Categories
Homeownership

How Much Home Can I REALLY Afford? Mortgage Calculator

Are you ready to buy a house? We’ve previously talked about what you should save to buy a house but what if you have saved and you want to know how much your monthly payment will be? That’s where a mortgage calculator comes in. There are mortgage calculators online that will estimate certain inputs for you but you might be wondering what those inputs mean.

What Makes Up a Mortgage Payment?

A mortgage payment is the payment on the loan that was borrowed from the lender. Unless you are paying cash in full, you will have to borrow the balance. You will typically borrow from a bank, but there are other ways to pay for the balance, like borrowing from a hard money lender, securing owner financing or contacting the Mafia.
Ok, I was joking on that last one, but I just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention. 🙂
Click here to find a lender in your area.
There are several components to a mortgage payment but the two basic components are principal and interest. The principal is essentially the purchase price, or borrowed amount on the home. The interest is the payment you make for borrowing the money. A loan will amortize, or pay off, over its life. The payments at the beginning of the loan term will be mostly interest but as the loan is amortized and the principal shrinks, the loan payments will be mostly principal.

Taxes and Insurance for Homes

It is absolutely essential to protect your home with insurance and so most mortgage calculators will want you to estimate the insurance payment to factor that into your mortgage payment. There is also a possibility that you will have to pay private mortgage insurance or PMI, if your down payment puts you at less than 20% equity. According to the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, average PMI will run you about 50 to 80 dollars a month on a home priced at $159,000. You also need to remember that you will have to pay property taxes as a homeowner and that could affect your monthly payment if the mortgage payment makes prepaid tax payments.

Interest Rates and Credit

Before you even start shopping for a home, you should check your credit report and make sure that everything is accurate. There are a variety of factors that go into a bankers decision to loan to you but you don’t want to get denied because there is erroneous negative information on your credit report. The mortgage interest rate that you get is directly influenced by your credit worthiness, as determined by your credit score and what’s on your credit report so be sure to check it. Then, shop around for mortgage lenders to find the best rate.

Using a Mortgage Calculator

The best part of using a mortgage calculator is the ability to play around with the numbers and test different home prices, interest rates and loan terms. Now that you know what goes into the calculation, try it yourself!

Have you used a mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments?Compare mortgage rates in your area.


Search to compare mortgage rates in your area.

How To Qualify for a Mortgage as a Young Adult

Moving out on your own is a big deal, especially if you are purchasing your first home right out of living with your parents. Many young adults assume that you need to wait until you are in a certain age bracket in order to purchase a home, but nothing could be further from the truth. Following the steps below will help any young adult find their way through the housing market and on their way to purchasing their own home.

4 Steps to Buying a Home as a Young Adult

Get Your Credit in Order

As long as you didn’t go out and sign up for several credit cards as soon as you turned 18, then you likely don’t have much if any credit at all. Having no credit is just as bad as having bad credit. Try to sign up for one major credit card and one department store credit card. This will help show a revolving credit history.

Make an Appointment With a Lender

Meeting with a lender and discussing what you need to do to purchase a home is a great second step. They’ll be able to run your credit, let you know if you have any issues that need to be resolved, or if you can move ahead fairly quickly with obtaining a loan. Click here to find a lender in your area.

Find a Home

Once you’ve met with the lender they will give you an idea of the mortgage loan amount you’ll qualify for. A real estate agent will be a great tool in finding a home within your budget. Keep in mind that homes outside of your budget can sometimes be talked down to your budget or close.

Gather your Documents

Once you’ve found your home, had you’ll need to get your loan approved and this require important documents. You’ll need to gather any tax returns you have; if not possible your lender will discuss what else they can use. You’ll also need proof of income you have, social security card, banking information, and photo ID. Each lender is different and may require more or less documents; this should be discussed with you your initial visit.

Once all 4 steps are completed you shouldn’t have to wait too long before your new home is yours and a set of keys is being handed to you. Be sure to shop around to different lenders before settling on one, each one specializes in something different and you may be eligible for programs that help with down payments, closing costs or reduce the interest rate on your home loan. Compare mortgage rates in your area.

Originally posted 2011-11-08 10:00:52.

