Real Estate and Housing https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4810/all en-US How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage? https://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house_model_and_golden_coins_stacks.jpg" alt="House Model and Golden Coins Stacks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know you need enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs when buying a home. But did you also know that most lenders want to see even more dollars stowed away in your checking or saving accounts before approving you for a mortgage?</p> <p>It's true: Lenders want to know that you have enough money saved to cover at least some of your future mortgage payments should you unexpectedly suffer a financial setback. This is why it's so important to save diligently before deciding to apply for a mortgage. (See also: <a href="https://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 need for additional cash reserves</h2> <p>If you are buying a single-family home, most lenders require that you have at least enough money saved to cover two monthly mortgage payments. This can vary, though: Some lenders might require that you save enough money to cover six months' worth of mortgage payments, while others might not require that you have any reserves built up at all.</p> <p>The reason why most require at least two months' reserves is because lenders want to be certain that you can cover some of your mortgage payments should you lose your monthly income stream or see it drop significantly. This offers protection for the lender, making it less likely that you'll default on your loan.</p> <p>Lenders aren't just worried about the money you'll need to cover your principal mortgage balance and interest, either. Because most homeowners pay additional funds each month to cover their homeowners' insurance and property taxes, lenders want to make sure that you've saved enough to cover these expenses, too.</p> <p>This means if your monthly mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, totals $2,500, you'll want to have at least $5,000 stashed in savings.</p> <h2>Seasoning your savings</h2> <p>You do have to be careful with these savings. Lenders want to see that the dollars in your savings or checking account are &quot;seasoned.&quot; Basically, this means that the money has been in your account for at least two months before you apply for a mortgage.</p> <p>When you apply for a home loan, the mortgage lender will ask for copies of your last two months' worth of bank statements. This is to ensure that buying the home won't be a financial burden for you, and that you are in good financial standing to pay your mortgage bill on time.</p> <p>Don't deposit a large sum of money into your savings account a week before you are ready to apply for a mortgage. If your lender sees that this money has recently appeared in your account, it will ask you to verify its source. Lenders want to see an established history of healthy savings habits. If a large amount of cash suddenly appears in your bank account &mdash; maybe a generous cash gift from a relative, for example &mdash; it doesn't speak to your ability as a borrower to save responsibly.</p> <p>If you received the money as a loan that you have to pay back, you might put your mortgage application in jeopardy. Lenders will count anything that you have to pay back, including a loan from a family member or friend, as debt. If you have too much debt, you might only qualify for a smaller mortgage &mdash; or you might not qualify for a mortgage at all.</p> <h2>Money saved for a down payment or closing costs doesn't count</h2> <p>Maybe you were required to save a down payment of 5 percent of your home's purchase price. If you are buying a home that costs $200,000, that comes out to $10,000. If you've saved $10,000 to cover this, your lender won't allow you to count it as part of your savings reserve.</p> <p>Closing costs are expensive, too. Say yours run $3,000. Unless you can convince the sellers to cover these costs, or get them rolled up into your mortgage loan, you'll need to save these dollars separately, too. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What's Included in a Home's Closing Costs</a>)</p> <p>It's easy to forget when buying a home that mortgage lenders want to see additional savings beyond the typical down payment and closing costs. This is why it's so important to work on building a large cash reserve before taking the plunge and applying for a mortgage.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Much%2520Money%2520Do%2520You%2520Need%2520in%2520Savings%2520When%2520Applying%2520for%2520a%2520Mortgage_.jpg&amp;description=How%20Much%20Money%20Do%20You%20Need%20in%20Savings%20When%20Applying%20for%20a%20Mortgage%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Much%20Money%20Do%20You%20Need%20in%20Savings%20When%20Applying%20for%20a%20Mortgage_.jpg" alt="How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage">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="https://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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs">Here&#039;s What&#039;s Included in a Home&#039;s Closing Costs</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-respond-to-house-shaming">How to Respond to House-Shaming</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="https://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-be-saving-big-with-bi-weekly-mortgage-payments">Why You Should Be Saving Big With Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-vet-your-mortgage-lender">7 Ways to Vet Your Mortgage Lender</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing cash reserves closing costs down payments home buying homeownership lenders mortgage saving money Mon, 30 Jul 2018 08:00:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2156416 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Things Buyers Will Hate About Your House https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-buyers-will-hate-about-your-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-buyers-will-hate-about-your-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stove_in_old_kitchen.jpg" alt="Stove in old kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Selling a house can be a nerve-wracking experience. Not only do you have to deal with the daily stress of having prospective buyers in your home, but you also have to handle the potential feelings of rejection when no offers for your house are forthcoming.</p> <p>Sellers may only see the lifetime of happy memories they built in their home, but buyers are usually focused on the (potentially expensive) negatives that come with the house.</p> <p>Here are some of the biggest issues buyers may hate about your home. Fixing these things can help prospective buyers see themselves living in your house instead of moving on to the next one.</p> <h2>1. Outdated decorating styles</h2> <p>Some interior design is clearly the product of its time. Harvest gold and avocado appliances indicate that your last kitchen update occurred during the Nixon administration. Mauve and teal walls, tiles, or carpets will make buyers think you are still addicted to <em>Miami Vice</em>. And faux-finished paint jobs, such as sponge-painting, rag-rolling, and stippling, are about as current as Beanie Babies and the Macarena.</p> <p>There are two reasons why it's a mistake to leave up any outdated decorating when trying to sell your home. The first is that your buyers will see these style choices as something they need to undo. It will cost them money and time for updates, which will decrease their willingness to pay full price for your house.</p> <p>In addition, if it's clear that you haven't done decorating work on your home in several decades, buyers may wonder if there is other home maintenance you have neglected in that time. Even if you've kept your house in tiptop shape but simply love the aesthetic of a specific decade, buyers might assume the other work in the house is just as outdated. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-modern-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Modern Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a>)</p> <h2>2. Wall-to-wall carpeting</h2> <p>Wall-to-wall carpeting used to be a touted feature of a home, but it has now become a definite negative for the majority of homebuyers. Even first-time homebuyers expect hardwood floors, and will be turned off if they find wall-to-wall carpeting.</p> <p>There are a number of reasons why carpet has lost its hold as a positive feature. To start, carpet tends to hold onto stains and odors. Even if you have diligently cleaned your carpet to stay as fresh as the day it was installed, the expectation among buyers is that carpet will be dingy and stinky, even if it's not.</p> <p>In addition, carpets can hold allergens in a way that hardwood floors do not. Any homebuyers with severe allergies will see wall-to-wall carpeting as a perpetual sneeze machine until the carpet is removed and the floor underneath thoroughly cleaned.</p> <p>This is why many sellers go ahead and pull up any carpeting before putting the house on the market. For many buyers, even unfinished hardwood floors are more desirable than wall-to-wall carpeting. If you are unable to remove the carpeting in your home, make sure you commit to getting it thoroughly and professionally cleaned before putting it on the market. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>3. Unattractive yard</h2> <p>There's something to the idea of &quot;curb appeal.&quot; You may have the world's most gorgeous home on the inside, but if the yard is weedy, overgrown, bare in patches, or looks like the exterior of Sanford and Son, then your potential buyers will never get out of the car to see it.</p> <p>It pays to spend some time and money to improve your landscaping before you put the house on the market. That means ensuring healthy plants and trees and green grass (or other ground cover, if your yard refuses to grow grass) &mdash; and removing any rusting RVs that may have set up camp on your front lawn. (See also: <a href="https://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>4. Wallpaper</h2> <p>The popularity of wallpaper seems to ebb and flow, but each time around it comes with a different aesthetic. Wallpaper is coming back in style right now, but the styles are different from what came before.</p> <p>Whether you have the cabbage rose wallpaper of the early 20th century, orange and brown plaid from the 1970s, or the dainty florals and paisleys of the 1990s, it's likely that buyers will want to remove the wallpaper in your home, even if it's just to put up new paper themselves. Remove the paper yourself so buyers won't see your papered walls as a potential cost.</p> <h2>5. Odors</h2> <p>If you are a pet-owner or a smoker, you may have lost the ability to smell the scents that your pets or your habits have left behind. But your potential buyers will definitely notice the lingering scent of Rover's accidents, Fifi's litter box, and your ashtray &mdash; even if you do not.</p> <p>Invest in a deep-clean of your home before putting it on the market &mdash; and then ask a non pet-owning and/or nonsmoking friend to sniff around your house afterward. They can let you know if the cleaning has taken care of the issue, or if you need to replace carpets, draperies, or other items that may have become irrevocably odoriferous.</p> <h2>6. Popcorn ceilings</h2> <p>Many homes built between the 1930s and the 1990s have this once-popular type of ceiling finish. Builders and DIY home improvers liked this type of finish because it covered up imperfections in ceiling plaster or drywall.</p> <p>But popcorn ceilings are a major pain in the neck to paint, and they also collect dust in all of their peaks and valleys. In addition, popcorn ceilings that were installed before the late 1980s may contain asbestos, which requires special equipment to remove safely. Even if your home was built after that period, many people assume that a popcorn ceiling has asbestos.</p> <p>Though removing a popcorn ceiling can help to attract buyers, it's important to test your ceiling for asbestos before making plans to remove it. You can purchase a testing kit to help you figure out if removing the popcorn ceiling is something you can do on your own, or if you will need to call in a team equipped to handle asbestos removal. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-your-home-isnt-selling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons Your Home Isn't Selling</a>)</p> <h2>Help buyers fall in love with your house</h2> <p>Don't let these kinds of minor features or problems keep buyers from seeing all the beauty and potential of your house. Knowing ahead of time what might turn buyers away from your home can potentially help you get better offers and sell your home faster. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-things-buyers-will-hate-about-your-house&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Things%2520Buyers%2520Will%2520Hate%2520About%2520Your%2520House.jpg&amp;description=6%20Things%20Buyers%20Will%20Hate%20About%20Your%20House"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Things%20Buyers%20Will%20Hate%20About%20Your%20House.jpg" alt="6 Things Buyers Will Hate About Your House" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-buyers-will-hate-about-your-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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="https://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="https://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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-ways-to-scare-off-potential-homebuyers">10 Dumb Ways to Scare Off Potential Homebuyers</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="https://www.wisebread.com/20-tips-for-getting-your-security-deposit-back">20 Tips for Getting Your Security Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing asbestos carpet cleaning curb appeal home decor landscaping odor popcorn ceilings selling a house wallpaper Fri, 27 Jul 2018 08:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2154893 at https://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Buy a Family Home Without the Stress https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-buy-a-family-home-without-the-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-buy-a-family-home-without-the-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_new_home_691524160.jpg" alt="Family buying new home without stress" 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 how to buy a home without the stress, how to choose the best sunscreen, and pro cleaning tips and tricks that will save you time.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://adventuresfrugalmom.com/the-complete-guide-to-buying-a-family-home-without-all-the-stress/">The Complete Guide To Buying A Family Home Without All The Stress</a> &mdash; Don't get caught up in a bidding war. Set an upper limit to what you're willing to pay, and if other people place bids beyond your limit, back out. [Adventures of Frugal Mom]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalnurse.com/2018/07/choose-the-best-sunscreen/">How to choose the best sunscreen</a> &mdash; Sunscreen should be a part of your everyday routine, but it's critical in the summer when we're more likely to spend time outdoors. Here's what you need to know to get the best protection for your skin. [Frugal Nurse]</p> <p><a href="https://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/professional-cleaning-tips-and-tricks-that-save-time/">11 Professional Cleaning Tips and Tricks That Save Time</a> &mdash; Put together a cleaning bucket that you can tote around when you clean. Cleaning will be easier and faster with all your supplies in one place. [A Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-Places-Travel-Alone-US-45010602">The 10 Best Places to Travel Alone in the US</a> &mdash; Whether you want to be pampered, spend time in nature, or hit up a party scene, there's an awesome getaway for every kind of solo traveler. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugalfeminista.com/3754-2/">9 Free Ways to Encourage Self-love &amp; Confidence in Our Children</a> &mdash; It's important that we build up children's self-worth and teach them to love themselves. [The Frugal Feminista]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/EqualEd/2018/0706/Keep-the-test!-A-debate-flares-over-exam-based-public-high-schools">'Keep the test!' A debate flares over exam-based public high schools.</a> &mdash; How do we define merit in a way that's fair and inclusive for all students? [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <p><a href="https://www.breakthetwitch.com/getting-a-dog/">A Minimalist Perspective, Pros And Cons Of Getting A Dog</a> &mdash; Are you thinking about getting a dog? Learn how having a dog around can affect a minimalist, intentional lifestyle. [Break the Twitch]</p> <p><a href="https://thefrugalchicken.com/20-vegetables-you-can-start-in-july-for-a-full-fall-harvest/">20 Vegetables You Can Start In July For A Full Fall Harvest</a> &mdash; It's not too late to start a garden full of leafy greens, root crops, and other veggies. You still have plenty of options for a full fall harvest. [Pampered Chicken Mama]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2018/07/helpful-and-money-saving-travel-hacks.html">Helpful and Money Saving Travel Hacks</a> &mdash; Research your phone and Internet options before your trip, and see if there are offline modes for the apps and tools you'll want to use while you travel. [Penniless Parenting]</p> <p><a href="https://www.frugalwiz.com/7-practical-ideas-for-living-within-your-budget/">7 Practical Ideas For Living Within Your Budget</a> &mdash; Get your family involved! Let everyone know about your financial goals and share tips about how to be wiser about money, together. [Frugal Wiz]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-buy-a-family-home-without-the-stress">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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families">5 Best Neighborhood Features for New Families</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house">How Long Does It Really Take to Close on 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="https://www.wisebread.com/basic-tips-for-buying-a-bank-owned-home">6 Basic Tips for Buying a Bank Owned 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="https://www.wisebread.com/these-are-the-8-most-common-homebuying-mistakes-foreclosure-experts-see">These Are the 8 Most Common Homebuying Mistakes Foreclosure Experts See</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing best money tips homebuying Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:30:15 +0000 Amy Lu 2155451 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Protect Yourself from a Home Improvement Scam https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_adult_woman_holding_working_tools_in_hands.jpg" alt="Young adult woman holding working tools in hands" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From a small task like new sod, to a major job like a finished basement, home improvement projects can become a nightmare if you fall victim to a scam. Even the savviest consumers can get taken for a ride if they don't know how to spot the red flags. So before you commit to any kind of home remodel or upgrade, make sure you know how to protect yourself from the scammers.</p> <h2>Don't get work done that you didn't seek out</h2> <p>This happens all the time, even though door-to-door salesmen seem to be a thing of the past. You'll get a knock on the door and a friendly face will tell you that the recent hailstorm means your roof is in major trouble. Or, their firm is in the area replacing windows, and because so many of the neighbors have signed up, you'll get a great deal. The patter revolves around the same kind of setup, but the result is always the same &mdash; they won't go away until you agree to sign something and hand over a deposit.</p> <p>Now, in all fairness, reputable companies will go door-to-door sometimes as well, but they won't use high-pressure tactics. The scammers will use every trick in the book to get invited inside and throw the hard sell at you. Don't ever get work done that you didn't actively seek out yourself; you're just asking for trouble.</p> <h2>Do your research, and do it well</h2> <p>When you take on any kind of home improvement project, it's not the same as getting a car overhauled or a gadget repaired. This is your home. Your safe space. Before you let anyone near it, let alone into it, you want to know they are reliable and trustworthy. A simple recommendation from a friend or work colleague isn't enough.</p> <p>You have the vast resources of the internet and a community of clients to tap into, so use them. Start with the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. Get yourself a membership to a site like Angie's List (which is free now) and scour reviews. You may even want to do a Google search for the contractor's name followed by a phrase like &quot;rip-off&quot; or &quot;scam.&quot; If there are overwhelmingly negative reviews, avoid them. If there are no reviews, avoid them. You want glowing reviews from at least a dozen people before you commit to anything. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-hire-a-reliable-contractor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Find and Hire a Reliable Contractor</a>)</p> <h2>Get free estimates from multiple sources</h2> <p>If you're any kind of savvy shopper, you won't buy anything without doing a little price comparison. The same applies to a contractor, only this is a much bigger and more important purchase.</p> <p>Once you have researched the best three firms for the job, ask them to each give an estimate for the cost of the service, and ask them to itemize it as well. Next, compare the estimates side-by-side and look to see who is giving you the best value for money. Remember, this is not about the lowest price but the best investment in your home. The lowest price may come with cheaper materials and no guarantee.</p> <p>You want to balance cost with quality, and if one firm is giving you everything and more for a surprisingly low cost, investigate it. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-contractors-before-hiring-one?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Questions to Ask Contractors Before Hiring One</a>)</p> <h2>Make sure this isn't a job you can easily do yourself</h2> <p>You'd be amazed at how many homeowners are willing to pay thousands of dollars in labor for a job that requires just a little research, elbow grease, and $50 in parts. And some unscrupulous contractors are quite happy to do that simple job and charge an arm and a leg for it.</p> <p>Again, you live in the information age, and it's easy to not only identify a problem, but find multiple online videos and walk-throughs showing you just how to do the work yourself. Anything from replacing a washer to an entire furnace is now something within reach of many DIYers.</p> <p>Of course, if you're just not comfortable doing any kind of work around the house, that's your call. But it you're willing and able, and can get some help from a handy friend, you could save a whole lot of money. What's more, check the status of the warranty if you're looking at a repair job. You may discover that you don't even need to pay for service. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-home-improvement-project?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things to Know Before You Start a Home Improvement Project</a>)</p> <h2>Get a contract, and get it checked before you sign</h2> <p>A contract is a vital piece of protection for a consumer and you must demand one. Even if it's just a small job costing a few hundred dollars, you should get the project down on paper and get it signed. List everything that needs to be done, the costs you have both agreed upon, any materials that need to be purchased, any permits that need to be pulled (permits offer additional protection against shoddy work), and the start and completion dates.</p> <p>Ideally, you should have a legal mind look at it, be it a professional or someone who can help you out for free. Read every word, including the small print that can hide traps. You don't want to sign anything that could leave you high and dry. This contract will be your protection should anything go wrong and you need to take it to court.</p> <h2>Don't give more than 33 percent as a down payment</h2> <p>A contractor will ask for a down payment to secure the work, make sure you're serious about committing, and purchase materials. All this is absolutely business-as-usual. But if the down payment starts climbing above the 33 percent mark, you should proceed with extreme caution. Give away too much money at the beginning, and you may never see it or the contractor again.</p> <p>You should hold off on paying the bulk of the money until the job is completed to your satisfaction, and even then that final payment should only be handed over when you receive something called a lien waiver, stating all supplies and any additional subcontractors have been paid for. Otherwise, you could find yourself getting harassed for extra money. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a>)</p> <h2>When possible, choose a credit card over cash payments</h2> <p>Not all small businesses accept credit cards. But if your contractor offers the option, paying with a credit card can provide a degree of purchase protection you wouldn't otherwise have with cash. Should the project have issues, you can call your credit card company and dispute the charges. They employ teams of professionals that will work on your behalf to get this issue sorted. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/12-times-your-credit-card-has-your-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Times Your Credit Card Has Your Back</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Protect%2520Yourself%2520from%2520a%2520Home%2520Improvement%2520Scam.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20from%20a%20Home%20Improvement%20Scam"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20from%20a%20Home%20Improvement%20Scam.jpg" alt="How to Protect Yourself from a Home Improvement Scam" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam">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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-red-flags-to-look-out-for-when-renting-your-first-apartment">10 Red Flags to Look Out for When Renting Your First Apartment</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="https://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-contractors-before-hiring-one">8 Questions to Ask Contractors Before Hiring One</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-predatory-lending">How to Protect Yourself From Predatory Lending</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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-vet-your-mortgage-lender">7 Ways to Vet Your Mortgage Lender</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Real Estate and Housing contractors home improvement red flags remodeling research reviews scams vetting warning signs Thu, 05 Jul 2018 08:30:18 +0000 Paul Michael 2153720 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs Your House Is Holding You Back https://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_sitting_alone_at_home.jpg" alt="Young woman sitting alone at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Owning a home can be a powerful thing. It can bring happiness and security to you and your family, and it's often a wise financial decision. But sometimes, your house can be a problem.