renting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4006/all en-US 5 Surprises When Downsizing to a Condo http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprises-when-downsizing-to-a-condo <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-surprises-when-downsizing-to-a-condo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_spending_a_day_on_a_penthouse_terrace.jpg" alt="Woman spending a day on a penthouse terrace" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yard work fills you with dread. The thought of shoveling your way through another winter is already causing your back to ache. And ever since your children moved on to college, half the rooms in your home sit unused.</p> <p>You're ready to downsize from a single-family home to a condo. It's a move that makes sense: You don't need the space of a house, you're ready for a smaller monthly mortgage payment, and you're eager to chuck the chores and maintenance that come with a larger home.</p> <p>But before you make the move into a condo, know that condo living does come with surprises. And many of them aren't pleasant. They don't have to scare you away, but you do need to be prepared for them.</p> <p>Here are a few surprises that might await you when you become a condo owner.</p> <h2>1. Special assessments</h2> <p>When you become a condo owner, you'll have to pay either a condo fee or a homeowners' association fee to live in the building. That monthly fee goes toward the maintenance of the building's common areas and to pay for services such as landscaping and snow removal.</p> <p>But what if your condo's roof needs to be replaced or the entire building needs tuckpointing? To pay for a large expense, your condo's board of directors might have to levy a special assessment; an extra monthly fee that unit owners pay until the building has raised enough money to pay for a large-scale project.</p> <p>If your board decides your building needs a new garage, you might be paying an extra $200, $300, or more a month for as long as it takes to help pay for the construction. This extra money, if you're not prepared for it, could burst your household budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-hoas?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know About HOAs</a>)</p> <h2>2. You may end up on the board of directors</h2> <p>If you move into a large condo complex, you probably won't have to serve on the building's board of directors if you don't want to. But if you move into a smaller condo building with few residents, you may find yourself needing to take a turn serving as the board's director, treasurer, or secretary. An association can't function properly without a board, and if other residents are unwilling or unable to serve, ultimately, someone has to do it.</p> <p>Serving on the board doesn't have to take up a lot of your time. But you will have to make decisions regarding the upkeep of your building. You might have to vote for an unpopular special assessment, or spearhead the ordering of new guard rails, hallway carpeting, or other items. If you have no desire to make any of these decisions, you should move into a larger condo building with more residents and more active boards of directors.</p> <h2>3. It may not be ideal for a pet</h2> <p>Some condo buildings don't allow pets, or only allow pets of a certain size. If your condo does allow dogs, and you happen to have one, you might find taking care of Fido requires a bit more work.</p> <p>First, there are the stairs. If you live on the second floor or higher, you'll have to drag your pooch down the stairs &mdash; or into an elevator &mdash; every time your dog needs a bathroom break. Depending on the age of your dog, and yourself, this can quickly turn into a hassle.</p> <p>Then there are the other dogs in your building. You might be unfortunate enough to live directly underneath the dog that barks all day long while its owners are at work. Or maybe you constantly bump into a dog that doesn't get along with your own. Those regular run-ins could be stressful.</p> <p>Before moving into a condo, be aware that having a dog won't be quite as simple as having one in a single-family home.</p> <h2>4. The grocery haul</h2> <p>Bringing groceries into a single-family home is easy: You park in your garage or the driveway, and lug them in. Bringing large bags of groceries into a condo can be more work. It's no fun to lug them up three flights of stairs to get to your unit. Even if your building has an elevator, you'll still have to make multiple trips to bring in all your bags.</p> <p>If you buy heavier items such as soda, beer, and water, that trip back and forth from your car to your condo can develop into a real pain. It's why so many condo owners take several smaller trips to the grocery store instead of one large one. Be careful here, though: Running to the grocery store every two or three days is an easy way to blow your monthly spending budget.</p> <h2>5. Plumbing problems can be a pain</h2> <p>Scheduling a visit from a plumber? Does that plumber need to shut off your water for an hour or more to repair a leaky bathtub faucet? This can be tricky if you live in a condo building with a shared plumbing system.</p> <p>When you shut off the water in your unit, you might also be shutting down the water in your neighbors' units. Because of this, you'll have to schedule plumbing repairs with the building's board of directors. This could take a few days or a few weeks depending on your association and how many other units will be affected. You might not be able to schedule your plumbing repairs on the exact day of your choice.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-surprises-when-downsizing-to-a-condo&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Surprises%2520When%2520Downsizing%2520to%2520a%2520Condo.jpg&amp;description=5%20Surprises%20When%20Downsizing%20to%20a%20Condo"></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%20Surprises%20When%20Downsizing%20to%20a%20Condo.jpg" alt="5 Surprises When Downsizing to a Condo" 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/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprises-when-downsizing-to-a-condo">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/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</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/what-you-need-to-know-about-hoas">What You Need to Know About HOAs</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/8-things-you-should-never-hide-from-your-landlord">8 Things You Should Never Hide From Your Landlord</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-home-renovations-that-will-attract-pet-owners">5 Home Renovations That Will Attract Pet Owners</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> Real Estate and Housing board of directors condo fees condos downsizing HOA homeowners associations pets rental units renting surprises Mon, 09 Apr 2018 08:30:13 +0000 Dan Rafter 2125054 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Negotiate Your Rent http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-your-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-negotiate-your-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lease_agreement_concept.jpg" alt="Lease agreement concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I moved from Pennsylvania to Florida, my husband and I looked everywhere for an affordable apartment. We finally found the perfect place that was within budget, and for that first year, it was wonderful.</p> <p>Then we got our renewal notice and found out our rent would go up by over $250. That would have broken our budget. I thought about moving, but the high cost of relocating scared me away. Instead, I decided to negotiate with my landlord. It worked; we agreed on a $100 increase instead of $250. By just taking 10 minutes to discuss our lease, I saved us $1,800 over the course of the year.</p> <p>When you're renewing, you have certain benefits over prospective tenants. Negotiating rent might sound impossible, but it can be done.</p> <h2>Look at comps</h2> <p>Research comparable rental units in the area that offer similar features and perks of your current apartment. This way, you'll get an idea of what the fair market value is where you live. You might find that your rent is the same, or even much higher, than it would be with a newer unit. That finding can give you significant bargaining power. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>Review your rental track record</h2> <p>You might think your landlord would be unwilling to negotiate, but you'd be surprised. Good tenants are hard to find, and keeping a reliable tenant is much better than having an empty unit sit on the market. If you've been a good tenant &mdash; always paying rent on time and never causing trouble for the property manager &mdash; you will have more negotiating power.</p> <h2>See how many units are available</h2> <p>If you live in an apartment complex or if your landlord has several rental properties, see how many units are currently available. If your landlord has several openings, they're more likely to do what they can to get you to stay. Otherwise, they risk letting another unit sit unused, which means losing even more money.</p> <h2>Talk to your landlord</h2> <p>Once you've done your research, talk to your landlord. You can talk in person, but if you'd prefer, you can also send an email (that's what I did!). Below is a template you can use:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>&quot;Dear [landlord],</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>I received the lease renewal for my unit, and I'm concerned about the price increase. </em></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>The new rate would cost me an extra [$X] per year. I looked at other rentals in the area, and several complexes offer more features and larger units at [$X] price, which is much cheaper than the increased rate for my unit.</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>I believe I've been a good tenant; I've never missed a payment, and there's never been a single noise complaint or any other problem. If there's any way we could make it work, I'd like to stay here, but the price increase is more than I can reasonably afford.</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>Could you compromise on the rate? I could afford [$X]; that's the top of my budget, but it would be worth it to stay in my home.&quot;</em></p> <p>Whether you rent a home from a private individual or lease an apartment from a big company, you can negotiate your rent. By doing your research, you may be able to get a lower rate.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-negotiate-your-rent&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Negotiate%2520Your%2520Rent.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Negotiate%20Your%20Rent"></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/How%20to%20Negotiate%20Your%20Rent.jpg" alt="How to Negotiate Your Rent" 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/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-your-rent">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-happens-to-your-apartment-when-your-landlord-gets-the-boot">What Happens to Your Apartment When Your Landlord Gets the Boot</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/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment">The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments comps landlords letters negotiating rent raise rent renewal renting templates Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:00:07 +0000 Kat Tretina 2122417 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Easy Ways to Win Over Your Neighbors http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-win-over-your-neighbors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-easy-ways-to-win-over-your-neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_adults_bring_groceries_to_senior_woman.jpg" alt="Young adults bring groceries to senior woman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Relationships with our neighbors aren't what they used to be. Growing up, everybody knew each other. Nowadays, we barely acknowledge the people who live next door to us, let alone folks up the block. I try to engage with my neighbors, perhaps to their chagrin, because I enjoy meeting new people &mdash; especially ones I'm going to see on a regular basis. If you like to be neighborly, too, put yourself out there, say hi, because until they move or you do, you're stuck with them. So you might as well be friendly, right?</p> <h2>1. Introduce yourself</h2> <p>When you move into a new neighborhood, knock on your neighbor's door to introduce yourself. Taking a minute or two to let your neighbors know who you are and where you're from gives them a good impression of you from the moment you arrive. Conversely, if you've been in your home for a while and you notice new neighbors moving in, feel free to pop by and introduce yourself &mdash; and maybe bring a sweet treat with you.</p> <h2>2. Be helpful</h2> <p>My neighbors and I help each other out in little ways, like dropping off incorrectly delivered mail, clearing paths on the sidewalk in front of each others' homes when the snow arrives, and taking trash cans to the curb and back. We remove random litter that may be in our yards, and we accept packages that require signatures when one of us isn't home. These small gestures have a significant impact on our relationship with one another while also building trust and appreciation.</p> <p>If you haven't yet established these same helpful routines, it's never too late to start.