Archive for December, 2015

Teaching Kids About Money and How To Build Wealth In Preparation For Homeownership

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
Teaching kids about money and how to build wealth

Teaching kids about money and how to build wealth early on prepares them for homeownership.

“Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys, …” Bring up your babies to be homeowners! Now that the tune is stuck in your head, let’s talk about teaching kids about money and how to build wealth. It’s a critical life lesson that should be taught early on in their lives. Too bad that it isn’t taught in school or college. That means it’s up to us as parents to teach our kids how to take control of their financial futures.

When it comes to teaching kids about money and how to build wealth, start here:

  1. Practice Self-Control

Put one of your kid’s favorite treats to eat on the table, a Rice Krispies treat, a few pieces of their favorite chocolate or candy, for example. Have them sit down where they can see it, touch it, smell it. Tell them they may choose to eat it now or wait 15 minutes while you go work on the laundry or make an important phone call. Tell them that if they choose to wait while you are gone, when you return you will give them another treat or more of their favorite candy.

The sooner a person learns the difference between instant gratification and delayed gratification, the sooner they’ll find keeping their finances in order easier to do. This exercise teaches kids the difference. They are practicing self-discipline to save for something bigger, something they really want later.

Life gives many opportunities to put this important lesson into practice. Watch for them!

  1. Manage Money

Kids need some sort of “an income” in order to learn this lesson. Chores should be completed without payment because that’s how a family works as a team.

Give your kids opportunities to earn money. Set a price for a special paid project. If more than one kid wants to take on the paid project, do a reverse auction and give it to the lowest bidder.

When paid for completion of a special project, help your kids handle their income with the 80-10-10 rule: 10% goes into savings (a non-negotiable emergency fund), 10% is donated (church tithe, for example), 80% can be spent (or saved) as they wish.

This exercise actually teaches two lessons that many adults find difficult to manage: the importance of saving and giving back.

By the way, when a person gets into the habit of saving money and treating their savings as a non-negotiable monthly “expense,” they’ll have retirement money, vacation money and even money for a home down payment before they know it!

  1. Read a Book

There are a lot of books geared towards teaching kids about money and how to build wealth. This is a great reading list to arm your kids with personal finance knowledge: Nine of the Best Money Books for Kids and Teens.

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a great read for barely-teens on up. No matter how old you are, if you haven’t read it yet, get crackin’! It teaches powerful lessons on the difference between liabilities and assets, the importance of minimizing your expenses and introduces the idea of passive income.

  1. Live Within Your Means

Grandparents, church and Rich Dad Poor Dad teach the importance of living within your means. Unfortunately, today’s society does not. People are encouraged to get whatever they want, because after all, they’re worth it, and they deserve it. Learn more about credit here: Understanding Credit Card Interest

Learning to live within your means can be taught to kids every day. It involves delayed gratification, discipline and being told “no.” You’ll need to be on your toes to watch for these teachable moments.

  1. Invest In Passive Income

Think gumball machine or vending machine here. Then, be prepared to practice patience. It will take time for your kids to mature to the point of understanding passive income.

Show your kids how to buy a gumball machine with say $100 of their own. Suggest a busy store to place their gumball machine in. Now, research together what it will cost to purchase gumballs for their machine. Once your kid guesses how many gumballs they think their machine could sell in a week, help them calculate a profit and loss projection. You’ll need to discuss how much time this passive income business will take and whether or not you will be in a position to purchase a second machine. What Constitutes Passive Income?

  1. Play Games

You should be teaching kids about money and building wealth as early as possible. Many of them are more easily taught and caught when they are older. No matter when you start teaching kids about money and how to build wealth, make it fun. Play games like Cashflow for Kids or Monopoly. Help them learn about business with a lemonade stand, lawn job, babysitting, snow removal, poop scooping or dog walking business. Any one of these businesses can teach kids (and adults!) planning, investing, marketing and executing.

Understanding how money works is the first step toward making money work for you. Kids don’t need a fancy degree or special background to learn how to manage money, nor do you in order to teach them.

Teaching kids about money and how to build wealth while they are very young will help them learn to manage money before they go out into the real world. They will know how to:

No matter what the age of your kids, start them on the right path financially today. If you’d like more in depth resources on managing money, enjoy the following great reads:

Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate | 718-253-9600 ext. 206 | [email protected]


Should A Seller List Their Brooklyn Home In December?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
List their Brooklyn home in December

If someone must list their Brooklyn home in December, the holiday decorations need to be nixed.

Nobody wants to list their Brooklyn home in December. I mean, who in their right mind, would add selling a home to their Christmas to-do list, right? You’re already very busy and doing your best to keep up with the chaos of going to parties and family get-togethers, shopping, mailing Christmas cards, wrapping and preparing lots of Christmas goodies through New Year’s Day. Well, life happens, and it usually happens when we least expect it.

Most people do not choose to list their Brooklyn home in December

Most who list their Brooklyn home in December must sell due to a major life change. Death, divorce, a birth or a change in job status, can take someone by surprise and turn them into a “forced seller.”  You’ve seen the signs, “Everything must go,” or “Moving Sale.”

Ideally, a Brooklyn listing should be on the market for only a few days. But it’s quite possible a December listing could remain on the market through spring. If that happens, what pictures will potential buyers see of that December listing as time passes? The pictures they see must look as fresh in May as they did when they were taken in December. That can’t happen if the pictures posting in the spring show a home’s halls decked with boughs of holly.

If a home must list in December, efforts should be put into pre-inspections, repairs, cleaning, staging, photographs and marketing with any time of year in mind. Potential buyers should be moved by the house itself, not by the way a home is decorated for the holidays.

For example, let’s say you love Halloween. A lot of people do. But you wouldn’t go to a job interview dressed in your favorite Halloween costume, right? The human resources person holding your interview will see your costume (or decorations) rather than you and your resume.

People should not list their Brooklyn home in December with pictures of decorations

Selling a home takes skill. Sellers should work to present their listing in such a way that they bring a potential buyer to a decision to buy. Posting pictures of your home in July with fall leaves and fall decorations may cause a potential buyer to think, “What’s wrong with this house? It’s been on the market since last fall.”

If a seller is forced to list their Brooklyn home in December, the house should be prepared to sell at any time of year. Decorations for a specific time, year or holiday will date a home in an unfavorable way.

So, if you must list your Brooklyn home in December and a Christmas tree in the home is a must, put it up on December 24th and take it down on December 26th. Decorations can nix a sale faster than you can say “Price Reduction”!

If someone you know must list their Brooklyn home in December, call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate. at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email, [email protected].