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Six Home Buying Tips That Every Buyer Needs to Know

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Six Home Buying Tips That Every Buyer Needs to Know

Buying a home can be scary. There is a lot of money at stake and you are staking your reputation on your ability to make payments on that home. A simple mistake or bad choice can costs thousands of dollars in the long, or even the short run. After many mistakes that I have made, here is a list of the six tips that I think are most important to a new homebuyer

1. Know what you are looking for

Too often people start looking for a home without a really good idea of exactly what they want. They start to discover what they are looking for as they search for a home, but often end up purchasing a home that they didn’t necessarily want under the guise that “it is pretty nice”.

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A few things to think about are the number of bathrooms, a family room, the size of the kitchen, the size of the yard, and really the size of every single room. You can find what you are looking for by looking online at what is available. There are many for sale by owner sites that you can go on to look at homes for free in this stage.

2. Know your landscaping

A lot of people purchase a home because they are sold by the beautiful landscaping that has been done. They don’t realize that in order for the home to be landscaped that beautifully, it likely has had a lot of work put into it. After owning the home for a year or so, the landscaping starts to deteriorate. The grass dies, flowers don’t get planted, and weeds takeover.

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If the home has good landscaping, take time to figure out how much would need to be done to maintain that landscape.

3. Don’t settle

This home is where you will spend a majority of your time for the next few years at least. Many homebuyers get frustrated while looking and assume that they just need to settle for something less. While this is true for some people with high expectations, oftentimes you can get nearly exactly what you want if you wait. There are thousands of homes going on the market every single day and they all are a little different. Take your time and you will likely find one that excites you.

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4. Look in the outskirts

The outskirts of most cities are much cheaper than the main city. Many people buy an old, small home in the city but don’t ever realize that 15 minutes outside of the city there is a nicer, newer home. If you are willing to drive a little further for work, school, etc. then a home just outside of the city may be the best option for you.

5. Don’t feel bad making offers

Making offers on homes is the name of the game. If you think a home may have potential, make an offer and test it out. You are not locking yourself in if you make an offer, and you usually have a couple of weeks at least to back out. If you think the home has potential and could see yourself living in it, make the offer. If something better comes along, it is easy to cancel.

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6. Look at utility costs

Many people do not realize that utility costs vary from city to city. Just because your total utility bill was $200 in one city, does not mean you will pay similar expenses in the next city. Oftentimes newer cities have more expensive utilities because they are trying to pay off debts that they took on to build the necessary infrastructure. Your home may also be bigger, meaning utilities will cost more.

While this list is not everything a new homebuyer needs to know, the advice here would have saved me a lot of heartache in many of my home purchases. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: publicdomainpictures.net via publicdomainpictures.net

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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