3 Unique Real Estate Trades

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When the housing market took a hit circa 2006, house swapping efforts became very popular for homeowners who couldn’t move their properties off the market. It was (and is) basically a “I’ll-buy-yours-if-you-buy-mine” concept.

But for many people, mere real estate trades aren’t good enough. No, these people are looking for more unique bargains. If they housing market has put them up a creek before, why would they want to invest in more real estate? Instead, they got much more creative.

Here’s a look at some unique trades for real estate properties.

Trade iPhone 3 Unique Real Estate Trades

iPhone 6

This recent news story is what sparked this investigation. The owner of the Detroit home had purchased it in 2010 for $41,000, not knowing that it had been purchased just two weeks before for a quarter of that price. Public records don’t show up that fast, and essentially the owner was duped.

The new owner did not live locally to maintain the property, and as Detroit’s market continued to plummet, he was unable to rent the property or make payments. He owed the county $6,000 is back taxes and desperately wanted to sell the property before it was foreclosed.

The owner hired an agent Larry Else to help sell the house, initially to no success. In a brilliant marketing strategy, the owner listed the home for the low cost of a new iPhone. The new owner would not only pay in iPhone, but agree to take on the $6,000 in taxes.

“I’d be willing to trade it for an iPhone 6 or an iPad 32 GB,” Else remembers the owner telling him.

“If you’re serious about that, I think that’s a really good idea that would make this listing stand out,” Else said.

It did, indeed, make the property stand out. The house sold for less than $1,000 that week after gaining coverage from Buzzfeed and Fox News. An iPhone 6 was even donated to the seller (separate from the transaction) from a gentleman who felt touched by the owner’s story.

Trade Car 3 Unique Real Estate Trades

Sports Car

The seller of a three-story New Jersey lighthouse (you read that right) listed his property on Craigslist for the low, low price of $125,000. But if that was too much, he was also willing to trade for a sports car, an air conditioned boat, or a motorhome… He was even open to suggestions!

In his ad, he says “It’s not always about money, you know.”

No word yet on the fate of his unique proposition.

Trade Paperclip 3 Unique Real Estate Trades

Red Paperclip

Okay, this one should come with a disclaimer. Kyle MacDonald didn’t simply trade a red paperclip for a house. He started with a red paperclip, and continued to trade up until he was able to trade for some valuable real estate.

The actual trade that scored him the house was a role in a movie. It sounds crazy, and that’s because it is. Kyle cataloged his adventures in his book, One Red Paperclip: How an Ordinary Man Achieved His Dream with the Help of a Simple Office Supply.

This subject was a lot of fun to research, but there appear to be limited findings about unique trades for real estate. If you know any good ones, let us know in the comments below!

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How to Repair Your Credit [Infographic]

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It’s not easy when you have bad credit, but it’s never too late to do something about it. We’ve provided 6 tips on how to repair your credit to make life a little bit easier. Let’s face it, if your’re thinking about buying a home you need good credit!

Credit Repair  How to Repair Your Credit [Infographic]

How to fix Your Credit

1. Check your Credit Report

Dispute any errors you notice on your credit report.

2. Pay Up

Pay your bills on time, every time.

3. Never Close

Don’t close your credit cards. This will reduce your available credit limit.

4. Don’t Be Credit Happy.

Don’t pay for multiple types of credit within a 30 day period.

5. Consolidate!

Transfer debt to a higher-limit credit card to lower monthly payments

6. Prove Yourself!

Open a new credit card  and start over. Keep the balance low and make payments. on-time.

Statistics:

• In 2013 40 million Americans had errors on their credit report.

• You should always pay 30% of your total credit limit.

• About 14% of the US population has more than 10 credit cards.

• Consumers today have an average of 13 credit obligations on their credit bureau.

• The Median credit limit for a family is $18,000.

• 37 % of credit card holders pay the full amount of their credit card bill(s) each month.

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5 Most Common Unexpected Home Repairs

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Do you find yourself annoyed every time there’s a home repair in order? Does the expense of a home project always come at the worst possible time?

