renting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4006/all en-US 5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_backpack_vacation_516895030.jpg" alt="Finding easy ways to make good money from Airbnb" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Airbnb is the most widely known home rental website in the U.S. If you've got a spare room or a whole property to rent out, listing it on Airbnb can provide extra income while allowing you to meet interesting people from around the world.</p> <p>But you're not the only one with this idea, of course. You may be competing with hundreds of other people offering properties in your city on any given date. It goes without saying that you need to keep your home and bedding spotless, and provide comfortable furnishings and amenities such as a TV, strong Wi-Fi connection, and hair dryer. To make sure you stand out and get the best price possible, follow these five tips.</p> <h2>1. Take professional photos of your space</h2> <p>Listings that have more attractive photos will have more success on websites like Airbnb because the layout of the website is visual. The first thing most viewers will see is a featured photo of your listing. I know from my own experience as a traveler that if an Airbnb rental doesn't have good photos, I'll scroll through to the next listing.</p> <p>But unless you're a very skilled photographer, taking attractive pictures of interiors can be difficult. Spaces may be tight and lighting, which can make or break your listing, is tricky. A good professional photographer will have the right equipment and skills to visually open up your rooms, and highlight their beautiful and unique qualities.</p> <p>Airbnb offers <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/info/photography" target="_blank">free professional photographers</a> for hosts in many cities. In a pinch, you can rely on your own skills, but it helps to read up on <a href="https://photography.tutsplus.com/articles/8-top-tips-how-to-photograph-interior-architecture--photo-1702" target="_blank">how to photograph interiors</a> first.</p> <h2>2. Offer an added service</h2> <p>When you are initially getting started on Airbnb, you can make your listing stand out by including a free service that adds value for your guests. Some examples: a yoga class, breakfast (B&amp;B style), or transportation from the airport.</p> <p>Keep it to something that is within reason, of course, and only offer services that you can consistently provide for your guests. This will make all the difference between an average listing and one that truly stands out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Rent Your Place on Airbnb and Succeed</a>)</p> <h2>3. Secure good reviews from your first guests</h2> <p>Another critical factor that any potential guests will consider when they are looking into renting your property is the rating that previous guests have left you. In fact, this is one of the most important features of the Airbnb community. Having a high rating (four or five stars) will inspire confidence in future guests, since it is essentially proof of a good track record with your previous customers.</p> <p>Getting a great rating does not have to be complicated. Offer the kind of hospitality you would like to receive if you were traveling to a new town or city. Be helpful and welcoming to your guests. If possible, greet them when they first arrive. That way, even if you don't see them for the rest of their stay, you will have given them a good first impression.</p> <p>As their stay progresses, be sure to check in with your guests and make sure they are comfortable and have everything they need. Also, try to collect the keys when they leave, which can be another good opportunity to make a connection with guests and remind them that you appreciate reviews on Airbnb. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a>)</p> <h2>4. Include personal touches in the room</h2> <p>Remember that guests are choosing Airbnb either for its affordability, amenities (like a kitchen), or its unique character. If you want to increase the price of your rental, do your best to capitalize on that third characteristic.</p> <p>Start by thinking of a signature special touch for the room or apartment. Will you provide flowers or a bottle of wine for your guests when they arrive? A welcome package with information about your hometown? An exceptional Airbnb experience often revolves around small details, such as useful pamphlets, a map, or personal recommendations that allow your guests to experience your town like a local. Minimally, you should always have Wi-Fi information available.</p> <h2>5. Regard it as a business</h2> <p>If you want to earn more from your Airbnb listing, it's important that you regard it as a serious endeavor. You can earn a lot from your listing, but you need to be committed to it. Consider how much time you can devote to running this small business and how you can provide exceptional service to your guests to set yourself up for a very successful listing. Like any small business, you have to consider the costs, not just in time but in real dollars, for example, by paying for professional cleaning after each guest or in stocking your pantry and linens.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Easy%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520Good%2520Money%2520From%2520Airbnb.jpg&amp;description=5%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Good%20Money%20From%20Airbnb"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Good%20Money%20From%20Airbnb.jpg" alt="5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb">13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Travel AirBnb businesses increasing value renting reviews services vacation listings Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1917322 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-483959284.jpg" alt="Retired woman finding easy ways to earn extra income" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you want to boost your retirement savings before you hit the magical age of 65, or you need some side income as a retiree, you are in luck. The Internet has made it easier than ever to earn money without committing to a 9-to-5.</p> <p>Here are nine websites that can help you boost retirement income.</p> <h2>1. Shutterstock</h2> <p>Enjoy taking photos? Your photographs could earn money if they are approved and purchased by others. The photos that sell the best are high-quality images that can be used as stock photos for websites and eBooks.<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/contributorsupport/articles/kbat02/000006640" target="_blank"> Shutterstock</a> pays contributors $0.25 per photo download, which doesn't seem like a lot. However, if your collection of photographs gets downloaded 2,000 times over the year, that is an extra $500. You'll need a current form of government-issued ID to join Shutterstock, and you'll also need to submit up to 10 images for their initial review. Once their review team approves your first image, you can start selling.</p> <h2>2. Airbnb</h2> <p>When the <em>busyness </em>of raising a family starts slowing down, many couples discover a passion for travel. You can pursue travel while still paying the mortgage with<a href="https://www.airbnb.com/" target="_blank"> Airbnb</a>. You can even rent out an extra room or guesthouse with the site. Simply sign up, create your listing (make sure you include lots of photos), and set your rate. What you charge is up to you, but you'll want to factor in the location and the space you're renting.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb </a></p> <h2>3. Teachers Pay Teachers</h2> <p>Are you retired from education, or perhaps just love creating fun teaching materials?<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/" target="_blank"> Teachers Pay Teachers</a> is a website that allows users to upload their lesson plans and resources for others to purchase. The site boasts that they have helped teacher authors makes $330 million since the creation of the site.</p> <h2>4. TaskRabbit</h2> <p><a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/" target="_blank">TaskRabbit</a> is not just for Millennials or college students; it is for anyone who wants to earn money doing odd jobs, from putting together Ikea furniture to writing a retirement speech. You never know what someone will post. Experts and nonexperienced individuals alike can earn extra cash through this site if they live in a popular area.</p> <h2>5. Care.com</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12141287-1435333490000" target="_blank">Care.com</a> is a site that connects individuals who need services with local help. You can apply for local job listings in child care, adult and senior care, pet care, and home care. The best part is that you can find work that fits in with your schedule. Some parents just need a trusted adult to pick up or drop off their children at school, while others just want a weekend baby sitter. Don't automatically assume that your tight schedule won't be a good fit for this site. Another thing I love about Care.com is that the site includes background checks, so more people feel confident with whom they hire.</p> <h2>6. Tutor.com</h2> <p>If you are knowledgeable in a certain academic subject, then why not tutor in it?<a href="http://www.tutor.com/apply" target="_blank"> Tutor.com</a> hires experts in all fields and connects you to their large database of students in need. Potential tutors need to pass an exam and the application process to qualify. Tutors in finance and computer science are in especially high demand.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-money-online-that-arent-scams?ref=seealso2">13 Ways to Make Money Online That Aren't Scams </a></p> <h2>7. Rover</h2> <p>More pet parents are shying away from kennels and going for personalized overnight pet care. Pet lovers want to know that their favorite pooch is being snuggled or walked when they are gone, not just kept in a cage.<a href="https://www.rover.com/" target="_blank"> Rover</a> is one site that allows you to upload your profile and choose what type of pet care you offer. You can choose to watch dogs at your own place or the owner's, or just tailor your profile to be a dog walker.</p> <h2>8. Skillshare</h2> <p>Most of us are an expert at something, whether that be hand lettering or building computers. Utilize your passion and know-how by turning it into a class on <a href="https://www.skillshare.com/" target="_blank">Skillshare</a>. With Skillshare, you earn money every time someone signs up for your course. The site says that their highest-earning teachers make $40,000 a year.</p> <h2>9. Fiverr</h2> <p>On <a href="https://www.fiverr.com/">Fiverr</a>, you can make a quick buck (well, at least five) for simple tasks, such as voice-overs, quick articles, or whatever you would like your gig to be. I profiled one of Fiverr's top-sellers who writes resumes. She has been using Fiverr for years and has funded two adoptions with her earnings. Of course, her resumes cost much more than $5.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-extra-cash">See also: </a><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Job Sites</a></p> <h2>Before You Start Making Money Online</h2> <p>There are many websites available to individuals looking to boost their retirement income. However, before diving in head first, take these three tips to heart:</p> <h3>Don't Pay for Jobs</h3> <p>There are too many good and free resources available. If a site asks you to pay money for a &quot;secret guide&quot; or &quot;guaranteed moneymaking business,&quot; it might not be legitimate.</p> <h3>Your Time Is Valuable<strong> </strong></h3> <p>The reason why I didn't list survey websites or websites that pay you pennies to open emails is because I strongly believe your time is valuable. Even if you are single and retired, there is something better for you than making a few dollars per hour clicking through spam or websites. Set an hourly desired rate for yourself and don't be tempted by sites that pay less.</p> <h3>If It Sounds Too Good to Be True...<strong> </strong></h3> <p>You have probably said this line to your kids, and I am repeating it to you. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no such thing as making thousands of dollars for minimal work, so don't believe the websites, email messages, or forum posters that say so.</p> <h2>And Don't Forget About Your Social Security</h2> <p>Your Social Security benefit may be reduced if you earn wage or self-employment income and begin receiving Social Security early, before your official retirement age. Your benefit will not be reduced if you continue to earn beyond your retirement age. To learn more about earnings caps and other details that may affect your decision to work in retirement, see the <a href="https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/article/3739/what-happens-if-i-work-and-get-social-security-retirement-benefits" target="_blank">SSA's FAQ on earning and retirement benefits</a>.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-great-side-jobs?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Boost Your Income With Any of These 30 Side Jobs</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer">9 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb">5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-earn-more-money-without-working-more-hours">6 Ways to Earn More Money — Without Working More Hours</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-ways-to-make-money-on-super-bowl-sunday">8 Creative Ways to Make Money on Super Bowl Sunday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-must-know-about-money-before-you-take-a-side-job">10 Money Moves You Need to Make Before You Take a Side Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income AirBnb baby-sitting care freelance gig economy part time jobs pet sitting renting selling photos side gigs Tutoring websites Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1884962 at http://www.wisebread.com Rent Your Home or Buy? Here's How to Decide http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hands_small_house_71818037.jpg" alt="Deciding if you should rent or buy your home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are plenty of advantages to renting an apartment, and just as many to buying a home, instead. But what about financially? Is renting or buying the smarter money move?