshot for January 2017  showing an increase of 10% in median home prices and time on market down 5% in Kootenai County.   If you are a seller who is on the fence about putting your home on the market, this snapshot is a good indication that this might be a very good time for you to sell your home.

A market offering higher median home prices,  shorter closing time frames and less inventory will give sellers who decide to list now have some real advantages especially this time of year.

Listing your home before the masses who wait for better weather in April and May can give you the edge for success.  Low inventory combined with a large number of qualified buyers creates competition for your listing.  Many buyers have already lost out on another home and these buyers are ready to pounce once your listing hits the MLS.  Homes that are show ready and priced right are garnering multiple offers at full price and often offers over full price!

If you would like to be kept up to date on the market or know more about selling your home or the value of your home, contact us and we will be happy to provide you with a customized market analysis.

 

Kootenai County Snapshot for January 2017

 


 
Johnandtracey
John and Tracey
Your Professional Agents

 
208-818-2365 John         johntindall@windermere.com        
208-818-2456 Tracey     traceytindall@windermere.com
Website                               www.johnandtracey.com

 

 

Posted on March 3, 2017 at 6:08 am
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Costs and Spending | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renting is Expensive! Want to be a First Time Buyer?

Renting is Expensive!  Buying versus Renting which will cost you more?   First Time Buyer and Hopeful First Time Buyers not sure where to start? 

Renting is expensive and rents are rising.  Think you cant afford to buy, think again!

We have helped so many first time buyers get into their first home.  Upon meeting most first time home buyers they think they cant afford to buy a home or won’t qualify.  Worried they need a large down payment to even get started.

We enjoy sharing the buying process with first time home buyers and teaching them the buying process, what to expect and how to get qualified.  Introducing hopeful buyers to options that include buying a home with little to no money out of pocket.   We love spending time with first time buyers and discussing all of the options and educating them on the buying process; what to expect and how it all works.  Fears and worries about “if we can” are replaced with “wow” we can really do this!    When they realize that we are here to help and that it does not cost anything to retain us or get pre qualified true excitement comes rushing in!

If you are a want to be first time buyer or know someone that is renting and wants to explore becoming a home owner, lets connect.  We offer a first time home buyer counseling session where we will answer all all your questions, education you on the process and give you a number of options and get you set up with a lender to get qualified.

Rent or Buy? First Time Buyer or Want to Be?

Renting is EXPENSIVE! Maybe its time to become a homeowner!

 

Posted on February 18, 2017 at 11:47 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: First Time Home Buyer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How will this election effect our Real Estate Market?

Election season is here.  Will this next election have an impact on our real estate market?  Here is what Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, has to say about this subject.

Here in North Idaho we are enjoying a very healthy real estate market and we all want to see this continue.  I know we all have our candidate and beliefs about who should be in office and what they can accomplish – I am no different.  I do believe once we have a new president elect in office and things settle in, we will be back on track, no matter who is elected… my candiate or yours 🙂 

 

Posted on July 5, 2016 at 8:25 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Category: Real Estate Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,