advice

WHEN TO BUY CHEAP FURNITURE, AND 9 OTHER HOUSEHOLD ESSENTIALS

Because we all love a sale.

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1 ~ OFFICE FURNITURE

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When To Buy: January

January is the ideal time to purchase office furniture because it will be on clearance. Not only do new furniture models debut in February, this is also the time when retailers target their bargains to entrepreneurs launching new businesses at the turn of the year.

2 ~ LINENS & BEDDING

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Best Time To Buy: February

While some may think February is a good time to binge on candy sales from Valentine’s Day (which it totally is), linens, towels and bedding are what you should be keeping an eye out for. With Presidents’ Day being February 19th, these items are always going to be on markdown at retailers like Bed, Bath and Beyond.

3 ~ LUGGAGE

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Best Time To Buy: March

March is commonly known as the best time to buy luggage. The reason they go on sale at this time is because they appeal to a broad range of buyers: business people, spring-breakers, adventure travelers, the cruise set, and upcoming graduates, according to Retailmenot.com.

4 ~ MATTRESSES

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Best Time To Buy: May

Memorial Day mattress sales are really a thing, according to CNBC. The retailers get their new models in, so the previous year’s mattresses are super cheap. Check out Casper, Overstock.com or Sleepy’s for popular styles.

5 ~ KITCHEN WARE

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Best Time To Buy: June

Saving on cookware and dishes are popular around June because it’s wedding season. But you don’t have to be tying the knot to get a good deal on household essentials.

6 ~ TOOLKITS

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Best Time To Buy: July

With Father’s Day just passing in June, July is a great time to capitalize on the toolkit sales from all home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.

7 ~ LAPTOPS & DESKTOP COMPUTERS

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Best Time To Buy: August

August is back to school time for the kids, but everyone should be looking forward to it, especially if you’re in the market for a laptop or a desktop computer.

8 ~ AIRLINE TICKETS FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL

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Best Time To Buy: September

September is a good month to buy many things, since retailers are trying to clear out space for the upcoming holiday season. And while it doesn’t take up any room on store shelves, cheap holiday airfare is the thing to keep an eye on during this month. The best time to purchase your flights are about eight weeks ahead of your trip, according to Cheapism.com.

9 ~ CAMPING GEAR

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Best Time To Buy: October

For all the outdoors lovers out there, October is your month to get a deal as it is the perfect weather for camping. The go-to places for sales, according to Today.com, L.L.Bean and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

10 ~ TVS

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Best Time To Buy: November

It’s no secret that the biggest shopping day for deals is Black Friday. So if you are willing to face the madness, this is the best time to go, Consumer Reports says.

Before and After: 13 Dramatic Kitchen Transformations

Many people want to change their kitchen, whether it’s because it functions poorly, their taste has evolved or they purchased a home marked by someone else’s style. In fact, “can no longer stand the old kitchen” is the top reason homeowners choose to remodel kitchens, according to Houzz research. If you’re experiencing kitchen fatigue and are looking for inspiration, take a look at these 13 kitchen transformations. Perhaps you’ll find your kitchen soul mate here.
Wood to White
Many homeowners ditch wooden cabinets in favor of white. Our first group of before-and-afters shows four kitchens where this was done, in a variety of styles.1. Raising the RoofKitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: A professional executive coach and a beer distributor, their 10-year-old daughter and two Pembroke Welsh corgis
Location: Groton, Massachusetts
Size: 251 square feet (23.3 square meters)
Designers: Halsey Platt and Diana MacLeod of Platt BuildersBEFORE: The kitchen in this Massachusetts home occupies what used to be a barn, and the low roof meant windows that were just 12 inches tall.

AFTER: The homeowners raised the roof 18 inches, allowing for bigger windows and a proper view. The remodel also exposed some of the original beams, and added new ones to highlight the space’s historical character.

Cabinets: in English Linen finish, Candlelight Cabinetry; Bakes cabinet pulls and Sheraton cabinet knobs in dark antique: Horton Brasses; wall planking: painted in Mayonnaise OC-85 by Benjamin Moore, Boral; rustic glass pendant lights: Pottery Barn; Iron/Tones undermount sink in white: Kohler; three-legged bridge faucet: Rohl; single-drawer dishwasher with panel: Fisher & Paykel

Read more about this kitchen remodel

What to Do After Inheriting a Home

The idea of owning another home may be attractive, but does it make financial sense?

By Kristin McFarlanddownload
Before deciding to keep an inherited home, take a close look at the other issues and financial questions involved. (GETTY IMAGES)

Receiving an inheritance is often an emotional experience. Inheriting property, such as the family home or a vacation home can be especially trying, as you weigh decisions that have both emotional and practical considerations.

It is also common for the remaining parent to leave a house to all of their children. Depending on the family dynamic and the varying wishes for the property, it may be more difficult to reach a consensus.

