Month: December 2019

How To Afford A House by The Age of 25 Years Old

There aren’t many instances when you can have your cake and eat it too.  This “one or the other” mindset, though, doesn’t always reflect reality and could even limit future options.  A case in point is millennials and homeownership:  many incorrectly believe homeownership is merely a liability that will limit their fun and travel.  I will explain why this is a fallacy and tell you how, in my mid-twenties, I was able to buy a house and travel the world. More info with regards to Penrose pricing here.

Financial decisions always require some forethought.  While counterintuitive, purchasing a home earlier in life will often enable you to travel more.  A house is an asset that can generate income and one likely to increase substantially in value over time.  If you don’t buy a house, sooner rather than later, you will be subjected to ever-increasing rents. Moreover, you won’t receive rental income while away on extended vacations.  While mastering this financial chess game might seem impossible, the most important thing is knowing where to begin.

Now, little more than four years into my plan, I am a world-traveling homeowner.  The keys to my success have been reducing expenses, effectively exploiting credit card rewards, properly researching home loans and choosing a house that fit my budget.

Evaluate monthly expenses and develop a budget you can adhere to.  Oftentimes, eating out and monthly subscriptions waste a lot of our money.  This was true in my case.  After using the Trail Wallet app, I found that I was spending $75/month on Netflix and other entertainment services and more than $400/month eating out.  So, I decided to cancel a lot of my subscriptions and cook most of my food at home.  I would fix dinner and eat its leftovers the next day for lunch.  I also reduced my spending by driving less, walking more, and by running instead of belonging to an expensive gym.  Ultimately, this saved me about a $1,000/month, or $48,000 over four years.

If you play your cards right, rewards credit cards like World Elite MasterCard and Barclaycard Arrival Plus could enable you to accumulate a fortune in free airfare and improve your credit score.  The method I use is to get these cards, but not enough to harm my credit score, and use them to earn between one-and-a-half and three times the airfare for whatever I spend.  I only use the cards for bills and necessities, spending only the required amount to acquire the rewards.  I also avoid the annual fees by cancelling the cards in a year’s time.

Spend some weeks researching and evaluating mortgages, considering all interest rates, fees and discounts.  Make sure you have a solid credit score and the requisite down payment ready; these are often 20%, but can be as low as 3%.  Considering how incredibly low rates are now, homeownership should be well within your reach.

Increase Your Home’s Value by Making Your Basement a Bedroom

Improve your home by transforming your basement into another bedroom.  In doing so, you could change a little-used space into a useful, or even profitable, part of your house.  Depending on its size, it’s possible to create one or more bedrooms out of it.  These could be used as spacious rooms for visitors, household members or other relatives.  It is even possible to turn them into income-generating rental rooms listable on Airbnb or a similar site.  The following are some things to consider and do if you decide to remodel your basement:

Determine how prone to flooding your basement is.  Then, according to the threat level, take steps to keep it dry.  Paint the floor and walls with concrete sealer.  Install a new or stronger sump pump to remove water entering your basement.  Also, try to remove earth that slopes towards it to prevent water drainage into your new bedrooms.

Since most basements don’t have windows for better ventilation or an escape route, it’s even more important to have proper safety equipment installed there.  Place fire extinguishers, alarms and carbon dioxide detectors strategically throughout it.  Also, consider testing the area for mold and radon gas.

Make sure your new underground bedrooms remain warm enough for people to comfortably live down there during the winter months, especially if you live in a colder climate.  Be certain they are well-insulated and that air isn’t escaping or entering through the windows.  Install space heaters to further heat the area.

Reduce the moisture level of your subterranean bedrooms with a continuously-operating dehumidifier.  This can help prevent the growth of mold, reduce moldy odors and moderate your basement’s temperature.

No one really wants to live in a place that looks like the typical dark and scary basement.  So, use your imagination and transform the space into a comfortable, interesting place that people actually enjoy being in.  Get some cool ideas from architectural and interior design magazines.  Also, try to design it specifically for the people you expect to use it.  Will it mostly be used as a rental room, a room for your children, or a guest room for friends and relatives?  As you can imagine, kids will enjoy a much different kind of room than an adult would.  Whatever you decide to do, try to incorporate the existing architectural elements of your basement into your design plans.  Exposed beams and pipes, for example, can be painted to look like facial features of your child’s favorite cartoon character.  Remember, you’re only limited by the depth of your imagination.