The general rule for home repairs is that you’ll spend about 1% of your mortgage on home repairs, and should budget accordingly. Unfortunately there will be years where that 1% estimate is significantly below the reality of maintenance expenses.

5 Common Unepxected Home Repairs 5 Most Common Unexpected Home Repairs

This list is the 5 most common home repairs and what they’ll entail so that you don’t have to be caught off guard by these perfectly normal (supposedly) unexpected home repairs.

Unexpected HR 1 5 Most Common Unexpected Home Repairs

Clogged Drains/Toilet

Estimated Cost: $10 DIY, up to $100 to hire a professional

Supplies Needed: A drain cleaning liquid, a pipe snake, sometimes a plunger

Time Investment: 10 minutes (which can seem like a long time if something like a toilet is clogged)

Procedure: The best precaution is to just occasionally run a pipe cleaning liquid through your shower and sink drains. This will get rid of the unavoidable gunk build-up such as hairs and pastes to prevent mold and clogs. If you still encounter some kind of issue, use a pipe-cleaning snake – a long flexible metal cable – to feel around for what could be blocking the pipe.

Unexpected HR 2 5 Most Common Unexpected Home Repairs

Dripping Faucets

Estimated Cost: $15

Supplies Needed: Screwdriver, pliers, new washer, new packing nut, new faucet (if necessary)

Time Investment: 10 minutes

Procedure: Unscrew the current faucet. Remove the old washer and packing nut with pliers and replace with your new materials. For a helpful guide, click here.

Need to Know:  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household wastes 11,000 liters of water due to leaky faucets every year. That’s enough to fill a swimming pool!

Unexpected HR 3 5 Most Common Unexpected Home Repairs

Leaking Pipes

Estimated Cost: $20 DIY

Supplies Needed: Bucket, replacement P-trap or washer

Time Investment: 10 minutes

Procedure: Most leaks are caused by worn out piping or rusted through screws. Turn off the water to the sink in question, then place a bucket under the p-trap. Use the white knobs to loosen and remove the portion of piping. While you’re at it, clean out the other piping connected the breakaway piece. Replace with the new washers or p-trap. For a helpful video, click here.

Unexpected HR 4 5 Most Common Unexpected Home Repairs

Jammed Garbage Disposal

Estimated Cost: n/a

Supplies Needed: allen wrench, wooden dowel

Time Investment: 15 minutes (which can seem like a long time if something like a toilet is clogged)

Procedure: Unplug the disposal first to prevent accidents. Rotate the flywheel inside the machine by using an allen wrench at the center of the bottom of the machine. When you spin this, the machine inside spins, too. You won’t see it rotating, but it will be effective at loosening anything inside the contraption that could have it stuck. Also take this time to use a wooden dowel to scrape anything at the top of the machine that may be causing an issue. For a helpful video, click here.

Unexpected HR 5 5 Most Common Unexpected Home Repairs

Replace a Light Switch

Estimated Cost: n/a

Supplies Needed: a flathead screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver

Time Investment: 15 minutes

Procedure: Turn off the circuit breaker so that no electricity is flowing through the wires you’re about to adjust. Unscrew the light plate with a flathead screwdriver, and then a small Phillips screwdriver to remove the switch itself. There are two wires; look at where they are located on the old switch before you remove them. Place them in the same spot on the new switch. For a helpful video, click here.

Helpful Tip: Most electrical work needs to be left to professionals. But if there’s one electrical chore that can make any head-of-house feel like a handyman, it’s changing a lightswitch.

If you found this article helpful, also check out Home Repairs to Leave to the Pros

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10 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations for the Table

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It’s that time of year again! The whole family gets together for a big meal, some laughs, and uncomfortable talk about when to expect grandchildren.

For home décor purposes, this means two things. 1) You need to have some impressive decorations around the table for Thanksgiving dinner to let your loved ones know your life is perfect. 2) You need some DIY crafts to busy the children so they don’t rampage the kitchen while you’re busy with prep.

