Young adult teaches us about being house poor in 15 minutes

House poor

DON’T GET CAUGHT SINKING YOUR SHIP   Being house poor doesn’t necessarily mean that you simply have no money but it can mean that you have too much house you can’t afford. House poor can also mean you have too much stuff, no money and/or piles of consumer debt that you are struggling financially to make ends meet. The term “poor” means so many things to everyone that the only way to describe it from a financial perspective would be lack of money. Some people may not consider themselves poor until starvation kicks in and they have to go to the food bank or when they reach the point of bankruptcy. Others may take on a different view but no matter what poor means to you it’s not a place that people “dream” of.   House poor is not easy living   You might consider yourself house poor when you can’t pay your mortgage which could be for a variety of reasons. There are also plenty of poor people living in the ritzy part of town who are struggling to take control of their financial situation. I think there are many misconceptions of the word poor and the only person […]

How we became mortgage free in five years

mortgage free seagull in blue sky

THE SECRET IS…THERE IS NO SECRET!   Becoming mortgage free is not an easy task so I won’t make it out to be something that it’s not. In fact many things have led to us becoming mortgage free in 5 years which I want to discuss with you today since many of you have emailed me. Ever since I blogged about wanting to pay off the mortgage early I’ve had fans email me wanting to know if there were any secrets. I thought I’d wait until we actually became mortgage free to fill you in just how we did it. No, we didn’t win the lottery or get money from family or friends we earned every last bit of it. If you read our net worth update for April last week you already know that we were excited to tell everyone that we were finally saying good-bye to the mortgage payment. I promised you I’d let you know what we did and what problems we met along the way. I thought the best way would be to get my good friend Michael Anthony Lloyd a mortgage expert who blogs at www.homehappy.ca and has blogged here before to share a bit […]

Should you buy a house flip or renovate?

house flip

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO   When looking at buying your first house or your dream house, picking a house flip or choosing to renovate should be a question you ask yourself. As a household we’re not generally what you’d call nosy but sometimes going to see an open house can give you great ideas when you see renovations in real life. This is always an excuse for the wife to put on her shoes and drag me out because she’s seen another house that we must go and see. I’ll agree with her on some things and not on others. You don’t have to agree with each other on everything, which would be boring.As a husband, I will take interest in what my wife has for ideas around the house because 99% of the time I will be the one doing the install. Having an interest and input on what can and can’t be done makes dream renovations a bit more realistic. Looking at interior design magazines can give you great ideas but having a look at other houses and the renovations that have been completed is a good indication what would add value and sometimes what would be […]

Should I buy an investment property?

investment property

DO YOUR RESEARCH   Buying an investment property is a big decision and one that you must do your research into first before saying you want to be a landlord. Today one of my fans Allyson shares her story of wanting to finish her education and buy an investment property to get her into the real estate market. Since I was little, I have known that I wanted to move out into my own house. I wanted something that belonged to me that I could sell when I was ready to watch my own family move on. When I was in high school we had a class that was supposed to prepare me for the future of living away from home. We had to fill out a sheet with a basic budget format: monthly rent, food, utilities and expenses. I was the only person in the class that crossed out rent and labelled it mortgage. For some people, renting is a valid option and I can respect that, but for me, renting never made sense in my head. Why would I want to give somebody else my hard-earned money for shelter when I can just buy my own? Obviously I […]

Why I’m not buying your house for sale

house for sale

BUY MY HOUSE……   There are reasons why I won’t buy your house for sale unless it was up for sale at a fantastically low price and here’s why.   Since spending months looking at open houses only a few years ago before we bought our current home my wife complained that I was too picky. I’m pretty sure her views have changed now over the years of learning more about the home buying process. I blogged the other day about how to avoid home buying mistakes the first time but this post goes a bit deeper into what we saw and what we were looking for in our first home. I swear she thought we would never buy a house at one point and the real estate agent was probably getting a little annoyed too. I can’t even remember the amount of houses we visited but it was quite a few although the reality is I didn’t want to buy a house just because it looked pretty. If you have a house for sale and are wondering why your house hasn’t sold yet you might want to look at some of the obvious.   Wrong MLS information   These […]

How to avoid home buying mistakes the first time

home-buying-money-real estate

HOME SWEET HOME COSTS MONEY   Buying a house to make a home for you and your family can be a stressful time for anyone, especially when it’s your first home. We no longer wanted to rent any more so looking for our first home was something that came fast and furious for us. With that comes the urgency to own a home and sometimes you overlook some of the obvious concerns. I certainly won’t be making some of these mistakes next time around. I can remember the endless trolling through MLS listings online and then booking an appointment with our real estate agent to go and view them. Some houses definitely viewed better through photos rather than real life, but it’s always something every house hunter has to endure. When buying a house everyone has a list of wants and needs and a general style that they are looking for. For us, a more modern house was an easier choice due to lower maintenance costs and less chance that there was going to be hidden problems. The trouble for any couple or family starts when they discover hidden issues with the house they thought was perfectly fine. Other life events can throw […]

Paying rent: Am I really wasting my money?

Katrina-CBB

Throwing Money Out The Window I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer when it comes to renting and wasting money or purchasing a home but there certainly are pros and cons to both. Why do I choose to pay rent? While the freedom of owning my own home sounds great getting there on my own may not be a reality but I am certainly going to try. I am saving my money right now and enjoying it, though what I am saving for exactly is not set in stone. For the next 10 years I am choosing to continue to pay rent. As a single mother I want to make sure I am fully prepared for all the costs and fees that come with being a homeowner if I do decide to make that choice down the road. I have my mindset that in 10 years, if I am still single, I could be close to or have enough money saved for a reasonable down payment on a  house if desired. While budgeting and saving money regularly and wherever I can I figure I could have a decent down payment saved through investments and other means in […]

Reader question: When should you renovate your new home?

Renovate Your Home When It Is Right For You A fan sent me an email the other day and asked me the question, When should you renovate your new home? He said that him and his wife had just bought a home and they weren’t sure if they should renovate before they moved in or after they moved and wanted to know what we did when we bought our house. Home renovation checklist It was a question that I really didn’t have to think much about because we are in this position now. We did not renovate before we moved in and preferred to save the cash first before renovating. When we bought our home I created a checklist so I knew exactly what I needed to do although over the years it seems the list keeps growing. It was easier to read my list as I was going along rather than trying to remember in my head. Every smart planner will have a list so they have information to fall back on. There is no custom list here, you design your own. Grab a piece of paper and start making notes. I also wanted to have the opportunity to […]