As a renter, and a cheap one at that, I don’t typically spend a lot of money on furniture and other household stuff. When I look around my house, I mostly see garage sale finds, hand-me-downs, and knickknacks I got on super clearance. In fact, the slipcover in my living room is actually worth more than the 10-year-old beat up couch it’s protecting. It didn’t seem to me I really owned anything worth protecting, so I went without renters insurance for years.
Do you dream of owning property? Perhaps multiple investment properties from which to earn a monthly stream of income? Ah, the life…
But before you contact your real estate agent, consider what’s really involved. If you want to create an income immediately, you’ll need to rent your property. Though the proposition may sound simple, it is anything but. The information that follows details the downsides to property management.
It’s not meant to dissuade you from moving forward, but instead to show you that there are downsides as well as advantages to buying and managing rental property. Don’t let the potential to earn money cloud your vision when considering whether or not you’re cut out for it.
I’m a coffee junkie. I make at least half a pot of coffee every morning, and if I’m having a particularly stressful day, I make a second pot in the afternoon. A few months ago, I started thinking about how much coffee I drink, and how the grounds end up in the trash. I don’t like waste, so I started looking for some alternatives.
First, I tried the obvious solution, cutting back on my coffee intake. That lasted about two days before I realized that I need coffee to function. Then my friend suggested mixing my used grounds with new ones to make a new pot of coffee. While I take pride in being a cheapskate, I draw the line at drinking bitter-tasting brown water.
Recently, while unpacking after a move, I came to a not-so-startling revelation: I had a lot of things that I did not really need. I still had boxes that I never unpacked from my previous move, which was two years ago. Now, I know I have a habit of keeping things for too long and taking frugal living too far, especially when it comes to electronics. I always think I may suddenly need them (or have the ability to fix them) one day. Two years of unpacked boxes, however, is borderline hoarding.
We all want to pay our bills. After all, most people don’t get a great feeling watching debts accumulate. But things happen unexpectedly and suddenly, and sometimes you can’t make payments for everything on time.
A few years ago, I moved to New Orleans, and the move seemed to spark a series of unfortunate events. During the first week, I blew a tire. I received two traffic tickets. Then I dropped my cell phone off of a balcony, sending it to electronics heaven. I had very little money left after the move, but I had enough saved to get the car working again, and to replace the cell phone.
At a time when banks are making record profits and customers are paying higher fees, many people are seeking financial institutions that will help them save money. One such institution could be your local credit union.
Credit unions offer numerous financial products that help people maximize their incomes and increase their savings, often with fewer or lower fees than traditional banks. But these institutions also have disadvantages which may make them unappealing to some banking customers.
What Is a Credit Union?
Credit unions are similar to traditional banks in the sense that both institutions offer financial products to customers. Credit union members, like bank customers, have access to checking and savings accounts, CDs, loan products, and credit cards.
Rent is expensive. Even the smallest studio apartment can take up a huge portion of your monthly income. If you need more bedrooms, a larger kitchen, or just want to live in a nicer area, then your monthly rent payment can quickly become the majority of your income.
For those with low income, decent rentals are often unaffordable, and many families find themselves struggling to pay for even a small unit in a bad part of town.
With the Section 8 low income housing assistance program, low-income renters can get the housing they need at a price they can comfortably afford.
For some families, finding decent, safe, and affordable housing presents a challenge. Since most areas of the United States do not have rent control laws, affording private rentals in good areas can seem like an unreachable goal for some renters. As a result, many families live in high crime areas or in substandard housing.
To combat this, the U.S. government developed the Section 8 program, which helps low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled afford the cost of living, and provides incentives to landlords willing to work with local housing authorities.
History of Section 8
Most landlords don’t think highly of the Section 8 housing program. Over the years, I’ve heard dozens of myths about it. Landlords see it as a hassle; they think the housing authority will breathe down their neck, or they believe they’ll get awful tenants.
The truth of the matter is that the Section 8 program can work wonders for some landlords. The housing authority is not that difficult to work with, the properties rent faster, and the tenants are not much different from others. However, with that said, how well it will work for you largely depends on how you run your business.
You can do just about anything with a smartphone. There are apps to help you manage your ever-growing digital music collection, travel apps to find the best deals on the go, apps to find the best gas prices, and even apps to ward off zombies.
You can also manage your money directly from your smartphone. There are dozens of personal finance apps available for Android and the iPhone that let you do everything from making a budget to filing your taxes.
Since some financial apps simply aren’t worth the download, here’s a short list of my top five.