Categories
Earn Extra Income

How to Start an Online Store with Shopify

Ready to sell your goods using ecommerce as your platform? Ecommerce is basically what Amazon.com does. They sell without a brick and mortar store front and sell online instead. Even though you are selling online, you still should start with an ecommerce business plan. If you have started selling online, you know how difficult it can be. First you have to list all of your items, set prices and find a way to drive traffic to your store. If you’ve read Caveman Simple SEO, then you know the ways to drive traffic from Google but what happens when your customer shows up? Will they leave because your store is ugly? That’s where Shopify comes in. I know of a few young entrepreneurs that have used Shopify to build a successful online store front.

Getting Started with Shopify

The great news is that you can take advantage of the 14 day free trial to create your store now. Let’s see how this works.

Enter a store name, your email address and a password. You can change the name of your store later.

Wait a few seconds while your store is created.

Once your store is created, you have a preliminary link that has myshopify in it. In my case it was ecobabyhq.myshopify.com. You can change this by purchasing a custom domain name.

After filling in the preliminary information, you will be taken to your dashboard. This is your behind the scenes set up. You can add products, customize your design, and continue the steps to opening your store. I recommend that you take your time on these steps to get things right. In the meantime, be sure to inform your fans and friends on social media that your store is coming soon so they can be ready for the launch. There’s nothing like building anticipation but you want to make sure it’s worth it.

Choosing a Theme for Your Store

You’ll want to change the theme to customize your store. The standard theme is not bad but if you want to stand out from the pack, you should do a little work to be different. Visit the Theme Store to find more free themes that match your store’s product line or you can purchase a theme as well. I’m going to go with this minimal theme that is free and comes with 4 different styles. All you have to do is click install theme and it will be installed like that.

If you are looking at paid themes, the prices will range from about 80 dollars to 180 dollars. Be sure to choose a theme that has a mobile option. With desktops going the way of the dinosaur, it’s important to help your customers access your page easily.
When you view your shop from the outside, you will see the picture options and be able to load images to make your shop customer friendly.

Adding Products to Your Shopify Store

You can start a service site or a typical product based shop. Either way, it’s pretty easy to add products to your Shopify store. Once you click the add new product link, you will be able to include the product name, a short description and further details such as quantity, the tax rate and so forth. This part of the process will probably take the most time so I recommend enlisting a friend to help or hiring a virtual assistant that can take care of this for you.

Blog With Shopify

One of the nicest features about a Shopify store is that it includes a blog feature. Blog stands for Better Listings on Google and it is one of the best ways to drive free traffic to your new store.

Welcoming Customers

One last item! You probably have this already, but I think an About Page is possibly the most important pages on your site. Make sure that you connect with your customers and potential customers. Include a little about yourself and why this is your passion. Share why you will make sure their shopping experience is the best and keep your promises! Customers and clients are hard to gain but easy to lose.

Making Your First Sale with Shopify

Congrats! You have a brand new store. Be sure to set your payment preferences. You can automatically get started accepting payments with Paypal as the default. However, there are other options for accepting payments available from the preferences drop down box.

Overall Shopify is very easy to use and great for young entrepreneurs starting to sell online. The steps are easy and perfect for a beginner or someone who is not familiar with web coding language. Remember our interview with Raw Denim Boutique owner Emily Lipman? She started an online store to complement her brick and mortar store and used Shopify to set it up. Check out Raw Denim Boutique and pick up a new pair of denim while you’re there!


Shopify Instant Online Store

4.5
LaTisha Styles
August 2013
“Easy and perfect for a beginner …”
“Overall Shopify is very easy to use and great for young entrepreneurs starting to sell online. The steps are easy and perfect for a beginner or someone who is not familiar with web coding language..”

Originally posted 2018-09-05 08:14:03.

Categories
Earn Extra Income

How To Start a Blog and Make Your First $100

Want to start a blog? So did I when I graduated college.

When I first started this blog more than 5 years ago, I had no idea that it would grow into what it is now.

Because of the work that I put into this blog, I was able to use the extra side-hustle income to pay of over $32,000 of credit card debt. (You can read my story here.) Then each month my income continued to grow.

First I consistently made $500 a month.

Then, I saw my first $1,000 month and again and again I reached an extra thousand dollars per month.

After that, I looked for ways to increase my income and hit my goal at the time which was to earn $5,000 per month. That would allow me to leave my full time job and work for myself.

That happened after the 4-year mark.

All of that came from the blog and what I learned from it.

I’m going to teach you exactly how to do what I did on this blog. The first step is to create your own blog.

You have to own a home on the web.

Then you can earn in a few ways.

Are you starting a blog for your business website? Do you want to start a blog to start your business? Resources that I use and recommend.

