Real Estate and Housing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4810/all en-US How to Sell Your Home in a Seller's Market http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-home-in-a-sellers-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-your-home-in-a-sellers-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/attractive_young_hispanic_realtor_with_sold_sign.jpg" alt="Attractive Young Hispanic Realtor with SOLD Sign" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to sell your home soon? That's good news, because the odds are good that you'll be trying to move your home in a seller's market &mdash; one in which demand for homes outpaces the supply.</p> <p>But just because demand might be higher this spring doesn't mean that there won't still be challenges to selling. The price you set remains critically important. So does staging your home so that it looks its best.</p> <p>Selling a home in a seller's market means that you might be fortunate enough to receive multiple offers. This also means that you'll have to decide which offer is best &mdash; not always an easy task &mdash; and that you might need to move quickly. You may even have to rent a space to live while you search for your next home.</p> <p>Yes, selling a home in a seller's market is preferable to doing so in a buyer's market. But you'll still need to take certain steps to succeed.</p> <h2>1. Set the right price</h2> <p>Listing your home at the right price is still key for selling quickly, even in a seller's market. Just because the market is hot doesn't mean that buyers will rush to pay more than fair value for your home. Setting a price that's too high could mean that your house will sit on the market for months, even as your neighbors' properties are snapped up.</p> <p>If you are working with a realtor, they will study what are known as comparables, or comps; these are the sales of similar homes in your neighborhood. Your agent will show these comparable sales to you, along with the range of prices that these homes sold for.</p> <p>Maybe five homes similar to yours sold in the last month. The lowest price fetched by these homes might have been $200,000, while the highest might have been $285,000. From this information, you can determine that your home's asking price should fall somewhere in that same range.</p> <p>Where exactly it falls depends on several factors: How old is your home? Has its kitchen or bathrooms been renovated? Does it have a larger yard? Does it sit on a busy street or a quiet side avenue? How well have you maintained it over the years?</p> <p>Pricing at the higher end of the scale can work in a seller's market, as buyers don't have quite as many options. You might be able to squeeze out a few extra dollars in profits.</p> <h2>2. Be willing to tinker with price</h2> <p>Maybe you priced your home at the top of its feasible range. But now you're not getting any offers. It might be time to drop your price.</p> <p>Lowering your price could bring a new flurry of activity to your home, and might be the key to finally getting an offer. This is especially true in a seller's market, where there are plenty of buyers touring a limited number of properties.</p> <p>You might lose some profit by selling at a lower price. But that lower price will attract more showings and more offers. You might even see a bidding war develop for your home, with more than one buyer attempting to snag it.</p> <h2>3. Stage it</h2> <p>Staging a home &mdash; removing excess clutter, rearranging furniture so that rooms look bright and spacious &mdash; will provide the best first impression for buyers. You might think that this isn't as important in a hot market, but bad first impressions hurt, even when sellers don't have as many options to choose from.</p> <p>You can stage your home on your own or you can work with a professional. Your real estate agent might even offer professional staging to you. Whatever you do, don't ignore this important step in selling a home. Don't let all those buyers out there lull you into thinking that you don't have to showcase your home at its absolute best. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a>)</p> <h2>4. Analyze your multiple offers</h2> <p>The absolute best result when selling a home is to receive more than one offer. If you're fortunate, you'll get into a bidding war in which multiple sellers try to outbid each other to win your home. But handling a bidding war and multiple offers does take some skill. You'll have to work with your real estate agent to make counteroffers and to determine which offer is the best.</p> <p>Say you receive three offers. You can counteroffer with all three potential buyers, hoping that your final sales price goes even higher. Of course, you run the risk of turning buyers away if you try to get that price too high.</p> <p>You'll eventually have to determine which offer to accept. You might think that the highest offer is automatically the best, but this isn't necessarily the case. Maybe the highest offer you receive comes from buyers who haven't even been approved for a mortgage yet. You might accept their offer only to see your sale scuttled when they don't qualify.</p> <p>Or maybe one set of buyers is offering more money, but also needs you to move quickly. The money you spend renting a place to live while you are closing on your new home might be higher than the extra money these buyers are offering.</p> <p>Consider all factors when juggling multiple offers: the price being offered, the strength of the borrowers, and any additional requests that potential buyers are making.</p> <h2>5. Be ready to move quickly</h2> <p>You might sell your home more quickly than you'd expect in a seller's market. This means that you might have to move more quickly than you had anticipated.</p> <p>You may be able to negotiate a later move-out date, but some buyers need to be in their new homes by a certain day. If you don't want to lose those buyers, be prepared to move earlier than expected. This means paying for a short-term rental while you look for your new home, or staying with friends or family. You'll have to decide whether the inconvenience of renting outweighs the possibility of losing out on a potential sale.</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/how-to-sell-your-home-in-a-sellers-market">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-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</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/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</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/4-questions-to-ask-before-leaving-your-house-to-your-kids">4 Questions to Ask Before Leaving Your House to Your Kids</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-tips-to-sell-your-condo-fast">6 Tips to Sell Your Condo Fast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing bidding wars fast sale high demand offers pricing seller's market selling a home staging Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2106585 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Can Negotiate When Buying a Home http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-negotiate-when-buying-a-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-can-negotiate-when-buying-a-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_with_keys_standing_outside_new_home.jpg" alt="Couple With Keys Standing Outside New Home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've found the home of your dreams. Now comes the hard part: You need to make an offer that the sellers will accept. Of course, making a full-price offer will help you land almost any home. But what if you want to negotiate? Will this turn off the homeowners and scuttle your chances?</p> <p>Not necessarily. Yes, many parts of the country are in the middle of a seller's market, giving homeowners an advantage in negotiations. But this doesn't mean that buyers can't negotiate on everything from move-in dates to selling price to repairs.</p> <p>Don't be afraid to ask for concessions from sellers. Sellers might make a counteroffer, but if you're making reasonable requests, the odds are that they won't suddenly break off negotiations.</p> <p>Here are the things you should feel comfortable about negotiating when buying a home.</p> <h2>1. Price</h2> <p>The first thing buyers think of when it's time to negotiate? The sales price.</p> <p>Maybe you love the home you've just toured, but you think it's priced a bit too high. When it's time to submit your offer, ask for a lower sales price. Sellers can reject your offer, accept it, or make a counteroffer.</p> <p>If you get a counteroffer, you now have a choice to make: Do you accept the new price offered by the seller, or do you try to shave a few more dollars off the price?</p> <p>Don't be shy about asking for a lower asking price. But do your research first. Work with your real estate agent to determine what similar homes in the neighborhood are selling for and make an offer that fits within these comparable listings. Don't lowball the sellers with an unreasonable offer; that will get negotiations off to a bad start. Some sellers might simply end negotiations with you immediately. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-yourself-these-5-questions-before-buying-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Ask Yourself These 5 Questions Before Buying a Home</a>)</p> <h2>2. Closing date</h2> <p>Maybe you need to move into your new home quickly because your apartment lease is expiring. Or maybe you'd like a later move-in date, after your children finish the school year. You can negotiate the closing date of your home sale.</p> <p>Closing day is when you, your real estate agent, and officials from your title insurance company, along with everyone representing the home's sellers, meet to sign the papers and present the certified checks that make your purchase of your new home official. When negotiating your home sale, you can request a quicker or a later closing date.</p> <p>Don't be surprised, though, if the home's sellers push back. They, too, have their own preferred date when they want to move. You might need to negotiate some back-and-forth before settling on a closing date that works for everyone.</p> <h2>3. Closing costs</h2> <p>Buying a home isn't cheap. You'll have to pay plenty in closing costs, the fees that your mortgage lender and other third-party providers &mdash; such as title insurers &mdash; charge you at the closing table. Closing costs can vary, but you can expect to pay from 2 to 5 percent of your home's purchase price.</p> <p>You can, though, request that the home's sellers pay for these closing costs. This has become a more common factor to negotiate as the price of homes has steadily risen.</p> <p>Sellers have no duty to pay your closing costs, of course. But many will agree to pay these costs out of the profits from their home sale as a way of keeping a real estate transaction alive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What's Included in a Home's Closing Costs</a>)</p> <h2>4. Major appliances</h2> <p>Some sellers plan to take their refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers with them when they sell their house. But maybe you'd like them to leave these major appliances behind. After all, you might be cash-strapped after buying a home. Having these pricey appliances in place when you move in could be a boon to your bottom line.