</p> <p>Not surprisingly, the answer is complicated, and depends on where you live, what kind of home you want to buy or apartment you want to rent, and how long you plan on staying in one place. Here's a look at the numbers that might help you solve the rent-vs.-buy puzzle.</p> <h2>Prices Are Rising for Buyers and Renters</h2> <p>Renting an apartment is more expensive today than it was even a year ago. But the same is true of buying a home.</p> <p>Consider the cost of buying a home. The National Association of Realtors reported that in September of this year, the median price of existing homes stood at $234,200.</p> <p>You won't necessarily have to pay $234,200 or more, depending on where you buy. But the median sales price continues to increase, meaning that home prices overall are on the rise. The median price in September was up 5.6% from the same month one year earlier, when it was $221,700. And don't expect median prices to fall anytime soon. The association says that September's price increase represents the 55th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.</p> <p>And what about renting? Apartment rents continue to rise, too. ApartmentList reported that in November of this year, the median national rent for one-bedroom apartments was $1,110 a month. For two-bedroom apartments that figure was $1,270. The good news is that median rents actually fell in 55 out of the country's 100 biggest cities from October to November, according to ApartmentList.</p> <p>The bad news? Rents are still higher today than they were one, two, or three years ago. According to ApartmentList, the median national rent was 2% higher in November of this year compared with the same month one year earlier.</p> <p>So no matter if you rent or buy, know that prices are generally rising.</p> <h2>Which Is More Affordable?</h2> <p>That leads to the big question: Given that both buying a home and renting an apartment are getting more expensive, which option is most affordable?</p> <p>The answer to this question includes plenty of variables. For instance, owning a home provides a tax benefit: You can deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage loan each year up to $1 million, resulting in a lower tax bill. But even this isn't a crystal-clear financial plus for all owners. You can only claim your mortgage interest deduction if you itemize your taxes. And if that interest deduction isn't higher than the IRS' standard deduction &mdash; which stood at $12,600 for married couples filing jointly and $6,300 for singles in 2016 &mdash; there is no real reason for you to itemize your taxes and claim the deduction.</p> <p>Then consider the variables of going the apartment route: You might be able to find an apartment with low rent. But that apartment might not be located where you actually want to live, especially if you want to live in the center of a large city. Apartments in urban areas tend to come with higher rents today.</p> <p>And if you do find a cheaper apartment, it will almost certainly not be a newer one. RENTCafe found that in 2015, 75% of all large new apartment properties built across the country were high-end luxury properties, buildings that charge far higher monthly rents. Most of these new apartments are being built in the center of big cities, too, according to RENTCafe.</p> <p>So if you want to rent an apartment in San Francisco? ApartmentList says that a two-bedroom apartment here had a median price of $4,700 a month in November, while a one-bedroom had a median monthly rent of $3,440. In Boston, two-bedrooms rented for a median price of $2,350 a month, while in Seattle it cost a median of $1,720 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,300 for two bedrooms.</p> <p>Given this jumble of numbers, is it cheaper to rent or buy? According to real estate website Trulia, buying a home is cheaper on a national basis. Though, not surprisingly, there are some caveats.</p> <h2>Nationally, Buying Is Cheaper</h2> <p>Trulia reported in October that buying a home was 37.7% cheaper than renting on a national basis. But that 37.7% figure only holds true for those who live in their homes for at least seven years and can afford to come up with a down payment of 20% on their homes.</p> <p>Given that standard, Trulia reports that buying is cheaper than renting in each of the 100 largest metropolitan areas of the country. According to Trulia, for example, it is 50% cheaper to buy in Miami and just under 20% cheaper to buy in San Francisco and Honolulu.</p> <p>Part of the reason that buying is more affordable comes down to mortgage interest rates. Rates are still at historically low levels, with the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey reporting that as of Nov. 10, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan stood at 3.57%. This makes borrowing money for a mortgage loan more affordable.</p> <p>Want to see what Trulia thinks of the rent-vs.-buy decision in your community? Visit the site&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.trulia.com/rent_vs_buy/">rent-vs.-buy calculator</a>, punch in your metropolitan area and wait for the results.</p> <h2>What Should You Do?</h2> <p>These numbers, and Trulia&rsquo;s rent-vs.-buy calculator, should serve as a general guide. But they alone can't tell you whether you should rent or buy. That's because everyone's situation is unique.</p> <p>Say you only plan to live in an area for three or four years before moving. Renting is almost always the better financial move. Say you hate the thought of mowing a lawn for 15 years. Again, renting might be the better choice, even if it is more expensive than owning a home. If you dream of gardening in your own backyard? Then buying might make you happier.</p> <p>Your best bet is to carefully analyze what you want out of a home, whether it's the stability of owning and building equity or the freedom that comes with renting. Then make your decision based on what type of home will best meet your needs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-cities-with-rent-control">The 3 Best Cities With Rent Control</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments cost of living homeownership mortgages rent vs buy renting Tue, 22 Nov 2016 11:00:15 +0000 Dan Rafter 1835351 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_walking_city_77672035.jpg" alt="Woman finding out how much life in the big city will cost her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you got a new higher-paying job in the big city. Now you have to decide whether it's worth making the big move. Fortunately, there's an easy cost analysis that can help you determine if the move is worthwhile.</p> <h2>Cost of Living Calculators</h2> <p>For a better estimate of how much you'll need to earn to maintain the same standard of living, use a cost of living calculator. Once you enter your current income, where you currently live, and where you would like to move, you can see a side-by-side comparison of what it will cost to live in both cities.</p> <p>Some <a href="http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/">basic calculators</a> will show how far your salary will go in another city by comparing the price differences of major categories, like housing, utilities, and groceries. There are also more advanced cost of living calculators that will break down everything from what gas costs in the two areas, to how much you pay for coffee and ibuprofen.</p> <p>For example, say you're living somewhere like Bakersfield, California with an income of $50,000, and you're deciding whether to move to a big metro like San Francisco. So, how much will you need to earn in order to maintain your same standard of living? Using a cost of living calculator, you can see that you would need to be making $81,636. Otherwise, you'll have to get used to a lower standard of living and cut costs wherever possible.</p> <h2>Housing</h2> <p>Generally speaking, the closer you live to downtown, the more expensive the rent, food, and entertainment costs. When you live in a bigger city, it also generally means that you will have a smaller living space. Worst of all, rent just keeps getting more expensive over time. According to StreetEasy's annual New York City Rent Affordability Report, the median rent-to-income ratio in NYC rose from 59.7% in 2015 to <a href="http://cdn1.blog-media.zillowstatic.com/streeteasy/2/StreetEasy-2016-Rent-AffordabilityReport-7e91e8.pdf">65.2% in 2016</a>. This means that nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers' income is devoted to rent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford?ref=seealso">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a>)</p> <h2>Higher Income</h2> <p>In most cases, a higher cost of living also means that the area has a higher than average median household income. While you can usually get a more robust <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/protect-future-earnings-by-negotiating-the-right-starting-salary">starting salary</a> in a large city, you might not want to count on hefty raises. Income growth is lagging behind things like rent increases and cost of living growth, so your expenses may increase in the years to come, but your income might not keep up.</p> <h2>Transportation</h2> <p>In most cases, the closer you can live to work, the better. This will allow you to bike to work, take part in a carpool, use Uber, or even take public transportation.</p> <p>If you will be taking advantage of public transportation, consider storing or selling your car, so you don't have to worry about parking. Driving can also be a lot more overwhelming for someone moving from a smaller town to a big metro (think Los Angeles gridlock). Look into public transportation options in your new city to determine if you can reasonably live there without a car, and how much you would save by making the change to public transportation. Keep in mind that places that are more walkable, or have better transportation options, are typically more expensive to rent.</p> <h2>Parking</h2> <p>In cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle (to name a few), free parking is basically a pipe dream. With parking meters and paid parking lots as far as the eye can see, it's very unlikely that you'll find free parking. Even if you did find street parking, the posted rules can be very confusing and, in large cities, parking tickets are very common.</p> <h2>Convenience</h2> <p>Living in a large city means most things will be at your fingertips. For instance, there isn't much that you won't have access to in New York City. However, getting what you want and need is a different story. Living in a small town means quicker trips to the grocery store and general merchandise stores like Target.</p> <p>In a big city, on the other hand, you have to worry about fighting traffic and finding parking before you even get to the store. Then, there are hordes of people to deal with and long lines at the checkout counter, so small day trips can become much longer and more stressful. Try completing your errands at odd times, like early in the morning or during your lunch break, to beat the crowds.</p> <h2>Entertainment</h2> <p>Living in a big city means there are generally boundless things to occupy your time, such as endless places to eat, shows to watch, people to meet, and free activities to take part in. In a city like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-san-francisco-without-going-broke-0">San Francisco</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-new-york-without-going-broke">New York</a>, you will be exposed to more culture more easily, and can find more fun, free events for the kids.</p> <p>To better deal with the culture shock, try seeking out social groups and other resources for newcomers to the area. Make a valiant effort after moving to make friends with locals and other transplants so you can quickly become acclimated with the city and what is available to you.</p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p>Moving to a large city can be very expensive. The move itself can be a frustrating, expensive undertaking, and once you're there, things like rent, groceries, utilities, health care, and transportation can be much more expensive than what you're used to. Take this into account when you're deciding whether to make the move or not.</p> <p>The decision on whether it is worth it to make the big move is an entirely personal one. After living in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, I can attest to the fact that there is nothing comparable to living in a big metro. What you can (and will) experience in a shorter amount of time there is well worth the higher cost of living. However, if you are trying to save more money or contribute more towards your debt, savings, or retirement accounts, you'll need to use a cost of living calculator (at minimum) to determine whether it's worth it for you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/moving-dont-skimp-on-these-critical-expenses">Moving? Don&#039;t Skimp on These Critical Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-100s-on-your-next-move">How to Save $100s on Your Next Move</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Real Estate and Housing big cities cost of living expenses housing moving relocating renting transportation Tue, 01 Nov 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1824619 at http://www.wisebread.com My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_clothes_clutter_39948832.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to get rid of clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ugh. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">I hate clutter</a>. It actually hurts my brain. However, even if I were Mari Kondo fancy, and could afford to throw away everything in my house that I don't love, my inner-tree-hugger would feel guilty about putting perfectly usable items into the landfill. So, what's an environmentally responsible person to do with their clutter?</p> <p>Here are my top 16 clutter-busters that keep my house from looking like a warehouse:</p> <h2>1. Stop Bringing New Clutter Into Your House</h2> <p>If you have a cluttered house, chances are you already <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-simple-thing-you-can-do-today-to-start-living-frugally">have everything you need</a> to survive. If you are like me and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">love to trash pick</a> like it's a competitive sport, this means sidelining your treasure-hunting hobby until you have a grip on what you own.