Real Estate and Housing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4810/all en-US Buying a House? Here's Where to Keep Your Down Payment http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-house-heres-where-to-keep-your-down-payment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/buying-a-house-heres-where-to-keep-your-down-payment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_to_buy_a_house_or_home_savings_concept_0.jpg" alt="Saving to buy a house or home savings concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I am in the market to buy my first home in the next few years. I have been saving and researching for a long time, and have learned many of the ins and outs of home buying, thanks to real estate agents, financial advisers, and friends who have generously shared their expertise with me.</p> <p>Living in New York City, the trickiest part of the process is saving up for a down payment. I have been diligently stashing money away for the past two years, and have become curious about whether or not I am parking my funds in the best place. Here is what I discovered. (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>The definition of a near-term purchase</h2> <p>The time horizon of your home purchase can dictate where to place your down payment savings. A near-term purchase is one that will occur in three years or less. If that fits your time horizon for buying a house, the best thing to do is to save your money in high-yield savings, money market, and CD (certificates of deposit) accounts. For near-term purchasers, the critical point of consideration is keeping your money liquid. Of course, you'll still want to compare interest rates from different banks, but keep in mind that you won't be earning a whole lot from these types of accounts.</p> <h2>There is a strategy to using CD accounts</h2> <p>If you decide to use CD accounts for your down payment savings, you will want to use what is known as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-cd-laddering" target="_blank">the ladder method</a>. Let's say you have $10,000. The ladder method instructs you to place $2,500 in a three-month CD, $2,500 in a six-month CD, $2,500 in a nine-month CD, and the final $2,500 in a one-year CD. Here's why: If rates go up, you can quickly take the money returned to you each quarter and place it into the higher-yield account.</p> <p>Unlike savings and money market accounts, there are penalties for early withdrawals from CDs. If you think there is a chance that you may need your funds for emergency purposes of any kind, it is best to skip CDs and just place the money into a savings or money market account that you can withdraw from at any time without penalty.</p> <h2>There are additional options for longer-term home purchase plans</h2> <p>If you have a longer-term plan for your new home purchase, there are some additional vehicles that may be worth your consideration. Bond funds can sometimes provide a return of 2 to 4 percent, which is significantly higher than savings, money market, or CD accounts. If this option interests you, there are a few points to keep in mind.</p> <p>Bond funds lose value if interest rates rise, so it is best to consult an experienced financial adviser to get a sense of what is likely to happen to interest rates in the next few years. That said, no one has a crystal ball &mdash; so while a financial adviser can make a very educated guess, they cannot guarantee what will happen with interest rates. Risk is a part of investing. Also, unlike savings, money market, and CD accounts, bonds are not insured by the FDIC and you could lose money by investing in them.</p> <h2>The bottom line on down payment savings</h2> <p>Retirement savings can afford to be invested in vehicles like stocks and bonds because we often have decades before we will use the funds. That long time horizon means retirement accounts can weather the risks of a fluctuating market. Down payment funds usually do not have the luxury of time, so investing them in stocks or bonds carries a higher risk.</p> <p>If you are considering uninsured tools such as bond funds for your down payment savings, know and understand your time horizon, risk profile, and the likely trend of the market rates. That combination of factors will determine the best place to save your down payment funds, and eventually, buy the place you will call home.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-house-heres-where-to-keep-your-down-payment">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/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-private-mortgage-insurance-anyway">What Is Private Mortgage Insurance, Anyway?</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home">4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home</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/how-to-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing bond funds CDs certificate of deposits down payments ladder method liquid money market accounts saving Mon, 25 Sep 2017 09:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 2023544 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Need to Know About Filing an Insurance Claim After a Natural Disaster http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flooded_street.jpg" alt="Flooded street" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The worst has happened to your home: a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster has damaged or destroyed it. Now it's time to rebuild. But what steps do you need to take when filing an insurance claim after a natural disaster? How can you increase the odds that your insurer will pay out as much as possible to help you rebuild not only your home, but your life? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Aren't Prepared for an Emergency</a>)</p> <h2>Call right away</h2> <p>The Insurance Information Institute recommends that you call your agent or insurance company immediately after a disaster. You need to determine whether the damage to your home is covered under your policy, how much time you have until you must file a claim, and how long it will take to process the claim.</p> <p>You might want to talk about your deductible, too. If your home is destroyed by a natural disaster, the costs of rebuilding will certainly exceed your deductible. But remember that you'll have to pay your deductible amount first. If you have a deductible of $1,000, you'll have to pay that amount before your insurer starts kicking in its payments to help you rebuild your home.</p> <h2>Re-educate yourself on what your policy covers</h2> <p>Hopefully you understood the amount of coverage your homeowners insurance policy provided when you signed it. But if you've since forgotten, make sure to ask your insurance agent how much coverage you can expect to rebuild.</p> <p>Some policies provide what is known as replacement-cost coverage. This means that your insurer will pay the current value of a damaged or destroyed item even if you've owned that item for several years. Say your home's furnace is destroyed, for example. A replacement-cost policy will cover the cost of that furnace today, even if you bought it 10 years ago.</p> <p>An actual-cost policy isn't quite as good. Under such a policy, your insurer will pay for only a portion of the replacement costs of a new furnace because your 10-year-old furnace isn't worth as much as a new one.</p> <h2>Prevent more damage, within reason</h2> <p>The Insurance Information Institute also recommends that homeowners, once they set the claims process in motion, take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to their property. You might, for instance, pump water out of your home's basement. Or maybe you can cover or board up broken windows.</p> <p>Just be careful not to make more extensive permanent repairs. The temporary work you do &mdash; such as boarding up windows or doors &mdash; will be covered by your insurance company, if you provide receipts of this work. But hiring a contractor to make more extensive repairs before getting the OK from your insurer is a mistake; the odds are this work won't be covered.</p> <h2>Always keep receipts</h2> <p>If you have to move your family into temporary shelter such as a hotel, be sure to keep receipts. Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the costs of these additional living expenses if your home is destroyed. But you need to keep a record of what you're spending if you want to receive full coverage.</p> <h2>Make an inventory of damaged or destroyed items</h2> <p>Your insurance company will send an adjuster to your home to determine the damage and the costs of rebuilding. Your insurer might also send you a proof-of-loss form to fill out, either before the adjuster shows up or after.</p> <p>You'll use this form to list all of the items that were damaged or destroyed by the natural disaster. You should also gather any receipts you have for the items that were destroyed. You'll give this sheet to your insurance company's adjuster.</p> <p>It's also smart to take photos of damaged or destroyed items. These images can provide more evidence to adjusters looking to determine how much money is needed to rebuild your life.</p> <p>Do not throw away damaged or destroyed items until after the adjuster's visit. It helps for them to see the damage in person.</p> <h2>Make a list of the damage to your home's physical structure</h2> <p>List individual damages such as cracked walls, lost roof tiles, damaged electrical systems, broken windows, and demolished chimneys. Again, the more information you can provide to an adjuster about the specific damage to your home, the more compensation you are likely to receive.</p> <h2>Answer questions promptly</h2> <p>If a natural disaster hits your area, be aware that it might take insurance companies longer to process claims and sign proof-of-loss statements with homeowners. To avoid further delays, make sure to answer any questions that your insurance company has as quickly as possible.</p> <p>If your insurance company needs a document, send it as quickly as possible. Any delay on your end will only lengthen your wait for payment.</p> <p>In these times, you might not feel up to dealing with insurance process, but the longer you delay, the longer it'll be before you can start rebuilding. It must be done, so try to find a way to get it done now.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520About%2520Filing%2520an%2520Insurance%2520Claim%2520After%2520a%2520Natural%2520Disaster.jpg&amp;description=What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Filing%20an%20Insurance%20Claim%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Filing%20an%20Insurance%20Claim%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster.jpg" alt="What You Need to Know About Filing an Insurance Claim After a Natural Disaster" 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/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster">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/6-reasons-you-should-buy-the-rental-car-insurance">6 Reasons You Should Buy the Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home">7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home</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/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing claims damage deductibles hurricanes natural disasters rebuilding receipts storms tornadoes Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2019384 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_couple_relaxing_at_home_and_loving_their_pet.jpg" alt="Beautiful couple relaxing at home and loving their pet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you took out your mortgage loan, your lender required you to sign up for a homeowners insurance policy. Chances are, you haven't thought much about this policy since.