Cheap Ways to Buy Real Estate

While the necessities of life may be food, clothing, and shelter, most of us tend to spend a disproportionate amount of money on shelter. Apartments in larger cities can cost thousands of dollars and even in smaller towns, it is easy to end up with a big, expensive house that seems to take up most of your paycheck. A good mortgage won’t do you much good if you’re paying too much for your home. If you are in the market for a new home and don’t want to overspend, there are plenty of ways to live well without spending a ton:

Foreclosures. Foreclosures are homes which are sold by banks or government agencies after a homeowner has defaulted on a mortgage. These homes can be sold below market value and they range from very modest homes to mansions. You can literally find foreclosures in every neighborhood. An added bonus: some government agencies and banks offer incentives and special programs for buyers to get these properties off their books, so you could end up saving even more. Keep in mind that foreclosures are sold “as is,” so you need to do your research to avoid any surprises.

FSBO (For Sale by Owner) Homes. When someone is facing huge personal debts, foreclosure, or bankruptcy, they will sometimes sell their home at below market value to get some cash to repay their loans. As with foreclosures, you will need to do your research to avoid possible problems. You will also need to work with an attorney or buyer’s agent to help you through the buying process.

Fixer Uppers. Fixer uppers are homes that need some work. How much work varies widely. There are homes that are gutted inside and some that just require a good cleaning and a coat of paint. Look for homes that require lots of cleaning and painting but no work on major things, such as foundation, electricity, roof, or other major systems.…

Common Phone Financial Scams

Although many people understand that they need to be cautious online, financial scams exist through the phone lines, too. Some of the most common scams include:

1) Financial information fishing. In many cases, these scams involve someone calling and pretending to be someone else in order to get personal information – such as your credit card number, bank account number, or other information. If someone calls and asks for any such information, hang up immediately.

2) Fake charities, loans, or businesses. Fake charities usually take your money but do not in fact use the cash to promote any legitimate non-profit. Loan scams involve you paying for “guaranteed” personal loans that never materialize. In addition, there are many fake businesses, which charge you money for useless products or for products that never arrive.

3) Fake contests. In these phone scams, someone calls you to tell you that you have won a prize. To collect your prize, however, you are often told that you must send money or give a credit card number. No legitimate prize charges you money for prizes.…

Eat Healthy Without Spending a Lot

We all know that we need to eat healthy, but many of us avoid healthy eating because we are under the impression that it costs more. After all, organic foods and free range chicken always costs more at the grocery store. You can still eat very healthy, though, by following these tips. Get in on a co-op. In farmer co-ops, you pay a set fee and a farmer delivers a batch of fresh organic produce to your door every week. Costs vary widely, but are always cheaper than a similar product at the grocery store because you are cutting out the middle man. If there are no delivery options in your area, get together with a bunch of friends, contact a farmer and arrange to buy organic items or free-range meat in bulk. Then, split the cost. This is a great way to eat well for less.

Rely less on cookbooks. Cookbooks are great, but they often push you to buy items just for a recipe, and then these items tend to go bad. How many bunches of parsley have gone bad in your fridge because you bought them for one dish and never used 80% of the bunch? Waste is costly and you’ll afford more without it. Try to make your own meals with what you have on hand and use up the ingredients you do buy.
Learn to like your freezer. Buy items in bulk when they are on sale or in season and store them for when they are expensive.

Budget for your dining. Keep track of what you spend on groceries and determine how much you can really spend on food. Then, get creative to make that amount go further.…