Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ellie on MSNBC - Should You Rent or Buy?

I was on MSNBC a little while back and several of you have written me for the link. I did the show live from the west coast NBC Bureau. It was a CRAZY day, but it worked out. We got the notice that I needed to leave (and be camera ready) in 1.5 hours. Then the car service did not arrive and when I called them, they had the wrong time (east coast instead of west coast). This meant I had to hop in my roadster (good thing it's fast) and just start driving, getting directions (via my cel) while in the car. They bumped the segment to the bottom of the half hour in order for me to arrive at the studio in time. I walked in, did the show and then left right after. I'm always amazed by the stats involved in media --2.5 million viewers, the equivalent of $150K in advertising for the 5 minutes I'm on the show--really wild. But I also got 6 really quick and easy tips into the segment to help consumers.

One of the things I've been talking about in the media is the entire question of "do I rent or do I buy?" Well, I've got a handy dandy rent vs. buying tool on my website (along with a ton of other cool calculators) that can help you crunch the numbers. Generally speaking, if you are going to stay in your house for 5 years or longer, then it is a fantastic time to buy. But you also need to know what kind of mortgage rate you will get, if you have ample downpayment and if your job looks secure enough in the future to be able to take on the responsibility of a home (not to mention all the associated costs like upkeep, utilities, taxes, insurance, etc). Long gone are the days of mortgage lenders overlooking debt versus income ratios and not following up on applications that could include falsified information.

So if you know someone who is considering taking this big step, direct them to this tool and it could save them a huge headache!

Ellie Kay
America's Family Financial Expert (R)