15 Tips for Buying a Home Out of State

Successfully buying a home in a different state is doable—it happens all the time—but because you must take care of many details from afar, it’s a bit trickier than buying a home in your current town. Choosing a house, making an offer, and then closing, all while you’re living in another state, requires care and savvy. The following tips will help ensure that the deal goes smoothly and that you end up with a home you’re proud to own.
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NASA mulls buying new rides to space from Russia amid program delays

NASA said on Friday it was weighing an option to buy two additional astronaut seats aboard a Russian rocket as a contingency plan against further delays in the launch systems being developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing Co.

Reuters: Science News


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Americans are starting to feel better about buying homes — sort of

The share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home increased 4 percentage points to 15 percent in January compared with December, according to a monthly survey from Fannie Mae.
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Dear Penny: I Want to Help My Elderly Parents by Buying Their House

This sounds like a super generous move. After so many years of turning to your parents for care and advice, this is, for many, the dream: to be able to return the favor. But caring for your parents in this way can have a lot of complications.

I called in help from two experts: financial adviser Stephanie McCullough, and financial adviser Andy Wang, who also hosts the “Inspired Money” podcast.

First: Can you afford to take on another mortgage in addition to your own? It’s worth spending the money to discuss the long-term impact of this move with a tax professional and an attorney, Wang advised.

McCullough took her warning even further. “If I were your financial planner, I’d be advising you to look out for yourself and your husband,” she wrote in an email.

Consider your upcoming retirement. What will happen when the paychecks stop and you have to start living on your savings? Look carefully at your cash flow and imagine what would happen if you or your husband lost your job, or became disabled prior to your target retirement date, she recommended.

Two technical matters Wang said to check on before moving forward: whether the loan is assumable, meaning you could take over mortgage payments by assuming the loan; and whether the loan has a “due on sale” clause that would require the loan balance to be paid upon transfer of property. The former might provide an alternative option for you, while the latter could lead you to pause on your plan to buy.

If there’s a reason you want to own the house beyond your parents’ tenure there — maybe it’s been in your family for some time — you’ll need to plan for that future, McCullough said. Unless you plan to eventually live there yourself, keep in mind that managing a rental from far away can be stressful.

Wang brought up one more “what-if”: the possibility that your parents could outlive you. “You’d also need contingency plans in case something were to happen to you to ensure your parents may continue to reside there,” Wang said.

What’s your real motivation here: to keep the house in your family, or provide financial stability for your parents? If it’s the latter, it may be worth thinking about alternative options to support them while ensuring your own long-term financial security.

Have a tricky money question? Write to Dear Penny and you might see your question answered in an upcoming column.

Lisa Rowan is senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, and the voice behind Dear Penny.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Black Interior Designer Creates Beautiful Spaces in “Buying It Blind” on Bravo TV

Interior designer Michel Smith Boyd knows a thing or two about beauty. The star of Buying it Blind, set in Atlanta, on Bravo TV, is one of the top black interior designers in the country. His love of architecture and tailored details pays off each week as he work with people in decorating their dream homes. In an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, he discusses his hit reality show; home buying for millennials; and the art of mentorship.

BE: Describe the premise of Buying It Blind and how were you approached to participate in this reality show.

Michel Smith Boyd: A team of experts, including myself, a contractor and a realtor, meet real life couples who are desperately trying to purchase a house — and all of that is dependent on budget, school district, and other factor — and have decided to enlist us to find a property.

As a team, we are present in each space as we initially meet with each and every client. I became involved in this project because I was approached by a casting agency, and due to my reputation and level of work produced, and I just happened to be the guy they needed. Actually, it is so interesting that you find yourself rooting [for] and identifying with the couples. These strangers are making decisions, entrusting you with their life savings which makes the stakes much higher to deliver a stellar product. I find myself creating spaces I have never done before especially when preservation comes into play.

Tell us about your career as a celebrity interior designer.

That term is such a strange one because I tend to focus on being excellent and making a huge contribution for my clients every day. If it is based on doing amazing work, and then only if I am being great is being an inspiration to kids who look up to me — then yes, I accept that title.

buying it blind

Photo Credit: Tomas Espinoza


 What advice do you have for millennials or those seeking to purchase their first homes?

The most important thing to remember is to spend money once! Buy good quality over quantity. Never be in a rush to complete a space; make sure you design in phrases. Start with what you would use the most: sofas, mattresses and multi-functional pieces like dining tables. Always remember: Function before form.

