Why Hiring An Attorney Makes You a Better Real Estate Investor

You’ve watched HGTV and read all the online forums. You’ve decided real estate investing is for you, and you’re salivating at the potential profits and wealth building opportunities. Maybe you bought a fixer-upper with grand plans to slap some new paint on the walls, swap out countertops, and then sell for a sizeable profit. Or maybe the passive-income landlord approach caught your attention. Either way, you’re probably intrigued by the potential of becoming a real estate investor, and it’s not hard to see why: real estate has consistently outperformed the stock market.

As a real estate investor, there are many hats to wear and multiple moving parts to reach success. An investor must constantly monitor accounting, deadlines, taxes, project management, local laws, marketing…to name just a few. But if you’re wise, you’ll add hiring an attorney to the top of your list. Investing in an experienced attorney can offer numerous benefits to a real estate investor from contract creation, conducting closings, offering legal advice, and creating LLCs and partnership.

Contract Creation

One of the critical points in investing is utilizing a contract that offers you the most protection. If you’re utilizing a licensed Realtor, they may have access to attorney approved state forms; however, if you’re buying off-market or selling For Sale By Owner, you need a comprehensive contract that will protect you as the buyer or the seller. Even if you are utilizing state Realtor forms, you have the right to have your own attorney review and approve them.

Seeking out an experienced Real Estate attorney to draft contacts will be worth the expense with the protection it can offer. Prior to buying- or selling- consult with your attorney about your goals, your needs, and even your fears. He or she can take those into account when drafting a contract that gives you the most benefit.

Conducting Closings

In some states, closings are routinely held at title companies; however, many states still utilize attorneys to conduct closings. Regardless where you live, you have the right to hire an attorney to conduct your closing. During the closing process, the attorney will review all the numerous documents you will sign and thoroughly explain them (and their risks!).

Title companies charge you to conduct closings but can’t offer legal advice. Your attorney, however, can do both. Consult your attorney about his or her fee to conduct a closing- and you may be surprised by how affordable it is!

Offering Legal Advice

As a seasoned real estate investor myself, I rely heavily on my attorney’s advice. Prior to starting any project, I consult my attorney about my future goals, potential risks, and reducing liability. These meetings do not have to be formal. In fact, the vast majority of communication is done via emails and phone calls.

While you may think you know what you’re doing, there are far more risks and liabilities looming than you may be aware of. A seasoned attorney can identify and mitigate those on your behalf. Kendel Grooms, Member Partner at Campbell & Grooms, PLLC in Little Rock, Arkansas reminds investors: “If the investor had any reason to be aware, or had the opportunity to become aware, of a defect or other situation with the property that was not immediately and adequately addressed, which later resulted in someone getting injured or having their property damaged, there is a high likelihood of exposure to legal liability.” Both landlords and house flippers operate with the potential for liability, but seeking competent legal advice can help you to mitigate those before they land you in court!

Creating LLCs and Partnerships

For both financial and liability reasons, a real estate investor should consider forming a partnership. There are multiple types and consulting an attorney can provide you with the most logical choice for your situation and goals. Grooms says that while “the primary benefit is for tax deductions and benefits…the secondary benefit is shelter from liability.”

The primary tax benefit of an LLC, according to Grooms, is that it “can use pass-through status to create above-the-line deductions that would not normally be available to a sole proprietor or individual not using a corporate entity for business dealings.” Hiring an experienced real estate attorney can help your bottom line by setting up partnerships to offer you more favorable treatment on your taxes.

The other substantially appealing benefit of an LLC is mitigation of liability. However, setting up an LLC or partnership does not immediately relieve an investor of all liability. Grooms states that “This is limited depending on how the LLC is to be operated.” The counsel of a real estate attorney can provide you with direction on how to set up your LLC, how to run day-to-day operations, and where the potential risks lie in the process.

Greater the Risk, Greater the Reward

Ask any experienced investor or attorney, investing in real estate can be risky…not just financially, but legally. Don’t let the risks hinder you from starting your real estate investing journey, however. Operating wisely and legally will offer you the most protection. Recognize you aren’t capable of doing it all or knowing it all and surround yourself with those that are knowledgeable and experienced to help you. Mr. Grooms’ final words of wisdom to real estate investors: “If you have any doubts about making a specific deal or transaction, do not do it. You cannot get burned by a bad or risky deal if you back out of it.”

Reminder, when seeking legal counsel, seek out a seasoned real estate attorney. Not all attorneys specialize in real estate, so finding one that is experienced and knowledgeable in this field is essential!

Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She’s passionate about the power of real estate. She’s also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.

Source: homes.com

5 of the Best Cities to Move to in Arizona

If visiting a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon is on your bucket list, set your sights no further than the state of Arizona. You’ll be able to soak up exquisite sunsets, visit wineries, enjoy endless outdoor activities and more. Plus, its easy enough to take side trips to California, Lake Mead, Mexico and Las Vegas.

Desert beauty aside, Arizona has done a lot in recent years to make the most of its dry climate and abundance of sunshine. It’s pushed for clean energy and solar power. As a result, homeowners who choose the sustainable route may be eligible for tax rebates. SolarNation also reports that they can save as much as 70 to 100 percent of their total electric bill.

Where is the best place in Arizona to live?

Whether you’re new to Arizona or a current resident deciding to make a fresh start in a new city, planning a move starts with choosing the perfect location. To help you weed through all the data, weve compiled a list of some of the best places to live in Arizona. You’ll want to think about whether you prefer a big city or suburb and any other factors that tip the scale for you.

1. Phoenix, Arizona

A thriving city with natural vistas, Phoenix Arizona is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. The Valley of the Sun is home to start-ups, entrepreneurs, and Fortune 500 companies alike, such as Avent and ON Semiconductor. Aside from dry heat and authentic Mexican food, Phoenix has great terrain for hiking, mountain biking, cycling, fishing, rock climbing, tubing, golf and horseback riding. Its also reputed to have light traffic and an affordable light rail.

Top on Niche’s list for families are Gilbert, Chandler, and Atwatukee Foothills. For millennials, Camelback East and Encanto score high rankings.

Median home value (Census 2017) $197,800.

2. Tempe, Arizona

If you’re inclined to rent, and prefer the suburbs and need nightlife, Tempe might be the right city for you. Smaller than Phoenix, the recent population count here is more like 185,000 give or take. Here you’ll find a mostly young professional vibe which brings restaurants, cafes, shopping, concerts, and lots of beautiful geology. Public schools are also really good.

Homesnacks likes neighborhoods such as Broadmor, Alta Mira, and McClintock. Digging deeper though, Tempe may not be among the safest places in Arizona so check on crime data to see whats what.
Median home value (Census 2017) $237,200.

3. Prescott, Arizona

Prescott takes desert living to new heights. Because its so close to the Prescott National Forest, Prescott has more flux in temperatures. Here you’ll have to limit your use of electricity at night, which means clearer views for astronomy enthusiasts. There are also several lakes nearby (Lynx, Willow, Watson, and Goldwater) which adds value if you love the outdoors. It has a small population for the state (42,731) and you’ll get a taste of the Old West on famous, Whiskey Row.
Median home value (Census 2017) $301,600.

4. Mesa, Arizona

If you’re in the market for a new townhouse, single-family home or lot that you can develop, you might look into Mesa. It has an interesting personality between the Mesa Grande ruins, an annual chicken wing festival, and several cultural attractions like the Commemorative Air Force Museum. You can also find hiking trails, go tubing, play golf, and pick oranges in season. For the middle-class suburban feel, with amenities that go with a population of 496,401, Mesa ranks as one of the best cities to buy a house in the U.S.
Median home value (Census 2017) $197,800

5. Scottsdale, Arizona

According to Niche, Scottsdale is one of the larger cities in Arizona (population 249,950) and often pops up as the best place to retire. It would be accurate to say there are sprawling adobe roofed mansions, luxury golf courses, and excellent spas here. What you may not know is Scottsdale still attracts young professionals and those who want good public schools for their children (Old Town Scottsdale, Arcadia). Its also one of the safest cities in the state. You’ll stay healthy through weekend hikes at the Sonoran Preserve or shopping for organic produce at a local family farm. Also a great place for that hot-air balloon ride you’ve always wanted.
Median home value (Census 2017) $433,500

Rana Waxman parlays years of work experience in several fields into web content creation aligned with client needs. Rana’s versatile voice is supported by a zest for research, a passion for photography, and desire to provide clients with a purposeful presence online. In her non-writing hours, Rana is a happy yogini, constant walker, avid reader, and sometimes swimmer.

