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Business of VO: Bosses on the Move

What’s a Boss to do when they need a major change in scenery? Duh, they make a move! But physically moving your business is a royal PIA — pain in the Anne! Yup, Anne Ganguzza is putting her house on the market and we talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly wallpaper in that half-bath! Join us for this episode of House Hunters, voiceover Boss style!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Anne’s purchase of a new home has created a bit of chaos and it’s made us realize that a move is major for any boss.

  2. When an entrepreneur wants to make a major change, it’s not a question of IF, but simply when.

  3. On the surface a bold move can seen impulsive or rash but it’s usually not.

  4. But self employed individuals must be prepared for the process of purchasing a large item like real-estate without traditional employment. It’s a different process and may require a less conventional loan.

  5. Living and working from the same locations also comes with many specific property requirements that other home buyers may not have.

  6. Not all homes are equipped to accommodate a business and not all locations are ideal for a voiceover business.

  7. If you maximize your business deductions and the tax benefits of owning and business and working from home, you are likely minimizing your taxable income. Doing so can be problematic because your taxable earnings may not show the income needed to qualify for a large purchase.

  8. Lenders still want the business of self-employed borrowers, but they will likely want a higher interest rate too.

  9. Stated income loans can be more difficult to acquire.

  10. Lenders may also require you to pay down debts in order to improve your debt to income ratio.

  11. Debt to income is most prevalent when buying a home.

  12. An accountant and financial planner working together can greatly help you with obtaining large purchase goals.

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Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Tips on getting a home loan, for freelancers.

  2. Aside from finances, the act of moving is complicated. Here’s one checklist to help make sure you get it all done!

  3. Recorded on IpDTL

Full Episode Transcript

>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.




Anne: Hey everyone, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my VO BOSS bestie. God, I miss you, Gabby, and I need you now…um oh, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: I can hear the stress. I can hear the stress pouring out of you right now, Anne.

Anne: It’s affecting my performance.

[both laugh]

Gabby: You’re frantic. So this is fun. Anne blew up her life, like –

Anne: I did.

Gabby: [laughs] I’m gonna let you just go ahead and tell. Go ahead. Take it away.

Anne: I think, Gabby, the appropriate title for this episode should be “Bosses on the Move.” Yes. I’m moving. [laughs]

Gabby: [laughs] 

Anne: And this has just, and it formulated as a simple thought at first.

[both laugh]

Anne: Where I said, you know, it’s a good time to sell in my town. It’s a pretty popular town to live and I bet I could make a decent profit on that, and you know what? I really would like to just have a little bit of change. Maybe we’ll start looking for a new home.

Gabby: Maybe turned into – 

Anne: And that just blossomed into this full force, kind of like how Anne Ganguzza does things. Don’t ever just do anything lightly. I have to go full force into it.

Gabby: While her husband was away on business –

Anne: Yeah, this is what happened.

Gabby: – Anne went and toured a lovely piece of property and took video.

Anne: And I loved it.

Gabby: And before Jerry’s plane even hit the ground home, she had put down a deposit on this place. 

Anne: Jerry, the day after he flew home, we went to go look at the property and then we put a deposit down on it. [laughs]

Gabby: Now she’s in a mad rush to pack up her existing house, stage it, get it ready to sell.

Anne: Yeah, we haven’t sold this house yet. Here’s a couple of things that, you know, might help.

Gabby: Avoid your impulsive nature. [laughss]

Anne: Here’s the deal. I think anybody who’s listened to this podcast knows that I very much run my business and personal life with my gut. When my gut said, you know, maybe it’s time to sell and move, I listened to it. And when I saw – you know, Gabby, I think this happen to a lot of people when they go and they look at a property, and as soon as they walk into it, they know. They know in their heart, that they can see themselves living there and this place is calling them, or at least that’s me. That’s how I shop actually. [laughs] Those shoes, they’re calling me, Gabby.

Gabby: Yeah, I relate to that. For a lot of entrepreneurs, once we engage the process, it’s no longer an if. We’ve somewhere in our minds made up that this is the right decision.

Anne: That’s the goal.

Gabby: As much as I’m enjoying giggling at you and watching your panic ensue – 

[both laugh]

Anne: It’s a controlled panic, I like to say that.

Gabby: It is, it is. As much as I’m watching the comedy of it, there’s something to be said though for bosses behave this way. When we want X, we go for it. That’s it. We do it.

Anne: Totally agreed.

Gabby: Things that on the surface to other people can seem like a very snap decision or a very rushed decision we go, “well, no. This is what I wanted to do and these are the facts and the statistics that I’m working with, so why delay?” 

