7 Simple Money-Saving Tips for Renters
Get a roommate. One of the easiest ways to cut your rent in half and save some big bucks is by finding a roommate. Think half the rent cost, half the utility bills, internet and cable. That adds up to some serious savings that you can apply toward your down payment. Check out these seven tips for living with a roommate.
Pay off your credit card debt. This one might seem counterintuitive — after all, you’re trying to save money, right? But it’s important to remember that your credit score and debt-to-income ratio are pretty big factors that lenders consider when deciding whether you qualify for a loan. So, when it comes time to get a mortgage, you’ll be glad you tackled that outstanding debt ahead of time.
Rent to own. This is an option for those who are interested in a property, but still need to save up cash for a down payment or build their credit score. When you’re in a rent-to-own agreement, you typically pay a one-time, non-refundable fee called “option money”, which gives you the opportunity to purchase the house in the future. Usually this price ranges from 2 to 7 percent of the purchase price of the house — a price that you and the seller will agree upon.If you’re renting a house, check with your landlord that it’s okay to run a garage sale on the property.
Budget basics. Now that you’ve set a big financial goal, it’s important to figure out a budget and stick to it. A good rule of thumb to follow is the 50/30/20 rule, where you allocate a portion of your paycheck into three categories: 50 percent towards essentials, like food and housing; 30 percent towards lifestyle, like dinner out or other entertainment; and 20 percent towards financial priorities, such as debt, retirement and savings. Since you have your sights set on a new home, try moving 5 to 10 percent of your lifestyle budget into the savings category. It might be challenging, but you’ll reap the benefits when you see your home getting closer and closer!
Ditch the unnecessary. We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but we’ll say it again: consider cutting back on superfluous expenses. Sure, eating out and shopping are fun and entertaining indulgences, but they add up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, a year. For the time being, try spending less on non-essentials and you might be amazed at how much you’re saving. It’ll be worth every penny when you’re turning the key to your new home.
Set up shop. Believe it or not, a garage sale can put some serious savings in your pocket. Since you’re a renter, you might not have the space or be allowed to run a garage sale out of your abode, so ask family and friends if they have a garage to spare for a weekend.
Save your tax refund. Sure, it’s nice to get that refund check come tax season. A shopping spree, a new bedroom set, maybe a beach vacation — all fun things you can do with that “extra” income. Resist the urge to spend it on the impractical and instead stick it in your savings account.
3 CAR GARAGE
3,493 SQ FT
Welcome home to this beautiful open floor plan ranch with a fully finished basement and elegant interiors. Enjoy the tranquil backyard while relaxing by the fire pit on a patio surrounded by beautiful landscaping, vegetable garden and apple trees. This spacious home offers elevated ceilings, hickory hard woods, and a stylish stacked stone corner fireplace in living room. A gourmet kitchen boasts a large pantry, soft close 42″ cabinets with crown molding, and granite island accessorized with custom lighting. Main floor has a desirable master bedroom coupled with an elegant 5 piece en suite master w/soaker tub and two additional bedrooms. The high-ceiling basement complete with wet bar, one bedroom, and bonus room for a spacious guest retreat. This gently used Amelia Plan, Bridgewater Home with over sized 3-car tandem garage won’t last long.
JOHN TAYLOR | 970-541-1003 | JT@REALTORJOHNTAYLOR.COM
Hot off the Press the new Federal Housing Finance Authority report!
The Federal Housing Finance Authority ranks 241 major metropolitan areas across the United States for yearly home price appreciation. The current report shows that, nationally, home prices have gone up 4.99% over the last 12 months. Colorado has 5 major metropolitan cities ranked in the 241 cities across the United States.
Here’s how the major cities rank:
Stay up-to-date on the latest happenings…
Click the link to access all
25 of my 5-Star Reviews!
Star Carson – August 25, 2019
John was super helpful! We were out-of-state buyers who didn’t know the area very well, so he took his time showing us different areas In good school districts. He made sure the process flowed smoothly, which took the stress off of us. Would definitely work with again!
Cesar Gonzalez – August 25, 2019
John helped us purchase our first home from start to finish and we couldn’t be happier. He even helped us find the perfect mortgage broker for our situation. He went above and beyond to make sure we were satisfied with our new home.
I am passionate about helping my clients realize their dreams, whether you are a first time home buyer, investor, seeking your dream home or a special property in the colorful Colorado countryside. I will meet you wherever you are in the process, and match your sense of urgency with a commensurate level of communication.
– John Taylor, 970-541-1003, email@example.com
If you’re short on space but don’t want to move, a home addition is an attractive way to solve your woes and turn your current home into your dream home.