Source: homes.com

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale – Ultimate Guide

It’s easier than ever to turn unwanted clutter into cold cash. Reliable standbys like Craigslist sales and eBay auctions are now joined by local marketplaces like Nextdoor, social platforms like Facebook Marketplace, and category-specific marketplaces like Sellcell (for electronics) and Kidizen (for baby clothes and kids’ accessories).

Yet some things never change. When you need to sell lots of individual items quickly, your best move is a decidedly nondigital one: to throw an old-school garage sale. Call it a “yard sale” or “tag sale” if you prefer, but the meaning is clear: an “everything must go” liquidation of the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years, advertised locally and held on or near your property.

Throwing a garage sale is no easy feat. If you don’t plan and execute the event properly, there’s a very real chance it will pass more or less unnoticed, leaving you with a bit less cash, a lot less self-respect, and a mountain of unsold inventory to unload.

On the bright side, planning and pulling off a profitable garage sale doesn’t require a marketing degree or MBA. You’ll earn more and stress less when you follow this straightforward four-step process for garage sale success.

Step 1: Plan Your Sale

Begin planning your garage sale weeks, if not months, before you greet your first customer.

1. Pick a Date

First, you need to choose a time and date for your garage sale. Consider these factors:

  • Day of the Week. Saturday, Friday, and Sunday — in that order — are the best garage sale hosting days. (Why Friday over Sunday? Because not everyone goes to work on Friday, especially in the summer, and Sunday is at-home “family time” for many would-be buyers.)
  • Time of Day. Morning is ideal. Many seasoned garage sale pickers are early birds who get out early to beat the crowds and find the best deals. Morning sales beat the heat of the day in summer anyway. Don’t be shy about starting your sale at 7am on Saturday morning, assuming it’s light by then.
  • Time of the Month. The first week of the month is best. Many small-business owners, contractors, and solopreneurs receive a disproportionate amount of income around the first of the month as clients pay the past month’s invoices, so your buyers could be comparatively flush at this time.
  • Seasonality. In many parts of the country, garage sale season runs from early spring through early summer. Fall is a good second choice for sellers targeting early holiday shoppers. Whenever you plan it for, avoid scheduling your sale when it’s likely to be sweltering.
  • Competing or Complementary Events. Finally, consider what else is happening when you plan to host your garage sale. You don’t want to go up against major competing events, such as your town’s high school graduation. You do want to time your sale to coincide with complementary events, such as arts festivals that bring lots of foot traffic to your neighborhood or seasonal “yard sale days” sanctioned by your local government.

With these considerations in mind, pick a sale date and a backup date (usually the next day) in case of inclement weather.

2. Gather Your Goods

With your date set, it’s time to identify everything you plan to sell at your sale. Do the following:

Box Up Your Home’s Storage Spaces

Grab boxes and go through your attic, basement, garage, closets — anywhere you’re likely to find long-forgotten stuff. This is your chance to declutter and downsize your house.

Don’t underestimate the value of what you find, as garage sale pickers are apt to buy anything from apparently worthless old CDs to disused bottles of perfume to electronic accessories (like chargers and power strips) that have no further use to you. The worst-case scenario is that something doesn’t sell.

Set your boxes of smaller sale items, grouped by similar items that go together in an indoor storage area for now.

Mark Larger Items for Sale

Identify and mark furniture, nonsentimental (and low-value) artwork, yard equipment, and other bulky items you plan to sell. Don’t bother moving these until sale day — just don’t forget that you plan to sell them.

Put Out a Call for Consignments

Send out an email or text to friends and family members inviting them to sell items at your sale on consignment. Keep the arrangement invite-only and limit consignments to relatively small items, as a free-for-all can quickly spiral out of control and take over your driveway.

Work out an equitable split with each consignment partner — ideally, you’d take a small cut of the sale and they’d keep the rest — and set a date for them to deliver or you to pick up their wares.

3. Check on Permits

Many places require permits for publicly advertised sales on private property. Before you get too deep into the planning process, check your city or county government website to determine whether you need one. If you do, you can almost certainly apply online.

Most locales don’t charge application fees, but don’t let that lull you into thinking the authorities look the other way at illegal garage sales. You could be looking at fines well into three-figure territory if you’re caught running an unpermitted sale.

If you live in an HOA community, check with the board about garage sale rules and regulations. Many HOAs don’t allow garage sales at all or have strict rules about timing, duration, location, and other aspects.

Step 2: Promote Your Sale

Advertise your garage sale at least a week in advance, and longer if it’s part of an organized neighborhood event.

1. Use Newspaper Classifieds

Newspaper classifieds aren’t what they used to be, but don’t count them out. If your hometown still has a well-read local newspaper or thriving community publication — especially if it’s free and delivered automatically to every residential address in the area — you can bet deal-hunters use its classifieds section to sniff out local garage sales.

Classified ad pricing usually involves a flat fee for a maximum word count (say, 25 words) and a per-word surcharge for additional verbiage, calculated on a weekly basis.

You shouldn’t need to advertise your sale more than two weeks out, and the Sunday paper on the weekend before your sale might be all that’s necessary.

In your ad, mention particularly enticing or valuable items, such as furniture, collectibles, and small engine equipment like lawnmowers and leaf blowers. Include your address, phone number, and sale date and time (as well as backup date and time).

Then, post the same exact ad on each newspaper’s website if given the option.

2. Advertise on the Web

You can advertise your garage sale for free on dozens of reputable websites that trade in local sale advertisements. The most useful and widely visited are:

Because they’re much less stingy with their word counts, these sites give you more freedom to describe your sale and list individual items for sale.

However, because they tend to list sales as they’re posted, they’re actually better left to the last minute. You can wait until two or three days before your sale day (or the first day of a multiday sale) to put up your first ad.

To save yourself time and avoid errors, write your ad in a word processing program and copy and paste it to each listing website site.

3. Make Yard Sale Signs

Check the laws in your area before putting out signs advertising your garage sale, as they’re banned in some jurisdictions. Again, your city or county government website should have detailed information about outdoor advertising restrictions.

If signs are permitted in your area, use a bright, solid-color poster board and dark Sharpie for effect. Write “garage sale” and your address in big letters with an arrow pointing in the general direction of your house. Use wooden paint mixing sticks to secure ground signs or a wood stapler to affix signs to power poles.

Take advantage of community boards as well, keeping in mind that your signage can be more detailed and less gaudy here.

Step 3: Prep for Sale Day

Spend the week before your sale prepping for the big event.

1. Get Supplies

Make sure you have everything you need at least a day before the garage sale starts. You’ll need:

  • Chairs for you and any helpers
  • A main table for making change and bagging up small items
  • A cash register or money box
  • Enough flat surface area to display everything you intend to sell
  • Enough rack space and hangers for clothing
  • Stickers or tags to display pricing information

Reserve proper tables, including outdoor furniture and folding tables, for delicate items that can’t be placed on blankets or tarps. Set these away from the main flow of traffic to avoid preventable catastrophes.

If you have one, set up a garment rack in a high-visibility location for clothing you plan to sell. Otherwise, lay folded clothing out on tables. In a pinch, create additional elevated space with plywood laid over two cardboard boxes or milk crates.

Make creative use of fixed yard features, such as retaining walls and terraces, to create additional surface space. And don’t be afraid to ask friends to borrow tables, chairs, and the like as needed.