</p> <h2>3. Invite them over for dinner</h2> <p>If you feel comfortable enough inviting new neighbors over for dinner or maybe just wine and conversation, go for it. If you're too shy for the one-on-one approach, wait until you're hosting a larger gathering of friends and neighbors, like a backyard BBQ, to include them. There's no wrong way to let your neighbors know they're welcome at your home, so pursue whatever avenue makes you most comfortable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throw-an-awesome-potluck-dinner-with-these-6-easy-tricks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Throw an Awesome Potluck Dinner With These 6 Easy Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>4. Keep your trash contained</h2> <p>Don't let your trash pile up to the point that it stinks while drawing vermin. Handle your garbage on a regular basis by putting it out every pickup cycle. If you have lidded cans, you can maybe skip a cycle in the cooler months, but trash should be dealt with efficiently during warmer months. Nobody wants the smell of hot trash wafting through their open windows while they're trying to relax and enjoy the breeze.</p> <h2>5. Park with consideration</h2> <p>If you and your neighbors share street parking, be courteous enough to leave the spot in front of their home open for them, even when you have company. Ask your guests to park somewhere else that doesn't inconvenience your neighbors. Also, leave minimal space between vehicles to maximize the total space provided for parking. There's nothing more annoying than coming home at night and seeing three cars haphazardly parked when there should be enough space for four cars. You won't win me over with that.</p> <h2>6. Take care of your property</h2> <p>Keep your yard tidy, your landscape trimmed, and the exterior of your home clean and presentable. Nobody wants to look at your junk lying out where everybody can see it, and letting your property fall into disrepair also could affect your property's value and that of your neighbors. You can bet they won't take too kindly to that when general upkeep requires only occasional attention. If you lack storage space, invest in a shed.</p> <h2>7. Offer to help when needed</h2> <p>If you know your neighbors are going out of town, offer to keep an eye on their home and collect their mail if they're going away for more than a week. If they have a dog and you're inclined to watch it while they're away, offer that as well. This, in particular, might be the start of a mutually beneficial trade-off where you can rely on each other to help with each other's pets if you also have one. Potentially a major money-saving opportunity considering how much it costs to board animals these days.</p> <p>It also won't hurt to do a general check-in from time to time.</p> <p>&quot;You don't have to go over for coffee on a daily basis, but checking in with them on a periodical basis will go a long way toward having a good relationship,&quot; says Justin Lavelle, chief communications officer at online background check platform BeenVerified.com. &quot;It can be as simple as having a conversation over the fence. If you are in communication, they might be more likely to share if they are dealing with health, family, or other issues, giving you the opportunity to offer help if needed.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Don't be too loud</h2> <p>If you're enjoying your outdoor space with your friends and family, keep the noise at a reasonable level and take the party inside after 10 p.m. Nobody should be shouting and your music shouldn't be blasting, either. They might have to work early in the morning, or have a baby who needs to sleep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-neighbor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways You're Being a Terrible Neighbor</a>)</p> <h2>9. Inform them of upcoming construction projects</h2> <p>If you're about to start a construction project that will affect your neighbors &mdash; like debris out in the open, parking spaces being occupied, or early morning equipment noise &mdash; give them as much notice as possible. It's the right thing to do. You may not be able to avoid annoying them altogether, but they'll understand a lot more if you made an effort to communicate what's going to happen and the potential repercussions of the project.</p> <h2>10. Make nice regarding your short-term rentals</h2> <p>If you engage in short-term rentals via Airbnb or a similar service, it's extremely wise to have your neighbors on your side. Let them know what you're doing, ease their mind by telling them how involved you will be throughout the entire process, and ask them to call you if there are any problems, so you can deal with them promptly in order to keep the peace. Your guests are your responsibility, and if you're doing your job correctly, your neighbors won't even know they're there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2>11. Mind your pets</h2> <p>Don't leave your yappy dog outside unattended, especially in the morning or late at night. And don't let your cat roam the neighborhood so it can relieve itself all over your neighbor's garden. Clean up after them, and do what you can to make sure they're trained, friendly, and not a danger to other animals or kids. Your pets are <em>your</em> pets, and they shouldn't affect your neighbors whatsoever.</p> <h2>12. Notice your neighbors' home improvements</h2> <p>If your neighbors have recently put in time and money to improve their home, notice it. Tell them how great it looks. They'd like to know that their hard work has paid off and that the neighborhood appreciates it. You don't have to make a special stop to do it; just mention it in passing. You'll stand out favorably from the other neighbors who are too self-involved to care. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Reasons Why It's Good to Know Your Neighbors</a>)</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-easy-ways-to-win-over-your-neighbors&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Easy%2520Ways%2520to%2520Win%2520Over%2520Your%2520Neighbors.jpg&amp;description=12%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Win%20Over%20Your%20Neighbors"></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/u5180/12%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Win%20Over%20Your%20Neighbors.jpg" alt="12 Easy Ways to Win Over Your Neighbors" 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/12-easy-ways-to-win-over-your-neighbors">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/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house">7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House</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/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors">25 Reasons Why It&#039;s Good to Know Your Neighbors</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-your-house-can-earn-a-paycheck">17 Ways Your House Can Earn a Paycheck</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-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home being neighborly homeownership homeownership tips neighbors next door neighbors renting Mon, 02 Apr 2018 08:30:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 2126385 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House http://www.wisebread.com/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paper_house_under_a_magnifying_lens.jpg" alt="Paper house under a magnifying lens" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most of us, our home is the biggest ticket item we'll ever buy. The amount of time, labor, and money this single transaction represents demands a clear head and clear motivations. Since we already know there are a lot of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house?ref=internal" target="_blank">terrible reasons to buy a house</a>, let's take a look at things from the other side. Here are the worst reasons <em>not </em>to buy a house.</p> <h2>1. The market may go bust</h2> <p>After the Great Recession of 2008, everyone's worried about buying at the top of a bubble. But if you dream of owning a home, you've amassed a healthy down payment, can easily afford the mortgage payment and property taxes, and plan to stay in your new home for a while, stop obsessing about what the market may or may not do. Get on with the business of living in a new home.</p> <h2>2. You don't like the cosmetics</h2> <p>The triple threat of bad landscaping, garish paint, and shag carpet has made many a real estate agent go prematurely gray. But cosmetics are just that &mdash; <em>cosmetic</em>. They can often quite inexpensively be changed. Instead of writing off a house because it's got a case of the uglies, channel your creativity. Make small modifications as your time and budget allow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Let These 6 Home Décor Flaws Ruin Your House Hunt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Your furniture won't fit</h2> <p>I admit it; I used to watch lot of house hunting shows on cable TV. And the one conclusion I drew from this voyeuristic exercise? Too many homebuyers are terrified that the things they already own simply won't fit, no matter how generous the proportions of the rooms.</p> <p>I'm not sure it makes sense to reject a home &mdash; or homeownership in general &mdash; simply because you've amassed a collection of barge-like beds, sofas, and dining room tables. Here's a good rule of thumb: Don't let things that depreciate in value dictate your purchase of something that appreciates in value.</p> <h2>4. You're afraid it will be a bad investment</h2> <p>First and foremost, houses are meant to be lived in (and hey, we all gotta live somewhere). Those who approach homeownership purely as an investment often fail to realize one important fact: Houses are often a worse investment than letting your money grow in the stock market. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</a>)</p> <p>If you want to own your home rather than rent, buy a home. Live in it. Sell or rent it when you're ready to move on. You may come out ahead financially, or you may not. But in the meantime, you'll have lived in the home you wanted and that has value in and of itself.</p> <h2>5. Renters are happier than owners</h2> <p>Renters may be more carefree than homeowners, but that doesn't always translate into happiness. Renting puts you at the mercy of shifting economies, forces you to deal with a rotating parade of new neighbors (with whom you may share a wall or two), and provides little opportunity to customize or improve your space. Depending on your priorities, renting may be more of a drag than a delight.</p> <h2>6. You're scared of commitment</h2> <p>So, you say you're scared of commitment. Who isn't? But by avoiding homeownership, you're actually committing to something &mdash; spending more money on rent, not building equity, sacrificing a certain level of privacy, and potentially retiring with less security. There's proactive commitment and passive commitment. Which do you prefer?</p> <h2>7. You're worried about hidden issues</h2> <p>Remediating hidden issues can be expensive, but don't let unfounded fears get the best of you. Few homes are able to keep their secrets completely. Do your homework and don't skimp on the home inspection. Hire an experienced and certified professional, attend the inspection in person, and read the final report carefully. If a home has fatal flaws, move on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-skipping-the-home-inspection-heres-what-it-will-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Here's What It Will Cost You</a>)</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Worst%2520Reasons%2520NOT%2520to%2520Buy%2520a%2520House.jpg&amp;description=7%20Worst%20Reasons%20NOT%20to%20Buy%20a%20House"></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/u5180/7%20Worst%20Reasons%20NOT%20to%20Buy%20a%20House.jpg" alt="7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House" 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/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house">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/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</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/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-your-house-can-earn-a-paycheck">17 Ways Your House Can Earn a Paycheck</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-questions-to-ask-before-selling-your-house">6 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing bubbles Economy fears homeownership housing market inspections investments renting worst reasons Wed, 28 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 2108283 at http://www.wisebread.com What Happens to Your Apartment When Your Landlord Gets the Boot http://www.wisebread.com/what-happens-to-your-apartment-when-your-landlord-gets-the-boot <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-happens-to-your-apartment-when-your-landlord-gets-the-boot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/foreclosure_home_for_sale_sign.jpg" alt="Foreclosure Home For Sale Sign" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Finding the perfect rental for you and your family is hard enough. After searching through hundreds of listings, touring apartments, and finally moving in, the last thing you want to worry about is any hiccups with the property. Instead, you want to focus on turning your new rental into a home.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most tenants don't know if their landlord is keeping up with the building's mortgage payments until it's too late. Instead, you might only find out once the property has entered into foreclosure. When that happens, it typically means your lease is no longer valid.</p> <p>Before you start panicking, it's important to know that tenants have rights, even in the case of a foreclosure. Here's what you should do if you find out your landlord's property has entered into foreclosure.</p> <h2>1. Understand tenant protections</h2> <p>Most states have their own tenant protection laws in place. For example, in Florida, you can remain in your rented home while it goes through the foreclosure process, which can last several months. When the proceedings end, you will likely have to find another place to live. If the foreclosed home is sold, the new purchaser may offer you the following options:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Enter into a new rental agreement. If the new owner intends to use the home as an investment property, they may offer to allow you to stay if you sign a new lease with them.