First Month - Post Purchase
You worked hard and purchased your home from Trio! Now it's time to continue making your monthly payments that help you eventually pay-off your mortgage.
Also, it is very common for your mortgage to be sold or transferred to a different servicer at some point over the life of the loan. This means you may get notices telling you to send payments to a new company or new address.
Don't worry, though - we are here to help! Look for a call from us in the next week or so and we can help answer any questions you might have.
The most important thing is making your payment on-time each month. Enrolling in ACH will setup an automatic mortgage payment every month. Most successful homeowners sign up for automatic payments in order to make sure they don't miss a payment.
Don't wait to make your payment until you receive a statement. Your closing documents include a first month's payment coupon. Use it or go online to the lender's provided website to make your payment.
We look forward to talking to you soon!
Second Month - Post Purchase
The Two Most Common Mistakes!
We've worked with thousands of successful homeowners and have seen a lot of good & bad decisions made. Here are the two common mistakes we see for new homeowners that we want to help you avoid:
1. Not tracking your spending against your budget.
It's time to dust off, or discover for the first time, your budget spreadsheet or money-management app. Learning how to effectively budget, plan, and manage your money is the single most important thing you will learn while working with us! Budgeting is a fun art-form of looking at your expenses and income and making sure that you are living within your means. Done correctly, keeping track of your spending will remove the daily stress of financial woes.
2. Spending too much, too quickly to fix up your new house.
Once we move in, we want to make our house look like the way we saw it in our dreams immediately. The costs for paint, decorations, furniture and other improvements all add up very quickly. Make a plan to take small regular steps to improve your home without breaking the bank. One common mistake is leasing expensive furniture. Now that you have a house, some people lease expensive furniture to fill the house. Payments that feel small up-front start to feel increasingly larger as time goes on and the furniture becomes worn out. We recommend buying second hand to start - there's always time later!
Here are 3 tips to help you budget successfully during your first year:
- Develop a budget where every dollar is accounted for each month. It's easy to spend a few dollars here & there that end up adding up to hundreds of dollars by the end of the month. Check our website for a list of recommended resources!
- Start planning for big or unexpected purchases now. Ensure you think ahead and set aside funds for big expenses like braces for your child or gifts for the Holidays.
- Live by your calendar! Know what expenses are set for which times of the month and ensure you match these with your payroll deposits. This strategy will help you avoid costly bank fees.
Keep up the good work and let us know if we can help!
Third Month - Post Purchase
Share Your Experiences With Others!
It's your third month as a homeowner!
You have been making your mortgage payments on time. You're whipping your budget into shape and getting settled into your new life. And you've avoided the common mistakes many first-time homebuyers make.
As a leaser you've learned a lot about being a homeowner, so now i's time to pay it forward. There are millions of new homebuyers each year and it's time for you to share your experiences with them.
Take a minute to complete our quick survey on what you have learned through the home buying process to date. (And don't worry, your answers are confidential and not used for anything outside of our training purposes.)
Fourth Month - Post Purchase
By now, things should be settling down into a steady routine with your new mortgage. We will be giving you a call next month to catch up with you! Look for a call from us then.
And over the next 8 months, we'll keep sharing tips and ideas on how to strengthen your finances, build equity in your home and prepare for future financial decisions. Here are some of the topics we'll cover:
- Managing credit scores.
- Home repair and maintenance tips that build value in your home.
- Handling credit card debt.
- Building savings.
Remember that the cornerstone of your plan is your budget - which, we've been talking about since Month 1. Take a quick look to make sure you're rocking your budget and have it aligned with your future life goals.
Sometimes we hit a bump in the road or have an unexpected circumstance come up. Because you have a solid plan in place, we believe you can handle most of these, but feel free to reach out to your coach if you need someone to bounce a question off of. Just email, call or click on the link below to schedule a time to talk.
Here's to smooth sailing ahead!
Fifth Month - Post Purchase
Why Your Score Matters!
Are you improving your credit score? A higher number is better. Continuing to improve your credit is critical to helping build your financial future.
Investopedia says a credit score is a "statistical number that evaluates a consumer's creditworthiness and is based on credit history." This basically means that you have a number assigned to you that tells potential lenders if you're likely to pay-off the loan. The higher the number, the more likely (statistically) that you are to be able to pay back the loan and therefore, the less risk you are to the lender.
