Housing

Staging A Home To Sell

I’ve just been reading an article on staging a home to get the best price when selling. In addition to the usual advice to remove clutter and personal items like photos and all that stuff on the fridge, they mentioned having a friend or relative look at the place with a fresh eye. We see our own homes all day every day, it’s easy to see only what we want to.

Something similar that helped me when I last staged a house was to take pictures, just for myself, to see what they showed. Oh my! I didn’t notice that stack of papers until I saw it in the picture. Too many decorative items – it looked fine to my eye, but the camera is merciless. It doesn’t just add ten pounds to a person, it adds ten pounds of clutter to a room!

My home wasn’t ready to show until my pictures looked like magazine pictures.

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Challenge Me!

My book is all about finding useful, affordable alternatives to the things modern life has conditioned us to believe we “have to” buy.

Think of something that costs money that you don’t know of an alternative for. Challenge me to offer an alternative by leaving a comment on this or any other post. Please include the word “challenge” in your response.

Wonderful review

I am so moved by this review. “Tightwad Gazette of the 21st Century” is exactly what I wanted people to think about it:

“Great book!, February 18, 2014

By Lita McRiley “Sorlina”See all my reviews

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This review is from: Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely (Kindle Edition)

This book is jam-packed with tips, ideas, and strategies for saving money. It’s the Tightwad Gazette of the 21st century… internet addresses for DIY help, encouragement for readers, personal anecdotes, this book has it all. To top it off, it’s delivered in a light, easy to read style that isn’t preachy or judgmental. A very helpful, and enjoyable, read!”

The Tightwad Gazette has been the “bible” of thrifty living. My hope was to make it the ‘old testament’ and mine the ‘new testament’, and it seems I have succeeded.

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What’s the 211? Where to look for help

We all know about 911 for emergencies and 411 for information. Now there’s also 211, a telephone based resource for all kinds of social services and community help. 211 is a service of the United Way. On the phone, just dial 211. Online, go to www.211.org. (Notice it’s .org not .com). The website gives you the phone number to call United Way locally.

In Florida’s Volusia and Flagler counties we have www.211Live.org which has a link to a searchable directory where you can look for the specific thing you need. They have 1,000+ resources, everything from after school child care to help if your house burns down, help with food, housing, elder care, counseling, transportation, medical care….

Each state has its own website, e.g. www.211florida.org, www.211arkansas.org, etc. Each state and county has its own range of services, and some counties are not yet served in some states.

If you or someone you know needs help with just about anything, just dial 211.

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Hmmm….Home Ownership

Recently I read an article online that really triggered my Is It True reflex. At first I assumed it couldn’t possibly be true, but on further realistic thought I think it probably is true. The article said that home ownership increases unemployment. At first I thought they meant it causes jobs to go away, which is not true. What is true is that owning a home makes people more likely to stay where they are instead of going where the jobs are. It’s more complicated to sell your house – in a declining area, since jobs are leaving – than it is to give your landlord notice and move to where the jobs are. So maybe the mortgage interest tax deduction is driving a behavior that’s not as 100% beneficial as I’ve always assumed.

In the first half of the 20th century people did tend to settle in one place and stay there. Jobs were often lifetime careers. Now as we move into the first half of the 21st century, that has changed quite a bit. As a nation we’re a lot more mobile. As local economies shift and change the more flexible and mobile people move with them. So there’s another thing I “always knew”, that home ownership is always a good thing if you can afford it, that turns out to be true only sometimes.