</p> <p>That might be a mistake. You should review your homeowners insurance policy whenever you make changes to both your home and your lifestyle. Doing so could save you money in the form of valuable discounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Things Covered by Homeowner's Insurance</a>)</p> <p>And not reviewing your insurance policy when you make these changes might leave you with inadequate financial protection should a fire or other disaster damage your home or a thief steal your valuables.</p> <p>Here are the times when it's wise to review your homeowners insurance policy.</p> <h2>1. You've remodeled your home</h2> <p>If you've updated your 1970s-era kitchen, added a master-bedroom suite, or completed another large remodeling job, it's smart to call your homeowners insurance agent. That's because a major remodeling job could increase the value of your home. And this could make it more expensive to rebuild your home should disaster strike.</p> <p>You might need additional coverage after a remodel to make sure that your policy will pay for the entire rebuild of your now more-valuable residence.</p> <h2>2. You've purchased big-ticket items</h2> <p>Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the loss of valuables inside your home if a thief steals them. But if you've recently purchased big-ticket items such as pricey artwork, jewelry, furs, or electronics, it's time, again, to call your insurance agent.</p> <p>You'll want to make sure that you have enough insurance to cover the replacement value of these expensive items. If you don't update your insurance policy, you risk coming up short.</p> <h2>3. You've stopped smoking</h2> <p>Kicking the smoking habit is a smart move for your health. But it can also save you money in the form of lower homeowners insurance payments.</p> <p>Most insurers will reduce the premiums of your policy &mdash; at least by a bit &mdash; if you don't smoke. Smokers are riskier to ensure. The chance of a fire damaging or destroying your home is higher if you smoke. If you've stopped, contact your insurer to see if you're eligible for a reduced premium.</p> <h2>4. You've retired</h2> <p>Retirement might come with an insurance discount, too. The Insurance Information Institute says that some companies offer discounts of as much as 10 percent to retirees who are at least 55 years old.</p> <p>Why? Retired people usually spend more time at home. They're more likely, then, to spot the signs of a fire before it gets out of control. They're also less likely to be burglarized and have more time to spend on maintaining their homes. If you've left the working world, it's time to call your insurance agent.</p> <h2>5. You've added an alarm system</h2> <p>Adding an alarm system makes it less likely that a thief will break into your home. It can also bring you a lower homeowners insurance premium. After installing your system, call your homeowners insurance company. The Insurance Information Institute says that a new alarm system can usually save you about 5 percent in premiums each year.</p> <h2>6. You've added a swimming pool</h2> <p>Some changes can actually increase the cost of your homeowners insurance policy. One of these is adding a swimming pool. You'll be liable if someone is injured or drowns while using your swimming pool. This holds true even if the person using your pool didn't get your permission first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover</a>)</p> <p>Insurance companies take on more risk when insuring homeowners with swimming pools, and will often increase their premiums.</p> <p>You might be tempted to keep your swimming pool a secret from your insurer. Don't. If someone is injured in your pool and sues you, your insurance company won't pay out if you added the pool without its knowledge.</p> <h2>7. You've bought a dog</h2> <p>Your homeowners insurance policy will most likely cover you if your dog bites someone on your property. But, again, you'll have to inform your insurer about your new pet to guarantee this protection. Again, your rates might rise, but keeping your new pooch a secret could cost you in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</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" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Times%2520to%2520Update%2520Your%2520Homeowners%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=7%20Times%20to%20Update%20Your%20Homeowners%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Times%20to%20Update%20Your%20Homeowners%20Insurance.jpg" alt="7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance" 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/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home">7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-your-bank-pick-your-homeowners-insurance">Don&#039;t Let Your Bank Pick Your Homeowner&#039;s Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">Don&#039;t Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions</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/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing big purchases big ticket items homeowners insurance new dogs pools premiums remodeling retired security alarm Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2019187 at http://www.wisebread.com Make These 5 Fixes After a Home Sale Falls Through http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/housing_market_risk_0.jpg" alt="Housing market risk" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The news is exciting for anyone selling a home: After months of staging and cleaning, after debating the perfect asking price and holding dozens of showings, you've finally received an offer. After you and the buyers negotiate on the final sale price and closing date, it's time to celebrate, right?</p> <p>Maybe not. The truth is, your home sale isn't safe until the moment you sign the papers closing the deal. A home sale can fall through for several reasons. And if it does, that's a tough blow for any seller to take.</p> <p>But a busted sale doesn't mean that you'll never sell your home. Instead, it's time to consider these key steps to landing another buyer.</p> <h2>1. Fix any problems</h2> <p>The home inspection is one of the most common causes of a broken real estate sale. The inspector hired by your buyers might have discovered a problem so serious that it caused them to walk away from the deal. It could be anything from foundation problems to a severely damaged roof.</p> <p>To prevent this from happening again, fix the problems found by the inspector. When you get your next offer, you won't have to worry that they'll scare off any new buyers, too.</p> <h2>2. Adjust the sales price</h2> <p>Another common reason for a home sale to fall through is a low appraisal. The lender working with your buyers will order an appraisal of your home to make sure that it is worth what the buyers have agreed to pay. If the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed-upon sales price, your housing sale can collapse.</p> <p>If this happens to you, it's time to discuss lowering your asking price. Yes, this is painful. Even more painful, though, would be having another buyer walk away because your home appraises too low for their lender.</p> <p>If you can't afford to lower the price, you might have to take your home off the market until its value rises again.</p> <h2>3. Take a break</h2> <p>There are two times when taking your home off the market for a brief period makes sense. First, if it's approaching winter, it might make sense to take your residence off the market and re-list it after the coldest months pass. It is possible to sell your home during the colder months, but there tend to be fewer buyers in winter.</p> <p>You might also want to take a break if your home has been for sale for several months. Buyers often look at homes that have been on the market for a long time as being stale. They immediately wonder why these properties haven't sold and what problems are keeping other buyers away. By taking a home off the market and then re-listing it a month or so later, you'll have a fresh listing. Potential buyers won't look at your house with as skeptical an eye.</p> <h2>4. Redecorate, repaint</h2> <p>If you've been offered any consistent feedback about the appearance of your home, take it into consideration. Maybe you've been told that the bright colors of your kitchen or bedrooms were a turnoff, and it might be time to repaint those walls a neutral gray or beige. If buyers consistently say that your home's hardwood floors look damaged and dull, refinishing them could spur greater interest from potential purchasers. Look at your failed home sale as a chance to refresh your home, making it even more attractive to potential buyers.</p> <h2>5. Hire a new agent</h2> <p>Your agent isn't usually at fault for a busted home sale. If your buyers didn't like what they heard during the inspection, for example, that's not something you can blame on your real estate agent.</p> <p>But what if your agent pushed you to accept an offer from buyers who weren't pre-approved for a mortgage loan? What if that deal fell through because those buyers weren't able to qualify for a mortgage at all? You might wonder how many potential offers you missed out on because buyers didn't want to bother with a home that already had an offer on it.</p> <p>If you think your agent pushed you into accepting a bad offer, you might consider making a break. You'll have to read the contract you signed with your agent. Usually, the contract will say how long you and the agent must work together before you can break off the relationship. But even if that time period hasn't passed, you can tell your agent you want out. Most will agree to break the contract rather than work with a buyer who isn't happy with them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fire-your-real-estate-agent?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Fire Your Real Estate Agent</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" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fmake-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMake%2520These%25205%2520Fixes%2520After%2520a%2520Home%2520Sale%2520Falls%2520Through.jpg&amp;description=Make%20These%205%20Fixes%20After%20a%20Home%20Sale%20Falls%20Through"></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/Make%20These%205%20Fixes%20After%20a%20Home%20Sale%20Falls%20Through.jpg" alt="Make These 5 Fixes After a Home Sale Falls Through" 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/make-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through">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/how-to-sell-a-home-without-a-traditional-agent">How to Sell a Home Without a Traditional Agent</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/does-your-house-suck-heres-how-to-sell-it-anyway">Does Your House Suck? Here&#039;s How to Sell It Anyway</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/these-are-the-7-features-home-buyers-want-most">These Are the 7 Features Home Buyers Want Most</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-things-your-real-estate-agent-wishes-you-knew">5 Things Your Real Estate Agent Wishes You Knew</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing closing failed sale home sale homebuyers listing real estate agent redecorating sale falling through selling a house Mon, 11 Sep 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 2016672 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/getting_sorted_the_new_apartment.jpg" alt="Getting sorted the new apartment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Breaking a lease is usually an expensive proposition, but it's a situation that may be necessary for a number of reasons. A new job, moving in with a partner or spouse, or the need for more space are all scenarios where you might need to break a lease. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a>)</p> <p>If you find yourself in any of these situations, the best option may be to sublet the apartment. Someone else gets a much-needed place to live without committing to a full-term lease, you don't waste money paying a penalty to your landlord, and your landlord doesn't have to scramble to get the apartment filled before the end of your lease. Everyone wins.</p> <h2>First things first</h2> <p>Check your lease. Is subletting specifically prohibited? If so, approach your landlord. How you approach your landlord will depend upon your existing relationship with him or her. If you can just be honest and explain what you want to do, great!</p> <p>Assuming that you decide to proceed with subletting, here are a few steps to make the process as smooth as possible.</p> <h2>1. Ask friends and family members first</h2> <p>Before putting the apartment on a listing site, check with your friends and family members. Would one of them be interested in subletting from you, or do they know someone who would? A personal connection and referral almost always beats a random subletter, provided your friends and family members are responsible and respectful of the space.</p> <h2>2. Set boundaries</h2> <p>Are there certain rules that someone who sublets your apartment needs to follow? These could include no smoking, sorting the trash, collecting your mail, pet policies, or taking care of your belongings for an extended period of time. Make sure you're clear and upfront about these types of expectations so there are no gray areas down the road.</p> <h2>3. Have a proper sublease in place</h2> <p>Subletting an apartment shouldn't be done on a handshake, even if it is between friends or family members. To protect both parties, draft up a simple lease. There are a number of free templates available online. <a href="https://www.rocketlawyer.com/form/sublease-agreement.rl#/" target="_blank">Rocketlawyer</a> is a popular option for this, as is <a href="https://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/sublet-agreement/?loc=US#.WXJY_9PysY0" target="_blank">LawDepot</a>. The lease should include the monthly (or weekly) rate for the sublease, the beginning and ending dates of the lease, the name of the person (or people) who are going to be living in your apartment, and any of those boundary specifics mentioned above.</p> <h2>4. Collect a security deposit</h2> <p>It's a smart idea to collect a security deposit from the person or people who sublet your place. This can be helpful if the renters need to break their sublease or if there is damage done to the apartment. Remember, even though you're subletting, you are still legally responsible for the condition of the apartment when the lease is up, and if there are damages, your landlord may charge you for the repairs.</p> <h2>5. If subletting isn't an option, consider a swap</h2> <p>A few years ago, I wanted to try living in California for the summer. Rather than sublet my place in New York and find a sublet in California, I arranged a swap. A mother and daughter stayed in my apartment while I lived in their condo in Santa Monica. We followed all of the same steps above that I outlined for a sublease and we both got a summer experience we would never forget.</p> <p>In my situation, I wrote a post on my blog and someone found the post. It all worked out in a pretty magical way. If I tried this again, I would work through my network first to see if I had any friends, family members, or friends of friends who would be interested. If that didn't work out, I would try one of the new housing swap services that have popped up since I did my home exchange.</p> <p><a href="https://www.homeexchange.com/en/" target="_blank">HomeExchange.com</a> has more than 65,000 homes in 150 countries. Members pay $9.95 per month to list their property with the service. They facilitate over 120,000 swaps per year.</p> <p><a href="https://www.lovehomeswap.com/how-it-works" target="_blank">Love Home Swap</a> is another site with a few different swap models. You can do what they call a &quot;Classic Swap&quot; in which you go to someone else's home and they go to yours for a specific amount of time. They also have a &quot;Points Swap.&quot; Rather than having to agree on dates and location, you rent out your place whenever it's available for points instead of money. Then you can use those points to make a reservation for an available property on the site when you want to travel.</p> <p>Before you use a service to facilitate a swap, make sure the site is secure, that it verifies each user's identification, and the service has legitimate reviews on sites like Yelp. With any swap, have a legal agreement in place between you and the other party to make sure there are no surprises and that all terms are clear.</p> <p>If life leads you in a direction away from your current lease, don't resist that call. There are numerous ways to manage a lease rather than have it manage you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing agreements apartments contracts house swap landlords renting sublease subletting Fri, 08 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 2016671 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Costly Pitfalls of Hosting on Airbnb http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/when_the_party_is_over.jpg" alt="When the party is over" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Renting out your spare room or property through Airbnb can be a great way to supplement your income. For example, New York City hosts earned a median income of $5,474 from the service from June 2015 to June 2016, according to Airbnb data. Other home-sharing services such as VRBO, HomeAway, and FlipKey all work in a similar way to connect property owners with renters through an online platform. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Websites for Renting Out Your Extra Space</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, hosting on Airbnb or one of its competitors isn't just puppies, rainbows, and profits. While there is money to be made, renting out a home, an apartment, or even a room requires a lot more skill &mdash; and patience &mdash; than many realize. There's a lot that can go wrong any time you're working with the public at large. (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>We reached out to several Airbnb hosts to find out the biggest hassles, the most annoying downsides, and the worst things that can go awry. Their insights provide some valuable lessons on what you should really expect if you get into this business.</p> <h2>1. Rude and unruly guests</h2> <p>Renting a home or room to an Airbnb guest is a lot like running a hotel. You'll get your share of polite and courteous renters who want to enjoy themselves without making their presence a hassle. But you'll also get people who will never be happy no matter what you do.</p> <p>Airbnb host Zeona McIntyre owns properties in Boulder, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri, and says she's experienced both the good and the bad. Some have even made her cry.</p> <p>&quot;Most guests are friendly, excited for their vacation, and really grateful that you are opening your home to them.&quot; says McIntyre. &quot;A very small group of them are entitled, rude in exchanges, and unrealistic.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I have had guests message me at all hours of the night, expecting an immediate response and I've had guests make me drive over in a snowstorm to change a light bulb.&quot;</p> <p>If you ask any Airbnb host, you'll find that none of this is rare. In fact, dealing with an occasional bad egg is really just par for the course for any Airbnb host or landlord. Before you decide to rent a room or your home, make sure you're prepared to deal with whatever &mdash; or whoever &mdash; comes your way.</p> <h2>2. Bad reviews</h2> <p>One of the major components of any Airbnb business is customer reviews. While good reviews can help attract new renters, bad reviews can cause the opposite reaction. Either way, the review system is an integral part of the equation since it's the only way for new renters to learn what your rental experience is actually like.</p> <p>As McIntyre notes, however, the review system can be a tough pill for a new owner to swallow &mdash; especially if you're transitioning a long-term rental into an Airbnb. With a long-term rental, your tenants tour the property ahead of time and know what they're getting into. With Airbnb, this is not the case.</p> <p>&quot;People all of a sudden feel empowered to critique your design sense, mattress choice, and even cleaning products,&quot; notes McIntyre. Occasionally, even simple choices like these cause renters to leave bad reviews when it's completely unwarranted.</p> <p>&quot;Constructive criticism makes us better, but it does not need to be hurtful or exaggerated,&quot; says McIntyre. But whether you like it or not, becoming an Airbnb host means learning to deal with negative feedback. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb &mdash; And Succeed</a>)</p> <h2>3. More work than people realize</h2> <p>Too many people jump into their new Airbnb business with the false idea they're going to have it easy. List your Airbnb property for a profit, hire staff to keep it clean in between renters, and you can sit back and collect the checks, right?</p> <p>Wrong. According to Airbnb host and real estate expert James Carlson, renting a home or even a room can be a lot more work than people realize. And, Carlson should know. Not only is he a realtor, but he runs several properties of his own and teaches classes on becoming a profitable Airbnb host.</p> <p>Unless you hire out all the grunt work, you'll be doing laundry, cleaning kitchens, and making beds every few days. Not to mention being responsive to future guests and to your current guests' needs. &quot;Remember, they don't have a concierge service,&quot; says Carlson. &quot;You're it, so you need to be available.&quot;</p> <p>Depending on the number of units you have, you end up putting fires out a lot, says McIntyre.</p> <p>&quot;If a unit is not as clean as it needs to be, you need to get another cleaner there right away. If a toilet plugs up and a guest is only in town for the weekend, they need it to be functioning,&quot; she says. &quot;The key is not to lose your head.&quot;</p> <p>Most of all, be prepared for an array of inconvenient situations. It's not a matter of &quot;if&quot; they'll happen, only &quot;when.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Basic logistics</h2> <p>While unruly tenants and late-night calls can put a damper on your experience, sometimes it's the normal everyday logistics of running an Airbnb that cause the most hassle and stress.</p> <p>Landlord and Airbnb host Elizabeth Colegrove, who owns multiple properties and blogs at TheReluctantLandlord.net, says some of the hardest problems to solve are the ones that should be simple but aren't.</p> <p>&quot;One of the biggest pains in the beginning was figuring out trash,&quot; notes Colegrove. &quot;Tenants don't take the trash out to the curb and get really upset when there is trash left over from other people.