 If you had your choice of a dream client who would it be and why?

My dream client is not necessarily a celebrity. My client who allows me to do my job. Interior design is all about Romanticism and we’ve lost the idea of letting us completely transfer a space without interruption. And big budgets don’t hurt either!

As a black man in this field how do you distinguish yourself in the design world?

The only one thing you can be is yourself; present your full authenticity. I don’t water down my presentation for no one. I always present myself as a professional and consider myself a student — always learning and constantly growing to be excellent in all areas of my life. I am obsessed with hospitality and design and love the genre. I love the idea that people live better in hotels than homes and I am changing that one home at a time.

Who are some of your mentors/colleagues in the business; and explain the importance of having mentors in your life.

Honestly, I never had mentorships and have suffered and oftentimes wondered if it is too late. Guess what? It’s not. I have a group of incredibly smart friends who have inspired me tremendously. In the beginning, I wanted to mimic Tom Ford, Kelly Werstler … and their career paths have somehow mentored me. My journey is different, but I don’t see myself as less than. I mentor young designers all the time and one of my favorite things to go (one of the few things I like about exposure). I teach them the importance of deciding what they want from this industry. You need to figure out what contribution you wish to make and then you will find direction, identify and supply your point of view.

Any words of advice for aspiring or burgeoning interiors designers of color?
Once you know your value, you can approach meetings and clients in a much more positive and confident manner. You should be well versed in art history, fashion, textiles. You cannot deny excellence regardless of what you look like or where you come from … Remember — if you don’t know who you are then you can’t offer expertise.

The post Black Interior Designer Creates Beautiful Spaces in “Buying It Blind” on Bravo TV appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Kate Middleton made a pretty relatable mistake while buying her kids’ uniform

Every parent’s worst nightmare.

It’s true that the royal family lead lives that are often pretty different to ours. But that’s not to say they’re strangers to some aspects of ‘normal’ life, from being on Instagram to having a royal family WhatsApp group, and ordering in their favourite takeaway on a Friday night.

Mum-of-three Kate Middleton is also no stranger to regular parenting problems, whether that’s dealing with the odd tantrum in public or stopping Prince George from opening his Christmas presents before the big day. And while shopping for her children’s uniform recently, she made an error that all parents will understand.

A source told HELLO! that the Duchess of Cambridge took her children George and Charlotte to Peter Jones in Sloane Square, Chelsea, to buy new shoes before the start of the 2018-19 school year. The John Lewis & Partners branch is also the stockist for George’s uniform at St Thomas’s Battersea, where he is in Year One.

However, with her eldest two children wearing sandals in the warmer weather, Kate forgot to bring something pretty essential for the shoe-fitting – spare socks!

Fortunately George and Charlotte were able to borrow a pair from the store before trying on new shoes, but we can only imagine that moment of frustration when the duchess realised her mistake.

We’re pretty sure every parent can relate to forgetting something essential at least once or twice. You’re not alone, Kate.

The post Kate Middleton made a pretty relatable mistake while buying her kids’ uniform appeared first on Marie Claire.

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What You May Not Know About a Down Payment for Buying a Home

A new study proves something many may already know: Saving for a down payment for buying a home is the biggest hurdle for would-be home owners. However, the study reveals some facts you may not have known about down payments.

First, down payments are particularly hard for millennnials, the largest single group of home buyers and the biggest group of first-time buyers, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018.

Millennial buyers also are the most likely to put less than 20% down. When they decide to buy a home — one of the biggest investments ever for many Americans — millennials are most likely to use multiple funding sources for the down payment. Nearly half used a gift or loan from family or friends for at least some of their down payment, making up one-fifth of the down payment on average. They also use investments and retirement funds toward down payments.

Zillow also reported coming up with a down payment can be a game-changer. For instance, it can help make a monthly mortgage payment that is affordable and does not bust your bill-paying budget.

The Zillow report surveyed people in Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., including 3,000 home buyers. They were asked about their down payment decisions, including how much they put down and where the money came from.

Here are other revelations from the report:

-First-time buyers are more likely to cash out investments or use retirement funds toward a down payment.

-Putting 20% down is conventional wisdom, but fewer than half of buyers do so.

-Buyers in Atlanta put down less than 5% more often than they put down at least 20%, boosting the risk of becoming underwater on their mortgages.

