Pay Yourself First

The principle to pay yourself first has been referred to as the Golden Rule of Personal Finance.

The concept is that one of the first checks you write each month is for your own savings. The rationale is that if there is no money left after a person pays their bills, there is nothing to contribute to savings or investments that month.

By establishing a priority to save, a person realizes that the balance of their monthly income must cover living expenses and other discretionary spending. This is a much different strategy than saving what is left over from monthly expenses and other spending.

Many financial experts have likened an amortizing mortgage to a forced savings account because a portion of each payment is applied to the reduction of the principal amount owed. Some homeowners have taken that concept further with a shorter term mortgage to build equity faster.

In the example below, a $250,000 mortgage at 4% interest is compared with two different terms. The 30 year mortgage would have payments of $1,193.54 each month with the first payment having $360.20 being applied to the principal. Each payment would have an increasingly larger amount applied to the principal.

The 15 year mortgage would have payments of $1,849.22 each month with the first payment having $1,015.89 being applied to the principal. The $665.68 difference in payments goes toward reducing the loan amount and acts like a forced savings.

A homeowner might opt for the longer term and intend to put the difference in the two payments in a bank savings account each month or make an additional principal contribution to pay the mortgage down. However, as any person responsible for paying household bills knows, there will always be something that comes up that could hijack your intentions.

By committing to the shorter term mortgage, a borrower is committing to make the higher payment each month and the benefit is that it will reduce your principal balance faster.

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As a Residential Finance Consultant, I have the training and experience to provide solutions to make homes more marketable and help structure favorable transactions.  Please forward this article to your friends or family who could benefit from it.

Joe Ward
Re/Max United
Joe@JoeWard.net

1612 Olde Chimney Court, Raleigh NC 27614

4 Bedrooms, 3 1/2 Baths 3,601 sqft
$419,999
1612 Olde Chimney Court, Raleigh NC 27614

WOODBRIDGE

Beautiful 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house in a North Raleigh neighborhood conveniently located off Falls of Neuse not too far from 540. There are neutral colors throughout which will go great with whatever your color scheme may be!

OC Family

OC DIning Room

The gourmet kitchen has a huge island, a breakfast area, and a butler’s pantry.

OC Kitchen_breakfast

OC Kitchen

French doors lead into a spacious office with custom built-ins and tons of natural light.

Office

The master bedroom retreat boasts a large master bath and walk-in closet.

OC Master

Exterior features include a screened porch and deck off the kitchen. There’s also a beautiful water feature with a separate patio.

Click here to see the VIRTUAL TOUR!

Directions: From I-540, go North on Falls of Neuse Road. Turn right onto High Holly Lane into the Woodbridge subdivision. Home will be on your right!

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If you are interested in seeing this home or others like it, please contact our office at 919-518-8182 to speak to a buyer’s specialist.  If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

Connect with us on social media to learn more about our team and
how we can help you find your new home!

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Real Estate Myths

Myth #1 – Discount brokers can do an adequate job selling real estate.

TRUTH:

A thorough marketing campaign is an invaluable component in the process of getting the most for your home. Promotional costs such as professional photos, brochures, ads, MLS, printing, direct mail, directional signs, personal internet websites, etc. are paid for by the Joe Ward team.

  • Does the discount broker offer a complete marketing campaign?
  • Remember, you only pay commission if, and when, your property sells successfully. You owe NOTHING if the Joe Ward team does not get results. The supply of buyers through your home will be less if marketing is limited.
  • Does the discount broker have the expertise to guide you through the home sale process?

Myth #2 – RE/MAX agents sell a lot of real estate, so they are probably too busy to pay attention to my listing.

TRUTH:

The best restaurants and excellent doctors are very busy, right? The Joe Ward team may have a lot of clients, but we have assembled a top of the line team of specialists to assist with the routine details, freeing them up to devote the time and attention YOU require to sell your property successfully.

We have built our business one satisfied client at a time, and word of mouth is spreading. In this market, having a lot of listings enables us to be able to better predict what will happen on your home when it hits the market.

Myth #3 – You should select a REALTOR who says they can get you the highest price for your house.

TRUTH:

This is the oldest trick in the book: tell the seller what they want to hear to get the listing. You should insist on a well-researched market analysis to determine the realistic amount your home will bear in today’s market and price it accordingly. Select your REALTOR based on credentials, not the price they promise.

Never select an agent based solely on the price they recommend.

10701 Round Brook Circle, Raleigh NC 27617

6 Bedrooms, 5 1/2 Baths 5,101 sqft
$799,896
10701 Round Brook Circle, Raleigh NC 27617 

BRIER CREEK

Gorgeous Executive Home on the 18th Tee in Brier Creek. Easy Walking Distance to the Clubhouse. Perfect home for a family who enjoys spending time outside or anyone who wants to live near the Brier Creek Country Club.

The gourmet kitchen will bring you joy to cook in!! With a large island, gas range, and granite countertops, it is a bright room where family and friends can gather.

 

The kitchen and breakfast room are open to the spacious family room with tons of natural light and a gas fireplace.
The dining room is also a great room for entertaining guests! The neutral paint colors throughout the house will complement any color scheme.

 

dining room

 

The master suite boasts three closets and a large master bath.

 

Master BdrmMaster Bdrm1Master Bdrm Walk In ClosetsMaster Full Bath1

This immaculate home also includes a 3rd floor suite perfect for a nanny or in-law suite, a bonus room, an additional bonus room (perfect for a man’s room!), and too many custom details to describe! This is a MUST SEE!

 

Exterior features include an amazing golf course view, aluminum fence, irrigation system and built-in Jenn Air grill.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIRTUAL TOUR!

