Browsing Category

Affiliate Post

0 In Affiliate Post/ Finances/ Life Lessons/ Resources

In Credit-Card Debt Up To My Ears

Credit-card debt is scary. They* say that the first step in handling your debt is to identify it. All of it!

I’m doing so via this post. As the debt decreases – I’ll update things here. I’m also tracking my credit-card debt in the sidebar because I’m long past the point where I need to get serious about it.

Which means I go public!

The first focus is on my smallest credit-card, my Amazon Prime Card. I’ll eventually work my way down with the current plan to conquer each amount. Snowballing (adding the previous amount to the debt’s minimum payment) as I work through the list. You can see how the debts will be treated in the infographic below.

*Go ahead and google “financial steps”. I’ll wait.

The Credit Card Debt List

Amazon Prime Card: $1654.59

Limiting my Amazon purchases is the first step I’m taking to pay off this card. My next step is to stop using the card and making those purchases on bank card #1 instead (I’m in the middle of a bank switch). Payments will be $190 twice a month (self-imposed) until the debt is paid off in November 2019.

Capital One Platinum Card: $2551.59

This card was my first credit card and helped me pay for a new transmission. That said, now it goes unused and is now just being paid off. Payments are $80 until Amazon is paid off, at that point the payments will be $270 twice a month until the debt is paid off hopefully by January 2020.

PAID! Auto Loan: $9,169.65

There’s a reason I’m including this one in the breakdown – as it’s a debt, but I’d like to pay it off earlier than intended just to prove to myself that I can. Will I finance a new car afterward? I doubt it because I barely drive the one I have!

The current minimum payment is $482.68. I added extra to bring it up to around $500 a month that I am now sick of paying. I’m going to bump the payment up to $570 to attack my monthly interest until it’s ready to have the snowball thrown at it. With the snowball in effect, the payment will be $840 until that load is paid off by September 2020.

Capital One Journey Card: $8389.85

My third oldest credit card that was approved just as my car’s second transmission died (it was used – but had a weird quirk nobody was ready for) and I needed the cash to pay for a new transmission fast. Capital One pulled through for me when my own bank wouldn’t. The minimum payment on this one is hefty at $265, but once the other debts are paid in full, the payment will skyrocket to $1,105 to effectively erase this one by January 2021. It helps that I rarely use this card. So far, it’s primary use has been for business reasons – and it will continue to be used on a smaller scale for business reasons that I can pay off the next week.

US Bank Card: $8,632.86

My second oldest credit card and once I conquer this one, I will close out my accounts with US Bank and transfer this card over to my new Credit Union account. The minimum payment on this one isn’t as heavy as my Capital One Journey’s payment, but it’s still $232. Once the snowball has been hurled at it, it will be $1,337 until May 2021 when I have it paid in full.

Personal Loan List

The two below loans are special to me because of how fast I was able to acquire them and everything they’ve allowed me to do with my life. I’m super grateful to Sofi for not giving me the run around most financial companies do. They even overlooked my most popular reason for high-interest rates:

“Your money moves too fast.”

Yes, that was an actual rejection reason.

Sofi Personal Loan #1: $10,788.96

I’m almost two-thirds of the way paid off with my first SoFi loan. It’s currently set for auto-payment at $435.32. The final payment will be in June 2021 with $1,209.5. There will be no need for an actual snowball plan for this one since it’s so far down the line!

Sofi Personal Loan #2: $19,003.62

This loan got me to Seattle. I don’t regret this move either as it was a great boost to raise my credit limit, criteria I didn’t know I would need until I was elbow-deep into looking for an apartment here in Washington. Also set up for auto-pay, the payment is currently $377.52 each month. The snowball payment will be $2,149.95 when it’s all said and done. I’m hoping to have it paid off by December 2021.

Some Income Numbers

Now, Natasha, you ask, where is this income coming from?! Well, I’m paid pretty handsomely by Day Job, and two paychecks a month ring in at $5,180.12 gross. Insurance and stock are taken out before I even see it, so it’s one less thing I actively worry about as long as I’m employed by a corporation.

My current outgoing income is a little scarier than I’d like, but that’s why I’m creating this post! I’m looking at $3,884.45 in Debt alone, and I’m hoping that in 6 months, that number moves a little!

All in all, my financial health doesn’t suck. I can still pay for food, insurance, gas, and have some semblance of a social life that will be curtailed in about 8 months due to a new project I’m getting ready to launch. I also plan to increase my income with freelance projects and side items that I know are pretty lucrative.