</p> </li> <li> <p>Move out in 30 to 90 days. The new owner might not want to deal with tenants. If that's the case, they must provide you with a written notice asking you to leave by a certain date. Depending on where you live, that notice period can range from 30 to 90 days.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a searchable database of <a href="https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance/tenantrights" target="_blank">tenant rights in each state</a> in each state. You can use that database to find specific information about tenant protections in your area.</p> <h2>2. Document all correspondence</h2> <p>If your landlord sends you any notices or offers, such as offering you cash to move out early to speed up the foreclosure process, document the time, date, and key points of every conversation. When possible, have all conversations and negotiations via email so there's a written record.</p> <h2>3. Consider legal options</h2> <p>When you enter into a lease, your landlord is expected to adhere to those terms. If the landlord is delinquent on their payments and defaults on their mortgage, they violate those terms. You might be able to take your landlord to small claims court to recoup losses, including:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Moving expenses.</p> </li> <li> <p>Time off from work to handle moving.</p> </li> <li> <p>Apartment application fees.</p> </li> <li> <p>Security deposits.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Keep in mind that if your landlord has defaulted on their mortgage, they may not be flush with cash. However, if the court rules in your favor, you could have years to collect those damages. It's a good idea to consult with a lawyer about your options and how to pursue any suit against your landlord.</p> <h2>3. Keep paying your rent on time</h2> <p>A common misconception is that you don't have to pay your rent while the home enters into foreclosure. Some people stop making payments completely or try to make them directly to the landlord's mortgage company. Doing so can hurt you. Your landlord is still entitled to rent payments while you continue to live in the home. If you fall behind on your payments, you can still be evicted from the home and your credit report could be damaged by late payments.</p> <h2>4. Start searching for a new home</h2> <p>Some states give you 30 to 90 days to stay in the home, even after a foreclosure sale has occurred. However, once you find out that the building has entered into foreclosure, it's a good idea to start looking for a new place to live right away. In certain high-demand areas, it can take weeks &mdash; sometimes even months &mdash; to find a new home, so the earlier you start, the better.</p> <h2>5. Follow eviction instructions</h2> <p>The new building owner will send you a notification with a set date you must leave the home by, along with detailed instructions. Almost always, you will be expected to leave the home in clean, well-maintained condition. You may be subject to penalties if you leave signs of visible damage. Make sure you follow those instructions carefully to avoid any surprise charges or problems.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-happens-to-your-apartment-when-your-landlord-gets-the-boot&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520Happens%2520to%2520Your%2520Apartment%2520When%2520Your%2520Landlord%2520Gets%2520the%2520Boot.jpg&amp;description=What%20Happens%20to%20Your%20Apartment%20When%20Your%20Landlord%20Gets%20the%20Boot"></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/What%20Happens%20to%20Your%20Apartment%20When%20Your%20Landlord%20Gets%20the%20Boot.jpg" alt="What Happens to Your Apartment When Your Landlord Gets the Boot" 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/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-happens-to-your-apartment-when-your-landlord-gets-the-boot">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/you-got-an-eviction-notice-now-what">You Got an Eviction Notice. Now What?</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-negotiate-your-rent">How to Negotiate Your Rent</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/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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments eviction foreclosure landlords legal process protections renting rights tenants Mon, 26 Feb 2018 09:30:06 +0000 Kat Tretina 2107894 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things You Should Never Hide From Your Landlord http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-never-hide-from-your-landlord <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-you-should-never-hide-from-your-landlord" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog_sitting_on_chewed_up_leather_chair.jpg" alt="Dog sitting on chewed up leather chair" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you're renting a place to live. And that means you have a landlord. Whoever is responsible for the house or apartment will be holding you to a set of standards. You'll have signed a contract. Whether you're renting the place alone, with friends, or even strangers, you better be upfront about the following, or you could find yourself out on the street.</p> <h2>1. Your pets</h2> <p>When you look for a new place to rent, you'll see that almost all of them have a pet policy. It will either be no pets allowed, pets OK with a deposit, or a stipulation on which kind of pets you can have (maybe dogs aren't allowed, but cats are).</p> <p>If you have a pet and are planning to rent a place, you must disclose it to the landlord. It's tempting to think, &quot;Whiskers is so old and small, no one will care,&quot; but that's not the point.</p> <p>The policy is there for a reason. The landlord may not want the additional cleanup involved in getting a house or apartment ready for the next tenant. Some pets can cause damage far more expensive to repair than the security deposit will cover. Whatever the reason, they set the rules, and you must agree to abide by them.</p> <p>If you are found with a pet, even if it's a pet you bought after you signed the lease, the landlord is well within his or her rights to ask you to get rid of it. They could also evict you for breaching the contract. It's not worth it. Find a place that's pet-friendly, or see if you can give your pet to a caring friend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a>)</p> <h2>2. Any new roommates</h2> <p>Many of us have shared a home or apartment with roommates so we can afford the rent. It happens a lot with college students, or when you're living in places like Manhattan or Beverly Hills. If three of you decide to rent a four-bedroom place, and all sign the contract, no problem. But if you decide to move another friend in after the fact, that's trouble.</p> <p>Whether you're taking money from that person to help with the rent, or just letting them stay for free, you are breaking the rules of the lease. Think of it from the landlord's point of view. He or she vetted you, and anyone else who put their name on the contract. If you bring someone else in, they get by that process unchecked. They're an unknown, and landlords really don't like unknowns; especially if it's their own home they're renting out.</p> <p>Not only that, but it's possible the apartment or home is only fit for habitation by a maximum number of individuals. Add more, and you could be putting people in harm's way. Whatever the case, you're once again risking the chance of being kicked out on the street.</p> <h2>3. DIY or home improvements you have made</h2> <p>It may be home sweet home, but it isn't yours. You're just &quot;borrowing&quot; it for a set amount of time. The house, and any contents that came with it in the lease, are not yours. Therefore, you don't have the right to start messing around with them.</p> <p>You may think you're doing the landlord a favor; perhaps you want to rip out the carpet and install a wooden floor, or scrape off the older wallpaper and add something fresh and vibrant. Well, that may not be something the landlord wants.</p> <p>Now, by all means, ask the landlord if you can do these improvements, and get it in writing if he or she agrees. Chances are, if you're planning to make upgrades that make the place more attractive, you'll get the go-ahead. But never assume, and never keep any work you've done a secret. On the day you move out, you could find your security deposit is not returned because you didn't leave the home in the same state you found it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-simple-ways-to-make-an-apartment-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Simple Ways to Make an Apartment a Home</a>)</p> <h2>4. Problems with utilities</h2> <p>Utilities may be included with the rent, or they may all be your responsibility, but either way, you should tell the landlord as soon as you notice any problems. Water leaks can start out as minor repairs, but left unchecked, they can lead to thousands of dollars in damages. They can also affect other tenants, and it will all be on the landlord's shoulders.</p> <p>Electric problems are just as bad. If something is shorting out, it could lead to a fire, and that could be disastrous.</p> <p>Even if it doesn't seem like anything &mdash; maybe just a slight drop in water pressure, a sketchy light switch, or an unexplained increase in the utility bill &mdash; talk to your landlord immediately. In this case, a stitch in time really does apply. Oh, and if the landlord has evidence that you concealed the problems, you could be liable for the full cost of the repairs.</p> <h2>5. Broken or malfunctioning appliances</h2> <p>Just like the utilities issue, broken appliances and other fixtures should also be reported to the landlord as soon as you notice them. Again, if the malfunction is caught early, it could mean a simple fix instead of a major repair &mdash; or worse, having to replace the entire unit.</p> <p>Broken or malfunctioning appliances can also cause damage to the apartment. For example, a washing machine that's leaking water into the wooden floors can create issues that may not be caught until months later, and by then, it's a big problem. A stove that leaks gas is obviously a serious health hazard and should be turned off and reported. A furnace that is setting off your carbon monoxide alarm is incredibly dangerous, and makes the home uninhabitable.</p> <p>If that does happen, call the landlord immediately and get out of the home. Or at the very least, open all the windows if you cannot leave, and stay close to the fresh air. The landlord will be responsible for getting the furnace fixed, or more likely, replaced.</p> <h2>6. You're running a home-based business</h2> <p>Most of the time, the landlord isn't really going to care if it's a small business that doesn't impact the regulations of the area. For example, if you're making extra money selling knitted goods on Etsy, tutoring students, or writing web code on a laptop in your bedroom, it's probably not going to be a big deal. However, other kinds of business can cause problems for the landlord.</p> <p>If you decide to turn your apartment into a massage therapy facility, or start fixing cars in the attached garage, you could be violating zoning restrictions. And if it is noisy, smelly, and a nuisance to neighbors, you're just asking to be evicted. Check with the landlord before you sign the lease; there will usually be a section in there talking about home-based businesses.</p> <h2>7. You can't find your key</h2> <p>Hey, it happens. Maybe it fell off the key ring, or you misplaced it and have no idea where it is. Even if you have a spare, you need to tell the landlord as soon as you notice your key has gone missing.</p> <p>Although it's unlikely that it will be used to gain access to the property, you cannot say for sure that it didn't end up in the wrong hands. For your own peace of mind, you should tell the landlord what has happened, as any kind of security risk poses a problem.</p> <p>If the landlord decides that the locks need to be changed, you will almost certainly be responsible for the costs incurred. You may also have no choice about which firm replaces the locks. If you're handy you could offer to do it yourself and save some money, but it's doubtful you'll be allowed to do that.</p> <h2>8. You're subletting the property</h2> <p>It's very tempting to sublet your apartment or home if you know you're going to be gone for a significant amount of time. Some people also sublet when they know a big event is coming to town, and services like Airbnb make it very easy to do that and make a significant profit for a few days. All of this is a big no-no if you haven't checked with the landlord first.</p> <p>Some states and municipalities have specific laws regarding subletting. Your lease may explicitly prevent you from subletting. Even if the landlord agrees, he or she may want to have a say in who you choose to sublet the property to, and may insist on a background check that you must pay for.</p> <p>And remember, if you do sublet and the subtenant doesn't pay you, it's <em>your</em> responsibility to pay the rent. So choose carefully, or you could end up in a world of financial pain. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment</a>)</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-things-you-should-never-hide-from-your-landlord&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Things%2520You%2520Should%2520Never%2520Hide%2520From%2520Your%2520Landlord.jpg&amp;description=8%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Hide%20From%20Your%20Landlord"></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/u5180/8%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Hide%20From%20Your%20Landlord.jpg" alt="8 Things You Should Never Hide From Your Landlord" 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/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-never-hide-from-your-landlord">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment">The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment</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-negotiate-your-rent">How to Negotiate Your Rent</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> Real Estate and Housing contracts DIY honesty landlords leases pets renting roommates sublet utilities Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 2103695 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_house_with_defocused_street.jpg" alt="Little house with defocused street" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Each month you send a rent check to your landlord. Meanwhile, every homeowner you know insists that you're wasting that money. They say that you should buy a home and that owning is a smarter financial move.