Monday, December 28, 2015


The idea of saving money in itself is daunting, let alone the amount of money you need to buy your first home. So how do you get from I want to buy a home to moving into your new home? Here are some tips that will help you along that journey.


Figure out how much do you need. Check out mortgage calculators on sites such as – these will give you an idea of monthly payments in the different price ranges. Keeping in mind ratios the lenders use for income to debt/payment.  Once you have an approximate range plan on putting down at least 3.5% of the total cost of the home as a down payment and another 3-4% in closing costs. With a reasonable offer you can ask the seller to help with closing costs. 

So now you have an idea of what you need in the bank to start your home search. Great now let’s get that money actually into the bank.

The obvious is to look at your expenses and cut out or back discretionary spending. 

Have your payroll department automatically put some of you paycheck into a savings account.

Check and see if you credit card has a cash back option – devote cash back money to your new home fund.

You don’t have to give up an active social life just because you are saving for a home – many Park and Recreation Departments have lost of free events as well as your local Visitor Centers.  Meet Up can point you to many opportunities for social outings that are free or almost free,

For ideas and inspiration visit this site:,her site has a wealth of information on opportunities to earn extra money, managing money and living on less.

Look at ALL your loan options there are many programs out there to help you get a home.

 In Ohio there is the Ohio Financing Agency - they have some wonderful programs that grant you money for a home purchase. This agency is not unique to Ohio all states have some form of this program.

The USDA has an excellent loan program for home purchases in Qualified areas, - the beauty of these loans is they do not have Private Mortgage Insurance so payments are lower than if you used an FHA loan.

The VA Loan is a wonderful benefit for Military and Veterans – no money down, no Private Mortgage Insurance

Homes for Heroes program is a program that rebates back part of the purchase money at closing This program covers, military, veterans, teachers, law enforcement, first responders, health care workers.

Talk to a knowledgeable Realtor – they can help guide you on loans, price points, special programs and help you find a lender that will guide on the loan process. Remember buyer representation does not cost you money – I am  ALWAYS happy to sit down and get someone started on the home buying journey even if we are a year or more away.



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Never Forget....

Monday, December 7th - Pearl Harbor Day - I had the honor of attending a beautiful ceremony at the our State House. It was the Wreaths Across America Capitol State House Wreath Laying Ceremony. I was moved by the dedication the organizers have to make sure our Veterans are not forgotten.  There was a few brief introductions, the pledge of allegiance and few spoke reminding us the sacrifice made by others for our freedom. Paul Cline of Rolling Thunder ( spoke poignantly of the soldiers and sailors that became POW's or MIA in all wars and military actions. Their life's work is to correct that and make sure no warrior is left behind or forgotten.

Rebecca Frank of Gold Star Mothers ( spoke not of her loss but of a man that was a Pearl Harbor survivor, a man that helped save many lives as the bombs fell. She spoke of how at the end of his service he quietly went back to Medina County in Ohio and lived out his life without fanfare and without many even knowing his contribution to our country. It was a reminder of all the people that ensure our freedom and do so without asking for acknowledgement or accolades. It's easy to revere the actions of our warriors in the highly publicized missions, lest we forget the thousands of others that serve in ways we will never know. These quiet warriors do their time in the service, come home and quietly assimilate back into civilian life asking for nothing but what they earn.

On Saturday, December12, 2015 at Arlington Cemetery ( thousands of wreaths will be carefully laid upon the final resting place of the veterans. These wreaths are placed to carry out the mission of Wreaths Across America. In similar ceremonies at hundreds of cemeteries across the country, veterans graves will have a wreath laid upon them to fulfill the mission statement of Wreaths Across America. Please take some time this holiday season to honor our veterans and remember that freedom is not free.