</p> <p>Many of us fall for the temptation to purchase a home that is ultimately too costly for us to sustain. We pursue our &quot;dream home&quot; only to find that the costs of ownership and maintenance are actually preventing us from achieving other goals. Let's examine the signs that your house may be holding you back.</p> <h2>1. It is costing you more than 30 percent of your income</h2> <p>It's fine to budget a certain amount of your income to housing costs, but at a certain point, that share becomes too much. The federal government advises spending no more than 30 percent of your income on housing. This is not a requirement &mdash; very wealthy people may be able to afford more &mdash; but it's a good rule of thumb. For most people, once you pass that 30 percent threshold, you may find it hard to make your housing payments and cover other expenses in your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-ends-meet-when-youre-house-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Ends Meet When You're House Poor</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're barely making a dent in the loan principal</h2> <p>One of the major advantages of owning a home versus renting is that you have the opportunity to build equity over time. This can be a major part of building net worth. But, a large mortgage loan with unfavorable terms could mean that you are paying mostly interest and very little principal.</p> <p>With most home loans, homeowners can build equity over time &mdash; if they're patient, they can pay off the interest and begin chipping away at the principal. But some mortgage loans (such as interest-only or negative amortization loans) can leave a homeowner with little to no equity and may even leave them owing more than the home is worth. This is a hard situation to get out of, but if you can find a way to refinance your mortgage into a fixed-rate loan, the house will be less of a financial burden over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You're Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</a>)</p> <h2>3. You are taking on other debt</h2> <p>It's OK to have some mortgage debt, but when you find yourself borrowing to pay for other things, that's problematic. Have you been forced to finance your cars instead of pay for them outright? Are you taking on credit card debt? Your house may be responsible for an ever-increasing debt load that could eventually destroy your financial dreams. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surefire-signs-you-have-too-much-debt?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Surefire Signs You Have Too Much Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. You're struggling to hold onto it</h2> <p>When that mortgage bill is due each month, are you scrambling to get the funds together? Have you been late on payments or skipped them altogether? Is the bank threatening to take your home away? This is a horrendous way to live. Chances are, you've taken on too much house. That home, which is supposed to provide your family with shelter, security, and comfort, is now something you can barely afford to keep. It may be time to devise an exit strategy.</p> <h2>5. You've come to resent the house</h2> <p>A home should be a source of pride. It's the place where you watch your kids grow up, grow vegetables in the backyard, and host Thanksgiving. Your home should be your refuge and a place of happiness.</p> <p>Have you instead found yourself simply hating the place? Have you ever said, &quot;Gosh, I can't stand this house?&quot; Maybe it's because the house is haunted or backs up to the city dump. Or it could be that the costs of owning and maintaining the house stresses you out. If your house is a source of strain rather than joy, it could be that it's too much of a financial burden.</p> <h2>6. Your life has shrunk</h2> <p>OK, so you have your house. You go to work every morning. What else are you doing with your time? What dreams are you pursuing?</p> <p>Sometimes, our housing costs impose such a burden that we find ourselves unable to really &quot;live&quot; life in a meaningful way. Taking time to travel? Forget it. Going back to school? No way. Starting a business? Not a chance. Even going out to eat with friends and family may be out of the question.</p> <p>You may feel &quot;rich&quot; living in a large, expensive house. But how rich is your life, in the final analysis?</p> <h2>7. Investing seems impossible</h2> <p>Your employer offers a 401(k) plan, but you haven't even thought about contributing. You've heard about things like IRAs and mutual funds, but can't bother to research what it all means. The notion of putting money aside for retirement seems almost ridiculous, because you're barely treading financial water.</p> <p>There's no question that investing can be difficult when you have other living costs to consider, but you need to budget for the future in the same way that you budget for groceries and other costs. If you find it hard to set aside even a small amount, it could be that your house is eating up too much of your income.</p> <p>Reducing your housing costs and freeing up even $50 to $100 per month could represent tens of thousands of dollars in savings over time. If you can further reduce your housing costs by thousands and invest toward retirement instead, you'll be sitting pretty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-start-investing-with-a-lot-less-money-than-you-think?ref=seealso" target="_blank">You Can Start Investing With a Lot Less Money Than You Think</a>)</p> <h2>8. You feel stuck in your job</h2> <p>Maybe you're not satisfied with your career path, or aren't getting along with your boss. Perhaps you can't stand your commute. Ideally, you can simply leave your job and find a new one. But sometimes, we stay at jobs because the pay and other benefits are simply too good to pass up. How many of us have said, &quot;I can't leave this job because I've got a mortgage to pay?&quot;</p> <p>If this sounds like you, think about how your house is actually forcing you to stick with a job you hate. While we all must earn income to live, we also all deserve the right to pursue careers based on reasons other than money. Moreover, we should ideally be able to take time off work &mdash; or endure a job loss &mdash; without it resulting in immediate financial disaster. If you feel trapped in a job you don't like, are your housing costs to blame?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-back&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Signs%2520Your%2520House%2520Is%2520Holding%2520You%2520Back.jpg&amp;description=8%20Signs%20Your%20House%20Is%20Holding%20You%20Back"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Signs%20Your%20House%20Is%20Holding%20You%20Back.jpg" alt="8 Signs Your House Is Holding You Back" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-house-is-holding-you-back">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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement">5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage">How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage">8 Signs You&#039;re Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</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="https://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 debt homeownership house poor housing costs interest investing mortgage Spending Money Tue, 03 Jul 2018 08:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 2149553 at https://www.wisebread.com Are Starter Homes Still a Thing? https://www.wisebread.com/are-starter-homes-still-a-thing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-starter-homes-still-a-thing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_build_couple.jpg" alt="New build couple" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The old formula worked like this: When you were tired of renting an apartment, you'd buy a starter home. This starter home would be affordable and small. When your family started to grow, you'd sell that starter home and buy a larger residence.</p> <p>Does this strategy still make sense? Should you invest in a starter home before purchasing what you might consider the home of your dreams?</p> <p>Not surprisingly, the answer is complicated. But in most cases, a starter home is not necessarily the best financial move. That's largely because mortgage dollars are so affordable today thanks to historically low interest rates.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that buying a starter home is a bad move, just that you shouldn't consider it an essential step. Here are some reasons why a starter home isn't always necessary anymore.</p> <h2>It's more affordable to buy a bigger house</h2> <p>Mortgage rates have been rising, but these rates are still at historic lows. As of mid-June, it was still likely that if you had solid credit, you could qualify for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan at an interest rate near 4.5 percent.</p> <p>When interest rates are low, it's cheaper to borrow money. It also gives you more homebuying power. You can take out a larger mortgage loan and still be left with an affordable monthly payment, which means you can purchase a home with a bigger price tag.</p> <p>Just be careful: You don't want to stretch your budget too far. Only buy a home that leaves you with a mortgage payment you can afford each month, whether it's a starter home or a more expensive residence. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-warning-signs-you-cant-afford-that-new-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Warning Signs You Can't Afford That New House</a>)</p> <h2>Down payments aren't as much of a burden</h2> <p>Down payments have traditionally been a challenge to homebuyers. After all, 20 percent down on a home that costs $200,000 is $40,000 &mdash; a big chunk of money. The challenge of coming up with down payments has led many first-time buyers to less expensive starter homes. The down payments for these homes are smaller.</p> <p>Today, however, there are a number of programs that require buyers to come up with smaller down payments. Fannie Mae offers a program that requires just 3 percent down, while many borrowers can qualify for a down payment of 3.5 percent for FHA loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-qualify-for-a-mortgage-with-a-small-downpayment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Qualify for a Mortgage With a Small Downpayment</a>)</p> <h2>Buying a starter home means moving twice</h2> <p>If you can afford a larger home right off the bat, you'll save yourself time and aggravation by reducing the number of times you have to move.</p> <p>Moving is a hassle. And it's expensive. You want to do it as few times as possible. Skipping the starter home and moving right into a larger home can help you skip at least one move in your lifetime. And if you've ever been through a big move, you know how much of a benefit skipping one can be. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a>)</p> <h2>A bigger home provides you with more flexibility</h2> <p>If you buy a home that's a bit too large &mdash; as long as your mortgage payments fit comfortably within your budget &mdash; you'll have more space and flexibility if circumstances change down the road.</p> <p>Maybe your family starts to grow, or you take a remote job and need a home office. Maybe you have frequent out-of-town guests who need to stay the night. If you buy a starter home that's barely big enough to fit just you, as soon as you need more room, you'll have to start your hunt for a new residence. With a bigger home, you'll already have the added space for a significant other, kids, guest room, or home office.</p> <p>When you're touring a home, don't just consider your space needs today. If the home is offered at the right price, and your interest rate is low, think of how your family might grow and how your needs might change. Those rooms that seem like extras today might turn out be invaluable in the future.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fare-starter-homes-still-a-thing&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAre%2520Starter%2520Homes%2520Still%2520a%2520Thing_.jpg&amp;description=Are%20Starter%20Homes%20Still%20a%20Thing%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Are%20Starter%20Homes%20Still%20a%20Thing_.jpg" alt="Are Starter Homes Still a Thing?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/are-starter-homes-still-a-thing">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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage">How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?