Expenses to Consider when Selling your Home

Although we are currently in a buyers market (or as some may want argue, a do not buy-do not sell market), some people are still selling their homes.  Before you start asking around for realtors (or if you were super keen, doing it yourself), you should consider the costs involved in selling your home.

Breaking down the numbers will help you decide a price that you are comfortable with when selling your home.  You don’t want to go ahead with what the realtor says and suggests and then later find out that you are “in the hole” because you didn’t factor in the real estate commissions that are due.  The last thing you want is a feeling of anti-climactic non-excitement when realizing that the money you were hoping to make off your real estate sale wasn’t really all that much to begin with.

Here are some expenses to consider when selling your home:

Real Estate Commissions

High FeesUnless you are planning to sell your home yourself or planning to choose a cheaper real estate company that uses smaller commissions, you will likely have to pay the typical real estate commission rate, which is:

7% on the first $100,000 and 3.5% on the remaining balance.  This fee is split between the buying and selling real estate agent and the person selling the house has to pay this fee.  It probably doesn’t seem like much, but on a $350,000 home that is equivalent to:

$7000 + $8750= $15,750

If you made money on your home that commission probably won’t phase you very much, but if you can barely get what you paid for the home, you might want to think twice about selling in the current buyer’s market. Continue Reading

Direct Buy Canada – Is It Worth It?

I went searching for a couch this past summer and vowed not to spend more than I had to.  After all, as a personal finance blogger just by buying furniture that isn’t used or stolen from the garbage dump, I’m basically committing a sin in some of my peers’ eyes.  I’m pretty frugal in day-to-day life.  I don’t eat out very often, I buy maybe six coffees a year from Timmy Ho-Hos, and my entertainment budget is smaller than most people’s phone bills.  That being said, I like the odd video game and sweet HBO series (we’ll just say I get those very cheap and leave it at that).  I also tend to do a lot of reading.  All that to say, I will likely spend a fair amount of time (like most North Americans) sitting on my couch, and I don’t spend a lot of money frivolously.  With that in mind, I set out to get the most comfy, and most durable sectional or couch set that I could get my hands on for a reasonable price.

“Buy Straight From the Source”

My search led me to this distributor known as DirectBuy.  They market themselves as having over 150 franchises in the USA and Canada.  The main concept behind DirectBuy is that they are an “insider’s club” where members can purchase brand-name goods directly from manufacturers’ warehouses and by doing so avoid the large retail markups that we see on most products.  The main catch is that membership is certainly not free.  It is impossible to say what a membership will cost anyone specifically because each DirectBuy franchise is independently owned and operated and sets their own price.  Most media sources I looked into reported the probable membership fee at $3,000 to $7,000.  Needless to say, that pretty much ruled out my interest, but I was kind of curious about this consumer model and if their prices really could beat those in a cut-throat retail world by enough to justify that hefty membership.

Good… and Bad?

direct buyWhat I found when I looked into DirectBuy in various online hangouts was a ton of complaints and a lot of praise as well.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen less consensus about a consumer business online before.  DirectBuy was roundly criticized for its pressure-based sales pitches that routinely stated, “You must buy your membership now or we will never give you the opportunity again.”  Yet, but the same token the company boasts a fairly impressive rate of membership retention.  DB defends itself on this account by saying, “This policy is in place out of respect for our members, manufacturers and the retail industry. It prevents consumers from asking traditional retailers to match DirectBuy prices.”  Some people claim the service and support they received as a member of DB was great, while others reported it was terrible.  It could be as simple as the fact that different franchises operated within a large spectrum and some were just better than others. Continue Reading

Weekend Ramblings & PF Blog Love: Still Surviving the New Years Resolutions?

It’s officially February and that means that we’ve had a good 4 weeks + to keep ourselves accountable to our New Years resolution goals.  How have you all fared with your New Years Resolution goals?

For me, I told myself that I would exercise (either yoga or jogging) at least 90 minutes (I know, I set the bar really low, don’t I?) a week and so far I’ve been doing quite well with this.  I give myself an 8/10 for effort.  Some days I feel like a sloth and I know I have X, Y, and Z to do and cross off from my perpetually full To Do list, but I tell myself that exercise and my well-being (and sanity) is more important than the other stuff.

Like I said earlier, I think that exercise is a great stress reliever.  Sometimes when I feel all this energy “buzzing” inside (I start to feel restless, jittery, and a little on edge), I grab my shoes and go out for a jog.  After my run I feel like a gazillion times better and I feel like I can tackle the rest of the week.  Now I know what there are runners so addicted to running.  It’s the natural opioids that we create, I tell ya!

Readers, how have you fared on your new years resolutions?

PF Blog Love

GoalsHolly @ Club Thrifty writes The Value of Taking a Vacation – Vacation is the best thing since milk and cookies! While it may cost us a ton of money, going on vacation is essential for our well-being.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes How to Make the Most out of a Small Bathroom – Although small bathrooms may seem less inviting than their roomy counterparts, there are some simple tricks you can use to make even the smallest washroom cozy and accessible.

Girl Meets Debt @ Girl Meets Debt writes My Frugal Habits BEFORE I Started Blogging – The old me may have spent more money than I had, but even before I started blogging, I had a few frugal habits that I was already practicing daily. I know, it is suprising right?

Michelle @ The Shop My Closet Project writes I’m using my SH$T January-a no more buying product manifesto – read my no more buying product manifesto!

Corey @ 20s Finances writes The Hidden Costs of Renting – It’s important to understand that while homeownership has many costs (perhaps more costs than you are aware of), renting has its own unique costs that are worth considering before becoming a renter for life.

Aloysa @ My Broken Coin writes What No One Ever Tells You About Costa Rica – Get my personal inside scoop on my vacation to Costa Rica, and things to watch out for and beware of!

Suba @ Broke Professionals writes Planning My European Vacation: Getting A Passport – After revisiting my financial priorities to put traveling at the top, I’m ready to plan my European vacation. Step #1? Getting a passport! Continue Reading

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