 

Selling an inherited home. As you consider the option to sell the inherited property, it is important to understand how the transaction will be taxed. When you inherit property such as a home or vacation home, the basis for tax purposes is the market value at the date of death. This stepped-up value is always considered long term for capital gains taxes. If the property is subsequently sold for more than the stepped-up basis, the gain will be taxed at long term capital gains rates.

If the property is later sold at a loss, it will likely be considered a capital loss. Up to $3,000 in capital losses may be deducted against your income each year, but the balance may be carried forward to future years. It is advisable to consult a tax professional for specific advice related to your situation.

Benefits of selling an inherited home. Each family will have different reasons for deciding to keep or sell inherited property. For many, the benefits of selling the house are as follows:

  • Affordability: Most individuals cannot afford to suddenly take on another home. Even if the home is paid off, there are the costs of insurance, real estate taxes and maintenance. If the home has a mortgage the analysis becomes more complex. Although relatives are allowed to keep the existing mortgage, how you plan to use the inherited property (e.g. as a rental) may require you to get a new mortgage or refinance.
  • Protect gains: Due to the favorable step-up basis for tax purposes, your tax exposure may be limited if the sale is made rather quickly. Real estate markets can be volatile, so it may make sense to sell after consulting a real estate agent.
  • Diversify for other goals: Owning and maintaining inherited property is not typically a financial goal for many individuals. Using the proceeds from the sale to fund other goals, such as retirement, education, or a bucket list vacation, eliminates the market risk of holding real estate while saving for your other objectives.
  • Preserving family relationships: Sharing a home with adult siblings doesn’t always work out the way it was intended. Large income disparities between siblings may create conflict as unexpected expenses arise and cannot easily be paid for. Compromise can be challenging when negotiating use of the home over desired vacation times. The burden of managing the property is likely to rest on one person. If no one is willing to step up, it may be best to sell.
Keeping an inherited home. Although the decision to keep an inherited home is most often made for purely emotional reasons, that alone doesn’t make it an unwise choice. Individuals with greater financial resources may be able to keep the family home in the family, without a measurable impact to their overall situation. Further, some beneficiaries may jump at the chance to raise their family in the house they grew up in.

Before deciding to keep the house, take a close look at the other issues and financial questions involved. What will your mortgage be? What are the taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs? What is the real estate market like in the area? Will you rent the home or use it? Do you live close enough to handle ongoing maintenance or will you need to hire someone?

If you plan on owning the home with other family members, try to evaluate it like any other business decision. Should someone’s financial situation change – will another family member buy them out or will you sell the property (perhaps at a loss)? Who will be responsible for the upkeep of the property? How often will each person wish to use the home? If you would like to use the property as a vacation rental to help offset the expenses, who will be responsible for the logistics?

When multiple beneficiaries (usually siblings) inherit a home, there’s often mixed consensus about what to do with the property. Most commonly, one sibling will buy the others out. This is much easier to facilitate if you have the cash on hand to do so. If not, you will likely need to explore a cash-out refinance if there is sufficient equity in the home.

A cash-out refinance will turn the home’s equity (current market value less the mortgage balance) into cash, which will be used to buy out the other beneficiaries. The equity you receive in cash will be added to the existing mortgage and refinanced. This leaves buyers with a much larger mortgage payment.

If you find yourself struggling to convince your practical side of the merits of keeping the home, take a step back and ask yourself:

  • Would I like to own a home in this location at this price point if it were not passed down to me?
  • Would I go into business with my co-beneficiary family members?
  • Do I have sufficient cash flow or other liquid assets to cover the additional ongoing expenses and maintain a safety margin?
  • How will owning this home impact my lifestyle, both financial and otherwise?
  • What is my short and long-term plan for this property?
  • Will using the home as a rental be worth the additional wear and tear?
  • Has the real estate market in the area been relatively stable? Do you expect prices to rise considerably in the future?
Benefits of keeping an inherited home. The reasons for keeping an inherited property will vary for each person. While keeping the home in the family is usually the desired outcome, it isn’t always an option financially. Assuming it fits into your overall financial picture, there are some benefits of keeping the home:
  • Nostalgic reasons: After the passing of a loved one, it is difficult to deal with the inevitable changes. Keeping the property in the family may help preserve your memories and provide comfort during this time.
  • Investment: Depending on the location and condition of the property, it could be a good investment if the local real estate market is strong. Although you will owe capital gains taxes on the gain when you sell down the road, the stepped-up basis will help to limit the tax liability.
  • Legacy: Some homes have been in the family for generations. Continuing the tradition may be an important estate planning goal.
Inheriting the family home often sparks mixed emotions. Take your time when making the decision – there’s a good chance you may go back and forth a few times. Your financial advisor can help you with the affordability aspect, but you and your family will need to make sense of the emotional side of the decision, undoubtedly the hardest part.