Smart Money Moves for Homebuyers in 2023

As we face a 40-year high in inflation and a rising cost of living, the affordability of mortgages has more obstacles to overcome than ever before. It’s crucial for homeowners and prospective buyers to exercise greater caution with their finances in 2023. Here are some tips to help you make smarter choices:

  • Prioritize credit card debt repayment: Credit card debt tends to carry high interest rates, making it vital to tackle it promptly. By focusing on paying off your credit card balances as quickly as possible, you’ll free up more of your monthly income to allocate towards your mortgage payments.
  • Create and stick to a budget: A well-structured budget empowers you to monitor your spending habits and avoid going overboard in any specific category. Numerous budgeting tools are available, so explore and find one that suits your needs, then stick to it consistently.
  • Avoid overspending: It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new home and overspend on furnishings, appliances, and other items. However, bear in mind that your mortgage payments are a long-term commitment. Be mindful of your spending habits.
  • Seek advice from your mortgage professional: When considering a mortgage, it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable mortgage professional. They can assess your financial situation and provide expert guidance on whether you can afford a mortgage and which options align best with your budget. Their expertise will help you make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of the mortgage market effectively. By relying on their insights, you can secure a mortgage that suits your financial capabilities.

It’s important to recognize that inflation is not a permanent state. The Federal Reserve is actively taking measures to curb inflation, and stabilization of prices is expected in the coming months. However, it’s crucial to manage your finances diligently.

If you require guidance in handling your finances, seeking advice from a banker, financial planner, or your mortgage professional is highly recommended. They can help you develop a tailored financial plan that works for you.

Inflation poses a genuine challenge for homeowners. However, by exercising caution with your money, you can shield yourself from financial hardship and ensure that your mortgage payments remain manageable.

Remember, making informed decisions and being proactive will lead to a more secure financial future. I can help if you’d like to talk.

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Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream Month, a time to celebrate America’s favorite chilled dessert during the hottest month of the year.

The exact origins of ice cream are unknown, but it is believed to have originated in China over 4,000 years ago. The Chinese made a frozen dessert by mixing snow with milk and rice.

In the United States, the average person consumes about 20 pounds of ice cream per year.

Here are some fun facts:

  1. The most expensive ice cream in the world is made with 23-carat edible gold flakes and costs $100 per scoop.
  2. The world’s oldest ice cream parlor is Berthillon in Paris. It has been in business since 1902.
  3. The most popular ice cream flavor in the United States is vanilla. The most popular ice cream flavor in the world is chocolate.

No matter what your favorite flavor is, there’s no wrong way to enjoy ice cream. So this July, join in the celebration of National Ice Cream Month and stay cool with a delicious treat!

Home Improver: Build a Summer Herb Garden

As the sun shines brightly and the temperatures rise, there’s no better time to cultivate your very own summer herb garden. Not only will it add a touch of green to your outdoor space, but it will also provide you with an abundance of fresh and aromatic herbs to enhance your culinary creations.

Here are some simple steps to get started:

Choose the Right Location: Select a sunny spot in your garden or balcony that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. Herbs thrive in these conditions and require porous soil to prevent waterlogging.

Select Your Favorite Herbs: Consider the herbs you use most frequently in your cooking. Popular options for a summer herb garden include basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and parsley. Start with a few varieties that suit your taste and expand as you gain confidence.

Prepare the Soil: Ensure your soil is nutrient-rich. If needed, amend the soil with compost or organic matter to provide a healthy foundation for your herbs to grow.

Plant with Care: Follow the planting instructions specific to each herb. Some herbs prefer to be directly sown into the soil, while others benefit from being started indoors and then transplanted. Give them enough space to grow, as overcrowding can hinder their development.

Water and Maintain: Herbs generally require consistent watering, especially during hot summer days. Be careful not to overwater, as herbs prefer slightly drier soil. Regularly prune and harvest your herbs to encourage new growth and prevent them from becoming “leggy.”

Enjoy the Harvest: As your herbs flourish, harvest them regularly. Use fresh herbs to elevate your salads, marinades, cocktails, and summer dishes. Preserve surplus herbs by drying or freezing them for later use.