apartment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9580/all en-US 6 Ways to Make Your Tiny Apartment Feel Like a Castle http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-tiny-apartment-feel-like-a-castle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-make-your-tiny-apartment-feel-like-a-castle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-renovation-couple-476101829-small.jpg" alt="home renovation" title="home renovation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you live in a small space? You're not alone. It can feel stifling at times, but I'm here to help you discover a few ways to push out those walls (even if only in your mind). The following are some tried-and-true tips I used back in my own studio and one-bedroom apartment days to make my living arrangements seem much less bleak. Actually, I remember the whole adventure being quite fabulous &mdash; it just takes a change of perspective. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-save-on-apartment-living?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Save on Apartment Living</a>)</p> <h2>1. Clear Out</h2> <p>Examine the furniture and other clutter (gadgets, tchotkes, etc) you are currently holding onto and figure out what you can purge. Fewer things means more space both physically and visually. You'll also spend far less time maintaining and cleaning your apartment. Added benefit: Selling extraneous items on sites like Craigslist can give you a little extra cash to spruce up your apartment or to sink into your savings account.</p> <h2>2. Freshen Paint</h2> <p>If your landlord allows it, paint your walls. Light, muted colors create the illusion of more room versus dark, bold ones that tend to box everything in. If you have more than one area, use the same color paint, which will extend the visual impact farther and give your mind the illusion of openness. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <h2>3. Make a Focal Point</h2> <p>Another trap apartment dwellers fall into is having no clear <a href="http://roomology.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/a-comment-on-curtains/">focal point</a>. The eye wanders around with no place to go. If you cannot paint, consider creating an accent wall using temporary wallpaper in a simple print. For example, you can create a <a href="http://upcycledtreasures.com/2014/02/diy-triangle-accent-wall-for-less-3/">strong, beautiful pattern</a> using inexpensive contact paper. Just peel away when it's time to move. Note: It's best to take advantage of your apartment's natural assets (a fireplace, cool woodwork, a view) when choosing a focal point.</p> <h2>4. Create Zones</h2> <p>When I lived in a tiny studio, I was able to create <a href="http://www.homedit.com/decorate-studio-apartment/small-studio-boho-style/">mini &quot;rooms&quot;</a> that made the 350 square feet seem much bigger than it actually was. I used a <a href="http://www.bobvila.com/diy-room-divider/44560-divide-and-conquer-10-room-dividers-to-bring-order-to-your-space/slideshows?noredirect=true#!4">room divider</a> to section off my bed (futon) area from a cozy chair and small bookcase that was my makeshift library. On the wall adjacent to the kitchen, I arranged a long desk I made from a skinny door that housed my computer (that doubled as my television), office supplies, and craft items. How you section will depend on your needs and apartment, but get creative. If it's not working, you can always move stuff around.</p> <h2>5. Move Furniture</h2> <p>That's right! Play with the layout of your apartment. Many of us move in and put our furniture where it initially seems to make sense. Over time, you might discover that a new layout would maximize your square footage and better serve your everyday activities. Keep in mind that with small apartments, you want to make <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/small-space-solutions-multipurpose-rooms-that-work-167311">multipurpose solutions</a> whenever possible, like using a daybed for sleeping and guest seating.</p> <h2>6. Think Up</h2> <p>If you don't have a lot of ground to work with, consider moving your attention up the walls. Storage <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60282186/">for books and other items</a> is particularly easy to bring above eye level. And don't shy from piling up high, even to the ceiling or above the door. Making use of <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/inspiration-roundup-making-use-of-vertical-space-168731">your vertical space</a> is smart and can look quite savvy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/studio-apartment-living-a-5-point-survival-guide?ref=seealso">Studio Apartment Living: A 5-Point Survival Guide</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you live in a tiny place? How do you keep it feeling like your castle?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-tiny-apartment-feel-like-a-castle">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)</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/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Office Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home apartment castle interior design organization Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1246891 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit) http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apartment-decoration-planning-180204421-small.jpg" alt="apartment decoration" title="apartment decoration" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The white walls and boring fixtures of apartments are a thing of the past. You don't need to own your abode to make it totally your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-a-tiny-apartment-awesome?