&quot;</p> <p>But, since her properties are mostly single family homes, there's no dumpster and turnovers aren't always around the time of trash day. To avoid miscommunication with tenants about the trash, Colegrove added a notice to her welcome packet so tenants knew they were required to take trash out to the outside bin. She also upped the fee she paid her cleaning company so they would take the trash to the curb on trash day.</p> <p>Then, there are logistics that have to do with tenants themselves &mdash; for example, some tenants want to stay a single night but need to check out at 6 p.m. &quot;Basically they want to pay for one night but get two days, which does not work for same-day turnovers with cleaning,&quot; says Colegrove. &quot;We have had to get very strict on turnover and are even thinking about imposing a fine if not out by turnover.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Tax consequences</h2> <p>Abby Eisenkraft of Real Life Tax Advice is a tax professional who helps new Airbnb hosts prepare their taxes every year. She says that, especially the first year, Airbnb hosts are rarely prepared for the tax implications of running their business.</p> <p>Eisenkraft says she's seen a few different scenarios play out over and over. First, many Airbnb hosts never set aside money to pay taxes on their Airbnb income. Unfortunately, this can mean owing more in taxes than they planned for. &quot;They are always surprised &mdash; and many are tearful &mdash; when they see their tax bill,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Second, new Airbnb hosts tend to be confused about what they can write off, so they try to write off personal expenses that have nothing to do with their Airbnb. Eisenkraft's job is explaining what they can and can't write off, and her answer doesn't always please her clients.</p> <p>Lastly, new Airbnb hosts are typically surprised when they receive a Form 1099K in the mail showing their Airbnb income. Many falsely assumed their Airbnb business was &quot;under the radar&quot; and thus, not subject to taxes.</p> <p>Obviously, assuming any of these things can be costly. Knowing about them in advance can help you decide whether you really want to have a short-term rental on your property, with your eyes wide open to both the costs and benefits.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb">13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb">5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-earn-more-money-without-working-more-hours">6 Ways to Earn More Money — Without Working More Hours</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing AirBnb customer service downsides guests pitfalls rentals reviews side gigs taxes Fri, 08 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Holly Johnson 2017191 at http://www.wisebread.com A Granny Pod May Be the Smartest Way to Care for an Elderly Parent http://www.wisebread.com/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-547129138.jpg" alt="the granny pod is an affordable solution to long-term care" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us are feeling the pinch of caring for elderly loved ones. Between the cost of long-term care, the longer lifespan we're experiencing thanks to modern medicine and healthier lifestyles, and the desire for intergenerational families to remain intact, entrepreneurs are trying to figure out ways for people to age in place and continue to be part of their families and communities long into their golden years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One's Long-Term Care</a>)</p> <p>One option on the table is affectionately known as a &quot;granny pod.&quot; While some have criticized it as putting Grandma into a shed in the backyard, granny pods are far from this characterization. As with most real estate, it's all about location, location, location. Think of granny pods as part of the tiny house movement, but outfitted specifically for a senior's needs. They let our elderly parents stay close to us while providing them with their own self-contained, private space. And let's be clear: I've spent the majority of my adult life living in a studio apartment in New York City that is the same size as a granny pod, so it's not an unlivable housing option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation</a>)</p> <p>Below are three manufacturers who are designing, building, and distributing granny pods around the globe. Given the growing senior demographic and the growth of the population, we should continue to keep our eyes open for new companies in this niche and in the sustainable housing industry as a whole. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In</a>)</p> <h2>MEDCottages</h2> <p>Based in Blacksburg, Virginia, <a href="http://www.medcottage.com/home.html" target="_blank">MEDCottages</a> prices their granny pods at $85,000 to $125,000. They have three different styles and some are available as kits that can be assembled as units that can be leased rather than purchased outright. It's also possible to just purchase the architectural plans from MEDCottage and hire your own contractor to build it for you. The MEDCottage products are equipped like hospital rooms with hand rails, lighted floorboards, hospital beds, large bathrooms, first aid kits, and defibrillators.</p> <h2>S-Pod</h2> <p>Manufactured by U.K. company Swift Group, the <a href="https://www.swiftmyspace.co.uk/s-pod" target="_blank">S-Pod</a> illustrates the possibilities that this kind of living structure offers. Though only available in the U.K. at the moment (keep an eye out for U.S. expansions!), it's easy to see how this option can be used for seniors who want to stay close to their families, but maintain their independence. These are currently priced at &pound;22,145, which is about $28,690.</p> <p>Unlike MEDCottages, these aren't specifically outfitted for seniors. However, just as we outfit our own homes to help aging family members, they could also be altered as needed.</p> <h2>Breezepod</h2> <p>Hopping over to New Zealand, we find <a href="http://www.breezepod.com/index.html" target="_blank">Breezepod</a>. Like the S-Pod, this product is marketed to a wide demographic, including seniors. What makes their marketing message unique is that they are designing these units from an environmental sustainability perspective. Energy efficient, easy-to-assemble with just two people, and having the ability to add features like solar panels, Breezepods don't require any timber, so they don't cause any deforestation. The polymer materials used to create them are recyclable, and their designs are both earthquake-proof and wind-resistant.</p> <p>Currently, the cost of a granny pod is the responsibility of the land owner. However, MEDCottage is laying the groundwork in the U.S. to push to have the construction of granny pods receive assistance from Medicare. Given that the cost of a granny pod is roughly the same as the cost of long-term care in a nursing facility for two years, and the need to reduce the strain on existing nursing facilities, granny pods make economical and societal sense for those seniors who can live independently with some assistance on an as-needed basis. Aging in place is coming of age thanks to this innovation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living</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" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fa-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FA%2520Granny%2520Pod%2520May%2520Be%2520the%2520Smartest%2520Way%2520to%2520Care%2520for%2520an%2520Elderly%2520Parent.jpg&amp;description=A%20Granny%20Pod%20May%20Be%20the%20Smartest%20Way%20to%20Care%20for%20an%20Elderly%20Parent"></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/A%20Granny%20Pod%20May%20Be%20the%20Smartest%20Way%20to%20Care%20for%20an%20Elderly%20Parent.jpg" alt="A Granny Pod May Be the Smartest Way to Care for an Elderly Parent" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent">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/re-nesting-tips-for-moving-back-in-with-your-parents">Re-Nesting: Tips for Moving Back in With Your Parents</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/these-are-the-7-features-home-buyers-want-most">These Are the 7 Features Home Buyers Want Most</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/turn-one-room-into-two-with-these-10-simple-tricks">Turn One Room Into Two With These 10 Simple 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/the-5-best-cities-for-starting-over">The 5 Best Cities for Starting Over</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-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave">5 Ways to Manage Costs While You&#039;re on Maternity Leave</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Home Real Estate and Housing elderly care grandfather grandmother granny pod guest house nursing home tiny home Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Christa Avampato 2016058 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Would You Rather Rent or Own Your Home? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-would-you-rather-rent-or-own-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-would-you-rather-rent-or-own-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_baby_new_house_640228626.jpg" alt="Family renting their home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to Dena, Lynda, and Wendy for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Buying a home is a common goal for many people, and it can make a lot of sense&nbsp; &mdash; you're not paying rent, the property will likely increase in value, and you can fix it up any way you want. However, homeownership isn't for everyone. The mortgage is a big commitment for most people, and it's harder to leave if you need to move for a job or it turns out you don't like the area. You're also solely responsible for maintenance and repairs.</p> <p><strong>Would you rather rent or own your home?</strong> Why? What do you think is the best part to renting or to homeownership?</p> <p>Tell us if you would rather rent or own your home and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win:</p> <ul> <li>Follow us on Twitter</li> <li>Follow our Executive Editor Janet Alvarez on Twitter</li> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa317/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa317" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_3docadqk">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 11th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 11th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if you would rather rent or own your home and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-would-you-rather-rent-or-own-your-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/ask-the-readers-save-money-on-rent-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Save Money on Rent? (Chance to win $20!)</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/ask-the-readers-hamburger-what-to-do-with-it-a-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Hamburger, What to Do With It? (A Chance to win $20!)</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/ask-the-readers-to-garage-sale-or-not-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: To Garage Sale or Not? (Chance to win $20)</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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-to-clip-or-not-to-clip-a-chance-to-win-10">Ask The Readers: To Clip or Not to Clip? (A Chance to Win $10!