</p> <p>Many sellers won't object to leaving appliances because they weren't planning on taking them anyway. It's important to get in writing what stays with the home after the sale and what goes.</p> <h2>5. Repairs</h2> <p>After your offer is accepted, it's time to schedule your home inspection. An inspector will tour the home you are buying and point out any potential problems. If the problems are too severe, you might be able to walk away from the sale without losing your earnest money deposit.</p> <p>But often, inspectors find smaller problems with a home. Maybe a furnace is nearing the end of its expected life, or maybe the kitchen sink's faucet drips. After viewing your inspection report, you can request that the sellers repair these more minor problems before you close on the home. You can also request that the sellers provide you a financial credit at closing so that you can hire a contractor to fix the problems on your own.</p> <p>To keep the home closing on schedule, many sellers will agree to these requests. (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>6. Furniture and other large fixtures</h2> <p>Love that swing set in the backyard? Or maybe you think the oversized couch in the living room is perfect for your new home. You can always request that the sellers leave specific items behind.</p> <p>Some sellers will be happy to leave behind, for example, a swing set that's pounded into the earth of their backyard. Others might plan to purchase brand-new furniture after they move, so won't mind leaving behind a couch or love seat.</p> <p>You never know unless you ask, so don't be shy about negotiating over these items.</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/6-things-you-can-negotiate-when-buying-a-home">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/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-consider-a-balloon-mortgage">Should You Ever Consider a Balloon Mortgage?</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/thinking-of-skipping-the-home-inspection-heres-what-it-will-cost-you">Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Here&#039;s What It Will Cost You</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-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-home-warranty">10 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Home Warranty</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/watch-out-for-these-5-last-minute-home-buying-costs">Watch Out for These 5 Last Minute Home Buying Costs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing appliances buying a home closing home inspections homeownership negotiating repairs selling price Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2097697 at http://www.wisebread.com You Got an Eviction Notice. Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/you-got-an-eviction-notice-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-got-an-eviction-notice-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sad_homeowner_moving_home_after_eviction.jpg" alt="Sad homeowner moving home after eviction" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a terrible feeling: You come home from a long day of work, wondering what to make for dinner, when you see a large piece of paper taped to your door. Your heart sinks as you read it, realizing it's an eviction notice telling you that you have to leave your home.</p> <p>If this has happened to you, you're certainly not alone. According to real estate site Redfin, over 2.7 million people faced eviction in 2015. High rents, low wages, and constantly changing market conditions make keeping up with rent payments difficult. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a>)</p> <p>If you've received an eviction notice, here's what you should do next.</p> <h2>The eviction process</h2> <p>If you fall behind on your rental payments, or pay only a portion of the amount due, your landlord can evict you. However, the process is more complicated than just telling you that you have to leave. Eviction laws vary by state, so it's a good idea to check out your state housing department's guidelines.</p> <p>Generally, to evict you legally, your landlord has to follow an eviction procedure.</p> <h3>1. You will receive notice</h3> <p>Your landlord must issue you notice before proceeding with the eviction. This could be a 30-day notice to either vacate or comply, a pay-by date you must meet, or a deadline to rectify whatever violations are grounds for the eviction. In some cases, you may have only a couple of days to come up with funds or fix the problem. If you can't come up with the money or address the issue, the landlord can proceed to the next step.</p> <h3>2. Your landlord will pursue a court order</h3> <p>If you do not pay the balance on your account, or comply with the terms of the eviction notice, your landlord can get a court order against you. Once you receive the order, you can choose to fight the eviction in court. If the court finds you were not complying due to legitimate problems with the apartment, such as a lack of heat or running water, it may sway the ruling in your favor. If the judge does not rule in your favor, the court may offer you an alternative payment plan to help keep you in your home.</p> <h3>3. Moving out</h3> <p>If you lose the fight in court, you could have just a few days to move out. In many cases, the local police will be there to escort you. If you stay in the unit beyond that date, the landlord can ask the police to have you forcefully removed.</p> <h2>Know your rights</h2> <p>If you're going through the eviction process, you still have rights. For example, a landlord cannot lock you out of a property, remove your belongings, or shut off your utility services until the court order is in place and your formal eviction date has passed.</p> <p>During the eviction proceedings, your landlord is still responsible for maintaining the property. For example, if your apartment heater is broken, your landlord must repair or replace it according to the terms of your lease.</p> <p>If you feel like your landlord has violated these guidelines, or otherwise is evicting you unfairly, you can find free legal advice and representation from <a href="https://www.lsc.gov/what-legal-aid/find-legal-aid" target="_blank">Legal Services Corporation</a>, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans.</p> <h2>How to fix an eviction</h2> <p>If you're facing an eviction, you may be able to avoid being forced out with the following options.</p> <h3>1. Work out a payment plan</h3> <p>In many cases, landlords would like to avoid eviction as much as possible. It can be a long and expensive process, and they have to find a replacement tenant afterward. It makes more financial sense for them to keep a current tenant in place if at all possible. If you're behind on your payments, talk to your landlord about a potential payment plan to get back on track. Making weekly payments can help you get back on your feet and stay in your home.</p> <h3>2. Come up with cash (fast)</h3> <p>Although it may sound impossible, you can often end an eviction by paying what you owe in full. Go through your belongings and sell anything you don't absolutely need, such as furniture, clothes, toys, electronics, or even extra kitchen supplies. You can also pick up a side hustle to earn extra money quickly to pay your outstanding bill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <h3>3. Seek charitable aid</h3> <p>There are some nonprofit organizations that offer financial assistance to low- and middle-income families facing a crisis. You may be able to receive a grant or low-interest loan to pay your rent so you can stay in your home. To find programs near you, check out <a href="https://www.rentassistance.us" target="_blank">Rent Assistance</a>.</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/you-got-an-eviction-notice-now-what">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/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <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-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 apartments court orders eviction landlords late payments lease agreements rent rentals rights violations Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 2096946 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> <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-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/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/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> <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/17-ways-your-house-can-earn-a-paycheck">17 Ways Your House Can Earn a Paycheck</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 9 Warning Signs You Can't Afford That New House http://www.wisebread.com/9-warning-signs-you-cant-afford-that-new-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-warning-signs-you-cant-afford-that-new-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/invest_in_real_estate.jpg" alt="Invest in real estate" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying a home is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. A new home can provide a solid foundation for yourself and your family, and it also plays a big role in your financial health.</p> <p>Ideally, a home will help you build net worth and achieve a level of financial freedom. But if you buy a larger home than you can afford, it can become a major burden and source of stress.</p> <p>How do you know if you can't afford a house? Here are some key signs:</p> <h2>1. It's outside your budget</h2> <p>This may seem obvious, but you'd be stunned at how often homebuyers set a budget and allow themselves to go beyond it. A budget exists for a reason! Going beyond the budget means you are stretching yourself past where you previously felt financially comfortable.</p> <p>To determine your budget, calculate your current income and expenses on a monthly basis. Add in some cushion in case your expenses rise, but don't assume your income will go up. Factor in how much you'd like to actually save and invest each month. When looking at mortgage payments, any figure higher than this will place a strain on your finances and put you at risk of not being able to make ends meet. (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're making assumptions about future income and expenses</h2> <p>I've heard people say, &quot;We're getting a larger and more expensive house because we'll probably make more money in the future.&quot; This thinking is foolish and possibly disastrous. You or your spouse may never get that raise you were counting on. You may lose your job entirely. And that baby on the way? Well, you just found out you are having twins.