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Make a Tiny Apartment Awesome</a>)</p> <p>Check out these thrifty &mdash; but impactful &mdash; DIY ideas that will transform your space to home, all while ensuring you'll get that security deposit back.</p> <h2>1. Wow! Wallpaper</h2> <p>You can find temporary wallpaper rolls in a variety of <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/Betapet?ref=l2-shopheader-name">shades and prints</a> these days. Most brands are self adhesive for easy installation. To keep the cost low, consider papering a single accent wall versus an entire room. Think focal point by choosing the wall at the head of your bed, for example. A little will go a long way.</p> <h2>2. Brazen Backsplash</h2> <p>You can also use temporary wallpaper as a backsplash in your apartment's kitchen, but there's an even cheaper way to get a faux-tile look. Use contact paper! This <a href="http://bee-arthur.tumblr.com/post/8883206325">frugal project</a> cost only $13 and resulted in a stainless steel look that really brightened up the space. Simply cut contact paper into &quot;tiles&quot; and arrange in a pattern above your countertop. When it's time to move, just gently peel away from the wall.</p> <h2>3. Curtain Call</h2> <p>If you'd rather not stick something to the wall, consider adding some pizzaz with curtains on a tension rod. I used this technique in my <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/01/never-homemaker-kitchen-tour.html">first home's kitchen</a> to hide an otherwise ugly closet door; you could use it wherever you want a little color or flair. Tension rods of all sizes cost under $10. If you don't have curtains, follow this <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/03/nursery-curtains-tutorial.html">no-sew tutorial</a> to create some from fabric using hemming tape and an iron. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-unexpected-uses-for-tension-rods?ref=seealso">20 Unexpected Uses for Tension Rods</a>)</p> <h2>4. Bookworm Bounty</h2> <p>I recently browsed my decor inspiration board on Pinterest and discovered that many of my living room ideas incorporated the same element &mdash; bookshelves! You don't need built-ins to get this studious look, plus it's functional and perfect if you love reading. I love the idea of scouting out tall, <a href="http://weheartit.com/entry/4556733">mismatched shelves</a> at thrift stores for a unique look.</p> <h2>5. Beautiful Boxes</h2> <p>You can also use boxy fruit crates to create custom <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-shelves-out-of-fru-56604">temporary shelving</a>! I envision countless possibilities for this easy DIY project. My favorite of the bunch is a makeshift entry area with a couple hooks and fruit crates to <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/bb/8f/61/bb8f61ca91d65bcf81c1853b6ff83995.jpg">wrangle shoes, boots</a>, and anything else you have around. And since they're not bolted down, you can change your configuration as often as you change your mind.</p> <h2>6. Great Divide</h2> <p>If you live in a free-form space, you might want to create some separation using room dividers that simulate walls. This basement redo utilizes an <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2009/12/tackling-the-basement-done/">old pair of shutters</a> painted in glossy green to create space. You can also use a pair of curtains to do the same trick by <a href="http://www.pbteen.com/stylehouse/tips-tricks/break-it-up.html">hanging them</a> on steel wire cables in the area you want to section off. This trick is great for studio apartments, creating the illusion of a 1-bedroom at a fraction of the price it costs to rent one.</p> <h2>7. Big Impact</h2> <p>If you'd rather hang some artwork, check out engineer prints for black and white poster-sized art on the cheap. This <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/08/5-personalized-poster-sized-art.html">step-by-step tutorial</a> shows you how to take one of your own photos, add text, and get it printed for under $5. From there, you can purchase poster frames for $10 or less at stores like WalMart and Target. Consider grouping several large prints for bigger impact or browsing online for <a href="http://caravanshoppe.com/2013/04/17/braver-stronger-smarter/">free designs</a> to print.</p> <h2>8. Warm and Cozy</h2> <p>My favorite apartment trick for an instant homey feeling? A <a href="http://www.oneplusonedesign.ca/soapbox/featured-on-designsponge/">faux fireplace</a>. I found one on Craigslist way back when, and it moved with me to five different apartments! A fake fireplace adds an amazing architectural focal point to your room, as well as a great place to focus your decorating efforts &mdash; especially for the holidays. And it's like any other piece of furniture that can be easily picked up and moved.</p> <h2>9. Clever Lights</h2> <p>Purchase a light kit from your home improvement store and a drum shade for a simple, DIY hanging light fixture. It requires very little installation and can be removed in a flash. You can get quite creative with the basic idea. For example, this blogger used a <a href="http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2012/04/trash-can-pendant-light.html">wicker trash can</a> as a basic, ingenious pendant. This trick is particularly great if you need light over, say, your dining room table and don't want to go with more floor lamps.