2. Get Set to Accept Payments

Mobile payment technology is ubiquitous these days, but some garage sale buyers still prefer cold cash. That means you’ll need plenty of change in your cash box to break $20s and $50s early in the day.

Visit the bank a few days before your sale and pick up at least $100 in change. A suggested breakdown:

  • 10 $5 bills
  • 30 $1 bills
  • 80 quarters

While at the bank, pick up a reusable cash envelope (or repurpose an envelope from your house) to ferry cash to a secure location inside. You don’t want random people ogling the hundreds in cash you’re likely to have on hand at the end of a busy sale.

After visiting the bank, download at least one secure P2P payment app to accept electronic payments as well. Check out Venmo,  PayPal, and the Cash App.

And consider investing in a portable credit card reader so that you can accept credit cards on-site.

3. Sort Your Items

Sort your items before you price them. This ensures your garage sale remains organized and attractive to potential buyers. Use a low-traffic room in your house, preferably on the ground level, as a staging area.

Bring all your nonbulky items there and divide them into general categories: clothes (possibly subdivided into men’s, women’s, and children’s), books, home goods, toys, and so on.

4. Price Your Items

Price items likely to sell individually accordingly. Don’t attempt to save time by creating high-priced lots out of multiple clothing items or pieces of cookware or dumping like-priced items into a single box buyers need to fish through.

However, you can (and should) create lots for lower-value items buyers are likelier to want in bulk, such as paperback books and CDs.

Use manila tape and a Sharpie to price items, rather than specialized price tags. Price tags don’t really do anything special, and they cost way more than brown tape.

Also, resist the temptation to overprice items on the expectation that every buyer will haggle. Some will, but many won’t bother. They’ll simply walk away from high-priced items.

5. Organize & Arrange Your Sale

Now it’s time to set up your items for display.

Arrange your tables and hangers the night before your garage sale. You simply won’t have time to do a good job the morning of the sale, particularly not if you hope to get an early start.

If you don’t have enough table space for every item, store the remainder in boxes or laundry baskets containing like items.

Secure everything in your garage overnight (with overflow in your laundry room or in-home staging area) and prepare to get up early to put everything out on the day of your sale.

Make a map of your yard on sale day so you know where to locate each element during the presale rush.

Step 4: Host Your Sale

The big day (or weekend) is here. Time to put these time-tested garage sale tips into action.

1. Get Ready

Give yourself at least an hour before the garage sale starts to set everything out and put up signs.

You’ll need at least one helper to move everything safely. You’ll also need to set up your change station, preferably in a shaded area with a sturdy table and comfortable chair.

Before your sale opens, put one last yard sale sign out on the street to ensure no would-be buyers pass by your place, and position your chair so it’s clearly visible as buyers walk toward your house.

2. Work the Crowd

Greet everyone who shows up at your sale, no matter how interested (or well-off) they appear.

Don’t follow would-be buyers around or offer unprompted commentary about your wares. Instead, make it clear that you’re available to answer questions, assume a friendly demeanor, and stay seated. When someone has a question or wants to buy something, they’ll come to you.

3. Be Prepared to Haggle

You’ll almost certainly haggle with would-be buyers at some point during your sale. Don’t be overeager, and always have a firm “bottom dollar” in mind.

If your prep work has paid off and the weather has cooperated, you can count on a steady flow of buyers to take stingy hagglers’ places. Reserve your negotiation strategies for the afternoon or the last day of a multiday sale.

3. Deal With Leftovers

You’re going to have leftover stuff at the end of the day or weekend. Rather than put it out on the curb with a big “free” sign, figure out how to make the most of it — and, if things go well, make a decent amount of money off it.

Do the following:

  • Sell Valuable Leftovers Individually. Use Craigslist, Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, and other reputable, secure marketplaces like Decluttr to get rid of pricier items like furniture and electronics.
  • Donate Less Valuable Leftovers to a Nonprofit or Thrift Store. Goodwill takes just about any safe, nonperishable item you could think to donate. So do many locally owned thrift stores. If you itemize your tax deductions rather than claim the standard deduction, you could significantly reduce your federal income tax burden using the applicable tax deduction for charitable donations on your income taxes.

Final Word

If you’ve never hosted a garage sale before, set your expectations now: It’s going to be a lot of work.

These garage sale tips will help, but they won’t change the fact that between now and your sale day, you’ll spend hours organizing your items, setting prices, writing ad copy, and picking up supplies.

On the day of the sale, you’ll spend the entire day — from early morning well into the afternoon — pulling the thing off. If you have lots left over, expect to spend hours more disposing of unsold inventory.

But don’t despair. A successful garage sale will leave you with a less cluttered, better-organized home — and a wad of extra cash to spend or save as you wish.

Source: moneycrashers.com

10 Ways to Be a Good Neighbor and Build Community

A Strong Community Makes for a Safer and More Enjoyable Neighborhood

When you live in a neighborhood, it pays to have good rapport with those who live around you. Close-knit communities tend to be safer, happier neighborhoods and as such, they tend to lose far fewer residents.

Whether you’re moving into a new neighborhood or you have a new family moving in next to you, being the best neighbor you can be will help make your time in the community more enjoyable and satisfying. Here are ten easy ways to be the neighbor you’d want to live next to.

building communitybuilding community

1. Be a Resource

When new people move into the neighborhood, they’re not always familiar with the area. You should help the new arrivals out by being a source of information. For instance, you can provide them with the names and numbers of reliable tradesmen, landscapers, and other service providers in the area. You can let them know which grocery stores are the best in town, and which gas stations they might want to avoid.

2. Invite the Neighbors Over

If you’re new to the neighborhood, you can invite your neighbors over so you can get to know them better. Let them know beforehand that you are not accepting housewarming gifts, and that you just want to host a social event with some refreshments so you can get to know your neighbors. As you get friendlier with your neighbors, you can start hosting dinners, game nights, and other get-togethers if you so desire.

3. Keep Your Home’s Exterior Tidy

Now that you are part of a community, you want to add to it, not diminish it in any way. Everyone in the neighborhood will appreciate you keeping your home’s exterior clean and neat. After all, you don’t want to be the one house on the block with knee-high grass and trash in the front yard.

4. Be Mindful of Your Pets

Pets can add beauty to a community or they can be a curse; it all depends on the pet owner. When walking your dog, make sure you keep them on a leash and always pick up after them. Make sure your dog doesn’t bark excessively when you’re not at home. Similarly, don’t let your cat roam the neighborhood. Remember, just because you love your pet doesn’t mean that everyone else will.

building communitybuilding community

5. Follow the Community’s Rules

If you live in a community that’s overseen by a homeowner’s association, then you will need to comply by the HOA’s set of rules. Make sure you look them over so you can get familiar with what is required of you. Breaking them will not only see you being fined, but your neighbors won’t take kindly to your lack of responsibility, as well.

6. Help Out

Being a helpful neighbor benefits both your neighbor and yourself. If you see someone struggling with groceries or attempting to do a two-person job alone, then offer your assistance. Your neighbor will appreciate the help, and you’ll feel great by providing it.

7. Keep an Eye on Their Home While They’re Away

Once a level of trust has developed between you and your neighbors, you can offer to watch their home for them in the event they go on vacation or leave the home for a period of time. From watering the plants to feeding the pets to just keeping an eye out for suspicious people, you will give your neighbors peace of mind, knowing that you have their best interest in mind.

8. Shovel Their Driveway

If you’re home from work on a cold and snowy day and the snow is starting to pile up, then after you are done shoveling your driveway, head over and do your neighbor’s. When they get home from work, they will be so appreciative because they won’t have to go back out in the cold to shovel, or at the very least, you’ll lighten their load.

building communitybuilding community

9. Be Respectful of Their Time

If you’re a talkative person, you should be careful you don’t take up too much of your neighbor’s time if you start talking to them. You don’t know what they have going on or what they need to do, and odds are they will be too polite to try and break the conversation. Be respectful and don’t hog your neighbor’s time or attention.