Anne: And you know, before any of our listeners sits back and say “wow, that Anne is a little bit crazy. She hasn’t even sold her house yet,” – right there’s a big leap of faith, and I think we all can identify with that leap of faith because any of us that have gone into voiceover, and come from a corporate background, and decided to go full-time or even take the leap into VO to begin with, that’s a leap of faith. This is certainly a leap of faith, however I don’t want you to think that it’s, that there’s not something to back it up with. I’ve been diligently accumulating funds in my safe account [laughs] you know, for just something that, if it were to happen to come along, that I could use those funds for. And so making that decision was not as difficult or as wild or as crazy as it might seem, because I knew that I had funding for the majority of it, and I have a belief, I have a faith that my house is going to sell. It will sell. It just depends on what price it will sell at. Guys, just so you know, I have a lovely home available in Southern California for those of you that are interested, and it will be listed on MLS quite soon. [laughs] Feel free to come down and take a look. 

Gabby: For those of you who have not been through the process of purchasing a major thing as a self-employed individual, there’s a fun process here, guys.

Anne: Oh yeah.

Gabby: It comes as a bit of a shock.

Anne: Which hit me in the…in that place. I went, whoa! [laughs]

Gabby: I want to touch on some of the logistics, some of the things you have to be prepared for if you’re doing this professionally, and you know that a move may be in your future. You know, obviously the buying and selling process alone, right, it’s very stressful. There’s a multitude of factors to consider on the buying side because we have these wacky, weird requirements that other people don’t necessarily have.

Anne: [laughs] Yes, for the buying side, and we’ll say that t all starts with a discussion about money, right, because if you’re thinking of selling and/or buying, you have to really sit down and take a hard look at numbers, and that’s something that’s very difficult sometimes for us to do. A hard look at numbers is what can you afford, right, and that right there alone is probably the number one stressor. Plus where we’re looking has to be able to accommodate our business. As you’re mentioning, Gabby.

Gabby: Yes. Again, this is where I feel like we’re always in sort of a Catch-22. On one hand, self-employed individuals who are running their business well, who are taking tax deductions to the fullest, who are working with an accountant who’s helping them to make sure they’re maximizing deductions, and reducing their tax debt quarterly, annually, whatever it might be, we don’t necessarily on paper look to make a lot of money because that’s one of the ways that we keep that down.

Anne: That’s one of the ways we run the business.

Gabby: Right. The problem then becomes when we go to a lender and say I would like to purchase this thing, they want to see our income.

Anne: And borrow less money. Exactly. That’s the one thing, Gabby, that did take me by surprise. Not you, because I know you’ve already been through it. So my husband, who has, you know, a job, they take his gross monthly income, yet for me, because I’m self-employed, they take a net monthly income. And there’s – when we had our discussion with the lender, that was like, what? [laughs] And so they’re also looking for any excuse in the book to say – of course they want to lend me money. Of course they do. But they want to lend it to me at a higher interest rate.

Gabby: Absolutely. 

Anne: Any reason for that to happen.

Gabby: It’s a challenge. I mean, when I bought my house, it was based off of what’s called stated income.

Anne: Yes.

Gabby: And stated income has been a fluxing sort of situation for a number of years, especially after the crash in ‘08. There was a lot of issues with stated – you couldn’t, you couldn’t use stated income for a while to purchase anything. The challenge is the bank wants to see – 

Anne: The money coming in.

Gabby: Yeah. If your taxes say you make a certain amount of money, but you go, “no, I make more than that. Really, I do OK.” The problem is the lender wants proof, and that proof comes in the form of your bank accounts and your statements.

Anne: And when that is the case, because now my lender did say I could do that. However the interest rate would be higher.

Gabby: But there’s another kind of piece to it that’s very, very stressful. I know for me, when I went through this, it’s that you have to have a certain amount of money in the bank.

Anne: Oh yeah.

Gabby: Untouched. And it has to stay there.

Anne: As proof.

Gabby: It’s so funny, because you go ok, one of the most expensive times in your life is moving. It’s the packing, it’s you have to pay for the movers, you have so many expenses that pop up, repairs, then you have the acquisition of new things for the new place, there’s all of this stuff, and they’re going right, but you can’t spend anything.

[both laugh]

Anne: You must keep this amount in your bank account. You must show this income. It’s all debt to income ratio. Right? 

Gabby: That’s the key right there.

Anne: Because of my income, and of course that net income is from a salary that has been, you know, optimized to run my business, he basically was like “no, you have to pay the cars off.” I’m like whoa, that is – 

Gabby: [laughs] Oh, is that all? 

Anne: It’s two cars and that’s taking me al little bit by surprise, however there are assets everywhere. But then again, some of those assets might be 401k’s, mutual funds and stuff that I might be able to borrow because it’s my own money, however that’s another loan. So it really turns into this “where can we move our money strategically to show the bank so that they will give us the optimal rate for our loan and give us a loan, of course?” I’m not worried. Banks today, they want our business.

