Tina McManus' Blog
If you’re in a space with a small kitchen, you know that you face a lot of problems including not enough storage, minuscule amounts of prep space, and barely enough room for more than one person in the kitchen at a time. The layout of the room along with the design is what you must work with when you have a small kitchen. There are a few storage solutions that you can use to make your kitchen into a workable space.
Clear The Clutter
Do you have a lot of gadgets hanging around your kitchen that you aren’t using on a regular basis? If there’s no space to store them, perhaps you should consider getting rid of them. That ice cream maker that you may have thought was a good idea to purchase may sit unused, taking up space. You should store only the things you need, and get rid of any items that are just collecting dust.
Use An Armoire Or Other Shelving Unit
Small kitchens often lack cabinet space. You can use items like armories and bookshelves to give yourself more storage space. Whether you need to store dishes, food items, or pots and pans, these unusual items can help to provide you big amounts of storage. You can even add your own shelves to kitchen walls. All of these ideas provide inexpensive, yet practical solutions to your kitchen storage woes.
Find An Island
There are carts and other portable kitchen island units that exist to provide additional storage and prep space fro you. Many of these have fold-out counter space and drawers and cabinets. If you have some floor space in your small kitchen, this could be a great use of that space.
Hang Your Things
No matter how small your kitchen is, you have some room to hang things. You can use hooks in various places in the kitchen whether it’s on a wall or under a shelf. All of your utensils and pots and pans have the ability to hang up somewhere. Give yourself some more storage room and maximize the space that you do have in the kitchen. There are various designs that you can make use of to hang pots and pans using hooks, racks, or even a hanging shelf. Hang your utensils strategically so they are within reach of your cooking area.
Remember that you have a lot of space available over your head in most cases in a small kitchen. The more you can maximize vertical space, the better off you’ll be. You can place your least used items the highest up and work your way down.
With the right techniques, storage space doesn’t have to be a huge issue in a small kitchen.
Dipping your toes in the real estate investing waters can feel intimidating--especially when it comes to making a large up-front investment. Although there are ways to get started in real estate with lower up-front costs (low- or no-down payment VA and FHA loans, for instance), it's smart to have some savings to cushion your first year. Here are a few ways to find the money for your first investment property--even if you're operating on a shoestring budget.
1. Make Some Sacrifices
Think investing should be sacrifice-free? It's a thought popular with the Instagram philosophers of today--you know, just secure the right mindset and the money will follow. Unfortunately, real life--at least, the real estate investing life--doesn't work that way, especially at first. Cut back your discretionary spending and earmark it to begin your investment portfolio. Your side hustle might be the springboard you need to save up a down payment for your first property--if you're willing to do the work. Tighten your belt until you close on your first property, and you'll reap the rewards in the long-term.
2. House Hack Your Existing Property
Already own your home? Consider renting out a room, or setting it up as an AirBnB. If you have a partially-finished basement or mother-in-law suite, you could even renovate to create a true ADU (additional dwelling unit). Et voila! You're off and running as a real estate investor, improving your monthly cash flow scenario in a way that allows you to save for a larger investment down the road.
3. Know Where Your Money is Going
If you don't already have a budget, get one. No matter what system you use, you need a system--whether it's Dave Ramsey's envelope system, an online program like YNAB or Minted, or an Excel spreadsheet of your own design. It's also smart to talk to a financial advisor and/or accountant as you set goals and adjust your budget to fit your needs. No matter how much capital you are (or aren't) working with right now, an advisor can help make sure you're taking big strides in the right direction.
You'll find that if you're dedicated to your goals, it's incredible how quickly you can stack up enough savings for a down payment on your first property. Impatient to get started? While you're saving, learn everything you can about the market in your area. The time you spend saving and educating yourself will change your life.
Those considering the sale of their home will often consider the return on investment (ROI) of any such improvement. You don't, after all, want to spend $20,000 on a major improvement that will likely only see a $5,000 payback after the sale. But improvements also have other benefits. For one, they can help sell a home more quickly, and in real estate, time is money. There's another benefit as well. Certain upgrades can help widen the appeal of a home. This makes your home more appealing to wider audience, or even a target audience.
Here are some improvements to consider for those who want to broaden the appeal of their home.
Home security has become an increasingly significant factor for homebuyers. Security ranges from heavier entrance doors to deadbolts and security window glass. It can also include a security or camera system. Improving security can also save you and any future owner on home insurance premiums and that appeals to everyone.
Making a Home More Accessible
Accessibility doesn't just appeal to those who are handicapped. It is appealing to seniors, senior caregivers and to those who simply want a home that is safer and more easily navigable. This can include use of handrails in bathrooms, taller toilets, rocker electrical switches, wider doorways where practical and other conveniences.
