TIPS ON BUYING A CAR

 

Recently, I have shared some tips on buying a house. My husband and I are actually starting to prepare to purchase a home, we have been looking at ways to save money as well as improve our credit situation as we want to qualify for the best rates. One way that may not be the most obvious 1st thought is to consolidate, refinance or obtain debt at better terms. Better rates, better terms and lower payments can in fact improve your credit scores, lower your overall DTI (Debt to income). I decided to share with you some of the tips on buying a car and what we have learned the hard way. I hope it can help you to avoid some of our mistakes.




With this in mind, we decided to take advantage of recent large Factory rebates deals and advertised low rates to trade in our previous car which didn’t have the best terms. We made some mistakes last time (one of which is covered below) which caused us to be in a bad loan and most all of our hard money was going to pay for interest while the value of our vehicle (while less than 2 years old) was dropping by the day. Our options were to continue to pay on our current car for a few more years and then have a car worth less than 1/3 of what we paid for it. We decided to get out now.


#1. DO YOUR RESEARCH IN ADVANCE (Don’t shop emotionally) :


 Check the Internet and local papers to see what kind of offers are being made at your local dealership. Also, ask around and find out which dealerships are actually the deal makers in town. Not all car dealerships are created equal. Some dealerships have a better inventory, may be over stocked or may simply have better rebates and offers to make due to volume of sales or business arrangements with the manufacturer.Taking advantage of special financing terms from the manufacturers bank or rebates being offered to discount the cost of the car or as cash back which can all help your bottom line. Getting cash back or rebates can make the purchase of your new car affordable when it may not be otherwise.It is not good to go shopping and buying because you are excited and fall in love with the shiny new car. Going unprepared will likely end you up in a bad deal that can take years and thousands of dollars to get out of later.


#2. DON’T BE AFRAID TO LET THE DEALERSHIP ARRANGE YOUR FINANCING :


The dealer can often get you financing as good or better than your local credit union or bank can, this actually allows the dealer to make something off the markup, or “reserve,” on the interest rate. If the dealer can earn a profit on that end of the deal, you may be able to negotiate a lower price on the car.With that said, it doesn’t hurt to know what rate your local lender can offer you before heading to the dealership. Since your interest rate is primarily determined by your credit history (score), knowing in advance what your score and credit is in advance is a very good idea.

 #3. DON’T NEGOTIATE THE PAYMENT, NEGOTIATE THE PRICE :


Having a pre-determined budget is a very good idea. You should know how much you can afford and are willing to pay and stick to your number (see Emotional rule above).  If the dealer knows what your payment target is, they will often steer the deal towards that payment and ultimately can cost you more than you need to pay. Also, they know that it is likely that if they come even remotely close to the number you provided and you have already fallen for the car, they will get you to sign on the bottom line. Know what the Manufactured Suggested retail price (MSRP) is on your vehicle in advance. The dealer should then be ale to apply any specials, rebates or discounts to that price to lower the cost. Then you can use your prior knowledge about your credit to make sure you get the best interest rate and financing terms.


Don’t be afraid to say the big NO. If it does not fit your budget or they give you a high interest rates and you think you deserve much lower one, then don’t accept it! You will be surprised how some financial people can give you better rate than the first one they quote you!


Tadaa, meet our baby girl, Beauty – our Hyundai Sonata 2017! I am by no means an expert, but after our research and my husbands many years in finance, I know that these rules will help you in your search for the best price on your new car and the least amount of stress and dollars out of your pocket.


 I hope this helps you. As always,I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments section. Good Luck!




Isango.com - Best Things to Do Around the World

HOUSE HUNTING TIPS

 

As I have mentioned on my previous post, one thing that stresses me out lately is house hunting.

Recently, the husband and I have started the complicated, stressful and sometimes difficult process of searching for a home to buy. This is my first time and the very expensive investment I will have. I grew up in the Philippines where we have practiced closed family ties. As I have moved here in US 2 years ago, I worked hard to established myself until I find myself ready to purchase my own home.

Unlike most people, I have the advantage to be married to someone who has well over 25 years of experience in the Real Estate and Lending industry. However, even with his experience, he has been retired for several years and things change fast in this business.




I wanted to take some time and let my readers know the 3 most important rules to the Home Buying Process as I have learned. Following these rules will make the process much more pleasant and less complicated.