</p> <p>But, don't despair my freegan brethren. You can still get the thrill of the hunt; you just have to do it inside your house.</p> <h2>2. Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without</h2> <p>I like to turn this Depression Era proverb into a game. How long can I go without buying groceries? How long will it take for me to eat through my pantry? If you have a hard time staying on the no new clutter wagon, challenge a like-minded friend to a competition to keep yourself accountable. Can you go one year without bringing stuff into your home?</p> <p>By the way, stepping away from the consumer treadmill even for 90 days (or 30, or even 10!) is a great way to save money.</p> <h2>3. Sell Your Stuff Online</h2> <p>Duh. This seems obvious. Typically I make a few thousand dollars every year by selling my old things on eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist.</p> <p>There are different price thresholds for different selling platforms. I can generally get more money by selling vintage items and clothes on Etsy and eBay than I can by selling them on Craigslist. For things like home electronics, buyers in my area will pay more on Craigslist than they will at a garage sale for the exact same item. To maximize your cash do a little research on who is paying a premium for your things.</p> <p>Depending on what you own, you might be able to flip your old things for cash by using specialty sites that focus on one type of merchandise such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale">baby clothes</a>, <a href="https://www.discogs.com/sell/list">vinyl records</a>, and <a href="https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/">vintage home furnishings</a>.</p> <h2>4. Consign Your Stuff at a Brick and Mortar Store</h2> <p>I personally prefer to sell difficult to ship items like furniture and glassware to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-goodwill-the-different-types-of-thrift-stores">local second hand store</a> for either store credit or cash. Although stores usually take a 30% to 60% cut of the sale price, sometimes it's better to cash out so you can get those things out of your house before you break them and they become unsellable.</p> <p>There are some second hand stores that will buy goods outright for cash, and some stores that will only give you store credit. If you consign your items at a store, make sure that you are clear about pricing. Some stores will discount your goods to nothing after a set period of time. And some stores will not return items that don't sell to you. If you have a bottom price threshold, this needs to be negotiated in advance and on paper.</p> <p>In addition to bulky vintage items, I also sell back my used books, records, and contemporary clothes to second hand stores for cash.</p> <h2>5. Throw a Garage Sale</h2> <p>I paid for two entire years of my life by trash picking furniture and then selling it back to my neighbors at monthly garage sales. Last year my husband and I paid for our Christmas vacation with money that we'd earned selling stuff at garage sales. And our garage sale inventory wasn't even that amazing. Like, I can't even remember half the things we got rid of! They were that inconsequential to my life.</p> <p>I approach every garage sale as an opportunity to get other people to pay to remove clutter from my house, so most things are priced at one dollar. By taking this grateful-to-my-customer stance, I am always happy with my garage sale earnings, regardless of how paltry.</p> <h2>6. Gift</h2> <p>Shopping for presents is time consuming and expensive. A few years ago I decided to start gifting clothes and things in my house to admiring friends and family members. As in, &quot;Oh, you like that? Here, just take it with you. Happy early birthday.&quot; This on the spot gifting is always a welcome surprise and I don't have to fuss with wrapping.</p> <h2>7. Recycle</h2> <p>I know many people who live in homes that resemble recycling centers because they care about the environment. While it is a good thing to keep resources like glass and paper out of the landfill, you are not actually doing the world any good by turning your house into a mini dump. Companies as diverse as <a href="https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades">Terracycle</a> and <a href="https://www.madewell.com/madewell_feature/DENIMDONATION_sm.jsp">Madewell</a> have recycling programs for hard to recycle items like denim, instrument strings, and Solo Cups.</p> <h2>8. Upcycle</h2> <p>Why pay for new craft supplies when you have clutter? Instead of bringing new, virgin goods into your home, find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">new uses for your old things</a>. You don't even have to have any creative talent to upcycle. For example, upcycle your old cotton underwear into cleaning rags.</p> <p>My husband and I own two Moroccan poufs. Rather than pay for new stuffing, we filled our poufs with old linens and drop cloths that are too torn or stained to sell or donate.</p> <h2>9. Share</h2> <p>I share a china pattern with my brother-in-law. I only have space in my small kitchen for eight place settings. My brother-in-law has 12 place settings. Whenever we have larger dinner parties, we loan each other dishes. What can you share with your friends and neighbors? I share garden tools with my friend Laura. I share kitchen gadgets with my neighbor Alexandra. I share a set of luggage with my sister. I only have to store those things in my house half the time. More importantly, I don't have to buy every single thing.</p> <h2>10. Check It Out</h2> <p>If you don't have handy friends and neighbors, look for a tool library in your area. I don't own bike repair tools because I live within walking distance of a bike repair cooperative.</p> <p>I am a lifelong library patron. In addition to checking out books, music, and videos, I use my library as an air-conditioned oasis in the summer when my house becomes unbearably hot, and as my personal newsstand. Once a month a have a magazine date with myself and spend an afternoon flipping through glossy pages to my heart's content. I give myself a little reading vacation, and cut the clutter and the cost of owning a personal subscription all in one fell swoop.</p> <h2>11. Catch and Release</h2> <p>I am a minimalist traveler. The only time I buy books is when I'm going on a trip. I buy the cheapest copy of the books I want to read so I have no problem leaving them behind in cafes and airports when I am done with them. Not only do I get cheap, analog entertainment, this book packing method always ensures that I have a little room in my luggage for vacation purchases.</p> <h2>12. Rent</h2> <p>Due to near constant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">car trouble this year</a>, I have been experimenting, unintentionally, with living as a one-car household in Los Angeles. I suspect by the end of the year that the math will prove that it is cheaper for us to rent a second car when we need one rather than own three cars outright.</p> <p>I don't love renting because I know that ownership is generally a better deal. But, do I really need to buy a jackhammer to break up my cracked driveway? No, I do not.</p> <p>When deciding when to rent and when to own, be honest: How often will you use this item? Will your daughter wear her Quinceañera dress a second time? Consider the extra cost of renting to be money that you saved on storage fees.</p> <h2>13. Swap</h2> <p>Even our shyest friends love our book exchange party that we host every New Year's Day. The concept is simple: Everyone brings the books they enjoyed reading but are now taking up shelf space, and throws them on the communal pile. Our guests take as many books as they want home, for free. The books that are left behind are donated to the Los Angeles Public Book Drive.</p> <p>Swap parties are fun because it's weirdly satisfying to see people fall in love with your old things. But why stop at books? What about a winter coat swap at your kid's school? How about a kitchen tool or recipe swap party with your neighbors? I offset the cost of my groceries by attending a monthly neighborhood backyard produce swap.</p> <h2>14. Donate Like a True Do-Gooder (Without Getting Audited)</h2> <p>If you want to get stuff out of your house in a hurry, feel like you are helping the less fortunate, and get a tax write off, donate your extra stuff to charity.</p> <p>Charities like The Salvation Army and Goodwill do not set a valuation on your donation. That responsibility is left up to you. But donor beware! Huge tax deductions for donated goods are a red flag to auditors. Use a <a href="https://satruck.org/Home/DonationValueGuide">donation value guide</a> to assess the true market value of your used items. Also, it's a good practice to photograph your donated goods so you have evidence of your good works should you get audited.</p> <p>Ahem, let me get on my soapbox for one moment.</p> <p>Charities spend a huge amount of their budgets on trash collection because so many people use their local shop as a dumping ground for all their old crap. Would you buy a pair of pants with a brown stain across the front? No, you would not. Don't be that guy who trades trash for a tax write-off. That's cheating on taxes and on charity.</p> <p>When it comes to charity donations I am very careful to only donate items that are in selling condition. As in, an item is in such good condition that I would spend money to buy it.</p> <p>(Steps off soapbox.)</p> <p>That said, just like I am always on the hunt for new places to recycle weird stuff, I am always on the lookout for groups that repair expensive, broken goods for charity. For example, I donate my old glasses to the <a href="http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/how-we-serve/health/sight/eyeglass-recycling.php">Lions Club</a>.</p> <p>The screen of my laptop computer died in January. Although I could sell it on Craigslist for parts, I'm donating it to CRASH Space, my local hackerspace, because I know the makers there will recycle the entire machine responsibly. As a side benefit, I can claim this donation as a tax write-off since CRASH Space is a nonprofit.</p> <h2>15. Curb It</h2> <p>My nightly walk takes me past a wide set of concrete steps that used to lead to an apartment building but now lead to a vacant lot. I few years ago I started leaving items that were in usable condition, but not nice enough to donate or sell for money, on the steps to nowhere. I leave pretty much everything &mdash; stinky shampoo, old clothes, recently expired canned goods, vintage electronics, magazines, pens that I don't like &mdash; on the steps, neatly merchandised for easy shopping. The things that aren't gone by the next night, I know they are truly garbage. I throw the leftovers away without guilt. Usually, the stuff is gone before morning.</p> <p>This personal donation spot has been a fun experiment. I have met some of my late night shoppers and I was happy to hear how they are enjoying my old things. Also, some of my neighbors have started copying me. About once a week I see that someone else has made a donation to the steps.</p> <h2>16. Go Digital</h2> <p>Yes, I am old. I came of age in a world without cloud storage and I have nostalgia for books made from dead trees. So is it any surprise that the bulk of my clutter is paper-based? Between the library and our digital subscriptions to everything from IMDB to Netflix, we're managing our shelf space, but our file cabinet is exploding.</p> <p>Although I have successfully resisted this chore for more than a decade, I am finally getting around to digitizing the hard copies of all my old contracts, patterns, notes, etc. for clutter free, online storage.</p> <p>Does anyone have any tips on digitizing documents and ditching paper clutter? (Oh, please). I could use all the help I can get!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-times-in-life-when-less-is-more">18 Times in Life When Less Is More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Organization charity cleaning clutter craigslist downsizing eBay garage sales mari kondo renting selling waste Tue, 01 Nov 2016 09:30:31 +0000 Max Wong 1824618 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_laptop_boxes_11897386.jpg" alt="Woman using best tools for finding an apartment on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on where you live, finding a new apartment can be tough &hellip; or downright overwhelming. Seinfeld once joked that in New York, the obituaries section should be coupled with the property section in a newspaper, because that's pretty much the only way to find a decent place.</p> <p>But wherever you live, you are going to need help, especially if it's a completely unknown area. What is the neighborhood like? How are the schools? Is the crime rate high? Is the rent too high? The following tools will help you get your foot in the door.</p> <h2>1. Craigslist</h2> <p>Do not underestimate the power of Craigslist. Started in 1996 by Craig Newmark, it was originally servicing only the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, it's global, and the &quot;Housing&quot; section still remains free for people to post and respond to listings. There are many subsections, including real estate for sale, vacation rentals, and even office/commercial storage. However, you will want to look into the following categories:</p> <ul> <li>Apt/housing</li> <li>Housing swap</li> <li>Rooms/shared</li> <li>Sublets/Temporary</li> </ul> <p>Once you get into any of those sections, you can narrow down your search with a great list of tools. From basic parameters like price, bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage, to more niche requirements like &quot;X miles from zip,&quot; wheelchair access, and animals, you can quickly find just the place you're looking for. It is by far the most convenient free tool out there.</p> <h2>2. Apartment Finder</h2> <p>Long before the Internet was the go-to place for, well, everything, &quot;<a href="http://www.apartmentfinder.com/">Apartment Finder</a>&quot; magazine was the essential tool for finding your next abode. Started in 1981, it has won numerous industry awards and is now available in several formats, including the traditional magazine, the website, and the app. It also part of a network that includes Apartments.com, ApartmentHomeLiving, Move, and Doorsteps.