This list of 10 DIY Thanksgiving table decorations is exactly what you need! These are all easy crafts for beginners that will make your table look like it was done by a professional. All of these projects are kid-friendly, but you’ll notice a couple targeted specifically at youngsters.

thanksgiving diy 2 201x300 10 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations for the Table

boulderlocavore.com

1.  Personalized Name Cards

Make each dinner guest feel loved by recognizing his/her specific spot at the table. Then get creative with how to mark the names. Personalized pumpkins could just be newspaper tags with gold glitter writing on a small leftover pumpkin. Or go outside and pick up some big pinecones. Type guests’ names on craft paper and use both as a placeholder.

thanksgiving diy 3 225x300 10 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations for the Table

HGTV.com

2. Metallic Pumpkins

Fill the table with those leftover pumpkins from Halloween. Give them a modern twist by painting them a few coats of a metallic color. The pumpkins can vary in size and fill blank space at the table or just around the house!

thanksgiving diy 4 300x199 10 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations for the Table

MendezManor.com

3. Chalkboard Menu Plates

Take the chargers from the dinner table and spray paint them with three coats of chalkboard paint, allowing each coat to fully dry before applying the next. Use white chalk to write out the dinner menu and whet everyone’s appetite before the first dish is even served.

Apple Candles 300x194 10 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations for the Table

KatieBrownHomeWorkshop.com

4. Candle Apples

This is a surprisingly easy task that looks elegant and screams fall. Carefully carved out the top of the apple and then scrape inside – perhaps with some of those jack-o-lantern tools – to level off the inside. Place a tea candle inside and bring a sophisticated aura to your dining room.

turkey napkins 240x300 10 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations for the Table

Social Cotoure

5. Turkey Fold Napkins

Nobody wants a normally folded napkin at Thanksgiving dinner. Bring the settings to life with the icon of the holiday. Click here for instructions on how to fold the napkin. Then place a little beak on some squash to really bring the turkey to life.

turkey pear 300x200 10 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations for the Table

Crafts Unleashed

6.  Pear Turkey for the Kids

While we’re talking about turkey crafts, here’s another one that’s sure to entertain the kids. Cut the back of a pear off and glue a colorful leaf to his butt instead. Then use construction paper, googly eyes, gummy worms, and whatever else you desire to decorate yourself a turkey.

Thanksgiving Cookies 300x198 10 DIY Thanksgiving Decorations for the Table

HouseHunt

7-10. Last Year’s List

Are these tasks too simple for you? Then don’t forget to check out last year’s holiday crafting ideas to really bring your home to the next level.

We hope that these DIY Thanksgiving table decorations help you get in a festive spirit and make this holiday a memorable one! 

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Emergency Preparedness in the Home [Infographic]

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Disasters can strike at any moment. Luckily there are things you can do around the home to be ready for some unexpected phenomenon. This infographic takes a look at where the safest places are inside the house, and how to prep your real estate for whatever Mother Nature sends your way. Take a look at all these tips and you’ll improve your emergency preparedness in the home.

Emergency Preparedness Emergency Preparedness in the Home [Infographic]

The first thing you need to know is to have an emergency preparedness kit around the house. This kit should include first aid, back-up food supply, a flashlight, candles and a lighter, and anything else you think you may need for an extended stay in the home. If someone suffers from asthma or allergies, have the necessary precautions in the kit, as well.

Fire

There were 369,500 house fires in the United State last year. In case of a fire in your own home, evacuate outside. To prepare, check your fire detectors routinely.

Tornado

In case of a tornado, go to a hallway or closet. This would be a good time to have that disaster prep kit.

Earthquake

If you live in a quake-prone area, secure water heaters, book cases, household electronics, and any large furtiture. Make sure any wall decorations are secured as well. Make sure piping in the house has flexible connectors that can sustain a bit of a bend. Stand in a doorway, the most secure place where nothing can fall on you.

Flood

In case of this common household emergency, you’ll obviously want to move to the attic or second story. Turn off utilities before the worst of the flooding. 

Hurricane

For a hurricane, you’ll want the family to report to the bathroom, hallway, closet, or some other windowless space to ride out the storm. A great way to prevent broken glass is to install storm shutters. You can also get straps from a hardware store to help hold down your roofing and wall panels in high winds.

This information came from sources NFPA.org, our friends at HouseLogic.com, and of course, this blog!

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