When playing Monopoly, the conventional wisdom is that the best property to own is Boardwalk because it commands the highest rent. However, savvy players know the most valuable property is actually Illinois Avenue. How can that be? Well, one of the biggest reasons is that Illinois Avenue’s board position — two “seven” rolls from Jail — gives it the distinction of being the game’s most-landed on property; Boardwalk is ranked
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why the Most Valuable Monopoly Property Isn’t Boardwalk
My wife gets on my case because I am terrible at engaging our burglar alarm system every night before bed. Rightfully so; a burglar alarm is a smart precautionary initiative toward protecting your home and the valuables within.
In my opinion, everyone should have a home burglar alarm system. Systems will vary across a broad range of features and pricing. Even though burglar alarm features and configurations can be
Continue reading How to Select the Most Affordable Home Burglar Alarm System
Buying a home is a big decision and you do not want to make a mistake while you are home shopping. That’s why lots of people turn to mortgage brokers to help them through the process of finding a loan. In order to help you avoid being taken advantage of during the process, here are five money savings tips that your mortgage broker doesn’t want you to know about.
Continue reading 5 Money Saving Tips Your Mortgage Broker Doesn’t Want You to Know
Many people dream about reaching the million-dollar net worth milestone, as if that lofty benchmark somehow guarantees a strife-free financial life. Preposterous! Net worth — the value of your total assets minus your total liabilities — is overrated because it’s very misleading, as evidenced by many “paper millionaires” who struggle to make ends meet. Yes, net worth is a terrific indicator for estate planning, or identifying
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why Tracking Your Net Worth Is So Overrated
I bought my first home in 1990 at the top of the Southern California real estate market and promptly found myself with an “underwater” mortgage. And although I owed more than the home was worth over the next seven long years, I never walked away from that loan — even though I wanted to — because I felt I had a moral obligation
Continue reading If It Feels Good Do It: Maybe Strategic Defaults Aren’t So Bad After All
It’s often said that a house is our biggest investment, yet the primary function of any house is to simply provide us with a place to live. Yes, handsome gains can be had for those with good timing. However, as investments go, houses rarely match the long-term returns of stocks. And most people forget that property taxes, maintenance costs, insurance, and even real estate agent fees eat into those returns.
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why A Home Shouldn’t Be Considered an Investment
According to Freddie Mac’s most recent survey, there is currently a spread of 0.79 percent between the 15- and 30-year fixed rate mortgage benchmarks, which just so happens to be the largest spread since Freddie started tracking the 15-year mortgage 20 years ago; for comparison purposes, the average spread over that same time period has been only 0.47 percent.
I think most people naturally assume that, when it comes
Continue reading The 15 vs. 30 Year Mortgage Loan Debate: Why 30 Is Better
My friend and I recently got into a discussion at work regarding the housing market.
The big super-unknown for my colleague, of course, was whether or not prices had dropped far enough to make it worth buying a house again.
“It’s a good question,” I told him, “We could ask my Magic 8-Ball, but it’s in the car and I don’t feel like making the long walk to the parking lot.”
Continue reading A Simple Test to Know If It’s Better to Rent or Buy a House
As I’ve previously mentioned, the Penzo household is in the middle of a long-awaited home renovation project with a reliable contractor.
Originally, it was supposed to be a fairly modest kitchen renovation that involved replacing our porcelain tile counter tops with granite and adding a new tumbled stone back splash. It also included some new appliances.
Then, one quiet evening not too long ago, while we were watching the six-thousandth episode
Continue reading Why Marriage Makes It So Hard to Control Remodeling Costs. (Well, Kinda Sorta.)
For the six people left in America that are still looking to buy a home, I thought I’d pass on a little advice and save you a serious case of buyer’s remorse.
Don’t be fooled by real estate agents that try to tell you that a corner lot is highly desirable. They’re not.
Oh sure, you’ve got a bigger lot and neighbors on only two sides, but as a former corner lot
Continue reading 21 Reasons Why Corner Lots Are For Suckers