</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="https://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/choosing-the-right-mortgage-loan-15-or-30-years">Choosing the Right Mortgage Loan: 15 or 30 Years?</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-foreclosure">How to Avoid Foreclosure</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="https://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> Real Estate and Housing down payments extra space housing market interest rates mortgage moving starter home Mon, 25 Jun 2018 08:30:25 +0000 Dan Rafter 2150663 at https://www.wisebread.com 10 Repairs That Aren't Your Landlord's Responsibility https://www.wisebread.com/10-repairs-that-arent-your-landlords-responsibility <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-repairs-that-arent-your-landlords-responsibility" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sad_woman_using_plunger_in_kitchen_sink.jpg" alt="Sad woman using plunger in kitchen sink" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the benefits of being a renter as opposed to being a homeowner is that the landlord is responsible for many costly home-improvement projects, like replacing a leaky roof or updating dying appliances. But not all domestic damage is his or her responsibility. What exactly are you on the hook for? Find out which home repairs are not your landlord's problem &mdash; and start saving up for them now.</p> <h2>1. Replacing light bulbs, batteries, and HVAC filters</h2> <p>The landlord can't control how much you run the lights, so replacing bulbs when they burn out is your responsibility. The same may be true for replacing batteries where necessary, including those in smoke and CO2 detectors, which should be outlined in your lease so that there's no confusion about who's supposed to keep up with home safety. Many leases will also require tenants to replace air filters in HVAC systems on a regular basis (ideally every three months, but landlords often supply the filters).</p> <h2>2. Unclogging backed-up drains that you caused</h2> <p>Here's what I've learned from personal experience: Don't put eggshells or potato skins in the garbage disposal if you don't know how to unclog the sink. Otherwise, it'll cost you a visit from the plumber, because this is definitely not your landlord's problem. Same goes for the toilet &mdash; you do the crime, you do the time. Unclog it yourself or call someone ASAP before the problem turns into more damage from overflowing water and other &quot;stuff.&quot;</p> <p>Practice other considerate grooming habits, too &mdash; like cleaning your hair out of drains to keep pipes in working order. If your landlord has to come over to do this for you, he or she has every right to tack an extra fee onto your rent that month.</p> <h2>3. Certain pest infestations</h2> <p>Assuming that you're moving into a rental unit that doesn't have any existing vermin problems (you should verify this independently before signing a lease; don't just take the landlord's word for it), you may be responsible for any rodent or bug infestations that occur after you move in. Be sure to check the terms of your lease as well as any state-specific laws regarding pests such as bedbugs.</p> <p>Certain living habits, like leaving old food out or failing to regularly take out the trash, can attract ants, cockroaches, or even rats. If your landlord finds you responsible for the infestation, you will likely have to pay up to get rid of the problem.</p> <p>Other bug or rodent infestations can happen naturally. Termites, for example, can infest any building regardless of your living habits. In this case, it's on the landlord to get an exterminator. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Cheap Ways to Get Rid of Household Pests</a>)</p> <h2>4. Lawn care and snow shoveling at single-family homes</h2> <p>Unless your landlord has agreed to handle the mowing and snow shoveling in the single-family home you're renting, you'll need to get out there yourself. While you can let the lawn go for a little while, you're legally required to have your sidewalk shoveled within a few hours after a snowstorm ceases. Fail to do it and you could face fines from the city, which also will be your responsibility. If you live in a multiunit dwelling, however, the landlord generally takes on this responsibility him or herself or hires someone to do it.</p> <h2>5. Damage to property due to your negligence</h2> <p>Being a decent human being means taking responsibility for damage caused by your own negligence &mdash; accidental or not &mdash; and that of your family, friends, kids, and other guests you invite into the home. Your landlord is not responsible for anyone's carelessness; you can't punch holes in the walls during an argument and expect them to fix it. And please, don't lie to get out of whatever it is you or they did to damage the property. Be an adult, pay for the repairs, and move on (ideally with people who don't destroy things).</p> <h2>6. Carpet cleaning and repainting</h2> <p>One of the biggest costs to landlords is replacing carpet ruined over time by tenants. I've seen some of this damage myself, and I'm frankly baffled by how disrespectful some people are and the lengths they'll go to try to skirt the cost of cleaning or replacing the carpet.</p> <p>Repainting the walls their original color (if you've painted them) is also your responsibility. This should absolutely be a clause in your lease, but you should always contact your landlord before making any paint decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a>)</p> <h2>7. Pet damage</h2> <p>I once had a tenant who was not authorized to bring an animal into my shore rental, but did so anyway. When I questioned her about it, she denied it. I explained to her the strong smell of feline urine upstairs, at which point she revised her story to having a dog in the house briefly. I wasn't born yesterday, lady. The dog bit was a lie, too &mdash; but it didn't matter what kind of pet was in my house. It was unauthorized, and I passed the cleaning bill right along to her.</p> <h2>8. Misuse of appliances that cause them to malfunction</h2> <p>You break it, you buy it &mdash; that's the rule with appliances in your rental that you've damaged. Whether you've caused a dryer fire from neglecting to clean out the lint trap, burned out motors from working appliances too hard, or caused the dishwasher to overflow because you thought laundry detergent would work in lieu of dishwashing liquid (shout-out to my ex-husband), it's all your responsibility. If any appliance just stops working, however, it's probably on your landlord &mdash; so give 'em a call.</p> <h2>9. Holes in the wall from frames and shelving that you hung</h2> <p>Before you can get your security deposit back, your landlord will want to make sure a few tasks are completed, including patching up holes you've put in the wall from frames, shelves, and other damage you may have caused to the drywall and paint from adhesives. Skip out on it and you can kiss your money goodbye.</p> <h2>10. Anything else outlined in the lease</h2> <p>Read your lease closely before signing. Most issues of landlord/tenant responsibility are outlined in the document. Keep it on hand to go over again if issues arise so you can quickly determine whether or not the burden and financial responsibility falls on you. Once your signature is on the lease, you're legally bound to it. If you feel like something outlined should be the landlord's responsibility, discuss it beforehand to revise if necessary. After that there's no wiggle room &mdash; it's either your problem, or not.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-repairs-that-arent-your-landlords-responsibility&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Repairs%2520That%2520Aren%2527t%2520Your%2520Landlord%2527s%2520Responsibility.jpg&amp;description=10%20Repairs%20That%20Aren't%20Your%20Landlord's%20Responsibility"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Repairs%20That%20Aren%27t%20Your%20Landlord%27s%20Responsibility.jpg" alt="10 Repairs That Aren't Your Landlord's Responsibility" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-repairs-that-arent-your-landlords-responsibility">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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-red-flags-to-look-out-for-when-renting-your-first-apartment">10 Red Flags to Look Out for When Renting Your First Apartment</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="https://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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://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> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-never-hide-from-your-landlord">8 Things You Should Never Hide From Your Landlord</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing damage landlords maintenance painting pests pets renting repairs security deposit Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 2148341 at https://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Make Money Flipping Houses https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-make-money-flipping-houses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-make-money-flipping-houses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_house_sold_505993164.jpg" alt="Couple making money flipping houses" 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 steps to take if you want to make money flipping houses, expert tips for mobile banking security, and how to create a stunning summer style.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneyaftergraduation.com/2018/06/20/make-money-flipping-houses/">10 Essential Steps to Make Money Flipping Houses</a> &mdash; Real estate can be a great way to make extra money, but that darling fixer-upper with a lot of potential can easily turn into money pit. Whether you're planning to create your dream home or flip for a profit, here's what you need to do build equity. [Money After Graduation]</p> <p><a href="https://www.moneyunder30.com/tips-for-mobile-banking-security">4 Expert Tips for Maintaining Mobile Banking Security</a> &mdash; Follow these tips to protect your online wallet. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="https://adventuresfrugalmom.com/how-to-create-a-stunning-summer-style-in-6-simple-steps/">How to Create a Stunning Summer Style in 6 Simple Steps</a> &mdash; A new wardrobe for the season doesn&rsquo;t mean you need to cast aside your old clothing. A few tweaks and some mixing-and-matching can do a lot to revamp your style. [Adventures of Frugal Mom]</p> <p><a href="https://anexerciseinfrugality.com/staycation/">How to Plan the Perfect Staycation</a> &mdash; No matter your budget, it only takes a little bit of planning to squeeze maximum fun into your staycation. [An Exercise in Frugality]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Bedroom-Organization-Tips-22309085">11 Simple Tips For Bedroom Organization</a> &mdash; Swap out your side tables for full dressers to create some extra storage. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.theminimalistmom.com/2018/06/50-things-to-do-as-a-family-without-technology/">50 Things to Do As a Family Without Technology</a> &mdash; Technology is a big part of our everyday lives, but it's important to unplug every once in a while. Grab your family and have some fun without your devices! [Minimalist Mom]</p> <p><a href="https://everythingfinanceblog.com/24783/wedding-planner-worth-it.html">Should You Spend Money on a Wedding Planner?</a> &mdash; A wedding planner can help alleviate a lot of the preparation stress leading up to your big day. By asking yourself a few key questions, you can figure out if you can justify the cost of hiring a wedding planner. [Everything Finance]</p> <p><a href="https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-clean-a-ceiling-fan/">How to clean a ceiling fan in 60 seconds</a> &mdash; Clean your ceiling fan in a quick minute using this DIY cleaning tool you can make with items you already own. [CNET]</p> <p><a href="https://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2018/06/21/surviving-the-messy-middle-how-to-get-refocused-when-youve-gone-off-track/">Surviving the Messy Middle: How to Get Refocused When You&rsquo;ve Gone Off Track</a> &mdash; When projects get messy and stressful, it's normal to want to give up. Here are a few ideas to help you push through and finish the project with a bang. [Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="https://femmefrugality.com/save-extra-money-vacation/">Finding Ways to Save Extra Money for Your Next Vacation</a> &mdash; Here are a few ways to pocket some extra money for your vacation fund! [Femme Frugality]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-make-money-flipping-houses">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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage">How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-buyers-will-hate-about-your-house">6 Things Buyers Will Hate About Your House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-paying-cash-for-a-house">The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash 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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-downsides-of-a-reverse-mortgage">5 Downsides of a Reverse Mortgage</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="https://www.wisebread.com/are-starter-homes-still-a-thing">Are Starter Homes Still a Thing?