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Join Us Saturday, May 20th, 2017 in Alpharetta for Shred Day!
Join us for Shred Day, Saturday, May 20 th, 2017 at the Georgia’s Own Alpharetta Branch , located at 5825 Windward Parkway in Alpharetta. This year TWO shred trucks will be on site from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m to shred your personal documents for free (limited to 5 boxes/bags of personal documents per vehicle). We’ll also have refreshments and giveaways for the family to enjoy!
We hope to see you there!
Todd’s Mortgage Minute: Are you really ready to buy your first home?
In the mortgage industry, nothing is more rewarding than helping a client purchase their first home. The day is met with excitement, enthusiasm, and oftentimes photos to remember the day that someone has started “a new life!” That day can also be met with anxiety, worry, and wondering, “Did I make the right decision by purchasing this home?” At the end of the day, those of us in the mortgage industry should really be educating these first-time buyers so they’re prepared once the moving truck is gone and so they’re budgeting for the one-time/first-time expenses, as well as monthly bills, that come along with being a new homeowner.
From a monthly perspective, if you’re moving from an apartment or condo, you may not have had all of your utilities set up in your name — some may have been included in your rent. Cable, water, electricity, gas, internet, garbage pickup, and pest services are all monthly expenses that you’re going to have as a new homeowner. Oh, and by the way, many utility companies will not set up these services unless you pay a deposit. Did you have these costs in your budget?
First-time purchases should also be budgeted for, considering some of them are big-ticket items. Do you have a lawnmower? You’ll need a gas can, along with a weed-eater of some sort, as well. Does your new home have a refrigerator or a washer and dryer? Chances are if you’re moving from an apartment, those appliances stay in the apartment and you’ll have to buy these items. If your home is newly built, you’ll need blinds for the windows, or some sort of window treatments — not just for the front-facing windows of the home, but for ALL windows. And trust me, you don’t want to be known as the house on the street using Star Wars sheets as curtains.
The bottom line: there’s more to purchasing that first home than just having the funds needed for closing and being able to afford the monthly loan payment. Make sure you’re ready so you don’t stress after the move. Homes are meant to enrich our lives, not to stress us out!
Unconventional Ways to Pay Down Student Loan Debt
If there’s one contender for Understatement of the Century, it’s “student loans are a massive problem.” As of July 2016, there are 43.3 million student loan borrowers carrying $1.35 trillion worth of debt. That translates to roughly $31,178 per borrower, excluding compound interest. Yikes!
Lucky for college grads, there’s still hope. And it doesn’t require the utterly unsexy method of tightening the proverbial belt to inhuman limits. If you want to earn money, pay off your debt and have fun all at the same time, give these not-so-conventional tips a spin.
1.) Enter a Contest
Granted, there’s only a one-in-a-million chance to win one of those, and contests don’t come every day. But if means slashing a few thousand dollars off your debt, why not?
2.) Rent Your Apartment
Does your place see a lot of foot traffic from visitors? Consider renting it out. Just sign up for sites like Airbnb, Homeaway and FlipKey, and you can connect with potential renters ASAP. In case you need to stay somewhere else while you rent out your place on Airbnb, there’s a site called – and we’re not making this up – “Can I Stay with You While I Rent My Place on Airbnb ?”
Of course, there’ll be taxes on what you earn from renting out your place. But you can reduce your taxable income by factoring in expenses such as repairs and maintenance, insurance, etc. If you’re not sure which of these is tax deductible, don’t be afraid to ask a financial expert.
3.) Sell Items You Don’t Use Anymore
If your room is overflowing with unused knick-knacks, it might be a good idea to sell some things. As painful as it is to part with prized possessions, it’s even more painful to know that a debt might take a lifetime to pay off.
Start with items like jewelry, which appreciate in value over time . You can sell them via sites that deal with general goods, or you can find places that specialize in transactions for your particular item (e.g. Etsy for jewelry). Be careful when selling online, though: Do a background check on your buyer, ask for upfront payment and stay safe when selling online.
5.) Test Websites
Considering how many websites crop up every day, expect more people to want to know whether their website is working. Fortunately, most of them are willing to pay for that kind of service, and it doesn’t take a lot of technical know-how to test a website.
The only things you need are a computer with a microphone, a reliable Internet connection and five to twenty-five minutes to perform each test. Basically, your job is to download software, allow the software to record your screen as you browse the client’s website, record a voice review and get paid as much as $200 per month . Not bad for a task that simple!
6.) Turn Your Passion into Profit
What better way to make money than to do something you love? If you have a saleable skill, such as writing website copy or crafting handmade jewelry, you can advertise it via online job sites like Upwork, Guru and Crowded. Alternatively, you can build a self-hosted website, show off your work there and promote your site to attract eyeballs to it.
The Sky’s the Limit!
These aren’t the only ways to save up for student loan payments. You can also stick to the traditional methods of keeping your expenses low, paying your dues on time and maintaining a fund for the rainy days. But if there are more exciting options available, why not give those a shot, too?
Information taken from igrad.com
Annual Golf Challenge Raises $100,000 for L.E.A.D.
We recently held our annual golf challenge in which we raised $100,000 for L.E.A.D (Launch. Expose. Advise. Direct). L.E.A.D. is an organization in Atlanta that helps transform the lives of young men through baseball. Through their work, they have become one of Atlanta’s most impactful non-profits and we are incredibly proud to partner with them. Thanks to all who had a part in such a successful day!