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Six Unconventional Ways to Become a Homeowner

Six Unconventional Ways to Become a Homeowner

Each month as you write your rent check, you dream of the day when you’ll be able to write a check for your mortgage instead. No one likes throwing money away to a home you’ll never own, which is why home ownership is considered the American Dream, but has that dream seemed like it’s always just been out of reach for you? It actually might be closer than you think. Here are six options you may not have considered that could transform you from a renter to a homeowner:

  1. Buy a Mobile Home.

Mobile homes may not be something you dream of, but the truth is they can be great starter homes to get you out of renting. At about $41 per square foot for a mobile home versus about $83 per square foot for a new house, these manufactured homes are a lot more affordable than your average house.

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An advantage of buying a mobile home over a new house is that you can walk through the exact house you’ll be getting, and you won’t have to worry about building delays and new development headaches. Mobile homes can also be customized to feel more like a traditional home with garages, decks, and vaulted ceilings.

  1. Buy a Modular Home.

A modular home is similar to a mobile home in that they are manufactured in a factory. They differ slightly from mobile homes because they are assembled in pieces and moved to a permanent location. They are insured and appraised the same way that a traditional home is, and you can even purchase a warranty just as you would with a traditional  house. Modular homes can be customized and take less time to build than a traditional home. You can also expect to pay 10 to 20 percent less for your modular home than if you had the same thing stick-built.

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  1. Build Your Own Home.

If you have the budget for a new home, you might consider building your own. The good thing about new construction is that you know exactly what you are getting and aren’t as likely to experience those little “surprises” that often develop in an older home. Choose a reputable builder and ask about your customization options to make sure you get a home you love. You can even talk with your builder to see if you are able to work on some of the building yourself to reduce costs. Remember that you’ll need to own the land to start building a new home, so shop around to find a good deal on a piece of land you’ll enjoy for years to come.

  1. Go to an Auction.

Auctions are a good choice if you have a large amount of money saved in the bank. You will have to pay the full amount you win the house for at the auction, but if you can afford it you can get a great deal.

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If you watch any of the home flipping TV shows, you’ve probably seen people buying homes at an auction and were impressed with the deal they got. One thing you don’t want to do, though, is be like them and buy the house mostly unseen. Do your homework and evaluate the home before you spend the cash. Understand that if you purchase a home at an auction, it’s likely going to take time and money to get it to the condition you want.

  1. Obtain Special Financing.

Look into what options you have when it comes to financing. Rural areas have the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program that offers zero-down financing. However, don’t assume rural means “country” and isolated. Homes can be found around major cities. You just need to check if the address is eligible for the loan. If you don’t qualify for this option, do look into other down payment assistance programs and financing that are available to first time home buyers.

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  1. Get a Co-Buyer.

What’s a co-buyer? It sounds just like what it is. Someone buys the home with you. This is often done with a younger and older generation, such as parents buying a home with their adult children. You can find a property that has separate living areas so it doesn’t feel like you’re back home living with mom and dad.

If you’d rather not move in with your parents again no matter the space on the property, maybe you can get your parents to cosign the mortgage to get a more affordable interest rate if they have good credit. Another option is asking mom and dad to purchase the home for you in their name and let you pay the mortgage as rent.

You could also buy a home together with friends or even your siblings.

There you have it- six ways you can say goodbye to renting and hello to home ownership. Think outside of the box, and you might just be one step closer to home ownership.

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Anum Yoon

Writer & Journalist

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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