To wrap this all up, I’m using Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball to conquer my own credit-card debt and take control of my finances. If I play my cards right, I will be debt-free by the end of 2021 and I’m super excited about it! I’ll update this post when I hit my debt milestones and I encourage you to leave your own debt-control plans in the comments below. Let’s celebrate together!

0 In Affiliate Post/ DIY/ Finances/ Life Lessons

Saving Without Thinking: Using Automation

Saving money is Hard. There, I said it.

Sure, we have Online Banking, savings apps, jars, mattresses, squirrel funds, etc, but let’s be honest here. Saving money is HARD. It’s hard when you’re broke, it’s hard when you’re not broke, and it’s even harder when you have the money to burn but you also have financial goals and things you’re saving for that matter to you.

I’m going to share with you some tricks I’ve used to help me break a couple of mindsets and conquer a financial milestone. Automation has played a pretty heavy hand in all of this.

Automating Your Savings

Why automate? Because it removes the “you” factor from the equation once you’ve set it up. Your only goal after setting up the automation is to have the personal discipline to ignore it long enough to reach your savings goal. Or see it gain interest. Or both. I was really fond of my bank paying me for keeping my cash with them, but your mileage may vary. This is a 5-Step Process. Read below to find out more!
[/av_textblock]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Use automations and recurring transfers to help boost your savings

Step 1: Open a Separate Savings Account

I can hear you already. “But I already have one open!”

Do it anyway. That account has been You-Comprised. So we’re starting out with a Fresh new account. If it needs $50 to open it, you are going to move that $50 over to it. Because with a fresh new account comes a fresh new goal. It helps that this is also a certain Financial Guru’s Baby Step #1: $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund.

You also need to promise yourself to not touch this account. This one is strictly to save your funds with the automation. If any money comes out of it, it’s you moving it to another bank’s saving account (what I’m doing with my own).

Step 2: Start Small: Find an Amount You Won’t Miss

Well, yes, you’re going to miss it for the first few paychecks. But then you’ll find that you can skip that $6 latte (I live in Seattle) and just take your own mochas out with you in a travel mug. You’ll make a game to see what you can give up and suddenly that amount you set up to start saving each month is no longer missed. I started with $50. I usually pay for lattes with this amount, so to give it up to the automation is well worth it.

Step 3: Step up an Internal Transfer (Psst, this is the Automation)

Go sign into your Online Banking account.

You’re going to set up an internal transfer from your checking to your savings account. I started with one transfer going out at the 1st of the month. Once my paycheck hits my account, that money is already heading elsewhere. I didn’t even see it go unless I signed into the account itself.

You can choose the dates that work for you, but you do have to choose them.

Step 4: Observe & Modify

We wait and we watch. I waited a couple of months before I added a second (third and fourth) transfer because I’m paid twice a month. So I increased the amount of the first transfer to $100 and this one I started at $50. I added two other automations to take advantage of both savings accounts because well, I can get creative with groceries and takeout in this city is expensive anyway.

Step 5: Stop Thinking About It

Ignore that account until the amount on it reads over $1,000. If I received a bonus from my Insurance, I sent it to Savings. If I received a bonus from work, the same story, it went to that Savings account because it helped me achieve Step 1 that much faster.

Once you’ve completed Steps 1 – 5, you can celebrate!

Celebration Time!

Congratulations! You’ve taken an awesome and huge step toward conquering a financial goal by automating your savings.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

You Mentioned a Certain Financial Guru

I did.

A fast online search can help you suss out their identity if not the below steps certainly will. As much as I would love to cling to the below steps, knowing that they’ve indeed worked for so many others, I also know myself.

I’m going to skip at least three of those (5, 6, & 7) because two no longer apply to my life and one I sort of do each month anyway.

The Baby Steps are Below:

  • Baby Step 1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
  • Baby Step 2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
  • Baby Step 3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
  • Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
  • Baby Step 5 – College funding for children
  • Baby Step 6 – Pay off home early
  • Baby Step 7 – Build wealth and give!

Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps

Hang On, You said Jars, Mattresses, and Squirrel Funds

I meant it too, well, kind of. Except for the mattress thing, that was my grandfather’s way of savings. Mine is just the jars and squirrel funds. In an undisclosed place in my apartment is a coffee cup dedicated to my coin change. At the end of each month, I empty out all of my coin change from my wallet/purse, hold back just enough for two bus rides ($5.50) in quarters, and put the rest in that cup.

I have no idea what that cup has in it, except for a lot of coins that I’ll take to a bank one day.

The Squirrel fund though is a new one that I started when I moved to Seattle and realized that I actually could. Some of you may have heard it referred to as something else, but I call it the Squirrel fund and it comes in two varieties. The first is physical.