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing best money tips flipping houses Fri, 22 Jun 2018 08:30:24 +0000 Amy Lu 2151239 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Things a Homebuyer Shouldn't Say to a Seller's Agent https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-agent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-agent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_buying_a_house.jpg" alt="Couple buying a house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're touring an open house and the real estate agent running the event walks over to say hello. What should you say in return? Well, you can say hello right back. But other than that, it's best to stay pretty much mum.</p> <p>The agent at an open house is a seller's agent. This individual is paid to represent the best interests of the people selling the home &mdash; not yours. If you say too much, you run the risk of accidentally providing them with information that he or she can use against you if you make an offer and eventually enter negotiations to buy their client's home.</p> <p>What should you never say to a seller's agent? Here are five conversation gaffs to avoid during an open house.</p> <h2>1. How much you love the house</h2> <p>You might think it's natural to tell the agent at an open house how much you love the home you are touring. This, though, can be a big mistake when it's time to negotiate a final sales price if you decide to make an offer.</p> <p>Think about it: If the seller's agent knows that you absolutely love the home, they might be less willing to advise the current owners to lower their asking price. After all, you've already told the agent that the home is a great fit. They might even figure you'll be willing to pay <em>more</em> because you like the home so much.</p> <p>Don't say anything to the seller's agent about how much you like the home, even if you really do love it. Don't confess that the backyard is perfect for your children. Don't say how much you love the renovated kitchen. And don't mention that you can already imagine relaxing in the spacious living room. Keep these thoughts to yourself to avoid giving your seller's agent any extra ammunition during future negotiations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-questions-to-ask-during-an-open-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20+ Questions to Ask During an Open House</a>)</p> <h2>2. How soon you need to move</h2> <p>Never let a seller's agent know that you're getting desperate to find a home. This, too, can give an agent inside information that could be used against you.</p> <p>If you tell an agent that you absolutely need to move in the next month, that agent might tell his or her clients that they should hold out for a higher final sales price. After all, you're desperate to move. The seller's agent might rightly assume that you'll be more likely to accept a higher sales price if it means getting into a new home quickly.</p> <h2>3. How much you're willing to spend</h2> <p>You likely have an upper limit for how much you can afford to spend on a home. Keep that limit to yourself. Absolutely never share it with a seller's agent.</p> <p>Say you can afford to spend up to $300,000 on a home. Don't comment to the agent that you're excited the house is listing for $290,000 because it's $10,000 under your budget. If the sellers know that you can afford to spend more, they may not be as willing to lower their asking price during negotiations.</p> <p>Share your budget with the agent representing <em>you &mdash;</em> your buyer's agent. But make sure it's a secret that the seller's agent never learns.</p> <h2>4. Personal details</h2> <p>Maybe you're looking for a home because your company transferred you to a new location. Maybe your family is growing. Maybe you've gone through a divorce and you need to downsize.</p> <p>Keep these personal details to yourself. If you share them with the seller's agent, the information you've spread might once again come back to haunt you during negotiations.</p> <p>For instance, maybe you need to move because you're having a baby and once that baby arrives, you won't all fit in your current home. Armed with this knowledge, the seller's agent might advise his or her clients to hold firm on their asking price. They know you're backed into a corner. You need to move to find space for your expanding family, and they have the space you need.</p> <h2>5. Any financial problems you're having</h2> <p>You want sellers to view you as a serious buyer. If you share financial struggles with the seller's agent &mdash; a past bankruptcy, a low credit score, mounds of credit card debt &mdash; you might do the opposite. If the home's sellers think you have financial problems that might prevent you from qualifying for a mortgage (assuming you haven't prequalified), they'll be less willing to enter into serious negotiations with you.</p> <p>If you've had financial hiccups in the past, keep them to yourself. You don't want sellers to think they'll be wasting their time by accepting an offer from you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-a-first-time-home-buyer-needs-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything a First-Time Home Buyer Needs to Buy a House</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-agent&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Things%2520a%2520Homebuyer%2520Shouldn%2527t%2520Say%2520to%2520a%2520Seller%2527s%2520Agent.jpg&amp;description=5%20Things%20a%20Homebuyer%20Shouldn't%20Say%20to%20a%20Seller's%20Agent"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Things%20a%20Homebuyer%20Shouldn%27t%20Say%20to%20a%20Seller%27s%20Agent.jpg" alt="5 Things a Homebuyer Shouldn't Say to a Seller's Agent" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house">How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-homebuying-questions-youre-embarrassed-to-ask">5 Homebuying Questions You&#039;re Embarrassed to Ask</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-selling-your-house">6 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buying a home mortgages negotiations offers open house real estate agents seller's agent Wed, 06 Jun 2018 08:30:23 +0000 Dan Rafter 2146550 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make Before You Move in Together https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-you-move-in-together <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-before-you-move-in-together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_couple_moving_in_new_home.jpg" alt="Young couple moving in new home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Moving in with your significant other is an important moment in your relationship, and it can feel awkward to worry about anything so concrete as finances when you both have stars in your eyes. But money has a way of causing tension in even the closest relationships if you don't spell out expectations before you've signed a lease or a mortgage contract together.</p> <p>In addition to the potential strain money can put on your relationship, it's also important to remember that cohabiting couples can have an even greater need to protect themselves financially than married couples do, since there is less legal protection available for unmarried couples who split up after living together.</p> <p>Though it may seem unromantic, make sure you and your soon-to-be live-in boo follow these money moves before you call the moving trucks.</p> <h2>1. Talk about finances</h2> <p>You may assume that you and your partner each make about the same amount of money and have similar attitudes toward finance. But until you are living together and your joint household depends on each of your finances, you can't really know for sure.</p> <p>That's why the first and most important step in making sure your new living situation is blissful rather than stressful is to talk openly about your finances together. Discuss how much money you each make; how much each of you are used to spending for housing, utilities, and other living expenses; and how much you spend each month on individual expenses, like student loans, car loans, gifts to family, work-related expenses, and the like.</p> <p>This may sound like the world's most awkward conversation (just ahead of when your parents gave you &quot;the talk&quot;), but a little discomfort now will save you a great deal of relationship strife in the future. That's because you can discuss fundamental disagreements about how to spend money when you're not in the midst of a financial issue or problem.</p> <p>For instance, if you know ahead of time that your sweetheart sends $400 per month to help her younger brother in college, it will not come as a nasty surprise when that is the reason she gives for not being able to afford half the cost of a new dryer to replace the broken old one. You will know just how strongly she values giving financial help to family, and you can talk about how that will affect your financial choices as a live-in couple before it becomes a reality. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>2. Set a budget you can both afford</h2> <p>Beyond the initial conversation about your income, expectations, and financial philosophy, it's important to work together to set a budget that's affordable for you both. This is especially vital if there is a big income disparity between you, since the higher-earning partner may assume they can afford a more expensive place than the lower-earner is comfortable with.</p> <p>Couples with an income imbalance may be tempted to simply let the higher earner pick up the financial slack, but there are two big problems with this plan. First, it can come with a big helping of resentment to have the income imbalance reflected in housing costs, since the higher earner may resent paying more while the lower earner may feel beholden.</p> <p>In addition, nothing is guaranteed, including employment. Setting a budget that is completely outside the means of the lower earning partner could turn a potential job loss into a huge financial crisis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways an Income Gap Can Strain Your Relationship</a>)</p> <p>When you are setting your joint budget, talk about how much rent or mortgage you can each afford, as well as how you will split up the cost of utilities so that you can each easily afford your portion of the housing costs. While it's perfectly OK not to split everything 50/50, it's a good idea to draw up a budget that either partner could handle for at least a month or two in a pinch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a>)</p> <h2>3. Put both your names on the lease</h2> <p>If either partner is not represented on the formal housing document, that opens you up to some big potential problems.</p> <p>For instance, let's say Brian and Jeff move in together to an apartment just in Jeff's name. If they were to break up, Jeff would have a better claim on staying in the apartment they have both called home because his name is on the lease.</p> <p>Alternatively, if Brian decides to pack up and leave, Jeff is left holding the bag (and paying the rent solo), and he will have no legal recourse. With Brian's name on the lease, they are both responsible for continuing to pay rent.</p> <h2>4. Put your arrangement in writing</h2> <p>A running gag on <em>The Big Bang Theory</em> is the overly-complex roommate agreement that the socially inept Sheldon drew up with Leonard before they moved in together. While most of Sheldon's quirks should not be attempted at home, this is one that bears imitation, though it doesn't need to be as complicated as Sheldon made it. Writing out the specific financial expectations of each partner can protect you both.</p> <p>What should you include in the agreement? It should detail how much you will each pay for rent, which partner will pay for which household expenses, when bills will be paid, and any other arrangements for sharing your space.</p> <p>A written agreement is especially important if one partner owns a house that the other partner is moving into. Without both names on the title, the non-homeowning partner is vulnerable should the relationship go south, or if the homeowner were to pass away. In either case, that partner could be evicted at another's whim because there was only one name on the title. Alternatively, if the homeowner is unable to pay the mortgage because of job loss or disability, the other partner would have no obligation to pay it.</p> <p>A legal, written agreement between partners can make sure that you both have financial protection in regards to your joint home.</p> <h2>5. Keep separate emergency funds</h2> <p>Having a financial cushion available to leave a bad situation is an important part of financial health. Knowing you have the money to leave an abusive job, a dangerously maintained apartment, or a toxic relationship gives you the freedom to set important emotional boundaries and keep yourself from being walked all over.</p> <p>When you're talking about moving in with your significant other, you may feel like this relationship could never become a bad situation &mdash; but there's a reason why it's called an &quot;emergency&quot; fund. Relationships can sour and people can wait to show their true colors, so it's always prudent to make sure you each have the funds to take care of yourself if you have a relationship emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>Spelling out expectations is the path to happy cohabitation</h2> <p>It's easy to get caught up in the fun part of planning out your move with your beloved. After all, talking about money, leases, legal agreements, and the like is not exactly romantic. But talking to each other about your financial expectations before you are unpacking boxes means you are walking into your new living situation with eyes open, and you will not get stuck in a situation that makes you uncomfortable.