Blog Directory Martinspiration

To rent or buy? That is the question

April 16, 2018

Seeking a new lease on life? Many renters are often advised to ditch their leased dwellings and become homeowners. But is it really worth it to buy instead of rent? Which is the smarter choice financially?

Folks on the buy vs. rent fence now have fresh facts that can help answer this question. Get the 411 by reading my newest piece for The Mortgage Reports, available here.


A real estate resource you can rely on

April 9, 2018

In basketball, every position on your starting five plays a major role. Your point guard sets up the offense. Your center serves as a pivot and low post threat. And your power forward is often a key defender and rebounder. But it’s your go-to scorer whom you typically rely on to rack up the points and win the contest. In the game of real estate, this role is played by your agent, who serves as MVP of your home buying squad. Think of him or her as your personal LeBron James—a versatile expert skilled at many positions who can lead you to the promised land of your first home by putting you on the right path to the right property—right away.

Discover why an agent is so invaluable in the home buying process by reading my new article on this topic, published in the Omaha World-Herald.


Home sweet hamster

April 1, 2018

Thankfully, the days of the all-purpose aquarium serving as surrogate for a proper pet rodent residence are long gone. So, too, is the era of the ultra-flimsy plastic domicile that functioned more as a disposable chew toy that could be gnawed through faster than you can say “chinchilla.”

Indeed, the good news in 2018 is that there’s no shortage of quality-built, brand-name small animal abodes on the market for owners of mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters and gerbils to choose from. Many, of course, are modular, chromatically eye-catching, and expandable thanks to a seemingly endless array of interconnecting accessories tailor-made for the Lego and Minecraft generation.

Learn more about small animal pet habitats by reading my latest column for Pet Age, available here.


Renting out your property? Try these decorating tips first

March 26, 2018

You’ve caught the Airbnb fever and are eager to promote your property online. Your short-term rental has a desirable location and many an amenity that should make for an alluring listing. And you’re even prepared for the grunt work required—like DIY property management, maintenance and marketing.

But you may be overlooking a key ingredient that could lead to poor reviews and low leasing activity: esthetic appeal in the form of fresh furnishings and d├ęcor. Ignore these elements at your own peril, say the pros. Learn what they have to recommend in my latest home improvement article, this time published in the Dallas Morning News, found here.


Bottom dollar battles

March 18, 2018

If convenience store operators want more Washingtons in the drawer, they need to pay more attention to rivals where George rules the roost. Because chances are, dollar outlets - including Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Five Below, and 99 Cents Only Stores - are steadily garnering greenbacks from the 7-Elevens of the world in key categories where they shine, like snacks, beverage, tobacco and even fresh edibles, say the experts.

Learn more about the pressure that dollar stores are putting on convenience retailers by reading my most recent story for CSP Magazine, available here.


First-time buyers are purchasing more homes: here’s why

March 11, 2018

Ask any first-time home buyer and they’ll likely tell you their quest isn’t easy. It’s tough saving up for a home. Landing a mortgage at a desired rate can be tricky. And beating out contenders to the right home requires good timing. But fresh numbers show that first-timers aren’t giving up. In fact, they’re buying more homes than they have in 12 years. That’s a good sign for the market. And it may encourage others to pursue their dreams of owning.

If you’re eager to buy your first home, the good and bad news is that you’re not alone. But with careful planning and the right approach, you’ll stand a better chance of buying your first home sooner. That's one of the takeaways from my newest story for The Mortgage Reports, which you can read here.


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