Smart features in a home have become more commonplace and now appeal to a wider audience than just young buyers. Everyone is beginning to see the value and convenience of smart thermostats, lighting and security features. Even small conveniences like adding USB capable outlets can broaden the appeal of a home.
Make It Turn-Key
Unless a buyer is purchasing a home to "flip", the majority are in search of a home that is ready to move in. Take care of the small stuff like dripping faucets, stuck windows and creaky steps. First time homebuyers, for example, have waited longer to buy a house because many didn't want the "burden" of home ownership repairs. You can ease these fears and broaden your home's appeal by making it "move-in" ready.
Ask Yourself This Question:
Odds are you have created a living space that appeals to you. The question to now ask is "What can I do to broaden the appeal of this house?" What would make it attractive to those who may be younger or older than you? How can you improve upon its strengths and minimize its weaknesses? Look at your home with the "fresh eyes" of a potential buyer. Even a wall phone in the kitchen can make a home look outdated.
Broadening the appeal of your home can help you sell it faster at a more appealing price. Avoid stereotyping your home and its potential audience.
If you're looking for "subject-to" real estate, you know it can be a good investment. This kind of real estate is purchased "subject-to" the existing mortgage. So the buyer owns the property, but the mortgage stays in the seller's name. Payments are made by the buyer, but it's not necessary for that buyer to obtain a loan, pay all the fees associated with that, and use their own credit to buy a house. It can be an excellent deal for an investor and for a seller who's facing foreclosure or other types of problems. Here's what you need to know about the different kinds of "subject-to" real estate.
"Subject-To" an Existing Mortgage
The most common type of "subject-to" real estate has that designation because it's "subject-to" the current seller's existing mortgage. If you want to buy this kind of property, you won't need to get a mortgage of your own. Instead, the seller will deed you the property and you'll continue to make their mortgage payments. This can help you get properties fast and keep you from worrying about things like whether your credit is good. Not all investors like these kinds of properties, but they can be good choices when they're handled correctly.
"Subject-To" Other Types of Liens
Even though they aren't as common, it's also possible to buy "subject-to" properties that don't have a traditional mortgage on them. These properties might have some other reason that they aren't free and clear, such as tax or contractor liens. If payments are being made on these things and you don't want to pay them off to buy the property, you can offer to buy from the seller "subject-to" those liens. Just make sure you know what you're really committing to, all the liens on the property and how much they're for, in total.
Who Would Typically Choose the Kind of Investment?
Both single-family and multi-family properties can be purchased "subject-to" existing mortgages and other types of loans or liens. When it comes to these kinds of investments, most investors who choose them are familiar with investing already. That's because there's risk involved, and brand-new investors might not protect themselves against these risks as well as they should.
Still, investors who are careful and want to get started in the market can do well with these kinds of properties because they don't have to use a lot of their own money or qualify for mortgages. Then can simply purchase properties, and that can mean a much bigger portfolio much faster than they would have thought possible. If you're looking for a way to build a big real estate portfolio quickly, buying "subject-to" properties can be one of the ways to do that.
If you’re in the market to buy a home soon, you probably have a long list of things to look for. You also are most likely focused on savings and shopping around for the best mortgage rates. You may know everything that you should do when you’re buying a home, but has anyone told you what you shouldn’t do? Read on to discover some of the worst practices of people searching for a home.
Lack Of Research
You need to search for a home before you even set out to look at properties in person. While you’ll want to work with a realtor, you should know what you want before you start working with him. Your agent will be able to set up alerts for you that enable you to see properties put on the market as soon as they become available. This search will be tailored to your wants such as a large yard, master bathroom, or separate dining area. If you understand what your needs will cost you in relation to your budget ahead of time, working with a real estate agent will be a more fruitful experience.
Not Letting Your Real Estate Agent Do Their Job
Real estate agents are experts in the housing market. Your agent will research prices and help you to understand what a reasonable offer on a property will be. Your agent has the tools to get you the information you need to make an informed offer on a property. Sellers get insulted if an offer is well below the asking price. Trust that your agent knows what he’s talking about.
You’ll have a close relationship with your agent throughout the house hunting process. You’ll need to make arrangements with your agent to go to open houses and home showings. Your agent will accommodate you to the best of his ability. All you need to do is communicate with them.
Not Looking Beyond The Online Search
If you are out and about and see a property for sale that interests you, don’t assume that it’s out of your reach. Sometimes the online searches miss things. A property may include (or not include) something that you’re looking for. You can take down the address where you saw the “for sale” sign and speak with your real estate agent about it.
Skimming Over Properties
When you have the opportunity to look at a property, really take the time to view it. You can miss a lot of details by quickly going over a property due to your first impression. There’s a lot of things that you may not see if you don’t look at the details of a home as you walk through it.