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Real Estate and Home

Good News if You’re in the Market for Buying a House

by Luke Landes

Earlier this week, a few real estate market survey results were announced in the media. This could be good news for house shoppers. In January, prices of homes on average were 11 percent lower than prices of homes at the same time last year. These results are based on the S&P Case/Shiller index, which collects actual ... Continue reading this article…

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How I Evaluated and Declined a Recent Rental Property Investment

by Sasha

As my partner and I are active landlords and property investors, it’s no surprise that people approach us with real estate offers. Sometimes they’re great deals, too – people occasionally inherit properties they want to get rid of quickly and therefore cheaply, or learn of a house at a great price that just isn’t selling. ... Continue reading this article…

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Still Believe Real Estate Values Never Go Down?

by Luke Landes

For some reason, I will never get out of my mind someone once told me shortly he purchased a house he couldn’t afford (and knew he couldn’t afford) with a risky mortgage. He said, “I’m not worrying. Real estate prices never go down.” I wasn’t about to get into an argument; he was a former ... Continue reading this article…

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Alternative Retirement: A Lighthouse?

by Luke Landes

One of my dilemmas is the difficulty I’ve had with determining where I’d like to live when I retire some day. In fact, I’m having enough trouble deciding where to live next year. While I should probably solve the more immediate issue first, I still think about how I’d want to live in the future. ... Continue reading this article…

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Pop Star Follies Part 2: Michael Jackson’s Foreclosure

by Luke Landes

We’ve been discussing Britney Spears’ reported poor financial management strategy lately. A recent court report described her overspending and lack of investment, although this may have been a part of her spousal support strategy. She must have financial advisers on her payroll, right? There must be more to the story. Nevertheless, I’m not stepping up ... Continue reading this article…

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A Sexier Retirement: 10 Exotic, Affordable Retiree Havens

by Sasha

I’m a regular reader of this blog, Get Rich Slowly, Five Cent Nickel, Cheap Healthy Good, and a number of other blogs which encourage me to live more frugally, to save my pennies for retirement. Save, save, save, they say. And so I am. Like a squirrel storing up nuts for an endless winter, every ... Continue reading this article…

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Free Furniture for Boston Red Sox Fans

by Luke Landes

Are you looking forward to a Red Sox win in the 2007 World Series? Even if you are, you’re probably not anticipating the win as much as some Sox fans. Jordan’s Furniture, a company in New England owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is giving some customers a reason to root, root, root for the ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 10: Utilities Can Use You Up

by Sasha

This is the last tip in a 10-part series on purchasing residential rental properties based on my experience. 10. Utilities can use you up, so be careful. Utilities can be a major issue for landlords if not set up properly. If you supply utilities to your tenants, you are generally not permitted to terminate these ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 9: Bigger Is Not Always Better

by Sasha

This is the ninth tip in a 10-part series on purchasing residential rental properties based on my experience. 9. Bigger is not always better. As your property size and square footage help to determine your tax rate, an acre or more of land really isn’t necessary. You’ll mow it (or pay to mow it) and ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 8: Stay Close to Home

by Sasha

This is the eighth tip in a 10-part series on purchasing residential rental properties based on my experience. 8. Stay close to home. In my experience, absentee landlords tend to find out about and resolve problems less quickly, which in turn can make them bigger, more expensive problems. For this and other reasons, municipalities are ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 7: Look Out for Safety Issues

by Sasha

So you understand the construction of the home you are looking to purchase, including its foundation. The next step is to analyze the property from a liability standpoint, assessing potential safety concerns and budgeting to fix them as part of your initial investment. 7. Look out for safety issues. For anyone looking to purchase a ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 6: Beware of Houses Built on a Cement Slab

by Sasha

Simplicity, accessibility, and replaceability are important aspects of rental property construction, but at the foundation of your investment is the foundation itself. This week, a caution: 6. Beware of houses built on a cement slab. Not having a basement can cost you much more than storage space. In some places, like parts of Florida and ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 5: Simplicity, Accessibility, Replaceability

by Sasha

So you’ve found a property at the right price, in the right neighborhood, and in compliance with local rental and parking regulations. But what about the structure of the building itself, its surrounding property? My next tip addresses just that. 5. Look for simple construction, with systems accessible and materials simple to replace. That Victorian ... Continue reading this article…

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Accidental Landlords

by Sasha

As you might have noticed from my rental articles to date, I believe that landlording is a serious responsibility, not to be undertaken lightly. You can realize serious benefits from a rental property, but also serious repercussions. Because of this, I read today’s CNN Money article on so-called “accidental landlords” with great interest. In the ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 4: Ensure Proper Parking is Available

by Sasha

In my last entry in this series, I discussed local rental regulations, “invisible” factors which can have a huge impact on your rental experience. One type of regulation which can particularly impactful concerns parking. 4. Ensure proper parking is available. In one local township, parking requirements for rental and residential real estate differ substantially. While ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 3: Be Aware of Local Rental Regulations

by Sasha

In my last entry in this series, I talked about how to find the right neighborhood if you’re looking to buy a rental property. But there’s more to understanding an area than just seeing the neighborhood: invisible factors which could cost you big-time. Here’s my next tip. 3. Be aware of local rental regulations. In ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 2: Find the Right Neighborhood

by Sasha

As I mentioned in my last entry on this topic, rental property ownership can reward or punish you for decisions made during the buying process, so it’s crucial to make the right ones. It’s about much more than just getting the right price. Here’s my next tip in the series. 2. Find the right neighborhood. ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 1: Buy at the Right Price

by Sasha

This is the first in a ten-part series about residential rental properties based on my experiences. Looking to diversify your investments and take advantage of the current dip in real estate prices? While by no means a passive investment, if you’re up to the challenge, residential rental property ownership can provide not just additional short- ... Continue reading this article…

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A Parking Spot That Costs More Than Average House

by Luke Landes

The National Association of Realtors claims that the median price for sold homes in May was $223,700. Would you pay more than that for a parking spot? Perhaps this is an indication of how crazy the market is in Manhattan, where a parking spot at 246 West 17th Street is fetching $225,000 — and has ... Continue reading this article…

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House Won’t Sell? Your Price is Too Low?

by Luke Landes

Last December, I criticized a Kentucky couple for complaining that their house wasn’t selling at the price they were asking. They thought they were asking a fair price, but it’s only a fair price if someone’s willing to pay it. Either price your house to sell, or wait around for someone to come along. But ... Continue reading this article…

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