21
May 18

Would You Ever "Rent Blindly?" I Have—4 Times!

In the past seven years, my family and I have been through seven moves. That may seem like a lot, but as a former military spouse and sailor, I can tell you it’s normal for families like mine. You don’t just move—you move quickly: You only get 10 days after you transfer to a new duty station to find a house and move into it. Yeesh!

Most of the time, families spend those first days in a hotel (which, thankfully, the military pays for), but I was rarely interested in this option. For me, finding a home before I moved has always been my number one priority. So I always tried to sign a lease before I even arrived. Yes, I’ve “rented blind.” Four times, in fact.

I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds. Yes, it is can be stressful at times, but I’ve found it’s been a huge advantage (and completely worth it) to have a permanent address when I arrived to my new city.

As any realtor might tell you, this isn’t recommended, but, in certain situations, it’s the best option. While you might not be in the military, you could be relocating for a new job or starting school and need to secure a place to live before you get there. I can say with confidence that if you stay focused and optimistic, you’ll always end up right where you need to be.

Here are some of the best tips that have helped me successfully “rent blind”:

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09
May 18

6 Money-Saving Habits to Steal from Smart Homeowners

If you’re a homeowner, the threat of a big, unexpected expense might be keeping you up at night. But if that’s what you’re losing sleep over, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent study from NerdWallet found that the main anxiety shared among homeowners was financing (65%). The simple secret to maintaining a great-looking house without having it drain your bank account? Never falling behind in upkeep. Here, the six things smart homeowners regularly tackle to keep their anxiety levels low, their bank accounts plentiful, and their homes in great shape.

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02
May 18

12 Home Depot Finds (Under $30) Every First Time Home Buyer Needs

So you just bought your first home—congrats! Now comes the fun part: settling into your new digs by filling it with necessary items. But after you spent all that money on securing your new home, you might not want to spend any more on the boring organization and maintenance tools homeownership requires. Save your dough for nesting, and get moving-in done with these essential 12 finds from Home Depot, all under $30.

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30
Apr 18

Could This Be the One Thing Deterring You From Buying a Home?

Sure, that old Victorian home seems great now. It has original floorboards and the crown molding is so charming. But once you purchase, every creaky step will send a shiver up your spine: One wrong move and the whole place could crumble down faster than you can say “poor house.” It’s a scary thought, but you’re not alone. In fact, threat of costly repairs is the number one stress for homeowners.

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29
Apr 18

3 Things You Need to Know About Mortgage Fraud

Real Talk: The chances that you could commit mortgage fraud unknowingly are minimal. The industry has become much more highly regulated in recent years to prevent issues like this.

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28
Apr 18

Money Mistakes That Will Make it Really Hard to Buy a Home One Day

The real estate process begins well before you make your short list of dream homes and start attending open houses — and it can end there, too, if you’re not prepared.

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24
Apr 18

11 IKEA Finds (Under $30) Every Homebuyer Needs

You did it! You’ve got the keys to your new place in hand — but between a down payment, closing costs and that hefty movers fee, there’s not a lot of dough left over for all the extras.

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11
Apr 18

Second-Time Homebuyers Would Rather Have a Laundry Room Than a Living Room

Nearly three out of four (72%) house hunters who have owned a home before say a laundry room would be an “essential” feature of their next home, compared to just 59% who deem a living room necessary.

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21
Mar 18

Chip and Joanna Gaines Have Another Job You Didn't Know About

Every day they’re hustlin’. Chip and Joanna Gaines, the mastermind duo behind HGTV’s Fixer Upper, are constantly on the go. In addition to their TV shows, their Magnolia empire in Waco, TX, their new restaurant Magnolia Table, various retail lines, and four children of their own (with another on the way), they have one other business you might have forgotten about.

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15
Mar 18

This Ranch Featured On Fixer Upper Just Had a Price Reduction

While some folks just cannot get enough of all things Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna Gaines, others are cooling on the couple and their Magnolia empire in Waco, Texas — including, it would appear, local home buyers. A few years ago, after Fixer Upper was well into its third season, each real estate listing for a home featured and fixed up on the show could command a bidding war, but now the same or similar inventory sits on the market, even seeing reductions in price.

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