For Sale By Owner: How To Sell Your Own Home

For Sale By Owner: How To Sell Your Own Home

Selling your home on your own can save you thousands of dollars in commissions, but you have to be willing to put in the extra effort. Learn how to go through the “for sale by owner” process—it’s not as hard as you may think.

You already know that skipping the real estate agent and selling your home yourself can potentially save you thousands of dollars in commissions. But you may be wondering if this option is right for you, or where to begin.

“For sale by owner,” or “FSBO” (pronounced fizz-bo), is actually easier than most people think, as long as you’re willing to put in the extra effort and time to save some cash.

Prepare your home for sale
Whether you’re selling your home on your own or listing it with a realtor, this is one step you can’t avoid. Take a look around your home for repairs that you’ve long since stopped noticing. Finish any unfinished projects. Banish all odors from your home, clean it from top to bottom, and declutter and streamline your belongings.

Read More and Learn All Steps in: How to Sell Your Own Home

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Featured Community: SMILE, Portland, OR

Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) in Portland OR is a special place... not many neighborhoods in the US can claim history dating back to the 1800's!

Sellwood-Moreland is located three miles "up-river" from downtown Portland, and the history of the neighborhood stretches back to the late 1840's, before Oregon was a state, when the area was part of four donation land claims.

One of those first claimants, Henderson Luelling, brought nursery stock with him via the Oregon Trail, and established the first commercial fruit nursery in what was then simply the Oregon Country.

The neighborhood had no name until 1882, when 321 acres were purchased and subdivided for house lots by the Sellwood Real Estate Company.

The independent City of Sellwood, named after early civic leader Reverend Sellwood, was incorporated in 1887, and had its own city council and sheriff until 1893, when it became a part of the growing City of Portland.

Read More About: Sellwood Moreland Improvement League in Porlland, OR

Travel Apps for Your Next Vacation

Travel Apps
Have Phone, Will Travel: Travel Apps for Your Next Vacation

The final article is our summer vacation series. Travel applications for your smartphone can help you get the most out of your next vacation or trip.

We can't live without our cell phones and now, whether you travel a little or a lot, there's a travel application for your smartphone that you'll find you can't live without either.

Need to book a hotel room on the road? There's an app for that. Wondering what the current exchange rate is for the Yen? There's an app for that, too. Trying to find a taxi? You're covered. And many of the travel apps out there can help make your vacation more affordable by finding the best deals and providing cost information upfront.

Here are some of the best travel apps out there to help you pack, organize, travel, stay, learn, eat, track and share your next trip. And since not all travel apps are created equal, prices and phone platforms are noted (as of June 2010).

Planes, trains and automobiles
Need to book a flight, find local transportation or view a train route? These travel apps can help.

Search for flights, rental cars and hotels and get information on your flight status, price and trends. Cost: Free. Available for: BlackBerry, iPhone, Android platforms.

Gate Maps.
Need to find out where gate C4 is at O’Hare? This app offers maps of major airports in the U.S. along with a few from other countries. Great for when you have just a few minutes to catch your connection. Cost: 99 cents. Available for: iPhone.

Airline Seat Guide.
See seating guides for aircraft from most major airlines to select the best seat on a flight. Seats are rated by color: green is good, yellow is average and red you’ll want to avoid. Cost: $1.99. Available for: iPhone.

Transport Maps.
Provides worldwide maps of public transit systems. Whether you need a bus, train or light rail to get where you’re going, you can download the map you need to save to your phone. This travel app lacks route planning, however. Cost: Free.
Available for: Android.

Google Maps.
Shows where you are and how to get where you’re going by driving, walking or public transit. Cost: Free. Available for: Any smartphone platform.

Taxi Magic.
Pull up a list of available cab companies in your area and, in some instances, make a reservation through your phone. Cost: Free. Available for: BlackBerry, iPhone, Android.

Read More About: Travel Apps for Your Next Vacation

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How to Buy and Rent a Vacation Home

Vacation Home
How to Buy and Rent a Vacation Home

In keeping with our summer vacation theme, buying a vacation home for rental and personal use can offer a number of advantages, but is it right for you? Learn what you should consider before purchasing, the tax implications of owning a vacation rental home and how to rent it to offset expenses.

With interest rates still historically low, you may be tempted to purchase a second home to use as a vacation rental home (and for your own personal use as well). There is a market for renting out your vacation home, especially as travelers look for more affordable options closer to home.

Is owning a vacation rental home right for you?
Before purchasing a vacation property, it’s important to research any local laws or property restrictions that could affect your ability to rent your home. In addition, you need to take into consideration the location of your vacation rental home. Is it near a popular tourist attraction or destination, such as a beach? This will affect that marketability of your vacation home. You also need to be sure you are willing and able to:
  • Do the necessary research to estimate how many weeks your vacation property will likely be rented, your monthly costs and your income potential.
  • Give up the use of your vacation home during the peak season, when demand for your residence is the greatest.
  • Put in the necessary work to advertise, screen tenants, and hire cleaning and maintenance crews.
  • Maintain your second mortgage if times get tough in either the real estate or vacation markets.

Read More and Learn: How to Buy and Rent a Vacation Home

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Affordable Vacations: How to Travel Cheap

Affordable Vacations
Affordable Vacations: How to Travel On the Cheap

Since it is June, that means its summer and time to think about vacations! Here are some tips for how to save on everything from transportation to hotels to airfare.

Tired of the “staycation?” Travel can be affordable, even for families. Here are some tips on how to create an affordable vacation.

Save on airfare
Airfare is one of your biggest travel expenses. But there are ways to find cheap airfare:
  • Be flexible with your dates. If you are able to be flexible with your travel dates, you can find some great deals. Traveling during the off-season can save you even more.
  • Be flexible with your destination. If you’re just looking to go somewhere, but don’t really care where, you can take advantage of advertised deals to determine your destination.
  • Shop around. Check several different websites, such as Expedia, Travelocity, SideStep and Kayak. Once you find a deal, check out that airline’s website. Often, you can find the same deal without the extra booking charges. It’s a good idea to check out the airlines’ websites anyway as not all airlines participate in the discount sites.
  • Sign up for airfare alerts. Many airlines and discount sites will alert you when a discount pops up. Simply sign up and indicate which cities you’re interested in.
  • Book a travel package. Check out air and hotel packages. Buying together can be less expensive than purchasing separately.
  • Travel light. It’s almost impossible these days to get around paying for your luggage, but the less you take the less you pay. Try to keep it to one bag per person.

Read More to Learn How To Save On Hotels, Food and Transportation: Affordable Vacations: How to Travel on the Cheap

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