Have you heard this in the news lately? Maybe some of these terms sound familiar:

Bail Outs
Credit Crunch
Declining Real Estate Values
Deflation
Job Losses
More Defaults Coming
THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END

OK, so the last one is a bit dramatic. But, to be quite honest, every once in awhile, I have to admit that I, too, get sucked into the Doom and Gloom vortex. We’re not perfect, but what do we really need to know?

How about this for an interesting and eye-opening statistic: On average, over 20-year periods, housing prices increase 140% (appreciation) and median household income increases 140%. Take, for example, 1979-1999. BUT – when you examine the years of 1999-2005, the U.S. experienced 150% appreciation and very slight income growth. What does this mean?

Here’s the Doom and Gloom – Read this and then get over it!

If your home was valued at $200K in 2000, then in 2008, this statistic would point to a selling price or value of $280K. What actually happened in that short amount of time between 2000 and 2005 was that the $200K home was valued at $380K. So, we are hearing a lot of people experiencing depreciation. The values we’re seeing today are more in line with how appreciation works over time (20-year stat). Some Sellers have it rough right now and Refinances are tough because of this huge leap in home values in a short time. They crashed, and now our housing market is trying to recover.

Here’s the Good, Better and Best.

Low mortgage rates will stimulate home purchases.

We are in a “love your home again” philosophy. Many people are staying put and appreciating being able to pay their mortgages. These same people are also saving money. What if you are one of these and, instead of buying into the doom and gloom, you could buy a home at a 30% discount? This is what is going on right now!!!

Buying a home is one of the best investments you can make! You are tax advantaged, and payments are affordable (particularly if you pay rent these days!) This is an incredibly exciting time to buy, due to falling prices and falling interest rates – simultaneously. This is an extremely rare occurrence!

RATES RIGHT NOW ARE WITHIN HALF A PERCENT OF THIS COUNTRY’S BEST RATES IN HISTORY.

Should I get into the real estate market?
If I’m already in, should I jump in further? (2nd home, Investment property)
Once I’m in, can I afford it?

These are all great questions and ones that you should consider with a strategic team of professionals.

Megan’s Solution to the D&G: Time & Patience and EDUCATION. Ask questions, and (dare I say) work hard, save money, repair credit, get out of debt, turn your lights off, eat at home more, and take advantage of this amazing opportunity to invest in real estate!

Oh, and no more buying into the D&G stuff – buy during the Good, Better, and Best.

Megan McDonald, Licensed Mortgage Planner
Excel Home Lending
383 Inverness Parkway, Suite 140
Englewood, CO 80112
Cell: 303-717-9995
Fax: 303-468-6133
http://www.excelhomelending.com
http://www.mcdonaldlendingservices.com

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My business coach, Chuck Blakeman (a.k.a. “The Man” – www.TeamNimbusWest.com), talks about the “Why” and the “When”. I finally get it – Thanks, Chuck.

So, I’ve defined my Why and my When – have you?

I went to go see one of my favorite Blues musicians this past week – his name is Tab Benoit (www.tabbenoit.com) – at the Little Bear, in Evergreen, CO. This is one of the most intimate places to watch a musician play. You can see the lines in their faces and the feeling in their bodies as they do what they love. Tab figured out his “Why” a long time ago. He helps people remember what singing and playing the Blues is all about. His passion is obvious, and not too long ago, his “When” happened to him. When New Orleans flooded, which is Tab’s home, the impact he felt while living there was profound. I don’t know this man (but you should to ask me about the time I got to see his tour bus), but I do know he wants to preserve and rebuild his home. As a result of this catastrophe, he works into every show a little awareness about what’s really going on in his city. Regardless of your political or humanitarian opinions on New Orleans, what happened and what should happen, you can’t fault Tab for playing some music, entertaining us, and educating people about what’s really going on.

My “Why” is educating people on the stuff we’re supposed to be learning in schools, but aren’t. My “When” finally happened! I held my first educational Workshop on January 28th in Highlands Ranch and am happy to report that it was a great experience for me and the other expert presenters I recruited to join me in this endeavor. I actually had every survey filled out with great suggestions on how to improve and feedback that didn’t bruise our egos! I am humbled by the encouragement that we received and by the knowledge that my colleagues have to give to other people so that we can impact someone’s life. Thank you to everyone! I can’t wait for the next one coming soon…

I’ll ask you again, do you know your Why and When?

When times are tough – and for many people, they are right now – what keeps you going? What’s your Why? Some say it’s their kids and keeping a roof over their heads. Some say it’s their desire to be financially free and have time to do what they’ve always wanted to do. Is this really your Why? When you go to work every day and the boss wants this report and deadlines need to be met, is that thing – that WHY you are working for – in your line of sight? These questions that Chuck asked me prompted me to really figure this out. My Why might change as I have the lucky chance to get older and wiser, but for now, it’s the biggest definition I’ve had in my life. Once you have your Why, then you can designate your When and work towards it.

So, Tab singing the Blues and my educational Workshops have a lot in common. We work towards a purpose and BECAUSE there is a purpose, the hard times don’t feel so hard and great opportunities fall into your lap. This Blog is titled, “How Financially Savvy Are You?” My bet is that you will become more financially savvy when you have these two things defined.

I would love to hear about your two W’s. Please post your comments here!

My next educational workshop will be coming soon. – Stay tuned!

Megan McDonald, Licensed Mortgage Planner
Excel Home Lending
383 Inverness Parkway, Suite 140
Englewood, CO 80112
Cell: 303-717-9995
Fax: 303-468-6133
www.excelhomelending.com
www.mcdonaldlendingservices.com