Online job postings and more: How the Internet can make and save you money
Online job postings put Craigslist on the map, but it's also a great way to sell items or to find a new housemate (question 1 from the Reader Mailbag). Want to make money off the Internet? Blog (question 8). Want to save money on cable? Download movies on Netflix (question 9).
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In our area one can find a nice-ish house in a good neighborhood for $85,000 to $100k (probably toward the higher.) I would say that these are within our price range. One can also find a house in a good neighborhood that is in need of updating/repair for about $60,000. She and I both like the idea of buying a house that needs some updating so that we could put our own touch on the place we will call home. In this area there is a plethora of homes that were built 50-80 years ago and for the most part they are in need of the same kind of updates (bathrooms, kitchens, flooring.) I feel that these are the types of updates that I would be willing and able to do with the help of family members and a friend or two.Skip to next paragraph
The Simple Dollar is a blog for those of us who need both cents and sense: people fighting debt and bad spending habits while building a financially secure future and still affording a latte or two. Our busy lives are crazy enough without having to compare five hundred mutual funds – we just want simple ways to manage our finances and save a little money.
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So one might say that buying a ‘fixer upper’ is a no-brainer for someone like me….The problem: How does one finance these expenses? I am still in the early stages of my research on mortgages and buying a home (hence this email.) One thing that I found interesting is the FHA 203(k) mortgage, it appears that with some restrictions and a few steps, the government will back the mortgage, which will be more than the cost of the home, to allow for repairs. To me the 203(k) loan sounds like it’s right for us but I am hesitant. The information on HUDs website is informative but I need an opinion. Another option would be to put a small percentage down on the home and take the remainder of our savings and put it toward the upgrade costs. The problem with this is the time it might take to get the upgrades done. What are your thoughts on the matter? I feel that either way we are looking at an $80-$100k mortgage but the difference in houses could be big (given the potential cost savings of doing the work on our own.)
A 203(k) loan is more or less what you describe. A lender lends you an amount greater than the value of the home (but backed by the government), with the additional money going to make repairs on the home. Ideally, this brings the value of the home up more than the costs of the material for the repairs (you’re adding sweat equity).
There are some risks here, though. The big one is that if you’re unable to follow through with the repairs for whatever reason (health, etc.), you’re underwater on that mortgage. You’ll owe more than the house is worth if you can’t put in your own sweat equity.
If you’re willing to accept that risk – and it sounds like you’re in the best position you could be to accept it – then I’d go for it. It’s a great opportunity for someone with home improvement skills to turn those skills into home value.
Q6: Suggest some board games
Some friends of ours invited my husband and I to dinner a few months ago. After dinner we played some board games of theirs that I’d never heard of and had a blast! Since then, we’ve dined and “gamed” with them several times and tried a lot of games. I found out eventually that they got the idea of playing board games and having dinner parties with them from The Simple Dollar, which is how I found your site!
I am wondering if you could suggest some games for us. We would like some games that could be played in an hour or less that my husband and I could play and we could also easily play with another couple. What would you suggest for us?
Here are four board games that can be played in an hour or less, work well for two players and also work well with four players, and don’t have overly complex rules. I own all of these and enjoy playing them all.