Gabby: They do. Debt to income ratio, when you are self-employed, is a very tricky, very strange thing. Part of why I think it’s – blind-sides people is because other types of lenders and other creditors do not take debt to income ratio into account the way mortgage lenders do. I’ve seen people get into car loans, and I think we all know somebody like this, that makes you a little sick, where you’re going “oh my God, you’re paying how much for that car?” And it becomes very obvious that the lender never took in, took debt to income into consideration. It falls into that category of just because you want it doesn’t mean you should have it necessarily.

Anne: [laughs] Except for my house, Gabby, except for my house.

Gabby: Except for you house, Anne, I know. So what happens is we can really put ourselves in a bad position where our debt income is in the wrong balance, and then you go to buy a home, and the lender goes, “oh no, no, no. [laughs] We can’t reconcile how you’re paying these bills, nevermind how you’re gonna include a mortgage.”

Anne: Let me just add into this though, having an accountant, right, a good accountant, will really help you in this situation. Just have a good accountant that can help you and a good financial planner. I also called my financial planner who gave me some really good advice on how I can move some money around and split it up between years, if I need to cash in on some stocks that I have, because we’re doing this towards the end of the year, do some this year, do some next year – just good advice, financial advice. Really get those people around you and have them. He’s basically, “you call me anytime. Don’t worry, we’ll make this work.” And my accountant said the same thing. That’s a really wonderful, stress-relieving thing to hear when you’re going through this process because again when you’re signing that paperwork, it’s all about like this is your monthly, this is your income here, this is your income there. This is what you’re gonna pay for your mortgage, this is gonna be closing costs, all those numbers. I sit here and I talk about money blocks and how I’m prepared. And as prepared as I thought I was, it still is stressful because you’re looking at cold, hard numbers. I think the more that you can have a realistic assessment of your business and your numbers, the better off you’re going to be when it comes to doing this. Plus unexpected costs. My studio. [laughs] So my studio was built by my dad, and anybody who’s ever read my blog, right, I’ve been circulating my studio upgrade blog for a while. It’s a completely custom-built, from my father and blessed by George Wittam, kind of booth where we added things on to it.

Gabby: You know, the pope of voiceover, George Wittam.

Anne: Exactly. It stands in the corner of my room, it’s like a booth, it’s like eight by eight by – no, four by four by eight booth, and so can it come apart and can it be reassembled at the new place? I had to go back to pictures that I took, and so there were a lot of things that I added on to the booth. Am I gonna have to destroy it to take it apart, right, to move it? [laughs] I’m gonna have to take it apart wall by wall and the floor and the ceiling, and then hire somebody to do that as well hire somebody to put it together. I did enlist George’s help again in a consult just last week on it. He’s going – he said to me, really, like, you know, “I see your pictures, it looks like it’s gonna be able to be disassembled.” Right? That’ll cost me probably, I’m gonna say, $1200, you know, if I get two days of work pulling apart, putting it together, fixing it, maybe painting it, whatever I want to do with it to make it look good in the new environment, or I can buy a booth. I thought was oh, StudioBricks. StudioBricks will set me back – probably the booth that I want will set me back $8,000 to $10,000.

Gabby: Right. Or the third option is you hire a contractor and you build from scratch.

Anne: Exactly, which is gonna cost me probably $10,000 to $12,000 according to George. If I know exactly what I want and I know a good contractor, I can certainly dictate it myself. I mean, Gabby, maybe you’ll come. 

Gabby: Maybe.

Anne: [laughs] Maybe you’ll come and direct. I loved this booth for so long. And for me to actually take it apart and not use it again is like sad to me. [laughs] But it may be a reality.

Gabby: But you have a situation where you can move that. Like my house, the way mine is built, my booth becomes, I don’t know. I don’t even know how a realtor would spin this. I’ve seen – this is really funny because I remember when Randy Thomas moved, and her both was marketed by her realtor as a safe room.

Anne: Interesting. Wow.

Gabby: Because it was like a bunker basically. I’m not sure what they would do with mine. It might become sort of like a utility pantry or a closet of some sort.

Anne: Here’s the thing. We’re staging the house. That’s yet another unexpected cost for us, because apparently this is what people do these days in southern California. They have to be able to envision themselves living there and their furniture, whatever they have in the space. Anything that’s too personalized, you want to show as much space as possible, and as neutral as possible so they can really endream and envision what they’re gonna look like. Well my booth, I have to work throughout this. There’s another question, there’s another thing. I need to – I work from home. So I can’t pick up and move my booth or get rid of it and still continue to work. [laughs]

Gabby: And therein lies the big question is how are people handling this process of stagings, and open houses, and realtor visits, and prospective buyers? I look at it from my place and go, dear God, between my dogs and my, me working – 

Anne: The cats are another issue.

