Rehabbing a Home? Be Ready for These 5 Costs

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So you want to calculate the price tag on a house rehab, but you have no construction background. How do you go about it? Understandably, this is a common scenario that holds many people back from flipping houses. It’s also one of the most common questions people ask Tarek and me. A rehab’s costs involve more than just what you … Read More

Confessions of a Serial Refinancer

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By Michael Lyons, as told to Daniel Bortz My wife and I bought our first home in July of 1999. We were newlyweds at the time, and in lieu of taking a honeymoon we decided to purchase a house and gut it. Our date nights involved going to Home Depot, and talking to plumbers and tradesmen for advice. During the five … Read More

4 Tips for Putting Your Tax Refund Back Into Your Home

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Are you getting a tax refund this year? The average refund is about $3,000 – enough to reinvest in your home. Whether you’re expecting a few hundred dollars back or a few thousand, put some of it to work with these suggestions. Pay down debts With home prices continuing to creep upward and interest rates still remarkably low, you may have taken out … Read More

The Do's and Don'ts of Home Equity Loans

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With home values rising, homeowners who have equity, a much-valued resource, might be tempted to tap some of that wealth and use it for other purposes. But depending on your personal situation and how you’d like to use the equity, it may not necessarily be the right thing to do. Here’s when a home equity loan , which allows you … Read More

The Pros and Cons of Merging Finances

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Whether you’re a newlywed or have recently moved in with your significant other, you two have a lot to decide about the best way to handle household matters. Figuring out how you’ll divide laundry duties, grocery shopping and other mundane responsibilities is a piece of cake compared to the big question: finances. If you’re thinking about combining your finances, here are a few pros … Read More

6 Ways to Cut Costs This Winter

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The winter months can be expensive. Beyond holiday shopping, they often encompass travel, big meals, unexpected splurges, and large energy bills. Here are some ways to lower those costs as the temperature drops. Save on home heating Make simple, inexpensive adjustments in your home to cut energy usage and costs. Invest in a programmable thermostat, for example. Did you know … Read More

Starting the New Year on Firm Financial Footing

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New year, new you? Here’s how to start things off right financially, and boost the odds of having a prosperous 2016. Pay off high-interest credit card debt Sure, you hear this every year, but paying off high-interest credit card debt is particularly relevant now, since the Federal Reserve has started raising rates. In December 2015, it announced the first rate hike … Read More

The Best Saving Strategies for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials

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If you’re looking to save more money in the new year – and really, who isn’t? – you’ll need a plan. The best saving strategy for you depends on what stage of life you’re in, as each phase carries its own particular financial responsibilities. There’s no one-size-fits-all advice for saving, but here are a few generation-specific suggestions for getting the ball … Read More

Big Ticket Items on Sale in December

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Did you miss the pre-holiday sales? The Black Friday bargains? Not to worry – there are plenty of great deals to be found in December, from toys, books, laptops, and tablets to various big ticket items like these. Cars As the year comes to an end, car dealerships start dropping prices and rolling out big incentives, such as cash back or … Read More

Savvy Shopping for Black Friday Deals

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With the holiday shopping season already under way (earlier than ever!), you may be thinking Black Friday is the time to buy that HDTV or budget laptop you’ve been eyeing. After all, the prices are so attractive. Just $150 for a name brand TV? Prices on bargain model laptops starting at only $99? The deals are pretty hard to resist. … Read More