Making your basement a valuable, useful part of your house is relatively easy.  While it does take some time, work and money, the benefits of doing so far outweigh the costs.  So, why not do it and increase the overall value of your home.

Things To Take Note When Purchasing Your Real Estate

You might have come across some people who look for an unoccupied house and then fixes it to sell it at a significant profit. Also, there are numerous TV shows that air such types of investment. They don’t show you how it is done. Have you been looking for reliable insights that can help you buy or sell real estate properties? Here are the top secrets that will help you own real estate properties.

LOCATION IS VERY RELEVANT

Location matters. It has emerged as one of the most important factors when it comes to real estate investment. The most valuable house can only be found in a good place where people dream of living. Don’t purchase that home if you feel you can’t adapt to the specific area.

ALWAYS CONSIDER RESALE

It is good to avoid super personalized design choices. Simply because you love a shag carpet does not mean that other people will love it. The best thing in this case is to never over update your home. Make sure that all your updates are attractive to buyers.

AIM FOR INSTANT EQUITY

House flippers are underpriced. What is the main reason for this? Flippers have full freedom to make repairs and sell their property without waiting for the real estate market to catch up. As a homeowner, you can consider adopting this rule to your own buying strategy. It might be impossible to come across a house that is extremely underpriced.

INSPECTIONS

There is no doubt that surprises are bad news for a home flipper. Do you know that a home may look okay at the surface but the professional flippers know that the problems are beneath? With that in mind, there is a need for thorough inspections. Also, make sure that you know what you are getting into.

HAVE A BACKUP PLAN

You can agree with me that it is good to consider the worst-case scenario. Normally, the main aim of the flipper is to buy, renovate and sell the property. You need to change the course more so when the local real estate market is soft. At times it makes no sense listing your home for sale.

HIRE PROFESSIONALS

You might have heard about the popular saying that states that you get what you pay for. Upgrades have been known to affect enjoyment in new homes. From a close perception, experienced professionals are worth your money. Always keep in mind that good work is not cheap.

Things Need in Furnishing a New Home for your Family

Purchasing a home is exciting but furnishing the home is something people do not think about right away. Furnishing the home can be expensive. There are some tips for furnishing the home without going into debt.

There is no set amount of time that the home needs to be completely furnished. Start with the rooms that are used most often. Most people start with the room where they will be spending most of their time. Then they can move on to the other rooms as they save for the purchases. A person can then move on to the other rooms that they will use during the waking hours and then the bedroom.  If there is a spare room that will not be used often this can be furnish later on. It is better to take six months to furnish the home then go into debt.

Some used items are still in great condition that can be used. Relatives and coworkers may have some pieces to help out.  Before taking these items to make sure they are in good condition and clean. Even if they do not fit the style of the home some of the pieces can be painted or modified slightly. A person should think of how the piece is going to be used and which room it will be placed in. if a person cannot see the items being used they should politely pass on them. There can still be a lot of life left in these items especially if they were properly cared for.

Craigslist has some great items but it takes time and patience to go furniture shopping on this site. A person needs to find what they are looking for and in the condition, they want it in. It may take a couple of weeks but there are some great finds. There are new piece added all the time as users post to this site.  The price is often negotiable too. There are often people moving that need to get rid of quality furniture and are willing to sell it for a big discount.  Before completing the purchase research the neighborhood and make sure it is generally safe. Never go alone and try to meet up in a public place. If a person is uncomfortable at any point they should back out of the sale.

When purchasing cash especially second hand ask for a discount. When shopping at a furniture store ask about the durability of the pieces especially mattresses and couches. It is better to avoid the 0 percent finance offers and ask if there is a discount for paying with cash. It may not be a large discount but it will save money, in the long run, to know that something as a couch has been fully paid for.   If the furniture is financed this can lead to additional debt and higher interest rates in the future.