Housing

How to Make Money as an Airbnb Host

Anyone who has stayed at a nice hotel in the past decade knows it’s not cheap. When was the last time you stayed in a major city for under $100 a night? Or under $200 for that matter? There is money to be made in the lodging industry. And it’s never been easier for average …

Does It Make Sense to Never Own a Home?

Recently, I had a long email discussion with an old friend of mine who writes a popular gaming blog (I’m not going to name him because his opinions expressed here may be a bit controversial and it has no reason to spill over into his other work). Basically, his core idea is this: you should …

Categories: Housing

The Accidental Landlord

When I say real estate tycoon, your thoughts probably jump straight to Donald Trump or somebody on a reality show. Then you probably smile a little bit and think to yourself, “If only I had an investment property, I could be on my way to a mega-fortune in no time at all.” Well, if you …

What I Wish I Knew Before Buying Rental Property

In early 2006, my husband and I decided to purchase our first home in my hometown of Greenfield, Indiana. With 1,300 square feet, a few nice-sized bedrooms, and an open kitchen and living room, our first “starter home” was practically perfect for us. And since we had moved there from a one-bedroom apartment with only …

20 Money-Saving Tactics for Winter

A few days ago, we received our first measurable snowfall of the year, bringing us a two-inch blanket of snow that covered the world in white. It was a stark reminder that, although the calendar doesn’t quite say so (yet), winter has arrived. As anyone who has ever had to pay an energy bill north …

How to Find Cheap Home Insurance in 2014

If your home is your castle, cheap home insurance is your modern-day dragon and moat. Homeowners insurance doesn’t just protect the structure of your house. It also protects your belongings and covers you in case you’re liable for someone else’s injuries or property damage while they’re at your home. Though a number of factors that …

Don’t Let That 1,000-Page Mortgage Application Scare You

By Peter Miller The 1,000-page mortgage application is here, but don’t be alarmed: It’s a paper tiger, a low barrier to financing, and no more frightening than a marshmallow. At first it may seem amazing that a loan application could be larger than a Tom Clancy novel, but it’s true. In fact, in today’s marketplace, …

How to Declutter Your Home in a Weekend Without Spending a Dime

When your home is a cluttered wreck, it can be hard to summon the motivation to tackle the chores you’ve been putting off and to toss or organize your scattered possessions. To make matters worse, you’re crunched for time and it’s tough to get anything done around the house, no matter how hard you try. I never seem to have …

33 Ways to Maximize a Small Living Space on a Budget

Whether you’ve recently escaped the confines of your parent’s home for the first time or recently relocated to a posh condo downtown, adjusting to a small living space can be difficult. During my adult years, I’ve lived in a tiny dorm room, a spacious apartment, and a beautiful home with limited square footage. And each …

Categories: Home and Life, Housing

29 Affordable DIY Projects That Take Less Than a Week

Time is limited, funds are tight, but you desperately want to make over a few elements of your humble abode’s exterior and interior. Are there any feasible solutions? Definitely, but the most ideal option is to put on your “handyman” cap and perform the tasks on your own. But, let me warn you in advance: …

Best Home Warranty Company for 2014

If you’re considering a home warranty to help protect you from costly home repairs, there are several companies that want your business. Unlike the big insurance companies that provide home, life, and auto policies, home warranty companies aren’t household names. For that reason, you may feel like you’re starting from square one in your search. …

How to Find the Best Mortgage Rates in 2014

Even after the subprime mortgage crisis, homeownership remains a dream for many Americans. If you’re among them, you’re probably wondering how you can get the best mortgage rate to keep your payments as low as possible. Securing the best mortgage isn’t simply about finding a lender who offers you the best rate. You also need …

How to Curb the Rising Costs of Parenting

Parenting is the most difficult yet rewarding job I’ve ever had in my life. It definitely hasn’t been easy on my pockets, either. And apparently, I’m not alone in my experiences. According to a recent report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost to raise a child born in 2013 will be $245,300. That’s the …

Home Cycling as a Financial Strategy

Home cycling is a pretty nifty financial strategy. At its core, the idea revolves around buying a low-end home, fixing and upgrading it, and then selling it for a profit off the back of your own time and energy investment in that home. It bears some similarities with the idea of “home flipping” that was …

Categories: Housing

Sixteen Tricks for Maximizing a Small Home or Apartment

When Sarah and I were first married in 2003, we moved into a pretty small apartment. According to what I could find online about it, it measured in at about 550 square feet. We viewed it as a temporary solution. It was okay for just the two of us, but we wanted a family and …

Categories: Housing

The Air Conditioning Battle

Summer is approaching (though from the unseasonably cool temperatures here, you could have fooled me) and with the approach of summer means summer cooling bills. Many, many households across the United States will be trying to maximize the cooling they can get from their central air units, window air conditioning, and fans in order to …

Categories: Frugality, Housing

Moving with Minimal Money: Nine Tactics for Frugal Relocation

The process of moving from an apartment to our home in 2007 was a big learning experience. We did some things right with that move – but some things we did quite poorly. Since then, we’ve had ample time to reflect on our own move as well as help others with their moving experiences and …

Categories: Frugality, Housing

Reflections on a Tiny House

Over the past week, I’ve been fascinated by a number of articles describing tiny houses – those measuring 100 square feet or smaller. Here’s an example: This type of house is outside the realm of possibility of most families. It would work for many single people and some couples, but I can’t imagine the five …

Rent vs. Buy: Which is Better?

Is it better to rent a place to live or to buy one? It’s a question that I get asked multiple times per week in some form or another. Usually, it comes from young couples who are being pressured by older people in their life to get out of renting and buy a home or …