</p> <p>It's impossible to predict your future income and expenses with any real accuracy. So when budgeting for a home, take a conservative approach based on your current income, and assume that expenses will rise if you plan to start or expand your family. Taking a conservative approach will give you wiggle room to save money, invest, and eventually pay off that house completely.</p> <h2>3. You're unable to put 20 percent down</h2> <p>There are some key advantages to putting a sizable down payment on a home. For one thing, the more you put down, the less you'll have to borrow, so you'll start off with a larger piece of equity in the home. Putting more money down also likely means a lower interest rate, and less in interest payments overall. In addition, if you don't place 20 percent down, most lenders will require you to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI), thus adding to the cost of your loan.</p> <p>If you weren't able to save 20 percent for a down payment, ask yourself why you think you'd comfortably make the mortgage payments now. Rather than jump into buying, consider saving more for a larger down payment. Your future self will thank you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home</a>)</p> <h2>4. Your interest rate is high</h2> <p>Interest rates are still quite low by historical standards, but you can end up with higher rates if banks think you are a risky borrower. If you have high debt, a low credit score, or both, you may end up with a higher-than-average interest rate, and that likely means your monthly mortgage payment will be higher.</p> <p>If your interest rate seems high, it's time to take a step back and examine why. It could be that your finances aren't in good shape, or you could be trying to buy a house that's too costly.</p> <h2>5. Your decision is heavily guided by emotion</h2> <p>It has the perfect yard. It's on a perfect street at the end of a cul-de-sac, and the school district is great. It's even got a breakfast nook. It's expensive, but it's your dream home.</p> <p>Your dream home could become a nightmare if you allow your emotions to be your only guide. Buying a home is ultimately a financial decision, though we often turn it into an emotional one. The finished basement, the two-car garage, and the granite countertops aren't going to seem so special when you have trouble making the monthly payments.</p> <p>It's perfectly fine to have certain criteria in mind when searching for a home. But affordability should be a big part of that criteria.</p> <h2>6. You have unusual mortgage terms</h2> <p>There are many different mortgage products out there. The most common type of mortgage is one in which you place a certain amount of money down, and obtain a loan with a fixed interest rate, paying it back over an agreed upon term (usually 15 or 30 years).</p> <p>But sometimes, you may not qualify for a fixed-rate mortgage. When this happens, banks will often offer different kinds of loans. These can include adjustable rate mortgages, in which interest rates may start low but increase at a later date. Or they may be negative amortization loans, in which the amount owed actually grows larger over time instead of shrinking.</p> <p>These different kind of loan products were popular about 15 years ago, but were a large driver of the collapse of the housing bubble because they allowed people to purchase homes they ultimately could not afford.</p> <p>If you are buying a home with a nontraditional mortgage &mdash; or if you don't understand the mortgage terms to begin with &mdash; you may be taking on more house than you can handle.</p> <h2>7. You are nearing the maximum mortgage that you qualify for</h2> <p>When you are applying for a mortgage, banks will often tell you that you've been approved for a mortgage up to a certain amount. It's important to remember that this is the maximum amount that you can borrow, not a guideline of what you <em>should</em> spend. In fact, the actual amount you borrow should never be close to that maximum.</p> <p>Banks are more conservative now than in the past, but still are likely to approve you for a loan that is larger than what you can comfortably afford. Don't get too excited about what the bank says. Just set your own budget and stick to it.</p> <h2>8. Your payments exceed 30 percent of your monthly income</h2> <p>For nearly 50 years, the U.S. government has suggested that renters and homeowners pay no more than 30 percent of their income in housing costs. This is not a requirement or law, but it is a helpful guideline for determining if you may be overburdened by a mortgage or rent payment.</p> <p>For people with average incomes, 30 percent is a good target to stay under, because anything higher begins to strain your ability to meet other expenses and save for the future.</p> <p>If you have a high income, you may be able to afford to spend more than this. But for most of us, 30 percent is a good rule of thumb. If you find that buying a home would put you over this threshold, consider looking for a cheaper house.</p> <h2>9. Your debt-to-income ratio is approaching 43 percent</h2> <p>In addition to the 30 percent guideline, the federal government also looks at another figure to determine your worthiness for a loan. When banks examine whether to approve you for a loan, they will add up all of your debt (including credit cards, auto loans, etc.) and compare it to your income. If that ratio is more than 43 percent, you may not be approved for the loan. And if you are close to that threshold, you are truly living on the edge financially.</p> <p>If you find that your debt-to-income ratio is on the high side, consider backing away from buying a home immediately. Take time to pay off your other debts and boost your income, if you can. By entering the home buying process with a lower debt-to-income ratio, you'll be less likely to find yourself in a house you can't handle financially.</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/9-warning-signs-you-cant-afford-that-new-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/do-you-really-need-a-20-percent-down-payment-for-a-house">Do You Really Need a 20 Percent Down Payment for 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/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/5-times-buying-a-home-with-cash-is-bad-for-your-budget">5 Times Buying a Home With Cash Is Bad for Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-shouldnt-buy-a-house-yet">5 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Buy a House (Yet)</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/its-now-easier-to-get-a-home-loan-even-if-you-have-student-loan-debt-should-you">It&#039;s Now Easier to Get a Home Loan Even If You Have Student Loan Debt — Should You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing debt to income ratio down payments home buying house poor mortgages private mortgage insurance Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2085303 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/stop-believing-these-5-home-refinance-myths">Stop Believing These 5 Home Refinance 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/how-to-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in Your Home</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/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-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/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</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 6 Ways to Make Your Home Into an Investment http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-home-into-an-investment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-make-your-home-into-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/business_financial_planning_financial_analysis_for_corporate_growth.jpg" alt="Business Financial Planning Financial Analysis for Corporate Growth" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Owning a home can be a great investment &mdash; if you do it right. Yes, having a nice, safe place to live for 30 years has its benefits, but there are drawbacks, too. Depending on the price you pay for your home, the appreciation rate, and other factors, you could end up with a negative return on your investment.</p> <p>If you're smart, you can actually use your primary residence as an investment and bump up your potential returns. The even better news is that banks will finance a home purchase more favorably than any other business investment. Unlike a small business or purchasing securities, you can get a home loan with little to no money down.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;d like to use your home as a wise investment, there are a few moves you can make to help your returns go further.</p> <h2>1. House hacking</h2> <p>House hacking is a term that means getting tenants to pay for not only their own living space, but also yours. One form of house hacking involves living in a home and renting out rooms. With this method, you can choose how many rooms you rent out and how often. The idea is to cover more than the cost of the rooms you&rsquo;re renting out. In the best of all possible worlds, you&rsquo;ll bring in enough to pay the whole mortgage.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can purchase a multiunit property, live in one unit, and rent the other unit(s) out, again, at a rate that&rsquo;s ideally high enough to cover the whole mortgage. As long as you get a property that has no more than four units, you can get a residential loan with options for a lower down payment. Beyond four units, you&rsquo;d be subject to commercial financing, which requires much more money down.</p> <h2>2. Get a HELOC</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got equity in your home (the difference between your home&rsquo;s market value and the remaining loan balance), you might be eligible for a home equity line of credit, otherwise known as a HELOC. Banks will give you anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of your home&rsquo;s equity in the form of a line of credit.</p> <p>You can use this money for various purposes, but a common use of a HELOC is investing in more real estate. This additional money can be used to purchase and renovate additional properties that you can either sell for a profit or keep for rental purposes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-equity-loan-or-heloc-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Home Equity Loan or HELOC: Which Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Make a low down payment</h2> <p>Though this is not always a good strategy for the long term, you can use this method to capture a good return on capital in some cases. This works best in a scenario where you will be able to get revenue from your property rather quickly &mdash; say, profits from an immediate sale or by renting out the property.</p> <p>A simple example would be purchasing a home that requires $5,000 for the down payment and closing costs, but earns you $3,600 a year after you&rsquo;ve paid all expenses. By year two, you&rsquo;ll already have netted $7,200, which is a 144 percent return on your initial capital investment of $5,000.