10. Discuss Any Issues Face-to-Face

It’s not always going to be heaven in your neighborhood. Issues or concerns can and will arise between neighbors. The important thing is that when they do come up, you should discuss them with your neighbor face-to-face. Don’t complain to other neighbors or via text or email. These are easy ways for your words to be misunderstood. Be respectful and try to work a solution out that benefits all parties.

Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today’s world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.

Source: homes.com

What is Gentrification and What Happens to Neighborhoods that are Gentrified?

Do you love the energetic pace of living in a city but find home prices out of reach? You might explore some of the gentrifying or up-and-coming neighborhoods in your metro area. Despite the bad rap that the word gets, we’ve taken a look at what the term really means and how it can be effective for cities and aspiring homeowners.

A busy corner filled with people waiting at a coffee shop.A busy corner filled with people waiting at a coffee shop.

What Is Gentrification?

Gentrification is one of the by-products of urban sprawl. You can think of it as an expansion to a city’s boundaries. Sometimes, it happens when developers buy industrial properties like warehouses, homes, and abandoned buildings, no longer in use, and gives them a makeover. There may also be empty lots for sale, which is typically not the case within a downtown core.

According to a Governing Magazine report, “gentrification particularly accelerated, though, in recent years as growing numbers of Americans opted to pursue urban lifestyles.”

Most Gentrified Cities in the U.S.

To figure out whether a specific zip code is gentrified, RentCafe conducted a study of the current real estate market. The study took into consideration changes (upward trends) over time based on three data points:

  • Median home value
  • Household income
  • Education (bachelor’s degree and above)

Of their top 20 most gentrified zip codes, 5 were located on the East Coast:

  1. Brooklyn, New York (11211, 11222,11216, 11237, and 11221)
  2. Manhattan, New York (10039 and 10026)
  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (19123 and 19146)
  4. Washington, DC (20001, 20021 and 20010)
  5. Baltimore, Maryland (21224)
Brownstone building in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York City.Brownstone building in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York City.

The top spot for most gentrified area went to Gallery Row-Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles. This area is undergoing a huge revitalization of mixed-use developments. This includes renovations to historical properties, an influx of hotels, and a huge transformation to the banks of the Los Angeles River.

In other words, an area that was once avoided is fast-becoming a magnate for all kinds of new tenants and with it, a home value change of 707 percent.

What to Expect When You Move to a Gentrified Neighborhood

Gentrified neighborhoods, as you might imagine are in transition. Often, you’ll find ‘work-in-progress” signs and construction projects underway. What else can you expect when you move to a gentrified neighborhood?

Investment Property

If you want to buy with an eye to the future, a gentrifying neighborhood, one that’s on an upswing, could be a smart investment. Investopedia reports that buying property in a gentrifying part of town can “result in a big windfall if the neighborhood does turn around and the property values increase.” This is also true if you can afford to buy an income property – one you’ll be renting out.


One study by MIT reports that “gentrification reduces crime rates and increases public safety in city neighborhoods.” Their analysis looked at the results of the rent de-control in Cambridge Massachusetts (circa 1995). They assert that modernizing run-down buildings may attract businesses like yoga studios and coffee shops while displacing some criminal activity. It’s still a bit ambiguous whether what they call “urban renaissance” actually improves public safety. But, if this worries you, there are resources to help you assess whether your neighborhood is safe.


If you’re a newcomer to city-living and you own a car (or two), you’ll need to factor in the cost of a parking space. Due in part to scarcity, expect to pay a premium in urban cores. Studies show that in Philadelphia, houses with garages typically sell for an average price that is 10.3% higher than houses without garages. One of the perks of buying in a gentrified neighborhood is lower purchase prices. As a result, you maybe able to get that allocated parking spot you always wanted but could not otherwise afford.

Public Transport

The buzz word “transit-induced gentrification” means that properties closer to transit hubs are more favorable to developers.  Young professionals do care about access to subways, light rail, bus rapid transit, pedestrian and bicycle paths. If you can live a little further out from work, avoid traffic and take public transit, this may be a huge perk of living in a gentrified area. Though, you’ll need to invest in street-wise shoes.

A city bus going down the street.A city bus going down the street.

Fun, Hip and Exciting

Practicality aside, it can be really fun to live in a neighborhood with start-up energy. And for current residents that have watched the revolution of their neighborhoods, the added revitalization can be viewed as a sigh of relief for homeowners that want to boost the value of their home, yet still enjoy their beloved stomping grounds. A recent study by Harvard used Yelp, Census, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and Streetscore data and found that “gentrifying neighborhoods tend to have growing numbers of local groceries, cafes, restaurants, and bars.” Does this sound like the lifestyle for you?

Rana Waxman parlays years of work experience in several fields into web content creation aligned with client needs. Rana’s versatile voice is supported by a zest for research, a passion for photography, and desire to provide clients with a purposeful presence online. In her non-writing hours, Rana is a happy yogini, constant walker, avid reader, and sometimes swimmer.

Source: homes.com

Understanding Walk Scores, Bike Scores, and Transit Scores When You’re Ready to Move

Looking for Help Finding a Home? Just How Livable Is the Neighborhood?

One of the many benefits of using Homes.com to find your home is the vast amount of data that we provide. Among this information, you’ll find such handy things as our walk scores, bike scores, and transit scores. But what do these scores mean, and how do you interpret them? Here are the basics.

understanding walkability scoresunderstanding walkability scores

Walk Scores

A home’s Walk Score is essentially the measurement of the neighborhood’s walkability. According to WalkScore.com, the methodology for this score “was developed with the Walk Score advisory board and has been validated by leading academic researchers.”

So what exactly is walkability? It is a measure of the number of amenities within a short walk of the address in question, as well as of pedestrian friendliness, which is determined through metrics like population density, intersection density, and block length.

How to Interpret Walk Scores

Again, via WalkScore.com, Walk Scores are determined on a scale of 0-100, with scores under 50 meaning car-dependent, with most errands requiring a car; between 50 and 69 being somewhat walkable, where some errands can be completed on foot; 70-89 being very walkable with most errands completable on foot; and 90-100 a walker’s paradise where no car is required for daily errands.

Bike Scores

If you’re a bike rider, lack of walkability won’t slow you down as long as there is good bike infrastructure in your location. An address’s Bike Score will provide you with just this information, using data from the U.S. Census, USGS, and other sources to determine whether an area is bike friendly or not.

understanding walkability scoresunderstanding walkability scores

How to Interpret Bike Scores

Bike Scores follow a very simple 0-100 rating system, where a score under 50 indicates minimal bike infrastructure; scores between 50 and 69 indicate a bikeable area with some bike infrastructure; 70-89 is a very bikeable area where you can bike for almost anything; and 90-100 is a biker’s paradise where you can accomplish virtually all daily errands via bike.

Transit Scores

If you can’t walk somewhere and don’t have access to a car or bike, you need to know if there’s public transit nearby; that’s where the Transit Score comes in. This is a measure of how well the address is served by local public transportation.

You can find public transport options just about anywhere in the world where they exist with the Walk Score® transit map. Transit Scores are based on public transit agency data, and are a combination of the usefulness of all nearby public transit routes, defined as the type of route, frequency of availability, and distance from the address.

How to Interpret Transit Scores

Transit Scores follow a similar scale to the other two scores, where 0-24 means there are minimal transit options; 25-49 indicates a few nearby public transit options; 50-69 implies good transit with a variety of public transportation options; 70-89 is excellent transit, meaning for most trips, there is a convenient transit option; and 90-100 is a rider’s paradise, with the best possible public transportation options easily available from your location.

understanding walkability scoresunderstanding walkability scores

Learn More About Finding Your Ideal Home With Homes.com

Homes.com is your full-service source of information and guidance when it comes to buying, selling, renovating, or renting your next home. For more useful facts about homeownership, visit the Homes.com blog today.

Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today’s world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.