</p> <p>As it is a service focused on renting apartments, there are more slick tools here to help. You'll be able to explore the spaces using a 360-degree camera, and you'll get virtual walk-throughs, floor plans, a veritable smorgasbord of photos, and a lot of detailed information. The only downside is that you will not usually find properties from people just looking to rent out their homes. It costs money to advertise on this site, and that means it's populated by large apartment complexes. But if that's what you're looking for, and you need the extra security and benefits of a managed property with a pool and a gymnasium, this is just what you need.</p> <h2>3. Zillow</h2> <p>When <a href="http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/">Zillow</a> first came onto the scene, it was primarily used as a tool to estimate your home's value (and real estate agents <em>hated </em>it because the information was always very hit or miss). Now, Zillow has become an excellent free resource for the apartment hunter. Not only does it have all the tools you'd expect to narrow down your search, but it offers advice on renting and house hunting, as well as important neighborhood information (essential if you know nothing about an area you're moving into), including school ratings. Again, it costs to list a rental property on this kind of site, so don't expect to find little hidden gems being offered by someone who has a second home.</p> <h2>4. Rentometer</h2> <p>Although it won't help you find the specific place you want to live in, it will help you research what you should (and should not) be paying for rent at any of the apartments you're checking out. If you find the home of your dreams, but aren't sure if the price is sky high, <a href="https://www.rentometer.com/">Rentometer</a> will give you a temperature check of the area. You'll see the average and median prices, and also which percentile the apartment you're looking at falls in. At the very least, you want &quot;reasonable&quot; rent. Low is great. If you're in the red zone, negotiate or move on.</p> <h2>5. The Library</h2> <p>So your local library is not an app or a website, obviously, but it is filled with resources that can help anyone find their perfect apartment. It's a shame that more people don't take full advantage of the library; after all, we all pay for libraries with our taxes. Libraries have computers to access the many online tools listed in this article. They also have copies of a plethora of local and national newspapers, which contain classified ads for apartments and homes. If you find yourself in need of a place that contains many tools under one roof, the library is hard to beat.</p> <h2>6. HotPads</h2> <p>If you're looking for a tool that combines the great functionality of sites like Apartment Finder and Zillow, but also has the variety of smaller rentals offered by Craigslist, the <a href="https://hotpads.com">HotPads</a> is definitely for you. It has listings for most major cities in the U.S., and gives you a great set of criteria to help you get a list of excellent matches. Features like the &quot;walk score&quot; and neighborhood information, coupled with &quot;hot listings&quot; that show you which apartments are getting the most attention make HotPads one of the best tools for anyone looking to rent in a well-populated location.</p> <h2>7. Rent.com</h2> <p>Just like HotPads, <a href="http://www.rent.com/">Rent.com</a> gives you great choice. You can find landlords who are renting out just one or two properties, or giant apartment complexes with hundreds of units in one place. You can sort by best match, price, rating, or alphabetically, and when you narrow it down to a few properties, you can check the availability and book a tour. Definitely sort by ratings, because some of apartments have quite a few skeletons in the closet.</p> <h2>8. PadMapper</h2> <p>If you want to imagine what an apartment hunting app crossed with a mapping tool would look like, check out <a href="https://www.padmapper.com">PadMapper</a>. From the get go, you are greeted with a map of the area you want to look at, which is immediately populated by all the available rentals. It's somewhat overwhelming at first, but by using the tools provided, you can quickly take pins off the map until you get it down to some manageable choices. Save your favorites, check out floor plans and photos, and indicate your interest in the property. One downside &mdash; it appears to only list apartments in large complexes.</p> <h2>9. Lovely</h2> <p>Great name. Great site. <a href="https://livelovely.com">Lovely</a> is known as being exceptionally easy to use, simple, and direct. And it really is a soup-to-nuts kind of setup. With Lovely, you cannot only find your ideal apartment from a vast array on the market, but also submit an application through the site. Plus, you can even pay your rent through the site itself! Of course, anything that sounds too good to be true often has a downside. With Lovely, it's scope. Right now, you're limited to the Midwest and the coasts, but as word spreads, so will the range of the site.</p> <h2>10. Zumper</h2> <p>What does the name mean? Who knows. But the site (and app) look great, are easy to use, and have a wealth of information. The first question you'll be asked is where you want to move. Type in the area, and you'll get an overview of the town or city, including any annual festivities or notable attractions. You can search on a map, or by the usual parameters (bedrooms, price, amenities, and so on). One excellent feature of <a href="https://www.zumper.com">Zumper</a> is the way it seamlessly integrates with Experian, allowing you to safely and securely submit your credit report along with your application. Highly recommended.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-common-apartment-hunting-mistakes-to-avoid">9 Common Apartment Hunting Mistakes to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Technology apartment finder apartments apps craigslist moving renting websites Zillow Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Paul Michael 1816944 at http://www.wisebread.com The Real Cost of Moving to Canada (If That's Your Post-Election Plan) http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-cost-of-moving-to-canada-if-thats-your-post-election-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-real-cost-of-moving-to-canada-if-thats-your-post-election-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_suitcase_bench_3139059.jpg" alt="Woman moving to Canada after 2016 election" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The odds are high that you don't like either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released in late August, 56% of U.S. adults viewed Hillary Clinton unfavorably. The same poll found that 63% said the same about Donald Trump.</p> <p>No matter who wins the presidential election this November, a lot of people are going to be upset. You might even have heard people claiming that they'd flee to Canada if Trump &mdash; or Clinton &mdash; wins. Maybe you've even made this boast yourself.</p> <p>But you might be surprised to learn that life can get costly over the border. Here is a quick look at what you'll pay when you flee to our neighbors to the north after Nov. 8.</p> <h2>Conversion Rate</h2> <p>First, a bit of good news. One U.S. dollar as of Oct. 6 was equal to $1.32 in Canada. So if you head north with $30,000, you'll have a bit more than $39,640 once you cross the U.S./Canadian border.</p> <h2>Taxes</h2> <p>Hate paying taxes in the United States? Well, you won't like it in Canada, either. The Fraser Institute think tank reported that the average Canadian family spent $34,154 in taxes in 2015. By comparison, NerdWallet in 2015 reported that the average American family paid about $14,000 in taxes. That figure, like the Canadian one, includes real estate, income, and sales taxes.</p> <p>That difference looks less imposing when you factor in the U.S.-Canada currency conversion rate. In Canadian dollars, the average U.S. family in 2015 paid nearly $26,000 in taxes. That is still quite a bit lower than in Canada.</p> <p>According to the Fraser Institute, the average Canadian bill for income taxes collected by governments in 2015 was $10,616, while payroll and health taxes came out to an average of $17,160.</p> <h2>Housing</h2> <p>Homes are expensive in Canada. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said that the average price of a single-family detached home in Vancouver rose to $1.58 million in September. That comes out to about $1.19 million in U.S. currency.</p> <p>And Vancouver isn't the only expensive place to buy a home in Canada. The Toronto Real Estate Board said that the average selling price for all home types in Toronto came out to $710,410 in August (about $537,000 in U.S. dollars).</p> <p>The average selling price for all Canadian homes sold in August of 2016 was $456,722, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. That comes out to about $345,000 in U.S. currency. In comparison, the National Association of Realtors said that the average sales price for all homes sold in the United States in August was $240,200.</p> <h2>Renting an Apartment</h2> <p>So maybe you'll rent an apartment instead. That's pretty costly, too.</p> <p>According to RentGorilla, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver in September of 2016 came in at $2,445 a month, equal to about $1,850 in the United States. In Toronto, the average two-bedroom rent was $1,502 the same month, equal to $1,136 in the United States.</p> <p>In Ottawa, the average two-bedroom rent was $1,235, while in Montreal it stood at $852. Those last two, by the way, are quite affordable, coming out to $934 and about $644 respectively in the United States.</p> <h2>Goods and Services</h2> <p>What about basic necessities, everything from a gallon of gas to a gallon of milk? You'll find that with the conversion factor, prices in Canada are similar to what you'd pay for the same items in the United States.</p> <p>Consider a gallon of gasoline. According to the Expatistan Cost of Living Index, a liter of gas &mdash; which is equal to one quarter of a gallon &mdash; came out to $1.20 in Vancouver. That means a gallon of gas would cost an average of $4.80 in the city. That comes out to $3.63 in U.S. currency, a bit higher than what you'd pay at the pump in most U.S. cities today.</p> <p>Two liters of Coca-Cola, though, come out to an average of $2.48 in Toronto, according to Expatistan. That comes out to $1.88 in U.S. money. A pair of jeans here costs an average of $68, or $51.46 in U.S. currency.</p> <p>In Montreal, a 40-inch flat screen TV costs an average of $509, according to Expatistan. That comes out to about $385 in U.S. money, while a pair of athletic shoes sell for an average of $110 in Montreal, equal to about $83 in the United States.</p> <h2>Cost-of-Living Comparisons</h2> <p>Expatistan compiled its own cost-of-living comparisons between Canadian cities and several in the United States. As you'll see, if you live in higher-priced areas of the United States, you might actually find it cheaper to live in Canada.</p> <p>For instance, the cost of living in Toronto is 9% cheaper than it is in Chicago, according to Expatistan. And it's 32% cheaper to live there than it is in New York City. On the other hand, Toronto's cost of living is 24% more expensive than it is in Omaha and 30% more than in Iowa City.</p> <p>Expatistan estimates that it is 35% cheaper to live in Vancouver than it is San Francisco and 15% cheaper than Seattle. However, it is 15% more expensive to live in Vancouver than it is Wichita and 7% more expensive than living in Columbus. So much like the election, it's really up to you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-cost-of-moving-to-canada-if-thats-your-post-election-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-cities-with-rent-control">The 3 Best Cities With Rent Control</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-your-vote-says-about-your-money-style">Here&#039;s What Your Vote Says About Your Money Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china">How I Saved Enough for a Down Payment While Working in China</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-nomad-saves-you-money">4 Ways Being a Nomad Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Real Estate and Housing Canada Clinton conversion rates cost of living election 2016 expats politics renting running away taxes trump Fri, 14 Oct 2016 09:01:03 +0000 Dan Rafter 1812615 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Clever Ways to Sample the Good Life http://www.wisebread.com/8-clever-ways-to-sample-the-good-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-clever-ways-to-sample-the-good-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_beautiful_wealthy_80921263.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways to sample the good life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to live like a prince on a pauper's budget? Enjoy some of the finer things in life without spending a fortune with these hoity-toity hacks.</p> <h2>1. Make Friends With People in High Places</h2> <p>Oftentimes, getting ahead in life is all in whom you know. You've heard it before. Perhaps you've even experienced it &mdash; and if you have, good on you, because the outcome of such a situation is, by definition, a positive one.</p> <p>As such, getting to &quot;know&quot; people is a solid practice to pick up. For instance, whenever I've moved to a new area I make it a point to introduce myself to the bartenders in my neighborhood when I visit a bar or restaurant. I go so far, in fact, to write down their names plus a few defining characteristics so I can remember them next time. After a while (and this never fails) we're on a first-name, &quot;How's your day?&quot; basis, which almost always turns into free drinks or other discounts regularly. I've saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years by doing this, and I always repay that courtesy in my tips, as should you.</p> <h2>2. Crash Convention Receptions for Free Drinks</h2> <p>I hated attending conventions and making useless small talk with strangers when I worked in corporate America, but I rather enjoyed the open bar. Turns out I was doing it all wrong anyway &mdash; I didn't need that stinkin' job &mdash; according to Dr. Murray Grossan, a doctor who attends his fair share of conventions. He suggests crashing the party by grabbing a name tag at the entrance to look official so you can throw a few free ones back before anybody's the wiser.