</p> <p>But are they right? Not necessarily.</p> <p>There are good reasons to buy a home: You get a place to call your own and raise your family. You get more space. You'll gain more &mdash; but not complete &mdash; control over your monthly housing payments.</p> <p>This doesn't mean, though, that owning is always the better financial choice. In fact, there are many myths about homeownership that could persuade you to buy for the wrong reasons. Here are four of them.</p> <h2>1. Owning a home is a great investment</h2> <p>It might seem that purchasing a home, holding onto it for years, and then selling it for a profit is a great reason to buy. But the truth is, homes aren't good investments for most owners.</p> <p>Robert Shiller, a Yale economist, has long studied the housing industry, and ranks as a true expert when it comes to real estate and economics. Speaking to <em>The Motley Fool</em> in 2014, Shiller unveiled the numbers proving that housing historically has not been a good investment.</p> <p>Shiller found that from 1890 through 2012, home prices when adjusted for inflation did not grow one cent. Homeowners would have made significantly more money by investing in the stock market during this same time. Shiller reported that the value of the S&amp;P 500 increased more than 2,000 times from 1890 through 2012. Shiller also found that from 1890 through 1980, the real value of home prices actually fell by about 10 percent.</p> <p>Don't buy a home thinking that it's a smart financial investment. It's not. A home is a place to raise your family and retreat to at the end of a long day. It's not supposed to be a moneymaker. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're tired of throwing away your money on rent</h2> <p>Advocates of homeownership often tell you that you're throwing away your money every time you pay a rent check. What they don't say is that this doesn't change much after you buy a house &mdash; at least not initially.</p> <p>Most of us take out a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of a house. The bank behind your mortgage will technically own most of your house after you close on it. And in the earlier years of owning a home, the vast majority of the money you send toward the bank goes toward paying off interest. Only a small amount of each monthly payment goes toward paying down the principal of your balance.</p> <p>So, you're still throwing your money at someone with nothing concrete to show for it. You're just throwing it at your bank instead of your landlord. And if you don't hold onto your house long enough &mdash; say, more than seven years &mdash; you'll have paid far more in interest than in reducing your principal balance by the time you sell. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-choose-to-rent-instead-of-buy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why I Choose to Rent Instead of Buy</a>)</p> <h2>3. You can build equity</h2> <p>Earning equity is one of the most popular reasons for people to buy a home. Say you owe $150,000 on your mortgage and your home is worth $220,000. You now have $70,000 worth of equity. You can borrow against that in the form of a home-equity loan or home equity line of credit to pay for everything from a child's college education, to major home improvements, to reducing credit card debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-smartest-ways-to-use-a-home-equity-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Smartest Ways to Use a Home Equity Loan</a>)</p> <p>You earn equity in two ways: First, every time you make a payment, you are reducing your mortgage amount. Second, if your home increases in value, your equity will grow automatically.</p> <p>The problem is that home values can fall, and building equity when that happens is a true challenge. Say after three years of owning your home, you've reduced your mortgage amount to $200,000. If home values have fallen since you purchased your residence and your home is now worth just $190,000, you don't have any equity. Instead, you are underwater &mdash; meaning that you owe more on your mortgage than what your home is worth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-its-actually-okay-to-be-underwater-on-your-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Times It's Actually OK to Be Underwater on Your Home</a>)</p> <p>You can't control whether the value of your home falls or rises. Millions of homeowners discovered this in 2007 and 2008, when home values across the country plummeted. Many of the owners who bought in 2005 and 2006 still owe more on their mortgages than what their homes are worth. Building equity isn't a guarantee.</p> <h2>4. Owning a house comes with big rewards at tax time</h2> <p>Advocates of buying a home point to the deductions that owners can take come tax time: Owners can deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages, as well as their property taxes.</p> <p>But these deductions are becoming less valuable to some people. First, the new tax reform law says that owners will only be able to deduct the interest on their mortgage loans up to $750,000, rather than the $1 million that it was previously. Federal tax reform will also limit the amount that taxpayers can deduct in state and local property and income taxes on their federal returns to a maximum of $10,000.</p> <p>The biggest change, though, might be the new standard deduction. Taxpayers filing their federal returns can either itemize their deductions or take the standard deduction. Tax reform will boost the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals. It will increase the standard deduction for couples filing jointly from $12,700 to $24,000.</p> <p>There is no financial reason for taxpayers to itemize their deductions if they aren't greater than the standard deduction. As the standard deduction increases, a greater number of taxpayers will take it instead of itemizing. This means we'll see fewer homeowners taking advantage of the property tax and mortgage interest deductions.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Worst%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Buy%2520a%2520House.jpg&amp;description=4%20Worst%20Reasons%20to%20Buy%20a%20House"></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/u5180/4%20Worst%20Reasons%20to%20Buy%20a%20House.jpg" alt="4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House" 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/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">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/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house">7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House</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/stop-believing-these-5-home-refinance-myths">Stop Believing These 5 Home Refinance Myths</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-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in Your Home</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/why-you-should-be-saving-big-with-bi-weekly-mortgage-payments">Why You Should Be Saving Big With Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments</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/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buying a house deductions equity homeownership investments mortgages myths renting taxes wasting money Wed, 31 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 2086754 at http://www.wisebread.com 17 Ways Your House Can Earn a Paycheck http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-your-house-can-earn-a-paycheck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-ways-your-house-can-earn-a-paycheck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_for_a_home_concept.jpg" alt="Saving for a home concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As interest rates creep up, the days of wringing cheap cash from your home in the form of refinances and home equity loans are waning. But have you ever thought of making money using your house <em>without </em>tapping the equity?</p> <p>Some concepts, such as taking in roommates, have probably been with us for as long as we have lived indoors. But the rise of peer-to-peer commerce and smartphone apps have opened up new opportunities for homeowners or even renters to put their homes to work.</p> <p>Here are a few jobs your house could get.</p> <h2>1. Billboard</h2> <p>If you're in a suburban homeowners association, forget it. But if you have a property on a well-trafficked street or in view of the freeway, consider selling advertising space on your fence, walls, or even in the yard. You might need to consult local laws to make sure you don't find yourself in violation of the planning department on this one &mdash; which is probably why you tend to see this on highways in rural areas more than in urban or suburban neighborhoods.</p> <h2>2. Filming location</h2> <p>You might not have what it takes to get a close-up on the silver screen, but maybe your home does. The going pay rate for television, film, and even commercial sets is your mortgage payment amount per day. Sign up on <a href="http://www.locationshub.com/list-your-property/" target="_blank">LocationsHub</a> ($5 a month) or <a href="https://www.setscouter.com/" target="_blank">Set Scouter</a> (free, but they take a cut of the rental fee) so producers can find you. And don't think you need a mansion to qualify; productions need ordinary homes, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-home-into-a-moneymaking-star?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Turn Your Home Into a Moneymaking Star</a>)</p> <h2>3. Extra storage</h2> <p>You've seen facilities that rent out industrial-looking storage sheds where you can keep your offseason clothes, Christmas trees, and that chair that never found a spot in your new apartment but you love too much to sell. But did you know that you can rent out a closet in your own place for this kind of use?</p> <p>No matter where you live, you can list your extra space for free on sites like Craigslist, including not just closets, but also garage space, sheds, and even backyard or driveway space. If the storage space has a private entrance, you can provide the renter with their own key; if it's in your living space, you can set access hours and have the renter call you to get let in.</p> <p>This type of service is so in-demand in space-sensitive locations like the San Francisco Bay Area, that there is an entire <a href="https://sfbay.craigslist.org/d/parking-storage/search/sfc/prk" target="_blank">Parking/Storage category on Craigslist</a>.</p> <h2>4. CSA drop-off point</h2> <p>My front porch is the pickup point for neighbors who subscribe to a community supported agriculture farm share program. I don't get paid cash for the space, but I get a healthy discount on my box &mdash; and if more people start picking up here, I could get my box for free.</p> <h2>5. Yard sale spot</h2> <p>I never would have dreamed that anyone would pay for a yard in which to host a yard sale, but then I learned about <a href="http://www.127yardsale.com/find-rental-spaces" target="_blank">127 Yard Sale</a>, an annual 600-mile-long yard sale, for which home and business owners do in fact rent out property along the sale route to vendors. This made me realize that you could also capitalize on other special events this way. Do crowds pass by your yard on the way to the Fourth of July fireworks or the weekly farmers market? You may be able to rent your yard for a sale operator or to a refreshments vendor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-backyard-into-a-moneymaker?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Turn Your Backyard Into a Moneymaker</a>)</p> <h2>6. Co-working space</h2> <p>It never made sense to me that some home-based workers pay to rent out cubicles when most homes sit empty and silent during the workday. As a work-from-home mom, I've often wanted to get out of my noisy house to work, but I didn't want to travel to an urban area and pay top dollar for a co-working space with a fancy coffee bar. If there were a service near me where I could book space at someone else's empty house, I might have considered it.</p> <p>Here in the U.S., it seems that so far, startups trying to connect itinerant workers with empty homes have gone bust. Not to worry, you can always list your extra work-from-home space on Craigslist.</p> <h2>7. Child care location</h2> <p>You can of course open a home-based child care facility, but what if you're not interested in a career in child care? I found out that you can squeeze a little benefit out of your home by offering to host a nanny share for multiple families. Some share arrangements will allow the hosting family to contribute less to the nanny's salary. In my case, I received a different, but equally valuable benefit: Because both toddlers in the share took long afternoon naps, the nanny included several hours of housecleaning service in her workday, at no extra charge to me.</p> <p>Another way I have seen homeowners successfully use their homes for child care, outside the traditional home day care center idea, is by hosting after-school or summer programs. This is a home business that requires your labor in addition to your space, but you can host a summer camp at home based on arts or any other interest you have. Check into local licensing laws and insurance requirements before you get started.</p> <h2>8. Cold storage</h2> <p>There is a market of people who want to buy meat in bulk, but don't have the cold storage space at home. So it's plausible that you could rent out freezer space to folks who want to store a lot of food but don't have their own deep freeze.