Many Americans are not content with having just one home and look for ways to buy their second homes. Although the purchase of a second home has many similarities to the purchase of the first one, it is important to bear some pertinent points in mind.
Some people rent out their second homes regularly, in which case the homes are regarded as investment properties. If this is not the case, however, the owners may get the same home loan rates they would normally receive on their primary homes. The owners may also deduct mortgage interest from their income taxes.
Benefits of Buying a second Home
Buying a second home provides two major advantages: time and equity on the primary home. This means people looking for their second homes should take their time since they already have a residence. They must weigh the advantages and drawbacks of each place they consider buying.
These people should take a couple of months considering the homes they are interested in. The place will still be there and they do not have to rush to make immediate purchases.
In the meantime, they must consider how often they intend to go to their second homes and the time they expect to spend there. It is also helpful for them to consider how they handle other areas of their lives. For example, someone who buys an annual membership at a health club but hardly attends the place for a couple of months should not expect to treat the second home differently.
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If you are like many people who live in Des Moines you are likely trying to make the most out of a challenged economy. Although there are promising signs all the time that things are moving back towards a recovery, there are still so many steps to go and the more that we can do to save money the better.
There are lots of ways that you can cut corners and save a few dollars here and there, but often times it seems that there is only so much that we can do to really make a difference. One area that people sometimes overlook is energy usage, and although this may be something we try and limit through our behavior, what do we do to really change the actual consumption of power? A great example of this, and a wonderful way to change a large amount of energy expenditure over time, is lighting.
If you consider the average Des Moines home uses about 40 bulbs to light up their rooms this will cost you approximately $900 a year in electricity if you use incandescent bulbs. But, there is a more efficient way, and it requires the use of led lights. These are bulbs that have been created to be more durable, effective and cost efficient.
Homeowners are left vulnerable to increasing energy prices and as a result must often sacrifice comfort to save money on monthly energy bills. There is no need to compromise your comfort for savings! There are several things that you can do in your home to save money this summer, while still staying cool.
Putting Your Air Conditioner in the Right Spot
Running an air conditioner can be expensive, so why pay more than you have to? Air conditioners work by blowing out cold air into your living space until your room reaches the temperature that you have set on your thermostat.
Your air conditioning unit will run for a longer period of time if it thinks that the room is hotter than it is. If the air conditioners thermostat is heated by the sunlight or the heat emitted from your household electronics it will be running longer than necessary.
With this is mind, the placement of your air conditioner is crucial. Try to place you air conditioner in a window that is in the shade or is not in direct contact with the sun. Another easy way to prevent the thermostat from being unnecessarily heated is by not placing it near any heat emitting appliances like your television or floor lamp.
• Be a part of the championship experience and witness the crowning of a national champion firsthand at Drake Stadium during the N-C-A-A Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Wednesday, June 6th through Saturday, June 9th.
• Watch track and field student-athletes from around the country compete and witness future Olympic hopefuls.
• Be a part of the track and field legacy in Des Moines at the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium June 6th through 9th. Purchase your tickets today at www.ncca.com/tickets or call the Drake University box office at 515-271-3647.
• Sit in sections D through L on Friday, June 8th and Saturday, June 9th. ESPN will be taping, and taking live shots, throughout these days. The more full the stands look, the better!
• Help us showcase Des Moines as Track Central USA!
Here are a few names for people to watch as rising stars of the NCAA Championships.
Kimberly Duncan LSU 200 meters
Christina Manning Ohio St. 100 hurdles
Tia Brooks Oklahoma Shot Put
Brianne Theisen Oregon Heptathlon
Maurice Mitchell Fla. State 200 meters
Mike Berry Oregon 400 meters
In perhaps the most competitive field in the championships, the men’s javelin:
Sam Humphreys Texas A & M
Sam Crouser Oregon
Tim Glover Illinois State (defending champion)
If you work in Des Moines, you might consider buying a condo in the downtown core area near your work. After all, Des Moines is considered the “Hartford of the West,” home to many insurance companies including Nationwide and American Public Insurance and other major operations such as Wells Fargo, publishing giant Meredith Corporation, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa.
The downtown is only a 19-minute commute from the suburbs, but if you work for one of the large corporations in or near the downtown core, why not select one of the growing number of high-rise or low-rise condominiums in the area? Since many downtown buildings are connected by four miles of skywalk, you could probably walk to work with minimal exposure the weather. You will enjoy closeness to work, walk to downtown Des Moines events like the Arts Festival, shop at a large Farmers Market, soak in the beauty of the urban landscape – and gain the benefits of homeownership.
