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My First Estate Sale – HELP ME!!!

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Hi guys!

I gotta pop in for a super quick post today because stuff is crazy right now!

My family (hubs, me, and the 4-year-old twins) drove up to Utah on Wednesday. We usually split the 12-hour drive into 2 days but pushed through and did the whole thing in one day.

The purpose of our trip was to finish clearing out my Dad’s house. I came here in November when my Dad officially moved, but he’d used a POD and a lot of stuff got left behind. My brother came back with my Dad again a couple months ago and, from all reports, the house was nearly ready to go. There were still a few boxes of paperwork and miscellaneous odds and ends. The big things were that there are still 2 vehicles here. Those were my marching orders.

SOOOOoooooo imagine my surprise when I get here and it seems like the house is still fully furnished. I mean…kitchen still has everything in it, there’s a full bedroom set, ┬álots of household and holiday decorations, multiple televisions, accent tables, garage is still fully stuffed, and on and on and on.

Guess how many days we’d planned to be here! Two. Yep. The plan was to get here Wednesday night (as we did), get a dumpster, and throw the remaining stuff out, then head back to Tucson early on Saturday (another 1-day trip).

But the overwhelming amount of items coupled with the fact that there are still so many items of VALUE meant that I couldn’t just throw stuff in the dumpster (which I’d called and had placed at the residence before getting to town). The only solution I could see was to have an estate sale.

Here’s the deal. I’ve never done an estate sale before. And I’ve now been warned by 2 separate people that these things can be brutal – people fighting each other for items, shoulder-to-shoulder people bustling throughout the house, etc. Just chaos. And remember….we’ve only got 2 adults to manage the situation (plus 2 toddlers to still watch and take care of!!!) Gulp!

To try to help things a bit, I decided to split the sale into 2 days. We’re prepping things today by separating items (we’ll take some things with us to Tucson so there’s a “not for sale” pile), shredding old documents with identifying information, and generally trying to organize things and sort through to see what’s here. I’ll also be taking care of some business things today (meeting with property management company, etc.). Then the first “preview sale” will be tonight from 5-8:30pm. The remaining items will be sold on Friday from 7am-gone. I posted to a local Facebook garage sale site, stating that all items are first come, first served and there are NO HOLDS!

I’m hoping that (1) the fact that the estate sale is being held on weekdays and (2) the fact that we’re splitting it into two days will help in reducing the craziness since we’ll likely have fewer people than we would on a Saturday. By Friday afternoon, everything will turn to FREE (with associated posting on the local Facebook site) and we’ll start trashing any remaining items in the dumpster.

Other tips or ideas? Are we absolutely insane for attempting to do this ourselves while we still have kids here? I’m really nervous about things getting wild! If they do, the plan is for me to stand at the front door (with kids playing in front yard), and hubs to be inside doing the negotiating about item prices. I’ll be paid on the way out (standing at the door ensures no one just walks away with items without paying).

I’ve literally NEVER done this before and this shiz is getting down TONIGHT so I could really use any helpful ideas or tips that you might have! Help meeeee!!!!

Thank you!


The Benefits of Renting Versus Buying

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It’s a renter’s market, with the rate of home ownership having experienced a steady decrease over the past eight years. While some would argue that it’s cheaper over time to purchase a home than rely on rent prices to stay low, there are numerous benefits to sticking to the renter’s market. If you’re weighing the benefits of renting to those of purchasing a home, consider the following facets before taking the jump and signing yourself up for mortgage and a lifetime of responsibility.

The Flexibility Factor

Those in the millennial generation are more focused on the ease of flexibility, and are less and less entranced by the idea of putting down roots in a singular spot. You might not be convinced that your current city is where you want to stay. Life events like marriage and children could see you wanting to make a change, or a job relocation could have you bouncing from your newly purchased house to a new area. This crazy journey we call life is unpredictable, and renting allows more cushion for the unexpected. Renting gives you the freedom to leave. The longest of leases generally top out at around two years, which allows for a flexibility you wouldn’t find with a 30-year mortgage.

Financial Limitations

For some of us, buying a home just isn’t realistic monetarily, and for a lot of people, coming up with the lump sum for a down payment just isn’t a possibility. Small banks have tightened up the reins on giving out loans, and it may be an insurmountable challenge. Depending on the market you’re looking in, home prices may be astronomical. Consider locations like New York or San Francisco, in which finding an affordable home for purchase is similar to locating a needle in a haystack; it just makes more sense for residents in these locales to focus their money on renting a space in order to live in their desired location.

Less Responsibility

There is a large amount of responsibility that goes into owning a home, and much of it is found within maintenance issues. Whether you have a private landlord or your apartment or home is managed by a property management company, you generally won’t need to worry about structural issues being replaced, or fixing plumbing problems yourself. The majority of house repairs are covered under lease terms (as long as the issue wasn’t your immediate doing), leaving you clear of spending a fortune in both money and time on fixing any issues that come up. If you’re not a handyman, owning a home could mean shelling out a lot of money each year for the inevitable issues that tend to arise.

Amenities Bonuses

Renting can mean more amenities, especially if you’re renting in a large apartment complex. This may mean communal spaces like outdoor areas including pools and hot tubs, or it could be something like an onsite gym. While you generally pay higher rates for renting in spaces like this, the savings on a gym membership and pool access alone could mean saving money in the bigger scheme of things.

Simplified Payments

To those who argue that buying a home is cheaper over the long run, there seems to be a concentrated effort to avoid talking about the sheer amount of payments a homeowner is responsible for. Beyond a monthly mortgage, you’ll need to handle property taxes, maintenance costs, damages incurred by weather conditions or accidents, and much, much more. With renting, you have one payment each month and you’re settled–all of us can use more simplicity.

Staying Safe

You’ll have plenty of choices in front of you when it comes to renting, but always be sure to stay safe with your process. Scammers understand that the renter’s market is extremely competitive right now, and they’ve come up with plenty of schemes to cheat people out of their money by convincing them they’re offering the perfect home for rent. How can you protect yourself? Avoid using Craigslist and instead look at listings on reputable home rental websites. Once you find a place you like, don’t throw around your sensitive information; ask potential landlords to use a vetted screening processes like MySmartMove when they want to do a credit check. Taking these extra steps can keep you safe and protect your assets, so it’s worth your time.