</p> <h2>4. Buy low, sell high</h2> <p>Looking for a deal in real estate requires patience, luck, and diligence. By the time properties are advertised, they may already be priced at or above market value. However, if you&rsquo;re lucky enough to find off-market deals that are priced well below market value through your network of friends and acquaintances, you may be able to actually walk into a deal with equity.</p> <p>A very simplified example would be purchasing a home worth $150,000 for $100,000. If you were to pay $10,000 to cover the down payment and closing costs, and sell the property right away for $150,000, you&rsquo;d quickly receive a 500 percent return on your $10,000 investment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>5. Improve your home</h2> <p>Although most home remodeling projects won&rsquo;t pay for themselves through a higher sales price for the house, <em>some</em> renovations in some markets will.</p> <p>To find out what renovations will offer the biggest bang for your buck in your real estate market, check out Remodeling Magazine's <a href="http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2017/" target="_blank">2017 Cost vs. Value Report</a>. Typically, bathroom, kitchen, and basement remodels are all things that can boost the value of your home. If you choose wisely, you may be able to increase your home&rsquo;s value at a faster rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-renovations-that-could-hurt-your-homes-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Home Renovations That Could Hurt Your Home's Value</a>)</p> <h2>6. Add solar panels</h2> <p>There are multiple ways you can come out ahead with the installation of a solar panel. Depending on whether you buy or lease your solar panel system, you can receive tax credits, save on utility bills, and capture potential appreciation on the resale of your home.</p> <p>The only caveat to adding solar energy is that the installation itself can be quite costly. Plus, the amount of energy your system produces will depend on many things &mdash; from geography (sun exposure), to the architecture of your roof, to even the state you live in.</p> <p>However, for many homeowners, it can be worth the investment, especially if you are planning to stay in your home for a number of years. Use a <a href="https://www.energysage.com/solar/calculator/" target="_blank">solar calculator</a> to find out if owning solar panels will earn your home a worthwhile return on investment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Long Does It Take to Break Even With Solar Panels?</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%2F6-ways-to-make-your-home-into-an-investment&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520Your%2520Home%2520Into%2520an%2520Investment.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Your%20Home%20Into%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/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Your%20Home%20Into%20an%20Investment.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Make Your Home Into 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/aja-mcclanahan">Aja McClanahan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-home-into-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-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/5-questions-to-ask-before-applying-for-a-heloc">5 Questions to Ask Before Applying for a HELOC</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-tapping-into-home-equity-is-like-pawning-a-gold-necklace">How Tapping Into Home Equity Is Like Pawning A Gold Necklace</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-can-a-paint-job-help-an-old-house-pass-a-re-fi-appraisal">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Can a Paint Job Help an Old House Pass a Re-Fi Appraisal?</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-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing HELOC home equity line of credit home ownership improvements investments remodeling return on investment solar panels value Mon, 29 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Aja McClanahan 2086604 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions to Ask Before Applying for a HELOC http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-applying-for-a-heloc <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-to-ask-before-applying-for-a-heloc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plastic_play_house_sitting_on_stacks_of_dollars.jpg" alt="Plastic play house sitting on stacks of dollars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've paid enough on your mortgage to build a solid amount of equity in your home. Now you want to tap into it; maybe you want to use the money to pay off high-interest credit card debt, help fund a child's college education, or take on a major kitchen remodel.</p> <p>You have two choices when it comes to using that equity: a home-equity loan or a home equity line of credit. These are two very different options, but many homeowners prefer the flexibility that comes with a home equity line of credit &mdash; better known as a HELOC &mdash; instead of the lump-sum payment they get with a home-equity loan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-equity-loan-or-heloc-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Home Equity Loan or HELOC: Which Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <p>But before you apply for a HELOC, make sure you answer a few key questions.</p> <h2>1. Do you know how a HELOC is different?</h2> <p>Equity is the key to both home-equity loans and HELOCs. Say your home is worth $250,000 and you owe $180,000 on your mortgage. You have $70,000 worth of equity.</p> <p>Your lender might approve you for a home-equity loan of $50,000. You'd receive that money in a lump sum. You'd pay it back each month, with interest, just like you do with your primary mortgage.</p> <p>A HELOC works differently. It acts more like a credit card, with your credit limit based on your home equity. If you have that same $70,000 of equity in your home, a lender might approve you for a HELOC of $60,000.</p> <p>Instead of getting a lump-sum payment, you'd get that $60,000 in the form of a line of credit, and only pay back what you borrow. If you used $30,000 to remodel a kitchen, you'd only pay back that $30,000, with interest. If you used the full $60,000, you'd have to pay that amount back.</p> <h2>2. Do you mind a bit of uncertainty?</h2> <p>Another difference between home-equity loans and HELOCs is that the former come with fixed interest rates, while lines of credit usually have variable interest rates. This means that your initial interest rate will usually be lower than what you'd get with a home-equity loan.</p> <p>But that initial rate will change over the life of your loan. It could &mdash; and usually will &mdash; climb depending on what economic indexes your rate is tied to. For instance, if your HELOC is tied to the Fed's prime rate, it will adjust every time the Federal Reserve adjusts this rate. Most HELOCs adjust either on a monthly basis or a quarterly one, rising or falling depending on the index to which it is tied.</p> <p>Home-equity loans come with initial higher rates, but these rates are fixed, meaning that they won't rise &mdash; or fall &mdash; over time.</p> <p>Are you OK with a bit of uncertainty when it comes to rates? If so, you could save significant money on interest with those low initial interest rates that come with a HELOC. You will have to take the risk that these low rates could one day rise higher than the fixed rate that you might pay on a home-equity loan.</p> <h2>3. How much flexibility do you need?</h2> <p>Home-equity loans are generally better for homeowners who need cash for a one-time event, such as paying for a child's college tuition. But HELOCs often work better when homeowners aren't quite sure how much money they'll need over time.</p> <p>Say you're remodeling your kitchen, but you're not sure exactly how much that project will cost. You take out a $40,000 HELOC. If your remodel only costs $25,000, all you withdraw on that line of credit is $25,000, and that's all you have to pay back.</p> <p>One of the main advantages of HELOCs is this flexibility: You only have to borrow what you need. And you don't have to know before applying for this line of credit exactly what that amount will be.</p> <h2>4. Can you pay it back?</h2> <p>Taking out a HELOC seems like an easy way to get quick access to a new line of credit. But before you take out a HELOC, make sure that you can pay back what you borrow.</p> <p>Unlike a credit card, a HELOC is secured debt, which means that your creditor can take something from you if you fail to pay back what you borrow. In the case of a HELOC, the money you borrow is secured by your home. If you fail to pay back the money you borrow, your lender could begin foreclosure proceedings against you.</p> <h2>5. Are you spending your money wisely?</h2> <p>There are good and bad reasons to take out a HELOC. Paying off high-interest credit card debt is usually a smart decision because the rates on a HELOC are much lower. But homeowners do need to be careful: Again, not paying back a HELOC could result in a lost home. Creditors can't take your home if you don't pay your credit card debt on time.</p> <p>Paying for major home improvements is also a good investment &hellip; usually. But tapping your equity might be a waste if you are making an improvement that won't add much value to your home. Generally, improvements such as updated kitchens and bathrooms, master-bedroom additions, and siding and roofing replacements will add value to your home. Adding a home office or in-ground swimming pool might not.</p> <p>But maybe you don't plan on selling your home, and you simply want to add something that will boost your enjoyment of it. In that case, using a HELOC for home improvements that won't necessarily result in a big payoff can make sense.</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-questions-to-ask-before-applying-for-a-heloc&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Questions%2520to%2520Ask%2520Before%2520Applying%2520for%2520a%2520HELOC.jpg&amp;description=5%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Before%20Applying%20for%20a%20HELOC"></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%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Before%20Applying%20for%20a%20HELOC.jpg" alt="5 Questions to Ask Before Applying for a HELOC" 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-questions-to-ask-before-applying-for-a-heloc">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-ways-to-make-your-home-into-an-investment">6 Ways to Make Your Home Into an Investment</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-smartest-ways-to-use-a-home-equity-loan">4 Smartest Ways to Use a Home-Equity Loan</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/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy 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/is-a-buying-a-foreclosed-home-ever-a-good-idea">Is Buying a Foreclosed Home Ever a Good Idea?