In the digital age, is direct mail marketing still a viable and effective method? And if so, what are some top tips for making this variety of marketing campaign as effective as possible? [Read more…]
Downsizing your home can be a big process. And, less and less people seem to be doing it these days.
We were fairly close to this size when we owned a house. The house we owned in the St. Louis, Missouri area was around 2,500 square feet if you included our finished basement, and it was just for myself, my husband, and our two dogs. Our home in Colorado was almost as big, at slightly over 2,000 square feet (with no basement).
More and more people seem to be purchasing large homes, but that's not the case for us. We sold our home last year and moved into an RV.
We made this decision for many reasons, but the main reason was that traveling nearly full-time added to the stress of owning a home. So, we figured why not just take it a step further and actually travel full-time?
Hello! Here's an awesome post from my friend Emma. As you know, we recently downsized and we now live in our RV. Life is awesome!
In August of 2015, we returned from 15 months of travel through Mexico and Europe with our young son.
We saved hard throughout my pregnancy and were able to fund 15 months of travel with our savings.
However, eventually our savings ran out and we had to go home. Although the savings account was decimated, my attitude to life was completely altered.
I was hooked and wanted to make travel a core part of my everyday lifestyle. I came up with a slightly crazy goal of chasing the summer around the world, traveling for months at a time – between hemispheres, across oceans. Cruise ships. Train travel. Driving an RV across the US.
Wherever we wanted to go. [Read more…]
Are you looking to remove PMI from your mortgage?
According to the National Association of Realtors, the median list price for homes is $232,000. If you have PMI of 1% that means you would have an annual private mortgage insurance (PMI) cost of $2,320, or $193 per month.
That's a lot of money!
More people should think about removing PMI, as this money could be put towards a retirement account, funding an emergency fund, paying off debt, and more.
If only I could rewind the last seven years and listen to my own advice!
In 2009, me and my husband bought a house but didn't have 20% down. We were taking advantage of the low housing prices and the first time homebuyer's tax credit.
One thing we didn't much think about was mortgage insurance and how much it would affect us.
Oh, credit cards. You either love them or you hate them.
For me, I love them. I love the credit card rewards that come along with responsible credit card usage.
However, I know I’m not the norm.
I’ve seen the mess that credit cards have brought upon others, so I know that not everyone feels the same way as I do.
Irresponsible credit card usage can lead to high interest charges, late fees, and a ruined credit score.
It can also lead to a person spending much more money than they originally planned for. By signing up for financing or paying for a purchase with a credit card, it may make the item seem more “affordable” due to the fact that you aren’t paying for it with money that you already have.
Just because the monthly payment seems “doable,” it doesn’t mean that it’s what’s best for you. Debt can lead to stress, a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, delayed retirement, and more.
These are all things that no one wants, especially if there are other ways around it! [Read more…]
Hello! Enjoy this blog post from a blog friend of mine.
An investment in REITs offers the benefits of real estate investing without the hassle of buying individual properties. Find out why it should be part of everyone’s investment strategy.
Ever since Will Rogers made his famous quote about real estate investing in the 1930s, people have been lining up for their share of the profits. Few investments have created as many family legacies and created more wealth than real estate.
My own experience in real estate investing started in 2002, just after getting out of the Marine Corps. I took a job as a commercial property agent and started rehabbing single-family houses for rent in my spare time. Of all the passive income strategies in which I’ve invested, real estate has been my favorite,
…and also one of the most frustrating.
Promises of a six-figure income as renters pay off your mortgages and investing strategies that involve little more than collecting your checks are about as far from reality as a bad sci-fi flick. I had as many as six properties before selling all but a couple in 2006. Phone calls come in at all hours of the night for repairs and bookkeeping alone can be a part-time job. [Read more…]
Earlier this year, I published the post Is Being House Poor Limiting You? While no one ever thinks they will fall into being house poor, it does happen to some. Due to this, when asking yourself the question “how much home can I afford,” it's best to think about ALL of the expenses that go into homeownership.
There are many “hidden” costs that go into homeownership that many do not think about when buying a home. While some homes may seem affordable, there are many factors and expenses to think about.
According to recent data from Zillow:
- U.S. homeowners on average spend more than $9,000 per year in hidden homeownership costs and maintenance expenses
- U.S. homeowners pay an average of $6,042 per year in unavoidable hidden costs: homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities
- U.S. homeowners pay an average of $3,435 per year in annual optional costs including house cleaning, yard care, gutter cleaning, carpet cleaning, and pressure washing.
That’s a lot of extra money each year that many homeowners do not realize that they may need to pay for.
By not knowing about these costs, a person may become stressed due to the amount of debt they may rack up from being house poor. It may also delay retirement, lead to a house being empty (there might be no money left to decorate), and more.
There are things you can do though so that you can make sure you don’t fall into a house poor situation, though. When pondering the question “How much home can I afford,” think about the many tips below. [Read more…]