Close family members and executors are often charged with the difficult but necessary task of liquidating the belongings of a loved one. While it’s not a simple task, it can be made much easier with the assistance of an experienced estate liquidator.
During an estate sale, property ranging from household items to valuable family heirlooms are offered for sale to the general public during a staged event usually held in the home. Think of it like a garage sale, but on a much larger scale.
Because estate sales typically attract large crowds of people who have free access to most or all rooms in the house, it’s important to deal with a company that is experienced in handling every detail — before, during and after the event.
If you’re considering hiring a company to handle your estate sale, you may first want to conduct a phone interview where you can ask some basic questions. For example, is the company bonded and insured? You may also want to take time to research the company online. Are you finding complaints or compliments? Is the company a member of the Better Business Bureau?
If you’re still feeling comfortable with the company and its representative, ask for a face-to-face meeting. Is the representative courteous, enthusiastic, pleasant and professional? If so, you can begin ironing out details regarding staffing, duration of sale, commission, when you’ll receive your check after the sale and more.
As a rule of thumb, don’t just go with the least expensive estate liquidator. A company with a better advertising and marketing plan will often be more successful at selling your items, thus resulting is a greater overall profit.
Also, remember that all details of the agreement between you and the estate liquidator should be clearly detailed in a contract between the two parties.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feelare most important in regards to homeownership.
The top four reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.
1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education
From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.
2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe
It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the No. 2 reason.
3. It allows you to have more space for your family
Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.
4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates
Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?
The fifth reason on the list, is the No. 1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:
5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family
Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?
Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!
In a recent blog post on Marginal Revolution, economist Alex Tabarrok discussed homeownership as an investment.
Here is what Mr. Tabarrok had to say:
“Housing is overrated as a financial investment. First, it’s not good to have a significant share of your wealth locked into a single asset. Diversification is better and it’s easier to diversify with stocks. Second, unless you are renting the basement, houses don’t pay dividends. Stocks do. You can hope that your house will accumulate in value but don’t count on it. Indeed, you should expect that as an investment your house will appreciate less than does the stock market. You didn’t expect to get a great investment and a place to live in the meantime, did you?”
Here is a rebuttal:
We have reported many times that the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well.
Let’s use some quotes from Belsky’s study to address comments by Mr. Tabarrok:
“Housing is overrated as a financial investment.”
“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”
“You can hope that your house will accumulate in value but don’t count on it. Indeed, you should expect that as an investment your house will appreciate less than does the stock market.”
“Homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”
“You didn’t expect to get a great investment and a place to live in the meantime, did you?”
“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.
Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”
We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially. If you are considering a purchase this year, contact a local professional who can help evaluate your ability to do so. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!