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How Much Home Can I Afford?

Nicole Rueth - February 4, 2020

How Much Home Can I Afford?

By Nicole Rueth, Producing Branch Manager for The Rueth Team - Fairway Independent Mortgage

Last month, we discussed getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and how adjusting morning habits can achieve your New Year’s resolution, whether that be saving up enough for a new home down payment, improving your overall financial situation, and learning from failure. This month, we’re narrowing the scope of your big dream of long-term wealth and financial security to a real, achievable goal: Buying a home.

Often, millennial first-time homebuyers are intimidated to start the process of homebuying because they feel the tasks are daunting. For some, high home prices can even seem unachievable. Committing to one residence and location for a long period of time may seem restrictive. And, many believe there’s a long, complicated process between identifying a home and actually buying it… not to mention coming up with a large down payment, credit issues, or innumerable other factors.

The up-and-coming millennial generation makes up about a third of all home buying, but what’s most interesting about the millennial generation is how late to the game they’ve started buying real estate. Slow wage growth, getting married later in life (or, not getting married at all), high student loans, and many other factors are pushing millennials to buy homes much later in life - not preventing home buying altogether.

According to CNBC, millennials aged 25 to 35 are buying homes at a rate of 8% less than GenXers and baby boomers at the same age. The silver lining is that they are buying homes, and we’ll start to see more of it as they age; they just have more complications to home buying than their parents had!

Another interesting fact about the up-and-coming millennial generation is how many of them are paying high rent prices. When I speak with prospective homebuyers who have no idea how large of a loan they can afford, I always ask: How much are you paying in rent?

An entire generation of millennials are renters. They appreciate the convenience of being able to travel easily and the ability to call the landlord when something goes wrong. The problem is they’re paying astronomical rent rates; money which could otherwise be invested in their dream home and padding their future retirement accounts.

Did you know, if you spend $1,200 per month on rent, you might be able to afford a $250,000 home with 20% down and an APR of 3.92%? Assuming 20% down and APR of 3.92%, we can show how much home you can buy according to your rent payment:

Real estate is and will always be a much better investment than renting. We have no crystal ball and no way of knowing for sure how much your home will be worth in 5-10 years, but one thing is certain: values have and will always increase over time - even after major recessions.

You simply can’t take advantage of investing in a home if you’re renting. Home investment is the #1 wealth generator in the U.S. and - other than one’s education level - is the best method for improving economic mobility.

Check out my earlier blog which discussed millionaires always come from real estate, and steps you can take to start making your millions today. Check out and subscribe to my YouTube page, where I interviewed three clients who became millionaires… and gave away valuable tips - for free.

If you’re interested in buying or investing in a home and have no idea where to start, call The Rueth Team. As Denver’s #1 Mortgage Lender, we have built a trusted reputation based on education, keeping the process simple, and becoming lifetime advisors for customers. First time home buyers - especially millennials - often have no idea how much real estate can add to their income outside their primary jobs, and it’s so important to start planning ahead early.

No Grit, No Pearl

By Nicole Rueth

Last month, we discussed whether you’re dreaming big enough, in my post, “How to Build Wealth in the New Year, and Beyond.” I asked you to think about your future, and whether it will be anything like your dream. Will you be worrying about finances and retirement savings, or will you be care-free and financially secure?

This month, we’re discussing the motivation needed to achieve your big dreams, and how to keep the New Year’s resolution-spirit a priority for you and your family. Commit to changing your habits incrementally, which will keep you committed to your resolution.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Practice learning to push through uncomfort with morning routines. Start small with making the bed. After a few weeks, add another routine like cooking breakfast. After another few weeks, get really uncomfortable by adding a workout routine. You won’t see progress immediately, but learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable will change your life perspective, and will translate to your financial New Year’s resolution.

I might be successful now leading the #1 Denver mortgage lender team in Colorado, but today’s success was earned through years of hard work, taking chances on myself when I was extremely uncomfortable, or - better yet - when I failed. 