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-money-moves-to-make-before-you-move-in-together&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520Before%2520You%2520Move%2520in%2520Together.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20You%20Move%20in%20Together"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20You%20Move%20in%20Together.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make Before You Move in Together" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-you-move-in-together">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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-on-what-to-do-before-moving-in-together">5 Tips on What to Do Before Moving in Together</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-never-do-when-sharing-finances">6 Things to Never Do When Sharing Finances</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="https://www.wisebread.com/4-money-moves-to-make-after-you-pay-off-your-mortgage">4 Money Moves to Make After You Pay Off Your 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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-that-ll-protect-you-during-the-next-recession">7 Money Moves That’ll Protect You During the Next Recession</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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-youre-no-longer-a-personal-finance-rookie">10 Signs You&#039;re No Longer a Personal Finance Rookie</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Real Estate and Housing budgeting cohabitation couples emergency funds homeownership leases living together moving in together relationships sharing finances significant other Tue, 05 Jun 2018 08:30:31 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2145221 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Agree on the Perfect Home With Your Spouse https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-agree-on-the-perfect-home-with-your-spouse <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-agree-on-the-perfect-home-with-your-spouse" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/completely_happy_at_their_new_place.jpg" alt="Completely happy at their new place" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying the home of your dreams can be a thrilling process &mdash; until you find out that you and your spouse cannot agree on anything. House hunting with someone that has different tastes or priorities can slow down the process and make every home you look at a disappointment.</p> <p>Here's how to find the perfect home for you and your spouse, even if you can't agree on every little thing.</p> <h2>Make separate wish lists</h2> <p>You and your spouse should both write out your 10 must-haves for your new home. If you have more than 10 items, narrow it down so that you focus on the highest priorities. Let's be real: You can live without a claw foot tub in the master bathroom, but you might be at your wit's end if you have to deal with a small, cramped kitchen.</p> <p>Once you both have your lists made, highlight any items that are matching. If you can find four to six matching items, you are off to a great start. Those should be the items you focus on. All non-matching items on your list then need to be rated as &quot;must-have&quot; or &quot;nice to have, but can live without.&quot; This will allow you to narrow down your search and save time when looking for the perfect home.</p> <h2>Determine the big non-negotiables</h2> <p>Some things are non-negotiable, such as price or neighborhood. If you know that you can only spend so much money or that you only want to buy in a certain area, it helps you both to get on the same page. I recommend sitting down and agreeing on a maximum budget before even starting the home tours.</p> <p>When you are dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars, going $20,000 over budget for your dream home may not seem like a big deal, especially when you have 30 years to pay off the debt. However, in addition to adding cost to your monthly mortgage payment, going over budget can also add tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan. It is important to know exactly how much you will be paying each month for your mortgage, as well as an estimate of yearly property taxes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You're Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</a>)</p> <h2>Find the compromising points</h2> <p>When you and your spouse have two conflicting must-haves on your list, talk through them. Listen to why they want a certain item and share your feelings about why you do not want the item. For example, if your spouse wants to live close to the city so the commute to work is shorter, but you don't want to be close to the city for safety reasons, you should both present your side of the argument respectfully. Figure out if there are any other pros or cons to the situation. For example, perhaps living closer to the city also means more traffic and higher home sale prices.</p> <p>Be willing to compromise on issues that aren't that important or can be remedied. For example, if your spouse is adamant about having an extra bedroom for an office or home gym, and you couldn't care less either way, respect that it is important to them. On the other hand, if your spouse wants a swimming pool but you are unsure because you have an infant, you may be more open to the idea if the pool comes with a secure gate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul?ref=seealso" target="_blank">House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over The Long Haul</a>)</p> <h2>Look at the potential, not the actual</h2> <p>When you look at homes, there's a good chance that only a small percentage will be anything close to what you consider your dream home. Even if you find your dream home, there is an even bigger chance that the home will be out of your budget. The solution? Stop looking at houses as they are and start honing in on their potential.</p> <p>If you or your spouse have items like &quot;granite countertops and stainless steel appliances&quot; or &quot;office with built-ins&quot; on your list, realize that these features can be added to almost any home. Gaining a Pinterest-worthy bathroom or a backyard with a deck to entertain and lush grass are also things that can easily be done for another $10,000 to $15,000. However, wish list items like a big kitchen, two-stories, nice neighborhood, or three-car garage are harder (sometimes impossible) and costlier to add after you buy a home.</p> <p>It is also important to realize that many homes just need quick cosmetic changes to become desirable. You have to look past poor paint color choices, neglected yards, gross flooring options, and clutter. When my husband and I looked at the home we live in now, I was discouraged by the size of what were to be the children's bedrooms. In pictures and in person, the rooms looked tiny because the owner had queen-sized beds in them and large dressers. It wasn't until we moved our furniture in that we realized the rooms were bigger than most standard bedrooms. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-modern-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Modern Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a>)</p> <p>House hunting can be exhausting, but don't let it ruin your marriage. Be willing to talk through the process and don't be afraid to bring a trusted, unbiased friend to help you narrow down the choices.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-agree-on-the-perfect-home-with-your-spouse&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Agree%2520on%2520the%2520Perfect%2520Home%2520With%2520Your%2520Spouse.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Agree%20on%20the%20Perfect%20Home%20With%20Your%20Spouse"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Agree%20on%20the%20Perfect%20Home%20With%20Your%20Spouse.jpg" alt="How to Agree on the Perfect Home With Your Spouse" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-agree-on-the-perfect-home-with-your-spouse">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="https://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-consider-a-balloon-mortgage">Should You Ever Consider a Balloon Mortgage?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-consider-before-buying-a-home-when-youre-single">5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home When You&#039;re Single</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-negotiate-when-buying-a-home">6 Things You Can Negotiate When Buying a 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="https://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage">How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing agreeing buying a home compromising homeownership marriage must haves spouse wish lists Mon, 04 Jun 2018 08:30:17 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2145066 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Larger Home https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-larger-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-larger-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_holding_keys_to_new_home.jpg" alt="Family holding keys to new home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That two-bedroom home near the heart of the city was perfect when you and your partner first bought it. But ever since you started a family, that once quaint home feels crowded. It's time to upsize to a larger residence. This is a big move with plenty of factors you need to consider before you make an offer on a sprawling home in the middle of the suburbs.</p> <p>Are you financially ready for the extra expense that comes with a larger home? And what are you willing to sacrifice to get that extra square footage? If you want that new home purchase to be the right one, you need to consider some key questions.</p> <h2>1. Can you afford it?</h2> <p>Bigger homes come with bigger price tags. But the sales price isn't the only inflated cost you'll face when upsizing.</p> <p>Bigger houses come with bigger property tax bills. You'll also have to spend more in homeowners' insurance to protect that home. Then there are the utility bills. A larger home costs more to heat and cool than a smaller one. If your big home comes with a sprawling front and backyard, will you mow the grass yourself or pay for a landscaping crew?</p> <p>Before making an offer on an upsized home, consider all the extra costs that come with it. Study your existing household budget and determine if the actual costs of a bigger home fit in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-added-costs-that-come-with-a-bigger-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Added Costs That Come With a Bigger House</a>)</p> <h2>2. How much space do you really need?</h2> <p>You might just need an extra bedroom or two, but not a three-car garage or an added office space. If you'd never use that extra room or space, it'd just be a waste of money.</p> <p>When looking at homes for sale, consider the way your family lives. If you don't do much cooking, you probably don't need a huge, state-of-the-art kitchen. If no one works from home, you likely don't need a home office. You can save money by buying a home that only includes the space your family needs, or will need as you add children. If your family is growing, having extra bedrooms is key. If you have young children, extra outdoor space is another plus. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Neighborhood Features for New Families</a>)</p> <h2>3. What are you willing to give up?</h2> <p>You might love living in or near the city, but finding larger homes in an urban neighborhood can be difficult. And when you do find a bigger home in the city, it's likely to come with a sky-high price tag. You might have to move to a new neighborhood in a more suburban area if you want to find a bigger home that fits your budget.</p> <p>Are you willing to make that trade-off? Moving farther from the city could mean a longer daily commute to work. It might also mean you spend more time in the car to get to your favorite restaurants and shopping centers.</p> <p>Extra space often comes with trade-offs. You might gain extra bedrooms, a luxurious bathroom suite, and a bigger backyard, but you might lose the convenience and excitement of living in a big city. Be sure to consider those compromises before you move. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-research-a-homes-location-before-you-buy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Research a Home's Location Before You Buy</a>)</p> <h2>4. What happens when it's time to sell?</h2> <p>You may plan on living in your bigger house forever, but plans change. Your family might continue to grow. Your employer might transfer you to a new city. You might want to downsize as you age and your children move out. When it's time to sell, will your bigger home be attractive to potential buyers?</p> <p>You always need to keep resale value in mind when shopping for a new home. Yes, you want a home that's big enough for you and your family. And, yes, you want one that you will enjoy. But if you buy a house with features that might turn away a high percentage of potential buyers &mdash; maybe it boasts a large theater designed exclusively for cinephiles or an extravagant indoor pool that costs money to maintain and clean &mdash; you'll struggle to sell it for the price you need to turn a profit.