</p> <h2>3. Attend More Gallery Openings for Culture &mdash; And Booze</h2> <p>I enjoy art, and I'm an avid supporter of local artists as I've bought numerous pieces over the years to decorate my homes. Enjoying art also comes with perks, like attending gallery openings in your area while enjoying free snacks and wine. Get on the list by visiting a few of your home favorites and provide your email address in their guest book or another place where they cultivate visitors' information. You'll be in like Flynn for the next exhibition.</p> <h2>4. Rent a Luxury Vehicle</h2> <p>I would probably never rent a luxury vehicle myself &mdash; I'd be way too afraid that I'd inadvertently destroy it, and I don't feel the need to impress anybody with a flashy car. But if you're a luxury automobile super fan who balks at the idea of a luxury automobile payment every month, renting isn't a bad idea.</p> <p>&quot;Cars &mdash; brand-new &mdash; cost an average of $25,000 to $30,000, not including maintenance, fuel, and insurance, and then sit in your driveway 22 to 23 hours a day, typically,&quot; says Bradford Hines, personal finance expert and author of AutoProfitz, a book on how to make money buying and selling cars. &quot;This amount of money easily is tripled for a high-end auto like an Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, etc. I use rental car service Turo, a peer-to-peer rental car company, to indulge in the occasional driving of a nice car to get it out of my system, cost effectively letting me not care about driving a 15-year-old Jetta the rest of the time. I recently rented a two-year-old Mercedes E-class for $125.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Order Apps for Dinner at the Fancy Restaurant</h2> <p>I enjoy dining out, and for me fancier is better for special occasions and the like. Sometimes though, I can't or won't let myself afford the high menu prices at some establishments. To settle on a compromise between my belly and back pocket, I often pop into higher-end eateries, grab a seat al fresco or at the bar, and dine on lesser-priced apps and salads to curb my hunger. By doing this, I'm able to enjoy the ambience and delicious cuisine without having to forage for my food the rest of the month. You also may even find a night at a multi-star joint that offers discounted specials, which is happening more and more as the restaurant wars continue to heat up.</p> <h2>6. Travel During a Location's Offseason</h2> <p>Frequent leisure travelers know that jet-setting during the offseason is where it's at. That's how I've gotten some of my most memorable vacations to places like Iceland and Costa Rica, and pet-insurance CEO Nick Braun is wise to that tactic, too.</p> <p>&quot;My wife and I like to take little two- and three-day trips together to have some fun and set the reset button,&quot; he admits. &quot;Our favorite thing to do is book rooms at a fancy hotel, like Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons in the off season during the week. Rates are super low and you can pick any table at any restaurant while you're visiting because nobody else is there.&quot;</p> <p>In addition, I highly recommend checking daily-deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial for excellent vacation packages &mdash; that Costa Rica trip was a steal &mdash; as well as visiting the websites of the airlines you like to travel or the one based at your destination. They may have discounts that aren't publicized anywhere else.</p> <h2>7. Daily Deal Your Way to Finer Dining</h2> <p>If you want a heartier meal than appetizers at finer-dining establishments, daily deals also are good for shaving a significant amount off the bill.</p> <p>&quot;I like to cook food, and I avoid fast food and midlevel restaurants as well for health reasons and their typically uninspiring food,&quot; Hines says. &quot;Pricier restaurants with incredible cuisine are something I like to do at least a few times a year to get to 'live.' What I do then is go to Groupon and LivingSocial monthly, look for steep discounts (my most recent was half off) at expensive restaurants, and I let the discount dictate which high-end restaurant I go to, which is fine with me since they all are a fun treat.&quot;</p> <p>Restaurant.com is another great restaurant-savings resource, but by my own estimation it's slim pickins to find buzzed-about eateries on there that people are clamoring to get into. Still worth a look though.</p> <h2>8. Shop for Designer Clothes in Thrift Stores in Wealthier Areas</h2> <p>You may think all thrift shops are created equal, but they're not. Visit a secondhand store in an affluent area and you'll notice the difference. I've been to thrift stores that routinely stock designer brands like Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade, among others &mdash; you just have to know where to look.</p> <p>Frugal-living expert Nedalee Thomas says, &quot;I love expensive designer clothing and shoes but I don't like the price tags that go with it. For that reason I have made a habit of shopping in thrift stores located in wealthier areas. I've made many amazing finds, and the only thing better than knowing how good I look is knowing how little I paid.&quot;</p> <p>Try it out for yourself and see what designers you can bring home at bargain-bin prices.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-clever-ways-to-sample-the-good-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-kids-activities">How to Save Money on Kids&#039; Activities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-beloved-books-of-successful-millionaires">10 Beloved Books of Successful Millionaires</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-being-a-millionaire-is-overrated">5 Reasons Being a Millionaire Is Overrated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Budgeting Entertainment designer clothes Fine Dining free stuff having fun high life luxury renting shopping traveling wealthy Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1796985 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_money_moves_63337017.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before signing a lease" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you've been searching for a place to live. You've looked at a bunch of different homes and apartments, driven all over town, and have finally decided on the one you want. It's perfect. But before you whip out the pen and commit to something, ask the following 10 questions. They could prevent you from making a very costly &mdash; and time-consuming &mdash; mistake.</p> <h2>1. Which Utilities Are My Responsibility?</h2> <p>Depending on where you live (and how generous the landlord is), utility responsibility may vary. If you're living in a large apartment complex, you may find that a lot of utilities are covered by your rent. In other cases, it may only be water and sewage, or in the worst case scenario&hellip;nothing at all. So make sure you know exactly which utilities are going to be your responsibility, <em>and </em>see if you can get a history of the bills at that address. Some homes are more energy efficient than others, and some homes have additional costs you may not consider (such as fees for constructing new pipelines). When you get the complete picture, you may discover that the utility bills put a unit beyond your reach.</p> <h2>2. How and When Do I Pay My Rent?</h2> <p>You already know what the rent costs, but you also need to know how and when to pay it. These days, many larger apartment leasing companies will take payments online, or through an automated debit system. Private landlords will most likely take a check or banker's draft, and may want you to mail it, or hand it over in person. There may also be fees for paying online or by check, so ask about that. And of course, ask about late fees and grace periods. You may get up to five days to pay your rent without incurring a penalty.</p> <h2>3. Do I Have to Have Renters Insurance?</h2> <p>Any kind of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance?ref=internal">renters insurance</a> is good to have, even if it covers the bare minimum. But times are tough, and you may not have the money to afford it right now. Your landlord or leasing agency may not care. Or, they may have a very strict renters insurance policy, which could once again put you over your monthly budget and make the apartment off limits. If you are required to have it, shop around and get multiple quotes. Use these quotes as bargaining chips with each insurance company to get the best possible rate that covers more of your possessions.</p> <h2>4. What Is Your Guest Policy?</h2> <p>In this day and age, the vast majority of landlords are not going to care if you have guests for long visits. But, it never hurts to check the rules of the apartment complex or landlord. Even then, it's a very tricky rule to enforce, so it's doubtful anything will happen. The problems usually come with guests staying for an extended period of time. If your best friend suddenly becomes homeless and asks to stay in your spare room for a few months, that could have ramifications. And if you decide to move your partner in to live there permanently, you will have to consult the landlord. It's possible a background check will be needed.</p> <h2>5. Can I Make Improvements?</h2> <p>When you move into a new place, you want it to feel like home. That often means personalizing it with paint, wallpaper, new curtains, maybe even new carpet or tile. This should all be openly discussed with the landlord before you ever sign the lease, and put in writing. It's quite possible that any improvements you want to make (even a simple coat of paint), will have to be approved first. Even if you think you're making the place even better (adding a wooden floor for instance), the landlord has every right to take your security deposit when you move out.</p> <h2>6. How Long Is the Lease?</h2> <p>It may seem like an obvious question, but not all leases are created equal. Some landlords may be renting their home out for the summer, and want a tenant for six months or less. Some apartment complexes offer discounts for longer leases. Some leases are month-to-month. You need to know this up front, and also, what kind of fees you will pay to break that lease. It's possible you'll be asked to pay two months' rent to get out of it, and may also lose your security deposit. Other places may be much more relaxed, especially if you find someone to take over the lease.</p> <h2>7. How Much Is the Security Deposit and Do I Get All of It Back?</h2> <p>The typical amount for a security deposit is one month's rent, but it can vary from place to place. Some may only want a nominal fee &mdash; say $300. Now, by law, any kind of security deposit is refundable, that's why it's called a security deposit; you put the money down as insurance for the landlord, you get it back if all is well. However, different landlords have different thresholds for wear and tear, and it's possible you won't get the whole amount back, especially if you have pets.</p> <h2>8. How Will the Apartment Be Prepared and How Should I Leave It?</h2> <p>These are two different questions, but both relate to the cleanliness and appearance of the apartment. Before you move in, you need to know if the entire place will be cleaned and repaired. You may well be viewing the place before any of this has happened, and may be in for a shock if you move in and the carpets are stained and the lighting is broken. So, get in writing how the home should be delivered and returned. Also, when you move out, you may have to pay for some of those very services that make the home ready for the next tenants. So, ask if you have to have the carpets shampooed, or the place professionally cleaned. If you do, and don't do it, this fee can come out of your security deposit.</p> <h2>9. What's the Pet Policy?</h2> <p>Landlords don't like pets, often for good reason. They sometimes leave a smell, they can tear things, they're noisy at times, and they can leave nasty surprises on the carpet. For this reason, most places will have some kind of pet policy in place. It may be as simple as &quot;Yes, pets are fine, but don't let your dog bark all the time.&quot; Other places could impose a nonrefundable fee for the term of the lease to cover additional cleaning, or impose a monthly fee, known as pet rent. Even if you don't have a pet now, ask about it. You don't want to have to move out later because you want to get a dog or a cat.</p> <h2>10. How Do You Deal With Maintenance and Emergencies?</h2> <p>Again, this will vary depending on the kind of place you're looking at. Big apartment complexes usually have a maintenance staff on site, and a simple call to the front desk can be all it takes to get an issue resolved. If you're renting a home from a private landlord, you'll want to know up front what kind of response you will get, and how soon. If it's just a guy renting his house out, and your fence blows down, will it take weeks for the repair to happen? Can you call someone to make repairs, and remove the cost of service from your rent? Do all repairs have to go through the landlord, and are there preferred providers? All this should be asked up front.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been burned by the hidden terms of a lease?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments breaking a lease insurance maintenance pets policies renters agreement renting security deposits signing a lease utilities Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1782899 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_surfboard_beach_17775322.jpg" alt="Kids finding ways to earn an extra $1000 this summer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to boost your bottom line this summer? Pick up one of these gigs to put $1,000 or more in your pocket before the season is over.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Dumb Ways You're Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></p> <h2>1. Take Tests Online</h2> <p>If you fancy chilling inside in the A/C instead of baking under the beautiful sun, consider&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usertesting.com">taking online tests</a> to help build up your bank account. As a tester, you're paid $10 for each 20-minute test you complete. A test involves browsing and providing feedback on a website that is selected for you. Your feedback on the websites design and usability is recorded and at the end of the test you are asked to answer four simple questions. Earning $10 per test, you could easily work early mornings or late evenings for two to three hours (three to six tests) per day. At that rate, you would reach $1,000 in less than 20 days. Hold steady and you're looking at easily making $2,000 to $3,000 this summer.