Gabby: My clients, how in the world am I supposed to do this? 

Anne: So yes, Gabby, all of those questions and more. My cats, if somebody comes to look at the house, I have to remove the litter boxes. During the open house, I have to put the cats somewheres else. When we had the place recarpeted, we literally had to take them to a hotel. [laughs] The cats to a hotel. Their house is also being disassembled. That’s stressing them out as well. So when they stage, which is going to happen literally within a week, I have to have everything out [laughs] I have to move everything out, put it somewhere, and then they come in with new furniture, and then of course I pay insurance on that in case the cats decide to scratch it up or be nasty. [laughs] Yet I just want you guys to know I’m still forging ahead because I have a belief that this is gonna be good for my business, and I’m taking a leap of faith.

Gabby: And at the same time, like I can hear it. You’re so overwhelmed, you don’t even know where to begin.

Anne: You know, a little bit. That’s why I need my bosstie.

Gabby: We’re sneaking this episode in in between her packing boxes. I want you guys to know that.

[both laugh]

Anne: We had to schedule this time early in the morning so that after this I’m going to go continue my packing, which is oddly therapeutic, Gabby.

Gabby: It is. It is, I think it’s true. Again, I think the big thing here is the understanding that with proper planning and really some forward thinking, it’s possible to plan a move as a voice actor, as an entrepreneur, but it’s challenging especially with yes, us working from home. Here’s the other thing I see happening a lot too for most of us voice actors. We have to buy a place before we can even sell our existing place. 

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: Can’t be in transition. We cannot have that sort of situation. We have to already know where we’re going and how and what’s gonna happen because those normal I think in betweens of moving, we can’t afford.

Anne: As it is, there’s going to be transition time. Even though I have a place – it’s not built yet, by the way. You know, I’m not sure when it’s going to happen, not sure when the move’s going to happen, not sure what’s gonna happen if we sell this house, and then they want to move in, and then we’ve got a few months before our house is actually built. So a plan is in place for a temporary studio. And I will tell you, this is where your travel rig comes into play. I’m not too proud to sit under that ironing board, you know what I mean? I’ve got a Vocal Booth To Go that I’ve got secured that I can borrow from a good friend of mine. So anywhere that I go, I’m going to be able to continue to record which is a good thing with you and obviously for my clients.

Gabby: Yipes. I mean, you could always come here.

Anne: Stay with you in North Carolina, that would be awesome. That would be awesome. So yeah, so there’s that. We don’t know when it’s gonna sell, and when it does sell, where are we gonna go, and then after that, it’s gonna be how long will it take for a booth to be set up in my place? You know, the wonderful thing about this job is we can work anywhere pretty much. This is the beauty of it. That part of the planning really is not stressing me out at all. Of course I want my booth set up, I love my booth, but I can make it work. I’ve made it work in Europe in a tiny little like bathroom with an ironing board and a comforter and my travel rig. If that can happen, I feel confident that I’m going to be able to continue to serve my clients.

Gabby: Alright, well, while you’re doing that, I’m going to go get my house up on the market because I have to keep up with the Ganguzzas.

Anne: [laughs] Well, Gabby, our next house is gonna be like with you, I’m telling you.

Gabby: I know, I know. We have a 15-year Florida plan. 

Anne: We do.

Gabby: That’s what you do when you’re from the Northeast.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: You at some point move to Florida. 

Anne: This is a good thing. I’m trying to really just keep the positive energy going and keep the feeling that yes, this is what I need to do. This is my next step, this is going to be another level in my business, and I’m taking lots of leaps of faith and I’m doing it. So trying to keep myself sane, and it’s good to have people like my bosstie.

Gabby: It’s going to be ok, and the house-warming party is gonna be epic.

Anne: Oh my gosh. Everybody’s invited. All of you are invited. Come to California for our house-warming party. So with that I’d like to give a great big shout-out for someone that’s gonna absolutely help me maintain this business through all sorts of transitions [laughs] and work like a boss, and that’s ipDTL. You too can find out how to work your business like a boss and find out more at

Gabby: And of course we want to give a shout-out to, a company that is very familiar with moving and shaking and all of these transitions and hiccups that can happen along the way as are common for entrepreneurs. They are fair, transparent, efficient, everything we have been looking for in the voiceover industry, Go get yourself up there, get a listing.

Anne: Have a great week, guys. We’ll see you next week.

Gabby: Bye!

Anne: Bye!

Announcer: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast–to–coast connectivity via ipDTL.