</p> <h2>5. How long will you need that extra space?</h2> <p>Your home might be cramped now, but is this a permanent or temporary condition? Say your oldest children are only a few years away from heading off to college. Could you live with the crowded conditions until they move out? That way, you won't have to bother with shopping for a new home, applying for a mortgage, and hiring a mover only to find that your new, larger house feels empty once your older children are out of the home for good.</p> <p>What if your home feels small because in-laws are living with you, or your adult children have moved back home? If both of these situations are temporary, you can again save plenty of stress and money by waiting them out.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-larger-home&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Things%2520to%2520Consider%2520When%2520Buying%2520a%2520Larger%2520Home.jpg&amp;description=5%20Things%20to%20Consider%20When%20Buying%20a%20Larger%20Home"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Things%20to%20Consider%20When%20Buying%20a%20Larger%20Home.jpg" alt="5 Things to Consider When Buying a Larger Home" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-larger-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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-added-costs-that-come-with-a-bigger-house">7 Added Costs That Come With a Bigger 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="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs">Here&#039;s What&#039;s Included in a Home&#039;s Closing Costs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing bigger house expenses extra space family homeownership mortgages property taxes upsizing Fri, 01 Jun 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Dan Rafter 2144958 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked https://www.wisebread.com/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/our_first_house.jpg" alt="Our First House" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're ready to own a home. And you think you know the basics involved in finding one, working with a real estate agent, and applying for a mortgage. But buying a home for the first time can be a confusing process. This is especially true if you believe certain myths about searching for and making an offer on a house.</p> <p>If you want to alleviate some of the uncertainty that comes with buying your first home, it's time you learned the truth about the homebuying myths too many consumers still believe.</p> <h2>1. Working with a real estate agent is expensive</h2> <p>Actually, if you're working with a real estate agent to buy a home, it's free. Buyers usually don't pay for the work their agents do in helping them find and make offers on homes. When you buy a home, the <em>sellers</em> typically pay the commissions of both your agent and theirs. The funds for this come from the proceeds of the home sale.</p> <p>You will have to pay plenty when you buy a home, including the many fees and costs that go with taking out a mortgage and hiring inspectors. But you won't pay anything to your real estate agent. So there's no good reason to skip working with a real estate agent if you are a buyer. (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>2. You need a down payment of 20 percent</h2> <p>Applying for a mortgage is another nerve-wracking part of buying a home. You'll pay thousands of dollars to your lender and other third-party providers to close the loan that allows you to buy your new home.</p> <p>But you probably don't need to come up with as big of a down payment as you think. Many buyers mistakenly think that they need to come up with a down payment equal to at least 20 percent of a home's final purchase price. That can be intimidating: A 20 percent down payment on a home costing $200,000 comes out to $40,000 &mdash; a lot of money.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can buy a home with smaller down payments. FHA loans, for instance, often require down payments as low as 3.5 percent of a home's final purchase price. You can also qualify for conventional loans with down payments as low as 3 percent.</p> <p>Remember, though, that you must pay for private mortgage insurance &mdash; better known as PMI &mdash; if you don't come up with that 20 percent down payment. This can add extra costs to your monthly payments until you build up at least 20 percent equity in your home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-really-need-a-20-percent-down-payment-for-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Do You Really Need a 20 Percent Down Payment for a House?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Spring is the best time to look for a home</h2> <p>Traditionally, buyers have flooded the housing market in the spring, when the majority of single-family homes and condominiums go up for sale. However, there really is no one time of the year that is &quot;best&quot; for buying a home. You might even find better bargains on homes if you start your search before or after the spring.</p> <p>Say you start looking in the summer. There may be fewer homes available, but you'll also find buyers who are willing to negotiate on their asking price as they become more desperate to sell. The same goes for winter, when sellers may be looking to relocate quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-fall-is-a-great-time-to-house-hunt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Fall Is a Great Time to House Hunt</a>)</p> <h2>4. The best mortgage is a 30-year, fixed-rate loan</h2> <p>The traditional 30-year, fixed-rate loan comes with two big positives: The monthly payment will only fluctuate slightly over the life of the loan, and the monthly payment is relatively low because the loan term is so long.</p> <p>However, this doesn't mean that this loan is right for every buyer. If you take out a 15-year, fixed-rate loan, you'll have a higher monthly payment, but you'll also pay tens of thousands of dollars less in interest. If you plan on spending five years or less in the home you are buying, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) might even be a better choice because it comes with lower initial interest rates.</p> <p>Your best move is to work with a mortgage lender who can help you determine which loan product is best for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-15-year-mortgage-a-good-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is a 15-Year Mortgage a Good Idea?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Once a seller accepts your offer, your worries should be over</h2> <p>There is a big potential pitfall that could scuttle your purchase even after you and a seller sign a sales contract: The home you are buying might not appraise at a value that is high enough.</p> <p>After you and your seller sign a contract, your lender will require that you pay for an appraiser &mdash; about $400 to $500 &mdash; to determine the current market value of the home you are buying. If that market value isn't at least equal to the money your lender is giving you, your deal could flop.</p> <p>For instance, if your appraiser judges that the home you want to buy is worth $150,000 and you've agreed to purchase the residence for $225,000, your lender might agree to only loan you $150,000. That means you'll have to come up with the remainder out of your own pocket or convince the seller to lower the asking price. If these solutions aren't available, your deal could fall through. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-home-sale-could-fall-through?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons a Home Sale Could Fall Through</a>)</p> <h2>6. The value of the home you buy will always appreciate</h2> <p>We all hope that the home we buy will be worth more when it's time to sell. And often, it is. But there are no guarantees that the home you buy will appreciate in value, no matter how long you hold onto it.</p> <p>Don't believe anyone who tells you that housing prices only go up. Those buyers who purchased in 2005 or 2006, at the height of the residential real estate boom, know that housing prices can go the other way, too. Many of those buyers are still living in homes that are worth less today than they were when they first bought them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Common%2520Homebuying%2520Myths%252C%2520Debunked.jpg&amp;description=6%20Common%20Homebuying%20Myths%2C%20Debunked"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Common%20Homebuying%20Myths%2C%20Debunked.jpg" alt="6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house">How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-break-even-with-a-home-refi">How Long Does it Take Break Even With a Home ReFi?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing closing down payments home loans homebuying homeownership mortgages myths real estate agents value Mon, 28 May 2018 09:00:17 +0000 Dan Rafter 2143648 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Respond to House-Shaming https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-respond-to-house-shaming <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-respond-to-house-shaming" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two_female_friends_sitting_on_sofa_and_arguing.jpg" alt="Two female friends sitting on sofa and arguing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've heard it at the dinner table when visiting Mom and Dad. You've heard it from your cousin Phil. You've heard it from friends out at Happy Hour. &quot;Why are you renting a home when you should be buying? Don't you know you're just throwing your money away?&quot;</p> <p>There's a lot of pressure to buy a home instead of paying rent. And, yes, there are some very valid financial arguments for homeownership. But buying a home isn't the best choice for everyone, and there are many reasons why it may not make sense for you. Unfortunately, shaming people into feeling bad about renting has become a real thing.</p> <p>How can you respond to these people? Here are some retorts for those house-shamers in your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-even-if-you-dont-plan-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Moves to Make Even If You Don't Plan to Buy a House</a>)</p> <h2>1. Renting is cheaper</h2> <p>This is not always the case, but is often true, especially when you factor in things like property taxes, association fees, and maintenance. NerdWallet last year reported that the median monthly cost of homeownership was 54 percent higher than renting nationwide &mdash; and higher than 90 percent in some states.</p> <p>Many families choose to stretch their budgets when they buy a home, and that's not always the wisest choice. If you are able to live within your means while renting, but aren't sure if you could make ends meet if you bought a home, don't feel pressured into buying.</p> <h2>2. There are multiple ways to build net worth</h2> <p>Owning a home can be a great way to build your overall net worth, but it's not a requirement. As long as you are saving more than you are spending, you're increasing your net worth. And you can give that a boost through a variety of other means, including investing in stocks, bonds, or collecting rare baseball cards. You have the right to choose your own methods for building your net worth. There is no magic formula. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth</a>)</p> <h2>3. A mortgage is still debt</h2> <p>Unless you are swimming in cash, you're likely going to have to borrow money to purchase a home. In fact, most homeowners are dealing with mortgage loans of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that will take decades to pay off.</p> <p>Taking on a mortgage loan is nothing to take lightly, especially if you already have debt from student loans, credit cards, or automobiles. You have a right to decide what debt load you are comfortable with. Some people choose to live 100 percent debt-free, and that's perfectly fine. You should resist any pressure to go beyond the debt load you're comfortable with.</p> <h2>4. You need to get your financial house in order first</h2> <p>It doesn't make sense to try and buy a house if your financial situation is a mess. Perhaps you have a low credit score or big loans to pay off. Maybe you've been dealing with inconsistent income due to a job loss or struggles with your business. Or maybe you are just learning to get your own personal spending under control in order to save money.</p> <p>If your finances aren't in good shape, it may be hard to buy a home in the first place and any home you do buy may just place additional stress on your money situation. If you feel the need to respond to a would-be house shamer, a simple reply of, &quot;We need to get our financial act together first&quot; is a reasonable response.