Carnival Posts

Visit this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance.

Great advice about learning to stay within your mortgage limits. We are dollars short of being at the 35% outer limit he mentions. Really, it was a bad idea to buy this house and we know it. And unfortuntely for us, houses of the same size (same layout) are not selling from owners. It makes sense considering you could spend a little more (I assume a little, I haven’t looked at those sellers prices for a couple of months) and get a brand spankin’ new house. We figure we need to stay here for at least a year past the construction is done – it is scheduled to be done in the spring. Not sure why we picked a year, but it sounded good.

How will new houses hold up? We bought new construction. The day we did a tour of the house – days before we moved in as we moved across the country – the builders were still fixing the few minor things the inspection found. And they left a few nails on the roof – after asking what was going to happen to those nails, the guy giving us the tour (he worked for the builder), he said something along the lines of the wind would take care of it. I thought it was a play at lightheartedness – or maybe he was just rude – and figured they would be taken care of. Not paying attention for a few weeks, I looked up one day and realized they were still there. Though my Dh and I are the first in our families to buy a brand new home, we may be the last. Next time we are either building our own – with our own two hands – or buying older. I agree with this post, it’s the older ones that are built to last. I haven’t checked the corners, but luckily for us, this house has not had any issues with anything (ie paint peeling, etc.). Oh and one of the commenters at the post said the new houses reminded him of a military base – all the houses look the same, four or five layouts, etc. My DH and I were just talking about it this weekend – DH said it’s a trailer park for the middle class, which we bought into “hook, line and sinker.” DH was upset after making that conclusion because he grew up in poor people trailer parks and was sure he wasn’t going back.

Two great rent toolsI wonder if the rentometer mentioned is strictly for apartments? I plugged in our house we are renting and it says it should have more amenities then others based on the price. Well I put in the price that would cover the mortgage, which the payment does not. I did sign up with the creators of rentometer just for fun though.

How much would you earn from a 0% interest credit card. Very good read! I think we are going to look for a 0% card to transfer balances to. I admit we don’t keep great track of our interest rates and have come to find that the credit card with a balance (not Target, that will be paid off within a month) is up to 13%. Bad considering when we started out it was at 6%. Also links to a calculator to show you how long it would take to pay off the card or how many months it would be paid off based on what you are willing to pay. 

And on to the Carnival of Debt Reduction.

How to choose the best rewards credit card. We got a no hassle miles card – thinking we would put all bills on the card, pay it off monthly and thus rack up the miles. Until we maxed the card out and couldn’t do that anymore. We can’t switch over to a cash card – but we can apply for a new account and make that one a cash card. It sounds dumb but I don’t want to lose those miles. Then again, I don’t want to have to rack up a total of $15K in debt to buy a $150 plane ticket. Really, where can I go on a $150 ticket? We are rethinking this whole miles thing currently….

How to use balance transfers. This post shows me how easy using balance transfers can be – once you are paying attention. I think DH and I got into the habit of not paying attention because we feel like we don’t owe that much money. That is a bad habit to be in – debt is debt, large or small, and it doesn’t feel good.

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