</p> <h2>10. Green Thumb</h2> <p>Plants can totally transform the feel of a space and even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality">improve air quality</a>. My mother-in-law has a beautiful collection of plants in her dining room, including a Rubber Tree, Jade plant, and some assorted ferns. Head to your local garden center and consult with the folks there to find a few plants that will bring the outdoors in and cozy up your apartment fast. Plus, many house plants can live for years and years with proper care.</p> <p><em>How do you dress up a drab apartment? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">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/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</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-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture">8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Baby Furniture</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/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</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-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit">7 Ways to Decorate an Apartment Without Losing Your Deposit</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/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home apartment cheap decor decorating Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1199024 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Things You Must Inspect Before Signing a Rental Agreement http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-you-must-inspect-before-signing-a-rental-agreement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-things-you-must-inspect-before-signing-a-rental-agreement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-78429561.jpg" alt="home inspection" title="home inspection" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before a renter ever signs a lease, he should be proactive about practical matters. While there may be a lot of excitement in looking at a new house or apartment and all it has to offer, it is also important to take the time to check out every aspect of your potential new home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-and-shouldnt-rent?ref=seealso">When You Should and Shouldn&#39;t Rent</a>)</p> <p>When you are looking at a house and feel confident you are going to sign the lease, take out a pen and paper as well as your camera or cell phone and perform a thorough check to save yourself a headache &mdash; and your security deposit &mdash; later.</p> <p>Here are 13 things you must check before renting a new house.</p> <h2>1. Interior Paint</h2> <p>Go from room to room making sure all painted surfaces look to be in good condition. Any scratches or other damage to the paint should be documented. Any areas where the paint is affected by mold or water damage should be pointed out to the landlord immediately. Ask about restrictions on changing decor in the home.</p> <h2>2. Carpeting</h2> <p>Inspect carpeting in all rooms to assess the condition of each one. Determine areas where carpeting is new and document areas where carpeting appears permanently stained, ripped, or otherwise damaged and take pictures of each issue. Then, discuss them with the landlord.</p> <h2>3. AC and Heating</h2> <p>Ask the landlord or property manager to operate the heating and cooling system in the home and check that all vents, radiators, or air conditioning units are working in every room. Note any parts of the heating or cooling system that appear excessively dirty or damaged. Inquire about the insulation in the home, as a poorly insulated place can cost you more in heating and cooling bills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter?ref=seealso">Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm</a>)</p> <h2>4. Windows</h2> <p>Check out the windows in each room to ensure they are able to be locked and that they open. Note any damage to the glass or screens before signing the lease. If possible, note any drafts coming through the window area that may require sealing for proper insulation.</p> <h2>5. Plumbing</h2> <p>Look at exposed pipes in the basement and under the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Note any signs of wetness, mold, or other damage that needs repair. Run water out of all faucets inside and outside the home and flush toilets. Take pictures and inquire about repairs prior to agreeing to the lease. Make note of the shower and tub if any mold is present, or if there are signs of water damage on the floor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-plumbing-repairs-that-dont-require-a-plumber?ref=seealso">Easy Plumbing Repairs You Can Do Yourself</a>)</p> <h2>6. Appliances</h2> <p>If the home is equipped with appliances, ask the landlord to operate each one to ensure it is in working order &mdash; this includes the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and washing machine. Ask about repairs or replacements if problems are noted. Document in photos any signs of damage to the appliances like scratches, dents, or broken parts.</p> <h2>7. Electricity</h2> <p>Go from room to room and operate the lights and ceiling fans. Find out what every switch in the house operates to make sure all electricity is working properly. Ask the landlord to test the electrical outlets in each room to ensure they are also functioning. Note where all electrical outlets, cable wires, and telephone connections are in the house and ask the landlord if additional lines are permitted in case you need to have them installed after moving in.</p> <h2>8. Safety Equipment</h2> <p>Make sure the house has at least one working smoke detector on every floor. Ask to see the fire extinguishers and make sure they are accessible. If the home has a furnace in the basement, ask if a carbon monoxide detector is also in the home. If the home has a security system, ask for a demonstration to ensure it works.