Monday, July 23, 2012

Buying a House - How Much to Offer?

This is a very common question among people looking to buy a new house, especially if it's their first time buying. As you might have guessed, there is no simple answer. But we can give you a few tips!

One of the best things you can do is look in your local paper or online to find out how much homes in the area you're looking in have sold for recently, and if possible, find out what the original listing price was. This should give you an idea of the kind of demand you're dealing with. Ultimately, demand in the area is going to determine whether or not your offer will be accepted (within reason).

For instance, if a seller lists a house for $400,000 and then gets 5 offers, they are in a really good position. Even if you offer the full list amount, someone bidding against you who is familiar with the current market climate might have bid higher than the listing amount. Of course, it there is little demand, you don't want to overbid and be the only offer, because at that point you're just throwing money away.

It gets more complicated when you find a house that is "the one." A lot of times home buyers are so attached to a house that they are willing to pay more (sometimes far more) than the home is worth just to make sure that no one else gets it. It's your money, and you're the one who is going to have to own the home, so we can't really advise you further in this case. But just keep in mind, if you were to bid let's say $390,000 on that same house...that's $10,000 that you can spend on cute furniture and stuff to decorate your new home!

If you have a real estate agent, he or she can probably give you additional information about the home and the current market to help you determine what sort of offer you should make. But keep in mind that how much you pay for the house directly impacts your agent's commission, so it's really in their best interest to get you bidding high.

Check out the following video for more great information about home bidding!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Inspect Old Pennies!

We all have pennies hiding in cracks and couch crevices of our home. Many of us also have jars full of them. Unfortunately, not a lot of value is placed on these little brown pieces of currency, because they're technically only worth one cent! That is, usually...

Did you know there are some rare pennies out there worth as much as $100,000? Believe it. Of course, they are very hard to come by, but it's worth taking a look at the date of any ancient lookng pennies you might come across.

In 1943, due to efforts to conserve resources for the war, the U.S. decided to shift from printing pennies on copper to printing them on steel. However, for some reason, a few pennies were still printed on copper that year, but they are extremely rare. Due to their rarity, they are worth as much as $100k, depending on their condition.

In 1944, the US decided to go back to printing copper pennies, but just like the year before, some rogue pennies were printed, this time steel. Hence, 1944 steel pennies are just about as rare as the 1942 copper ones, and subsequently worth about the same.

So, if you have some extra time on your hands, it might be well worth it to sort through those pennies you had written off as close to worthless.

Beware, there are counterfeits out there! Check out the video below to help you authenticate a penny you may believe to be one of the valuable few.