Q: Our daughter just started college and we are seriously considering buying a house near the campus. Our plan: Assuming she stays in college for at least four years, when she finishes her first year, she can move into the house, and we can rent rooms to other college kids. We believe our daughter is capable of managing the property.Our problem: Her college is in a different state, and while we have experience buying property where we live, we want to make sure we are doing the right thing. Any suggestions? A: Without knowing all the facts, it sounds like a good plan; it will save you money on college expenses and hopefully make you some money at the same time.You should immediately retain a local attorney. If you don’t have any names, you can contact the local bar association in the county or state where the college is located, and they will provide you with some names.Once you have a lawyer on your side, she or he should assist you in getting a local real estate agent that will … [Read more...] about Is it smart for parents to buy a house for their college kid, then rent out the rooms?
Buildings insurance when buying a house
With the home prices down 35 percent since their 2006 peak and mortgage interest rates at record lows, purchasing a home may be more affordable than ever for first-time buyers. It also may be time for some renters to consider buying a place of their own. Whatever the situation, here are some guidelines to keep in mind when deciding between renting and buying. When to buy or rent. Renters weighing whether buy a home should meet the following criteria: They should be committed to living in the same location for a few years, have a secure job and income, and have saved up enough money for a down payment. Home prices have improved in some regions, but are still declining in many others. Some prospective buyers are still anxious about the continuing fall in home prices and are jumping into home ownership too early. Also, buying a home before you are financially ready can put a strain on your finances. When housing costs exceed 35 percent of gross income, you'll have to make … [Read more...] about Why renters should consider buying a home
Updated at 3:46 p.m. ET (MoneyWatch) Buying a house isn't a bad thing to do with your money, if you're ready to be a homeowner and you understand what you're getting into. But if you're justifying the purchase with the well-worn: "I just want to stop throwing away rent money," you are about to engage in a dumb money move that only sounds smart because no one has worked out the math. How could I possibly question the clear logic of this age-old wisdom? After all, you build up equity in a house. You don't build equity by renting, right? Absolutely. But to inject a tiny bit of reality into this dubious wisdom, let's look at the numbers. To make the comparison simple, let's say you bought a $240,000 home, putting $40,000 into a down payment. That leaves you with a $200,000 loan at 4.5 percent (assuming you have great credit and interest rates don't rise). Your mortgage payment on that loan would be $1,014. Again, just to make this simple, we'll assume that's roughly the same amount you'd … [Read more...] about Dumb moves that sound smart: Buying a house
If you think you're shelling out a lot of money on rent, you're probably right. Renters are spending an average of $2,000 more to keep a roof over their heads in 2017 than in a similar period. Yet while renting a home has continued to get pricier, homeowners have seen the opposite trend. They're spending less of their income on house payments -- to the tune of about $3,300 per year on average -- than they did just before the housing crash. It's enough to make renters run to their nearest realtor. Before you start house-hunting, however, some planning is order. Build your budget First, it's important to do a comprehensive financial review to figure out how much house you can afford. If you haven't started saving for a down payment yet or you have high-interest credit card debt, you'll have to figure out how to deal with those issues. "Cash flow is a big one -- if they are struggling now and they are going to end up buying a home, that may be more money than they are paying in … [Read more...] about Don’t buy a home without doing this first
Here are five reasons why buying a house together is way more of a commitment than walking down the aisle. Sasha Brown-Worsham, provided by Published 1:30 pm, Monday, February 12, 2018 Photo: Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Photo: Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images 5 Reasons Why Buying a House Is a Way Bigger Commitment Than Marriage 1 / 1 Back to Gallery A few weeks ago, my husband and I were having drinks with two friends who had just bought a house together—a fixer-upper they plan to tear down to the studs and rebuild in a labor of love. They are in their 30s and have been dating eight years. "So is the ring next?" My husband asked them, half-joking. "No way!" the woman said without even glancing at her significant other. "We … [Read more...] about 5 Reasons Why Buying a House Is a Way Bigger Commitment Than Marriage
