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Dream Home Built on Foundation of Good Habits


The best time to fire someone is before you hire them. And sometimes the best loan for you is the one you don’t take out.

I’ve had people come to me loaded down with poor past decisions, currently reflected in a crummy credit rating. Then, while treading water in a sea of maxed out credit cards, they find it… their dream home! It would be perfect for the kids, perfect for the neighbors, perfect for work and..well…it's perfect!

Then, bad old Mr. Reality Check has to step in and remind them that before you know it, most dream houses become just-a-house. But a nightmare mortgage is forever. OK, just 30 years, but is seems like forever.

So, if you’ve got debt problems sufficient to damage your credit rating, somebody is trying to tell you something. You have a problem you need to fix.

Your bad decisions may not be behind you yet – in fact, you may be about to make another one.

No one ever just buys a new house. The first time someone utters the word “update,” I’m thinking $50,000 for a new master bath, $20,000 for carpet and flooring, $15,000 for new furniture…

You want a dream house? Great. I want you to have one too. Here’s what you need to do to get there:

First, you get those credit cards paid off.

Then you work on paying off your car loans.

At the same time, you are paying down the bad debt, you are putting monthly deposits into your emergency savings account until you have six months of income saved. Once you’ve got this done, you can buy your new cars out of this account and pay yourself back.

Once all of the above is done (yes, it will take a few years), then you can start thinking about dream houses.

A dream house is not much of a delight when the end of the road is a financial nightmare. So take care of business first.

The road to a real dream house starts with a plan, is paved with discipline, accountability and regular (monthly) action and naturally results in a happy ending.

When the time is right, wherever you find your dream house, for you, it will be the most peaceful neighborhood in town.

Byron is a Certified Financial Planner and Managing Director of the Planning Group at Argent Advisors, Inc.
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