real estate

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.

Are You Ready for Home Ownership?

My husband and I just moved to the Great Northwest, and we batted around the idea of purchasing our first home. We are both college graduates, have great jobs, and we’re ready to live the American Dream! [more]

Why you can't trust a real estate agent.

Surely a real estate agent would want to get you the very best price for your home. After all, they earn commission. The more they sell it for, the more they make, right? [more]