Monday, January 18, 2016

The Benefits of Owning a Rental Home

When it comes to building wealth and ensuring your future financial security, there are some investments that are almost always in your best interest. Owning a vacation home and renting it out can be a cornerstone of your financial plan. Consider the following factors to see how a second property can help you meet your financial goals.

Your Property Can Pay for Itself

If the mortgage payment, taxes, utilities and cleaning costs add up to a thousand dollars a month, rent your property for $1500 and watch it pay for itself. Once the mortgage is paid off, the rental fees can be socked away for another property, other investments or your retirement fund.

Diversity in Your Investments

It's never a good idea to put all your financial eggs in one basket. Many people invest heavily in their primary residence and then panic if its value dips. By owning two properties, you can feel more confident that one of them is bound to rise in value or retain its value. This is especially true if your vacation home is in a valuable location, such as a lake lot or beach front.

Pay Yourself for Vacations

When you rent a vacation home, you're paying someone else's mortgage or padding their retirement fund. By owning your own vacation home, you can 'pay' that rental fee into your own assets while still enjoying a beautiful, and familiar, vacationing spot. You can enjoy your vacation knowing that you're not losing ground on your long-term financial goals.

A Vacation Home Serves as Emergency Shelter

If your primary residence caught fire tomorrow, where would you house your family while you wait for an insurance payout? If a loved one needed a place to stay but your house is full, how would you help them? A second property can serve as a backup shelter in cases of emergency, especially if your vacation home isn't too far from your primary house. When the alternative is a pricey hotel or imposing on friends and family, you'll be glad you have a second home.

While primary residences can sit on the market for months or years, vacation houses can usually be sold quickly if a huge financial need arises. Whether it's an enormous medical bill or your child's college scholarship falls through, having a liquid asset you can sell if you had to can bring you a lot of peace of mind.

Owning a vacation home and renting it out is an excellent plan for your future. Not only can it pay for itself, there are many other perks to owning a second property.

About the Author: Brian is guest contributor from Seaside Vacations, vacation rental company that features quality North Myrtle Beach vacation rentals. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Pros of Renting a Cabin When Travelling


You have a few options for lodging when traveling. The most typical is a hotel room in a large building usually located in the middle of a city or on the side of a highway. A better option is a real cabin. Here are some of the pros of renting a cabin when traveling.

Stay In Nature

 Staying in a cabin allows you to be near nature during your visit. Most cabins are located in areas that are mostly untouched and natural. This means you will be greeted with amazing views, fresh air and the sounds of wildlife when in the cabin. This is far different from hotels where you are mostly going to see sterile and industrial things around you.

More Space

Hotel rooms tend to be cramped and small in order to get as many rooms as possible into the building. Cabins are often standalone buildings that do not have this problem. You will usually have more space when renting a cabin while traveling. The extra space allows you to stretch out and relax instead of trying to squeeze into small corners.

Unique Amenities

Many cabins come with amenities that you will not find in a typical bargain hotel. These can include things like outdoor grills, full kitchens and complete home entertainment centers. This is because the cabins are more like a home whereas a hotel room provides just the basic items in each room if anything. The extra amenities can make your stay in a cabin far more enjoyable.

Be Near Outdoor Activities

Certain cabins you can rent are very close to a wide range of outdoor activities. A cabin might be near a dock for boating, a good fishing location or natural trails that run through the wilderness. You could be renting a cabin close to natural landmarks. This greatly increases the options you have when traveling in the area.

Extra Privacy

A major pro of renting a cabin is extra privacy. You are going to be largely alone in and around the cabin. You are not going to be constantly within a few feet of strangers as you would with a hotel room. You do not have to listen to people talking and walking down hallways all day and night. This makes a cabin a more peaceful and comfortable place to stay.

Save Money

A final benefit is that you can save money when renting a cabin. Hotels charge premium prices for rooms because they are often in urban areas near popular tourist attractions. Cabins tend to be out in nature. There is also currently less demand for cabins. This can lower the price you pay for a cabin rental.

About the Author: Geoffry is a guest contributor from Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg, a company that offers the very best Galtinburg cabin rentals available. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Importance of Basement Waterproofing

Springtime rains can be troublesome when it comes to your home and most importantly your basement. Flooding and leaking can be detrimental to your basement and can cause irreparable damage from ruined belongings to a ruined foundations. Waterproofing your basement early in the season is an essential chore that will ensure that you don't suffer any damage this spring. 

 Why is Waterproofing Important?

Prevents Mold From Growing

Water that is left sitting in your basements can often cause mold to grow. This mold can lead to larger problems by spreading via mold spores that can cause the deterioration of your homes' infrastructure. Even more detrimental, these mold spores cause major health complications and are particularly problematic for those that suffer from asthma or allergies. 

