Anyone who has bought a home will tell you: it can be a long, drawn-out process. Sometimes what seems like a done deal, even going into escrow, can backfire and you have to start shopping for a home all over again. For the sake of your finances and your loan, hold off any moving plans until all the closing documents are officially signed.
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Home burglaries increase around the holidays for obvious reasons: You're gone, and your house is empty and vulnerable. While you're away, you want to make sure your home is as secure as possible, and part of this means making it look like someone is actually there even when you're not.
Several years ago, my wife and I were in a bit of a personal bind. We lived together in what was about the tiniest two-bedroom apartment you can imagine, with a small baby and another one on the way. We were already forced into being pretty creative with arrangements with even one baby in the home, but two? It was pretty clear that we needed a bigger place.
After saving up for a long time, I recently bought a home, which caught some of my friends off guard. "I thought you were anti-homeownership," they said, because I think renting is underrated. Even as a homeowner, I still think renting is underrated. That doesn't mean buying is a bad decision. The rent vs buy debate is just silly overall. It ignores the enormous grey area that exists between the two options.
The house I grew up in had a pretty limited square meterage, something I notice every time I visit my parents. It's essentially a two bedroom house with what amounts to a storage closet converted into a third bedroom when absolutely needed. The living room is very small and the kitchen is pretty tiny as well.
You might not own your place, but you still want it to feel like home. Problem is, a lot of apartments are bland and cookie-cutter. As a renter, you can't exactly take down a wall or upgrade the appliances in your kitchen. There are, however, a few easy, landlord-friendly upgrades to make your rental feel more like home.
When you're selling your home, simple upgrades can mean thousands of dollars when you close, and no one can tell you which upgrades will make the most return on your investment more than a real estate agent who works in your area. Ask them what they have seen, and what's in high demand in your neighbourhood.