</p> <h2>9. Foreign exchange student housing</h2> <p>The U.S. State Department doesn't pay exchange student host families, although you can take a $50 per month tax deduction while you're hosting one. However, there are lots of private programs out there that bring foreign students to the U.S. and pay host families for their room and board. You can sign up with <a href="https://4stay.com/" target="_blank">4stay</a> or <a href="http://www.homestaynetwork.com/hosting/overview/" target="_blank">The American Homestay Network</a> to rent a room to students and interns.</p> <p>Another way to go about this is to contact a local university. Some of them keep a list of available rooms, or they allow people to post on a bulletin board to advertise their space for international students or visiting professors.</p> <h2>10. Lodging for nurses or other medical professionals</h2> <p>Some travel nurses move from city to city taking on new assignments arranged by agencies. These agencies may provide housing, so one way to become a host for a travel nurse would be to get in touch with one of these agencies. You can connect with these nurses through the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/travelnursehousing/" target="_blank">The Gypsy Nurse's Travel Nurse Housing Group</a>, or list your room on <a href="https://www.furnishedfinder.com/members/pm-add-property.aspx" target="_blank">Furnished Finder</a>, a housing site just for traveling professionals.</p> <h2>11. Get a roommate</h2> <p>If you have a second home or travel for long stretches, getting a roommate can be preferable to renting out your entire home, because it allows you to maintain access during the times when you are in town. Social media is a good way to find trustworthy roommates, since ideally they'll be recommended by someone you know. There are also websites and apps dedicated to helping people find renters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a>)</p> <h2>12. Parking</h2> <p>I live on an island, and the ferry terminal parking lot always fills up before the last ferry of the morning leaves. Some folks who live nearby are capitalizing on that by renting out their empty driveways to ferry riders. You can list a parking spot in any of 15 U.S. cities on <a href="https://spothero.com/rent-my-parking-space/" target="_blank">SpotHero</a>, either on a regular basis or for special events. I've also seen signs offering parking rental posted on lampposts in cities, and seen college kids simply holding up cardboard with the price scrawled on it to rent out their front yards on college game days.</p> <h2>13. Vacation rental</h2> <p>The vacation home rental industry has exploded in recent years thanks to Airbnb, and now anyone who lives in a popular destination can turn a spare bedroom into a consistent source of cash. If you have dismissed becoming an Airbnb host because you don't have an empty bedroom, give it another look.</p> <p>Not everyone realizes that you can list your whole home on Airbnb while you're on vacation; I have done this several times with good results, and have even had guests who were happy to care for my cats in exchange for a discount. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb</a>)</p> <p>You might also be overlooking spaces in your home that are &quot;Airbnbable,&quot; especially if you live in a high-demand area. I have stayed in lovely RVs parked in people's yards. I've seen a breakfast nook rented as a bedroom in Monterey, and a living room sofa listed for $15 a night in Columbus, Ohio. Some people also rent out camping space in their yard; if you do this, think through where your guests will use the bathroom. And if you don't love Airbnb, there are a few competitors, like VRBO or HomeAway, that could help you rent out your space as well.</p> <h2>14. Event space</h2> <p>Even my nonexpansive home has garnered requests for use for a workshop through Airbnb (I turned them down because I don't have one large room where people could gather comfortably). If your home is more of a showcase than mine, you could register it with a company such as <a href="https://www.peerspace.com/host" target="_blank">Peerspace</a>, which lists spaces for all kinds of events.</p> <p>One advantage to listing with a company that specializes in events, rather than Airbnb, is that they tend to offer insurance coverage appropriate for events, and have safeguards in place to make sure your property isn't destroyed.</p> <h2>15. Home swap</h2> <p>This isn't necessarily a way to generate cash from your home, but it is a way to get more value from it. Sign up for <a href="https://www.homeexchange.com/en/nomap?utm_expid=57943643-3.15Uhzp2-R0O3WS1gU0YBCQ.1&amp;utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fdocument%2Fd%2F1eBh-msBr8BBTqnBECUXr7LmXnLZZMflU8GGTzOAIsYk%2Fedit" target="_blank">HomeExchange</a> or another home swap site, and you can get a free place to stay while you're traveling in exchange for hosting travelers at your own place. Recently, HomeExchange debuted a points program that makes it easier to arrange non-simultaneous exchanges, which is great for folks who might want to rent out their home but don't want to deal with rent, which you may have to report on your taxes.</p> <p>In the past year, my family has enjoyed free stays in Santa Cruz, California; Lake Tahoe, Nevada; and Ashland, Oregon, thanks to home swapping; we're currently working on an exchange for France this summer. We enjoy that we are welcoming members of a more limited community into our home, as opposed to renting on Airbnb, and that when we swap with other cat owners, they are usually more than happy to care for our cats. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Home Exchanges: Free Accommodations With Perks</a>)</p> <h2>16. Package locker</h2> <p>Since ordering online has become the de facto way for many people to shop, secure package delivery has become a problem. Even in my safe community, neighbors are constantly complaining of packages from UPS or FedEx disappearing from their porches.</p> <p>Providing a package locker is partly a work-from-home job, and partly getting paid for your space: <a href="https://eneighbr.com/how-it-works/customer" target="_blank">eNeighbor</a> pays you $3.50 for every package you receive. The work part is that you have to be home from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to sign for packages, then hand them out to their recipients when they come pick them up. The space part, of course, is that your living room or other space becomes a little mailroom for these boxes.</p> <h2>17. Rehearsal space</h2> <p>You could rent out your garage, basement, or other large space to up-and-coming musicians who need a place to jam. Keep in mind, however, that nearby neighbors might take issue with this plan, so be mindful of local noise ordinances.</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F17-ways-your-house-can-earn-a-paycheck&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F17%2520Ways%2520Your%2520House%2520Can%2520Earn%2520a%2520Paycheck.jpg&amp;description=17%20Ways%20Your%20House%20Can%20Earn%20a%20Paycheck"></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/u5180/17%20Ways%20Your%20House%20Can%20Earn%20a%20Paycheck.jpg" alt="17 Ways Your House Can Earn a Paycheck" 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/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-your-house-can-earn-a-paycheck">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/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/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb">5 Costly Pitfalls of Hosting 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/how-to-turn-your-home-into-a-moneymaking-star">How to Turn Your Home Into a Moneymaking Star</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house">7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing AirBnb boarders child care extra money foreign exchange students homeownership renting roommates side gigs storage venues Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2068117 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/getting_sorted_the_new_apartment.jpg" alt="Getting sorted the new apartment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Breaking a lease is usually an expensive proposition, but it's a situation that may be necessary for a number of reasons. A new job, moving in with a partner or spouse, or the need for more space are all scenarios where you might need to break a lease. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a>)</p> <p>If you find yourself in any of these situations, the best option may be to sublet the apartment. Someone else gets a much-needed place to live without committing to a full-term lease, you don't waste money paying a penalty to your landlord, and your landlord doesn't have to scramble to get the apartment filled before the end of your lease. Everyone wins.</p> <h2>First things first</h2> <p>Check your lease. Is subletting specifically prohibited? If so, approach your landlord. How you approach your landlord will depend upon your existing relationship with him or her. If you can just be honest and explain what you want to do, great!</p> <p>Assuming that you decide to proceed with subletting, here are a few steps to make the process as smooth as possible.</p> <h2>1. Ask friends and family members first</h2> <p>Before putting the apartment on a listing site, check with your friends and family members. Would one of them be interested in subletting from you, or do they know someone who would? A personal connection and referral almost always beats a random subletter, provided your friends and family members are responsible and respectful of the space.</p> <h2>2. Set boundaries</h2> <p>Are there certain rules that someone who sublets your apartment needs to follow? These could include no smoking, sorting the trash, collecting your mail, pet policies, or taking care of your belongings for an extended period of time. Make sure you're clear and upfront about these types of expectations so there are no gray areas down the road.</p> <h2>3. Have a proper sublease in place</h2> <p>Subletting an apartment shouldn't be done on a handshake, even if it is between friends or family members. To protect both parties, draft up a simple lease. There are a number of free templates available online. <a href="https://www.rocketlawyer.com/form/sublease-agreement.rl#/" target="_blank">Rocketlawyer</a> is a popular option for this, as is <a href="https://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/sublet-agreement/?loc=US#.WXJY_9PysY0" target="_blank">LawDepot</a>. The lease should include the monthly (or weekly) rate for the sublease, the beginning and ending dates of the lease, the name of the person (or people) who are going to be living in your apartment, and any of those boundary specifics mentioned above.</p> <h2>4. Collect a security deposit</h2> <p>It's a smart idea to collect a security deposit from the person or people who sublet your place. This can be helpful if the renters need to break their sublease or if there is damage done to the apartment. Remember, even though you're subletting, you are still legally responsible for the condition of the apartment when the lease is up, and if there are damages, your landlord may charge you for the repairs.</p> <h2>5. If subletting isn't an option, consider a swap</h2> <p>A few years ago, I wanted to try living in California for the summer. Rather than sublet my place in New York and find a sublet in California, I arranged a swap. A mother and daughter stayed in my apartment while I lived in their condo in Santa Monica. We followed all of the same steps above that I outlined for a sublease and we both got a summer experience we would never forget.</p> <p>In my situation, I wrote a post on my blog and someone found the post. It all worked out in a pretty magical way. If I tried this again, I would work through my network first to see if I had any friends, family members, or friends of friends who would be interested. If that didn't work out, I would try one of the new housing swap services that have popped up since I did my home exchange.</p> <p><a href="https://www.homeexchange.com/en/" target="_blank">HomeExchange.com</a> has more than 65,000 homes in 150 countries. Members pay $9.95 per month to list their property with the service. They facilitate over 120,000 swaps per year.</p> <p><a href="https://www.lovehomeswap.com/how-it-works" target="_blank">Love Home Swap</a> is another site with a few different swap models. You can do what they call a &quot;Classic Swap&quot; in which you go to someone else's home and they go to yours for a specific amount of time. They also have a &quot;Points Swap.&quot; Rather than having to agree on dates and location, you rent out your place whenever it's available for points instead of money. Then you can use those points to make a reservation for an available property on the site when you want to travel.</p> <p>Before you use a service to facilitate a swap, make sure the site is secure, that it verifies each user's identification, and the service has legitimate reviews on sites like Yelp. With any swap, have a legal agreement in place between you and the other party to make sure there are no surprises and that all terms are clear.</p> <p>If life leads you in a direction away from your current lease, don't resist that call. There are numerous ways to manage a lease rather than have it manage you.