Whether you’re adding a whole new room or a more modest addition, it can turn into a major construction project; with architects and contractors to manage, construction workers traipsing through your home, hammers pounding, and sawdust everywhere. Although new additions can be a great investment, the cost per-square-foot is typically more than building a new home, and much more than buying a larger existing home.
Before you make the leap, consider the following:
Define your needs
To determine if an addition makes sense for your situation, start by defining exactly what it is you want and need. By focusing on core needs, you won’t get carried away with a wish list that can push the project out of reach financially.
If it’s a matter of needing more space, be specific. For example, instead of just jotting down “more kitchen space,” figure out just how much more space is going to make the difference, e.g., “150 square feet of floor space and six additional feet of counter space.”
If the addition will be for aging parents, consult with their doctors or an age-in-place expert to define exactly what they’ll require for living conditions, both now and over the next five to ten years.
Types of Additions
“Bumping out” one or more walls to make a first-floor room slightly larger is something most homeowners think about at one time or another. However, when you consider the work required, and the limited amount of space created, it often ends up to be one of your more expensive approaches.
First Floor Addition
Adding a whole new room (or rooms) to the first floor of your home is one of the most common ways to add space to a home. You can easily create a new family room, apartment or sunroom. But this approach can also take away yard space.
For homes with steep rooflines, adding an upper floor dormer may be all that’s needed to transform an awkward space with limited headroom. The cost is affordable and, when done well, a dormer can also improve the curb-appeal of your house.
For homes without an upper floor, adding a second story can double the size of the house without reducing surrounding yard space. But be cautious not to ruin the value of homes next to you when you do this, the second story might not be worth the drama on your block.
Building above the garage is ideal for a space that requires more privacy, such as a rentable apartment, a teen’s bedroom, guest bedroom, guest quarters, or a family bonus room.
You’ll need a building permit to construct an addition—which will require professional blueprints. Your local building department will not only want to make sure that the addition adheres to the latest building codes, but also ensure it isn’t too tall for the neighborhood or positioned too close to the property line. Some building departments will also want to ask your neighbors for their input before giving you the go-ahead.
Requirements for a legal apartment
While the idea of having a renter that provides an additional stream of revenue may be enticing, the realities of building and renting a legal add-on apartment can be sobering. Among the things you’ll need to consider:
- Special permitting—Some communities don’t like the idea of “mother-in-law” units and therefore have regulations against it, or zone-approval requirements.
- Separate utilities—In many cities, you can’t charge a tenant for heat, electricity, and water unless utilities are separated from the rest of the house (and separately controlled by the tenant).
- ADU Requirements—When building an “accessory dwelling unit” (the formal name for a second dwelling located on a property where a primary residence already exists), building codes often contain special requirements regarding emergency exists, windows, ceiling height, off-street parking spaces, the location of main entrances, the number of bedrooms, and more.
In addition, renters have special rights while landlords have added responsibilities. You’ll need to learn those rights and responsibilities and be prepared to adhere to them. Be sure to talk to your Windermere Real Estate Agent or a local Property Manager about municipal, state, and federal laws.
The cost to construct an addition depends on a wide variety of factors, such as the quality of materials used, the laborers doing the work, the type of addition and its size, the age of your house and its current condition. For ballpark purposes, however, you can figure on spending about $200 per square foot if your home is in a more expensive real estate area, or about $100 per food in a lower-priced market.
You might be wondering how much of that money might the project return if you were to sell the home a couple years later? The answer to that question depends on the above details; but the average “recoup” rate for a family-room addition is typically more than 80 percent.
The Bottom Line
While you should certainly research the existing-home marketplace before hiring an architect to map out the plans, building an addition onto your current home can be a great way to expand your living quarters, customize your home, and remain in the same neighborhood.
With interest rates so low, one could argue that money is essentially on sale.
It’s actually half off.
30-year mortgage rates hit 3.75% which is exactly half of their long term average.
Rates have averaged 7.5% over the last 40 years so today buyers are getting half of that rate.
The “sale” on mortgage rates creates a significant savings in monthly payment because of the 1%/10% rule.
For every 1% change in interest rate, the monthly payment will change roughly 10%.
So when rates go up to 4.75%, a buyer’s payment will be 10% higher.
For example, the principal and interest payment on a $400,000 home with a 20% down payment at today’s rates is $1,482.
If rates were 1% higher, the payments jump up to $1,669.
