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The Millionaire Renters Print E-mail
(5 votes, average 4.80 out of 5)
House - Buying Real Estate
Written by Omie Ismail   
Thursday, 22 October 2009 16:00

I finally got around to owning a house. OK, I really don’t own it - my down payment probably covered the master bedroom. The bank owns the rest of the property. Hopefully, they'll hand over the title in 30 years - maybe 20 if I pay a little extra every month. Owning a house is great, but for the last 17 years, I was a renter and I was proud.

Renting gets a certain undeserved stigma. Somehow when you are renting, the assumption is you haven’t “made it”.

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Do You Really Need a Realtor? Print E-mail
(3 votes, average 4.67 out of 5)
House - Buying Real Estate
Written by The Frugal Nomad   
Thursday, 22 October 2009 15:29

As the prices of homes skyrocketed during the recent housing boom, many people questioned whether the value they got from a RealtorTM was really worth it. In high cost places like New York and California, real estate commissions were topping $50,000 for a few weeks worth of work. And with the sites like Ziprealty, Redfin, and Zillow, buyers increasingly were as aware of market conditions, inventory, and sales records as the brokers were. And it was the brokers who stuck with the chorus line of "Now its the time to buy" even as the market was peaking leaving millions of people underwater. Like mortgage brokers, there is a growing question whether real estate brokers are heading the way of travel agents.

 

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Libraries: Cheap and Cool Once Again Print E-mail
(12 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)
House - Entertainment
Written by The Frugal Grandma   
Thursday, 22 October 2009 07:01

Libraries are making a comeback in these tough economic times as consumers watch every dollar they spend.  They've become the ultimate low or zero cost destination and not just for books.  If you haven't been in a library since the 80s, you might have quite the surprise in store.

Read more: Libraries: Cheap and Cool Once Again
 
5 Bulletproof Reasons Real Estate Won't Be Climbing to the Sky Anytime Soon Print E-mail
(14 votes, average 4.64 out of 5)
House - Buying Real Estate
Written by Omie Ismail   
Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:20

Homeowners and real estate investors have gotten used to the mantra of "Real Estate Always Goes Up".  Chastened by the recent market implosion, their new cry is "Over The Long Term, Real Estate Always Appreciates".  Let me suggest a slight modification to their slogan - "Real Estate Values Will Keep Up With Inflation Over A Very, Very Long Time". It's not catchy but the the fundamental drivers of Real Estate appreciation in the U.S. just aren't there.  While it's possible that prices won't decline much further, don't expect them to start soaring any time this next decade.

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Is it Time to Get Rid of Cable Yet? Print E-mail
(8 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)
House - Maintenance
Written by Omie Ismail   
Friday, 16 October 2009 12:56

During the 1980s and 1990s, cable enjoyed explosive growth in the United States. Typically created as a local monopoly, entrepreneurs were able to invest in the required infrastructure and recoup their investment by charging monthly fees for access. Consumers ate it up as the selection of cable channels grew and the relative picture quality was excellent. When the Internet came along in the 90s, cable companies were well positioned to offer access to the web and further leverage their infrastructure. Threats from satellite developed, but cable companies still maintained their dominance...until now.

Read more: Is it Time to Get Rid of Cable Yet?
 
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