Housing

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 …

Categories: Housing, Saving Money

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 …

Categories: Housing, Saving Money

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 …

Categories: Family, Housing

Need a Home Equity Loan? Answer 3 Questions First.

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 …

Categories: Housing

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 …

Categories: Housing

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 …

Categories: Housing

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 …

Categories: Housing

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 …

Categories: Housing, Saving Money

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 …

Categories: Housing

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 …

Categories: Housing

Planning Ahead For The Big Move – And Hoping To Save Money

Our house closes in a little more than a month, so we’re already thinking about moving, and being the frugal types we are, we’re trying to move with minimal expense. Thankfully, we have one big advantage: we are moving locally, which basically means loading up a truck at one point, driving for an hour or …

Categories: Housing

Getting Started With A Home, Garage, and Garden

From the day I left home shortly after my eighteenth birthday, I have never lived in any place that had a garage, had any reasonable storage space, or that didn’t have a landlord to fix problems. Thus, I never had much need for tools. I used to thoroughly enjoy doing small household tasks and working …

Categories: Housing

Navigating Origination Fees And Points

When you go to purchase a home using a mortgage, one of the major expenses that you’ll have to pay at the close is the origination fee. Here’s a guide for navigating them and figuring out what the best deal is for you. What’s an origination fee? The origination fee is an amount that you …

Categories: Housing

Five Little Lessons Learned After The House-Buying Agreement Is Reached

The last few days have been filled with lots of little lessons about the home-buying process. Here are five little anecdotes about things we learned: Home inspections typically aren’t part of the closing costs. I had just assumed that they were part of typical closing costs, but in our situation, a home inspection is done …

Categories: Housing