</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-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing borrowing equity foreclosure helocs home equity line of credit lending remodeling secured debt Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2081070 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Easy Ways to Invest in Real Estate (Without Buying Real Estate) http://www.wisebread.com/3-easy-ways-to-invest-in-real-estate-without-buying-real-estate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-easy-ways-to-invest-in-real-estate-without-buying-real-estate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/residential_image.jpg" alt="Residential image" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When most people think about investing in real estate, they think of buying a home and renting it out. But, as I've found, being a landlord comes with plenty of less-than-desirable trade-offs. The good news is, you can invest in real estate without actually buying any property.</p> <h2>The downsides of being a landlord</h2> <p>Believe me, leasing out a house or apartment that you own is no picnic. Even when you purchase a perfect property in a pleasant place and screen for the right renters, you could be hit with surprises. I had to replace the ceiling in a home I own when an old radiator malfunctioned. Tenants have locked themselves out and needed my spare key. I've even had tenants just decide to stop paying the rent for a few months. Hiring a property manager could relieve the mental fatigue, but it also eats into your profits.</p> <p>Let's not forget, purchasing a prime piece of real estate presents an entirely different set of challenges. Getting a mortgage from a traditional bank requires a mountain of paperwork. Investment properties generally require a 20 percent down payment, and the process to locate and purchase the right property can be lengthy and time-consuming. While the financial benefits of leasing out your property are numerous and often attractive, the lifestyle component may stop some from taking the plunge.</p> <p>Want an alternative? Check out these three options.</p> <h2>Real estate investment trusts (REITs)</h2> <p>REITs are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate. Anyone can buy shares in publicly-traded REITs, just like you would any other stock. You can invest in REITs by buying shares in a particular REIT directly through an open stock exchange, or by investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds that specialize in real estate.</p> <p>When investing in REITs, you get all the benefits of capitalizing on real estate profits without the hassles of fixing leaking toilets, settling neighborly disputes, or chasing tenants for rent checks. The REITs do that for you and split the profits in exchange for your investment.</p> <p>Because REITs don't have to pay federal taxes as long as 90 percent of the profits are distributed to investors as income or dividends, REITs also tend to experience higher yields overall. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-protect-your-retirement-from-inflation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Protect Your Retirement from Inflation</a>)</p> <h2>Real estate partnerships</h2> <p>In this scenario, you could work with a group of investors and other real estate professionals to tackle projects under the banner of a partnership or limited liability corporation. The business entity would purchase real estate and employ a property manager to oversee daily operations.</p> <p>This type of structure can work well and allow would-be investors to avoid the less glamorous work common in landlord circles. However, the arrangement should be set up with qualified legal guidance. A partnership agreement or written operating procedures should clearly define everyone's roles and responsibilities from the beginning.</p> <h2>Peer-to-peer lending platforms</h2> <p>Peer-to-peer lending platforms allow investors to lend money without the use of traditional financial institutions. But, typical P2P loans are usually not tied to collateral, and that might make some investors anxious.</p> <p>Instead, if you want to invest in real estate, try <a href="https://www.groundfloor.us/" target="_blank">Ground floor</a>, a platform that caters specifically to real estate investment. It combines the higher-yield advantages of peer-to-peer lending with the security of a collateralized investment for non-accredited investors &mdash; people like you and me. According to their website, their averaged annual returns are 10 percent. Loans are typically short-term &mdash; between six and 12 months.</p> <p>The world of real estate-backed crowdsourcing is growing and changing rapidly. As this type of investment matures, more players will likely emerge. <a href="https://www.crowddd.com/" target="_blank">CrowdDD</a> is an independent community of investors that ranks and reviews real estate crowdfunding platforms based on personal investment experience. This can be a helpful tool to review before making any investment decisions.</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%2F3-easy-ways-to-invest-in-real-estate-without-buying-real-estate&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F3%2520Easy%2520Ways%2520to%2520Invest%2520in%2520Real%2520Estate%2520%2528Without%2520Buying%2520Real%2520Estate%2529%2520%25281%2529.jpg&amp;description=3%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Invest%20in%20Real%20Estate%20(Without%20Buying%20Real%20Estate)"></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/u5180/3%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Invest%20in%20Real%20Estate%20%28Without%20Buying%20Real%20Estate%29%20%281%29.jpg" alt="3 Easy Ways to Invest in Real Estate (Without Buying Real Estate)" 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/toni-husbands">Toni Husbands</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-easy-ways-to-invest-in-real-estate-without-buying-real-estate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-questions-to-ask-before-you-hire-a-property-manager">6 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Property Manager</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/is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-safe-investment">Is There Such a Thing as a &quot;Safe&quot; 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/how-an-exit-strategy-can-make-you-a-better-investor">How an Exit Strategy Can Make You a Better Investor</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-alternatives-to-a-401k-plan">5 Alternatives to a 401(k) Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate">The Only 5 Rules You Need to Know About Investing in Real Estate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Real Estate and Housing commercial properties partnerships peer to peer lending profits property managers real estate investment trusts REITs rental properties Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Toni Husbands 2084281 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Property Manager http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-hire-a-property-manager <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-hire-a-property-manager" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/real_estate_agent_giving_house_keys_to_a_customer.jpg" alt="Real estate agent giving house keys to a customer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your goal when buying rental property is to make money. Hiring a property manager to operate that property for you &mdash; find tenants, schedule repairs, or hire outside help like landscaping companies &mdash; costs money, and can quickly eat into your profits. Managing your rental properties on your own eliminates this extra expense.</p> <p>There are times when it does make sense to hire a property manager, however. In those times, that extra expense is well worth it. You just need to determine when this move is the right one.</p> <p>Here are a few questions you need to answer to determine whether hiring a property manager makes sense for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-location-isnt-king-how-to-choose-income-rental-property?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Choose Income Rental Property</a>)</p> <h2>1. Where is your rental property located?</h2> <p>Hiring a property manager makes the most sense when your rental buildings are located far from where you live. Maybe you live in New York, but your rental properties are in Florida. Managing those properties from more than 1,000 miles away is going to be a challenge.</p> <p>Say tenants complain that their heat isn't working. You can't just jet down to your property to eyeball what might be wrong before calling in a contractor. If you are working with an area property manager, though, they can quickly respond to your tenants' complaints and find a professional to fix the problem.</p> <p>Traveling to and from a property located hundreds or thousands of miles from your home can be expensive. Hiring a property manager might be the more cost-effective solution when your rental units are located too far away.</p> <h2>2. Do you own too many properties to manage on your own?</h2> <p>Even if your properties aren't located far away, you might need the help of a property manager if you own several rental properties. Yes, the more properties you own, the more income you might generate from them. But the more problems you'll have to deal with, too.</p> <p>If you own several properties, you'll receive more late-night phone calls from distressed tenants. You'll have to spend more time vetting potential renters. You'll have to build a deeper roster of qualified plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and landscapers.</p> <p>This all takes work. Hiring a property manager to oversee multiple buildings that you own can eliminate much of the stress that goes with this.</p> <h2>3. How much money do you have?</h2> <p>The cost of hiring a property manager varies. But it's not free. According to property management search website All Property Manager, you can expect to pay from 8 to 12 percent of the monthly rental value of a property.</p> <p>Say your rental property earns $10,000 a month in rental income. At 8 percent, you'd pay a property manager around $800 a month. You'll have to determine if you have room in your budget for this fee. If the property management fee will take away too much of your profits, you might be better off managing your rental properties on your own.</p> <h2>4. How much time do you have?</h2> <p>Fielding tenant phone calls, vetting new renters, hiring contractors, and collecting rent payments takes time. If you are also working a full-time job and raising a family, you might not have enough time to manage a property and your other responsibilities.</p> <p>If managing rental properties is your full-time job, your schedule might permit you to take on the duties of property management. The key is to be realistic about how much time you have. The more hectic your schedule, the more sense it makes to hire a property manager.</p> <h2>5. How much experience do you have?</h2> <p>Managing rental property comes with a steep learning curve. You might think you know what the job entails. But until you build experience in the field, you might be surprised at all that's involved in successfully managing a rental property.