</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%2Fthe-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Easy%2520Way%2520To%2520Sublet%2520Your%2520Apartment.jpg&amp;description=The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Sublet%20Your%20Apartment"></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/The%20Easy%20Way%20To%20Sublet%20Your%20Apartment.jpg" alt="The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment" 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-your-rent">How to Negotiate Your Rent</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/what-happens-to-your-apartment-when-your-landlord-gets-the-boot">What Happens to Your Apartment When Your Landlord Gets the Boot</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/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing agreements apartments contracts house swap landlords renting sublease subletting Fri, 08 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 2016671 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Turn Your Backyard Into a Moneymaker http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-backyard-into-a-moneymaker <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-turn-your-backyard-into-a-moneymaker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/in_gardening_business.jpg" alt="In gardening business" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a backyard costs money. Not only do you pay to own that space, but you also have to shell out for upkeep and maintenance. Regardless, your little plot of land could actually be the answer to your financial woes. Don't just spend money on your yard &mdash; make some money with it. Here are several clever ways to monetize your outdoor space.</p> <h2>Build a tiny rental house</h2> <p>Due to the housing crunch in major metropolitan areas, cities around the United States are relaxing zoning codes or creating new housing laws to deal with the shortage of rental properties. In Los Angeles, it is now legal to turn your garage into an apartment or build a &quot;granny flat&quot; in your backyard. Given that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles in July 2017 was $2,209, according to Rent Jungle, converting an existing outdoor building into a living space, or even building one from scratch, is a real estate investment worth consideration.</p> <h2>Turn your property into a private campground</h2> <p>Do you live within walking distance of a convention center, major hospital, or historic center? My friend MaryAnn has been renting out tricked-out vintage trailers in her backyard since before online rentals were even a thing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb</a>)</p> <p>But even if you don't have a prefab shelter, don't let that stop you. If you live close to a natural wonder, a killer surf break, or a unique trailhead, you can rent out your backyard as a private campground to backpackers and glampers via <a href="https://www.hipcamp.com" target="_blank">Hip Camp</a>.</p> <h2>Sell your surplus backyard produce</h2> <p>I have a gigantic Mission fig tree in my backyard. Although I personally hate figs, I love this tree. Every year, I make several hundred dollars selling ripe figs and my award-winning fig jam to my neighbors, from the comfort of my front porch. People will pay a premium for organic, seasonal produce, especially rare varieties that are hard to find in stores.</p> <h2>Sell your trees</h2> <p>My neighbor just chopped down the 70-year-old Canary Island date palm tree in his front yard because he was tired of cleaning up palm fronds. Alas, he could have saved himself the hard work and made hundreds of dollars <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-in-your-yard-how-to-sell-palm-trees-for-cash" target="_blank">selling this tree</a> to a commercial landscaper. Before you chop mature trees, check with your local arborist about your tree's potential resale value.</p> <h2>Raise bees or rent your yard to a beekeeper</h2> <p>As a backyard beekeeper, I am on track to make about $4,000 this year selling honey to my urban neighbors and selling bees to local farmers. And, because Los Angeles limits me to keeping just two hives on my property, I am always on the hunt for people willing to keep two hives on their property in exchange for a percentage of the honey harvest.</p> <h2>Keep city chickens</h2> <p>In an effort to keep food waste out of the landfill, the city of Austin, Texas is offering a <a href="http://www.kvue.com/news/local/city-giving-free-classes-cash-to-austinites-who-plan-on-keeping-chickens/431009868?fb_comment_id=1097551370349084_1097597210344500#f31b6d9f013fb8c" target="_blank">$75 rebate</a> to Austinites who keep backyard chickens.</p> <p>Beyond the green street cred you will gain from chicken-based recycling, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-raise-backyard-chickens" target="_blank">raising your own chickens</a> comes with a host of benefits. The chickens can eat your food scraps and create healthy soil, all while giving you free eggs. That said, be sure to do the math before investing in a backyard chicken empire. In urban areas like Los Angeles, where fresh, organic chickens sell for $20 and no one blinks an eye at paying $1 per backyard egg, it's easier to make money raising chickens than in some other places. Check your local poultry economy to accurately assess your return on investment.</p> <h2>Grow vegetable seedlings</h2> <p>Lora, my gardener, discovered that she could make more profit growing and selling heirloom vegetable seedlings (with less effort) than she could by growing landscaping plants. Heirloom vegetable seeds cost a few bucks per package, but she sells seedlings for $1 each at her the local farmers market a &mdash; 1,400 percent markup!</p> <h2>Sell your garden space or expertise</h2> <p>Most community gardens are on the lottery system. Only a fraction of the people who want to grow their own food have access to arable land. If you have space to spare in your backyard, try renting out your land to local greenthumbs.</p> <p>If you're creative with your own garden and landscaping, you might be able to market that expertise. My friend Judy accidentally launched her career as a garden designer after fixing up her own backyard.</p> <h2>Offer your yard as a wedding and party venue</h2> <p>Is your garden or farmland picturesque? Rustic weddings are all the rage these days. Connect with local wedding and event planners in your area to find out how much you can make renting out your pristine lawn or barn.</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%2Fhow-to-turn-your-backyard-into-a-moneymaker&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Turn%2520Your%2520Backyard%2520Into%2520a%2520Moneymaker.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Turn%20Your%20Backyard%20Into%20a%20Moneymaker"></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/How%20to%20Turn%20Your%20Backyard%20Into%20a%20Moneymaker.jpg" alt="How to Turn Your Backyard Into a Moneymaker" 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/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-backyard-into-a-moneymaker">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/6-decorative-plants-you-can-eat-too">6 Decorative Plants You Can Eat, Too</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/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</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/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</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-ways-to-make-amazon-pay-you">7 Ways to Make Amazon Pay YOU!</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/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash">13 Surprising Things You Can Rent for Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income backyard beekeeper camping chickens DIY gardening home and garden plants renting selling vegetables Mon, 28 Aug 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Max Wong 2010037 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-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_credit_card_514475258.jpg" alt="Woman building credit in college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a college student, your credit score probably isn't a priority. You're too busy worrying about exams, homework, and scraping together enough money for a pizza on Friday night. But building good credit when you're in college is important. It can make it easier to rent an apartment, apply for a good credit card, and buy a car once you graduate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <p>Many college students graduate with no credit score at all. That's because they've never used a credit card or paid off an installment loan, such as for a car or mortgage. They haven't even started paying off their student loans yet.</p> <p>Graduating with no credit makes life after college more challenging. Here are five big reasons why you should start building good credit when you're still in school.</p> <h2>1. Renting an apartment</h2> <p>In a recent survey by national credit bureau TransUnion, 48 percent of apartment landlords said that the results of a credit check rank among the top three factors they consider when deciding to lease an apartment to a potential renter.</p> <p>If your credit is bad, or if you don't have any credit at all, you'll struggle to rent an apartment on your own. You might have to rely on a co-signer, usually a parent, to sign the lease with you. If you can't find a co-signer, and you haven't built any credit while in college, finding your dream apartment, or even just a starter apartment, can get difficult.</p> <h2>2. Buying a car</h2> <p>Unless you buy a car with cash, you'll probably have to apply for an auto loan to finance the purchase of a new vehicle. Auto lenders study your credit, too. If they find that you don't have any history behind you, they'll be far less likely to approve you for the loan you need to buy that new car.</p> <p>Again, you might have to rely on finding a co-signer. This can be even more difficult for an auto loan. Not only are co-signers on an auto loan responsible for any payments you don't make, the loan will also be counted as their debt. This can make it more difficult for your co-signer to apply for new loans of their own.</p> <p>Overall, it's much easier to walk into an auto dealership knowing that you already have a credit history of your own.</p> <h2>3. Applying for student loans</h2> <p>You'll want a good credit history if you'll need to apply for private loans to help finance the cost of graduate or professional school. It's easier to get federal PLUS loans for graduate and professional schools with a lower credit score. However, you are limited in how much you can borrow through these federal sources.</p> <p>If you must borrow more, you might have to rely on private loans. And private lenders will take a close look at your credit. If you don't have a credit history, qualifying for one of these loans will be more challenging.</p> <h2>4. Being approved for credit cards</h2> <p>There are plenty of credit cards out there with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low interest rates</a> and valuable rewards programs. They can give you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back on purchases</a> or let you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn travel rewards</a> when you use your card.</p> <p>Without a credit history, and the credit score that comes with one, you'll struggle to qualify for one of these good cards. You might instead have to settle for a basic card with a higher interest rate.</p> <h2>5. Getting car insurance</h2> <p>Not having a credit history can even make qualifying for car insurance more of a challenge. If you do want to drive, and you can no longer stay on your parents' auto insurance policy, you'll have to apply for car insurance on your own. And many insurance companies today look at their own version of a credit score when determining who qualifies for insurance and at what rates.</p> <p>The lower your credit-based insurance score, the less likely you'll qualify for auto insurance &mdash; and the more likely you'll have to pay a higher premium if you do qualify.</p> <h2>Building a credit history</h2> <p>The best way to build a credit history while in college is to apply for a student credit card. These cards often come with lower limits. Some might even be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-secured-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured cards</a>, meaning that you have to make a deposit into a bank account associated with the card. This deposit makes up your credit limit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>Once you get a card, use it, but use it wisely. Only buy what you can afford to pay off in full each month. Then pay off your entire balance by every due date. As you generate a record of on-time credit card payments, you'll steadily build a credit history. At the same time, you'll start building a solid credit score, too.</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-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Reasons%2520Building%2520Credit%2520in%2520College%2520Helps%2520You%2520Win%2520at%2520Life.jpg&amp;description=5%20Reasons%20Building%20Credit%20in%20College%20Helps%20You%20Win%20at%20Life"></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%20Reasons%20Building%20Credit%20in%20College%20Helps%20You%20Win%20at%20Life.jpg" alt="5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life" 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/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-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-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/debunking-8-common-credit-score-myths">Debunking 8 Common Credit Score Myths</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/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</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-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate">6 Financial Skills to Master Before You Graduate</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/why-you-shouldnt-panic-if-your-credit-score-drops">Why You Shouldn&#039;t Panic If Your Credit Score Drops</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/15-surprising-ways-bad-credit-can-hurt-you">15 Surprising Ways Bad Credit Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training building credit co-signers college credit history credit score loans payment history renting students Mon, 28 Aug 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Dan Rafter 2010394 at http://www.wisebread.com Why I Choose to Rent Instead of Buy http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-choose-to-rent-instead-of-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-i-choose-to-rent-instead-of-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_beginnings.jpg" alt="New beginnings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Conventional wisdom says that buying a home is a smarter financial decision that renting. However, homeownership is a huge decision, and it can be an expensive option. Owning a home is not for everyone, and for some, renting can actually be the more cost-effective choice.