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Ask Yourself These Questions Before Opening a Credit Card

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  Ask Yourself These Questions Before Opening a Credit Card  By Greg McKinney Mineola TX Credit cards can be a great personal finance tool, but they can also make things go incredibly wrong. Knowing how to use a credit card and choosing the right one for the job is important, but not everyone knows how to do it.   Here’s the truth, though.   You might not even need a credit card right now. Ads for credit cards are everywhere you look today, making it easy to fall into the trap of needing every shiny new card offered, but they’re not always all they’re cracked up to be.   Ask yourself these 5 questions before opening a credit card to make sure you’re making the right choice.   Why do you Want the Credit Card?   Ask yourself this important question first. Why do you want a credit card? There are many answers, and most are acceptable, except one.   Here are some common reasons: ·        You want to earn rewards from a rewards card ·        You need a card to book hotels or airfare ·      

How Much House can I Afford?

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  How Much House can I Afford? By: Greg McKinney Mineola TX Buying a house is exciting, but before you look for your dream home, you should know how much home you can afford. The typical rule is to keep your total debts including your new mortgage at 36% of your gross monthly income (income before taxes). But there are a few other factors you must consider.  Calculating your Debt-to-Income Ratio   Your DTI is the comparison of your monthly debts to your income before taxes. Your monthly debts consist of any student loans, personal loans, car payments, minimum credit card payments, and the total mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).  Keeping your DTI at 36% ensures financial affordability and security while allowing you to borrow money to buy a home. Most banks, however, go up to a 43% DTI if your other qualifying factors allow it.  The Down Payment   Another factor in how much house you can afford is your down payment. Your down payment does two thin

How Much Should You Put Down On A House?

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  How Much Should You Put Down on a House? By: Greg McKinney Mineola Texas   Everyone wants the magic answer – how much money should you put down on a house? Is it 20%? Can you put down less or more than that?  The down payment isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It varies by borrower, loan program, and situation. Here’s what you should know.   Do you Need a 20 Percent Down Payment?   The good news is you don’t need a 20% down payment all the time. Is it nice?   Sure. But if you don’t have 20% to put down, you can still get a mortgage. A 20% down payment gives you instant equity in your home. It also lowers your risk of default which may allow lenders to give you more attractive financing options.   If you’re taking out a conventional loan, it also allows you to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). But don’t worry, if you take out conventional financing and put down less than 20%, you can cancel the PMI once you owe less than 80% of the home’s value. How Much Should

5 Things First-Time Homebuyers Must Know Before Taking out a Mortgage

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  5 Things First-Time Homebuyers Must Know Before Taking out a Mortgage   If you’re thinking about buying your first home, there are some things you should know to increase your chance of mortgage approval. Even in today’s competitive real estate market, first-time homebuyers have many opportunities to get a home, but it all starts with knowing how to get approved for a mortgage.   You Must Check your Credit   Your credit is the first thing lenders look at and use to decide if you’ll qualify for financing. Everyone gets free access to their credit reports – use it.   Check your credit report for any of the following: Late payments Use of more than 30% of your credit line Collections Inaccurate information Dispute any incorrect information, bring late payments current, and pay any large outstanding credit lines down to improve your credit score.   You Need Money for a Down Payment AND Closing Costs You might only need 3 – 3.5% down on the home, but don’t forget abou

New IRS Rules For Cash Payment Apps

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  Let’s talk about a new tax coming in 2022. It’s not exactly a new tax but it's a new way that the IRS are going to keep tabs on your finances even down to your garage sales. I'll explain that in a second, so on January 1, 2022, new laws are being put into place that 1099 reporting will be implemented and it will be mandatory for payment platforms like Vimeo, cash app, and PayPal. What it means is that there will be a 1099 issued for anyone who receives $600 or more in transactions throughout the entire year. Currently, to give you an idea how different this is, a lot of people believe it’s normal but it's not normal for these payment apps. This is for anybody selling things or receiving payment on payment platforms like PayPal and that's $600 throughout the year total. Currently, to give an idea how big of a deal this is or how big of a change from the current rule it is, those payment platforms do not have to issue a 1099 unless at least $20,000 of transactions have

Investors Are Putting Their Money Into Multifamily Housing By Greg McKinney Mineola TX

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  Hello, I'm Greg McKinney a long time real estate investor from Mineola Texas. This ever changing real estate market we are currently living in is fascinating to watch. One area growing rapidly is multifamily housing. Many investors are discovering the benefits of investing in  multifamily housing.  They have also discovered there is a huge increasing demand for these types of residences. Younger people are renting longer before purchasing their first home and older adults are moving into smaller spaces. These are to two main contributing factors to the increase in  demand for multifamily housing . This type of housing has traditionally always done well no matter what the economy is doing. As I previously mentioned, the demand for this type of housing is driven by 2 main sectors. The younger generation is renting for longer periods than ever before. Many think the primary reason is student load debt. Their student loan debt is pulling down the actual amount they can borrow for

Which Home Improvements Add The Most Value To Your Home by Greg McKinney Mineola Texas

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Hello,  I’m Greg McKinney from Mineola TX and we have remodeled dozens of homes here in East Texas over the past 30 years. Whether you are working on your personal home or investment property, one thing I have learned over the years is to always spend your money where you will receive the highest return on your investment. Think through each project you are doing thoroughly. If you’re thinking about updating or remodeling your home it’s a good idea to invest your money in the areas of your home where you will get the best return for your money. You want to add as much value to your home as possible while spending the least amount possible. Here is a list of the main projects I would recommend. We will dive deeper into each in this article. Paint Adding Faux Stone Updating the Kitchen New Siding The top thing you can do to update your home is a fresh coat of paint inside and out. It is amazing how drastic paint can change the appearance of a home. It can get costly to hire this done but