</p> <h2>9. Exterior</h2> <p>Document any damage to the exterior of the house itself and the yard including fence damage. Inquire about parking on or near the property. Discuss what is permitted in the yard such as burning trash, having a garden, or pets. Consider the neighborhood during your exterior checks including those that have unkempt yards, barking dogs, or other nuisances that may make living nearby uncomfortable before signing a lease.</p> <h2>10. Lease Terms and Other Stuff</h2> <p>In addition to checking the physical structure of the home, it is also important that you clarify all other important details before signing the lease including:</p> <ul> <li>Total of the rent and what it includes. Review the lease and make sure all details as disclosed by the landlord are also in writing including any utilities also covered in the rent payment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-haggle-your-way-to-cheaper-rent?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Haggle for Cheaper Rent</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Total amount of the security deposit and additional fees. Find out exactly what you need to pay for upfront. Ask for a list of issues that could cause you to lose your security deposit at the time of move out. Find out if there are associated fees after move out, including for cleaning.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Inquire about repair work. If there is repair work that needs to be done before you move in, make sure the lease agreement covers arrangements before you sign. Find out exactly what the landlord will take care of in repairs and what, if anything, you must pay for out of pocket.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Turn in documentation. When you have thoroughly read the lease agreement and have it signed, print out pictures and your notes documenting issues discovered in the house. Attach the additional paperwork and photos to the lease and have the landlord initial each page to show they have been reviewed.</li> </ul> <p>At the end of the day, your goal when renting a home is to protect yourself from future problems. While many landlords are accommodating and friendly at the start of the lease, they can become very focused on their property when tenants move out. By documenting what was not working or in perfect condition upon move in, you can help protect yourself and ensure you get back your full security deposit when you choose not to renew your lease.</p> <p><em>Did you inspect your last rental before signing the lease? Do you wish you had?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-you-must-inspect-before-signing-a-rental-agreement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-tiny-apartment-feel-like-a-castle">6 Ways to Make Your Tiny Apartment Feel Like a Castle</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/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home">19 Frugal (And Easy) Ways to Update an Old Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings">9 Sneaky Home Money Pits That Sap Your Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-ways-to-scare-off-potential-homebuyers">10 Dumb Ways to Scare Off Potential Homebuyers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home apartment home rental rental inspection Mon, 03 Feb 2014 10:36:09 +0000 Tisha Tolar 1121518 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Throwing a Yard Sale When You Live in an Apartment http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-throwing-a-yard-sale-when-you-live-in-an-apartment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-throwing-a-yard-sale-when-you-live-in-an-apartment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yard-sale-479118-small.jpg" alt="yard sale" title="yard sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></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 some fantastic articles on throwing a yard sale if you live in an apartment, networking for jobs, and children and allowance.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/06/20/how-to-throw-a-yard-sale-when-youre-an-apartment-dweller/">How to throw a yard sale when you're an apartment dweller</a> &mdash; If you want to throw a yard sale but live in an apartment, participate in a community garage sale. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/06/network-for-jobs.html">Network for Jobs</a> &mdash; When networking for a job, take the time to plan it out. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/children-and-allowance-when-to-start-and-how-much/">Children and Allowance - When to Start and How Much</a> &mdash; It is important to determine the work your child must do in order to get an allowance before you decide on how much of an allowance to give them. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/15-tips-for-shopping-consignment-sales">15 Tips for Shopping Consignment Sales</a> &mdash; Look for different brands and know the return policy when shopping consignment sales. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/06/19/a-frugal-travelers-guide-to-cheap-lodging">A Frugal Traveler's Guide to Cheap Lodging</a> &mdash; To save money on lodging, purchase a package deal and use online reviews sensibly. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com/part-time-jobs-for-retirees/">4 Part Time Jobs For Retirees</a> &mdash; Retirees can take on the part time job of writing ebooks. [Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2013/06/19/why-the-small-stuff-matters/">Why the Small Stuff Matters</a> &mdash; The small stuff matters when it comes to your finances because you are more likely to do the small stuff more often than the big stuff. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Get-Email-Response-30778830">8 Tips to Up Your Chances of Getting an Email Response</a> &mdash; Keeping your email short and specific can increase your chances of getting a response. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2013/06/17/how-to-help-your-family-after-you-are-gone/">How to help your family after you are gone</a> &mdash; To help your family in the event of your death, make sure you've completed an advance healthcare directive form. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2013/06/what-debt-do-i-pay-off-first/">What Debt Do I Pay Off First?</a> &mdash; When deciding which debt to pay off first, you can start with the debt with the smallest balance or the one with the highest interest. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <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/best-money-tips-throwing-a-yard-sale-when-you-live-in-an-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/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight</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/have-your-best-garage-sale-ever-by-following-these-9-retail-secrets">Have Your Best Garage Sale Ever by Following These 9 Retail Secrets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-garage-sale">How to Have a Successful Garage Sale</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/great-ways-to-advertise-your-yard-sale">Great Ways to Advertise Your Yard Sale</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-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income apartment best money tips yard sale Fri, 21 Jun 2013 10:00:32 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 980084 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Rent or Own Your Home? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-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-do-you-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/5857847249_f76ef7b1b2_z-1.jpg" alt="Do You Rent or Own Your Home?" title="Do You Rent or Own Your Home?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-rent-or-own-your-home#comment-541951"><em>Amanda</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-rent-or-own-your-home#comment-542034"><em>Peg</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-rent-or-own-your-home?page=1#comment-542439"><em>Raina</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>There is always a debate on whether or not it is better to rent or own your home. Home ownership gives you the freedom to decorate as you please and gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you have a home but the negatives of property taxes and having to take care of your own maintenance can be a bummer. Renting means you have a landlord to take care of maintenance issues but it doesn't give you the same freedoms to decorate and make the place your own as owning a home does.</p> <p><b>Do you rent or own your home?</b><span style="font-weight:normal">&nbsp;If you rent, what are the pros and cons of renting? If you own, what are the pros and cons of owning your own home?</span></p> <p>Tell us if you 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; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, August 6th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after August 6th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US 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 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-do-you-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-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</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-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</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-name-your-favorite-moment-of-2010">Ask the Readers: Name Your Favorite Moment of 2010</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-are-you-optimistic-about-2011">Ask the Readers: Are You Optimistic About 2011?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways apartment Ask the Readers home owning renting Tue, 31 Jul 2012 10:36:41 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 941368 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Save Money on Rent? (Chance to win $20!) http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-save-money-on-rent-chance-to-win-20 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-save-money-on-rent-chance-to-win-20" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/for rent.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em><strong>*** Congrats to our winners! ***</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="../../../../../../ask-the-readers-save-money-on-rent-chance-to-win-20#comment-456409" class="active"><strong>Comment #14: Take a Drive Around the Block</strong></a><strong>&nbsp; Submitted by </strong><a href="http://theclimbtofinancialfreedom.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow"><strong>bhleigh</strong></a><strong> on March 16, 2010 - 16:17.</strong> I recently went looking for a new apartment in Alameda, CA. I had trolled through the local management companies and complexes advertising on Craigslist, which resulted in nothing decent. I called my Father adn asked for some advice. He told me to drive around the block and look for places with signs up. I spent three hours driving aroudn the niehgborhoods and found a great spot. It was not advertised in the paper or online and was half the price of other places with more space. So take a drive through the neighborhood and just might find your new place around the block.