Absolutely no one will fault you for trying and failing. No success story is without failure, and for good reason: Failure is the greatest of teachers. You learn from your failures and become closer to achieving success with each new attempt. You can bet I had my share of failures, but I trusted myself to learn from them. 

Likewise, start taking a chance on yourself by being a person of action. People often dream of greatness for themselves, yet think success will simply fall into their lap. No millionaire ever came to be without decisive action. Don’t be the person who wanders aimlessly into retirement; be the person who worked hard to meet their goals, who gets to live the life they’ve always dreamed of.

I have my own big dreams and goals for the new year. How do you think I’m planning to stay motivated? You guessed it: I’m up each morning at 4:30am working out. I committed to my goals and myself early on and remain so today, because when I feel content and comfortable, I’m no longer advancing.

As my regular “Agent Ignite” class attendees already know, people with written goals are 10 times more likely to succeed, and creating good daily habits will keep you committed to those goals. 2020 is going to be a roller coaster year with abundant opportunities for those who are ready, and The Rueth Team is ready for you to take the first step. As Denver’s top mortgage lending company, we’ll help you stay motivated throughout the year to achieve your dreams. 

How to Build Wealth in the New Year, and Beyond

By Nicole Rueth - December 3, 2019

End of Year Thoughts: Are You Dreaming Big Enough?

It’s December, can you believe 2019 is already over? As we’re gearing down from the last year - and, decade - we should sit down and ask ourselves the big questions. What do we want our lives to look like in the next 10 years? 20 years? Whether you like it or not, time isn’t slowing down and neither should your life goals.

As you ask yourself the big questions, assess how you did this last year. Be honest with yourself. Did you make any goals at the beginning of the year, and stick to them? Are you spending or saving more than you were last year? If you make the same financial decisions you made in 2019 for the next 5-10 years, can you honestly tell yourself you’ll be more financially independent and comfortable?

Like anyone else, life takes its course and priorities change - it happens, and that’s ok! The good news is there is plenty of time to get on-track and develop a concrete, successful financial strategy. It’s probably time to set personal spending and saving rules for yourself, but, most importantly: It’s time to start dreaming big.

If your dream is financial independence, what’s your strategy to achieve it? There are many, many opportunities which can increase your current income or add additional passive sources of income, and it’s time to come up with a personalized financial plan to strategically work towards achieving your goals.

The most immediate short-term tactics include establishing personal finance boundaries with putting 20% in savings or 10% in retirement accounts; increasing productivity at your current job; picking up a side hustle or a new skill related to your job and mastering it online. Becoming more disciplined with your finances and working hard are essential, but these short-term tactics are limited in their ability to create personal wealth and may not significantly change your financial position in the next 10 years.

Real Estate Creates Multi Generational Wealth
The most historically proven strategy to significantly change your financial future is investing in real estate. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do for a living, investing in real estate is the safest, most reliable strategy to create multi generational wealth. Most millionaires become millionaires not because they’re geniuses or are lucky; they’re millionaires because they invested in real estate as early as they could and dreamed big.

If you’re under 30, you’re likely renting an apartment and think owning a home is completely out of reach. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The bottom line: If you’re renting, you’re not investing. The perks of apartments end at benefiting your long-term personal finance, because you’ll never be able to cash in on a lease. Owning your own home allows you to invest in home equity, which will significantly increase the home’s price in the future. In other words, I’m talking about you suddenly earning a large sum of cash that can change your life thanks to your home investment, and it’s best to get started as early as possible.

The large sum of cash you created from your initial home investment and leveraging that cash to build on other properties is how millionaires make their millions. This is a long-term strategy that may take years to realize, but get this: it’s low risk, you often pay less on a mortgage than in rent, and you will always have wealth.

December: Dream to the Extreme
You now have a strategy to build your wealth in real estate. It’s time to set some goals for yourself - and meet them, each and every month. Make this December the month you dream to the extreme, and start thinking about a winning strategy. Commit 2020 to being the year and decade that catapulted you to create your own wealth, and change your circumstances forever.