#1. Find an experienced Real Estate Agent.

As I mentioned, things change quickly. This includes neighborhoods, prices, laws and local regulations. Although some people think they can save money going on their own (especially with all the apps and websites these days), there are critical reasons a good realtor can save you money in the long run. Even with all the property search options on the internet, a good licensed realtor has access to the MLS (local Multiple Listing Service) and often has access to properties that are about to go on the market. In a hot sales climate, seeing a property before everyone else can be critical. Another big reason is the contracts and negotiations are complicated and trying to do that on your own can not only cost you the Home. Mistakes on a contract can also open you up to costly legal issues later in and also prevent you from getting the best deal in the long run.




#2. Consult an experienced Mortgage Broker.

The days when you just go to your local bank for your home loan, long ago passed. Now you can even apply online for a mortgage and even compare rates. The problem with the personal bank option is that you are relying on an often inexperienced Bank Loan Officer who is only familiar with what their own bank has to offer. Although in some cases, they may have great loan options, it is highly likely that there are better options for you out there.

As far as the websites advertising, you can apply to multiple places and they will compete for your business. Although, you do get to check rates with multiple lending institutions, unless you know what the best options are for you, there are risks. Understanding the financial terms they often throw at you, including up front fees (points) and other hidden costs as well as qualifying requirements are critical and shouldn’t be made without knowing what you are doing.

A Mortgage Broker works with multiple different lenders (aka Investors) who have a wide range of loan products, prices and Lending guidelines. An experienced Mortgage Broker will be able to look at your specific situation, finances and long term needs to steer you towards the best loan for you. Remember, even if you don’t live in the home for life, the average person either sells or refinances within 7 years, so even a small fraction on your rate or higher financed fees can cost you thousands of dollars.

Be sure to check online ratings and references for your broker to ensure they have a wide selection of lenders they work with and that their former clients were satisfied. A home is the biggest purchase you will make and cutting corners on who finances it, is not a wise move.

#3. Get a Loan Approval Before shopping for your home.

Many people think they are ready to buy and will often rush out on their own house hunting, or even with the help of an RE Agent and discover that they find the home they love. However, for someone like myself who’s on a budget, there are steps that you have to take first. There are some instances where you are unable to even make an offer of the home because most home owners (or their agents) will not even accept a purchase offer. Unless you already have a Loan Approval (Pre-Approval) Letter from your lender indicating that they have reviewed your credit, income and assets and have determined you are qualified for financing. It is also important to know what your price range is that you qualify for. Once your lender reviews all your details, you will have a clear understanding of how much home you can afford and what fits into your budget as well. Nobody wants to fall in love with a home to find out you either don’t qualify or the home is outside of your budget. You also may find that you can actually afford that nicer or larger home that you didn’t expect.

You may also find when you consult with your broker and they review your details, that there are items on your credit you were not aware of, or that your scores may not be good enough for what you are seeking. Additionally, an experienced broker may recognize that you can qualify for a better loan program, lower rates or fees if you are able to improve your credit scores. This can often be accomplished by making some minor steps to close, pay down, remove or in some cases even open up new lines of credit. Sometimes these are things you can easily accomplish on your own. In some cases your broker may work with or refer you to a reputable credit repair company that specializes in improving your credit scores.

The home buying and loan process can be one of the most stressful experiences there is, but the payoff of owning your own home makes it worth it. By following the above 3 steps I recommend, I can assure you that it will make the process much easier and far less harrowing as well as improving the chances tremendously you end up with the home of your dreams.

As always luvies, after you read this over, if you have questions, you can comment below and I will answer anything I can.

MIDLIFE CRISIS OR CONTENTMENT

Hello, hello, hello there, loves! I was busy for the past few days so I just now had time to finish this post today.




I was asking my husband about a one word antonym for “MIDLIFE”. He asked me why. I told him that I feel like writing an article about midlife. He giggled and said, “you’re not yet even at middle age. I agree and I do not even feel I am on midlife stage”– he’s couple of years older (I tried saying it in a nice way ha ha). So when can we really say that we are at middle age and dealing with midlife?

For me, midlife or middle age is the stage when you feel like you are at the very peak of your life and ready to settle and just go with the flow. I am turning 36 soon — life is so fast, seems like I was just excited turning 18 yesterday ha ha! — and for some reason I am asking myself lately, “am I already at the peak?”. It feels like I still haven’t accomplished anything but I am already exhausted. Exhausted from finding answers of what I really want to do. I may know things that I love to do but I just can’t afford to do it because there are things that I need to do — -like, pay my bills!