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><span class="status-body"><a class="tweet-url screen-name" href="http://twitter.com/leofair" onclick="pageTracker._trackPageview('/exit/to/leofair');">leofair</a>&nbsp;<span id="msgtxt10594956779" class="msgtxt en"> Try housesitting if your living situation is flexible. That can equal absolutely free or dramatically reduced rent. <a title="#wbask" class="tweet-url hashtag" href="http://twitter.com/search?q=%23wbask"><b>#wbask</b></a></span> <span class="meta entry-meta"><a href="http://twitter.com/leofair/statuses/10594956779"> 6 days ago </a><span class="source">from <a href="http://twitter.com/">web</a></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p>We get a lot of email asking us about apartment-hunting, rental properties, and finding cheap (but lovely) places to rent.&nbsp; As a farmgirl with only a couple of years' experiences in the &quot;rental market,&quot; I'm pleased to say I haven't really had to deal with it much. &nbsp;I know that our readers, do, however.&nbsp; What are your tips for finding cheap rent?&nbsp; Do you have stellar solutions for making the most of each square foot? &nbsp;Or maybe you have some advice for getting back your deposit?</p> <p>We'd love to hear what you have to say. &nbsp;You are the experts! Share your thoughts, either below in the comments or on Twitter, and you could be entered to win one of two Amazon gift cards!</p> <h2>Win a $20 Amazon Gift Certificate</h2> <p>We're doing two giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, and another one for a random <a href="http://www.twitter.com/">tweets</a>.</p> <h2>How to Enter:</h2> <ol> <li>Post your answer in the comments below, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. Include both &quot;<a title=" @wisebread #moneytippers" href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread</a>&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.</li> </ol> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <p>At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.</p> <h2>Giveaway Rules:</h2> <ul> <li>Contest ends Friday, March 19th at 11:59 am CST. Winners will be announced after March 19th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.</li> <li>You can enter both drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.</li> <li>Only tweets that contain both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good luck!</strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-save-money-on-rent-chance-to-win-20">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-i-used-to-but-now-i">Ask the Readers: I used to __, but now I __ to save money.</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-what-is-your-personal-finance-story-a-chance-to-win-10">Ask The Readers: What is Your Personal Finance &quot;Story?&quot; (A Chance to Win $10!)</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-budgets-are-they-hot-or-not-your-chance-to-win-10">Ask the Readers: Budgets - Are They &quot;Hot&quot; or Not? (Your Chance to Win $10!)</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-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">Ask the Readers: How Do You Care For Your Pet Affordably?</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-will-you-vote-this-election-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Will You Vote This Election? (Chance to Win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways apartment Ask the Readers giveaway real estate rent Tue, 16 Mar 2010 18:29:59 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5866 at http://www.wisebread.com What your house is really worth http://www.wisebread.com/what-your-house-is-really-worth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-your-house-is-really-worth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nice-house.jpg" alt="A nice house" title="A Nice House" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="196" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are several things you can do with a house that you own.  During the housing boom, most of the attention was focused on two of those things:  You could sell it, or you could borrow money against it.  Now that the bust has arrived, it&#39;s easy to see the limitations of that particular model.  Happily, there&#39;s a more stable, more useful way to value your house.</p> <p>Until the housing boom distracted people with fantasies of easy riches, most people focused on the two other things you can do with a house you own: <ul> <li>If you live in it, you don&#39;t have to pay to rent someplace else to live</li> <li>If you don&#39;t live in it, you can get paid rent to let someone else live there</li> </ul> <p>Looked at this way, what is a house worth?<br /> <h2>The financial analysis</h2> <p>Purely as an example, suppose you can rent an apartment as large as a small house for around $750 a month.  (That&#39;s what a largish apartment around here might run).</p> <p>Alternatively, suppose you owned a small house about the size of that apartment.  You&#39;d have a few expenses that the renter doesn&#39;t have:  property taxes, insurance, maintenance, water, sewer, garbage, etc.  If those add up to, let&#39;s say, $400 a month, then owning a house is worth $750 minus $400:  $350 a month.</p> <p>Note that this is true <strong>whether you&#39;ve got a mortgage on the house or not</strong>.  Just like having some credit card debt doesn&#39;t change the value of the clothes or TV or BBQ grill that you might have charged, the value of your house is unrelated to the structure of any debts you might have.