In addition to providing shelter and comfort, our home is often our single greatest asset, and it’s important that we protect that precious investment. Most homeowners realize the importance of homeowner’s insurance in safeguarding the value of a home. However, what they may not know is that about two-thirds of all homeowners are under-insured. According to a national survey, the average homeowner has enough insurance to rebuild only about 80% of his or her house.
What a standard homeowners policy covers
A standard homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers your home, your belongings, injury or property damage to others, and living expenses if you are unable to live in your home temporarily because of an insured disaster.
The policy likely pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by disasters, such as fire or lightning. Your belongings, such as furniture and clothing, are also insured against these types of disasters, as well as theft. Some risks, such as flooding or acts of war, are routinely excluded from homeowner policies.
Other coverage in a standard homeowner’s policy typically includes the legal costs for injury or property damage that you or family members, including your pets, cause to other people. For example, if someone is injured on your property and decides to sue, the insurance would cover the cost of defending you in court and any damages you may have to pay. Policies also provide medical coverage in the event someone other than your family is injured in your home.
If your home is seriously damaged and needs to be rebuilt, a standard policy will usually cover hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while you are temporarily relocated.
How much insurance do you need?
Homeowners should review their policy each year to make sure they have sufficient coverage for their home. The three questions to ask yourself are:
· Do I have enough insurance to protect my assets?
· Do I have enough insurance to rebuild my home?
· Do I have enough insurance to replace all my possessions?
Here’s some more information that will help you determine how much insurance is enough to meet your needs and ensure that your home will be sufficiently protected.
Protect your assets
Make sure you have enough liability insurance to protect your assets in case of a lawsuit due to injury or property damage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability coverage. With the increasingly higher costs of litigation and monetary compensation, many homeowners now purchase $300,000 or more in liability protection. If that sounds like a lot, consider that the average dog bite claim is about $20,000. Talk with your insurance agent about the best coverage for your situation.
Rebuild your home
You need enough insurance to finance the cost of rebuilding your home at current construction costs, which vary by area. Don’t confuse the amount of coverage you need with the market value of your home. You’re not insuring the land your home is built on, which makes up a significant portion of the overall value of your property. In pricey markets such as San Francisco, land costs account for over 75 percent of a home’s value.
The average policy is designed to cover the cost of rebuilding your home using today’s standard building materials and techniques. If you have an unusual, historical or custom-built home, you may want to contact a specialty insurer to ensure that you have sufficient coverage to replicate any special architectural elements. Those with older homes should consider additions to the policy that pay the cost of rebuilding their home to meet new building codes.
Finally, if you’ve done any recent remodeling, make sure your insurance reflects the increased value of your home.
Remember that a standard policy does not pay for damage caused by a flood or earthquake. Special coverage is needed to protect against these incidents. Your insurance company can let you know if your area is flood or earthquake-prone. The cost of coverage depends on your home’s location and corresponding risk.
Replacing your valuables
If something happens to your home, chances are the things inside will be damaged or destroyed as well. Your coverage depends on the type of policy you have. A cost value policy pays the cost to replace your belongings minus depreciation. A replacement cost policy reimburses you for the cost to replace the item.
There are limits on the losses that can be claimed for expensive items, such as artwork, jewelry, and collectibles. You can get additional coverage for these types of items by purchasing supplemental premiums.
To determine if you have enough insurance, you need to have a good handle on the value of your personal items. Create a detailed home inventory file that keeps track of the items in your home and the cost to replace them.
Create a home inventory file
It takes time to inventory your possessions, but it’s time well spent. The little bit of extra preparation can also keep your mind at ease. The best method for creating a home inventory list is to go through each room of your home and individually record the items of significant value. Simple inventory lists are available online. You can also sweep through each room with a video or digital camera and document each of your belongings. Your home inventory file should include the following items:
· Item description and quantity
· Manufacturer or brand name
· Serial number or model number
· Where the item was purchased
· Receipt or other proof of purchase / Photocopies of any appraisals, along with the name and address of the appraiser
· Date of purchase (or age)
· Current value
· Replacement cost
Pay special attention to highly valuable items such as electronics, artwork, jewelry, and collectibles.
Storing your home inventory list
Make sure your inventory list and images will be safe in case your home is damaged or destroyed. Store them in a safe deposit box, at the home of a friend or relative, or on an online Web storage site. Some insurance companies provide online storage for digital files. (Storing them on your home computer does you no good if your computer is stolen or damaged). Once you have an inventory file set up, be sure to update it as you make new purchases.
We invest a lot in our homes, so it’s important we take the necessary measures to safeguard it against financial and emotional loss in the wake of a disaster. Homeowners insurance is that safeguard, be sure you’re properly covered.