Struggling? Here Are 10 Steps To A New Home or Just a New Mortgage Payment promotes home ownershipMany of us were hurt by the fallout from failed banks, failed mortgage companies, and failed financial strategies.  First home prices fell, then salaries fell – and shortly thereafter we realized that we were :

  1. In the best real estate buyers market ever with no way to take advantage of it – OR-
  2. Carrying a mortgage payment that we could no longer afford

Before we go any further let me make one thing clear – millions of people across America didn’t just wake up one day and each make the same bad financial decision to get into a mortgage they could not afford. I know that this is what some of you believe (and very strongly at that)  because it’s what the media tells you, it’s what your favorite talk radio guy tells you – but that don’t make it true people.

The fact of the matter is that you can have a low interest rate mortgage with a low monthly payment – but if you do not have  the same income that you did 3 years ago (or you have no income at all) no one and I mean absolutely nobody is going to help you when you’ve fallen 3 months behind, five months behind or even 6 months behind. The mortgage companies’ idea of  “a workout” is  often laughable; to you an dI it would make sense for them to look at your current income/debt and give you a payment that you could actually afford so that you and your neighbors can stay in their homes. But, nooooo, instead tey will attach the six months sans interest to your existing monthly payment and give you a payment that is basically double the amount that you couldn’t pay in the first place!

In some parallel universe this strategy makes total sense, unfortunately we do not live there, we are ere in tis universe where we end up losing tat home to foreclosure and then the bank sells your $100,000 home for $20,000. That’s right twenty thousand dollars! Now why couldn’t they just give you an affordable payment instead? If one of  you, my dear  readers , understands why this is please tell me so that I can explain it to my cousin who lost her home in just this way.

To add insult to injury, we also have companies who will take what little you have left in your savings account to assist you in getting a “loan modification” . I like to call this something for nothing, they take your money and promise you salvation, and you end up with the same deal that I mentioned earlier – that wonderful “workout” thing.

Well thank God for “The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America” and founder Bruce Marks who believe that neighborhood stabilization means getting people into home ownership and keeping existing homeowners in their homes.  NACA is a non-profit group that advocates for homeowners and would be homeowners. Their Home Save program can help you to get into an affordable mortgage situation if:

  1. You live in your home
  2. You only have one property in your name

To get help from NACA you must :

  • Visit and find a Workshop near you
  • Fill out the forms on the NACA website and get an appointment with a counselor
  • I suggest filling out the forms after you have attended a workshop as the workshop will teach you how to fill the forms out correctly
  • Become a part of the solution. NACA is all about giving back, so don’t just take your new low mortgage payment and walk away. Volunteer to help out at workshops, help the advocacy effort by  advocating for economic justice to politicians at the  local , state, and national levels.

NACA is not a  government handout and no one gets something for nothing.  It is the kind of program this country desperately needs, so tell all of your friends and families – no one should lose their home when help is so close at hand.

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Entrecard Top Droppers & What I’m Lovin Right Now

courtesy of Entrecard

courtesy of Entrecard

Is it the end of the month already? Does time move faster once you hit age 30? Anything is possible:)

First off, I’m psyched that  Re over at Bad Gals Radio reviewed my site and liked it so much she did an interview too, gotta love that. Here is what Re had to say about me:
“Originating in the Caribbean and growing up in New York; Denises’ sensibilities are current to the mood of today. she’s down to earth, thoughtful, forthright, Funny and an all around enjoyable read. I put her in the Gratitude Column, when I size up blogs. when you got it, you can share it. Denise Does in Each Blog.

4 Tips to Help You Keep The Faith While You’re Losing Everything Else is One of Our Favorites. We’ve sent this article to friends who’ve cried about foreclosures and layoffs; and they always say the same thing we did when we read it – Great Advice, in faith and functionality. no hellfire and brimstone, just a straight shooter calling out the options, clearly – so you can make the right choices in a time of stress.”

Bad Gals Radio is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get until the page opens. Today’s topic is quite sad, go take a look. And look for me to do an interview with the blogger who never sleeps sometime in the near future.

The next site I am loving right now is Rantings of a Mad Rodent he is a straight shooting son of a gun with a dirty mouth, chances are that in the middle of laughing at what he’s saying, you might realize that he’s probably right.

I also want to give props to my buddy Scott over at  Real Estate Investing Blog who is just such a go getter. Check out his social marketing package in the Entrecard market.

Now for some link love for my February  top droppers:

Parental Instincts 30
Comedy Plus 27
The Fashion Lovers 24
Speak Wealth Now! 24
Learning How To Make Money Online 23
_el@i_ 21
Article Marketing Methods 19
how much love 19
Lottery Power Picks News/Blog 19
Guy in Love 19
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The Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Mentor Before Investing

home_image_altWorking with a real estate mentor can benefit you in many ways. For starters, you will get a clear picture of where you are now in your real estate business, as well as where you want to go and why. You will also get a clear idea of what you need to do in order to make it happen. A mentor can help you understand the basics of real estate investing strategy and develop the approach to real estate investing that suits you best and will generate the most profit for you. The key to real estate investing is to understand what areas to invest in. For example, if you want to make money on rental properties, you need to know what features to look for. Many beginning real estate investors fail because they don’t understand the basics. Mentoring can solve that.

One of the things a real estate mentor can do is help you figure out exactly what you need to understand, what skills you need to acquire, and how to apply what you learn from your real estate mentor. All of this will help you develop self-confidence and self-trust and thereby enable you to do whatever is necessary in order for you to succeed. After working with a mentor, you will have more control over the speed and direction of your growth, your business will be stronger, and you will be stronger. It is a great way to take your business to the next level. .