</p> <h2>5. You simply may not want a house</h2> <p>The bottom line is that you may not want to own a home in the same way you have no interest in owning a dog, a fur coat, or a herd of alpacas. People can make all kinds of financial arguments in favor of homeownership, but they are meaningless if you don't actually want a house. A house comes with work and responsibilities that you may not have interest in. You may not be drawn to the idea of settling into a single place. Homeownership just may not be your thing, and that's fine! If you don't want a house, don't buy one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a>)</p> <h2>6. You have other priorities</h2> <p>You may one day like to own a house, but choose to use your time, energy, and money on other pursuits at this point in time. Perhaps you'd like to finish graduate school or pay off student loans first. Maybe you want to focus on building your business or your career. Perhaps you want to focus on your health after recovering from a long illness. Maybe you'd like to spend a few years with your new spouse before taking on the responsibilities of homeownership. There are a million things you can do to better your life at any given time, and buying a home is just one option.</p> <h2>7. It takes time to save for a down payment</h2> <p>One of the easiest ways to get into financial trouble is to purchase a home with little or no down payment. The less money you put down, the more money you have to borrow, and the larger your monthly mortgage payments will be. Putting less than 20 percent down on a home might mean you'll be required to buy private mortgage insurance, and that adds cost to your loan. The sensible way to buy a home is to save as much as you can and put down a healthy down payment, thus keeping your monthly payments low and putting you on the fastest path to building equity and wealth. (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>8. You're not settled on where you want to live</h2> <p>It takes time to get a strong sense of whether you want to settle down in a specific community. Maybe you aren't quite settled in your career. Maybe you or your spouse are in the military and know you may have to relocate within a year or two. If you buy a home and decide to move within a few years, you could be faced with the pressure and work of selling the home. If you have not had time to build equity in the home, you may not make much profit on the sale and may even lose money. This also comes down to comfort level. If you simply don't feel right buying a home in a community you don't plan to settle into, renting is perfectly fine.</p> <h2>9. It's nobody's business</h2> <p>Look, you're going to get all kinds of advice on how to best manage your money. A lot of that advice is great. Some of it is not. But ultimately, the decisions you make with your money are yours and yours alone. The choices you make with your money should be based on your own personal situation and values. The next time someone questions why you haven't purchased a home, it may simply be best to say, &quot;None of your business.&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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-respond-to-house-shaming&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Respond%2520to%2520House-Shaming.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Respond%20to%20House-Shaming"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Respond%20to%20House-Shaming.jpg" alt="How to Respond to House-Shaming" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-respond-to-house-shaming">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="https://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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</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="https://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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-do-you-need-in-savings-when-applying-for-a-mortgage">How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?</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="https://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments down payments homeownership loans mortgages renting saving money shaming Fri, 25 May 2018 09:00:16 +0000 Tim Lemke 2142938 at https://www.wisebread.com 10 Red Flags to Look Out for When Renting Your First Apartment https://www.wisebread.com/10-red-flags-to-look-out-for-when-renting-your-first-apartment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-red-flags-to-look-out-for-when-renting-your-first-apartment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/houses_and_magnifying_glass_on_green_grass.jpg" alt="Houses and magnifying glass on green grass" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you ready to fly the nest? If it's time to find a new apartment, there are some things to look out for before signing a rental agreement. If you don't know what to be wary of, your first place could put you in financial jeopardy and even physical danger. These are the biggest red flags. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a>)</p> <h2>1. A limited selection of photos</h2> <p>If the ad for the apartment features just one or two photographs of the place, don't even bother making a call to see it. Landlords know that great photos help sell a place. It's the first thing any potential renter will look at, and they will scour them before looking at features and price. If there are just a couple of photos, perhaps blurry or only showing one room or the outside of the building, the landlord is hiding something. Either the unit is in awful condition, it's small and dark, or it's got other issues that he or she would rather not talk to you about until you get there; and that's when the hard sell begins. Don't see any place that doesn't show you all the interiors and exteriors in advance.</p> <h2>2. Bars on the windows</h2> <p>You may think it's good to have an extra layer of security, but let's be honest; bars mean trouble. Clearly the apartment is in an area rife with crime, and if the landlord has taken to adding bars to the windows, it's bad. The only reason bars are up is because it's a last resort to prevent break-ins, vandalism, and other crimes. If you see bars, don't even enter the building.</p> <h2>3. The rent is too good to be true</h2> <p>Landlords are in the business of making money. Whether it's just one person renting out one property, or a whole agency renting out hundreds of homes, the end goal is profit. So if you come across an apartment that is priced way under the going rate for that area, be afraid. Be very afraid. It could be a bait and switch, which is illegal &mdash; when you call, suddenly that apartment at that low price is no longer available, but there's a similar one that's way more expensive. Or, there's one that's the same price but has fewer rooms and is in an awful neighborhood.</p> <p>Another reason could be that there is a major problem with the rental unit. For example, it's directly above a loud bar or restaurant, or it's near a high-traffic area that ensures you'll never get any sleep. The price may also be compensating for unusually high utility bills, pest infestation, or significant problems with the structure. The chances are, a super-low price is simply a worm on a hook, and you're the fish being reeled in. Don't bite.</p> <h2>4. Emails coming from different people</h2> <p>When you reply to an ad for an apartment listing, it's fairly common to get a few different reply addresses at first. One could be an auto-responder saying someone will be in touch, or it could come from a third party domain like Craigslist. However, if the email addresses keep changing, and the name of the person you're dealing with is also going through an identity crisis, you have a potential scammer on your hands. Take a look at the domain names, see if the person has a presence on LinkedIn, or if there is a legitimate website linked to that landlord or agent. If they're a ghost, you should steer clear of this property. And if the emails are filled with typos and other errors, that can also be a bad sign. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a>)</p> <h2>5. The landlord or agent isn't available</h2> <p>If you're having trouble getting in touch with the landlord now, at a time when he or she should be extremely keen to talk to you, imagine how tough it will be when you're a tenant. At this stage in the process, you represent money. They want the apartment rented out, and to be making a profit ASAP. If your emails go unanswered for days, your calls go to voicemail, and you are having to play detective to get any kind of answers, this is not the place for you. It could be a scammer, it could be disorganization, or it could be laziness and apathy. None of these are qualities you want in someone who you'll be relying upon for repairs to the apartment and other issues.</p> <h2>6. Too many things are in need of repair</h2> <p>If you're walking around and everything looks good, but the door on the microwave is dinged up or loose, it's probably just an oversight or something the landlord intends to fix before you move in. Any good landlord will bring it up and assure you the repair will be made. If not, ask for it to be taken care of before signing the lease. However, if you see signs of neglect, and many items that look broken or in a state of disrepair, move on. If the landlord is showing you this, imagine what he or she is hiding from you? It also doesn't bode well for any repairs you may need once you're a tenant. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-you-must-inspect-before-signing-a-rental-agreement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Things You Must Inspect Before Signing a Rental Agreement</a>)</p> <h2>7. Some doors remain closed on the viewings</h2> <p>Yikes. If there are doors that are locked and the landlord won't show you that area, you have every right to be very suspicious. You're about to live here, and deserve to see every room. That means the closets, the attic or basement, the garage or storage unit, and even the crawl space if you desire. Some landlords will say that some rooms are off limits because they use it for storing maintenance supplies and other personal items. That needs to be considered in the lease, and should be accounted for in the price of the rent. But any landlord serious about his or her business will rent their own separate storage unit.</p> <h2>8. There are funky odors or stains</h2> <p>There's no excuse for this. An apartment should be made &quot;view ready&quot; by the landlord, and if it's not looking or smelling good, you're going to have issues. The biggest concerns are mold and mildew. If you're smelling that damp, musty odor it means the apartment could have some major issues with mold. This can cause structural damage and health issues. You should not be smelling any kind of cigarette smoke unless the listing says &quot;smoking OK,&quot; which is rare these days. And look for stains on the walls or ceiling. If you see a fresh coat of paint on one small section of the apartment, ask about it. They may be trying to hide a problem.</p> <h2>9. The tour is rushed and given at an odd time</h2> <p>If you have a landlord or real estate agent rushing you through the tour, or only letting you see the apartment at certain times of the day, you are being deceived about something. Maybe the neighborhood is noisy and dangerous after dark. It could become an all-night party zone. Or, you could get stuck next to horrendous traffic and transportation noises during rush hour. And if you're close to an airport, make sure the apartment is insulated from that noise or you'll regret moving in for the entire term of the lease.</p> <h2>10. You're asked to sign an incomplete agreement</h2> <p>Don't just walk away, sprint! A lease is a contract between you and the landlord, and your signature means you agree to whatever is on it. If the landlord or agent says certain items will be filled in later, you cannot trust what's coming. Maybe they tell you you're getting a discounted rate, but then change their mind. They may say they'll take care of all the utilities, but afterward change that. They may even add in that the security deposit is nonrefundable. When you sign a lease, everything should be completed, and there should be two identical copies &mdash; one for you and one for the landlord, each signed and dated by both parties. And if they say you'll miss out if you don't sign right now, it's a pressure tactic that can only lead to trouble. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Questions Landlords Can't Ask</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-red-flags-to-look-out-for-when-renting-your-first-apartment&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Red%2520Flags%2520to%2520Look%2520Out%2520for%2520When%2520Renting%2520Your%2520First%2520Apartment.jpg&amp;description=10%20Red%20Flags%20to%20Look%20Out%20for%20When%20Renting%20Your%20First%20Apartment"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Red%20Flags%20to%20Look%20Out%20for%20When%20Renting%20Your%20First%20Apartment.jpg" alt="10 Red Flags to Look Out for When Renting Your First Apartment" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-red-flags-to-look-out-for-when-renting-your-first-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-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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-repairs-that-arent-your-landlords-responsibility">10 Repairs That Aren&#039;t Your Landlord&#039;s Responsibility</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="https://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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment">The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing agreements apartments landlords lease maintenance red flags renting repairs safety scams warnings signs Fri, 25 May 2018 08:30:31 +0000 Paul Michael 2141991 at https://www.wisebread.com