Earn Extra Income The Slow Way

The slow way includes passive income from ads that you place on your site, affiliate income from recommending products and services to your readers, and being a brand ambassador.

Earn Extra Income The Faster Way

The medium speed way includes semi-passive income from promoting like crazy, getting featured in the news, contributing guest posts, getting on podcasts, and working with large brands.

Earn Extra Income The Fastest Way

The fastest way to earn money online is to create a one-page website that describes what you do, then you find your first client. Then you find your next client. And you keep at it.

But each of these ways requires that you own a home on the web.

I made my first $29 online using the slow way, then I ramped up to my first $1,000 online using the medium way.

Finally, I learned the fast way and made five figures offering my skills as a consultant.

I can teach you how to earn using each method. But first you have to have a home on the web. Then I’m going to teach you how to make your first $100.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Choose a Domain Name and Host

The name of your website is the address that your fans will type to get to your site. And your hosting company holds the files that get displayed on your page.

Think of your web address as a home and the host as the land it sits on.

My first domain name was a mess. It was FSYAonline. FSYA stands for Financial Success for Young Adults. A mouthful.

Finally I learned that I needed to choose a domain name that is short, easy to remember, and makes it easy to understand the topic.

When you see Young Finances, you know that we’re talking about money for young people.

How young?

My audience ranges from late college to mid career professionals in their mid-30’s.

So keep that in mind when you’re choosing a domain name.

The Technology You Need to Start a Blog

Once you choose a domain name, you’re going to need a host. Fortunately, you can get your domain and host in one step.

There are many web hosts out there but I’m going to share with you the one that I use.

Hostgator is my recommended option because you can get up and running with WordPress very quickly.

(And if you get started with Hostgator through my partner link, you can get hosting for one penny for the first month!)

Watch this video to get started.

Hostgator has amazing support and they’ve hosted all of my domains since I started. And I haven’t had any issues.

Step 2: Install WordPress and Choose a Theme

If you watched the video above, then you know how to install WordPress already. WordPress is a content management system that makes it easy to create your own website.

And if you download and install Visual Composer, you can also edit your site in a drag and drop fashion.

When you are dreaming up your website, you might feel overwhelmed as if you have to start from scratch.

But there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Begin by choosing a template that you like and then customize.

One of my favorite sites to find theme templates is ThemeForest. This site has WordPress templates that you can upload and easily edit.

A well designed theme is going to cost you between $50 – $80. Then, if you would like to have it customized, you might find someone that can do it for less than $200 if you search for a freelancer on Upwork.com.

Theme Examples:

Once you load these themes into WordPress, you’ll probably need to make some changes.

Each of the themes that I’ve listed above comes with Visual Composer which is a drag and drop editor for WordPress.

(Some people prefer Squarespace because of the drag and drop features. Visual Composer allows you to do the same with WordPress.)

I use the Genesis Framework and a Genesis theme to customize the look of my WordPress site.

The final step is one of the most important steps.

Even if you stopped updating your blog (like I did at at the end of 2015) you could still make money if you have this one tool.

Step 3: Choose an Email Service Provider

That is an email service provider. When someone comes to your site they might look around, then leave.

However, if you capture their email address, you can remind them to come back to your site over and over again.

This is the most important final step of setting up a website. I started out using MailChimp to send emails because it was free. But we’ve already established that free does not work when you are looking to make money from a blog.

I highly recommend ConvertKit as the service to send out your blog emails. Building an email list is the best way to make money with your blog. Let me say that again because I want to make sure you understand this one point.

Building an email list is THE best way to make money with your blog.

I mentioned that there are things I would change if I could go back and the number one thing I would do would be to focus more on my email list than how much content I put out. Cultivating a trusting relationship with your audience should be top of mind.

You can sign up for Convertkit here.

(If you use my partner link I’ll send you my Convertkit training and show you exactly how I make money using email. Just email me a screenshot of your confirmed signup.)

Now you’re probably thinking ok, what’s next?

I could throw everything that I know at you all at once about how to earn passive income with affiliate marketing…

…how to run Facebook ads to make $35 from 50 cents

…how to package your skills into a service and make 5 figures or more

but if I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that you have to have a clear and defined plan.

I’m going to give you that exact plan.

Register below and get on the wait list for my full blog to business course. Join the wait list here. I’ll also send you my three part series showing how I grew my income from the first $29 to $5,000 per month.

Originally posted 2016-08-04 08:00:29.