</p> <p>That's why hiring a property manager often makes sense for inexperienced real estate investors. When you hire a property manager, you can take the time to learn the rental business while an experienced professional handles the day-to-day operations. Yes, you'll pay a bit more for this professional. But a property manager can help you avoid the most common rookie mistakes involved in investing in and managing rental properties.</p> <h2>6. How much conflict can you handle?</h2> <p>Even if you take the time to screen tenants, you can still end up with renters who won't pay their rent or who will damage your properties. Are you willing to take on the stressful and complex job of having to evict someone? If not, hiring a property manager might be the best choice.</p> <p>A property manager can handle the often-lengthy process of evicting bad tenants. And by having a professional take on this task, you can avoid the emotional turmoil. It's not cheap but sometimes it's worth the fee so you can skip the headaches.</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%2F6-questions-to-ask-before-you-hire-a-property-manager&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Questions%2520to%2520Ask%2520Before%2520You%2520Hire%2520a%2520Property%2520Manager.jpg&amp;description=6%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Before%20You%20Hire%20a%20Property%20Manager"></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/u5180/6%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Before%20You%20Hire%20a%20Property%20Manager.jpg" alt="6 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Property Manager" 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/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-hire-a-property-manager">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/3-easy-ways-to-invest-in-real-estate-without-buying-real-estate">3 Easy Ways to Invest in Real Estate (Without Buying Real Estate)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-most-important-lessons-i-learned-about-money-when-i-became-a-landlord">The 9 Most Important Lessons I Learned About Money When I Became a Landlord</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-surprising-ways-real-estate-cuts-your-taxes">10 Surprising Ways Real Estate Cuts Your Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing landlords operations owning property property managers real estate investments rental properties renters tenants Mon, 08 Jan 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2083335 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Smartest Ways to Use a Home-Equity Loan http://www.wisebread.com/4-smartest-ways-to-use-a-home-equity-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-smartest-ways-to-use-a-home-equity-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/save_money_for_home_cost.jpg" alt="Save money for home cost" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Building equity that you can tap into for a loan is often touted as one of the main benefits of owning a home. This loan can be used to pay for everything from major home improvements to a child's college education.</p> <p>But the truth is that there are good ways and bad ways to use your home's equity. There's also a big risk in doing so: Home equity loans are secured by your home. If you default on your payments, your lender can, as a last resort, take your home. That can't happen with unsecured debt such as a personal loan or credit card debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-equity-loan-or-heloc-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Home Equity Loan or HELOC: Which Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <p>How should you use a home-equity loan? These are some of the best ways.</p> <h2>1. Fund a major home improvement</h2> <p>Homeowners have long used home equity loans to fund big home improvements such as kitchen remodels or master suite additions. And they can be a smart use of your home equity dollars. Just don't expect a complete return on your investment if you plan on using these improvements to help<em> sell</em> your home.</p> <p>While a newly renovated kitchen or updated master suite can make your home more attractive to potential buyers, and could help you sell your home faster, don't expect a dollar-for-dollar increase in your sales price. If you spent $15,000 on a new kitchen, that renovation likely won't boost your home's final sales price by $15,000. Buyers will still pay what your home is worth in today's market, no matter how much you improve it.</p> <p>But if you are using your renovations either for your own enjoyment or to increase the number of buyers who will be interested in your home, using a home-equity loan makes sense. Remember, though, if you plan to sell your home before you pay off your loan or line of credit, you'll have to use the profits from your home sale to not only pay off your primary mortgage, but also your loan. That will eat into the money you take away from your sale.</p> <h2>2. Pay off high-interest credit card debt</h2> <p>Borrowing from your home equity comes with far lower interest rates than credit card debt. While credit card interest rates can reach 20 percent or more, home equity loans have rates that typically fall somewhere between 4 and 5 percent, depending on the terms. It makes financial sense to take out one of the lower-rate loans and use the money to pay off credit cards.</p> <p>There are caveats, though. Credit card debt is unsecured debt. If you can't afford to make your monthly payments, you won't lose your home because of it. The same isn't true of home equity loans. If you can't afford your monthly payments with these loans, you could lose your home. So only take out a home-equity loan for credit card debt if you're absolutely sure you can afford the monthly payments.</p> <p>Taking out a home-equity loan doesn't make sense, either, if your credit card debt isn't that high. If your credit card debt is manageable, instead of taking out a loan, pay a bit extra each month to reduce that debt over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. A child's college education</h2> <p>A home-equity loan can help you pay for a child's college education. And it might be a more attractive option for parents than taking out a private loan or a federal PLUS student loan that could come with high interest rates.</p> <p>Be careful, though: You don't want to sacrifice your own retirement to fund your child's college education. If taking out a loan to help your children pay tuition will make it impossible for you to save enough for your own retirement, don't take out any loan, including a home-equity loan. Your children do have options for paying for college, from taking out their own student loans to attending more affordable universities.</p> <p>Your priority should be to save for your retirement. If you're on track for this and can afford to help, a home-equity loan can be a smart way to do that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Use it to invest</h2> <p>If you've always wanted to invest more in the stock market, a home-equity loan can help. Say you borrow money from your equity at an interest rate of 4.25 percent, and you use these dollars to invest. If your investment yields a conservative return of 8 percent, you'll have made a solid chunk of money.</p> <p>Of course, there are risks. There is never any guarantee that your investment will increase in value, and you could even realize a loss. But if you are willing to take on this risk, and you can afford a possible loss, then investing home equity dollars into the market could make you wealthier.</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-smartest-ways-to-use-a-home-equity-loan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Smartest%2520Ways%2520to%2520Use%2520a%2520Home-Equity%2520Loan.jpg&amp;description=4%20Smartest%20Ways%20to%20Use%20a%20Home-Equity%20Loan"></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%20Smartest%20Ways%20to%20Use%20a%20Home-Equity%20Loan.jpg" alt="4 Smartest Ways to Use a Home-Equity Loan" 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-smartest-ways-to-use-a-home-equity-loan">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/5-questions-to-ask-before-applying-for-a-heloc">5 Questions to Ask Before Applying for a HELOC</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-encouraging-truth-about-how-americans-are-covering-the-cost-of-college">The Encouraging Truth About How Americans Are Covering the Cost of College</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-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement">5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-sell-your-condo-fast">6 Tips to Sell Your Condo Fast</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-home-renovations-that-could-hurt-your-homes-value">5 Home Renovations That Could Hurt Your Home&#039;s Value</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing borrowing college costs high interest debt home equity loans investing lending renovations smart uses tuition Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2077707 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Sell Your House Despite Your Messy Kids http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/curly_little_boy_playing_with_toy_cars.jpg" alt="Curly little boy playing with toy cars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It takes a lot of moving parts to sell a home, and it can be frustrating when one or more of those moving parts just won&rsquo;t sit still. I&rsquo;m talking about kids. Kids who, despite your best efforts to present your home in its optimal condition, don&rsquo;t give a good gosh-darn that Mommy and Daddy are trying to make a sale.</p> <p>But there&rsquo;s still hope. As the old saying goes, if you can&rsquo;t beat &rsquo;em (and you definitely cannot), join &rsquo;em &mdash; with these helpful tips on how to sell your house despite your messy kids.</p> <h2>Conduct a purge before the house goes on the market</h2> <p>Your house is for sale, which means you&rsquo;re probably moving soon. Now is the best time to cut your clutter so you don&rsquo;t have to drag all that junk from one house to another. Set a week aside to organize your purge, then pack up and ship out whatever you don&rsquo;t want or need anymore.</p> <p>&ldquo;We end up with a lot of baggage over the course of our lives, and while a lot of these items have sentimental value, that's about the only thing they're worth,&rdquo; says Texas realtor Abigail Vytlacil. &ldquo;Donate what you can, toss what you can't. Then, pare your home's contents down even more by storing anything and everything that isn't being used. Surfboards, bikes, winter clothes, baseball uniforms and equipment, golf clubs &mdash; get as much as you can out of the way, out of the house, as possible.