</p> <h2>2. Become an Event Staffer in Your Area</h2> <p>When I was in college, I worked at the local minor league baseball stadium during home games, and with my working wage plus tips, I pulled in a couple thousand dollars over the course of the regular season. If sports aren't your thing (although that aspect shouldn't matter since <em>money</em> is your real thing), poke around for other event-staffing gigs, like working concessions at concerts, cleanup crews for stadium and field events, and security if you look like you could hurt somebody.</p> <h2>3. Register for a Camp Counselor Position</h2> <p>I was a camp counselor during the summer for nearly a decade &mdash; before the very sight of children gave me debilitating migraines &mdash; and I always pulled in good cash, plus free food and lodging. At the very low end of it, I made about $300 per week at a five-day sleepaway camp (of which there were three per summer) up to about $3,000 for an eight-week session. It's not hard work (it can actually be a lot of fun!), and you'll make lifelong friends and memories &mdash; once those little buggers go to sleep, of course.</p> <h2>4. Share Your Knowledge as an Online Tutor</h2> <p>Think you're a smarty pants? Trade your wisdom for cold, hard cash as a tutor.</p> <p>&quot;While you may need a teaching certificate for elementary, high school, and college subjects, many sites that help international students learn English as a second language do not require a degree or certificate,&quot; says Angie Nelson of TheWorkAtHomeWife.com.</p> <p>The number of hours you work will be according to your schedule and how much demand there is, but you can expect to earn at least $10 an hour at most places, if not more.</p> <h2>5. Turn Your Car Into a Taxi or Delivery Service</h2> <p>Lyft and Uber are so passe.</p> <p>If you want to participate in the turn-your-personal-vehicle-into-a-cash-cow economy &mdash; but don't want to drive drunk people around all day &mdash; look into becoming a freelance delivery person.</p> <p>&quot;The gig economy is the hot trend this summer, but not everyone likes the idea of being someone else's personal chauffeur through Lyft or Uber,&quot; says business expert Mike Catania. &quot;Good news &mdash; there are other gig-based jobs out there: Postmates pays their errand-based drivers $12/hour plus tips, and residents around San Francisco, New York, Chicago, or L.A. can be a courier for Shyp, where you can expect to make around $16/hr.&quot;</p> <p>Just log 70 to 90 hours of road time with these services to reach your $1,000 goal.</p> <h2>6. Pick Up Odd Jobs on Craigslist</h2> <p>Don't forget about good ol' Craigslist to make some quick bucks. When I was in college, I used to help elderly folks in their gardens, among other odd jobs here and there. Even today, Craigslist is still an excellent resource for picking up side work. If you dedicated an entire summer to picking up gigs, there's no doubt that you'll reach your $1,000 goal.</p> <h2>7. Rent Out Extra Space in Your Home</h2> <p>I feel like I talk about this nonstop, but if you really want to juice up your summer earnings, rent out the extra space you have in your home. Could be a spare bedroom, or just your couch &mdash; if you live in an area to which people travel, somebody will rent the space if your accommodations are nice enough. I've been doing this for about eight years now, and I've made hundreds of thousands of dollars. Surely you can pull off $1,000 in a summer. At $50 a night &mdash; which is incredibly reasonable for a small bedroom &mdash; you'll only need to book 20 nights, and it's easy work with the help of sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and Roomorama.</p> <h2>8. Watch Other People's Pets</h2> <p>I started watching other people's pets last spring using sites like DogVacay and Rover, and it's a fun and easy way to make $1,000 this summer if you keep your prices below the nearest competition but still competitive.</p> <p>If you want to add a little philanthropy to your efforts, check out the pet-sitting website called&nbsp;<a href="http://sittingforacause.com/">Sitting for a Cause</a>. The site connects pet owners with pet care professionals, then facilitates bookings and payments through the site. It charges a 10% commission fee, which is 5% to 10% lower than DogVacay and Rover, and donates 50% of its profits to animal related causes. Depending on the services you choose to offer, you can earn anywhere from $20 to $100 per client per day.</p> <h2>9. Rent Out Your Clothing</h2> <p>Have the kind of style that other people would pay for, ladies? Rent out your clothes.</p> <p><a href="http://www.garment-exchange.com/">Garment Exchange</a> is the first community driven peer-to peer marketplace that allows women nationwide to rent their clothing for money. The site facilitates wardrobe sharing by providing all of the packaging and insurance, and handles the communication. It provides clothing owners 80% commission of the rental. Most women rent their items for 20% of the current retail rate.</p> <p>On average, women have over 250 articles of clothing in their closet, which could mean serious income potential on items you wear less frequently.</p> <p><em>Do you have other bright ideas on how to make $1,000 this summer? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520an%2520Extra%2520%25241%252C000%2520This%2520Summer.jpg&amp;description=9%20Ways%20to%20Make%20an%20Extra%20%241%2C000%20This%20Summer"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Ways%20to%20Make%20an%20Extra%20%241%2C000%20This%20Summer.jpg" alt="9 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 This Summer" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-summer-side-jobs-for-new-grads">6 Smart Summer Side Jobs for New Grads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-make-your-money-grow-this-spring">11 Ways to Make Your Money Grow This Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-introverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-retirement-jobs">6 Great Retirement Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income craigslist extra money gig economy pet sitting renting side jobs summer summer jobs Tutoring Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1731287 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_thinking_house_59055710.jpg" alt="Man making moves to break his lease" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most renters understand that a lease benefits them as much as it does landlords, since it protects both parties. However, if you need to break that lease, you could be on the receiving end of some tough penalties and legal actions. Don't panic yet, though &mdash; there are moves that could save you a lot of money&hellip; and your sanity.</p> <h2>1. Find New Tenants for the Landlord</h2> <p>The biggest issue landlords have with breaking a lease is the loss of income. The landlord has overhead, including a mortgage payment, HOA costs, water, and more, and they all have to be covered even when the property is empty. This is why there are penalties for breaking a lease &mdash; to cover the landlord against loss.</p> <p>However, if you are proactive and find good tenants to replace you, it's very possible the landlord will waive the fees and let you break the lease. After all, you have brought in new tenants, saving the landlord time and effort, and in most cases, extending the time the property will be filled. (If your lease expires in July, but you bring in someone to rent from March-February of the following year, you've done the landlord a favor).</p> <h2>2. Plead Your Extenuating Circumstances</h2> <p>Landlords are people, too. If you're renting from a big property management firm, you won't have much luck. But if it's an individual, arrange a time to sit and chat, and explain the reasons why you have to break the lease. Be open, be honest, and see what happens. If you have to break the lease to move back home with an ailing parent or relative, the landlord could be very sympathetic, and may do something for you (cutting the early termination fee in half, or waiving it completely). But, don't lie. Making up some bleeding heart story could backfire, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask" target="_blank">you don't want an angry landlord</a> as an enemy, especially when they have the law on their side.</p> <h2>3. Look for a Contract Breach</h2> <p>If you have to break the lease, you may well be within your rights to do so without any kind of termination fee &mdash; <em>if</em> the contract is, in fact, not being adhered to. Remember, the contract is for your protection as well as the landlord's, and the property should be safe and well-maintained. If you have been living with a broken refrigerator, a moldy bathroom, or any other type of problem that makes the property tough to live in, you can use it to your advantage.</p> <p>However, you cannot just ignore these issues for months and then decide to break the contract. You will need to provide evidence that you asked the landlord to address the issues. Also, take pictures, and keep copies of all correspondence. If you can show your requests for help fell on deaf ears, you will have a great case to break the lease without a fee.</p> <h2>4. Negotiate Payoff Terms for the Penalties</h2> <p>Early termination fees can be very scary. When you see a $1,500 lump sum, it can make you think twice about even considering it. However, landlords can be very flexible if they know they are going to get the money in a set amount of time. Consider asking for an installment payment plan for any early termination fees.</p> <h2>5. Use Your Security Deposit as a Bargaining Chip</h2> <p>You will have put down a substantial security deposit when you signed the lease. Usually, it's around one month's rent, and this can be just enough to cover the costs of the landlord while they find a new tenant. If the property is in a highly sought after location, it will not be empty for long, and that security deposit will more than cover any costs the landlord has. It's much easier for them to simply keep that deposit and avoid a bunch of paperwork, rather than trying to take you to court for fees.</p> <h2>6. Find a Sublet</h2> <p>Ready to become a landlord yourself for a while? Well, try subletting. Now, you may find that the contract forbids you to sublet the property, so you may have to talk to the landlord (or do it without saying anything, and hope for the best). As a general rule, landlords don't really care where the money comes from, as long as the property is well maintained and the tenants cause no trouble. And remember, if you sublet to someone who wrecks the place, that's all on you. Your name is on the lease, so the landlord is going to be reimbursed, either way.</p> <h2>7. Can You Blame the Neighbors or Surroundings?</h2> <p>Do the neighbors upstairs have parties until 4 a.m. every weekend (or worse, every day)? Do the neighbors harass you, or make life hell for you in general? Is the neighborhood itself in serious decline, and no longer a safe place to live? These are all conditions that you may be able to use to break the lease without a termination fee.</p> <p>Once again, you would have to prove that you asked the landlord to deal with the situation, and that nothing happened. But if you can prove the property became unlivable, you can argue you were &quot;<a href="http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2011/07/ask_an_expert_breaking_a_lease_over_neighbor_noise">constructively evicted from your property</a>.&quot; This is something that can go to court, so you need to be really buttoned-up, and will most likely require legal assistance.</p> <h2>Haggle Over the Early Termination Fee</h2> <p>Landlords would rather have some money than none at all. If you are going to have to pay $2,000 to break the lease, but can only afford $1,000, talk to the landlord about a lower penalty. This is easier to do with an individual than a property management company, as the latter has the backing of corporate funds and on-staff legal counsel. But&hellip; it's always worth a try.</p> <p><em>Have you ever broken a lease? How'd you get out of it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments breaking lease contracts landlords lease rental agreement renting sublet Wed, 22 Jun 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Paul Michael 1736373 at http://www.wisebread.com Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore? http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hammock_beach_000031567486.jpg" alt="Couple wondering if it makes sense to stay in a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying in a hotel isn't necessarily the cheapest option, especially when you're staying in a big city, like New York City. However, before you book that apartment on Airbnb, you should consider the various advantages of staying in a hotel.</p> <h2>Discounts Are Available</h2> <p>Airbnb is <a href="https://www.busbud.com/blog/airbnb-vs-hotel-rates/">not always the cheapest option</a>. Depending on where you stay, it may actually be more affordable to book a hotel. It can be very affordable to stay at a hotel using discounts, promo codes, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">hotel loyalty programs</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">credit card reward programs</a>, and express deals on bidding sites. While you may be able to get a promo code for your very first day on Airbnb, there generally aren't any promo codes available for short-term rentals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>You Can Complain</h2> <p>When you have a complaint at a hotel, all you have to do is call down to the lobby and let them know. If you want to take it one step further, you can ask to speak with a manager. This will usually result in discounts, upgrades, and just about whatever you ask for.</p> <p>When it comes to Airbnb, there is really nobody to complain to. If you are unhappy with your stay, you're stuck there anyways. At the end of your trip, if things don't go as planned, you may get a full or partial refund on your stay at a hotel. However, if you're booking a short-term rental, you likely won't get a discount.