Considering a Move to the Suburbs? Here’s What to Look For


With many urban environments pricing themselves beyond the reach of young adults, and quite a few downsides to big city life (from congestion and traffic to outrageous fees, high rents and a dearth of downtown parking), modern suburbs have their attractions.

Our Credit Isn’t Perfect; How Can We Prepare to Get Home Financing?


You want your financial ducks in a row before you even begin looking at houses. And if you or a co-applicant has a credit issue, this becomes ever-more important. Here’s what to do with your finances in the months leading up to buying a home.

Budgeting for Home Expenses: Expect the Unexpected


Americans are buying houses again. Home prices throughout the United States are expected to increase an average of 13 percent in 2013 and 2014, according to National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. If you’re about to purchase your first house, you’ve hopefully saved for a down payment and considered a budget for your […]

When Buying, Look for Features That Add Value to Your Home

When house hunting, look for features that create lasting value.

If you’re buying a home, you want it to appreciate. Even if you realize your own house may not be a great investment, you still want it to hold it’s value and — hopefully — to be able to sell it someday for more than you paid for it. But in real estate, the stuff […]

Does Somebody Really Live There? Crazy and Amazing Houses in America

Beer Can House

As I was driving from San Diego to Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, I saw a massive house at the very top of a huge mountain. The house was overlooking the freeway and had no other houses nearby. I wondered who lives there and what it would be like to drive for 15 […]

Discount Real Estate Brokerages: Worthwhile or a Scam?


“What about the buyer’s side? Do they get no money for all their efforts? This can’t be the whole story.”

Why Owning a Home is a Bad Investment — But Often a Smart Decision

Experiential learning is always better than any lesson from a book. But when it comes to personal finance, too often the experience comes at the price of losing or spending way too much money. This past summer, my wife and I decided to finish our basement. We met with our contractor, who was honest and […]

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.

Money Mentors: Erin Cerat on Paying Cash, Babysitting on the Side, and Buying a Home

Erin Cerat and family

For this “Money Mentor” post, I wanted to bring attention to someone who’s doing the little things right. It’s really a chance to ask a thrifty friend — the one who seems like she always has it together — the secrets to her success. Meet Erin Cerat, a 31-year-old special education teacher and new mom […]

Confessions of a New Homeowner: Expenses We Expected and Didn’t Expect


My husband and I closed on our first house on March 9, 2012.  Since then, it has been a whirlwind of new homeowner activities. Painting, fixing, landscaping, neighbor-meeting, decorating … and spending. Lots of spending. We rented for several years, and during that time we lived on a very tight budget. We saved 20 percent of […]