For many people, the downside of owning a residence is that many repairs normally taken care of by a landlord fall on your shoulders. Making repairs can be time-consuming, costly, and definitely not on your list of how you want to spend your free time when there is so much to explore right outside your door. Plus, you might be a great underwriting specialist or a rising star in your company, but be all thumbs when it comes to home repair. If you’re honest enough to admit that you need to call for help when you have a home repair or maintenance issue, whom do you call?
A qualified professional handyman can do the job for you. If you live in a condo, especially a new one, you probably won’t need major remodeling, but you might want to make a few upgrades. A good handyman can revamp the kitchen or bath, add crown molding or wainscoting, tile a floor, or paint trim. A handyman can also install ceiling fans or new shelving, plus tighten up loose doorknobs, fix leaky faucets, or add safety bars to your shower.
While downtown living is not for everyone, there are certainly many advantages when it comes to saving time and money. This is the perfect time to find an affordable little condo where you can park the car on weekends and enjoy urban life!
About the Author:
Ben Trannel owns Case Handyman and Remodeling, a local company with a national reputation for excellence. His team of experts is happy to make any repair or upgrade you need in your home. They offer both remodeling services and handyman repair. All work comes with a 2-year warranty.
Note: picture is from Wikipedia by Dsmspence
The winter months mean cold weather for all. I am not a huge fan of this time of year myself. Shoveling snow, scraping windows and turning up the thermostat so you don’t freeze your butt off are all signals of winter. Every time you turn up the temperature your wallet gets a little lighter. This guide will shine some light on how you can save money on your energy bills this winter.
Cold Drafts. Every home and apartment has little cracks and crevices that let air in. These airways are called drafts. Drafts can waste up to 30% of your home’s energy! That’s a lot of dollar bills being wasted. Luckily, there are some easy and inexpensive ways to stop cold air drafts from driving up your bills. For cracks between a door and the frame, use a rolled up towel or sock filled with sand to lie at the foot of the door. This will block cold air from getting inside. If you have very old windows, you may want to consider caulking around the frame to ensure no cold air gets in.
Set your fan in reverse. Fans normally spin counter clockwise. By reversing your ceiling fans to clockwise it pushes heated air downward helping to warm your room.
Wear more clothes. This is as simple as it sounds. By wearing more layers you can stay a few degrees warmer so your thermostat doesn’t have to.
By following these three simple methods you will stay warm in the winter without having to empty your pocket. Each winter there are over half a million fires in America due to heating related causes. In total, these fires cost over $3 billion in property losses. Protect yourself and your financial well being with a renters insurance policy. Get free renters insurance quotes to see how inexpensive it is to insure your property.
About Matt Shealy: Matt is a frugal living advocate who dabbles in the real estate/rental space. You will find him writing on leading finance sites focused on providing everyday people with tips to live within their means.
Despite Iowa’s general reputation as a very rural state with a surplus of farming land, many who have lived there will tell you that it actually has very nice urban residential areas. If you haven’t been to Iowa before, you probably just imagine its as one big expansive cornfield, but there are actually multiple cities in which you can live with a true taste of an urban, or at least somewhat urban lifestyle. Let’s take a look at Iowa’s largest city and home to the state capital, Des Moines.
Of course, Des Moines shouldn’t be compared to New York City or Los Angeles. Living here, you will not find a vast skyline full of skyscrapers, or an endless web of taxis. However, Des Moines does offer numerous high-rises and low-rises in the downtown Des Moines core. Des Moines offers some of the more charming aspects of an urban downtown area, with plenty of nice condos, walking distance neighborhoods, and an appealing selection of restaurants. Of course, if you are considering moving to Des Moines, you will also have to consider other, less appealing aspects of an urban downtown life, one of which is generally higher crime rates that one would fine in an urban area. Along with this concern, you may want to consider looking into an ADT Security system for the protection of your downtown home.
While there is no reason to be frightened or overly cautious, here is a statistic that should help you to take crime seriously in a downtown area: according to cityrating.com, as of 2009, “the violent crime rate in Des Moines was higher than the violent crime rate in Iowa by 94.22%.” Keep in mind this stat compares the largest city in Iowa to a mostly rural state, so of course there is more crime in a larger metro area than a small rural town. The fact is, while many urban areas offer certain charms, it is also very important to be more careful about safety when you live in an urban area.
An advanced home security system such as those offered by companies like ADT can help you to all but eliminate the concerns of crimes against your home and your family. Of course, you will still need to be careful when you are out and about; however, your home should be about as secure as possible. Whether you simply wish to install a basic home alarm system, or whether you want the works (motion detectors, security cameras, laser trip wires, etc.), a professional security company should be able to help. In the end, despite the many perks of city living, the most important part of any domestic situation is the safety of the people involved… there is no sense in overlooking products that can improve your security.