A good real estate mentor not only gives you advice on what to do, they can give you advice on how to manage your time effectively in order to get it all done. If you manage your time properly, you can achieve more than you ever thought you could. Your mentor can also help you create a business plan, projecting anywhere from one to five or more years into the future, so that you can plan for success. .

A mentor can guide your business practice in subtle and not so subtle ways. If you have a good mentor, they will give you realistic suggestions to help you, not suggestions that are unfeasible given your situation. The suggestions must be within your means to actually carry out. The suggestions they give must also have an impact on your bottom line within a reasonable amount of time. These suggestions must also be within the range of your technical expertise to actually carry out. If these criteria are not met, perhaps your real estate mentor gives basically the same advice to everyone without considering their unique situation. .

Chances are, you could learn the ropes of real estate investment yourself, without a real estate mentor. However, a real estate mentor can help you avoid the kind of mistakes that will needlessly cost you both time and money on your way to success. It is far less painful to learn from other people’s mistakes, where possible, than to learn by making your own mistakes.

Peter Vekselman has been successfully investing in real estate since 1996. He has completed over 1000 real estate deals, owned a construction company, been a private lender, and owned a property management company. Peter currently works with clients all over the US .

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And This Christmas Will Be – Made Possible By My Home-Based Business

Presents under the tree, courtesy of my residual income check

Presents under the tree, courtesy of my residual income check

Late this year the US government finally admitted that there might be a recession going on, but some of us have known it for a long time.  I started this year with three streams of income  – a consulting position that led me to Russia back in January and provided a steady income through May; a customer service job that took up a lot of my time but paid weekly; and my home based business which I worked sparingly because the other two left me drained.

The consulting position began to fade away in April, and had disappeared altogether by late May, thousands of dollars in income just gone bye bye. But that was OK, because I still had the customer service job, I was working for an online Real Estate service providing instruction and a helping hand to their clients. Unfortunately, it was Real Estate and we know what happened to that market – the weekend before the 4th of July I got a call saying that my last check was in the mail, and they were really sorry and blah blah blah.

That left me with my home based business which I threw myself into working for a while, until I lucked into another consulting position which offered a great salary,long term income, and financial stability for me and the fam.  I was very busy working long hours, traveling quite a bit and again unable to work my home-based business because I could not be as available to my down line as I like to be. Well, as we all know shift happens and it happened to me again.  Another one bit the dust due to the gloomy economic outlook and the reluctance of many of our clients to invest in “frivolous” upgrades to their existing systems.

And that left only one leg of my three-legged stool /streams of income. Fortunately for me, the sporadic bursts of involvement in my business had produced three promotions within 8 months which meant a strong  and deep downline. The residual check that I receive from my business pays bills, buys groceries, allows me to donate to charities. In this season of  giving I worried that there would be no Christmas dinner and no presents under the tree (due to some other issues that I will discuss in another post, as well as the fact that recruiting is so difficult in December). While I searched for a job and worked on upgrading my skills, I also set a dollar amount of what I wanted my business to produce so that I could purchase a present or two. My  home based business came through for me again and… well every picture tells a story don’t it, so just check out the picture. If working my business in a part-time way can provide this much financial freedom , what could persistence and consistency bring us next year?

Tell me are you better off than you were a year ago? How many streams of income do you have going? Are you actually working your business or are you waiting for it to produce “income while you sleep”?

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5 Ways to Invest in a Down Real Estate Market

Guest Post By Peter Vekselman Real Estate Investor, Trainer, and Personal Coach. Click here to learn more about investing in a down market through one-on-one coaching with Peter .

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

We’ve been talking about investing in the down real estate market for a while now, but there are so many people out there who are afraid to plunk down the kind of money it takes to get going in a down real estate market. Here are five things you should keep in mind when investing in a down real estate market:

1) First, do not ever pay full asking price. The majority of people will be asking for prices at or near the amount of their mortgage, as if they held all the cards. They don’t, especially now that we are all facing a down real estate market. Seriously appraise the property and decide if you want it. If you really do, and it seems like it has the potential to be a return on your investment, then you should make an offer. Some places can be had for as low as a 20 per cent discount on the asking price; that is the beauty of purchasing in a down real estate market. If they balk at your price, you can walk away knowing that they will eventually come down to earth and realize that in a down real estate market, there are very few buyers.

2) Second, think location, location, location. As the real estate market boomed the last couple of years, the locations for some housing developments started to become really whacky; out in the middle of nowhere, down one lane roads, and with the barest of infrastructures, housing tracts sprung up like mushrooms after a rain storm. You need to think strategically; the desirable houses will be more centrally located when people finally realize that the credit crunch and real estate market is making a come back.

3) Real estate in a down market is a long term investment. You will probably not be able to unload your investment any time soon, but you should keep in mind that eventually, people will want to purchase new homes again, and when the credit markets do open back up, you will be sitting pretty. Be patient and you will make a tidy bundle when you finally do sell.

4) You aren’t going to be able to flip a house in a down real estate market, so why bother. Don’t put more into a house than to make it habitable; some people may be lucky to flip in some areas, but flipping is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Maximize your dollars and invest in multiple properties while rehabilitating them only if necessary.

5) Become a land lord. Landlords are holding all the cards right now. Just because someone loses their house doesn’t mean they are going to become homeless. In fact, in many rental markets, there is a shortage of landlords who can rent to all the people needing houses. Being a landlord can be seen as an interest return on your investment since a 200,000 dollar house rented for 1,000 dollars a month returns 12,000 dollars, or 6% on the investment per year!