Directions –
HWY 540 E to Exit 3, Lumley Rd. Left on Lumley. Follow Lumley straight into Brier Creek. Right at the traffic circle onto Arnold Palmer Dr. Left on Round Brook Circle.

 

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If you are interested in seeing this home or others like it, please contact our office at 919-518-8182 to speak to a buyer’s specialist.  If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net. You can also contact any of our buyer’s agents!

Connect with us on social media to learn more about our team and
how we can help you find your new home!

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Homeowner Advisory

Similar to an annual wellness physical, homeowners should consider an annual review of the financial elements of their home. It’s particularly valuable based on the fact that their home and its equity is generally, one of their largest assets.


  • List of similar properties recently sold and currently available
  • Information on challenging property tax assessment
  • Refinance Analysis to:
    • lower your rate
    • shorten the term
    • make improvements
    • eliminate mortgage insurance
    • remove a person from the loan
    • eliminate credit card debt
    • combine loans
    • take cash out of the equity
  • Equity Accelerator to retire the mortgage within a specific period of time
  • Repairmen and contractors recommendations
  • Information on rental property opportunities
We’d be happy to provide this information at no obligation as part of our on-going commitment to providing homeowner information, both in general and specifically, to our contacts. It is part of a long-term strategy whereby we hope to earn your loyalty and referrals when you do need our services to buy or sell.

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering buying or selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

It’s A Big Difference!

Let’s say that you just won $8,750 on a lottery scratch-off ticket. You’ve decided to be frugal and invest the money and have decided on three alternatives: buying a certificate of deposit, a mutual fund or use the money as a down payment for a $250,000 home.

To compare the three alternatives, let’s look at the equity in each one three years from now.Your best investment graphic.png

The certificate of deposit can be invested at 1.3% in today’s market and you believe you can reasonably earn 5% on a mutual fund. You expect the home to appreciate at three percent a year.

The certificate of deposit would be worth $9,096 at the end of three years and the mutual fund would be worth $10,129. However, the equity in the home at the end of three years would be $45,204. That is a four time’s higher yield on the home.

One of the main reasons for the big difference is that the buyer benefits from leverage: the use of borrowed funds to increase the results. The $8,750 down payment is controlling a $250,000 investment. The appreciation is determined by the price and not merely by the cash invested. Another factor is that the loan balance is smaller at the end of five years than originally borrowed due to amortization.

There are certainly other factors to consider such as maintenance and other expenses but when the financial benefits are as strong as they are, it certainly deserves a much closer investigation. One of the first things to consider is whether the borrower can qualify for a mortgage and the only satisfactory way to be certain is to get pre-approved by a trusted mortgage professional.

Use the Your Best Investment calculator to make your own projections.

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering buying or selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

1117 Mountain Laurel Drive, Raleigh NC 27603

3 beds 3.5 baths 3,208 sqft – $349,900
1117 Mountain Laurel Drive, Raleigh NC 27603

front porch

This new listing in Laurel Grove is a beautiful custom built home with gorgeous custom molding throughout. Below is an example of the molding in a hallway and in the dining room (which is currently being used as an office).

There are three bedrooms all located on the main level. The large master bedroom has trey ceilings, a sitting area, and two walk-in closets with custom shelves. The master bath has an over-sized shower with dual shower heads and a separate tub.

master

The open concept kitchen, breakfast area, and family room feels very spacious and inviting. The family room has built-ins, a gas fireplace, and hardwoods.

The upstairs has a great bonus room with a full bath and huge unfinished potential. Outdoor amenities include a front porch with swing, a screened in porch, and a fenced-in backyard. Great for outdoor entertaining!

Click here to see the VIRTUAL TOUR!

Directions – I-40 East, Right on Hwy 42 at Exit 312, Right on Sauls Road, and Right on Mountain Laurel Drive.

If you are interested in seeing this home or others like it, please contact our office at 919-518-8182 to speak to a buyer’s specialist.  If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

Connect with us on social media to learn more about our team and
how we can help you find your new home!

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Is Understanding Costing You Money?

People tend to fear what they don’t understand. Homeowners understand fixed rate mortgages and remember the horror stories of people who lost their homes because they could no longer afford them when their adjustable rate mortgages went up.iStock_000023022788Small-250.jpg

Interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages have been so low for enough years, that borrowers haven’t even given much consideration to an adjustable rate mortgage. Changes in the way adjustable rate mortgages are now made make them much safer for borrowers who understand how they work but also know they’ll only be in the home for a limited period of time.

Adjustable rate mortgages can go up or down according to an index that the lender has no control. The amount that can be adjusted is limited by caps for each period and for the life of the loan. While there are different periods for ARMs, the most popular lock the first period for five to seven years and then, can adjust annually after that.

One quick and easy way to determine whether an adjustable may be a viable alternative to a fixed would be to determine the maximum payment adjustments possible to find out when the savings from the early years are exhausted which would be the breakeven point. If the borrower is certain they’ll move prior to that date, the ARM will definitely provide a lower cost of housing.

The breakeven point for a $250,000 mortgage would be 8 years 3 months comparing a 2.9% 5/1 adjustable-rate with 1 and 5 caps to a 3.8% fixed-rate mortgage. In the initial five-year period, the payments on the ARM would be $124.32 lower and the unpaid balance would be $3,522 less than the fixed-rate to make a total savings of $10,981.

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Whether you’re buying or refinancing, get some good advice from a trusted lending professional about the adjustable-rate alternative. If you’re only going to be in the home a short time after the mortgage is made and your tolerance for risk allows you to feel comfortable, the ARM may be the best choice for you. Check out this ARM Comparison to use your own numbers.

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.