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Archive for December, 2017

Four Part Series: Homebuying Tips From a Pro – 4 of 4

It never hurts to ask for more

When you make an offer on a house, it’s not crazy to ask the owner to include an unlisted item in the sale. Maybe you love a chandelier or a kitchen table. The seller could refuse the request, but they could also agree to it in order to close the deal.

Remember that kids get older

When my son was very young, we lived in a three-story house with the laundry facilities in the basement. It was a hard house to make baby-safe, and we decided to move when he began walking.

In looking at houses to move to, we only considered ranches with basements that had doors we could lock from the outside. The idea that our child would ever handle stairs seemed impossible.

A few years later, of course, that seemed ridiculous. We could have saved money on that purchase and bought a different model in the same condo development, had we been open to stairs. It sounds silly, but as first-time parents we made a decision in the moment that we suffered for financially for years to come.

Think about resale

After my grandfather died, my grandmother turned her three-bedroom house into what was essentially a one-bedroom. She turned one room into a makeup room and another into a sort of office making for a massive master suite. It worked for her, but when it was time to sell the house, the pool of buyers who wanted a large, basically one-bedroom house was fairly small.

It may be tempting to buy a unique house that has quirks you really like. But if other buyers won’t like those features and you’re not entirely sure you will never sell the house, then buying an offbeat house may be a bad idea, as it makes resale much harder.

Do a final walk-through

Even if your home inspection was only a few days before closing, you should still do a final walk-through before closing the deal. Look for any damage done while the seller moved out, or anything that contractually should have been left behind but was in fact removed. If you don’t check these things before closing, it becomes much harder to remedy the situation after the seller has your money.

The $16,122 Social Security bonus you could be missing
If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,122 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after.


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