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Real Estate and Housing Ask the Readers homeowner rent Tue, 05 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 2013364 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's What's Included in a Home's Closing Costs http://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coins_spilling_out_of_a_glass_bottle.jpg" alt="Coins spilling out of a glass bottle" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taking out a mortgage isn't free. You can expect to pay 2 percent to 5 percent of your home's purchase price in closing costs, the fees that everyone from lenders to title insurers charge to originate your loan. If you're buying a home for $200,000, for example, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $10,000 in closing costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-reduce-mortgage-closing-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Reduce Mortgage Closing Costs</a>)</p> <p>At least three business days before you close on your mortgage loan, your lender will send you the closing disclosure. This form lists exactly how much you'll pay each month for your mortgage, when your payments begin, and what your interest rate is.</p> <p>The closing disclosure also lists your closing costs, giving you the chance to review them before you sign any documents at the closing table.</p> <p>Here are some of the costs you might find listed on your closing disclosure.</p> <h2>Appraisal</h2> <p>Before your lender will loan you mortgage dollars, it wants to make sure that the home you are buying is worth what you are paying for it. To determine this, it will send an appraiser to your property to determine its value. You'll have to pay for the appraiser's work. You can expect this to cost about $400.</p> <h2>Escrow</h2> <p>Most lenders will require you to open an escrow account when you take out a mortgage. Under such an arrangement, you will pay extra money with each mortgage payment, with some of that money funneled into your escrow account. Your lender will then use that money to pay your property taxes and your homeowners insurance bills on your behalf when they come due.</p> <p>Typically, your lender will require that you make two to three months of your homeowners insurance and property tax payments at closing to start off your escrow account. So, if you must pay $500 every month for taxes and insurance, you'd have to prepay $1,000 to $1,500 at closing.</p> <h2>Origination fee</h2> <p>The origination fee is one of the bigger closing costs you might pay. This fee covers the costs that your lender incurs when originating your loan. You can expect this fee to be about 1 percent of your home's purchase price. For a $200,000 home, that comes out to $2,000.</p> <h2>Lender's policy title insurance</h2> <p>This insurance policy protects your lender in case the title insurance company made a mistake in its title search and you later discover that there are liens against your home. This can happen if a past owner failed to make property tax payments. This title insurance is not optional. Costs vary depending on your state, but you can expect to pay about $1,000 for this insurance.</p> <h2>Owner's title insurance policy</h2> <p>This form of title insurance protects <em>you </em>if someone comes forward with a claim that they have an ownership stake in your home. This is usually an optional fee. You can expect to pay about $600 to $1,000 if you choose to purchase this insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance &mdash; Here's Why</a>)</p> <h2>Title search</h2> <p>Before you close your loan, the title insurance company handling your closing will search the records of your new home. The goal is to make sure that no other individual or government body has an ownership claim against the property. This search usually costs from $100 to $250.</p> <h2>Underwriting fee</h2> <p>Before it approves you for a mortgage, your lender pulls your credit, verifies your income, and verifies your employment to make sure that you can afford your monthly payment. This fee covers those costs. This fee can vary widely, but expect to pay about $150.</p> <h2>Title settlement fee</h2> <p>A title insurance company will run your loan closing. The title settlement fee is what they charge for doing this. This fee can vary greatly, which is why it pays to shop around for a title insurance company. Your real estate agent might recommend a title insurance company, but you can still shop around for one on your own.</p> <h2>Credit report</h2> <p>When you apply for a loan, your lender will run your credit. Your credit reports list such important numbers as what you owe on your credit cards, whether you've made any late auto loan payments, and whether you've lost a home to foreclosure. Your lender will charge about $50 to $80 to pull your credit.</p> <h2>Flood determination fee</h2> <p>A third-party provider will determine if your home is in a flood zone. You'll have to pay this fee even if your home is located nowhere near water. It's not a costly fee, though, usually running from $10 to $20.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs">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/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why">Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance — Here&#039;s Why</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-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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-mortgage-details-you-should-know-before-you-sign">5 Mortgage Details You Should Know Before You Sign</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-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in Your Home</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-of-home-buying-you-need-to-know">The Only 5 Rules of Home Buying You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing appraisal charges closing costs credit reports escrow fees homeownership insurance lenders loans mortgages title Fri, 01 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Dan Rafter 2012628 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 8 Ways You Can Live Rent Free http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-8-ways-you-can-live-rent-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-8-ways-you-can-live-rent-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_couch_532188193.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to live rent free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to live rent free, tricks to building business relationships that last, and small changes that will improve your travel photographs.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://wellkeptwallet.com/8-ways-to-live-rent-free/">8 Ways to Live Rent Free</a> &mdash; Property owners who run their business where they live &mdash; farmers, for example &mdash; often offer free rent in exchange for work. [Well Kept Wallet]</p> <p><a href="https://www.dumblittleman.com/building-business-relationships/">4 Tricks to Building Business Relationships That Last</a> &mdash; Build up your networking karma by being generous &mdash; if you can help someone out, do it! [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Travel-Photography-Tips-43907602">6 Small Changes That Will Improve Your Travel Photography</a> &mdash; Forget selfies. Get yourself in the shot by using a tripod and a remote clicker. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://wallethacks.com/cancel-service-5-minutes/">How to Cancel Any Service in 5 Minutes</a> &mdash; If you're on the phone to cancel a service and you don't want to spend 15 minutes declining their offers, give the rep a bulletproof reason &mdash; you're moving out of the country for a few years, for example. [Wallet Hacks]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugaltoad.com/personalfinance/frugal-tips-pet-owners">Frugal Tips for Pet Owners</a> &mdash; Look for free or low-cost activities that both you and your pet can enjoy together. [The Frugal Toad]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/family-meeting/">How To Rock A Family Meeting</a> &mdash; Having regular family meetings ensures that the whole household is on the same page. Set a regular day and time for the meeting so that everyone knows it's coming up. [A Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="https://www.mightybargainhunter.com/8-spending-habits-eclipse/">8 spending habits that eclipse your savings</a> &mdash; No matter how much you've saved, any one of these bad spending habits can wipe out your savings. [Mighty Bargain Hunter]</p> <p><a href="https://maplemoney.com/save-money-universal-orlando-resort/">20 Ways to Save Money on Your Universal Orlando Resort Vacation</a> &mdash; You never know how a vacation will go until you get there, so buy the cheapest tickets available. If everyone is feeling great and want spend more time at the park, you can always upgrade the tickets at a discount. [Maple Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2017/08/20/4-little-things-that-will-matter-a-lot-more-to-you-in-40-years/">4 Little Things that Will Matter a Lot More to You in 40 Years</a> &mdash; As we age, our time, genuine relationships, meaningful work, and peace of mind become more and more important to us. [Marc &amp; Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="https://lifedev.net/2017/08/23/unconventional-career-can-help-find-passion/">An Unconventional Career Can Help You Find Your Passion</a> &mdash; Exploring a career that's out of your wheelhouse gives you the opportunity to develop a passion you've never considered. [LifeDev]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-8-ways-you-can-live-rent-free">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-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</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-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</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-ways-to-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</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/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent">A Granny Pod May Be the Smartest Way to Care for an Elderly Parent</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing best money tips free rent Thu, 24 Aug 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Amy Lu 2008475 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hands_protecting_house.jpg" alt="Hands Protecting House" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Homeowners insurance provides plenty of protection for your residence. If a fire destroys your home, your insurance will help you rebuild. If a thief breaks in and steals your electronics, your policy will help you replace the stolen items.</p> <p>But a standard homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover everything that could go wrong with your home. That's why you should investigate supplemental insurance policies that cover everything from earthquake damage and flooding to sewer line failures.</p> <p>Here are some additional insurance coverages you should consider to provide the most financial protection for your home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sewer and water line protection</h2> <p>The water coming out of your kitchen faucet comes from somewhere &mdash; a water line traveling under the ground to your home, to be exact. And when you flush your toilet? That wastewater leaves your home through an underground sewer line.