&rdquo; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a>)</p> <h2>Have the house professionally cleaned</h2> <p>Kids or not, a well lived in home has years of dust and dirt buildup in the corners and hard to reach places. A deep clean will give that extra sparkle to impress buyers. While it is more expensive to hire a professional cleaning service than doing it yourself, it&rsquo;s better. It&rsquo;s hassle-free for you, and you can take the little ones out for the day while the service works their magic. You'll get to spend quality time with your kids instead of screaming at the little buggers because they keep tracking mud across the floor you&rsquo;ve freshly mopped.</p> <p>At the same time, have the carpets cleaned. Removing stains and odors from the carpets is just as important as anything else you&rsquo;ll beautify in the house to make a good impression.</p> <h2>Touch up or repaint the walls and doors in high-traffic areas</h2> <p>A little paint goes a long way to freshen up walls, doors, and baseboards that have encountered your children and pets over the years. You may not even notice how grimy these areas have become, but get up close and you&rsquo;ll agree that they need tending to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-paint-colors-that-can-boost-your-homes-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Paint Colors That Can Boost Your Home's Value</a>)</p> <h2>Organize cabinets and closets</h2> <p>Buyers will absolutely want to look in your cabinets and closets to get a good idea of what kind of space they have to work with. So, take the time to tidy these areas up. Fold and organize the clothing in the closets (a good time to eliminate clutter here, too; donate whatever your kids haven&rsquo;t worn in awhile or items that no longer fit), and get rid of any expired foods and open bags/containers in the pantry. Streamline the contents of your kitchen cabinets &mdash; toss dishes you don&rsquo;t use or that your kids have outgrown &mdash; to make the shelves more aesthetically appealing at quick glance.</p> <h2>Concentrate on areas to clean based on the type of buyer</h2> <p>If the potential buyers stopping by for a showing are not parents, concentrate on cleaning up the areas that have your kids&rsquo; proverbial handiwork all over them. These buyers want to know what the house will look and feel like for them, not a family of four. Likewise, if you&rsquo;re showing to parents, focus more on the family gathering places that will be most important to them.</p> <p>&ldquo;If something is going to be messy, let it be the children's actual rooms that are messy,&rdquo; adds Michigan-based real estate broker Jon Boyd. &ldquo;I've never had buyers not buy a home because of the condition of the children's bedrooms. However, if there is junk or clutter in the kitchen, bathrooms, dining areas, and living areas, it is going to be a challenge.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Draw buyers&rsquo; attention away from problem areas</h2> <p>Open your blinds and curtains to let in the sunshine; many buyers are attracted to how well a home receives natural light, and that may distract them from your kids&rsquo; belongings lying around. Create focal points in the least attractive rooms using art, flowers, or mirrors, the latter of which can also help seemingly expand the space through optical illusion. Whatever works. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a>)</p> <h2>Offer incentives to your kids for keeping their rooms clean</h2> <p>Yes, I&rsquo;m telling you to bribe your children. Increase their allowance for helping you keep the house extra tidy. The end result will pay off much bigger than the extra few bucks you&rsquo;re shelling out per week to keep your kids in line.</p> <h2>Keep the kids&rsquo; rooms brightly lit</h2> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have a magic wand to send all your kids&rsquo; bedroom junk back under the bed, use a light bulb.</p> <p>&ldquo;Make sure the light switch near the door works in the kid's bedrooms, and make sure it is a reasonably bright bulb,&quot; Boyd suggests. &ldquo;A well lit but messy bedroom won't stop a motivated buyer, but a poorly lit messy bedroom might give them second thoughts.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Use totes to pick up and store clutter in a flash</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re short on time before a showing and everything your kids own is spread across your house, use totes to quickly gather up the mess and toss them in the garage, basement, or attic. This smarty-pants tip is courtesy of realtor Denise Supplee, co-founder and operations director of Spark Rental.</p> <p>&ldquo;I tell clients to purchase a bunch of non-see-through totes,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Keep them on hand. Have your agent provide you a heads-up of showings of an hour or so. Take everything that is on the floor, tables, beds, and throw it in the totes. Stack them neatly. People will expect to see them because you are moving.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Set specific times for showings so you can always prepare in advance</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll have a better chance of keeping the familial chaos under control if you discuss with your realtor a set schedule for showings, with available times on weekdays and weekends. If you know that there will be showings on Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m., for example, you can plan ahead and stay prepared.</p> <h2>Enlist help to get the kids out of the house</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s difficult to get the joint spick-and-span when your kids are coming right behind you to mess up what you&rsquo;ve done. Why not pawn them off on their grandparents or a favorite aunt or uncle for the afternoon? They&rsquo;ll get to spend time with someone they enjoy (and probably enjoy being a little spoiled), and you can focus on your long list of showing-prep to-dos.</p> <h2>Create a &quot;buyer&rsquo;s book&quot; to showcase what you love about your home</h2> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have time to douse the house in bleach or make it look like the maid just left, fortify your efforts with a book of photos of your home looking its best &mdash; including before and after pictures if you&rsquo;ve made any improvements &mdash; to help buyers see the home&rsquo;s full potential.</p> <p>&ldquo;Add a little extra to your showings by creating a listing binder or 'buyer's book' that showcases why you've loved the home, what it's like living in the area, things your family likes to do, and other pertinent information to a new homeowner like average utilities, association dues, and anything else that would help them make an informed decision faster,&rdquo; says Vytlacil. &ldquo;It may seem trivial, but you'd be surprised at how much these little touches affect a prospective buyer.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Let your family come and go using one door</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll reduce your cleaning workload substantially if you restrict your family&rsquo;s access to the home to one entrance while it&rsquo;s on the market. Fewer paths of entry equates to less dirt and outside gunk tracked into your home from multiple directions.</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-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Sell%2520Your%2520House%2520Despite%2520Your%2520Messy%2520Kids.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Sell%20Your%20House%20Despite%20Your%20Messy%20Kids"></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%20Sell%20Your%20House%20Despite%20Your%20Messy%20Kids.jpg" alt="How to Sell Your House Despite Your Messy Kids" 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/how-to-sell-your-house-despite-your-messy-kids">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-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-keep-your-family-organized">8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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-prepare-your-kids-to-live-on-their-own">How to Prepare Your Kids to Live On Their Own</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-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year">6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Real Estate and Housing children cleaning clutter homeowners kids messy organizing painting selling a home strategies Wed, 20 Dec 2017 09:30:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 2073560 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Neighborhood Features for New Families http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_teaching_children_to_ride_bikes.jpg" alt="Parents Teaching Children To Ride Bikes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What you look for in a neighborhood changes as your life changes. When you are first out on your own, having an apartment or house that is within walking distance of local night life is a big draw &mdash; but it becomes more of a big drag if noise from the local clubs and bars keep your baby from sleeping through the night a few years later.</p> <p>But just because you know that you want a more family-friendly neighborhood doesn't mean you know what to look for. Here are five features you'll want to keep an eye out for as you find the home your family will grow into:</p> <h2>1. Good schools</h2> <p>Your little peanut may only be a baby right now, but preschool and kindergarten are just around the corner. Choosing a neighborhood that has good schools is an important part of finding a home that will serve you well for years to come.</p> <p>Websites such as GreatSchools.net allow you to search schools by ZIP code, city, district, or school name. You'll learn information about test scores, student-to-teacher ratios, and student demographics, which can help you figure out if the local schools will be a good fit for your family.</p> <p>Don't get hung up on ratings and test scores, however, because there is more to a good school than that. For instance, though I love our current house and my son's elementary school, I wish I had thought about the fact that our school district has no bussing. That means I will be on the hook for school drop off all the way into high school.</p> <p>This is why it's a good idea to make sure you fully check out the schools and/or districts you're interested in to make sure you know what to expect from them. A good fit for your children and for your family's needs is a crucial part of a good education. (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> <h2>2. A community of other families</h2> <p>It may be cliché to say that it takes a village to raise a child, but it certainly does make parenthood easier if you have a local village handy when your kids are small.</p> <p>My current home is on a street that includes about a dozen other families with small children, which is not only great for my kids in terms of making friends, but it has also been a major boon to my husband and me. For example, last week I was running late to pick up my seven-year-old from school, and I was able to call my neighbor whose daughter goes to the same elementary school. She picked up both kids and I didn't feel stressed at the thought of my son waiting forlornly by the playground until I made it there.