This page contains tools I have developed to help clients understand how the decisions they were facing would impact them financially now, and in the future.
The problem with most available tools, especially web-based tools, is that they are overly simple. I work with a lot of Silicon Valley engineers, however. For this group of men and women a simple analysis is not enough, because they are just too smart, know too much, and are too capable themselves to not want to dig deeper. If they are going to make the biggest financial decision of their lives, they just simply have to really understand what they are doing at a very deep level. They needed and asked for tools that went much deeper than anything else they could find.
I started out my career as a commercial real estate appraiser, so I was already adept at financial analysis. Working with Silicon Valley engineers on their real estate financing needs, however, has been an education. Consequently, the tools you see on these pages have evolved as these very smart folks have taught me how they think and what is important to them. Because these tools are custom tools, they can be customized for you. If you see a tool that speaks to the type of analysis you want but isn’t quite right, please let me know; you can probably have the features you want.
By the way, these are not web-based tools. When you click on a tool you will be taken to a download site for an Excel spreadsheet. I have avoided using any macros so the files are completely safe. You will need Microsoft Excel or a compatible program to work with them. I have found the Google Docs do not have enough power to allow all the features in the analyses to work.
Our first tool is the most popular – the Refi Benefit Analysis.
This analysis will help you determine if a refinance is in your best interest. It goes way beyond a simple payback analysis. This analysis also:
- acknowledges that payment reduction and interest savings are not the same
- looks at how long you intend to stay in the property
- considers what effect refinancing has on how fast you will repay your principal
- allows you to account for what you think you could do with the monthly savings
- and finally allows you to explore faster payoff options
You’ll find it is obvious which fields can be edited, and there are hints in any field where it might not be obvious what you should enter. Look for a red triangle in the upper right hand corner of any field, let your cursor hover over that field, and you’ll see the hint pop up.
More tools to come…