Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Tag Sale season is upon us. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that people don't know how to put things together anymore. If something requires the simplest of skills to assemble, it is sure to end up at a deep discount at a yard sale. We picked up gorgeous towel bars and etc for our bathroom last year, still in the package because it required a little assembly. We would otherwise not be able to afford the stuff but at a yard sale we got it at a fraction of the retail cost. So some basic skills come in handy and now with advent of the internet and the proliferation of online videos, getting those skills is a lot easier. You can learn how to do just about anything. online. My advice is to start with small household repairs. Sure you can pay someone for the service, but why not learn how to do it yourself and use that money for another purpose like saving for a better car or paying down the mortgage. Or saving up to buy that first place.
Real estate is a sore point these days. A lot of people are under water. I have been through this before. Even though I got a good deal on my apartment in 1991, by 1996 I was under water. My place had lost half of its value. Ouch. This did not bother me too much because I liked where I was living and knew I couldn't live any cheaper elsewhere. I stuck it out and waited for the upcycle to sell. I believe we're in that same situation now. Things look pretty bad but they are bound to change. This for me, is the time to invest. I want to buy more real estate even though I'm not convinced we've touched bottom. Prices may continue to drop. I figure housing will be it's cheapest in 2014. In any event, I'd rather pay slightly more than miss the boat. Anyone who says they bought at the bottom is, as they say, a liar. My plan is to be ready when real estate comes roaring back. I'll have somewhere cheap to live and be able to sell without worrying about having to buy back in at the top of the market. So save, but with a plan. Have a goal and purpose for scrimping. I've ridden the real estate roller coaster three times in my life. I still think housing is the best investment, particularly if it's rental property, that puts money in your pocket. Right now my paid off house is probably worth less than I paid for it, but I'm renting it out so it doesn't really matter

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