real estate

Root cause of the financial crisis

Several times recently, Treasury Secretary Paulson (and many others) have claimed that the "root cause" of the current financial crisis is "the housing correction." This is comple

Seller concessions and buyer bargains - What to ask for in the current real estate market.

It is currently a buyer's market for real estate in most of the United States and there are many ways a buyer could negotiate for a deal beyond getting a great price. Here are som

Real Estate Appraisals - Ten things most people just don't understand about them

The homeowner wants to make the sale. The broker wants to make the commission. The lender wants to make the loan. It'd be nice to see all these folks made happy, but first... th

Are $1 homes worth buying?

This week a story from The Detroit News reported that homes are being listed in Detroit for $1. One particular $1 home sold for cash after being on the market for 19 days. The buye

The Benefits of a Walkable Neighborhood

Are you able to walk to your daily necessities from where you live? Or do you drive everywhere? Discover how walkable your neighborhood is and see if you can use your car less.

Why "Buy One Get One Free" Is Usually A Bad Deal

Recently, I read about a promotion from a home builder in San Diego where consumers could buy a 4000 square foot house for $1.6 million and get a smaller home by the developer valu

More Tax Credits Coming for Homebuyers?

Yesterday I read a news item that stated the House and Senate are considering another tax benefit for homebuyers and homebuilders. The idea the House is considering is basically g

Is It the End of 6% Real Estate Commissions?

This week the Justice Department reached an antitrust settlement with the National Association of Realtors that is meant to spur competition and bring down the standard 6% commissi

Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings

At any port you can probably see hundreds to thousands of empty shipping containers just sitting around waiting to be loaded. In recent times these containers have not only transp

How Big of a House Do You Really Need?

For my entire life, I have never lived in a place bigger than 1400 square feet. The smallest dwelling I had was a studio less than 400 square feet which I shared with my parents.

Road To Becoming A Rich Idiot

Ever met a rich idiot? I’ve known at least two. Not counting my telephone conversation with self-proclaimed Rich Idiot and multimillionaire Robert Shemin (author of “How come TH

Could Your City Go Bankrupt?

I never knew that cities in America could file for bankruptcy until recently a Northern California city named Vallejo made the news for being on the edge of bankruptcy. So how doe

So You Want to be a Landlord? Part II: How Do You Actually Make Money?

The truth is that rents sometimes do not cover the monthly costs of owning the rental home, so how is it that these real estate gurus make their money? A lot of people think that i

Your equity was always imaginary

You used to hear the term "land rich, cash poor" for people who owned valuable land but didn't have quite enough money to make ends meet.  It's an expression that

So You Want to be a Landlord? Part I

With dropping home prices, a long term investment in real estate is looking pretty attractive. Whether you want to buy rental property outright, or renting is your plan B when your

Do not buy something just because you can afford it

Since I got married people have been constantly asking me two questions. One is, "are you pregnant yet?", and the other is "are you going to buy a house?" One

How the Banks Were Fleeced -- A Primer to Mortgage Fraud

Have you seen homes in your neighborhood sell for unreasonable prices and quickly end up in foreclosure? If this is a common occurence then perhaps there is a ring of thieves commi

Why mortgages have eaten Americans out of house and home

What lessons can future homeowners take away from today's "mortgage crisis?"

Personal Finance Lessons from Online Adventure Game (RuneScape)

A friend shared with me some strategies he's learned for playing RuneScape. Can these strategies be applied to personal finance? Let's see.

Renting is cheaper

Everybody has seen a rent-versus-buy analysis. Here's a different way to look at it.