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?
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
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.
Hopefully, they can do both. Here are some home renovations that almost pay for themselves. Continue reading
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?
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
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:
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?
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
With the cost of home ownership so high, more and more people are choosing to rent these days. Apartment living has its advantages, including having things like maintenance and repairs handled by the landlord. It’s also a good option if you don’t know how long you’ll want to live in a particular area. I’ve lived in a number of apartments over the years, some nicer than others, but all were affordable. When you’re ready to move, whether you’re changing locations or just changing buildings, there are a number of ways to save on an apartment.
First, you want to make sure that you can find a rent within your budget. It’s recommended that you spend no more than 30% of your post-tax income on housing, but the numbers can vary depending on your situation. Get an idea of what you can spend, and then you can begin looking around for homes that meet your criteria. Continue reading
Hot enough for you? Unless you just got back from the North Pole you have probably noticed that we’re in the middle of one of the hottest stretches of the year, or any year for that matter. We’re suffering from the effects of what is known as the ‘Heat Dome” which currently stretches all across the country. So you don’t think weather patterns are changing and the extremes from one season to the next are dramatic and unpredictable? (Perhaps you’d like to read what science says about that.) But wait a second, what is the “Heat Dome” and what can you do about it?
The dome effect is, well, a dome effect which occurs when the heat that is present just can’t escape into the atmosphere because of several factors including the dew points, humidity and yes, the stagnant pollution. In addition, “corn sweat” (yes you heard that right) produced by the Midwest crops adds to that condition building up dangerous and potentially lethal conditions from the high temperatures. Continue reading
From the earliest days in our country, owning your own home has been a goal of almost every American or at least it seems that way. From the time that the first settlers landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, setting up and having your very own place to live was something that each family did and they focused all their attention on it. Of course, they had to build that shelter back then, unlike today when we can just look around the part of the country we want to live in and pick a house from the neighborhoods we like and can afford. Many of us have done just that, more than once, myself included. It’s the biggest most expensive thing you can ever buy. But, is it still what everyone wants today? Has the American dream of home ownership started to slip away?
Despite the calendar, this morning as I write this post, we still haven’t seen the temperatures make us feel like summer is just around the corner. In fact, “Princess” (our beautiful hanging basket of purple petunias…yes, we name our plants) slept last night in the house to avoid us having to put a winter sweater on her to keep her warm!
But just as light follows darkness, summer is going to arrive soon and for us, Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! And what says summer more than a good old fashioned barbecue? Continue reading
We have all been there, haven’t we? We have a new appliance or device at home and then suddenly out of nowhere, it just stops functioning. You recently spent $700 on that thing and now it doesn’t work. What should you do? It’s under a warranty, right? It should be fixed! Should you return it and get another one? Can you return it? What happens if it gets repaired? Deciding whether to repair or replace it is an expensive guessing game.
One thing that’s important to know is that you don’t have to throw good money after bad. Repairing items isn’t always the best way to get an appliance or item to work properly again. Let’s take a look at some facts from a Consumer Reports study published in January 2014. They surveyed nearly 30,000 subscribers who own dozens of specific items of varying age to see what they did when an item needed a repair or replacement and they discovered several interesting things. Continue reading