Mr. President Obama, spoke a lot about cutting spending, making a balanced budget, having the government begin to act like it’s people are around the country, living within a budget. This blog will be about a families budget and some good places to start. Since I am a realtor and I help people buy and sell homes in Fort Myers, FL Lee County, it would only make sense if I gave some help and guidance for those who want the help. I promise, that living within a budget will allow you to buy a new home if you are renting, it will allow you to move into a bigger home if your family is growing, it will ensure you NEVER have to live with the threat of foreclosure, like Hundreds of Thousands of Lee County residence have to. I always ask the simplest question with a budget, where do I begin? If you want a 7 step complete system, look into Dave Ramsey Financial University or Crown Biblical Financial study. A sneak peak to step #1, is Get $1,000 Emergency Fund asap. This fund’s purpose is so that you never have to depend on Credit Cards again. Because the myth that we tell ourselves is, “I only have a credit card for Emergencies.” So get rid of the credit cards immediately. Ok, lets skip ahead a few steps and get to this budget. Where do you begin? Begin with a chart that gives you the guidelines in percent as to where your money should be spent. This guide is from the Crown Biblical Financial study workbook, page 47, 2007 Edition. I have highlighted the $35,000 column, because the median income in Lee County was $33,266.
What might be amazing to many is to see that Just because you Make $45,000 a year, your actual spendable income is less than $34,000. To me when I put in on paper like that it really brings to light what I have and don’t have. Lets say you are making $35,000 and you get a $10,000 raise, the Money you get to actually use out of that $10K, is roughly $6100…so don’t go out and buy a new car just because you got a raise. Or lets turn our attention to Fort Myers Real Estate. If the median income in Lee County, which is Fort myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero and Lehigh Acres and North Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach, is $33,266 and the housing expense is supposed to be 36% of your spendable income that means your monthly housing expense, be it mortgage, or rent, but if mortgage has to include taxes and HOA dues ALL this has to be under$995/mth. If you are renting, no problem, most rental properties range from $850-$1000. If you are buying a home in a community that has a $200/mth HOA, then that means your taxes and insurance mortgage need to be $795 total!!! Which means you can only afford a $85,000 home. If you take out the HOA, now you can afford, $120,000 home. The assumptions where 5.5%interest rate, .5% MI and 1.25% Taxes. I always use www.MortgageCalculator.org as my resource for working out mortgage questions. NOW, if the median income in Lee County can only afford a $120,000 priced home, you can do some deductive reasoning and say, real estate in Lee County shouldn’t climb above $120,000 for median price home for a long time and thus we are in a flat market which is a good time to buy. OH, by the way, if you are looking to buy a home in Lee County don’t hesitate to ask me for help..Kindly. Justin Ruzicka www.House-Guy.com