• Reflections On Being A New Homeowner

    I moved into my new home almost a month ago and the period has given me time to reflect on my new status as a homeowner. This is a collection of some of these thoughts, which might give insight to a homeowner considering the move. My home makes me proud. I have significantly more pride …

  • Another Look At Renting To Get Richer: The Inflation Factor

    A couple days ago, I wrote about the philosophy that one could rent and become richer over time. In that piece, I used a very simple description comparing the two: Let’s say, hypothetically, that you have a home that is eating $1,200 a month in payments, $500 a year in insurance, $1,000 a year in …

  • Renting To Get Richer?

    This MSN Money article argues quite vehemently that renting is cheaper than owning a home: I have something un-American to confess: I rent an apartment despite having enough money to buy a house. I plan to keep renting for as long as I can. I’m not just holding out for better prices. Renting will make …

  • Seven Tips For Your Next Big Move

    Over the last week, my wife and I took on the challenge of moving from a small apartment to a nice family home. It turned out that we made some good moves and some bad ones during the move, and came up with some great ideas along the way that we weren’t necessarily able to …

  • Building A Home Maintenance And Improvement Fund

    Having lived in a house that needed constant upkeep when I was young, I know the value of having money on hand to take care of home maintenance. As a new homeowner, that means I’m going to christen a home maintenance and improvement fund so that when such issues appear, I can handle them. What’s …

  • Calculating The Cost Of A Moving Service Versus The Cost Of Doing It Ourselves

    Since my financial armageddon, I’ve become very good at calculating the cost of various services, the time it would take me to do it myself, and using that data to determine if it is an efficient use of time. As we’re about to move, one of the big decisions for us was whether it was …

  • Making The Moving Transition Easier On Young Children

    Right now, our tiny apartment has virtually everything boxed up and ready for the move and my twenty month old son has certainly noticed this. We haven’t yet taken apart the stuff in his bedroom (the crib literally has to be dismantled before it can be moved), but he’s quite aware of big changes going …

  • Three Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Home Equity Loan

    One of my closest friends has been itching to turn half of his basement into a den of sorts, with a full bar, a big screen television, a few couches, and a few card tables. Basically, he wants to have a “hang-out” place for a lot of his male friends on the weekends to watch …

  • Defining Minimum Acceptable Housing – And How It Varies From Person To Person

    My Friday post about how to afford an expensive housing market raised some interesting questions – the most intriguing of which is the idea of minimum acceptable housing. To me, this was epitomized by the following abrasive comment on the thread: Sorry for this nonproductive comment, but I’m really dissappointed in your arrogance. I live …

  • Rural Ideas For An Expensive Housing Market

    I’ve touted the benefits of living in Iowa before, but one of the biggest benefits of all is the wonderful housing market. I was able to get a 2000+ square foot home, built less than ten years ago, for less than $200,000. This success makes me never even want to consider living in an expensive …

  • Three Fears I Have About Moving

    There are a lot of small financial fears I have about the whole moving process – future costs, lifestyle changes, and such. This is my first go-round as a homeowner, so lots of questions float through my head. Here are three of the most prevalent ones – and my attempt to answer them. Increased energy …

  • Ten Things To Do When You Move Into A New Home

    Since my wife and I are less than three weeks away from moving into our first home, we’ve been researching the things that we need to do as soon as we move. It wouldn’t be The Simple Dollar if I didn’t compile a list of the things we’ve found and posted it here! Here are …

  • Prepaying On Your Home Loan Is Just A Conservative Investment

    One of the regular debates here on The Simple Dollar is the eternal question of whether someone should prepay on their home loan or not. Any time you discuss a particular home mortgage situation with real numbers, someone will always say that it makes more sense to invest it somewhere else, while another person will …

  • To Clean Or Not To Clean?

    Typically, I’m a “do it myself and save money” type of person, but I think I may have just run into a situation where I may actually hire someone to complete a task that I could do myself instead. Here’s the deal: when we move out of our apartment, we’ll have about a week during …

  • The Art Of Filling An Empty House Without Losing Financial Balance

    Early next month, my family and I will be moving into a house with more than three times the square footage of our current tiny apartment. This, of course, means that after we move, our home will be very spartan. For some, this might be an excuse to bust out the plastic and go on …

  • Save Time, Effort, And Money With A Monthly Home and Auto Maintenance Checklist

  • Should I Prepay On My Home Loan Or Put It Into Savings?

    I had a lengthy and interesting discussion with my wife this morning about the interest rate on our home loan. We are locked in at 5.875%, and I told her that at that rate, we were better off not paying extra on the loan and instead putting it away in an HSBC Direct account at …

  • I Just Doubled My Salary – What Do I Do With The Money?

    A reader (let’s call him Ralph) wrote in with the following interesting situation (that has some parallels to my own): About a year ago my wife and I bought a new house with no money down and a 30 year fixed rate mortgage locked in at 5.5%. This meant of course that we would be …

  • A Reader Has Interesting Reasons For Upgrading A Home

    A reader (let’s call him Martin) wrote to me with an interesting scenario about his decision to upgrade his home: I am in my late 40′s and bought a home 8 years ago in a modest neighborhood and will have it completely paid off in about 10 years. My mortgage payments are around $470/month. I …