</p> <p>If these lines get clogged, damaged, or break, you're responsible for paying for the repairs. That can be expensive, as contractors will have to dig through the ground to get at the damaged or broken pipes. Not only will you have to pay for this work, you'll probably need to hire landscapers to fix the mess left behind in your front yard from all the digging.</p> <p>You can protect yourself by purchasing a water and sewer line protection plan from your utility company, or from a private insurer if your utility company outsources this job. These plans are usually affordable &mdash; about $5 or so a month added to your utility bill &mdash; and will often cover $5,000 for the repair work to sewer and water lines and $5,000 for the street repairs necessary to fix this problem.</p> <h2>2. Sewage backup</h2> <p>It's an unpleasant surprise: Sewage has risen through your basement's floor drains and is now covering its floors. It's not only a mess, it's unhealthy, too.</p> <p>And here's another surprise: Most homeowners insurance policies don't automatically cover sewage backups. If you want this covered, you'll have to pay for a rider &mdash; additional coverage &mdash; that specifically covers damage and cleanup costs relating to sewage backups. You can usually purchase this additional coverage for about $50 a year.</p> <h2>3. Flood insurance</h2> <p>You might think that your insurance policy will automatically cover the damages caused when heavy rains send water flooding into your basement. But this isn't the case. Standard policies don't provide coverage for flooding.</p> <p>If you want this coverage, you'll need to purchase flood insurance.</p> <p>The Insurance Information Institute says that homeowners can buy flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA. The Insurance Information Institute says that the average residential flood insurance policy starts at $112 a year. The maximum protection is $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for its contents. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-flood-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>4. Umbrella insurance</h2> <p>You were involved in a car accident and found at fault. The driver you struck was injured and now faces a $500,000 medical bill. You likely have a personal auto insurance policy with a bodily injury limit to help offset some of that cost &mdash; say $250,000. How will you come up with the other $250,000? And what if, three months down the line, the injured driver decides to sue?</p> <p>An umbrella insurance policy is designed to protect you from the financial dangers of liability beyond what is covered in your current policies, such as your homeowners, boaters, or car insurance. Homeowners with a pool are usually advised to purchase umbrella insurance in case somebody gets hurt there. In addition to coverage for bodily injury or property damage, umbrella insurance also provides protection from certain lawsuits against you, such as slander, libel, false arrest, malicious prosecution, or mental anguish. It's also a smart investment for landlords who own rental units.</p> <p>Umbrella coverage can be purchased in million dollar increments, typically between $1 million and $5 million. The Insurance Information Institute estimates the cost for a $1 million policy to be between $100 and $300 per year. Note that umbrella coverage does not protect against damage you caused to your own property, business losses, contract violations, or legal issues stemming from an intentional criminal act.</p> <h2>5. Earthquake coverage</h2> <p>Most homeowners insurance policies don't cover damage caused to your home by earthquakes. You might not think this is a risk worth insuring, especially if you don't live in California, but the Insurance Information Institute says that 42 states are at risk of suffering earthquakes.</p> <p>The cost of this insurance varies according to where you live, but earthquake insurance usually comes with a high deductible. The Insurance Information Institute says that the standard policy offered by the California Earthquake Authority comes with a deductible of 15 percent of a home's replacement costs. This means if it would cost a homeowner in California $300,000 to replace a destroyed home, that owner would have to pay $45,000 before the insurance policy would kick in to cover the additional costs.</p> <h2>6. Home business insurance</h2> <p>Do you run a business out of your home? You might need additional coverage to protect it.</p> <p>Insurers offer home-based business insurance that will help cover damages if someone visiting your home business is injured, your business inventory is damaged because of a fire or other disaster, or you have to shut down your business temporarily if your home is damaged. A policy can also provide liability insurance if you have employees working at your home.</p> <h2>7. Extra coverage for valuables</h2> <p>If you have a large amount of jewelry, collectibles, art, or furs in your home, you might consider buying additional coverage to protect yourself if these valuables are damaged or stolen.</p> <p>The standard coverage offered by basic homeowners insurance might not provide the full replacement value for these items. To protect yourself, you can purchase a rider that will provide a coverage boost for these more expensive items.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Other%2520Kinds%2520of%2520Insurance%2520You%2520May%2520Need%2520to%2520Buy%2520for%2520Your%2520Home.jpg&amp;description=7%20Other%20Kinds%20of%20Insurance%20You%20May%20Need%20to%20Buy%20for%20Your%20Home"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Other%20Kinds%20of%20Insurance%20You%20May%20Need%20to%20Buy%20for%20Your%20Home.jpg" alt="7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home" 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/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-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/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</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/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why">Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance — Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-your-bank-pick-your-homeowners-insurance">Don&#039;t Let Your Bank Pick Your Homeowner&#039;s 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/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster">What You Need to Know About Filing an Insurance Claim After a Natural Disaster</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing business earthquakes flood insurance homeowners insurance protection rider policies sewage sewer lines water lines Thu, 24 Aug 2017 08:30:04 +0000 Dan Rafter 2007683 at http://www.wisebread.com Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-177709534.jpg" alt="use pro flipper tips to sell a house fast" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're ready to sell your home, there's no reason you can't sell like a professional. People who flip homes for a living know what makes a difference for a quick sale at a great price. Take advantage of their insight and tips for a better home-selling experience.</p> <h2>1. Invest in your curb appeal</h2> <p>You might be super-proud of your hardwood flooring or custom cabinetry, but what's the first thing a potential buyer sees? Your lawn. Those scraggly trees. The flower beds, or lack thereof. The front door with its faded coat of paint. All these outdoor elements create a first impression, and a good first impression sets the selling stage.</p> <p>House-flipping pros know a fresh coat of paint on the doors, shutters, and exterior trim can have a much better impact on potential buyers. It's a good idea, too, to invest in a new, stylish mailbox that matches your home's exterior.</p> <p>Other curb appeal updates can be accomplished with a little spare time and hard work. Clear out any outdoor clutter; ensure that the roof, entry, and sidewalks are clean. Clean outdoor lighting and replace any burned-out bulbs or broken fixtures. Update the landscaping by trimming trees, adding in some annuals for a punch of color, and putting down fresh mulch over all beds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a>)</p> <h2>2. Know your neighborhood</h2> <p>Pro flippers know how important it is to make sure a home for sale fits well into its surroundings. If your home is noticeably shabbier than its neighbors, it will stand out, and not in a good way. You run the risk of people seeing it as rundown or neglected.</p> <p>Conversely, if your home has too many luxury upgrades to fit into the price point of the surrounding area, you might price yourself right out of a sale. Potential buyers want to know they'll be able to resell the house in the future; if it stands out as too costly in an area that doesn't match, you're likely to scare them away.</p> <h2>3. Do renovations right &mdash; and highlight them</h2> <p>The 2016 <a href="https://www.zillow.com/research/zillow-group-report-2016-13279/#execsum" target="_blank">Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends</a> found that homeowners who tackled a major renovation before selling their home tended to sell for up to 2 percent above the asking price. So if there's a big, obvious project you need to take care of, whether it's a dated bathroom or a sagging roof, it's worth the time and cash to do it.</p> <p>Just make sure you do the renovations right! Skimping on materials or trying to DIY a project that's beyond your capability can reduce your home's value, not increase it. Hire the professionals you need and pay for good materials. Then highlight the work you've had done, so potential buyers see the care, thought, and cost that's gone into it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves</a>)</p> <h2>4. Make minor upgrades for a major difference</h2> <p>Experienced house flippers know that minor upgrades can make a huge difference in how a home's value is perceived. For example, replacing contractor-standard light fixtures, cabinet hardware, and faucets with premium and custom fixtures can make your home stand out. The custom upgrades are noticeable and differentiate your home from comparable ones on the market.</p> <p>Consider replacing kitchen appliances with used, high-end models, as well. You can score great deals on a used stove or refrigerator. Homebuyers don't know or care that it's been used by someone other than you; they just notice and appreciate the quality.</p> <h2>5. Stage for a quicker sale</h2> <p>You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro?ref=internal" target="_blank">stage a house yourself</a>, or you can hire a professional stager. Since staging is somewhat of an art form, it can be worth the price to hire an experienced pro. It's hard for some potential buyers to picture themselves in a home that's already lived in. The magic of staging is that the home looks just lived in enough; it's appealing, stylish, and comfortable, but not too personal.</p> <p>Professional staging is a relatively small investment, typically costing around 1 percent of the home's listing price. You might be able to pay a little less for a one-time consultation with a professional stager who will give you ideas you can implement yourself.</p> <p>You might think that staging isn't really necessary, but you'd be surprised by the difference it can make in your home sale. According to a 2015 profile by the National Association of Realtors, many realtors have found that staging can raise a home's value by up to 10 percent. And according to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged houses sell 73 percent faster than non-staged homes.