Source: homes.com

6 Free Ways to Live Stream Sports – Best Online Sites & Platforms

According to NoCable.org, the number of American households cutting cable or satellite television packages increases by approximately four million homes per year. Improvements to Internet streaming services like Netflix and Hulu make entertainment more affordable and convenient than paid cable or satellite subscriptions. So it’s of little surprise that households on a tight budget are cutting the cord to save money.

However, according to a 2016 study conducted by The Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg and ThePostGame, sports fans may be more hesitant to embrace this trend.

In fact, more than 90% of sports fans are willing to pay for some form of sports programming. Additionally, many sports fans feel like free sources of entertainment are not enough to deliver all the sports content they desire.

Thankfully, with a bit of tech-savviness and know-how, it is possible to watch sports online for free. Stop overpaying for sports events, and turn to the following websites and money-saving tips the next time your favorite team is playing.

Free Unofficial Streams for Live Sports

Popular streaming services are an affordable way to access thousands of shows and movies. However, streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime video have a glaring lack of content for sports fans.

The right to stream premium sports content comes with a hefty price tag, so streaming companies have largely left the market untouched. However there are several websites that allow fans to watch almost any sports game for free from their computer.

The resources in this list are unofficial, nonsponsored streams. It’s up to your discretion to choose a streaming service. Always research streaming laws and laws surrounding copyrighted content in your country before streaming sports content on the Internet.

1. Reddit

Reddit is part social news aggregator and part online forum. Reddit organizes communities or topics into subreddits. Creating an account on Reddit is free, and users can easily subscribe to various subreddits to follow content from topics that interest them the most.

Some of the largest subreddits include r/worldnews, r/science, and r/AskReddit, a community where Reddit members ask thought-provoking questions for anyone to chime in on.

However, Reddit also has a large number of sports communities. Many of these groups also provide Reddit members with the ability to watch online sports games for free.

The top subreddits and communities run by Reddit fans for streaming free sports content include:

You might be wondering why some of these streams are not actually on Reddit.com. Reddit recently banned the top sports streaming subreddits as streaming copyrighted content violates copyright law. However, Reddit moderators now run many streaming communities on self-hosted sites. Sports streams posted here are typically high in quality, with unstable or broken links being removed quickly.

2. Kodi

Kodi is an open-source software add-on that works on TV, laptops, phones, and tablets. Kodi isn’t a website, but rather a media center where you can install files and apps to watch at your leisure. Essentially, it acts as an app store and media player for your television or phone.

Kodi doesn’t let you stream sports for free right out of the gate. However, once you install Kodi on your device, you can install various sports add-ons that enable you to stream sports games.

Some of the most popular sports addons for Kodi include:

  • SportsDevil: Offers all-around sports coverage with replays and live streams.
  • The Crew: Has multiple categories, including sports replays.
  • Sportz: Includes live sports, documentaries, and outdoor content like fishing and hunting.
  • The End-Zone: Focuses on the NFL, NBA, NCAAF, and MMA.
  • Rising Tides: Offers coverage of a variety of live sports.
  • Sport 365: Similar to Rising Tides with a focus on live sports.

Kodi takes some getting used to because the interface is antiquated and somewhat confusing for beginners.

Additionally, installing a Kodi add-on isn’t as simple as just searching for the add-on name and hitting “install.” For example, as this Sportz installation guide outlines, you have to add a specific URL as a new Kodi source, install a zip file, search for the Sportz video add-on, and then install it.

It’s a complicated process for new Kodi users. Plus, add-ons are notorious for disappearing or for overall instability. However, once you’re comfortable with Kodi, it’s easy to Google and install current Kodi add-ons that let you watch sports online for free.

3. Laola1

If you’re a fan of European sports like soccer, rugby, volleyball, handball, or even table tennis, Laola1 is worth checking out.

Laola1 is an Austrian website that provides free global access to European sports. Live and recorded matches are available, and while Laola1 doesn’t always have HD quality, the content is free.

Like most streaming websites, Laola1 monetizes its website with ads. However, the ads are not overly intrusive, and a €4.99 (approximately $5.60 USD) per month plan is available that removes ads from streams. A premium membership also grants greater access to HD sports coverage, and you’re free to cancel at any time.

But if you don’t mind somewhat frequent commercials, the unpaid version of Laola1 is an effective way to watch European sports for free.

4. YouTube TV (Two-Week Free Trial)

If there’s one thing that’s clear about YouTube’s foray into the world of live broadcasting, it’s that it’s not kidding around.

Since its launch, YouTube TV has seen rapid growth, according to a 2020 earnings report from Alphabet, Google’s parent company. There are more than 2 million YouTube TV subscribers, and the streaming service is also moving into the world of sports.

YouTube TV grants access to live TV coverage from over 70 channels for $49.99 per month. YouTube TV Sports offers live content from the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, MLS, EPL, various college sports leagues, and an incredible variety of other sports and leagues.

Paying $49.99 a month isn’t exactly a cheap way to stay entertained. However, if there’s a must-see match you don’t want to miss, it’s worth taking advantage of YouTube TV’s two-week free trial.

This offer is only available in the United States and for first-time YouTube TV users. A valid payment method is required upon signup. You must cancel your free trial before 14 days have passed to avoid billing. This offer requires a Google account, and users must be 18 years or older. YouTube TV’s free trial includes all channels except for NBA League Pass.

Additionally, YouTube TV permits sharing between up to six accounts in a single household. If you live with roommates or family members who want to watch their own sports games, splitting the $49.99 per month bill makes YouTube TV one of the more affordable ways to watch online sports. Only three accounts can stream simultaneously, so keep this in mind.

5. Sportrar.tv

Sportrar.tv is another free sports streaming platform that lets users watch live sports events across a variety of leagues. Like Reddit streams, Sportrar is a collection of streaming portals rather than an independent operation. Once you find a match to watch, Sportrar offers a number of streaming portals to try.

Sportrar’s interface is quite clunky, but the platform works. A wide variety of sports are available on Sportrar, including world-class leagues like the Premier League, NBA, NHL, and MLB.

Intrusive pop-up ads are common on Sportrar. Usually, viewers must exit out of several pop-up ads in a row to return to a normal streaming experience. However, in return for watching sports online for free, it’s a small price to pay.

The best part about Sportrar is you don’t need to create an account or add a payment method to watch sports. Sportrar is simply a collection of live streams and offers its service for free.

6. Stream2Watch

Like Sportrar, Stream2Watch offers a versatile range of free sports streams that covers pretty much every major sport. Additionally, Stream2Watch provides free TV streams for several hundred networks across the world.

Stream2Watch redirects users to existing, working streams; it doesn’t host the content itself. In return for this service, Stream2Watch uses pop-up ads to make money.

Stream2Watch has several versions, including stream2watch.com, stream2watch.me, and other variants. According to the company’s homepage, there are unofficial Stream2Watch clones, but legitimate Stream2Watch portals will never ask for payment or require an account to connect to streams.

Official Sports Streaming Networks

Most major networks with the rights to broadcast live sports coverage allow fans to consume their content through various mediums. Historically, cable subscriptions have been the way people watch sports content via networks like ESPN or Fox Sports, but this is changing.

Networks like ESPN and Fox Sports have opened the door for online HD sports streaming. Some popular online streaming platforms include:

  • ESPN+. ESPN+ provides live sports coverage and ESPN originals for $4.99 per month.
  • Fox Sports Go. Fox Sports Go is an excellent option for watching MMA, NASCAR, WWE, MLB, and college sports. It’s free to use, but you need to have login credentials for a cable subscription that has access to the same sports games you want to stream.
  • NBC Sports. NBC Sports offers coverage for any sport being broadcast by NBC or NBCSN (which is quite an extensive list). As with Fox Sports Go, you must log in with a cable, satellite, telco, or live streaming TV subscription that includes NBCSN to use NBC Sports.
  • CBS Sports. CBS Sports uses the same cable-verification login process as Fox Sports Go and NBC Sports to let users watch CBS sports coverage.

