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Compass F inan ce
Before you start hitting open houses and picking out furniture, ask
yourself a key question: How much house can I afford? When my wife
and I moved to Davie from St. Petersburg, we began looking at a few
houses where we knew we could afford the mortgage, but as soon as
we started adding homeowners insurance and taxes, the bill became
less manageable. We gave ourselves a reality check and decided to do
the math, and then look for what was available in the market that we
could comfortably afford. The answer largely boils down to your monthly
income and your financial obligations. As you start your house hunt,
remember the 28/36 rule: First, your total housing expenses, including
your monthly principal and interest payments as well as homeowner’s
insurance, property taxes and association fees should not exceed 28%
of your pre-tax household income. Second, your total debt payments,
including your mortgage, car loans, credit card debt and other liabilities,
should not exceed 36% of your pre-tax income. You can find online
calculators to help you estimate how much house you can afford.
TEX T BY STACY W YNN
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Reyes is a Financial Consultant
at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. (Member
SIPC) in Coral Gables. Information
presented is for general informational
purposes only and is not intended
as personalized advice. Brokerage
Products: Not FDIC-Insured. No Bank
Guarantee. May Lose Value. For more
information, contact Tim.Reyes@
Schwab.com or visit Schwab.com.
We all know what money is for: saving, investing and
spending on material goods. But money, coins especially,
have many other uses as well.
Did you know that adding a
copper penny to water in a vase
with cut flowers will increase their
bloom time? They also double as
props for pretty cool behind-the-
ear magic tricks.
Coins make excellent emergency
screwdrivers and come in a
variety of useful sizes. They can
also be used when you don’t have
a ruler or tape measure on hand
since each U.S. quarter measures exactly 1 inch.
Coins can help make tough choices
simpler with the old-fashioned
third party decision of “heads or
tails.” You can also collect them
as investments, wear them in your
shoes or toss then in a fountain for luck.