In short, a higher credit score means more people will want to lend to you and at lower interest rates. This means more money back in your pocket, often more than $20,000 over your lifetime!
Don't let your credit score scare you. The average credit score of individuals below 40 is in the 630 range. For most people, it's easy to make steady gains by just paying all your bills on time, keeping your debt levels, and not applying for new credit.
Heads Up! As part of the Trio Success program, you can get your credit score for a discounted rate plus an action plan on steps you can take to improve it. Just register at HLP.Guru using the promo code Trio for a 70% off use of the tool. https://hlp.guru/
Sixth Month - Post Purchase
Home Maintenance and Repair!
Now that you own your home, all maintenance (and the cost associated with this) becomes yours to handle - all on your own.
When it comes to maintenance, the general rule is that the earlier the notice, the less costly the fix. For example, it could cost $500 to have a tree limb taken down, but it could cost $5,000 if the tree limb falls on your car. Or, a small leak could cost $300 to repair, but it could save you from spending $10,000 if a pipe bursts.
YouTube and Home Depot's website has helpful videos, guides, and checklists to fix common problems.
Here are some other common mistakes to avoid that can damage your home:
Storing Household Goods in the Attic and Garage. Garage and attic trusses are designed to support the weight of the roof and ceiling and not much else. But many homeowners view this space as perfect for extra storage. Adding too much weight, however, might result in sagging or even a collapse of the roof structure. If you want to use this space for storage, consult a structural engineer in advance to see if additional reinforcements are needed.
Altering Finished Grades. Perhaps you want to add a patio or walkway - or some additional trees or landscaping - to your new home. In doing so, you might disrupt the drainage system around your home and cause water to flow back toward the house.
Allowing Sprinkler Heads to Spray Against the Home. Sprinkler heads that spray against your house can lead to rotted walls, leaching of color from the exterior walls or even movement of the foundation. Direct all sprinkler heads away from the home - and check them regularly to make sure they haven't turned.
Failing to Use Bathroom and Laundry Vent Fans. Bathrooms and laundry rooms typically have high humidity. Fans should always be used in these rooms to avoid getting water vapor into your drywall, electrical outlets and framing.
Walking on the Roof. Not only is walking on the roof dangerous, but untrained persons can break or scuff the roof covering and cause roof leaks. Gutter maintenance should always be done from a ladder, not the top of the roof. Many residential warranties exclude damage resulting from unauthorized persons walking on a roof.
Overloading Upper Kitchen Cabinets. Lower cabinets rest on the floor, but upper kitchen cabinets are hung from the walls. While it might be tempting to store extra sets of dishes in upper cabinets, this added weight could load the cabinet beyond its capacity and lead to sagging shelves or even detachment of the cabinet from the wall.
Finally, your property insurance won't pay for routine maintenance and repairs, so it's important to set aside money in savings for items that wear out or unexpected things that break. It's time to review your insurance coverage to see what exactly is covered and what your deductible is for these events. Not all insurance is the same. Some include coverage for flood damage and some don't. Some cover fire damage and some don't. Plan to take a few minutes over the weekend and check for common coverage such as the following:
- Flood Coverage
- Fire Coverage
- Natural Disasters (hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes)
Seventh Month - Post Purchase
Tackling Your Credit Card Debt!
Now that you've settled in and are used to your monthly mortgage payments, its time to begin setting financial goals, paying down consumer debt, growing your savings, and managing your household's needs.
Now you're ready to tackle credit card debt and to be certain this debt won't threaten long-term goals or credit score.
Here are a few tips to help manage your credit card debt.
- Set up automatic payments on your credit card. Just like you enrolled in ACH for your mortgage, setting up automatic minimum payments on your credit card can ensure that even if you do not pay off the whole debt, at least you are not losing points for missing a payment.
- Pay off new charges in full each month so that your debt levels don't grow.
- Get off the hamster wheel and make a plan to eliminate your credit card debt.Identify one debt - either the lowest balance or the highest interest rate - and make payments greater than the minimum amount due.Once you get that debt paid off, apply those payments to the next debt and slowly, but surely crush your debts!
- Use one-time funds like a tax refund, gift or a bonus from work to make rapid progress in paying off a debt.