</p> <p>That's certainly the case for me. Despite earning a good income, my husband and I have decided to rent for the foreseeable future. Here's why it makes sense for us.</p> <h2>1. Affordable housing is hard to find</h2> <p>We live in one of the most highly-desired towns in the Central Florida region. A single-family, 1,200 square foot home in our neighborhood starts at $350,000. Even if you do find a home at that price, they often need significant improvements to be livable. Typically, houses in that price range need new roofs or foundation work.</p> <p>If we put 20 percent down on a home &mdash; a whopping $70,000 &mdash; our monthly payment for the mortgage, insurance, and taxes would be about $1,600 a month. Besides coming up with a huge down payment, that's a high monthly bill.</p> <p>While the housing market is extremely competitive in our neighborhood, rentals are much more affordable. We rent a large two-bedroom apartment with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and resort-like amenities for just $1,300. And we didn't have to come up with a large payment to move in.</p> <p>The lack of affordable housing is a nationwide issue. Particularly in areas like New York City or San Francisco, buying a home can be out of reach for most Americans. In those cases, it can make more sense to rent than buy.</p> <h2>2. Maintenance isn't my problem</h2> <p>If we were to buy that $350,000 home, the down payment and monthly mortgage payment would be only a small portion of our home expenses. We'd have to budget to prepare for other expenses, like emergencies. If the roof needs repairs, or if the appliances break, we'd have to cover the cost of the replacement.</p> <p>With renting, all I need to do if there's a problem is call my landlord. Within 24 hours, they'll have the problem fixed. Not having to worry about the extra cost is helpful and gives me peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-it-really-costs-to-own-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What It Really Costs to Own a Home</a>)</p> <h2>3. Homes are not an investment</h2> <p>Houses are often touted as a good investment. However, the recession of 2008 showed how flawed that idea was. There's no guarantee that a home's value will increase over time, and there is a chance it could decrease.</p> <p>The homes that go for $350,000 in our area sold for $500,000 pre-recession. But in 2008&ndash;2010, those same homes plummeted to under $180,000. For homeowners who took the plunge to buy, they lost a lot of money and either saw their bank foreclose on their homes or are still underwater.</p> <p>To me, homes are a place to live, not an investment. My goal is to have a safe place to live, not to earn money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</a>)</p> <h2>4. Flexibility is key</h2> <p>Homeownership scares me because it feels permanent. Of course, you could sell the home if you need to move, but that process can be long and complex. And you can end up losing money on the deal.</p> <p>Renting gives me more flexibility. If an opportunity pops up on the other side of the country, I just have to pay to break my lease and am free to leave. Having that option is reassuring in a sometimes tough job market.</p> <h2>5. We have other priorities</h2> <p>If homeownership is your goal, you may have to sacrifice other things to make it possible. To save for a down payment, you may have to cancel your retirement contributions, or take money out of your emergency fund.</p> <p>Contributing the maximum to my 401(k) and building my emergency fund are important to me. Because buying a home would mean postponing those goals, home searching just isn't in the cards.</p> <h2>Buying a home</h2> <p>Whether or not to buy a home is a very personal decision. While many say that homeownership is essential for financial security, it's not the only option available to you. Depending on your circumstances, renting can give you more disposable income each month and more freedom to pursue your other goals.</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%2Fwhy-i-choose-to-rent-instead-of-buy&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520I%2520Choose%2520to%2520Rent%2520Instead%2520of%2520Buy.jpg&amp;description=Why%20I%20Choose%20to%20Rent%20Instead%20of%20Buy"></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/Why%20I%20Choose%20to%20Rent%20Instead%20of%20Buy.jpg" alt="Why I Choose to Rent Instead of Buy" 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/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-choose-to-rent-instead-of-buy">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/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</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-negotiate-your-rent">How to Negotiate Your Rent</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/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</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/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing affordable housing apartments buying a home flexibility housing markets maintenance mortgage renting Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 1977387 at http://www.wisebread.com Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_to_buy_a_house_or_home_savings_concept.jpg" alt="Saving to buy a house or home savings concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your house is many things: It's a place to raise your children, hold family parties, relax on weekends and, maybe, rent out for a bit of extra cash.</p> <p>But here's one thing that many economists believe it is not: an investment.</p> <p>That flies in the face of what you might believe. After all, if you buy your home for $200,000 and then sell it 15 years later for $270,000, you've made $70,000, right? That sounds like a good return on investment, but it's actually not.</p> <p>That profit doesn't include all the property taxes you've paid on your home, the interest you've paid on your mortgage loan, or all the money you've spent on maintaining your residence.</p> <p>The fact is, the only time a home might truly be a good investment is when you're downsizing or moving to an apartment after selling it.</p> <h2>Sobering numbers</h2> <p>In a 2014 interview with USA Today, economist and housing expert Robert Shiller explained why consumers should not think of housing as an investment.</p> <p>From 1890 through 2012, <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/05/10/why-your-home-is-not-a-good-investment/8900911/" target="_blank">home prices adjusted for inflation</a> did not grow at all, according to Shiller's research. During the same period, though, stocks did. Shiller found that the S&amp;P 500 increased by more than 2,000 times during those same years, adjusted for inflation.</p> <p>Shiller found that there have been long periods of time in which housing values when adjusted for inflation fell. He said that from 1890 through 1980, real home prices dropped by about 10 percent.</p> <p>Personal financial blog Observations also looked at inflation-adjusted housing prices from 1900 through 2012. According to these numbers, the average annual price for U.S. homes was just <a href="http://observationsandnotes.blogspot.com/2011/07/housing-prices-inflation-since-1900.html" target="_blank">0.1 percent a year</a> after inflation.</p> <p>These numbers make it clear: You should buy a house because it's a house, you need a place to live, and you don't want to rent. You shouldn't buy a house thinking that you're making a great financial investment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Rent or Buy a Home? Here's How to Decide</a>)</p> <h2>It's not easy to get your cash from an investment in housing</h2> <p>There are other aspects of houses that make them less-than-ideal as investments. The biggest? It's not easy to turn your home into cash.</p> <p>Sure, your home might have risen in value during the 10 years you've owned it. (Even if, as shown above, when adjusted for inflation, that appreciation might be negligible.) But accessing this appreciation isn't easy. You'll have to sell your home to get at whatever money it's made.</p> <p>Selling a home is no simple task. It's time-consuming. It's expensive, too, as you'll probably invest in everything from fresh coats of paint to major appliance repairs before you put your home on the market. And what if you don't want to sell your home? Then you won't be able to nab that cash.</p> <p>You can take out home equity lines of credit or home equity loans to tap the equity in your home. But you'll have to pay back the money you borrow, with interest, each month. If your home should lose value after you take out our home equity loan, you could end up underwater, owing more on your combined mortgage loans than what your home is worth.</p> <h2>If it's an investment, it's an expensive one</h2> <p>It's expensive to own a home. And that, too, makes housing a less attractive investment.</p> <p>Consider homeowners insurance. If you are using a mortgage loan to finance your house, you're required to invest in this insurance. Even if you're not financing your home, you should take out a policy to protect yourself. Realtor.com estimates that the average homeowners insurance premium across the country is $952.</p> <p>Then there are property taxes. The U.S. Census Bureau said that in 2017 the average household was spending $2,149 in property taxes.</p> <p>Finally, there is maintenance. This will vary, of course, but Realtor.com says that you can expect to pay from 1 percent to 4 percent of your home's value in maintenance each year. If your home is worth $200,000, that comes to between $2,000 and $8,000 a year.</p> <p>If you do sell your home for a profit, you need to factor in these costs of ownership when patting yourself on the back for making such a wise investment.</p> <h2>Housing's not bad, though</h2> <p>This doesn't mean that buying a house is a bad financial move. You do have to live somewhere, and depending on where you live, it might be less expensive to own a home than it is to rent an apartment.</p> <p>Owning a home also gives you some financial flexibility. You can rent out a portion of your home, for instance, to earn additional cash. You'll also be able to claim tax write-offs for the interest you pay on your mortgage loan each year and the property taxes you pay.</p> <p>Housing does provide this other benefits, too: shelter for your family, a gathering place for relatives and friends, and a respite at the end of a tough day.</p> <p>It's important to be realistic about housing's investment potential. If you want to invest, buying stocks or investing in mutual funds might be a better choice. Even low-interest, but safe investments such as bonds or CDs make more sense as an investment.</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%2Fheres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FStop%2520Thinking%2520of%2520Your%2520House%2520as%2520an%2520Investment.jpg&amp;description=Stop%20Thinking%20of%20Your%20House%20as%20an%20Investment"></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/Stop%20Thinking%20of%20Your%20House%20as%20an%20Investment.jpg" alt="Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment" 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/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment">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/7-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house">7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House</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/7-added-costs-that-come-with-a-bigger-house">7 Added Costs That Come With a Bigger House</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-questions-to-ask-before-selling-your-house">6 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your House</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why">Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance — Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Real Estate and Housing homeownership housing market maintenance mortgages property taxes renting return on investment selling a home Thu, 06 Jul 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Dan Rafter 1976048 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Home-Buying Habits We Can Learn From Millennials http://www.wisebread.com/4-home-buying-habits-we-can-learn-from-millennials <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-home-buying-habits-we-can-learn-from-millennials" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_home_owners_with_key.jpg" alt="New homeowners with key" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Millennials entered the housing market later than their baby boomer and Generation X predecessors. They chose to rent for longer, and are just now starting to flood the housing market.</p> <p>But just because millennials have been slow to embrace homeownership doesn't mean that they don't have anything to teach others about buying a home. In fact, despite their late jump into the housing market, millennials have demonstrated plenty of smart home-buying behaviors. Here are a few smart homeownership habits we can all learn from this younger generation.</p> <h2>Don't rush</h2> <p>Ellie Mae, a software company that works with mortgage data, says that millennials &mdash; young adults from the ages of 18 to 34 &mdash; are currently the largest group of homebuyers in the housing market. According to the company, in January of 2017, these young buyers took out about 45 percent of all the mortgage loans used to buy homes. But homebuying is a recent trend for this age group.</p> <p>Economists have long observed that millennials waited longer than older generations to jump into the housing market, just as they have also waited longer to get married and have families.