At the end of the week, if I have any number of $5 bills in my wallet, I put them in the physical Squirrel fund. Once that fund reaches $100, it either goes to the bank, or I take it to go play.

I also have a digital Squirrel fund that my friend introduced me to called Qapital. She thinks of it as gamefying her savings, I called it the digital Squirrel fund and this is where I’m going to be a shameless plugger.

The Shameless Plugging

Available for both IOS and Android, there’s an app called Qapital. You set your goal, attach your banking card, and set a rule to help you save. I set a goal for $2,500 to save for a new-to-me MacBook. My rule is for every purchase I make, Qapital rounds up to the next two dollars and shoots it to the digital squirrel fund. In the short two weeks, I’ve used the app, I’ve become very cognizant of the purchases and frequency of purchases made. Forty dollars down, only $2,460 to go!

0 In Affiliate Post/ Relocation/ Resources

Interstate Apartment Hunting

[av_one_fifth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_three_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading heading=’Interstate Apartment Hunting (When You don’t Live There Yet)’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Interstate Apartment hunting is hard.

This entry will be long. If you’re looking for a place to live out of state for whatever reason, be armed with the following:

  • Rental/Housing listings
  • Credit Score
  • Debt to Income Ratio
  • An idea of where you want to live
  • A friend in the city (optional)
  • A tech-savvy property manager (not optional)
  • The downpayment.

Caveat #1: Our circumstances will not match. I’m aware of several exceptions my landlord made in order to get me into the space I’m in now. Also, be patient with this process.

That’s not a suggestion.
[/av_textblock]

[/av_three_fifth][av_one_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_one_fifth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_three_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading heading=’Interstate Apartment Rental Resources’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
This is a very little list. There are truly thousands of ways to find an apartment, but here are the few I used during my own interstate apartment hunt:

  1. Craigslist: Where I found my space. It’s helpful to search a) with the pictures on and b) below and a little above your price range. Utilize those filters to help you narrow down your criteria and if you see a space you adore – REACH OUT immediately. Here in Seattle, the rental market is hours of a listing going live to a listing immediately dying as over 10,000 people arrive here in Seattle every day.
  2. Padmapper: Pulls from Zillow and other resources to show rental listings on a map, a la Zillow and Craigslist. You can filter the listings via price and other amenities.
  3. Zillow: Not just for house-hunting, but also wonderful for rental hunting as you can fill out your own profile – giving property managers/owners a chance to “get to know you” before they actually get to know you.
  4. Word of Mouth: If you have friends in the city, loop them into your search. People talk and they want their friends to live in their neighborhoods too. It may hurt your pride to ask them, but ASK. don’t forget to tell them your budget. A studio costing $1350 with all utilities included may sound like a great price, but if all you can afford is a 950$ micro-suite or a house-share – it makes things a little awkward.

[/av_textblock]

[/av_three_fifth][av_one_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_one_fifth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_three_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading heading=’Your Credit Score (Yes, It Matters)’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Question: Do you even KNOW your credit score?

If you do, that’s fabulous! If you don’t, you need to know. Now. Head over to annualcreditreport.com to get your free, yearly credit report.

I happen to have a 675. It’s not the best. Average at best, but it could be worse.

Now the reason why it matters? Is because if I were to search for an apartment right now and another applicant had a higher credit score than I do, I am immediately disqualified from the search because the score is lower.

Of course, this has nothing to do with your ability to pay rent so much as it proves absolutely nothing. It’s just yet another application criterion property managers can use to knock you out of the running in favor of more “savory” applicants.

I ran into several listings where they requested a credit score of 680 or higher and quite a few of those where the companies were asking for a score of 700 or higher.

So where did you fall?

700 or higher? I’m impressed. You should have no issues finding a home here in Seattle. You may even be offered smaller security deposits since your credit report looks pristine. But don’t let this go to your head. It’s so easy to lower that score than you think.

600 to 699? Welcome to Casa Average! It’s okay to be here, but our goal here is to lift our scores by paying off our debt. In my case, it’s credit card debt. I used a personal SoFi loan (Affiliate Link – details below this post) to combine three of my credit cards and pay them off.

599 or lower? You may have some issues finding residence in Seattle proper, so you may want to avoid property management companies and go straight for Landlords with ADU (Additional Dwelling Unit) spaces. Be patient with yourself as debt payoff takes time and energy.
[/av_textblock]

[/av_three_fifth][av_one_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_one_fifth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_three_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading heading=’Debt to Income Ratio (I’m not kidding)’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
So this is a thing. It is a thing I did not know until I started my own interstate apartment hunt because Cincinnati is definitely NOT Seattle. Each city even has different rental criteria. Cincinnati uses “can you pay rent?” Seattle uses “how can we see who we like best?”