Obviously, paying $4.99 per month for ESPN Watch or paying for cable to use online sports streaming services defeats the goal of saving money. However, there are some loopholes savvy streamers can use to enjoy sports content for free or for significantly reduced prices.

For example, ESPN+ allows three simultaneous streams. If there’s an ESPN game you desperately want to watch, ask to share the login credentials with a friend who subscribes to ESPN+. Alternatively, offer to share the account cost with them to gain access to sports coverage.

Similarly, piggybacking off of someone else’s cable or satellite plan is an option if you want to watch online sports for free. If someone in your family is against cutting the cord, they might be willing to share their login information to enable you to stream premium sports content.

Tips for Watching Online Sports Safely

These technical tips will make the process of watching online sports for free much easier and safer, especially if you use unofficial streams.

1. Install an AdBlock Extension

Free streaming websites generally use aggressive pop-up ads to generate revenue. These ads detract from your viewing experience, and, in some instances, pose a risk to your online security.

The FTC warns that websites offering free streaming can infect your device with malware. Once installed, malware allows hackers to access your device and entire network. This grants access to sensitive information such as:

  • Saved credit card login information
  • Passwords on your computer or browser
  • Banking information and credentials

Malware may also allow hackers to use your computer or network to commit additional crimes or siphon off resources from your bandwidth for their own use.

The simplest way to avoid clicking on a malicious pop-up ad on a free streaming website is to install an AdBlock extension. These extensions detect and stop pop-up ads, providing a better streaming experience and enhanced security.

Popular AdBlock extensions include:

These extensions are free to use, and installation only takes a minute.

2. Install a Free Antivirus Software

Installing an AdBlock extension helps protect your identity and keep you safe from malicious adware. Installing antivirus software is an effective way to detect and remove malware and protect your computer if you fall prey to a malicious stream.

Some free popular antivirus options include:

  • Vipre Antivirus. Vipre is a lightweight and user-friendly antivirus software option perfect for non-tech-savvy users. It’s available for MacOS and Windows computers.
  • Avast Free Antivirus. Avast is one of the most popular free antivirus software options on the market. It protects your devices in real time by scanning incoming downloads. Avast is available for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS devices.
  • Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes is one of the best programs for scanning and removing existing malware on infected devices. This software is available on MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS devices.

Antivirus software does not make you immune to malware. However, it greatly reduces the risk of your computer being permanently infected, and installation is simple. If you want to watch online sports for free, installing an antivirus program is a necessity.

3. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN allows you to create a secure and encrypted connection to another network on the Internet. When you connect to a VPN, your Internet usage takes place on an entirely different network and IP address than your home connection.

Using a VPN to watch online sports is useful for several reasons. First, many VPN clients allow users to select country-specific IP addresses from data centers all over the world. This lets users watch local sports and circumvent georestrictions. For example, ESPN+ and NBC Sports are only available in North America and select countries, so a VPN is a must-have for foreign users in other countries.

Second, streaming sports on a different IP address helps keep your own network secure. If you’re traveling, using a VPN over public Internet or hotel Wi-Fi is an easy way to avoid having your personal data compromised.

Finally, using a VPN also cloaks your online activity from your Internet service provider (ISP). When you use a VPN, your device connects to the VPN host servers, not your own. This provides peace of mind for sports fans worried their service might be cut off for violating their ISP’s terms of service.

Popular VPNs for watching sports online include:

  • ExpressVPN. This is a high-speed, secure, anonymous VPN that’s popular for streaming sports. ExpressVPN is $12.95 per month when billed monthly and $8.32 per month when billed annually.
  • SurfShark. This VPN provider has server locations across the world and allows for anonymous Internet usage. SurfShark is also available as a smart TV app and on Xbox and Playstation. SurfShark costs $11.95 per month when billed monthly, $5.99 per month for annual billing, and $1.99 per month for 24-month commitments.
  • NordVPN. NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers on the market. This VPN is also a great option for watching sports content online as it offers nearly 6,000 servers in 58 countries, so you’re sure to find plenty of data centers to test out for higher speeds. NordVPN costs $11.95 per month when billed monthly, $6.99 for a yearly plan, $4.99 for a two-year plan, and $3.49 per month for a three-year commitment.

Installing a VPN is a secure and safe way to use the Internet whether you watch online sports or not. Frequent travelers and sedentary homeowners alike should reflect on their Internet usage, especially when on public, unsecured Internet networks. If you want to improve your Internet security, purchasing an affordable yearly VPN plan is a great way to get started.

Final Word

The world of online sports streaming is a volatile yet promising one. Different streaming platforms come and go, and major networks are slowly but surely adapting to the rise in on-demand streaming subscriptions. For sports fans looking to watch online sports for free, this is excellent news.

It’s important to remain up to date on current streaming and Internet usage legislation in your country. It’s also important to take steps to protect your online privacy and security, such as using a VPN and installing an antivirus program. Cutting the cord to save money is excellent, but it’s not worth jeopardizing your online security or taking a legal risk.

Save money with online sports streaming when you can. Hopefully, the next time the big game rolls around, you’ll watch from the comfort of your own home without spending a dime.

Source: moneycrashers.com

What Could Tempt You To Buy a New Home?

Is the flipping of the calendar to a new year a catalyst to propel you towards one of the biggest changes of all, moving?

What exactly could tempt you to buy a new home? Do you need more room, desire a better view, a better school district, a shorter commute or perhaps a new adventure? Or, are you looking to down-size, simplify… or simply to start over?

While I don’t plan to move, I am always intrigued by what’s on the market in my area. I love to keep my finger on the pulse of current home prices, on what homes are available… and maybe to daydream a little, too. I am definitely a home lover, and I get equally excited about all sorts of home scenarios, from turnkey to gut and remodel.

I live on the Southern Oregon Coast in the Coos Bay/North Bend area, and I’m sure like most of you, I’ve got my list of “must-haves” when shopping for a new home.

Before you even begin looking I think it’s of the utmost importance to have a must-have list of at least the minimum amenities any future home would need to have. It’s smart to know what your expectations are ahead of time. Do you like to shop well under-budget so you can make substantial changes after the close of the sale, or do you need a turnkey home that will be completely move-in ready?

To inspire me to move, a house would need to be pretty special, and my budget pretty substantial. Our home must-haves would be a 3 bedroom/2 bath, with at least 2000 square feet, and a garage. I’m not going to include a shop because it makes the search too narrow. Hence, why we built our own here on our property.

But it’s fun to pretend, and when I started my house hunt I did so by popping our current zip code in the search bar. It shared all the new listings with me, I scrolled through those and then I hit “more homes” and started plugging in all my must-haves, which will keep your search really drilled down for you. This function can help you can stay on point as you scroll through the listings, and I can imagine that it would be most helpful for the budget portion of the search.

I, however, decided to completely forgo reality and search without a budget.

The first home I found to share with you is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with a 2,100 square foot floor plan. It’s listed for $489, 000.

We’ll call this the Garfield House. It’s brand new and move-in ready. The Garfield House is a beautiful custom built home with an attached two car garage.

The Garfield Home

The kitchen features black hickory cabinets and white ice granite, an open layout and trayed ceilings. And while the kitchen is well appointed and beautifully laid out, I tend to prefer a different aesthetic. Though I can appreciate the beauty & quality of this one, as well as the window at the kitchen sink — that is always a nice feature to have.

Interior of spacious kitchen.Interior of spacious kitchen.

The master bath has a glass & tile shower and a large soaker tub! This home meets my must-haves as far as bed and bath requirements, and I have to admit, it would be nice to have a one-story home. Whoever ends up calling this custom built house their home will be lucky!

Gallery images of a modern bathroom.Gallery images of a modern bathroom.

The Glasgow House

Home number two boasts 5 bedrooms, 4 baths and 4,758 square feet. The listing price is $949,000.

The Glasgow House sits on over two acres and was constructed by one of the premier home builders in the area. There is currently a sale pending.