</p> <p>This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Buying a home is expensive. You'll need money for a down payment and the closing costs on your mortgage loan. This will run you thousands of dollars.</p> <p>As millennials show, there's nothing wrong with waiting until you have a more established job and reliable income to buy a home. Having that economic stability will eliminate some of the stress of covering that mortgage payment each month.</p> <h2>Don't break your budget</h2> <p>You don't want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-ends-meet-when-youre-house-poor?ref=internal" target="_blank">overspend on a home</a>. And today, that's getting easier to do because housing prices continue to rise. The National Association of Realtors says that the median price for a home sold in March of 2017 hit $236,400. That's an increase of 6.8 percent from March of 2016, when the median price was $221,400. This March also marked the 61st consecutive month in which home prices rose on a year-over-year basis.</p> <p>One of the most often-cited reasons for millennials' slow entry into the housing market is the student loan debt they face. According to Student Loan Hero, the average college graduate of the class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt, up 6 percent from the previous year. Taking on the added debt burden of a mortgage can be intimidating when you already owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.</p> <p>Millennials know about debt. It's why so many of them are cautious about overspending. And this wariness is a good habit to acquire. Just because a mortgage lender approves you for a mortgage loan of $250,000, doesn't mean you must buy a home costing that much. It's OK &mdash; and is, in fact, fiscally smart &mdash; to buy a home that costs less. This will leave you with money leftover and an easier time making those housing payments each month.</p> <h2>Be realistic about the American dream</h2> <p>Buying a home has long been a part of the American dream. But millennials understand that this American dream can easily turn into a nightmare.</p> <p>Many millennials saw their parents lose their jobs and struggle to make their mortgage payments during the Great Recession. Some saw their parents lose their homes to foreclosure. Others watched as their parents' homes steadily lost value, leaving them underwater &mdash; owing more on their mortgage loans than what their homes were worth.</p> <p>Millennials learned that buying a home wasn't the only way to be happy in America. They learned that it could, in fact, be one way to be unhappy in America.</p> <p>The good habit here is that you should never jump into owning a home just because everyone else seems to be doing it. Owning a home isn't the right choice for everyone, which brings us to one last habit.</p> <h2>Don't think that renting comes with a stigma</h2> <p>Millennials are less averse to renting apartments later in life than both baby boomers and Gen Xers. In fact, the apartment market around the country is in the middle of a boom, with more people of all ages choosing to rent instead of owning a home.</p> <p>Renting has become a preferred way of living for a growing number of people. Need proof? Landlords keep increasing monthly rents to historic levels, something they'd struggle to do if the renters weren't coming. Apartment company Abodo said that in March of this year, the median monthly rent of a one-bedroom apartment across the United States stood at $1,005.</p> <p>In major cities, where many prefer to rent, monthly rents are especially high. Abodo reported that in San Francisco the median monthly rent stood at $3,415 in March 2017, while it hit $2,705 in New York City and $2,549 in San Jose, California. Other markets with high monthly rents include Boston ($2,398); Washington, D.C. ($2,097); Los Angeles ($2,030); and Oakland ($2,009).</p> <p>If you prefer to rent &mdash; and you aren't interested in the yard work and upkeep that come with owning a home &mdash; don't feel pressured to make the move to owning. You'll have plenty of company when it comes to renting an apartment.</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%2F4-home-buying-habits-we-can-learn-from-millennials&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Home-Buying%2520Habits%2520We%2520Can%2520Learn%2520From%2520Millennials.jpg&amp;description=4%20Home-Buying%20Habits%20We%20Can%20Learn%20From%20Millennials"></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/u5180/4%20Home-Buying%20Habits%20We%20Can%20Learn%20From%20Millennials.jpg" alt="4 Home-Buying Habits We Can Learn From Millennials" 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/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-home-buying-habits-we-can-learn-from-millennials">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/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/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</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-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in Your Home</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/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs">Here&#039;s What&#039;s Included in a Home&#039;s Closing Costs</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-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement">5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing American Dream apartments home buying homeownership lessons loans millennials mortgages renting Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:00:12 +0000 Dan Rafter 1970390 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Biggest Regrets of New Homeowners http://www.wisebread.com/8-biggest-regrets-of-new-homeowners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-biggest-regrets-of-new-homeowners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house_key_on_keychain.jpg" alt="House key on keychain" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying a home is a big decision. When you buy your first home, it can turn out to be one of the happiest moments of your life, and set you and your family up for years of comfort. But there are also countless decisions to make during the buying process, and it's easy to make one you'll regret later.</p> <p>It helps to know common traps others have learned from. Try to avoid these mistakes that many new homebuyers have made. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-your-first-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Home</a>)</p> <h2>1. You bought more house than you can afford</h2> <p>It's easy to purchase a home that may be out of your price range. Banks are known to approve homebuyers for loans that are way beyond what should be sensibly budgeted. It's also tempting to buy a more costly home than you need, based on the assumption that you will earn more in the future.</p> <p>A good rule of thumb is to avoid paying more than 30 percent of your gross income on housing. Anything more than that, and you may find yourself financially handcuffed. When searching for homes, be sure to have a budget in mind, and do your best to stick to that budget even if it means walking away from homes you like. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-ends-meet-when-youre-house-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Ends Meet When You're House Poor</a>)</p> <h2>2. You did not put enough money down</h2> <p>Making a big down payment can make things much easier for a homeowner in the long run. If you are able to save up enough to put down at least 20 percent, there's a good chance you'll avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can add thousands of dollars in overall costs. Plus, a bigger down payment will help you qualify for a more favorable loan, and will reduce the amount you need to borrow.</p> <p>Homeowners who can't make a sizable down payment often find themselves struggling financially because the mortgage costs are onerous. The more money you put down, the more money you'll save &mdash; and the better off you'll be.</p> <h2>3. You did not get the right kind of mortgage</h2> <p>There are many different mortgage products out there. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fixed-or-adjustable-choosing-the-right-mortgage-loan?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed:+wisebread+(Wise+Bread)" target="_blank">Loans with fixed interest rates or adjustable rates</a>, interest-only loans, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-the-right-mortgage-loan-15-or-30-years" target="_blank">30-year loans, and 15-year loans</a>. It can be bewildering and hard to find the right mortgage for you. The key is to understand what kind of homebuyer you are.</p> <p>Generally speaking, if you want to build equity in your home and plan to stay a while, you will want a fixed-rate mortgage. A 30-year term is most common and often allows for manageable monthly payments, but shorter terms can make sense if you want to pay off your loan sooner and you can afford to pay more each month.</p> <p>Adjustable rate mortgages, which often start with low interest rates that can change after a certain time period, make sense for those who think they may only stay in the home for a few years.</p> <p>Interest-only loans, in which you begin paying interest before any principal, tend to be riskier and don't help you build equity. But they might be right for people who want very low payments to start and think they can refinance or handle higher payments later.</p> <p>Do you plan to stay in the house a long time or move within a few years? What is your budget, both in terms of down payment and monthly payments? These are hard decisions, but it is important to research your mortgage loan options thoroughly before locking one in.</p> <h2>4. You didn't reduce debt and improve your credit before buying</h2> <p>The interest rate on your mortgage is based on a variety of factors, most importantly your current debt level and credit score. If you already have a high debt load and your credit score is mediocre or poor, you may end up with a higher interest rate. This could add thousands of dollars to the overall cost of your home.</p> <p>You may be eager to buy that first house, but you should first take time to pay off any current debts and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps" target="_blank">improve your overall credit picture</a>.</p> <h2>5. You should have continued renting</h2> <p>There is a lot of pressure on people to buy instead of rent, because it can be a path to long-term financial security. But there are many cases where it's perfectly fine &mdash; and perhaps wiser &mdash; to continue renting.</p> <p>If your income is inconsistent or your job security is in question, renting is a better option. If you expect you may need to move within a short period of time, renting makes sense. If you don't have enough money for a sizable down payment yet, continuing to rent is fine. Renting offers flexibility and is often cheaper, so there should be no rush to buy if you're not comfortable doing so. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here's How to Decide</a>)</p> <h2>6. You bought a home that needed work</h2> <p>A so-called &quot;fixer upper&quot; can be a great bargain for those willing to invest the time, sweat, and money on making necessary repairs. But this type of home isn't for everyone.</p> <p>Purchasing a home that requires heavy renovation can be a source of stress, and if you're not handy enough to fix things yourself, it may be more expensive for you in the long run.</p> <h2>7. You waived the inspection</h2> <p>During the housing boom a decade ago, competition for homes was so fierce that buyers were willing to forgo a routine inspection in order to close a deal. In fact, some sellers saw a demand for an inspection as a deal-breaker. Today, this is a recipe for potential disaster.</p> <p>An inspection should be an essential part of the homebuying process, allowing you to learn about any problems before you make a financial commitment. No homeowner should find themselves stuck with a house full of problems simply because they waived their right to inspect the property beforehand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-skipping-the-home-inspection-heres-what-it-will-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Here's What It Will Cost You</a>)</p> <h2>8. You researched the house, but not the area</h2> <p>It's a beautiful house and you got it for a great price. But after moving in, you realize that your commute to work just doubled. Or maybe you learned that the school system is not well-regarded. Or that the neighborhood has a high crime rate. Or the home backs up to the wastewater treatment plant.</p> <p>Remember that when you buy a home, you're not just buying a property. You're selecting a place to live and possibly raise your family. There's more to home than just the structure and the yard. If you don't do the research on your new neighborhood, you could end up sorely disappointed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Evaluate a Neighborhood Before You Buy</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-biggest-regrets-of-new-homeowners">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/how-to-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in Your Home</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/4-home-buying-habits-we-can-learn-from-millennials">4 Home-Buying Habits We Can Learn From Millennials</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-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house">How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House?</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/whats-faster-for-mortgage-payoff-100-month-extra-or-1-payment-year-extra">What&#039;s Faster for Mortgage Payoff: $100/Month Extra or 1 Payment/Year Extra?</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-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage">8 Signs You&#039;re Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing house house poor inspections interest loans mortgages new homeowner payments regrets renting Tue, 06 Jun 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1959133 at http://www.wisebread.com