Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Frugal deeds for the day: I have been thinking of ways to best save money the next couple of months. My goals are to have the "new" house paid off next month, have X additional saved for my daughter's education fund, and save for all of the property tax bill due by the end of December. Since I ordered a few giftcards, and we should be able to order some more from our Citi-Mastercard bonus - I wonder if I can set a spending limit for November and December and meet it. I love a challenge - and I need my husband to be on baord with me. This holiday weekend, we hope to make some improvements to this house to possibly sell next summer. Strange how now that Zillow went through an IPO - my property "value" on Zillow has jumped almost $20K since that time - a couple of months ago? Strange since I think the recession is just starting to "hit" this area - unemployment is up, home sales down - so, why would property values be up - although the city did notify me that it would be increasing the tax value by $3.5K (based on last year's data). I wonder what Zillow's proprietary formula is made up of to think that my property value is up that much so quickly - gee, come next summer, I sure would appreciate it - as I was going to list it somewhere below the Zillow value. Even though property prices have fallen slightly/remained stagnant around here - we have not really suffered a loss - even on paper as we did the tough negotiating up front. What did we do? Instead of contacting a realtor to help show us a house - we looked up homes at Realtor.Com. Then when we found this house, we contacted the listing agent (this gives the agent some negotiating leverage - instead of the commision being split 4 ways - it is split only 2 ways - between the agent and brokerage - which in my case, the agent was the broker). So, even though this property was the lowest priced in this neighborhood at the time, we asked for, and got almost a 10% reduction in price - as we offered cash. Then, when there were issues in the inspection, the realtor made-up the difference - made concessions? The realtor paid for some roof work and paid for one heating/cooling unit. He also paid to get the hot tub off of our deck - and purchased it from the seller - he also took a "cut" in his commision as he promised the seller a certain amount of $ at the table for the seller to purchase their "new" home. So, even though it was unheard of at the time - during the real estate boom - we were able to effectively knock off around 10%. I need to think of other projects we can finish in this next week or so of uninterrupted time - and my husband's and daughter's assistance. Working together and DIY stuff that we can do - save us quite a bit of $.