</p> <p>You can look for evidence of whether a neighborhood will welcome a family and small children. Are there bikes and toys in yards? Are there children outside playing? Do you see families going for walks? If you see a community of families enjoying their time outside, there's a good chance this will be a welcoming community for your own little family.</p> <h2>3. Low traffic</h2> <p>One of the first houses my husband and I looked at when we moved last year was on the corner of a busy street. Before we went to look at the house itself, we sat in our car and counted the number of vehicles that passed by over the course of five minutes. Dozens of cars drove past, going faster than I was comfortable with. We turned down the house, even though it was otherwise exactly what we were looking for.</p> <p>It's not enough to pass on homes that are near busy streets. You also need to make sure your sleepy neighborhood street isn't used as a shortcut during rush hour. Long neighborhood streets that offer a straight shot from one high-traffic area to another can be abused by rush hour commuters who just want shave a few minutes off their drive. You can avoid this problem by looking for a house on either a cul-de-sac or curving street, or just checking out the traffic on the street of a potential home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-youll-hate-about-your-next-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Things You'll Hate About Your Next House</a>)</p> <h2>4. Sidewalks</h2> <p>Though the absence of sidewalks may seem like a minor detail when you are looking at a new home, having them can go a long way to making a neighborhood more family friendly. Not only do sidewalks make it more possible for families to get out for walks in nice weather, but they encourage children's independence, since you know your kids can safely get to a friend's house several doors down without needing to hold your hand. Sidewalks also make an ideal spot to learn to ride a bike, work on sidewalk chalk art, and hold a lemonade stand &mdash; all staples of a happy childhood.</p> <h2>5. Nearby parks or playgrounds</h2> <p>Having a park or a playground within walking distance can ensure that you find a family-friendly neighborhood. Even if the street you end up on doesn't have a lot of families with similar-aged kids, making the nearby park one of your regular haunts will help you to meet other young families in the neighborhood and build the kind of caring community you're looking for. And that's not to mention the benefit of having a nearby destination where you can take the kids to get their wiggles out without having to get in the car.</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-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Best%2520Neighborhood%2520Features%2520for%2520New%2520Families.jpg&amp;description=5%20Best%20Neighborhood%20Features%20for%20New%20Families"></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%20Best%20Neighborhood%20Features%20for%20New%20Families.jpg" alt="5 Best Neighborhood Features for New Families" 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/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families">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-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house">6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First 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/14-things-youll-hate-about-your-next-house">14 Things You&#039;ll Hate About Your Next 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/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul">House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul</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-you-need-to-know-about-homeowners-associations">What You Need to Know About Homeowners&#039; Associations</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/dangerous-neighborhoods-are-safer-than-commuting">Dangerous neighborhoods are safer than commuting</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing children community evaluating families homebuying homeownership neighborhoods new house safety school districts Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2068619 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-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-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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb">5 Costly Pitfalls of Hosting on Airbnb</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-things-you-should-never-hide-from-your-landlord">8 Things You Should Never Hide From Your Landlord</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 5 Unexpected Costs of Living in a Tiny House http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-costs-of-living-in-a-tiny-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-unexpected-costs-of-living-in-a-tiny-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guest_house.jpg" alt="Guesthouse" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not having a mortgage can certainly make life a lot cheaper. With the average price of a traditional home coming in around $273,000, according to Redfin, it's no wonder some people are turning to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford?ref=internal" target="_blank">alternative housing</a> in efforts to save more money.</p> <p>The tiny house movement has gained a lot of traction in recent years, made all the more attractive by tiny home prices as low as $20,000. But there are some expenses that tiny homebuyers may not consider before building or buying a small home. Here are five of the most unexpected. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-tiny-house-living-actually-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Can Tiny House Living Actually Save You Money?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Land</h2> <p>Adding the price of land to a tiny home's cost shouldn't be unexpected, but it can be forgotten about if the house is on wheels and you plan to move it. Even if you get a free deal to place your home on your parents' or friend's property, you should factor in the possibility that you may eventually want to move it. When you do, you may have to pay rent for a lot or space on the property of your choice.</p> <h2>2. Zoning laws</h2> <p>The jurisdiction in charge of the land you want to put your tiny house on will likely have laws on zoning, land use, building, and other red-tape headaches. None of these are cheap.</p> <p>Zoning laws and building codes are meant to make sure a home is safe and in an area where homes are allowed. If your tiny house isn't approved by your municipality, a code enforcement proceeding could be started against you and you could be forced to remove your tiny home and pay a fine.</p> <p>And while a tiny house built on a permanent foundation may have one set of zoning codes to follow, a tiny house on wheels that qualifies as a recreational vehicle will likely have others. An RV on wheels may only be allowed for temporary residential use, and it may be illegal to live in one unless it's parked at an RV or mobile home park. You'll need to check your local regulations so you understand the specific laws in your area.</p> <h2>3. Cost of being mobile</h2> <p>One appeal of a tiny home is that they're mobile, and can either be towed or put on a flatbed truck. If you're spending money to meet zoning laws and buy land, then being mobile may not be so cost-efficient. And unless you can safely tow your tiny house yourself with a truck big enough to haul it, you'll have to pay someone else to move it.</p> <p>To be legal to tow, a tiny home must meet certain road requirements; namely, it can't be bigger than 13 feet by 6 inches in height and 8 feet by 6 inches in width, according to regulations in the U.S. Even if you have a truck with a big enough engine to tow a tiny house of 15,000 pounds or more, you'll want to ensure you can hook up trailer brakes to the truck, that your truck has the proper transmission for towing, and that you have the skills required to tow it.</p> <p>These costs can vary, but <em>Tiny House Giant Journey</em> estimates the annual cost of towing their tiny house at $1,520. That includes gas, truck and trailer maintenance, truck insurance, campground fees, and propane.</p> <h2>4. Utilities</h2> <p>No matter how big or small your house is, utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and garbage are part of your living expenses. How do these utilities factor into the costs of living in a tiny home?</p> <p>Probably not by much if the area you're living in has such services normally available. But if you're moving around often, you may have to pay hookup fees each time. You may also face other unique obstacles such as not being able to find drinking water that can easily be hooked up to your tiny home. You might also need to pay extra for things like a mobile internet service, which can be more expensive than service in a fixed location, and regular visits to the laundromat if you don't have room for a washer or dryer.</p> <h2>5. Resale value</h2> <p>Selling your tiny home sometime down the road may be the last thing on your mind when you first move in, but resale value could be a potential problem later on.</p> <p>The tiny house market is too new to know yet if the resale value of these homes will go up. Location will likely play a big part, as it does for permanent homes. A home on wheels may be thought of more as an RV, which can depreciate quickly in value like a car.</p> <p>And since a tiny home is so small, the new owner will have to be happy with the same customizations you chose if they don't want to spend a lot of money changing things. You may be OK having a small kitchen and a bigger living room, but another buyer may want it the other way around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-finance-a-tiny-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Ways to Finance a Tiny House</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%2F5-unexpected-costs-of-living-in-a-tiny-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Unexpected%2520Costs%2520of%2520Living%2520in%2520a%2520Tiny%2520House.jpg&amp;description=5%20Unexpected%20Costs%20of%20Living%20in%20a%20Tiny%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/u5180/5%20Unexpected%20Costs%20of%20Living%20in%20a%20Tiny%20House.jpg" alt="5 Unexpected Costs of Living in a Tiny 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/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-costs-of-living-in-a-tiny-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/10-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect">10 Hidden Housing Costs New Homeowners Don&#039;t Expect</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/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old 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/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/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing expenses hidden costs lifestyle mobile homes resale value tiny homes tiny houses utilities zoning laws Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Aaron Crowe 2058940 at http://www.wisebread.com