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.arachnoid.com/lutusp/finance.html">financial calculator</a> can crank out a value for a $350 stream of income.  Depending on the value you pick as the relevant discount rate, that stream of income is worth around $60,000 to $65,000.  (I used 6.5% as the discount rate.  You also have to plug in a number for how long the stream of payments goes on, but the payments in the distant future are discounted away to a vanishingly small value--a stream of $350 payments that goes on for 100 years is only worth a couple thousand dollars more than a stream that only goes on for 50 years.)</p> <p>Now, around here, a house comparable to a $750/month apartment (2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 1000 sq ft) could just about be had for $65,000--but only if it had serious problems.  It would probably have a serious maintenance backlog or be in a bad neighborhood, or else it would cost more.  (This is a big part of the reason that I rent rather than owning a house.)<br /> <h2>Non-finanacial aspects</h2> <p>You can&#39;t write in praise of renting without getting a lot of comments from people who think that renting amounts to stuffing their money down a rathole.  You write checks month after month--possibly for years--with nothing to show for it.  On the other hand, if you buy, you end up owning something.  There&#39;s some truth to that, but it&#39;s worth being clear about what, exactly you do own.  Specifically, you own the items listed at the beginning:  You can sell it, mortgage it, live in it, or rent it out.</p> <p>There are, of course, other advantages to living in a house:  You have more privacy, more control of your living environment, more options in terms of size and amenities, and so on.  But you don&#39;t own those things--those things you pay for just like rent.  That is, the money you pay this month pays for this month&#39;s privacy and control.  (Because, remember, owning a house also ties you to the neighborhood.  If a creepy guy moves into the apartment next to yours, you can always move when your lease runs out.  But if a creepy guys buys the house next to yours, you can lose a lot of privacy and control at exactly the same moment having that neighbor makes it a lot harder to sell your house.)</p> <p>Of course, being tied into your neighborhood can have an upside as well--you&#39;re in a community.  But, then, some apartment buildings have a community as well, even if most of them don&#39;t.<br /> <h2>Principal and interest</h2> <p>Note that we haven&#39;t talked about actually paying the mortgage.  As I said, that&#39;s really a separate issue.  Your house is <strong>worth</strong> the cost of the rent that you don&#39;t have to pay, adjusted for the extra expenses that fall on a homeowner.  The mortgage and interest are <strong>what you have to pay</strong> to get it.  (In the United States the interest payment is tax advantaged, which makes the effective cost a bit harder to figure out, but that&#39;s just a detail.)</p> <p>If what you have to pay is less than what the house is worth, it&#39;s a good deal financially.  If what you have to pay is more than what the house is worth, it&#39;s a bad deal financially.  It&#39;s that simple. </p> <h2>Accumulating wealth</h2> <p>People seem to be strongly motivated by the idea that the money that goes toward their mortgage is going to buy something that they own, whereas money that goes toward rent is just gone.  I think looking at homeownership that way just confuses people.</p> <p>Your house is worth what it would cost you to rent an equivalent place or what you could get for it if you rented it out (adjusted for the expenses of home ownership).  That&#39;s true whether you own it outright or have it mortgaged to the hilt.  (Of course, if you have a mortgage you owe a large debt, but that doesn&#39;t affect the value of the house.)</p> <p>Your apartment, of course, is worth zero.  But if it&#39;s cheaper to live in an apartment than it is to live in a house--and it often is--then the apartment dweller has surplus cash to invest, and therefore can accumulate wealth.</p> <p>One thing I&#39;ve left out of this calculation is &quot;appreciation&quot; in the value of the house.  If the price at which a house can be sold grows <strong>faster than other investments grow</strong>, then home ownership can win in a big way.  But, as is now clear, there&#39;s no good reason to assume that such outsized growth can be expected.<br /> <h2>No ratholes involved</h2> <p>Whether a house is a good deal financially or not is important, but it&#39;s not the only factor.  The non-financial aspects are also important--in fact, they are often the determining factors in people&#39;s decisions to buy a house.  If you want to buy a house because you find one you want to live in and can afford, then by all means do so.  But if you&#39;ve previously been misled by the fuzzy notion that money spent on a mortgage is money &quot;invested&quot; but that money spent on rent is money &quot;down a rathole,&quot; now you know how to do a valid analysis.