The setting of this home is quintessential Oregon Coast, with the heavily forested area and close water proximity. Being mindful of not having the trees too close in to the house is very wise, as they are very hard on a roof — and with our storms, it’s best not to test Mother Nature. The Glasgow House is a custom built Craftsman Lodge. The secluded location, within 5 minutes drive to town is definitely a nice-to-have feature.

And while the interior finishes aren’t quite to my taste. I could most definitely manage to make do. It has lovely features, like an iron-railed catwalk that lets the light spill into the home, a gourmet kitchen, a spa bath with jetted tub and a sumptuous walk-in shower that would be so nice to have, this one is seriously tempting. I’m sure a little creamy white paint could brighten it right up and make it feel like my kind of home.

It even has attached RV parking, a very coveted feature. The grounds are also wonderfully landscaped and the expansive decks provide the perfect place for a hot tub with a view!

 The Isabelle House

Our third residence is a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath waterfront home with 4,798 square feet. It is currently listed for $1,020,000.

The Isabelle House was built in 1924. I will admit I may have squealed a wee bit when I saw it was for sale, just for the opportunity to get to peek inside! I’ve driven by and gazed longingly at this house on many occasions.

From the street side, you are greeted by a charming, low-slung brick wall and an iron gate that spans across the single car, hedge-lined drive. She absolutely oozes grace and curb appeal.

Five years shy of turning 100, she is, without a doubt, my favorite home for sale in the entire city. This home doesn’t have a white kitchen, and wait until you see the pink bathroom… but as with any home hunt, sometimes they just speak to you and none of that matters. And this one whispers to you about how special she is.

From the waterfront side, you’ll see a brick path leading to the front of the home and the proper entry.

The formal entryway is light-filled, bright and welcoming. The front door looks to have the original hardware, and I’d bet the floors are original as well.

This fabulous home has both a formal living room and a more relaxed family room. Both take in the sweeping bay views, and each features stunning fireplaces.

The wood ceiling in the family room is incredible and adds a warmth to the space that I’m sure is extra cozy when watching storms roll in through those picture windows! And the brass ships lanterns flanking the fireplace mantel give a nod to the home’s coastal location and deep nautical roots. Not shown, delicately patterned leaded glass windows.

As you can see, the kitchen has a beautiful beamed ceiling feature, a wall of three large windows over the sink (always a great plus for the dishwasher in the family) and counter prep area, appliances to please the most discerning chef, as well as a dumbwaiter. Now wouldn’t that be a nice feature to have!  I can just spy that gorgeous family room ceiling around the corner to the left, a perfect location so close to the kitchen. The home also has a lovely formal dining room just on the other side of the stove and oven wall.

There is much more to the home, including a huge den with a built-in media center and wet bar. The outdoor entertaining area and the breathtaking views aren’t bad either.

I wasn’t even thinking about moving before, and now I suddenly wish I had an extra million dollars lying around. Houses just get under my skin. Isabelle wants me to come take care of her, I just know it. And I promise I would even paint the kitchen white. But I would have to give that pink bathroom an update. You’ve got to take the virtual tour. It will give you a real sense of the property and all the grounds. If you do, at the very end you’ll see one of the other most-amazing-houses in North Bend Oregon. It’s a million dollar location, that’s for sure!

Did You Have a Favorite Home out of the Three?

What are your must-haves in a home? And when you run into something that makes you think, hmm… that would be nice to have, do you feel like it influences your final choice? I was thrilled with the photo-filled listings and the clean, easy to navigate site at homes.com. It sure made searching much more enjoyable and detail-filled. The video tours are definitely a bonus. If you were searching for a home in another state, they would be an extra amazing tool to help in the decision-making process.

Do you have a favorite home of the three? If so, cast your vote in the comments section for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card! Best of luck!

Shannon Fox lives in a coastal town in the Pacific Northwest, where she cherishes the short, but magnificent summer season. She writes full time at foxhollowcottage.com where she shares her love of everything home with an audience she affectionately calls her “Foxy Friends”. With the help of her handy husband, Shannon keeps busy bringing their 1929 cottage bungalow and guest house back to life with lots of simple DIY and beginner-friendly projects. And while she doesn’t consider herself an expert in anything particular, she makes up for it with passion, a can-do attitude, and the belief that as long as you are happy and content with your home choices, you’ve made the right ones! Shannon is a voracious reader, doesn’t follow trends or a carb-free diet, and loves her vintage, junk hunted treasures most of all. Over the years Shannon has partnered with brands like Better Homes & Gardens, HomeGoods, and World Market, and has traveled to tour and cover both DIY Network Ultimate Retreats and HGTV Dream Homes.

Source: homes.com

6 Garage Sale Setup Tips to Best Display Your Items & Make More Money

Picture this: You’re cruising down the street one day, and you spot two garage sales on the same block. The first has racks of clothes, bins of books and records, and a few high-value items prominently displayed near the curb. The second features jumbled, messy piles and boxes scattered across the yard.

Which one would you stop at?

Presentation is crucial to a successful yard sale. You can and should advertise your sale, but you also want to encourage passers-by to stop and look at your wares. If your sale doesn’t make a good first impression, most will just keep going.

No matter how much good stuff your sale has, it won’t bring in shoppers who can’t see it easily. People passing on foot only have your sale in their sights for a couple of minutes at most, and drivers on the street see it for as little as a couple of seconds.

To draw them in, you must show off your sale items so effectively their first glimpse convinces them to take a closer look.

Garage Sale Tips for Presentation

A garage sale has two purposes. It’s a way to declutter your home and bring in some extra cash. And the best way to achieve both goals is to attract as many customers as possible.

When you’re trying to draw in shoppers, pricing isn’t the most crucial factor. Yes, yard sale shoppers love bargains, but if your garage sale items don’t look appealing, no one will even stop to look at the price tags.

So before you even get out the price stickers, you need to spend some time thinking about how to set up your yard sale display to catch the eye.

1. Clean Your Items

Suppose you’re shopping yard sales looking for outdoor furniture. You come across a set that looks sturdy, but the chair arms and backs are coated in grime and their cushions are mildewy. Would you buy them or keep looking for a set in better condition?

That illustrates how important cleaning is. Something that’s otherwise in perfectly good shape becomes a complete turn-off for buyers if it’s covered in dirt. Even if you haven’t used something in years, it can come out of storage sporting a thick coat of dust that makes buyers pass it over.

So before you even think about how to display pieces, give each of them a quick touch-up with a dusting cloth. If anything is especially dirty, take the time to scrub it down with soap and water.

Some garage sale items need more specific cleaning treatment. Run clothes through the washer and dryer to remove dirt and odors, and give shoes a quick polish to remove scuff marks. If you have purses or other bags to sell, clean out dirt and debris from their interiors (and while you’re at it, make sure there’s nothing of value left inside).

2. Show Off the Good Stuff

Shoppers get their first glimpse of your garage sale from either the street or the sidewalk. If all they can see in that first look is a bunch of cheap junk, many will keep moving instead of stopping to browse.

There may be some real gems hidden toward the back of your yard or garage, but many prospective buyers will never see them.

If you want to hold a successful garage sale that attracts as many buyers as possible, put your most appealing merchandise front and center. In my experience, the best yard sale items for attracting buyers include:

  • Antiques of any kind — furniture, houseware, jewelry
  • Appliances
  • Board games
  • Clothing and accessories in good condition, such as shoes and purses
  • Electronics like TVs and stereos
  • Furniture
  • Musical instruments
  • Sporting equipment, including bicycles and camping gear
  • Tools, including garden tools like lawn mowers

In general, large items have more curb appeal than small ones. For one thing, they’re easier to see from the street. Also, little things like cheap toys and kitchen utensils aren’t that expensive to buy new, so they don’t offer the potential for a major bargain.

Another helpful strategy is to display merchandise likely to appeal to men, such as golf clubs or power tools, as close to the road as possible. In my experience, women are more likely to stop at a garage sale than men, so you don’t need to go to as much effort to reel them in.