</p> <h2>6. Do some modern marketing</h2> <p>The final expert tip is to use technology to put out some great marketing for your home. Social media is easy to use, and you can approach your ideal buyers as a group instead of waiting for them to come find you. Take (or hire someone to take) great photos of your house, write up a smart description, and spend a little money on targeted advertising on Facebook or Twitter.</p> <p>Social media advertising can be very inexpensive. Even a couple of dollars a day will put your ad in front of several thousand people in a targeted group. After they see that curb appeal, upgrades, and staging, you'll be selling like a pro flipper in no time.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fsell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FSell%2520Your%2520House%2520Faster%2520With%2520These%25206%2520House%2520Flipping%2520Tricks.jpg&amp;description=Sell%20Your%20House%20Faster%20With%20These%206%20House%20Flipping%20Tricks"></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/Sell%20Your%20House%20Faster%20With%20These%206%20House%20Flipping%20Tricks.jpg" alt="Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks" 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/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">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/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</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-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often">8 Questions Real Estate Agents Hear Most Often</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 advice curb appeal experts flipping homebuyers list price marketing professionals remodeling renovations selling a home staging Mon, 21 Aug 2017 09:01:06 +0000 Annie Mueller 2005874 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/housing_market_risk.jpg" alt="Housing market risk" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When applying for a mortgage, you shouldn't do anything that will cause a bank to question your ability to repay the loan. You don't need perfect finances to get a mortgage, but it's in your best interest to have a basic understanding of loan requirements. The more you know, the less likely you are to make mistakes that can ruin your application. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make These 5 Money Moves Before Applying for a Mortgage</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few missteps to avoid if you're thinking about buying a house.</p> <h2>1. Paying for everything with cash</h2> <p>Using cash for everyday purchases is one way to avoid debt. But just because cash is king in your world doesn't mean you should cast off credit cards.</p> <p>Unless you're fortunate enough to pay cash for a house, you'll need to apply for financing, which requires a credit history. And the only way to build credit is to use credit. Without any type of credit profile, a mortgage underwriter can't assess whether you're capable of responsibly managing a home loan.</p> <p>In the lending world, no credit can be just as damaging as bad credit. So before applying for a home loan, establish credit by getting a credit card or another type of loan. You don't have to drive yourself into debt with it, but you should demonstrate a pattern of timely payments and responsible borrowing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>2. Carrying too much debt</h2> <p>While it's in your best interest to have a responsible credit profile, if you start spending money on stuff you don't need and get in over your head, you could hurt your chances of a mortgage approval. Maxing out credit cards can raise your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> and lower your credit score. Credit utilization is the percentage of your credit card debt compared to your credit limit.</p> <p>If you go overboard and accumulate too much debt, there's also the risk of falling behind on payments. Late payments are another credit score killer that can destroy any chance of qualifying for a mortgage.</p> <p>To avoid problems with a mortgage approval, get into a habit of paying off credit card balances in full every month. If you carry a balance, keep it small &mdash; ideally below 30 percent of your credit line.</p> <p>If you've already been approved for a mortgage, don't make any major purchases before closing on the home purchase. This includes buying furniture or financing a new car. New debt increases your debt-to-income ratio, which can affect your approval.</p> <p>Since you won't know your actual mortgage costs until a few days before closing, hold off spending money on new furniture or appliances to ensure you have enough cash on hand.</p> <h2>3. Co-signing for someone else</h2> <p>Co-signing a loan for a friend or relative is a noble deed (one that I do not personally recommend), but it's imperative that you're fully aware of the consequences of this decision. Co-signers are not silent partners on loan documents. By signing your name, you become a joint debt holder; as such, a co-signed debt appears on your credit report and counts toward your debt-to-income ratio. This is because you're responsible for the loan if the primary signer stops paying. (And if this happens, you could be in big trouble financially!)</p> <p>Once you are ready to apply for a mortgage, your lender takes a co-signed debt into consideration when calculating your debt-to-income ratio. Unfortunately, with a co-signed debt on your credit file, a lender might say you owe too much to take on additional debt and deny your mortgage application.</p> <h2>4. Not saving enough cash</h2> <p>You need cash for a home purchase &mdash; a <em>lot </em>of cash. Nowadays, many mortgage programs require borrowers to bring cash to the table. This includes a down payment between 3.5 percent to 5 percent or higher, as well as funds for closing (between 2 percent and 5 percent of the sale price). It doesn't matter how much you earn: If you can't show enough assets, you can't get a mortgage. Build up this cushion first before diving into the homebuying process. (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>5. Quitting your day job</h2> <p>Don't quit your day job if you're planning to buy in the near future &mdash; at least, not yet.</p> <p>Qualifying for a mortgage involves demonstrating long-term financial stability. This is why lenders require a borrower's most recent paycheck stubs and the previous year's tax returns. Self-employed people can purchase a home like anyone else, but they have to provide one to two years of profitable business tax returns, where their income either increases from year to year or remains roughly the same.</p> <p>It doesn't matter how much you're making today as a self-employed borrower. If a lender has reason to believe that your income isn't consistent or stable, you might not get a loan. So if you're thinking about buying, stick with your job until closing, and then become your own boss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denied-a-mortgage-heres-how-to-fix-it-fast?ref=seeaslo" target="_blank">Denied a Mortgage? Here's How to Fix It Fast</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" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-travel-adapters&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520That%2520Will%2520Ruin%2520Your%2520Mortgage%2520Application.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20That%20Will%20Ruin%20Your%20Mortgage%20Application"></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%20Money%20Moves%20That%20Will%20Ruin%20Your%20Mortgage%20Application.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application" 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/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">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/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early">Should You Pay Your Mortgage Off Early?</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-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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-mortgage-details-you-should-know-before-you-sign">5 Mortgage Details You Should Know Before You Sign</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing cash co-signing credit history credit utilization debt debt to income ratio home buying homeownership money mistakes mortgages quitting Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 2003615 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions Real Estate Agents Hear Most Often http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often" 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_showing_a_family_a_house_closer_in.jpg" alt="Real estate agent showing a family a house, closer in" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a first-time homebuyer or seller, you'll probably have a lot of questions. This is par for the course, especially if you have zero knowledge of the real estate process. More than likely, you'll drill your real estate agent with queries as you navigate the buying or selling of your home. And, one of these common questions is bound to come up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-real-estate-agent-wishes-you-knew?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things Your Real Estate Agent Wishes You Knew</a>)</p> <h2>Buyers</h2> <p>As a buyer, you are probably most interested in what you're getting yourself into.</p> <h3>1. Is the neighborhood safe?</h3> <p>It's an interesting question, because we all have different thresholds for safety. Your licensed real estate agent is not allowed, however, to comment on the safety of the neighborhood. If you want a better understanding of the actual criminal activity in the area, you'll need to do your own research. You can use online tools to <a href="http://www.bestplaces.net/crime/" target="_blank">compare crime statistics</a> between cities for a more accurate outlook.</p> <p>Emile L'Eplattenier, real estate marketing and sales analyst for Fit Small Business, makes another solid point: &quot;Always remember that crime can happen anywhere, and there is a very big difference between feeling safe and actually being safe.&quot;</p> <h3>2. How much will the house cost to renovate?</h3> <p>Your real estate agent can't give you a roundabout number on what your fixer-upper will cost to renovate, because they're not a contractor and they have no idea how expensive or inexpensive your taste may be. Joan Kagan, sales manager of a real estate listing site, often suggests to clients that they bring along a trusted contractor to help find a ballpark for this figure. Your agent may know someone who fits the bill, or, if you have a handy person in your own circle, invite them on your next walk-through to discuss your vision. (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> <h3>3. What do you think this will be worth in five to 10 years?</h3> <p>When Kagan is asked this question, she provides a democratic response: &quot;The best way of predicting the future is to look at the past. History repeats itself. I can show you data on the average prices for over the past 10 years. Would that be helpful?&quot;</p> <p>It may be helpful, but as we all know, real estate is up and down and in between more than ever. It's probably best not to worry about the resale value in a specific time frame as much as getting the best deal you can right now.</p> <h2>Sellers</h2> <p>Sellers are most likely interested in what they can get out of it.</p> <h3>4. What is my home worth?