Want to know how to build a house cheap? Here's some advice on how to lower your expenses when building a home. Margaret Heidenry, provided by Published 1:30 pm, Monday, January 29, 2018 Photo: BrianAJackson/iStock Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Photo: BrianAJackson/iStock How to Build a House Cheap: 7 Sneaky Ways to Save on Home Construction 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Want to know how to build a house cheap? That's understandable, given the median price of erecting a single-family home is $289,415. That's more than it costs to buy a house that's already built (currently $270,000). Yet if your heart is set on building your own home from the ground up, rest assured that there are ways to lower the expenses entailed. Here's some advice on how to build a house cheap. 1. Expand up rather than out … [Read more...] about How to Build a House Cheap: 7 Sneaky Ways to Save on Home Construction
They gathered in downtown Miami — an estimated 4,350 Bitcoin believers — to trade pitches for apps and start-ups. They discussed and debated trends in cryptocurrency. They speculated about the volatility of Bitcoin, which shot up in value from $900 to $19,000 over the course of 2017 and is currently hovering around the $10,000 mark. But despite the national stir created last fall when a $544,500 Edgewater condo was listed for sale in “Bitcoin only,” none of the panels or presentations at Miami’s sixth annual North American Bitcoin Conference focused on real estate. Although Bitcoin is the oldest and best-known of the nearly 1,500 kinds of cryptocurrencies currently available, real estate developers, brokers and analysts are cool on its use in an industry that is literally defined by physical assets. In other words, if you’re hunting for a home, don’t worry that you’ll get outbid by a buyer offering cryptocurrency. At least not yet. … [Read more...] about Bitcoin is booming in Miami. But can you buy a house with it?
Is there any way to fireproof a house? Building experts say people can do plenty to mitigate the risks. Here's a rundown of what to watch out for. Judy Dutton, provided by Published 5:00 pm, Thursday, December 14, 2017 Photo: Skipro101/iStock Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Photo: Skipro101/iStock Exploding Trees? 5 Shockers That Can Make a House Catch Fire 1 / 1 Back to Gallery The California wildfires are raging on—by last count, wiping out more than 1,000 buildings across 260,000 acres. And even now, these blazes are threatening 25,000 more homes. So the burning question in our minds is: Is there any way to fireproof a house? That might sound like a tall order, but building experts say that people can do plenty to put a damper on the risks from … [Read more...] about Exploding Trees? 5 Shockers That Can Make a House Catch Fire
The National Flood Insurance Program, the only flood insurance available for most American homeowners, is swamped with debt and set to expire on Friday. Kathleen Lynn, provided by Published 9:00 am, Wednesday, January 17, 2018 Photo: JodiJacobson/iStock Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Photo: JodiJacobson/iStock Swamped by Losses, U.S. Flood Insurance Program Faces a Deadline 1 / 1 Back to Gallery The National Flood Insurance Program has been swamped by billions in claims, and Congress is looking for ways to bail it out. The federal program—the only flood insurance available for most American homeowners—is set to expire on Friday. Congress is expected to pass a short-term extension, as it has done several times since the fall. But if it fails to do so, the government would stop … [Read more...] about Swamped by Losses, U.S. Flood Insurance Program Faces a Deadline
As 2017 came to a close, many area residents are starting to think about their plans and goals for 2018. For many, becoming a homeowner is at the top of their list. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a five-time owner, here are five things you should do when entering the real estate market this coming year: 1. Find out your credit score: This is an important first step if you want to qualify for and secure a mortgage in 2018. Knowing what kind of shape your credit score is in will help you know whether you will qualify for a loan and what interest rate you can expect to pay. A higher score will net you a lower interest rate. Checking your credit score is easy nowadays with the plethora of websites offering free credit score checks. If you find that your score is not optimal (below 620), you can start correcting it by fixing any errors on the report, paying your bills on time, closing credit cards you do not use and getting your credit limits raised. 2. Understand what you … [Read more...] about 5 tips for buying a home in 2018