Own A Slice Of It

IMG_1321, originally uploaded by nichellest.

Last weekend I vacationed with my friend Rachel at her grandmother’s beach house, and when I saw this sign on the wall, I had to snap a photo. Rachel’s great grandfather had a real-estate business in Martha’s Vineyard and his motto: “If you are on earth, own a slice of it”. I hope this inspires you like it has inspired me.

Our next “Make Yourself Mortgageable” event will be in late September. More details will come next week.


September 3, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Find Out Your Credit Score

Knowledge is power, and you can’t manage what you can’t measure which means you can reaise your credit score if you don’t know what it is. MyFico.com is a website where you can check out your credit score. It pulls from the three credit reporting agencies.

August 22, 2008. credit score. Leave a comment.

The MYM Interview: Anne Fritz From The Jet Set Girls

Anne Fritz, Jet Set Girls

Anne Fritz, Jet Set Girls

I met Anne two weeks ago, and since she reads my twitter feed, she knew about Make Yourself Mortgageable. Coincidentally, she just closed on her apartment.

Are you a first time home buyer?

What neighborhood did you buy?

Did you do 100% financing?
No–I put 20% down.

Any unexpected surprises during the closing process?
Our closing was delayed once, which means I had to pay to extend my 60-day rate lock. On my lawyer’s advice, I did negotiate before confirming my rate lock with my lender to split the extenstion fee (A total of $600, so I saved $300).

My walk through the night before our closing, which was at 2 pm the following day. The seller still hadn’t moved out all of her items. She assured me she would. When I went to the apartment immediately after closing, she had left a mountain of crap there (we’re talking her son’s dirty socks and boxer shorts, dog food still in the bowl, a towel in the shower). Our lawyer has negotiated a small settlement for us, but I do wish I would have gone to the apartment immediately before closing.

How long was the process (from when made an offer to when you closed)?

Just shy of four months.

What’s the one tip you would pass on to anyone who is buying right now?
Buy now! It’s a great time to be a first time buyer with home prices low and interest rates low. Don’t wait for home prices to drop, because interest rates are starting to rise. Even a quarter point rise in interest rates can have a significant affect on your monthly payments.

What do you love most about owning your home?
It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I own (it has only been a week). It’s weird thinking I own a refrigerator and dishwasher now. But I look forward to making small improvements (like painting, swapping out door handles) that will boost the value of my home and having it the way I like it.

August 5, 2008. Tags: , . interview, new york City. Leave a comment.

One Bedroom Apartments: A Good Buy In Manhattan

The inventory for one bedroom apartments has increased because some people are having difficulty with financing. If you can get a mortgage, then it is a buyer’s market. Work on your credit score and save some money. GO FOR IT!
clipped from www.nytimes.com

Now that has changed. One-bedrooms are sitting on the market largely because the buyers most likely to purchase them can’t get mortgages. “Getting financing is very challenging,” said Diane M. Ramirez, the president of Halstead Property. “It can be difficult if the buyer of the one-bedroom is a first-time buyer. Some of the buyers who were able to get financing when the banks were throwing things at them are gone, and the requirements are stiffer.”

The number of studios available for purchase is not piling up in the same way because there are fewer of them, Ms. Ramirez said.

Brokers say that many people who bought their apartments at or near the top of the market and now must sell are often simply trying to avoid losing money on the deal.

August 3, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The MYM Interview: Colette Prosper

Flatbush House, originally uploaded by nichellest.

My friend Colette and her fiance just closed on July 30 on a beautiful house in Brooklyn.

Are you a first time home buyer?

What neighborhood did you buy?

Did you do 100% financing?

If you don’t mind answering, what percentage was your down payment?

Any unexpected surprises during the closing process?
The broker who was a MAJOR dick throughout the entire process actually put some money in escrow for us for an ancient boiler that needs fixing.

How long was the process (from when made an offer to when you closed)?
We made our offer back in mid May and did not close until July 30. The bank was incredibly slow in giving us approval and then they took forever to finally clear us for closing.

What’s the one tip you would pass on to anyone who is buying right now?
Get a good lawyer. Mine was Rashidah Siddiqui at Serpico, Serpico, and Siddiqui on Court Street in BK.

What do you love most about owning your home?
Having a backyard. We bought a limestone (a light-skinned brownstone) in Flatbush for a steal. Please buy in Flatbush, people so you can get a backyard too!

August 1, 2008. Tags: , . interview, real estate. Leave a comment.

Soaking Up The Bubble Bargains

Barbara K wrote a great strategy piece in today’s New York Post about playing the waiting game with the place you want so you can get a good deal.

I know you’ve been reading a lot of bad news about the market these days, but if you have a good credit rating, some cash on hand and a hankering to become a homeowner, now is the time to do it.

The days of having competing buyers in front and in back of you, bidding crazy sums for mediocre fixer-uppers, are over. And there are incredible deals to be had. I just helped a couple of friends buy a prime piece of the Hamptons – a move-in-ready house on a pristine 1-acre lot – for more than $200,000 less than the asking price.

The strategy I used to score my friends their little piece of paradise was completely unconventional. I advised them to do everything you are not supposed to do when making an offer.

I had my friends start very low, offering a price that was a whopping 30 percent off the reduced price. Then we sat back and waited for a response while my friends got pre-approved for a mortgage. Silence can really be golden in real estate these days.

July 31, 2008. homebuying, new york City, real estate. Leave a comment.

Save The Date

Our next “Make Yourself Mortgageable” event will be September 16. Location and Time TBD.

July 31, 2008. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

MeetMojo: Meet. Buy. Prosper

Last night at Ignite NYC, I met Maria Ogneva founder of Meet Mojo, a startup that will be an online resource for real estate investors. Email to sign up for a free trial of MeetMOJO when they go live, info at meetmojo dot com.

July 30, 2008. Tags: . real estate. 1 comment.

The Debt Trap

The New York Times is doing a special series on consumer debt in America. Check out The Debt Trap.

July 20, 2008. Tags: . credit card. Leave a comment.

Our First Event Recap


This past Tuesday, MYM held its first event at La Palapa. MaryBeth and I had a small but mighty group. We enjoyed white and red sangria, guacamole and chips, and some light appetizers. BTW, Margritte the owner of LaPalapa, told us that her restaurant will be featured on season premiere of the new Food Network show starring Ted Allen

I (Nichelle) spoke first by talking about our relationship with money. It’s just as complicated as your Facebook status, and everyone needs to sit down and have a heart-to-heart conversation with money. I read aloud some interesting money confessions from Geezeo’s twitter to show how people have a thing about money. Some hoard it. Some are spendthrift.

Olga Savelov from Universal Mortgage spoke about your credit score is determined and how it is a very important factor in getting a mortgage loan approved. She talked about no credit history is worse than bad credit history. Your credit score can go up within 45 days if you pay on current debt timely.

For our next event in September, we will talk more about credit scores, and we recommend that you have your credit score pulled if you have not done so in the last year.

Related: Shoshi’s blog post about MYM.

July 20, 2008. event. Leave a comment.

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