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Category: Home Ownership

Should I Invest in Real Estate?

Should I Invest in Real Estate?

*This post is updated from its original posting about six months ago. I have been thinking about buying real estate to add to my portfolio. I thought a multi-family home next door to us would come on the market as a foreclosure, but that isn’t going to happen. So I have been thinking about how else, if at all, do I get into real estate. So while this was a thought experiment 3 years ago I still think about it…

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Our House Is My Debt Piggybank

Our House Is My Debt Piggybank

I have written a number of posts about home ownership. Generally, I think owning a home is a good thing. However, there are a variety of costs that can make it more costly than renting depending on the situation. In fact, I have argued that if you can’t save or have trouble saving that you could view your home as “forced” savings. In other words, paying down the mortgage and the home value going up gives you the ability to…

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Rules of Thumb for Buying a House

Rules of Thumb for Buying a House

A few days ago CNBC had an analysis where they put out what salary you needed in order to afford a home in 20 cities. Their basic criteria is how big of a salary you needed if you put down 10% or 20%, 4% 30 year mortgage with a 45% debt to income ratio. For example, to afford a median priced home in San Antonio (140k) with 10% down you need a salary of 23k and 20% down you would…

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Renting vs. Buying a House–The Intangible Reasons

Renting vs. Buying a House–The Intangible Reasons

A couple of days ago I was listening to a great hour of radio from Tom Ashbrook’s On Point show on NPR. The subject was the hot housing market and the potential affordability of houses in a variety of housing markets across the country. The basic gist of the program: home affordability is getting harder and harder. There are a number of reasons as to why it is getting harder to buy a home. Part of that reason is certainly…

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Neighborhood Real Estate Observations

Neighborhood Real Estate Observations

I have a couple of friends of mine who are actively looking for a house. I actually have been helping them out a bit by using what I learned when bought our house and some additional lessons I have learned. When helping my friends look for houses I noticed some things in our own neighborhood that I think are reflective of some national trends. Prices for starter homes are rising faster than those for the “next” house. Now this might…

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Our 2016 Taxes

Our 2016 Taxes

It is going to be another snowpacalypse here in New England. Practically, every school is shut down, government offices are as well and the roadways are empty. Because of that and the fact that it needed to get done I decided to do our taxes for 2016. In my previous post I talked about how everyone can do their taxes and probably save a little money. It is also a good way to get to know your finances. So I…

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Accelerating Your Mortgage Payoff

Accelerating Your Mortgage Payoff

There are a variety of debates in the personal finance world about whether or not you should pay off your mortgage. With interest rates so low it often makes sense to take whatever money you have left over and invest it. While others, including myself, despite the idea of debt and would like to pay off our mortgage quicker. I know that the math favors investing, but I like the idea of paying off the mortgage early. In fact, I…

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Future Housing Repairs and Costs

Future Housing Repairs and Costs

Over the past month or so Mrs. ROB and I have been stricken with some bad news. Some of it was certainly very personalĀ and also financial. I wrote about our little water leak and the mold that came with it. We also had to replace our refrigerator as well, which we actually got a deal on (only cost $1000 compared to the 1500 to 2k we were looking to spend). So over the past three weeks we have gotten a…

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More Housing Blues

More Housing Blues

This week has been one of the toughest for me personally in a long time. Don’t worry Mrs. ROB and I are fine in our relationship. There are no problems there. And I may share what has been going on, but I still need to process some things and deal with others. However, to add onto our personal travails our house is again costing us money. Some of you will remember my posts about our dishwasher debacle. I sometimes think…

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Financial Tip Friday: How Much House Do You Need?

Financial Tip Friday: How Much House Do You Need?

I was recently talking with a colleague of mine who is looking to buy a house. He has been approved for a loan that is literally five times his income. There are a number of rules of thumb for buying a home, but typically five times your income is out-of-bounds even with a great down payment. One of the other things we were discussing is the size of house that he needed. It is only he, his wife, and their…

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