</h3> <p>If you've decided to put your home on the market, the first question you'll have is, how much is the house worth? Unless you're being forced out by circumstance, your main goal should be to make a bit of money off your investment or at least break even.</p> <p>&quot;Before determining a listing price, sellers should take the time to go online to research local comps to help gain an understanding of their property's market value,&quot; says Michael Lissack, a Massachusetts real estate agent for Owners.com. &quot;In addition, it's important to reach out to a trusted real estate agent who can help sellers understand their market and evaluate their home and what is it worth. For example, if a seller remodels their kitchen or adds a bedroom, agents can account for that when they are evaluating the home's value.&quot;</p> <p>A good initial resource for you to size up what your home is worth is the real estate site Zillow. It allows you to search addresses in your neighborhood to see the &quot;Zestimated&quot; value of the homes. This can give you a head start, especially if you're comparing similar houses, both inside and out, to yours.</p> <h3>5. Why can't I just sell my house on my own?</h3> <p>Selling your own house may seem like an ideal solution to those trying to avoid commission fees and other associated expenses, but some things aren't worth the trouble. Realtor and attorney Sammi Massie points out we pay for lots of professional services. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fsbo-how-to-sell-your-home-on-your-own?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Sell Your Home on Your Own</a>)</p> <p>&quot;Would you cut your own hair, fix your own car, argue your own case in court, or anything else that there are professionals for?&quot; she asks. &quot;Let the professional handle the sale of the most valuable possession you have; that's what they do best.&quot;</p> <h3>6. Why do agents get paid so much money?</h3> <p>It can be a tough pill to swallow when you consider how much of your home's sale price will go toward paying your real estate agent. Most agents take a 5 percent to 6 percent commission from a home's sale: So if your home sells for $200,000, you can expect to pay your agent between $10,000 and $12,000.</p> <p>Still, Massie makes a good case for why agents get paid as much as they do.</p> <p>&quot;With the amount of driving, marketing, and other fees that we have to pay in order to be agents and to sell real estate, the commission is not as much as it appears,&quot; she says. &quot;Especially if we, as agents, are still paying into our company; they take a portion of our commission with each sale.&quot;</p> <p>Also consider that your home may not sell right away. If an agent spends weeks (sometimes months!) trying to find the perfect buyer, they deserve to be compensated fairly for finally making the transaction happen.</p> <h3>7. How's the market?</h3> <p>In many markets, there's a shortage of inventory and rising home prices, making it a great time to sell. But most people who sell also want to buy, and they have to be realistic.</p> <p>&quot;The same conditions that make it a great time to sell may also make it difficult to buy,&quot; Lissack explains. &quot;And with the competitive market conditions, both buyers and sellers are seeking opportunities to save money. Consumers should look toward online brokerages that can help sellers save thousands in traditional agent commissions through flexible listing packages, and in select markets, provide a buyer's rebate of up to 1.5 percent at closing.&quot;</p> <h3>8. How do I know if my timing is right?</h3> <p>You can keep an eye on local home prices, mortgage rates, and other factors to can help you decide when the time is right to sell your home, but often sellers can't wait for everything to fall perfectly in line. For many, there is no &quot;right time.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Timing is determined by what is happening in that person's life &mdash; if they need a new home right away, the timing is right regardless of the market,&quot; Lissack says. &quot;The agent's job is to build a relationship, help them understand what's happening in their market, and support their client through one of the largest transactions they'll ever make.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Questions%2520Real%2520Estate%2520Agents%2520Hear%2520Most%2520Often.jpg&amp;description=8%20Questions%20Real%20Estate%20Agents%20Hear%20Most%20Often"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Questions%20Real%20Estate%20Agents%20Hear%20Most%20Often.jpg" alt="8 Questions Real Estate Agents Hear Most Often" 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/8-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often">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-selling-your-house">6 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your 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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-of-home-buying-you-need-to-know">The Only 5 Rules of Home Buying You Need to Know</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/20-questions-to-ask-during-an-open-house">20+ Questions to Ask During an Open House</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 commissions home buying housing market neighborhoods real estate agents realtors renovations selling a home Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1999912 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Sell a Home Without a Traditional Agent http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-a-home-without-a-traditional-agent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-a-home-without-a-traditional-agent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-509463801.jpg" alt="Family selling a home without a traditional agent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Selling a home with a traditional real estate agent isn't cheap: Most agents take a commission of 5 percent to 6 percent of your home's final sale price. That means if your home sells for $200,000, you'll pay your agent between $10,000 to $12,000 from the proceeds of the sale.</p> <p>That commission can take a serious bite out of your profits. If you don't have much equity in your home, your agent's commission might even eat up most of the money you're making on your sale.</p> <p>Sellers can avoid all or much of this commission by either selling their homes on their own, or working with a discount broker. In both arrangements, sellers will keep a greater share of the profits that they make when selling their home.</p> <h2>For sale by owner</h2> <p>The most common way to sell a home without a traditional agent is to go the for-sale-by-owner, or FSBO, route.</p> <p>You will not have to pay anyone a commission, but marketing your home on your own can be tricky. When you list with a traditional real estate agent, that agent places your home's information on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Once your home is listed on the MLS, it'll also show up on Realtor.com, one of the most popular sites people use to search for homes for sale.</p> <p>The MLS does not allow FSBO listings. This means that you also won't be able to get your listing on Realtor.com, severely limiting the number of homebuyers who will see it online. You <em>can</em>, however, list your FSBO property on other real estate websites such as Zillow and Trulia. You can also put an FSBO sign in your front yard.</p> <p>Real estate agents do a lot of work to earn their commissions. If you're going full-scale FSBO, you'll have to do that work on your own. This includes setting the right price for your home &mdash; which you can do by checking out recent comparable sales in your neighborhood on Realtor.com &mdash; staging your home so it looks its best, scheduling showings of your home, and negotiating a final sale price with potential buyers. You'll also have to handle the paperwork involved in closing a sale and work with home inspectors and appraisers.</p> <p>Even if you choose not to work with a real estate agent, you might consider hiring a real estate lawyer to help you with the documents you'll need to close your home's sale.</p> <h2>Flat-fee brokerages</h2> <p>If you want some help selling your home, but you want to avoid the 5 percent to 6 percent commission, you might consider working with a flat-free brokerage. These companies will list your home with the MLS, market it to potential buyers, schedule showings, and negotiate on your behalf with potential buyers. They'll just do it while charging a flat fee instead of taking a percentage commission.</p> <p>The brokerages that offer this service will charge varying rates. You might find a flat-fee brokerage that charges $2,500 for its services. Another might charge less, another more.</p> <p>Just make sure you understand what you are getting for the fee. The flat-fee brokerage with which you work should list its services and prices clearly. You don't want to spend a flat fee of $2,000, for instance, if the brokerage won't list your home on the MLS or won't schedule showings &mdash; two of the most important factors in selling a home.</p> <h2>Discount brokers</h2> <p>Discount brokers are similar to flat-fee brokerages in that they charge less to help you sell your home &mdash; but their payments are based on the traditional commission structure. They just charge smaller commissions.</p> <p>A good example is Redfin. This brokerage charges a listing fee of just 1.5 percent of your home's sale price. Be aware, though, that this isn't all that you'll pay. Typically, the agent representing a home's seller and the agent representing its buyer split a total commission of 5 percent to 6 percent of a residence's final sale price. In a Redfin transaction, sellers pay their listing agent just 1.5 percent of the home's final sale price instead of 2.5 percent or 3 percent.</p> <p>These sellers will still have to pay an additional commission to the agent representing their home's buyers, out of the profits of their home sale.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-sell-a-home-without-a-traditional-agent&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Sell%2520a%2520Home%2520Without%2520a%2520Traditional%2520Agent.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Sell%20a%20Home%20Without%20a%20Traditional%20Agent"></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%20a%20Home%20Without%20a%20Traditional%20Agent.jpg" alt="How to Sell a Home Without a Traditional Agent" 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/how-to-sell-a-home-without-a-traditional-agent">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-times-youre-better-off-without-a-real-estate-agent">5 Times You&#039;re Better Off Without a Real Estate Agent</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/make-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through">Make These 5 Fixes After a Home Sale Falls Through</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-your-home-isnt-selling">7 Reasons Your Home Isn&#039;t Selling</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-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often">8 Questions Real Estate Agents Hear Most Often</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-fiduciary-rule-is-under-review-how-will-this-affect-your-investments">The Fiduciary Rule Is Under Review — How Will This Affect Your Investments?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing brokers commissions flat fee brokerage for sale by owner fsbo multiple listing service real estate agent selling a house Thu, 10 Aug 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 1998640 at http://www.wisebread.com