The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 289)

Attend the Home Inspection Yourself and Ask a Lot of Questions (238/365)

One crucial part of the home-buying process is the home inspection, in which a licensed inspector examines the home for significant problems and (usually) prepares a report for the buyer. […]

The Eyes of a Child

My youngest child has these deep blue eyes. If you tell him something that attracts his attention, he’ll stop and look at you with those piercing blue eyes for a moment, as though he’s trying to make up his mind whether or not you’re telling him something of real value. Every day, his eyes are on me. […]

Shop Around for a Mortgage (237/365)

I shop around for everything from cars to soap. Why wouldn’t I shop around for my mortgage? It seems like such a common-sense thing. Different banks offer different rates on their mortgages. They also have different amounts on their closing costs. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #88

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Wayne Dyer on life as a rehearsal Don’t waste your time dwelling on the past. Don’t burn your days assuming the future will take care of it. “Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. […]

Ask the Seller to Pay Closing Costs and Other Fees (236/365)

When Sarah and I were in the process of purchasing our current home, we ended up negotiating for a price on a house that had been on the market for a while. […]

Making a Housing Decision

Since before we were married, Sarah and I have discussed building a home in the country somewhere. We’d like to have a home with a small yard and plenty of woods nearby to explore, with neighbors that are friendly but are quite happy to leave us to our own ends, too. We want to wake up to the sounds of a wide variety of birds and witness deer crossing the yard all the time. […]

Reader Mailbag: Sore Legs

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Tankless water heaters 2. First step after rehab 3. Prioritizing spending and saving 4. Does faith matter? 5. Refinancing with a twist 6. Board games with little space 7. Difficulty getting ahead 8. […]

Look for a Fixer-Upper but Avoid Homes with Problems You Can’t Fix (234/365)

A year or so ago, a friend of mine purchased a home in the Des Moines area. When I first visited his home, my first reaction was that it was just run down. The carpets looked worn. The cabinets looked very beat-up. The appliances looked straight out of the 1970s. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Dickens Edition

After my article last week on free online books, I wound up downloading all of the novels by Charles Dickens to my Kindle with the intent of re-reading all of them in the near future. I read them all so long ago that I only remember bits and pieces of the plots and some of the most memorable characters. What I do remember is just loving the books. […]

Buy on the Low End of What You Think You Need (233/365)

As I discussed a few days ago, when Sarah and I first started shopping for houses, we looked at some very nice homes. We looked at places with five bedroom homes with three bathrooms and a finished basement and a nice big yard. […]