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Join Paul Petillo every week on Financial Impact Factor Radio as he discusses everything from retirement to insurance, investing to estate planning, from getting started to preparing to stop.

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I just published my fifth book - this time with Smashwords! ReBuilding Wealth in a Paycheck-to-Paycheck World by Paul Petillo, copyright 2011 This ebook is available across all platforms including iPad and iPhone, Amazon and Sony.

on personal finance

In the world of personal finance, asking what's the worst that could happen is not the same as asking: "will I be able to afford this?" or "have I saved enough for retirement?"
More personal finance

on retirement

The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Retirement

If things are good, for some they won't be good enough. If it turns out that things are not so good, someone will ultimately benefit for this off-chance negativity.
More on retirement planning

on mortgages

American dream or not, the games you may have once played with financing your home are not available for the vast majority of homeowners.
More on mortgages and homes

on insurance

Insurance : Life, Health, Auto, Home

Is the insurance industry the next victim of the financial crisis?
Health Channel

on investing

The mutual fund investor has a great many more options available to them in the post-Great Recession marketplace. The question is: are they right for you as you make a retirement plan using 401(k)s or IRAs?
More on investing

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Our recent financial discussions

on your first mortgae

As much as I dislike to go back to this, your debt plays a significant role on your ability to buy a house. Your debt, weighed against your income, will be termed by the mortgage people as your debt ratio.

But what should you bring to the table?

This is your financial life laid bare. Credit checks are mandatory and there is little you can hide from your lender or yourself. Nothing is "overlooked" and everything is considered. So straighten your financial house first and let's look at costs.

Houses aren't cheap and have been referred to as holes in the ground into which money is constantly tossed. That's just the upkeep horror or the remodel scare. Hiring a quality home remodeling contractor such as Property Visions could help you save thousands of dollars on your renovations.

Let's assume that you are renting right now. A thirty year mortgage on $110,000 at 7.25% means a monthly payment of roughly $750. Not counting taxes and insurance or furniture or paint or... I could go on. Find a house worth this much and compare it to your current rent standards. Ask yourself some questions. Are going to be in the area more than two years? Are you going to be able to maintain a house yourself, or hire out? Can you live with the costs?

Here's an easy way to figure how much you can afford:

Our hypothetical house cost $110,000 with a mortgage payment of $750 at 7.25% for 30 years fixed. If rates go down a quarter of a point, you can buy about 2% more house. If they go up, you buy 2% less house

Using the same 30 year fixed model and a $1000 a month mortgage payment at 7.25% will get you a $147,000 home. Rate goes up a quarter, you buy 2% less house. Rate goes down, you buy 2% more.

$1250 per month @ 7.25% will get you a $183,000 home.

$1500 per month @7.25% will put you in a house worth $220,000

$1750 per month @7.25% buys a $257,000 home.

For a complete step by step loan from beginning to end...click here

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