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Moving to Seattle? 3 Tips for Finding an Apartment as Population Grows by 1,000 Each Week

Recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Seattle has the ninth fastest-growing metro area in the U.S. This means the Seattle area gains approximately 1,100 residents per week, according to calculations from the American City Business Journal. In other words, real estate is a hot commodity in the Emerald City these days. Whether transplants are ex-Bay Area professionals seeking relief from soaring property prices or fresh-faced Midwesterners hoping to experience all that west coast life can offer, an influx of residents mean that the housing market is more competitive than ever. Keep reading for apartment-hunting tips that can help you nab the living space of your dreams (with enough natural daylight to counteract the gray, drizzly weather, of course). Research Your Future Neighborhood The Internet makes it possible to get a good feel for pricing and different neighborhoods without requiring you to actually hop on a plane. As Business Insider points out, you’ll want to focus on three categories: neighborhood personality, neighborhood price, and commute time. Dig deeper and check out recent news articles from each neighborhood as well as yearly crime statistics. If you’re torn between neighborhoods, come up with your own ranking system and crunch the ...

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Four Ways to Make Your Home More Appealing to Potential Buyers

When you are trying to sell a home, it can be frustrating to have it listed for weeks, or even months, and not have anyone show any interest in it. If you want to sell your home as quickly as you can, you may want to consider tweaking a few things to make it more appealing to potential buyers. The following guide walks you through a few suggestions for things you can do to make your home more appealing to home buyers. Consider Adding Smart Improvements to the Home Smart homes are all the rage right now, but completely renovating your home into a smart home could cost a lot of money. Instead, consider adding a few smart elements to the home to make it more appealing. Solar panels are availavle from a variety of brands like Solarworld, and are a great option for any homebuyer who is interested in lessening their carbon footprint and living a more eco-friendly life. There are panels available in many different sizes to ensure you can find the right ones for your specific home. There are also smart thermostats that can be connected to a cell phone so that the temperature in the house can ...

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Getting Your Vacation Home Ready For Market

Vacation rental homes are a popular investment option. They save us lots of trouble and money when it comes to planning a trip, and they are also typically profitable if you rent it out frequently when you aren’t using it. But circumstances change, and sometimes we want to make different plans for our travel. We may want to break up our trip with multiple destinations or take a cruise instead of staying on dry land. There could be health issues, work conflicts, or other things that make the property impractical, or we may just want to cash in on our investment. Whatever the reason, if you choose to sell your vacation home you can do a few things to increase its value before placing it on the market. These are proven steps that will bring in more money than they carry out, and they’ll help the property sell sooner as well. If your place will be hitting the market, think about these potential upgrades. Improved Safety There are few travel concerns more universal than safety. Travelers want to know that their belongings will be safe while they visit the sights during the day, and they want to know that intruders won’t ...

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How to Quickly Build Equity in Your Home

As a homeowner, you may want to build equity in your home sooner rather than later for a variety of reasons. For example, you might want to build equity if you didn’t make a down payment of 20% of the home’s value. If that’s the case, you may be stuck paying for private mortgage insurance until you reach 20% equity, like I am. But no matter the reason, there are several ways you can quickly build equity in your home. 1. Use Your Tax Refund Did you get a tax refund this year? If you did and you haven’t spent it yet, you could apply that money toward your home mortgage. By paying down the loan against it you can increase the equity in your home. 2. Increase Your Monthly Payment If you have extra room in your budget, use the money to make larger payments toward your outstanding home mortgage. Make sure the extra money you pay each month goes straight toward the principal on your loan. With some companies this is automatic, but with others you have to specify how you want the extra money you’re paying to be used. If you don’t specify, they may apply it toward ...

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Pros & Cons of Tiny House Living

The tiny house movement has become a big deal in the last couple of years. I think one of the reasons for this is because we are rebounding from the way new homes seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Additionally, more and more people are looking for ways to save money and living in a tiny house can, no doubt, help you save. But along with the savings you get from living in a tiny house, there are disadvantages too, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons of tiny house living. Pros of Tiny House Living: 1. Saves Money Of course, I already mentioned the money savings, but now I will list some examples of how tiny house living can help keep money in your pocket. Maintenance and repairs on a smaller home will obviously cost you less when the home is smaller because painting or siding a smaller area is cheaper. If your tiny house needs a new roof, think of how much you could save when that project needs to be done. But in addition to exterior maintenance there are other money saving features as well, such as lower heating and cooling costs, less ...

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