Turtle Creek Gardens’ peaceful pool

Homeownership is the most consistent way to build up the nest egg you’ll need in retirement. People who downsize their homes are cashing out equity built up over a lifetime (and telling the kids they’re on their own). Sure, there are many reports that claim folks who rent in some areas make out better. But they’re always predicated on the renter investing the difference between the rent and the mortgage/taxes – which almost no one does. Instead, flush renters eat out more, buy more shoes (or in my case, shirts) or wend their way around the world collecting selfies.

The increased incidence of renters is troubling in many countries. When I spoke to HGTV presenter Richard Blanco in London recently, he agreed it would have an impact on tenants later in life. While student loans are an issue here, the issue both countries shared was a desire by younger people to live a catered life (as they did with mom and dad) where they farmed out the reality of living.

For those smart enough to embrace property ownership, the down payment is often a stumbling block for younger buyers. So without living in your Star Wars-decorated childhood bedroom, how does a potential homebuyer save? Especially when Uptown digs can scrape $3 per square foot per month?

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Moving might be the least of your worries if you're a first-time homebuyer in today's housing market.

Moving might be the least of your worries if you’re a first-time homebuyer in today’s housing market.

Every homebuyer faces a few hurdles along the way, but first-time buyers seem to have the most. Their inexperience, combined with a crowded market and sometimes time-consuming mortgage process, can make homebuying significantly more difficult for these new buyers.

Fortunately, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, the process can go smoothly. Simply study up on the all-too-common hurdles below and be prepared for the road ahead. You’ll find the perfect home in no time.

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Thanksgiving is over and for most of us, those turkeys from last Thursday are going to make excellent sandwiches for a few days. But the inspiration for this post truly came from an article I came across on the BBC: is squirrel the perfect austerity food? I mean, we are trying to make ends meat meet (pardon my pun) in the U.S., and this story points out that squirrel is really a very American food. In fact, it could even be more red-blooded American than turkey?

So why don’t we eat squirrel for Thanksgiving? My husband tells me that in New York, some free-range turkeys were ringing up at $15 per pound! Who needs to pay that kind of money when you can trap a grey squirrel right in your own back yard! Cost: $00.

Eat squirrel, and watch those down payment pennies add up for your primary shelter or a second home.

Besides, there is no better way to get rid of a rodent/pest than to simply consume it.