A Home Seller’s Glossary of Real Estate Terms

By Jan Stevens, Realtor


Buying a home is still a great goal for most people. It is a form of forced savings and provides necessary shelter. Here in Minnesota, individuals and families can purchase a home with no money down if they have the income and good credit to make the monthly mortgage payments. Mortgage companies can usually give the best terms, i.e. lowest cost, if the buyer puts down 20 percent of the sale price. Family money gifting is sometimes how people purchase a home, but not everyone has that kind of financial help available or will choose to use it.

Money management is not taught in most schools anymore and we are all surrounded 24/7 with wonderful things and services to spend our money on with the click of a key. As a graduate student at the University of Illinois, I taught this class to college freshmen. Saving just for the sake of saving is not exciting. The class began with all students keeping track of all their own spending for a month. We also used a hypothetical average family for the local community to talk about family financial management. Using this family, we planned a model budget for a year. It was always interesting that there was never enough family income to meet all the needs and wants! Economics is still about allocating scarce resources.

You may have educational loans, credit card debt, car loans, medical bills, childcare costs and car payments to juggle. Write all your monthly and yearly bills down along with your income. Write out your financial goals for a year and for longer term. Look for areas where you can reduce your costs to free money up for your needs. You may need to learn new skills, like cooking at home or buying gently used clothing and furniture. There are some good books and websites on these topics. Look for community education programs on these topics. Having a plan can help you gain some personal control over your money.

Jan Steven, Realtor® with Coldwell Banker, can be reached at 507-244-0500 or janstevens@realtor.com.

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