As one of the top Denver mortgage lenders, our team has the experience to educate and guide you based on your unique financial circumstances. As part of your team, we want to see you succeed for the long-term and help build a personalized financial plan for you to achieve your dreams. See for yourself why we’re considered the #1 mortgage company in Colorado, and what we can do to help you start building wealth in the next year and beyond.

How Mortgage Companies Can Help Real Estate Agents Close the Deal, and So Much More

By Nicole Rueth - November 20, 2019

Home equity is the biggest financial asset for American homeowners with 64% who view their home as a financial investment, Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018.  Yet more than half of buyers worry about qualifying for a mortgage, and just over half put down less than 20 percent on their purchase. Mortgage lenders can streamline the mortgage prequalification and preapproval process for clients, and are now an essential part of the homeownership process. Lenders need to work closely with real estate agents to keep clients happy, as lender-agent relationships are more important than ever to move quickly through hot real estate markets.

Traditionally, real estate agents and mortgage companies have worked separately within the same industry. Now, as speed is the name of the game in hot real estate markets like Denver, there are noticeable benefits for agents and lenders who work together to support their clients.  These include support for agents to secure closings more consistently, faster pre-qualifications, financial awareness and strategic advice, and the possibility for more referrals.

Here are a few of the reasons why a partnership with a mortgage lender is beneficial to agents:

It can lead to more referrals and a more seamless experience for your clients.

As real estate agents, per an Outbound Engine survey, 75% of your clients come from referrals.  The easiest way to expand your network of home buyers and sellers through word of mouth is to provide top-notch service with zero hiccups. Walking clients through homes is the fun part; getting clients pre-qualified and processing financial documents is where many agents run into problems and unexpected surprises.  Creating an A team with a top mortgage lender will stop the surprise and increase the referrals.

Speed matters for pre-qualification in hot markets.

In hot real estate cities like Denver, the average home stays on the market for less than a month according to Denver Metro Association of Realtor’s October Market Report. As your clients face pressure to make big decisions faster, they need to be prepared and pre-qualified. If your client hasn’t been pre-qualified, spoken with your lender about their loan options and budgeting, your client is already too late. In a hot market, assume another client is preparing an offer on your client’s future home.
Having a close, strategic relationship with a mortgage lender ensures your client gets the results as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

Realtors should leverage the mortgage lender’s marketing investments.

As a real estate agent’s business comes from word-of-mouth, mortgage lenders invest heavily in online marketing. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 50 percent of 2018 home buyers found their home over the internet, while 28 percent found homes through their real estate agent. Assuming this trend will continue, real estate agents can take advantage of lenders who have strategic online resources when agents often don’t. As a lender’s sales channel often begins online, we concentrate our advertising and marketing resources there and invest heavily in digital and social advertising, which can be invaluable to real estate agents.
The Rueth Team goes further by hosting events where current and potential clients are invited to learn more about the process and meet with our team face-to-face. The Rueth Team hosts three classes throughout the month which are geared to investors, first time home buyers, and real estate agents, including “Building an Investment Empire,” “Market Trends,” and “Agent Ignite.” These events can be invaluable to agents who are looking to expand their network.

A proven track record and reputation assures clients they’ve made the right decision.

With a great reputation in the Denver metro area and beyond, The Rueth Team at Fairway Independent Mortgage goes above and beyond for their clients – and those clients remember. Once a relationship has been established, we refer clients to agents we trust, who we know will get the job done well.

If you’re a realtor looking to up your game and work with an established mortgage lending team, The Rueth Team is here to assist. Don’t hesitate to reach out today!

Real Estate Agents and Lenders Like a good PB and J

3 Easy steps to move into the home of your dreams!

By Nicole Rueth - November 13, 2019

Working together for your financial success!

​Real estate agents and lenders go together like peanut butter & jelly, a combination working together to help you reach your goals with three simple steps: 1) set up an appointment with your agent's lender to discuss your personalized goals, 2) getting pre-qualified and knowing of any potential risks, and 3) getting fully pre-approved earlier in the process.


Oh, and hope the peanut butter & jelly song doesn't get stuck in your head for too long..."