How to Find the House You Love

house you love

“I wish we could move this house to…” You could fill in the name of a neighbourhood or a city of your choice. Still, this is one of the most hopeless sentences in the history of human interaction. My mum used it at least once a week. Every time she wanted to go to the theatre and there was no one to watch with her. Every time she wanted to see her granddaughter and remembered that she is 250 miles away. Every time she wanted to have a coffee and a chat with her sister and remembered that she’d have […] Read more »

Know Your Warranty, Or Pay The Price

I watched my wife cringe as she sat in the living room chair. She paused the television and told me to listen. She was irritated by the high pitched squeal emitted by our air conditioning unit each time it started up. I heard it, but it just seemed like background noise. It didn’t bother me in the least, but it was like nails on a chalkboard for her. It’s been making this noise for years. It squeals for a few minutes, and then it quits. We had someone come out to take a look at it a few years ago, […] Read more »

Why You Should Never Use a Home Equity Loan to Pay Off Debt

Why You Should Never Use a Home Equity Loan to Pay Off Debt

Have you ever thought about taking out a home equity loan to help pay off debt? There are a lot of financial gurus that will advise you to dip into your home’s equity when you have a pile of debt you need to get paid off. But I believe paying off your debt with a home equity loan is not a wise move, and I’ll tell you why in just a minute.   Why Some Gurus Recommend Home Equity Loans For Paying Off Debt But first, I want to cover why some “financial gurus” say you should consolidate your debt […] Read more »

Renting isn’t throwing money away

How many times have you heard someone say “renting an apartment is just throwing money away?” Maybe you’ve been told it’s better to buy a house when the monthly mortgage payment is equal to rent. It sounds reasonable but it isn’t true: Renting isn’t throwing money away. The dollars left out of the deal Buying a house will cost you much more than just a monthly payment. Rentals often include things like water, trash collection, and even heat that a mortgage just doesn’t cover. A home owner has to pay those on top of their principle, interest, taxes, and insurance. […] Read more »

Should You Buy or Rent a Home, Which is Better?

Is it better to buy or rent” when it comes to finding a place to live?  If you read my last post “Buying a Home, Is It a Good Investment?’ , you discovered that buying a house is not always a good investment if you’re looking for investment-like return for building wealth. There are some cases where you can make a decent return over 30 years, but in many cases, the increase in value of the house doesn’t come anywhere near keeping up with the ongoing expenses such as maintenance, mortgage interest, insurance, and property taxes, which can actually result […] Read more »

Buying a Home- Is it a Good Investment?

Buying a Home Is it a Good Investment

Most people have been told at some point that buying a home is a good investment.  We’ve heard from our parents, the media, relatives, and real estate pros that buying a house is a good investment that will help you to secure your financial future. We’re told that investing in a home that appreciates over time will help you secure your golden years by paying it off in your younger years and leaving you without a house payment when your older.  It also provides you with a large chunk of money once you sell it and downsize to a smaller […] Read more »

Making The Case For Real Estate Agents

(Guest post by Tali Wee of Zillow) In this age of information accessibility, house hunters have countless home details at their fingertips, allowing them to easily shop without the assistance of a real estate agent. Folks looking to buy can spend hours locating homes that fit their wish lists within their markets, and competitive home information is available to the general public on Zillow at no cost. So, why do buyers need real estate agents now that they can shop on their own? House Hunting: Buyers are fortunate to have such a plethora of information to launch their home buying […] Read more »

12 Smart Steps for Buying a Home

buying a home

When you decide it’s time for you to buy a home, especially when it’s your first one, there are plenty of important details you need to know that can save you a large amount of time, money, and problems if you just take the time and effort to pay attention to the details and use a little common sense. I’m convinced that one of the main reasons so many people have been foreclosed on and are struggling is because they failed to use some of these common sense rules when they purchased a house and they ended up in financial […] Read more »

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Week 12

This week's class was on Real Estate and Mortgages. I liked this class a lot. Dave has a ton of great information about real estate since he's been in the industry his whole life. He has lots of funny and interesting stories. Dave is anti-mortgage, no surprises there. He would love it if everyone paid cash for their mortgages but he acknowledges that that's not going to happen. He does encourage everyone to pay off their house early, after paying off their debt and saving for retirement. In this lesson he gave tips for selling your home. Things like to clean it perfect, including the windows and the front door. Basically life in your house as if it was a model home. You are moving anyways so pack up most of your personal belongings. You want the new buyer to feel like it's their home as soon as they walk in. That won't happen if you still have your ceramic rooster collection on display. Read more »

Should You Buy Points to Lower Your Mortgage Rate?

With interest rates at the lowest they’ve been in most of our adult lives it’s a pretty tempting time to buy or refinance your mortgage. One option you often have when negotiating a home loan is whether or not to buy points. What are points? Points are basically pre-paid interest. You will pay 1% of the loan amount to bring down the rate by .125%. So if you are financing $150,000 you will pay $1,500 for one point. The lower your interest rate the lower your payment will be and you will pay the less interest over the course of […] Read more »

Mortgage Free – Why This is Essential for Traditional Retirement

Who in their right mind would argue that being mortgage free is the only way to be if you expect to retire in some traditional way, with a house of your own? That would be me. As they say, "opinions vary" and "results vary." But, if you pay off the mortgage before you retire, that eliminates a large financial obligation essential for living - someplace to live. That's one of the big reasons it makes sense to me. From my vantage point, as an early self-retired individual, I see being 100% debt free as an essential part of having peace of mind when you retire, and I'm up on my soapbox to explain why. Gather 'round my financially fit friends and lend me your ears. Read more »

Home Ownership – Should You Buy or Should You Rent?

Ahh, the controversial subject of buying versus renting. Many of you know where I stand on this topic, but I wanted to share this article with you submitted by a guest contributor that offers a basic, common sense approach. I think the housing crisis has changed a lot of minds about what it means to own a home, but the important thing is that you make the right decision for you and your family. On one hand, right now is a great time to buy a home, but on the other, it might make more sense to rent until your […] Read more »

My Story: A Mortgage Nightmare Confession

Have you ever looked back in time and wished you could do something all over again, or not at all? Hindsight always objectively highlights mistakes that we make, and often causes us to play the “if I knew then what I know now” game. Fortunately for us, this story has a light at the end of the tunnel. If anything, we learned a very valuable lesson in home ownership, specifically in terms of getting the right mortgage. As most of you know though, my wife and I decided long ago that once we were free from the bondage of mortgage […] Read more »

Book Review & Giveaway: The New Rules for Mortgages

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a magnificent week so far! Before I get started, I feel I need to clarify a few things about my views and beliefs concerning a mortgage. As most of you know, I am against debt, but I do realize that not all people are going to go out there and save, save, save, in order to pay 100% cash down. Some people, if not most, would even consider that to be impossible. I’ll save that discussion for another day, but I just want to point out that I understand that the average […] Read more »