Yard Sale 2017 or How I Cleaned Out the Closets…Again!

You’ve probably heard the old law that your possessions will increase to fill the space available for their storage. Even if you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably experienced it in your own home. I currently live here in central NJ with my wife in a condo: 2 bedrooms and 2 baths with living room, dining room and eat-in kitchen. It’s about 1,200 square feet in total.  It’s very nice, just too small for all our stuff. Or more correctly, our stuff is too big for our home.  Here’s a solution…a yard sale!

We all have too much stuff, but there's a solution...have a yard sale! Here's some tips on having a successful sale and how my yard sale went.

Frankly, all my life I have been used to a lot more living space than we have now and that had resulted in some serious space problems. I’m not sure if you will believe me, but we both still have things in the original boxes from the time we both moved into this home. Those original boxes are still taped shut and enclose some things that might be older than your kids or even you who may be reading this post! Literally, almost every square inch of our closet space is totally packed with “stuff”. I complain about it almost every day but I’ve been so lazy about it that that’s all I have done. I’m really good about complaining.Continue reading“Yard Sale 2017 or How I Cleaned Out the Closets…Again!”

Resource: The Definitive Guide to Mortgages

A few weeks ago, I wrote about tips for mortgage shopping, but since then, InvestmentZen has published a monster guide to mortgages that’s worth a read if home shopping is in your future. Here’s a few words from Tiffany of InvestmentZen:

Purchasing a home is a major financial decision. For a lot of us, it may be the biggest single financial decision we make during our lifetime. Given its importance – it’s surprising how many of us actually have a very poor understanding of the finances behind a real estate transaction, especially when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Securing a mortgage can be a complicated, as there are many different parties involved in the process along with industry jargon, but it is essential to understand because it can mean saving thousands of dollars over time. Failure to understand your mortgage and its potential effect on your finances could not only result in lost money that could be saved for retirement or other financial goals, but as many discovered during the great recession – it could mean losing your house.

The terms of a mortgage are very important for a home-buyer to understand. The difference in terms could mean thousands of dollars paid over the lifetime of the loan, which usually run for 30 years. There are many different types of loans, each of which have varying rates. These different types are also essential to understand in order to ensure that a homebuyer receives the best rate possible.

While it can be confusing, here is an easy-to-understand guide that walks through the steps of getting a mortgage in four chapters. The chapters cover a basic understanding of mortgages, the types of loans available, what factors affect a mortgage rate, and the application process. Though reading about mortgages isn’t exactly exciting, if you’re thinking of buying a house, this guide does a great job of breaking down everything you need to think about when applying for a mortgage.

Mortgage Shopping Tips for the Biggest Purchase of Your Life

Springtime is here and that means house hunting season has begun, which means mortgage shopping has begun! Just like night follows day, when spring arrives, it’s real estate time in the good old US of A. If you’re in the market for a home, whether you’re looking to become a first time homeowner or if you’re planning to move from one place to another, you have to be on top of the mortgage market and the challenges that are involved.

It's house hunting season and if you're looking to buy, you could probably use some mortgage shopping tips. Save money on the biggest purchase of your life!

Interest rates on home mortgages have been at record low levels for several years now and that may be about to change. Knowing how to get the best deals when entering into what might well be the biggest single purchase you will ever make becomes a must! You simply don’t want any regrets when you buy and there are some real basics you must know before you commit.Continue reading“Mortgage Shopping Tips for the Biggest Purchase of Your Life”

How Will You Pay Off Your Biggest Debt? Your Home Mortgage

If you are a homeowner, you probably know the feeling that you are under a tremendous weight and that you will probably be in debt for the next 20-30 years, or possibly even the rest of your life! It can be hugely depressing when you look at that and the likelihood that a mortgage will become a very close “friend” of yours—forever. It’s a huge decision to buy a home and more likely than not, it will be the biggest financial decision that you will ever make. Scary?

Most homeowners have a mortgage, but don't think about how to pay off the mortgage. Here's how to pay it off in your high-earning years before retirement.

In 2015, about 62% of all Americans owned their own homes, a number that’s been pretty consistent over the past 20 years (although there has been a decline since 2000). Here’s the scary part. Less than one third of all those homeowners actually own their homes free and clear, and that means that the majority of them have, wait for it…a mortgage!Continue reading“How Will You Pay Off Your Biggest Debt? Your Home Mortgage”

Home Renovations That (Almost) Pay for Themselves

Please welcome Sarah Landrum from Punched Clocks for today’s guest post on home renovations.

Pop quiz: Is your home perfect, or is there room for improvement? Answer: Room for improvement, right? Whether you want to repaint the dining room or swap out the drapes, there’s always something that could use some sprucing up. The real issue becomes whether your renovations are going to merely look good or add actual value to your home.

Before you make any plans for home renovations, check out this list of upgrades that practically pay for themselves in adding value to your home.

Hopefully, they can do both. Here are some home renovations that almost pay for themselves.Continue reading“Home Renovations That (Almost) Pay for Themselves”

Living Large and Saving Money in a Tiny House

It was just a couple of years ago when I first heard of a new trend growing in and around my area. In NYC, they were building tiny apartments in some of the most expensive and sought after locations in Manhattan. There were places where the rents were just astronomical and only the rich and famous could dwell. Tiny apartments? It was something that certainly peaked my curiosity quite a bit. After all, haven’t most of us always thought the concept of bigger is better as the way we should go?

Could you ever see yourself living in a tiny house? It can be a great way to save on expenses, but more than that, it's a lifestyle.

I became even more curious and puzzled when I found out some of the details. I thought, what is tiny anyway? Most of the people I knew where always looking for a nice big place to live. You know the kind I mean with multiple bedrooms, an office, and an eat-in kitchen, and yes a couple of bathrooms too. That is an apartment!Continue reading“Living Large and Saving Money in a Tiny House”

Moving to Another City: Are You Ready?

Today’s guest post on moving to another city is sponsored by CO-OP Financial Services.

On average more than 40 million people move each year in the U.S. and it is estimated that 80% of those moves occur between April and September. If you’re considering moving to a major city, to pursue career opportunities, be closer to family, or just a change of scenery, you’ll want to be well prepared to make the big transition. Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure it’s the right decision for you:

Moving to another city can be a big undertaking. There's lots to consider when making this decision so here are some tips to get you on the right track.Continue reading“Moving to Another City: Are You Ready?”

Reverse Mortgage Pros and Cons: Is It Right for You?

If you are age 62 or older, I’m sure you’ve seen the countless commercials every day on TV about reverse mortgages. Whether it’s Henry Winkler (yes, the Fonz!) or Tom Selleck (yes, Magnum P.I.!) telling you about the wonderful advantages and the free information that you can get about them, you were probably a little curious if you own your own home and are looking for ways to help limit your mortgage costs and retirement expenses. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

Reverse Mortgage Pros and Cons: Is it right for you?

Truth be told, reverse mortgages are very complicated and are not the “be all end all” for everyone. There is danger in this process for some and as we all know when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is just that. So let’s cover some reverse mortgage pros and cons.Continue reading“Reverse Mortgage Pros and Cons: Is It Right for You?”