Moving in with Mates: How to Break All the Myths and Truths

Moving in with Mates: How to Break All the Myths and Truths

Renting a house/apartment with one or several friends is a great way to save money and enjoy the company of other people. However, while this step is rather common during college and after high school, it’s rarely considered a long-term arrangement. As soon as one roommate gets married or is able to afford their own place, they go their separate ways. What if there’s no marriage in sight and the financial prospects of each individual involved are not enough to get their own property? Well, if the present roommate situation works, and you get along well, buying a house with your friend(s) can be a smart investment. Before you make that big move, you need to be aware of some things.

The Pros of Buying a House with Your Friends       

We’ve already mentioned some of the reasons people make this decision. The financial benefits are obvious. A joint property means that you’ll share all the costs including the deposit, transaction costs, mortgage payments, decoration, maintenance, monthly payments, repairs and household bills. Due to high prices on the housing market, many people don’t even consider purchasing a house. Joint ownership can be a useful solution for two families who could, in that way, afford a bigger property.

Agreeing on the Things that Matter

Agreeing on the Things that Matter

When the ownership status is regulated properly (each tenant can own different shares of the property and tenants can choose to leave their shares in a will or sell them, etc.), owning a property with a friend can save you a lot of trouble. It’s important to agree on things that can largely impact your co-habitation, especially money-related issues. That can include setting up a joint bank account for paying the mortgage or any other agreed shared expenses. A household rulebook is also a crucial point of discussion. You need to be very clear on the rules regarding guests, partners, pets, smoking, etc.

Starting from Scratch

Different people have different needs. Finding a property to meet the needs of one person (with or without a family) is hard. Finding a property that will suit two different people is next to impossible. If that’s the case for you and your friend, building your own home may be a better idea. This way you will be able to make everything just the way you like it from the ground up. The design can be adapted to provide you both with the privacy you need in order to lead independent lives. According to custom home builders from Brisbane your home can be built to individual specifications, but it can also be changed during the building process, so you can follow the construction and make decisions that will make cohabitation easier.

Consistency in Décor

Consistency in Décor

Congratulations, you’ve bought/built your own property. Once the moving in process begins, you will need to decorate the place. Much like with the very design, it is difficult to choose one décor style that suits different persons. Of course, your bedroom, bathroom and other personal spaces should be off limits to the other tenant, and vice versa. If there is a common area, it should be decorated in a neutral manner, except if both tenants agree on one specific style. Although you and the other tenant will decorate your own spaces based on your preferences, keep in mind that there should still be a certain consistency in décor, so try to settle on one color palette or design era.

A Trial Period

A Trial Period

You and your best friend get along great. You love spending time with each other, drinking coffee and hanging out in a cocktail bar. That seems as a great foundation for buying a house together, right? Wrong. If you have never before tried to live together you can’t be sure that your relationship will remain just as ideal. Maybe you’ll hate that your friend is smoking in the morning, or they will dislike your early bird habits. Maybe one of you is irresponsible with money. There are too many maybes to count. That is why it is better to have a trial period of renting a place, before going down the more permanent road.

Buying a house with your friend(s) can be a great decision, both financially and when it comes to social life. Still, there’s the danger of losing both a friend and an investment, so be very careful.

The Best Ways To Prepare When Planning For The Future

The Best Ways To Prepare When Planning For The Future

Few of us want to think about planning years down the road, especially when the world around us seems so unstable. It’s hard to imagine what we’ll need or want a decade from now, or what the best thing will be for our children in later years. However, taking the time now to sit down and prepare for the future is imperative, as you don’t want to be stuck in a hard situation when an emergency comes up or when it’s time to send your child off to college and the money just isn’t there.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure that your family’s future is taken care of, and it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Taking care of these small things now will help you plan better for the years ahead and give you peace of mind. Here are some of the best ways to go about it.

Consider a college account

Higher education doesn’t come cheap; between tuition, books, supplies, transportation, parking passes, and housing, even smaller colleges will cost the average student thousands of dollars per year. Get a head start on the bill by opening up a savings account specifically for your child’s education. With a 529 college savings account, you’ll receive special tax benefits and the money will grow tax-free until your child is ready for school. The only drawback is that if he or she decides not to go to college or receives a scholarship, the money may not be available to you. If you’re unsure at this point whether your child will want to attend school, open up a basic savings account at your bank in his or her name. It won’t garner much interest, but the money will be safe and can be used for anything your child wants when the time comes.

Plan for your estate

No one likes to think about not being here, but planning for your estate now will save your family from being involved in a lengthy legal battle. Sit down with legal counsel and work out the details of your finances, your home and other assets, and your will. This way, should something unforeseen happen, your children will be taken care of and your estate will be settled easily.

Save now, reap the benefits later

Saving money isn’t always easy, especially if you’re one of many Americans who lives paycheck to paycheck. However, it’s important to do what you can now to save anywhere you can. This can include utilizing coupons as much as possible, taking your lunch to work or school instead of eating out, carpooling to save on gas and wear-and-tear on your car, cutting back on expenses such as cable television and fancy phone plans, and only buying things when they’re on sale. Pinching pennies now can really add up at the end of the month, and anything you save can go directly into a savings account.

Prepare a 401K

Most employers will offer a 401K plan, so if you don’t already have one, ask your HR rep about it. These plans don’t require much from you–the money is taken directly from your paycheck and put into an account–and you’ll receive statements now and then that show how much money your retirement fund has accrued.

Upgrade when you can

If you own a home, spending can get out of control when appliances, furnaces and A/C units, and hot water heaters reach a certain age. It’s never fun to think about, but it’s much easier to save up and upgrade when possible so you won’t have to worry about an emergency down the road. If you have older appliances in your home, consider replacing them even if they still work; this will save you a lot of grief down the road when something breaks down in between paydays.