Being debt-free improves your credit score, opens up more opportunities to pursue your dreams and reduces financial stress. That's why we are here to answer any questions that you may have. Feel free to reach out anytime to discuss your unique situation.
Third Month - Post Purchase
Share Your Experiences With Others!
Instead of sharing with you, it's your turn to share with us!
Take a minute to complete our quick survey on what you have learned through the home buying process to date.
Ninth Month - Post Purchase
Building Up Your Savings!
Let's dive into this month's topic: SAVINGS!
Oh no, did you just become overwhelmed? Maybe a little stressed on how you're going to tackle savings along with your monthly expenses and upcoming purchase?
Have no fear! With a little discipline and systems in place, you'll be growing your savings and will actually look forward to growing your reserves.
Short-term, everyone needs a savings cushion to help with unexpected expenses. Your first goal is to save $500. Pay yourself first by setting aside $20 from each paycheck into a separate account and in less than a year you'll reach this target!
With this in place, you'll have the cushion you need to avoid having to charge an unexpected repair or borrow from a family member. And, by paying yourself first, you can put back into your savings.
Once you hit that target, keep setting aside money each paycheck until you hit $1,000. At this level, you can handle most of the bumps in the road life is likely to throw at you.
Your long-term goal should be maintaining a balance of 3 months in savings to help protect against those unexpected emergencies. For example, if your monthly expenses including your mortgage payment equals $2000, then you should aim to have $6,000 saved up for this long-term goal.
Besides growing your financial savings, you can also grow your savings beyond the traditional ways.
- Maintain and grow your home's market value - as your home value goes up, you can use that wealth to your advantage.
- Contributing to your company's 401K program or setting aside money in an IRA.
Having the right level of savings gives you the confidence and resources to handle the unexpected problems life can throw at you!
Tenth Month - Post Purchase
This month we'll be reaching out to you to check in and see how you are doing. We won't need more than a few minutes of your time.
After 10 months of homeownership, we hope you are settled and secure in your home. This will be our last scheduled call, so please feel free to tell us about how your budget is coming along, if you are having trouble growing your savings or paying down credit card debt, or if there's a maintenance problem that you need suggestions on.
We are always here to help, so please write us at email@example.com, give us a call at (877) 349-4447, or schedule a time to talk to a coach online by clicking here.
Eleventh Month - Post Purchase
Settings Goals for the Next Year
We are coming up on your 1-year anniversary with the Trio Success Team! We're thrilled to have you in our community and excited to see you progress through our program.
Let's not stop the momentum now! Full steam ahead as you confirm your goals and secure your financial future!
How does one plan for the future? By assessing the Big 3!
- Life Events - what big things are happening in your life next year? A wedding, new baby, starting college, retirement, or family trip are the kind of life events that will take time and money to handle.Make certain you identify and plan appropriately.
- Financial Health - how are your budget, savings, debt and credit score doing? Take an honest look at where you are and set specific goals for how your finances need to change.
- Support System - who is helping you achieve your goals? Recruiting friends and family to support you and help you stay on track is essential to reaching your goals.
It's a known fact that goals become habits with daily steps towards them. Make sure you've written your goals down and put them somewhere you can easily see them. It's also good to share these with your support network.
The best practice is to once a month review the steps you've taken and map out the next steps or adjustments you need to make.
"A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step." - Ancient Chinese proverb
Twelfth Month - Post Purchase
Well, 12 months of work is complete! We've discussed quite a bit over the last year so let's take a minute to summarize the best practices.
- Keep up your on-time mortgage payments.
- Stick with your budget and don't overspend furnishing your home.
- Maintain your home so that it continues to increase its value.
- Fix any home maintenance items while they are small.
- Know your credit score and take steps to improve it.
- Pay off or keep your balances low on your credit cards, ideally below 33% utilization.
- Save $500, then save $1,000, then save 3 months of expenses!
- Set goals that enable you to enjoy your life and live without financial stress.
Congratulations for finishing the Borrower Success program! Even though we will not be making any more outreach attempts, we are still here for you! You can always write us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you should run into any problems.
Final - Post Purchase
Let Us Know Your Feedback!
It's been great working with you over the past few years on your path to sustainable homeownership. Let us know your feedback on the program so that we can continue to help other just like you reach their goals.