Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / by Kaye Dela Cruz
You’ve lived in your home a little while and you think you sort of understand how it should flow. You’re starting to see the warts and little bits of rough that people tend to gloss over when the neighbors pop by to borrow the lawnmower. It’s not that these things make your home flawed — all homes are flawed, they’re made from flawed materials, after all — it’s just that your home could be better and like a skilled craftsman, you’re starting to see places where you could bring out greater potential.
But, which projects make the most sense to do first? Will any of them actually pay for themselves in gained home equity, or are these changes things you’ll have to consider sunk costs in your home and investments strictly in your own enjoyment? And furthermore, are there even changes you can make yourself that will be worth the bother? (Check out our downloadable guide for help in determining which projects are best left to the pros ...
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 / by Kaye Dela Cruz
In 1986, Tom Hanks starred in a movie called “The Money Pit.” It was all about a couple’s adventures in remodeling what has to be the worst house ever. Even though it was a comedy, if you’ve ever been part of a big remodel, some of the situations the co-stars find themselves in (re: the remodel, not the rest of the story, which is clearly irrelevant) are way too familiar. Too little money, problems becoming bigger than initially assumed and chaos, chaos, chaos.
But you aren’t going to jump into a money pit worthy remodeling project. Oh no. Not when there are so many awesome ways to avoid it.
Remodeling is Always More Expensive Than You Expect
If there’s any hard and fast rule of remodeling, it’s that it’s always more expensive than you think it’s going to be. Even professionals tend to build some padding in to accommodate the unknown. The older the house and wider the scope, the bigger the padding.
Although building regulations ...
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 / by Kaye Dela Cruz
When that rent check leaves your hand every month (or, more likely, you click the button on the website), you feel a little lighter in the wallet and a bit more empty inside. Every month, that money goes into your landlord’s pocket, pays down their principal, helps them increase their net worth and you get what? A roof over your head that hasn’t been updated since the Reagan administration and neighbors that seem to not realize that while their band is lovely, 2 am is not the time to crank it up to 11.
No, you’ve had it! It’s time to move.
It’s time to buy your own house. You’re ready to have some control over your own living situation. Aren’t you?
Spend Some Time Soul-Searching Before You Pre-Qualify
There are far too many articles out there that discuss homebuying readiness in terms of dollars and cents, neglecting all the other things that are involved in a truly successful homeownership experience. So, we’re going to assume you&rs ...
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 / by Kaye Dela Cruz
Whether you’re buying a house or even thinking about it, you’re probably hearing a lot about insurance and how you need it. But there are so many kinds and you’re not really even sure which ones do what and if you actually need them all.
Car insurance was a breeze, there’s only the one kind — it’s either going to fix the car you run into or that car and yours, too (basically), but with home-related insurance, there are a lot of strange specialties, and other things that aren’t quite insurance, but act like insurance.
How will you know which you really need to protect your home and which are just a waste of your hard-earned cash? Let us walk you through it.
Insurance for Your House and Your Stuff: Homeowner’s Policies 101
If you rented a house before you bought, you may have had a watered-down version of this policy, often called a renter’s policy. These are meant to cover your things, should the house burn down or a tornado carr ...
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 / by Kaye Dela Cruz
Buying a house is a confusing process. Not only is there a lot of material to process, you really have to do a lot of introspection to find the house that’s right for you and your family. It’s about more than just ceiling treatments and square footage, there’s something else, too.
Irish poet Thomas Moore may have captured that little bit of something else best when he penned these lines:
Sometimes, the spirit of a place is so strong, you may think you see its face and glimpse it gamboling over a field or peeking out of a forest. This spirit we sense in each locality would once have been described as the scintilla or spark of its soul, the pearl in the oyster. It accounts for the magic of a region, and, without it, an acute sense of place dissipates into a vague and lazy feeling of nowhere.
Maybe you’ve not started your home search yet, so you’ve yet to experience this strange phenomenon, or maybe you’ve just seen a few homes and they j ...