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-your-house-is-really-worth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/renting-is-cheaper">Renting is cheaper</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-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-ready-to-make-an-offer-on-a-house-now-what">You&#039;re Ready to Make an Offer on a House: Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-millenials-should-invest-in-a-home">4 Reasons Millenials Should Invest in a Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartment apartments buy buying a house rent Tue, 16 Sep 2008 03:14:53 +0000 Philip Brewer 2430 at http://www.wisebread.com Think you can afford more house in the exurbs? Think again. http://www.wisebread.com/think-you-can-afford-more-house-in-the-exurbs-think-again <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/think-you-can-afford-more-house-in-the-exurbs-think-again" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/live-in-the-energy-of-downtown.jpg" alt="Condos for sale--Live in the energy of downtown" title="Live in the energy of downtown" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="211" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people who live in the far-out suburbs move there because they can buy more house for the money than they can in town.  As an example from where I live, a house in Champaign-Urbana would cost about $60,000 more than a comparable house in one of the nearby towns or villages.  If you do the math, though, $60,000 is a pretty small sum, compared to the cost of owning one extra car.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.apta.com/">American Public Transportation Association</a>, replacing one car with a combination of walking and public transportation saves a household <a href="http://www.apta.com/media/releases/080731_transit_savings.cfm">$8059 per year in reduced spending</a> on fuel, maintenance, insurance, registration, depreciation, finance charges, etc.  (Even after adding back in the cost of public transit.)</p> <p>So, if you bought a house in town--close enough to work that one member of the household who currently drives to work could give up a car and instead get around by mass transit and walking--you&#39;d free up enough cash to boost your mortgage payment by $672 a month.  At current rates on a 30-year mortgage (6.52%, according to the <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/WRMORTG?cid=114">St. Louis Fed</a>), that much extra per month would let you buy $106,097 more house.   </p> <p>Of course, having an extra car is handy for other things besides just getting to work--there&#39;s also transporting the kids, running errands, getting to doctors and dentists, and so on.  But, it&#39;s really not that hard to get by with one less car--the person who keeps the car takes on those errands that simply can&#39;t be run without a car; the person who gives up the car takes on those errands that can be run by bus or on-foot.  Transporting kids arguably gets <strong>easier</strong> once you give up a car, because <a href="http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/about-2/">kids can start taking public transport</a> on their own at a younger age than they can start driving.  (I was riding local buses on my own when I was in 4th grade.)</p> <p>The original idea for this post came from a <a href="http://will.illinois.edu/focus580/interview/focus080812b/">radio interview</a> with <a href="http://cleinberger.com/">Christopher B. Leinberger</a> that ran two days ago on my local NPR station.  Leinberger is the author of a fascinating-sounding new book on walkable communities called <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159726136X?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=159726136X">The Option of Urbanism</a></em>.</p> <p>I was a bit dubious about the American Public Transportation Association numbers.  (They are, after all, an advocacy group for public transit.)  So I did my own back-of-an-envelope calculation and came up with these figures: <ul> <li>Fuel 15,000 miles in a car that gets 30 mph burning $4/gallon fuel = $2000</li> <li>Maintenance (including oil and tires) wild guess = $600</li> <li>Insurance = $900</li> <li>Registration, inspections, etc. = $100</li> <li>Depreciation ($20,000 car that lasts 7 years) = $3600</li> </ul> <p>That totals up to $7200, so I&#39;d say $8059 is in the right ballpark.  Of course, it gets way cheaper if you buy a cheaper car, drive it less, and make it last for more than 100,000 miles.  If you live in the exurbs, though, you&#39;re probably driving it more, not less.</p> <p>Two notes on the math: <ol> <li>$20,000 divided by 7 is just $2857, but you either have to borrow the $20,000 and pay interest on the loan, or else you have to pay cash for the car and lose out on the investment return the money could have earned you.  Either way, I figure you&#39;re out about $3600 a year over the lifetime of the car.</li> <li>Remember that those car-ownership costs are <strong>after-tax</strong> expenses--you&#39;d probably have to gross an extra $11,000 or $12,000 a year to have that much money available for spending.  Many home-ownership costs, though, are tax-advantaged, meaning that it&#39;s more tax efficient to buy housing than it is to buy car transportation.</li> </ol> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-you-can-afford-more-house-in-the-exurbs-think-again">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us">The good life on less energy--even in the US</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/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-you-swap-your-car-for-a-bike">9 Ways Life Is Wonderful When You Swap Your Car for a Bike</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-best-cities-for-going-car-free">5 Best Cities for Going Car-Free</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-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Real Estate and Housing apartment car condo drive house mass transit public transit Fri, 15 Aug 2008 10:37:49 +0000 Philip Brewer 2330 at http://www.wisebread.com