Protects Your Belongings

Waterproofing helps to ensure that your belongings stored in your basement remain safe. Flooding can lead to your belongings, such as family albums or keepsakes, being ruined. Waterproofing is the only way to completely protect your belongings. 

Save You Money

Waterproofing you basement can ensure a strong and structurally sound foundation. This reduces deterioration and can save you thousands of dollars. Weak structures can shirt doors, which cause internal cracks. Leaky basements and moisture build up can decrease the value of your home, as well. Waterproofing your home is the first step to increasing your home's value before selling.

Trouble Areas to Waterproof

Making sure to fix or waterproof these areas while ensure the safety of your basement and home. Focusing on the main trouble areas will help to save you time, energy, and money. Knowing what to look for is important, as this diagram showcases there are a variety of locations that can cause flooding or lead to flooding.

About the Author: Ben is a guest contributor from StayDry Waterproofing, offering waterproofing solutions for all your homes needs.

Monday, April 14, 2014

How to Prepare Your Home for Spring and Summer

Now that winter is over and you can leave the house without layers and layers of clothing on you, it’s time to prepare the house for the warmer seasons. As a yearly routine, it helps to identify what little or big damages winter has cast upon any part of the house. Even if you live in a place that’s sunny all-year round like Florida, the summer months can expose your house to grueling moisture and heat. So before the damage gets any bigger and costs you more, do these simple tips on how to prepare your home for spring and summer.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Can you get a warranty on a used car with over 100k miles?

Disk brake by Porsche
I've driven some jalopies in my life and had great affection for a few of them. I've had two Pontiac Grand Prixs that lasted over 200,000 miles and never had anything more than structural issues. So, while I see some people calling folks crazy for ever getting an extended warranty (of any kind) I don't know if they're as crazy as they're made out to be.

Case in point. My last Grand Prix, a 1998 that I sold in 2012, never had any major engine issues. What it did have was a problem with eating brakes. So while the car kept running well beyond its expected life span, the only thing that ate into my pocketbook were the rear brakes, which needed to be changed every two or three years. This, and a couple of other small issues with power windows got to be a little expensive.

Once the car approached 100,000 miles I thought, "I wonder if I can get an extended warranty up to 200,000 miles?" I figured I could at least break even on my expected brake repairs, and if anything else popped up I'd come out in the black.

The problem was, no matter where I looked or who I asked, I couldn't find anyone who could tell me if I could get a warranty at that point. I checked out Warranty Direct, Auto Warranty One and every other place on the web and I couldn't find a thing. I would have thought long and hard if I could have found what I wanted, but it wasn't an option. Anyone have any thoughts on this topic? I'm sure the manufacturers don't offer this, but do any reputable third party warranty places?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Will your car insurance cost more in Grand Rapids?

Flag of City of Grand Rapids
Flag of City of Grand Rapids (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No matter where you live someone is always telling horror stories about the things that either cost too much or are remarkably inexpensive about where they live. This can range from property taxes, to gas to bread (REALLY expensive in Hawaii). But one thing that really seems to get people fired up is when it comes time to talk about the cost of car insurance. Unless you’ve just switched to a new company and seen a big savings, chances are you think you’re paying too much. In Michigan, this has been a complaint for years. Grand Rapids, the state’s second biggest city, this has been an increasing complaint as the city continues to grow and prosper.

So is it true, do people in Grand Rapids actually pay more than the rest of Michigan? Or the rest of the country for that matter?

No Fault’s Fault

With Michigan drivers required to carry no-fault insurance, there is some truth to the high price gripes. This requirement provides unlimited lifetime medical care for auto related injuries. Michigan is the only state that requires this, and thus the burden falls on all auto owners, artificially upping rates for Michigan drivers. Adding up the numbers from a report by shows that Michigan residents pay the largest amount of their annual income for car insurance, with 8 percent of the annual median household income going to pay for car insurance. OUCH! By comparison, the residents of Massachusetts pay only 1.4 percent of their household income. 

So while there isn’t any hard research on whether or not Grand Rapids (please point it out if you can find it…I haven’t been able to),  there may be some clues in typical geographic related cost issues. Such as:
  • Urban vs. Rural. More traffic, more accidents, more crime all come with urban environments compared to rural (usually). So, if you live in Grand Rapids you’re in the second largest urban area in the state of Michigan. So, if you’re in the second largest urban area in the state with the highest car insurance rates in the country, it’s safe to assume this will count against you.
  • Weather. Again, Grand Rapids being only a short jaunt away from Lake Michigan has another factor working against it. Getting pounded by heavy lake effect snow each year also causes more accidents and likely jacks up insurance rates.
So, while I don’t have hard evidence for you, when you combine in the factors of no fault insurance, the urban environment and the bad weather, car insurance in Grand Rapids is basically the “perfect storm” for high insurance rates, and likely does have some of the highest in Michigan.