Bam! This is a Midlife Crisis isn’t it? I am already evaluating my life, from achievements to failures. I’ve got a very decent job and an awesome employer. I have most of the things that I need and I can get most of what I want. I have a good, loving and very patient husband and our two 4 pawed babies, however, there’s still an unfulfilling feeling.

So do you feel the same thing once in a while? How do you get over it? I honestly don’t know what the word “relax” means.  I sit still but my mind is running 100 mph, ha ha! However, I have some things that I do that helps me unwind.

  1. Indulge. Indulge with any food you want, from cupcakes, ice cream or even some sushi! I have cravings once in a while. Indulging is not only for food. I indulge myself with love. Play with my dogs and just talk to the husband about my feelings. I am just glad that he’s there to listen.
  2. Explore. I see to it I do something. I cannot just stay inside the house the whole day. If I do, I still explore– music, food, something to do for the next weekend, etc. I also ask my husband to go with me to the park and just enjoy quiet time with nature. Sometimes, I search on Instagram for a place to eat that we have not tried yet.
  3. Pamper. Just soaking my body in the tub with mellow music and lighted candles for 1 hour is relaxing. I also check Groupon for great spa/massage deals here in town.
  4. Get a hobby. I may not have enough time everyday to do all the stuff that a wife/blogger/employee does but sometimes I feel like having a break from all these things and do some crafts. I like scrap booking. I am also into crochet and cooking. Sometimes, I just go out and take photos too.


Earn up to $7500 for one sale!
Right now, we are aiming to buy a home which stresses me out lately. I never owned my own home before since I just moved here to the U.S. 3 years ago. This will be my very first home of my own. Whew! I’ll be sharing some tips and of course my very own experience about it. Wish us luck!

Please feel free to share your experience and feelings and let’s talk about it! Tata for now!

 

 

THE SECRET TO A STRONGER AND HAPPIER MARRIED LIFE

As I woke up this morning, I was thinking of what to write. Hmm… well, might as well share something that will benefit all couples out there.

Glen and I had a whirlwind romance before we got married in 2012. Some even doubted that we would last. As we all know, most of us say that you should take time to know someone before getting married. But how long does it take for us to know someone?  I remember watching an old couple’s interview. They even said that after 25 years of being married, they are still surprised to find out something about their spouse.

Glen is older by 14 years but our age gap never became an issue. Actually, I am thankful for that. I can’t imagine marrying someone my age with my mood swings and pride ( yup, I whole heartedly admit that!). I am just glad that we both clicked and I can say we are compatible in so many ways.

 

If you’ll ask what’s our secret of being happy together, I’ll share you my own personal tips!

  • Respect. We argue, discuss, debate. Luckily, we never had any serious topics (yet). You’ll actually laugh about it when you find out what we argued about. We even argue the smallest things like what to eat! But we never ever cuss at each other… never. We never say things that will totally hurt each other. We tried to fix things before going to sleep. Though I admit maybe there were 2 instances that I slept over it and it felt horrible.
    • Another thing, I never check his phone. Well, it is maybe because we never had issues of hiding anything from each other. I even sometimes ask him to check my mail while I’m  cooking or he even let me answer his phone while he’s doing something as well.
    • We sometimes need some “me time” especially when I do my blog.  We give each other some space like allowing each other to go out with friends and do our own thing.




  • Love and Affection. Yes, show some love love love. In our 5 years of togetherness, we never fail to say the magic words — “I’m hungry” oops, I mean “I love you”. We always kiss good morning and good night and when he brings me to work. We give a lot of hugs and even hold hands when we walk. He even holds my hand while he’s driving. He sometimes surprise me with little things, like grabbing my favorite Lindt truffles or sending me some flowers to work. I also put a sweet note on his coffee cup as well.
  • Fun. Make the marriage fun but inexpensive. We seldom eat in a fine dining restaurants however, we both love to stroll. Just driving along Las Vegas Strip while playing our favorite music makes us happy. We go to Red Rock or Lake Las Vegas and sometimes bring our dogs too. We enjoy eating ice cream or watching movies. We even just sometimes stay home and watch tv, play Jenga or Monopoly, cook together and clean the house together. I am not sure if this sounds fun to you but that’s how we are. Find something that you both really like doing.
  • Communication. We talk about anything. How our day was, what we ate over lunch, work, politics, traffic, anything. We even talk about his crush, Jennifer Lopez and my crushes, Chris Hemsworth and Channing Tatum. Sometimes, when we lay to bed at night, I ask him to just not switch the tv on and we’ll talk some serious things like our finances, house hunting, having kids and if we had a little argument, we also just talk it over.