</p> <h2>You Only Have to Deal With Professionals</h2> <p>With Airbnb, you will likely have to deal with the hosts &mdash; before you book your trip and throughout your stay. Some hosts can be less than welcoming or accommodating. At a hotel, your interaction with hotel staff should be minimal, and they are expected to act in a professional, corporate manner.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Special Extras</h2> <p>You can expect a number of special extras when you stay at a hotel. These same extras aren't usually included in a short-term rental stay. Some of the most common extras you can often receive from a hotel include:</p> <ul> <li>Free soaps and shampoos (so you don't have to waste your own);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Endless clean towels and linen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Special treatment on special occasions (let them know if it's your birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary so that they go the extra mile for your trip);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fitness room or spa;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Business center;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel bar or restaurant;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Continental breakfast or buffet.</li> </ul> <h2>Hotels May Be Cleaner</h2> <p>We've all heard the horror stories of black light findings and rumors of how filthy hotel rooms can be. However, have you considered how clean an Airbnb apartment may be? The owners aren't held to any standards, so you may be sleeping in a bed with dirty linen or using old towels.</p> <p>At a hotel, you can expect daily housekeeping, whereas with Airbnb, you're on your own to make the bed, empty the trash, and clean up after yourself. This can result in a tidy hotel versus an unkempt and unorganized Airbnb apartment.</p> <h2>Hotels May Be Safer</h2> <p>When it comes to a hotel, only the front desk and housekeeping should have a key to your room, so you can rest assured that no one should be coming in at night. On the other hand, with Airbnb, you have no idea how many people have the key to the apartment you're staying in, which may might you feel uneasy at night. Hotels also usually have security on the premises, security cameras, computerized door entry cards, and even room safes for enhanced security.</p> <h2>Hotels Are More Relaxing</h2> <p>Staying at a hotel feels more like a vacation from everyday life. It is a break from the normal daily grind. On the other hand, staying in someone's home on Airbnb may feel more like staying at home, with similar responsibilities.</p> <h2>Flexible Stays</h2> <p>You can book a hotel room for as little as one night, whereas with Airbnb, you usually have to book multiple nights. If you are expecting a late night arrival, a hotel is usually very flexible with the check-in time, whereas an Airbnb apartment usually has early check-in times that cannot be negotiated.</p> <h2>Local Assistance</h2> <p>Many avid travelers have made the case for Airbnb that staying in someone's home will allow you to find local favorites and get expert recommendations from your host. However, you can get the same experience from a hotel. Simply ask the concierge for recommendations, directions, and advice about the area. Staying in a downtown or metro area will also automatically put you in touch with some of the best things the area has to offer.</p> <h2>You Get What You Pay For</h2> <p>If you don't get what you see in the hotel's description, you can simply complain and they'll have to hold up to their end of the deal. On the other hand, Airbnb descriptions and photographs can be very misleading, so you don't always get what you're expecting.</p> <h2>Is Airbnb Still the Best Choice?</h2> <p>There are still a number of important reasons to consider short-term rentals. According to Priceonomics, compared to the average hotel room, you can <a href="http://priceonomics.com/hotels/">save up to 50%</a> by renting a private room on Airbnb, and up to 22% by renting an apartment on Airbnb. Those are substantial savings. You'll also have access to an entire apartment, including a kitchen and living area, as opposed to just a cramped hotel room. If you'll be staying in a popular area, like New York City, make sure to carefully weigh your options to determine if a hotel or Airbnb is right for you.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other reasons to stay in a hotel? Have you had experiences at a hotel or Airbnb you'd like to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdoes-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDoes%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg&amp;description=Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore%3F" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-buying-the-best-travel-cameras">A Simple Guide to Buying The Best Travel Cameras</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb">5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accomodations AirBnb apartments hotels loyalty programs renting trips vacations Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1718095 at http://www.wisebread.com The Only 5 Rules You Need to Know About Investing in Real Estate http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000074853063.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The numbers are impressive: The median existing home price for homes across the United States stood at $232,500 in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's up 6.3% from the same month one year earlier, and marks the 50th consecutive month in which median housing prices have increased from one year to the next.</p> <p>This steady rate of appreciation might inspire you to invest in residential real estate. After all, the performance of the housing market during the last four years has been far steadier than that of the stock market. But be careful: Sure, investing in real estate can be profitable &mdash; but it can also be risky. Investors who don't do their homework before sinking their dollars into homes could lose a bundle of money.</p> <p>Here are five rules you must know before <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-estate-investing-is-cheaper-and-easier-than-you-think" target="_blank">investing in real estate</a>.</p> <h2>1. Don't Let Your Emotions Betray You</h2> <p>Jamal Asskoumi, owner of the online real estate agency CastleSmart, says that too many inexperienced investors make the mistake of falling in love with a property for the way it looks. They then invest in it without running the numbers to make sure that the home has real potential to increase in value enough to make it a sound investment.</p> <p>Falling in love with a property can also cause investors to spend too much on it upfront, making it nearly impossible for them to make a profit after their purchase.</p> <p>&quot;Unlike stocks that are numbers on a screen, property must be liked and appreciated before it can be invested in, and this is the downfall of many investors,&quot; Asskoumi said. &quot;When visiting a property, investors sometimes become attached and feel as though they have to have it, regardless of the price. They end up paying more than what is necessary and lose on the investment.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Have Enough Money to Cover Both Known and Unknown Losses</h2> <p>Investing in real estate isn't cheap. You are buying a home, after all. But the real trouble spot for investors are the unexpected costs: If you rent out your investment, you never know what damage your tenants might cause. Fixing that damage could cost thousands of dollars.</p> <p>You also have to be prepared for possible losses. Housing values can go down as well as up. You need the financial cushion to handle these fluctuations, said Rocky Lalvani, a financial coach and founder of the Richer Soul financial blog.</p> <p>You also need the money to cover possible monthly losses until your property does appreciate enough in value for you to sell it and earn a big profit. Maybe your mortgage on the property you bought is $2,000 a month but you can only rent the home for $1,800 a month. You'll essentially be losing $200 a month while you wait for your investment to appreciate.</p> <p>&quot;Be prepared for losses; it's a cost of business,&quot; Lalvani said. &quot;Real estate may lose money in the short term while your asset is building over the long term.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Don't Rent to Just Anyone</h2> <p>Finding good tenants is one of the biggest challenges in investing in real estate. The wrong tenants could damage your property, stop paying their monthly rent, and force you to evict them, a process that is long and costly.</p> <p>That's why it's so important to do your research before renting out your home. Run the credit of potential tenants to determine if they've struggled to pay their bills before. Run criminal background checks, too, on potential tenants.</p> <p>Above all, never simply buy into the promises that potential tenants make to you.</p> <p>&quot;Tenants will literally lie about anything and everything,&quot; said Eric Bowlin, a real estate investor and founder of the real estate investing blog EricBowlin.com. &quot;Assume everyone has no job, no income, and a long eviction record, until otherwise proven.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Invest in the Right Neighborhood</h2> <p>You want to invest in an area in which homes are most likely to increase in value. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that any home, even if located in a desirable neighborhood, will be worth more 10 years from now than it is today.</p> <p>But investing in the right neighborhood can at least increase the odds.</p> <p>Study what homes are selling for in any neighborhood in which you want to invest. Study, too, the average monthly rents that homes and apartments in a neighborhood fetch.</p> <p>A neighborhood that is dotted with new restaurants and shops might be a good investment. So might be one that is gaining the reputation as being an up-and-coming area. Be careful, though: It's easy to spend too much upfront in these hotter neighborhoods.</p> <p>Paul Ullman, founder and chief investment officer of Asset Based Lending in Hoboken, New Jersey, says that the key is to look at the strength of nearby schools and to target areas that have positive job growth. It helps, too, to know the neighborhood in which you are going to invest.</p> <p>&quot;Ideally, invest close to home, at least initially,&quot; Ullman said.</p> <h2>5. Know Your Limits</h2> <p>Before investing in real estate, be honest about what you can and can't do. If you're not particularly handy, you might not be able to repair that leaking dishwasher on your own, for instance, and might need a plumber to resolve the problem. That will add to the costs of your real estate investment.</p> <p>You might also want to avoid 2:00 a.m. calls from tenants complaining that the heat in their apartment isn't working. To avoid these calls, you can hire a professional property management company to take over the daily operations of your real estate investment. Hiring such a company, though, costs money, and will eat into your profits.</p> <p>&quot;I always tell people who are interested in getting into investment real estate to consider how comfortable they are with doing any kind of repairs or construction to a house or rental property,&quot; said Todd Barton with the Atlanta office of Renters Warehouse. &quot;You'll have to budget in the costs of contractors or professional property managers. Be honest with yourself upfront so that you don't get into a situation where you are overwhelmed with projects and mounting debts.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you taken the plunge and invested in real estate? What other rules should new investors stick to?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tips-for-getting-your-security-deposit-back">20 Tips for Getting Your Security Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt">Should You Sell Your Home to Pay Down Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-want-to-be-a-landlord-part-i">So You Want to be a Landlord? Part I</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-worry-about-missing-the-bottom-in-houses">Don&#039;t worry about missing the bottom in houses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Real Estate and Housing appreciation housing market landlord neighborhoods property management renting residential real estate risks tenants Thu, 26 May 2016 09:30:22 +0000 Dan Rafter 1717920 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Questions Landlords Can't Ask http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_rental_sign_000024945777.jpg" alt="Learning which questions landlords cannot ask" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The rental market is tough these days, especially in big cities. You have to scan the classifieds, jump on opportunities, and be ready to say yes at a moment's notice. So the last thing you need is for some landlord to refuse you a lease because of questions he or she is actually not allowed to ask. Here are 10 of those questions. Getting asked any of them should give you pause.</p> <h2>1. Where Were You Born?</h2> <p>It may be an innocent enough question, especially if you have an accent and the landlord picks up on it. But it's actually against the <a href="http://www.fairhousingresources.com/Fair-Housing-Act-Full-Text.html">Fair Housing Act</a> to ask questions regarding someone's nationality. A landlord cannot ask about your parents' nationality or upbringing either, or your spouse's. This is all information that should have no bearing on your application, or your suitability as a tenant. If a landlord does ask, <a href="http://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/property-management/tenant-screening/rental-application-question-illegal/">the penalties can be severe</a>.</p> <h2>2. Have You Ever Been Arrested for Anything?</h2> <p>If a landlord is asking this, they're probably trying to protect themselves from someone who could be trouble. But, landlords are simply not allowed to know about your arrest record. They are entitled to know if you were convicted of a crime, and that will come up on a standard background check. However, since innocent people can be arrested and then set free, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-most-important-lessons-i-learned-about-money-when-i-became-a-landlord" target="_blank">landlords aren't entitled</a> to arrest records.