Yet, buyers in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are at least as likely as the typical national buyer to put down at least 20%.

Research from Zillow disclosed it takes over seven years for a typical American home buyer to save a 20% down payment on the typical-valued home.

Of course, buyers can put much less down than that amount. Saving up for a down payment can be tough and requires good budgeting and long-term planning, especially when for many the cost of rent and everyday life outpaces what they are able to put in the bank.

Even if you don’t have plans to buy a home in the next year or two, it never hurts to start setting aside savings for a future home purchase,” Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas stated.

“There are many mortgage options that require less than 20% down, but buyers should be careful that they don’t set themselves up to be underwater. Interest rates are rising, of course, but for many, waiting a bit longer and saving for a larger down payment might still be the way to go as they weigh their current stability and housing needs against their long-term future.

If your goal is home ownership, check out some more great advice about purchasing a home:






The post What You May Not Know About a Down Payment for Buying a Home appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise


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Trump again hits Fed on rate rises; says U.S. firms present buying opportunity

President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated that the U.S. Federal Reserve was raising interest rates too quickly but added that U.S. companies were “the greatest in the world” and presented a “tremendous” buying opportunity for investors.

Reuters: Business News


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Buying Black This Holiday? Consider Empower Spirits, Founded By A Black Woman

Tiffany Hall was a lawyer working for Pernod a huge spirits company Pernod Ricard, parent company to spirits like Jameson and Absolut and wines like Jacob’s Creek and Kenwood. While there, she noticed a voice in the spirits market – spirits weren’t created to appeal specifically to women, despite a growing market for female consumers. Hall’s entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and she set about creating one.

The result is Empower Cocktails, a ready-to-pour vodka that can be consumed straight or with other mixers to create different drink options. We caught up with Tiffany to find out what made her feel that she could compete in the lucrative – but crowded – spirits market and how she made it happen.

Tell us something about you and your history.

I was born in Detroit, grew up in Washington, D.C. and aspired to be an attorney and an entrepreneur. Despite this goal, while in college, I developed an interest in exploring professional roles in creative industries. After college graduation, I moved to New York City, pursued a career in marketing and worked in the music industry, the fine arts sector as well as an ad agency. Each experience was educational, thrilling and provided exposure to vastly different target consumer bases from the mass market to the highly affluent.

Then, I attended law school and subsequently was a marketing attorney at one of the largest global wine and spirits companies managing legal issues related to marketing campaigns, promotion initiatives and sponsorships.

Currently, I practice law full-time in the payments/ finance industry. I have also focused on pursuing interests beyond my career such as serving as a past Chair of the New York Public Radio’s Community Advisory Board. Now, I serve on Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy’s Alumni Council and Co-Chair the National Democratic Institute’s New York Advisory Council.

What was the impetus to get into the spirits industry as a creator?

The first cocktail, the Empower Cosmopolitan Martini, launched in NYC and Connecticut in late 2015. It has been an incredible journey. After working at one of the largest global wine and spirits companies, I realized that creating a spirits brand is a great business opportunity and my skills as a marketer and lawyer are directly applicable to the highly regulated space.

What were some of the biggest obstacles?

One of the biggest obstacles was securing all of the components needed to place a finished product on the shelf — liquid, bottles, caps, labels, etc. I did not have experience in manufacturing so I had to learn about that process and find vendors who could help.

How does one go about creating a spirit? What steps did you have to take?

It is a long process. Each spirit is different – certain spirits must be aged or come from a particular region. I created a cocktail that is vodka based. Vodka can be produced relatively quickly and there are no restrictions such as specific production locale, aging requirements, etc.

First, I worked with industry professionals to develop and test recipes for the cosmopolitan cocktail. Once the recipe was set, I had to find the vodka and was able to locate a licensed distillery on a sweet potato farm in Northern California. Once I confirmed that the vodka worked well with the cocktail recipe, we were ready for production.

However, prior to production, there are certain government approvals and licenses that one must obtain. That process should be built into your timeline. One would also need to secure elements from various vendors such as bottles, caps, labels, safety seals and cartons that work best for your product.

What did you feel was the void in the industry and how did you think you could fill it?