Every relationship is different, whether,  you’ve met when you were 10, or just last night, the span is not important but compatibility is. With love, everything follows. From respect, happiness and contentment. Whether you eat on a fine dining everyday or just stay home all day, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you both are there for each other. Argument is the spice of married life, it is up to us if it will be just a spice or it will lament a scar forever.





As for me, I know I have married my best friend. We can be annoying each other sometimes but at the end of the day, I know we’re both grateful to have each other’s back. Feel free to share your married life and what’s your secret for a long and lasting relationship! ‘Til next time!

 

 

 

ASD MARKET WEEK IN LAS VEGAS

Last month I had the opportunity to attend ASD Market Week here in Las Vegas. It is the most comprehensive B2B trade show in the world. It brings the world’s largest variety of retail merchandise together in one location for buyers of all kinds to experience. The show floor is filled with every kind of product choices at every wholesale price point. It is hard to imagine a product that wasn’t represented here. ASD Market Week is held twice per year in Las Vegas and will be back again in August. This event is truly the wholesale buying event for any small to large sized retail, distribution, or importing business. Whether you have a business already or wish to start one, this is a good start.

 

The show is over a 4 day period and in addition to the seemingly miles and miles of products being sold. Honestly, I was unable to finish exploring the entire Las Vegas Convention Center for this event in one day.  There are also locations for presentations and seminars to learn how to be a better retailer, expand your business or just be a better sales professional. There are so many things to do here that if you plan of getting the full effect, I would strongly recommend that you pace yourself over 3-4 days or at least focus on key products, because it simply is not possible to see everything in one day.

 

This kind of event is great to get more ideas of what business you want to have. They have all kinds of items to sell and services to provide.  I was not planning anything but to cover the event and blog about it but as I got out of the convention center, I just had information overload and thinking of having a business. However, it’s not yet my priority as of the moment but I will definitely contact at least one of the suppliers I have met once I am ready to take this path.

It was a great experience and I am looking forward to do this again. If anyone has any questions about my persona experiences or opinions about ASD Market Week, , as always, I am happy to answer. Thanks for reading and have a happy and productive.



OH HELLO THERE, HELLO KITTY CAFE!

Oh yes, hello there, Hello Kitty! I couldn’t have been happier when I found out that Hello Kitty Cafe was coming to town. I made sure that I clicked on “going” to their Facebook event post and I even marked it on my planner (oh yes, I am using a paper bound planner still). Any little girl would love Hello Kitty. When I was a kid, I was a fan (honestly, even until now) of Sanrio characters (creator of Hello Kitty). From Hello Kitty, Kerokerokeroppi (which is now Keroppi), Zashikibuta and Little Twin Stars! My childhood wouldn’t have been complete without Sanrio.

On March 4th, 2017, the Hello Kitty Cafe truck parked all day in Town Square, Las Vegas. from 10 am to 8 pm, or until their supplies lasted.  I got out from work at 3 pm and I was so excited to see them, I asked my handsome Hubby/Driver to take me directly there.

My husband, dropped me off as he was looking for parking. I went live on my Instagram as I was approaching the Hello Kitty Cafe truck. The crowd was growing so fast as there were approximately 300 people in line. Well, I would be there too grabbing some Hello Kitty goodies as well had I only arrived sooner. 




The crowd was mostly adults with their little ones in tow or leading the way. Some were already sitting on the ground being as patient as little ones can be. Honestly, from near the van I couldn’t see the end of the line. I had a chance to meet the wonderful team lead despite her busy schedule. As she took a quick minute to tell me there’s a possibility they won’t even reach until the anticipated 8 pm closing time since they’re running low on stock already. Based upon the crowds I saw, that doesn’t surprise me at all.

Best seller, up to 68% off
The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be going on tour in many cities so follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see if they’re in your town and be sure to show up early!