</p> <h2>3. Are You Straight, Gay, or Bisexual?</h2> <p>This has absolutely no place in the conversation, and cannot be asked by the landlord. It's a direct violation of the Fair Housing Act, and by doing so, the landlord could face severe penalties. If sexual orientation ever becomes an issue, know that it's a violation of the law.</p> <h2>4. Do You Have Any Disabilities?</h2> <p>Many landlords may be genuinely looking out for you here. They may know that the wheelchair access to the building is very poor, or that it would be a tough building for a blind person to negotiate. That is all well and good, but it's not their concern. Someone with a disability has the same rights to rent a home or apartment as an able-bodied person. What's more, every apartment or home up for rent should be made available to a disabled tenant. If the landlord steers you to one particular apartment over all others, they could actually face legal action. When it comes down to it, a person's disability, even if it's severe, cannot be brought into question when renting. It's also worth pointing out that pet policies do not apply to service animals.</p> <h2>5. Tell Me About Your Kids</h2> <p>Another big no-no. Anything relating to kids, whether it's their ages, how many you have, where they go to school, or if you're planning to have any, it's all off limits. Once again, this is all down to the Fair Housing Act. Landlords could use that information to discriminate against a tenant (especially those who believe children will just cause a lot of noise and mess), and the law just does not allow that. You may naturally bring up kids in conversation (especially if you're interested in a park in the area, or local daycare centers), and that is your right. But the landlord cannot and should not initiate it. (By the way, some landlords have found a way to skirt this by assuming you have children, and simply asking for their names on the application. You do not have to complete that information.)</p> <h2>6. So, Do You Go to Church Around Here?</h2> <p>Once again, this may seem like an innocent enough question, but probing about your religion is a direct violation of the Fair Housing Act. The landlord may not mean anything by it, but the assumption could be made that he or she is favoring Christian applicants over all others. Perhaps the landlord is biased for, or against, Muslims or atheists. None of this should have any impact on your application. Your faith, or lack thereof, is your concern, and yours only. Should any question about religion come up, the landlord is breaking the law.</p> <h2>7. Are You Married?</h2> <p>You have to wonder why that would be any concern of the landlord. After all, married people do not necessarily make for better, or worse, tenants. Some married couples are model citizens, others fights constantly and may appear on an episode of <em>Cops</em>. But none of this is relevant anyway, because the landlord is not allowed to ask you anything about your marital status. Even a statement like &quot;I see you two are engaged,&quot; which may be prompted by seeing a ring, is not kosher. You do not have to answer this question, and the landlord asking it could get in trouble for doing so.</p> <h2>8. Are You On Welfare?</h2> <p>A landlord has every right to ask about income. After all, they need to know that you can pay the rent on time, without any trouble. But where you get that income &mdash; that's different. If you are on welfare, receive food stamps, and get other kinds of benefits or public assistance, you can keep that information to yourself. The landlord cannot pry, and cannot deny anyone tenancy based on that information. If he or she does, it's cause for an investigation by the local authorities.</p> <h2>9. How Old Are You?</h2> <p>Seems like a standard question, right? And most rental applications have a &quot;date of birth&quot; section for you to fill in. But, asking about your age is another one of those protected pieces of information covered in the Fair Housing Act. It's quite possible a landlord wants to rent only to people in a certain age bracket. This is against the law. The only time age can be introduced as a factor is if your application is for a senior community or retirement home. Other than that, it's a no go.</p> <h2>10. What Race Are You?</h2> <p>Similar to the nationality question, this is a huge violation of the Fair Housing Act. Even if it's posed as a compliment, (like &quot;You have beautiful olive skin, are your parents Greek or Spanish?&quot;), the landlord is stepping way over the line. No questions about your race can be asked, and if it comes up, you can report the landlord for discrimination.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been asked any of these questions? How did you respond?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments discrimination fair housing act illegal landlords questions renting Tue, 24 May 2016 10:30:03 +0000 Paul Michael 1715216 at http://www.wisebread.com The 3 Best Cities With Rent Control http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-cities-with-rent-control <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-3-best-cities-with-rent-control" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_city_selfie_000083881091.jpg" alt="Woman living in best city with rent control" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rent control is the dream of renters everywhere. Yet only four states &mdash; California, New York, Maryland, New Jersey &mdash; and the District of Columbia have rent control policies in place. Read on for our guide to scoring a rent-controlled apartment in one of the best cities where price-protected apartments are signed into law.</p> <h2>San Francisco</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/san_francisco_street_000024852251.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>San Francisco is one of 15 <a href="http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/appendix2.shtml">California cities with rent control</a>. It's also one of the priciest places to rent an apartment in America. And while some city dwellers say rent control, along with foreign buyers and an influx of tech workers, exacerbate the sky high cost of housing, many folks, such as Joe Leung, are <a href="http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/San-Francisco-Housing-Rent-Up-A-Sizzling-148-Percent-in-12-Months-300995041.html">thankful for the relief</a> rent control provides them. Leung, who is 42, is a tenant in a rent-controlled Chinatown complex. He pays $540 a month for a single room. That's about one-fifth the list price of a studio in that same area. In this city where the median rent tops $3,000, rent-controlled apartments are a huge help to many families, and people like Leung, who are just trying to make ends meet.</p> <p>In San Francisco, rent-controlled units are those that were issued a certificate of occupancy before June of 1979, which amounts to a whopping 82% of the multi-family unit market. The rules are as follows: Landlords of rent-controlled units may <a href="http://www.sftu.org/rentcontrol/">raise a tenant's rent</a>, but only by a set amount tied to inflation &mdash; the annual allowable rent increase for 2016&ndash;2017 is 1.6% &mdash; and not more frequent than once every 12 months. Landlords can petition for additional increases tied to costs such as capital improvements or maintenance, but these hikes must be approved by the Rent Board before they can be passed on to the tenant.</p> <p>If Frisco's rent control policy sounds like a dream come true, be sure to note the following: While Leung enjoys his $540 monthly rent, some of his neighbors in the same Chinatown building are paying upwards of $1,200. That's because the city's policy allows landlords to adjust the rent of any rent-controlled unit to match the market rate when a tenant vacates the unit. When the vacancy is filled, the tenant's new, market-adjusted rent price becomes controlled by the aforementioned rules. So, theoretically, if an apartment is rent-controlled at $540 monthly in 1990 and the tenant moves out in 2016, the next tenant's rent very well may rise by several thousand dollars, depending on the market price. This facet of the law has been criticized for facilitating an environment in which landlords have an incentive to nudge out their tenants. Of course, the law includes protections to help insure that doesn't happen.</p> <p>A renter's search for a rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco would be most fruitful in <a href="http://www.trulia.com/blog/trends/rent-control-sf-nyc/">the oldest neighborhoods</a>, such as Forest Knolls, Downtown, the Marina, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, and Golden Gate Heights. Old may mean cheaper, but it doesn't necessarily mean cheap. Nob Hill, for example, is a long-established, upscale section of the city, where two-bedrooms go for nearly $5,000. Many rent-controlled apartments in Nob Hill are priced far higher than the average renter can afford to pay. The fewest rent-controlled options are in areas dominated by new construction, such as SoMa and Mission Bay. Notably, public housing projects are exempt from rent control, as well as most single-family homes and condos.</p> <p>Benefits of scoring a place to live in San Francisco include access to great restaurants, wine country, and tons of high-paying jobs, especially those in the tech sector.</p> <h2>Washington, D.C.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/washington_dc_street_000016584691.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Rent control provides residents of the nation's capital with a layer of protection against the prohibitive cost of living in a housing market where affordable options are quickly vanishing. Housing is generally deemed affordable when it amounts to no more than 30% of a household's income. But in D.C., the inhabitants of more than half of all rental units spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The median price for a one-bedroom rental in D.C. is now $2,000. There are <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/study-no-inexpensive-housing-left-on-open-market-in-dc/2015/03/11/281aaa94-c80c-11e4-b2a1-bed1aaea2816_story.html?tid=a_inl">almost no more apartments</a> in D.C.'s open market that rent for less than $800 monthly.</p> <p>Established in 1975, D.C.'s rent control law now covers more than 60% of all rental units. Apartments are generally rent-controlled if they're in buildings constructed before 1975 and owned by landlords who control at least five units. Federally subsidized units are exempt from the law. Landlords of rent-controlled units may not raise the rent more than the current rate of inflation plus 2%, and the rent generally cannot be raised more than once a year. When a tenant vacates a unit, however, the law permits landlords to raise the rent by up to 30%. As is the case in San Francisco, future tenants of rent-controlled units are typically charged much higher rents than the tenant before them. No matter how you dice it, the cheapest apartments, by logic, are already taken.</p> <p>Though it's not a perfect system, the benefits of scoring a rent-controlled apartment in the nation's capital are indisputable &mdash; access to some one the world's best museums, political events and universities, as well as a cap on annual rent raises. Finding a rent-controlled unit, however, takes a little detective work. Luckily, landlords are mandated to divulge whether their building is rent-controlled. All you have to do is ask. You can also find out whether a particular apartment is subject to rent control by calling the D.C. rent administrator's office, which keeps a database of these units.</p> <h2>New York City</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/new_york_city_000050678398.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The city that never sleeps lures new residents for many reasons &mdash; the art, the theater, the big wig jobs &mdash; but the cost of living ain't one of them. The average New York rent tops $3,000, making it one of the nation's most expensive places to lay your head at night. Another blow to affordable city living: Less than 2% of New York's apartments are rent-controlled, a status applied to units in buildings erected before 1947. The clincher is that these units must have been occupied by the same family since 1971. Rent-controlled apartments can be passed down within a family, but only to a family member who resided in the unit for a minimum of two years prior to the key exchange. In other words, New York's rent control policy is all in the family, leaving most of us lustful and out of luck.</p> <p>But, to prevent average Joe city dwellers from getting completely priced out of the market, New York also has a rent stabilization program that works similarly to rent control in other big cities. While <a href="http://www.nycrgb.org/html/resources/faq/rentcontrol.html">the guidelines are complicated</a> with many caveats and exceptions, most rent-stabilized apartments in New York are in buildings of six or more units erected before 1974 and priced below $2,500 monthly. Landlords cannot raise rents above a certain ceiling dictated by inflation. For 2014&ndash;2015, the increase was capped at 1% for a one-year lease. Once the rent reaches $2,500, however, or if the tenant's income surpasses $200,000 two years in a row, the landlord can deregulate the apartment and adjust the rent to match current market rates. All told, about 45% of New York's apartments are rent stabilized, making your chances of snagging one about 50/50.</p> <p>The <a href="http://nycrgb.org/html/resources/zip.html">New York City Rent Guidelines Board</a> keeps a list of all the city's rent-stabilized units. Inwood and Washington Heights are the Manhattan neighborhoods with the largest concentration of regulated units. In Brooklyn, Crown Heights is your best bet.</p> <p><em>Do you wish you lived in a rent-controlled apartment?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-cities-with-rent-control">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments cost of living expensive cities new york city rent control renting San Francisco washington dc Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1694763 at http://www.wisebread.com