By displaying things that typically appeal to them most prominently, you’ll attract men as well as women to your sale.

3. Group Like Items Together

Once you’ve drawn customers to your sale, you want to keep them there as long as possible. It might seem like the way to do that is to place everything randomly so shoppers looking for specific finds have to hunt through every table at the sale to discover them. But that strategy is likely to backfire.

As a shopper, I always find it frustrating when a yard sale has no clear layout. If I’m looking for something in particular, such as clothing or books, I want to see all the clothing or books available in one place. If they’re scattered across all the tables at the sale, I’m likely to get frustrated and walk away.

To make shopping easy for your buyers, group similar items together. Make one table for clothing, one for books, one for housewares, and one for toys, for example. That way, people can go directly to the table that interests them and start browsing.

If you have a lot of one type of product, sort it into narrower categories, such as children’s books and adult books.

To make it easier for yourself, sort your merchandise into boxes by category before your sale. On the day of the sale, you can simply bring each box to its own table and start laying everything out.

4. Keep Everything Visible

The easiest way for you to sort goods into categories is to leave them in their boxes. But that isn’t easy for your buyers. No one wants to bend over a box pulling out one baby onesie after another until they find the size and color they’re after.

Haphazard piles of stuff aren’t appealing either. I’ve walked away from more than one rummage sale because all the clothes were in massive, unsorted piles on the tables. Digging through them all to find the few outfits in my size would have taken hours with no guarantee I’d find anything I liked.

To make your sale appealing, lay your wares out in ways that make them easy to see at a glance. There are multiple ways to display different types of merchandise, depending on how much of it you have and what condition it’s in.


The best way to display clothing is on hangers on a portable clothes rack. That keeps garments off the ground and makes them easy to sort through. If you don’t have a clothing rack, look for a makeshift alternative, such as an old ladder or a sturdy clothesline strung between two trees.

If there’s no way to hang clothes, the next best option is to arrange them in neatly folded piles on a table. That’s also a suitable way to display clothes for babies and small children.

But note your neatly folded and stacked garments will invariably get unfolded and strewn about as the day goes on, so you have to tidy up your piles from time to time.

Whichever method you choose, try sorting clothes by size, type, and gender. That makes it still easier for buyers to find what they want. A nice added perk is to display garments like coats with their extra buttons if you still have them.


There’s nothing more frustrating than finding one shoe in your size and then having to hunt around for the other before you can try them on. You can significantly increase your shoe sales by taking the time to line pairs up together, either on a table or on a sheet or blanket on the ground.

You can display purses and bags on tables, on the ground, or neatly lined up in boxes. Or if you have a large tree handy, you can make an eye-catching display by hanging handbags from its limbs.

Jewelry is a high-value commodity, so it’s worth making an extra effort to display it well.

Wrap a piece of cardboard in fabric, then stick in pins or small nails to hang necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. You can pin brooches directly to the fabric. If you have coordinating pieces, such as necklace-and-earring sets, display them together.

Books & Recordings

Books are easiest to see if they’re arranged side by side with their spines facing out so people can view the titles at a glance.

The easiest way to accomplish that is to line them up on a bookcase or shelf. But don’t use a bookcase you’re also planning to sell because if someone buys it, you’ll have to remove all the books in a hurry and find a new location for them.

You can also display books by lining them up in a box with their spines facing up. Or if you have a smaller selection of books, you can fan them out on a table faceup so shoppers can see their covers.

Whatever you do, don’t stack books in boxes or pile them on tables so shoppers have to lift each one out of the way to see what’s below it. For all but the most dedicated book buyers, that’s simply too much work to be worth it.

These same display ideas work well for audio or video recordings, including CDs, DVDs, video game cartridges, records, and cassettes. (Yes, there are still people who have held onto their old boomboxes and are willing to buy tapes if they’re cheap enough.) Make the titles visible, and don’t force your buyers to dig.

Furniture & Home Goods

When displaying furniture at a yard sale, consider what type of buyer it would appeal to.

Place sturdy pieces suitable for families near the street, where they’ll draw buyers in. Older, worn-out pieces might appeal to students furnishing a dorm room or DIY fans looking for pieces to make over. Display these pieces farther back but with prominent labels indicating their low prices.

Antique furniture creates a bit of a dilemma. On one hand, it’s an appealing item that can attract shoppers. However, if you place a lightweight piece too close to the street, an ambitious thief could snatch it when you turn your back. Large and heavy furnishings can go in the front, but it’s best to place smaller ones close to the checkout where you can keep an eye on them.

For smaller home decor, consider maximizing its visual appeal by creating little vignettes.

For instance, you can toss a bedspread over a couch to show off its pattern and add a couple of matching throw pillows. To sell a set of dishes, lay out one whole place setting on a table, complete with a napkin and flatware, and keep the rest stowed in a box.

Finally, if you’re selling old electronics, make sure you have all their parts — remotes, cords, and the manual if you have it — bundled along with the primary equipment. You can wrap them up and stash them in a clear plastic bag taped to the side.

Customers will appreciate being able to see at a glance that the equipment has all the necessary parts. And if they want to test the device to make sure it works, all the pieces they need are available. Consider running an extension cord to the house for testing purposes or at least having one handy for shoppers to use.

5. Make Space for Everything

Ideally, most of the goods at your yard sale should be on tables, so shoppers don’t have to bend down to look at them. If you don’t have enough tables to display your wares, borrow from neighbors or friends.

Also, look for ways to create more “table” space from scratch. For instance, you can lay plywood over a pair of sawhorses, milk crates, or even cardboard boxes. You can also use any naturally elevated surfaces in your yard, such as porch steps or retaining walls.

If you’ve tried all these tricks and still don’t have enough table space for everything, prioritize. Reserve your table space for high-value merchandise you really want buyers to see and delicate pieces that could break if left on the ground. Everything else can go on blankets or tarps.

Set out comfortable chairs for yourself and any helpers so you don’t have to spend the whole day on your feet. Set them near a small table or another surface you can use for making change and bagging purchases.

6. Promote Your Sale

No matter how good your yard sale looks, it won’t attract customers if no one comes close enough to see it. That’s why even the best yard sale needs adequate signage.

Before putting up signs, check to see if your town has any regulations about them.

For instance, it might regulate how many signs you can put up, how large they can be, what materials you can use, and where you can display them. It may also have rules about how long before the sale you can put signs up and how long you have after the sale to take them down.

While you’re at it, check all the other local regulations.

Some towns require you to get a garage sale permit, and others limit you to a certain number of sales per year. Putting up signs puts you on the local authorities’ radar, so make sure you’re not running afoul of any rules. Otherwise, the fines could eat into if not exceed your profits.

Once you have any necessary permits and are clear about the signage rules, it’s time to set about making them.

Good yard sale signs are large, clear, and easy to read. Include the address as well as an arrow to point passing motorists in the right direction. If your town allows it, hang signs at all the busiest intersections near your house. From there, leave a trail of signs all the way to your house, pointing shoppers the right way at every turn.

Ensure your yard sale signs include the date and times of your sale as well. I always find it frustrating to see a sign that says, “garage sale,” with an address and no date because I never know if the sale is coming up, currently going on, or already over.

Listing the date and taking down signs once the sale is over ensures shoppers don’t show up on the wrong day.

You can advertise your sale online as well. Sites like Garage Sale Finder exist specifically for this purpose. Many local Craigslist groups have a section for garage sale advertising as well. Other places to put the word out include social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor.

Final Word

A well-organized garage sale takes more work to set up than a haphazard one.

But putting in this extra effort maximizes the chances your sale will succeed once it gets going. Shoppers are more likely to stop for an attractive sale, and those who stop are more likely to stick around long enough to find something they want to buy.

By taking the time to display your goods well and price them right, you can host a great yard sale instead of just an OK one. And that helps you turn more of your clutter into cash.

Source: moneycrashers.com