The Do’s And Don’ts Of Buying A New House While Working Full-Time

Buying a house can be time consuming. Between all the paperwork of getting a mortgage, looking at houses, and submitting offers, who has the time? Here are some tips on what to expect and how to make things go a little smoother.

Should You Buy a ‘Starter Home’ Or Wait? dean

Buying a house is a big decision and there is a lot to consider. Should you get a starter house right now just to get into the market, or should you wait until you can afford your “forever house”? We weigh the pros and cons of the starter house.

Burglary Prevention: Common Sense Advice to Avoid Becoming a Victim


If you think burglary is something that only happens in low-income neighborhoods, think again. It is a crime that can happen even in the nicest neighborhoods with white picket fences. Sure, the criminals may not live in your neighborhood, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t driving by your house casing it for a future break […]

Renting: What You Get for $1,500 a Month

What you can rent for $1,500 a month in Boston, MA

If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would you choose? If you’re reading Money Under 30 and you are in fact 20-or 30-something, you probably can’t afford a mansion, and that’s okay! Part of starting off right is living in a place that you can truly afford and saving up money. Let’s […]

What Your Mortgage Interest Rate Really Means

A free Google Doc loan payoff spreadsheet from

With mortgage rates so low right now, it seems everybody is talking about what a smoking hot mortgage rate they got on their new house. But mortgage rates are tricky. It’s easy to look at a 3.75 percent APR mortgage rate and say “holy cow” when, 25 years ago, the national average interest rate for a […]

When To Refinance: 3 Steps to Deciding Whether to Refinance or Not

What you can rent for $1,500 a month in Riverside, CA

Deciding when to refinance your home loan depends on several factors besides whether you can get a better mortgage rate than you already have. And though there are many reasons people refinance their mortgage, some are smarter financial moves than others. For example: Using refinance savings on your mortgage payment to up retirement contributions or […]

How to Hire Contractors who Won’t Blow up Your House


Thinking about adding some weather-stripping to your house this winter? Need roof patching or a furnace tune up? Do not try to save money by hiring a non-licensed contractor or someone who is not qualified for the job. Even licensed contractors make huge mistakes sometimes, and knowing what to look out for could save you […]

Your First Home: What Can You Get for $200k?

Examples of a $200k house in the Twin Cities

As if I don’t get enough real estate as a full-time broker, I spend what little time I take off from work watching the HDTV show “House Hunters.” Why watch something I see day in and out? For the same reason anyone does — to compare. I sit there, thinking about my own house and […]

How Lease Options Work When You ‘Rent To Own’ A House

Renting a house with the option to buy -- called a lease option -- can be a fast-track to home ownership.

We spend a lot of time debating when you know it’s a good time for you to buy a home and, sometimes, offering gentle reminders that it can be smart to rent. But there’s another option: One that melds the pros and cons of both home ownership and renting. You’ve probably seen rent to own furniture […]

A Home Buying Checklist: Organize Your Wants And Needs

Use our simple one-page home buying checklist to prioritize wants and needs.

If you came to me as a prospective home buyer and asked to go out shopping for houses, there are two things I would ask you: What do you want in a house and What do you need in a house? To many people, this subtlety is lost. If buyers tell me their home needs […]