Selling your stuff to “make money”

I keep seeing these ads on how to sell clothing and household items as a way to “make” money. The items being sold are items that the seller already owns.

coins
spare change

To make money that way a person would have to sell the items for more than they paid for them so that there is a profit.

Most of the time people who sell items that they have used get less for the item than what they paid for it which means they lost money. Buying stuff and selling it for a lower price than you bought it for isn’t a way to make money it is a way to lose money.

If your closet is filled with items that you don’t need or want you might want to stop buying stuff for a while.

In the advertisements people, mostly women are using the money to pay for vacations, cars, and houses. A better and easier way to save up for a big purchase is to buy less instead of reselling used items every month.

Buying less has other advantages. It doesn’t help billionaires fund moon exploration or run for president but buying less might mean being able to live in a smaller home or apartment which can save enough money each month to pay for vacations and cars.

Condos are now more FHA friendly

Starting today, October 15, 2019, it will be possible to buy a condo using an FHA loan even if the condo project (building or complex) does not have FHA approval.

E 6th street
E. 6th street – mears park

Up until now, FHA loans could only be used if the condo project was approved for FHA financing. Approved condo buildings are rare in St. Paul.

There are some rules it isn’t like you can buy any old condo with an FHA loan.

“As of October 15, FHA will insure mortgages for selected condominium units in projects that are not currently approved.  An individual unit may be eligible for Single-Unit Approval under the following conditions:

  • The individual condominium unit is located in a completed project that is not approved;
  • For condominium projects with 10 or more units, no more than 10 percent of individual condo units can be FHA-insured; and projects with fewer than 10 units may have no more than two FHA-insured units.

Minimum Owner-Occupancy Requirements

FHA will require that approved condominium projects have a minimum of 50 percent of the units occupied by owners for most projects.

FHA Insurance Concentration in Condominium Projects

FHA will only insure up to 50 percent of the total number of units in an approved condominium project.”

If you are buying a condo and wish to use an FHA loan talk to your lender. What is an FHA loan? Short for “Federal Housing Administration” These loans require less of a down payment.

If you own a condo this means that there may be a larger pool of qualified buyers. If you would like to buy a condo you may be able to do so with an FHA loan. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in selling your condo or in buying one.

Saving up for a downpayment

Experts generally agree that being able to put a little money aside or save it is important. There are people who earn above-average incomes but who have no money.

Skipping the fancy coffee is’t going to add up to enough savings for a down payment on a house, it is going to take more than that.

Knowing where your money is being spent can help. Often it is the smaller monthly expenses that really add up.

A cell phone bill here and a streaming service there and some magazine subscriptions and maybe a membership that rarely gets used.

Go through monthly expenses at least once a year and see if any of the bills can be lowered or eliminated. Look for free trials that ended up being monthly bills.

It is possible to make savings a monthly expense by using auto-pay to transfer money from checking to savings each month before it all gets spent. Based on the idea of paying yourself first.

The word budget sounds boring but it is easier than ever thanks to electronic banking. I like to categorize expenses so I can easily see how much is being spent on utilities or restaurants.

Cooking at home can save a lot of money. When my daughter was a starving graduate student she used to do most of her cooking for the week on Sunday afternoons because she didn’t always have time to cook.

Bringing lunch to work can be a significant saving over dining out each day.

Buying a house does not require a 20% downpayment but in most cases, homebuyers will need cash. For those who already own a home sometimes things break.

People who want to buy a house in 2021 should start saving today.

Low interest rates getting lower?

Interest rates may go down a bit again but right now they are super low. Here are some numbers from Freddie Mac

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Rates Freddie Mac
interest rate chart
Interest rates 9/2018

I know from experience that when rates go up the smallest amount seems to affect home sales. When they go down people start refinancing.

Will rates go down again this week? We shall see.