MortgageCalculator.com gives the following formula to figure out your Debt to Income Ratio: To determine your DTI ratio, simply take your total debt figure and divide it by your income. For instance, if your debt costs $2,000 per month and your monthly income equals $6,000, your DTI is $2,000 ÷$6,000, or 33 percent.

Which is great!

When you’re hunting for a house.

In order to help skim the best of the best applicants, property managers/owners are now using Debt to Income Ratios as applicant criteria.

You will want to know your own ratio before entering the application process. Because once you’re in there, it’s a race against time between you and Amazon Joe!
[/av_textblock]

[/av_three_fifth][av_one_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_one_fifth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_three_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading heading=’Your Ideal Neighborhood(s)’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Have you figured out where you’d like to land your new pad? I used Google Maps and Street View enough to figure out which neighborhoods I liked. Wikipedia played a starring role to figure out the fun factoids behind those neighborhoods.

I knew that I wanted to land in either:

After further research and some random circumstances, I almost committed to Northern Seattle, so I was able to eliminate Queen Anne (oh my god, the Hill) and Belltown (too close to Downtown) and still be able to afford a space!

My first three options quickly whittled themselves down during to sheer circumstances and the Universe intervening to focus my search on Fremont and Wallingford.

That all changed when I found a listing on Craigslist in a neighborhood I lovingly call Wallingmont.
[/av_textblock]

[/av_three_fifth][av_one_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_one_fifth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_three_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading heading=’Optional: A Friend in the City’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
When I was doing my interstate apartment hunt, I had about six folks in Seattle that I was friendly with, but not super close to. Save one, but their schedule didn’t allow my calling them up to be like “so, could you please go see this apartment for me?”

A lot of the listings I contacted required an in-person tour in order to be considered. If you think you’ll run into this, you may want to reach out to your friends and GET FRIENDLY. You may need them to check out your space in order to even apply for it.

I got lucky. I had a Tech-Savvy Property Manager who liked me enough to do video calls. Head to the next section!
[/av_textblock]

[/av_three_fifth][av_one_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_one_fifth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_three_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading heading=’Required: A Tech-Savvy Property Manager’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Now I looked through 95 apartment listings during my interstate apartment hunt. Well, more than just 95, but 95 applications and only two…

TWO…

Two property managers out of all of those listings offered up a video call in lieu of my physical presence during the visit.

Just two.

Yvonne, being the tech-savvy woman she is, figured out Google Hangouts long enough to show the studio and actually see she and Ed in person. Well, sort of. They needed to see if I would vibe with both them and the house and I wanted to see more than the kitchen I had pictures of.

If the manager of the space you love is willing to do a video call with you – that will help you narrow down your search by, well, a lot!
[/av_textblock]

[/av_three_fifth][av_one_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_one_fifth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]

[av_three_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading heading=’The Down Payment’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Full Disclosure: I had a two-fold reason for getting my Sofi Loan in the first place.

  1. To pay off my credit card debt and lift my credit score.
  2. To afford my actual downpayment since my income moved too quickly for my credit report to feel comfortable about it.

The payments were more management than my credit card payments were. I don’t even see the money leave my account – it’s an automatic deduction which takes out a lot of the guesswork and stress of potentially missing a payment.

Most landlords ask for First Month’s rent and the security deposit (usually equaling to the first month’s rent) before you move in. Other properties may ask for more. At the time this entry was written, a law here in Washington was being rolled around making owners and management companies asking for First Month’s Rent, Last Month’s Rent, AND the Security Deposit illegal, but as the amazing interstate apartment hunter you are, you’re researching that via Google, aren’t you?

My landlord asked for First Month’s and a small security deposit, which I did via bank transfer (which I can rant about in a whole different entry). My bank hated the move – but when your landlord is in Washington and you’re in Ohio, sending him a check isn’t the smartest idea.

Summing it All Up

When you’re hunting for an apartment out of state, or even out of town, you’ll want to be armed with:

  • Your research
  • Your down payment
  • Your credit score
  • Your neighborhood(s)
  • Someone to go on tours for you or a property manager who doesn’t mind a video call
  • Patience

You’re going to need that last one.

Until Next Time!
[/av_textblock]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]

Affiliate Disclosure

SoFi Loans: The link present in this entry that once you apply for a loan and are approved, you receive $100 and I receive $300 in compensation for the referral. For more details, please visit Sofi.com.
[/av_textblock]

[/av_three_fifth][av_one_fifth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”][/av_one_fifth]