There are numerous alcohol beverage products in the market. However, the majority of those products, except for wine, mainly targeted men. My goal was to create a product that targeted women and give them one more choice while shopping in the spirit stores. I thought I could fill that void by researching which cocktail is popular among women and incorporate elements in the product that would appeal to them – beautiful packaging, a different spin on a traditional cocktail and ensure it had a delicious taste. Empower Cocktails is proud to have male enthusiasts as well.

How do you get financing for an endeavor like this?

I financed this venture myself.

Would you encourage other Black women to start a spirits business? Is there room for more Black female entrepreneurs in the industry?

Yes, absolutely! The alcohol beverage industry in the US alone is valued at $ 200+ billion. There is plenty of room for more of us to make an impact in this space.

What makes your vodka unique and why should consumers make it a part of their social experience?

My ready-to-pour cocktail is unique because it is refreshing and made with sweet potato vodka. Many people have never tasted sweet potato vodka. Consumers should make it apart of their social experience because Empower Cocktails was developed to be enjoyed with friends, family and colleagues. It is simple to serve and it is delicious.

Purchases can be made online at empowercocktails.com. Empower Cosmopolitan is also sold in 5 states – NY, NJ, RI, CT and MA. Every Total Wine in CT, MA and NJ carries the Empower Cosmopolitan Martini.

PHOTOS: Empower Cocktails




Life & Style – Black America Web


6 Statement Outerwear Brands to Know Before Buying a New Winter Coat

When it comes to dressing for the cold winter months, it’s easy to get trapped in a sea of sameness and choose a mainstay outerwear brand, such as Canada Goose or Moncler. What else is out there? A group of young designers have noticed a lack of novelty in the category, launching brands that …

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Vlad Namestnikov is test case for buying into David Quinn’s vision

Regarding David Quinn’s Rangers: 1. Vlad Namestnikov has set the template for Ryan Strome, a silky, skill-oriented forward who is going to have to add a couple of tablespoons of grit to his game in order to play a meaningful role for this team. Namestnikov has been a revelation the past three weeks following a…
Sports | New York Post


Here’s a Simple Way to Earn $20 Today… Just for Buying LaCroix

Me: “Whoa, I can get cash back for buying LaCroix?”

My brain:

“Don’t do it.”

“Don’t do it.”

“Don’t do it.”

Me: *Loads 10 LaCroix cases into the cart.*

How to Get up to $ 20 Cash Back on Your Next LaCroix Run

Relatable? Same.

When I land on the LaCroix section in Target, I lose self control. I want all the cases.

Before your next LaCroix haul, download Ibotta, a free cash-back app.

Why? For an undisclosed amount of time, Ibotta has TWO cash-back LaCroix offers:

  1. Earn $ 1 cash back on eight- and 12-packs of traditional LaCroix flavors.
  2. Earn $ 1 cash back on eight- and 12-packs of the LaCroix Cúrate flavors, which include cherry-lime, blackberry-cucumber and cantaloupe-pink grapefruit.

This LaCroix deal is good for your purchases at Target, Walmart, Publix, Safeway, CVS, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and more.

You can redeem each of these two offers up to five times per receipt, meaning you could pull in a quick $ 10 in cash back on something you’d already be purchasing — all you have to do is snap a photo of your receipt.

Plus, if you’re a new Ibotta user, you’ll get a $ 10 bonus after your first cash-back claim.

That means at the end of today, you could have $ 20 transferred over to your bank account. Just 👏 for 👏 buying 👏  LaCroix.

When our deputy editor, Caitlin Constantine, spotted the Ibotta deal, she headed straight to Publix and grabbed four cases — a mix of key lime, grapefruit and passionfruit. She says it won’t take more than two weeks to finish off her stash.

“Not only would I do this again, I am going to do it again,” she says.

Finally, your lack of self control can pay off. Literally.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a big fan of the cantaloupe-pink grapefruit favor. Yeah, it sounds weird, but it’s actually the best.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Billionaire collector shares his secret to buying great art that turns into even better investment

Billionaire hedge fund manager J. Tomilson Hill has a keen eye for great art that's also made for some incredible investments. Hill shared some of his personal rules for buying art with CNBC. 


The Street


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Mipcom: Buying, Production Trends at Major SVOD Players – Report (EXCLUSIVE)

CANNES — “Never predict, especially about the future,” the saying goes. Three of MipJunior’s key speakers and kids industry players – from Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the BBC –  took that to heart on Cannes’ Saturday afternoon when addressing the panel subject, “View from the Top: Gazing into the Future of Kids Media.” Rather than […]