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8 Times You Need to Walk Away From Your Dream Home

You think you’ve found the perfect house. But before you plunge into homeownership, you need to watch out for any warning signs this sale isn’t meant to be. Ask yourself whether any of these things apply to you. If so, buying the home of your dreams may just have to wait.

1. You can’t afford 20 percent down

The house may have everything you are looking for, but you need to make sure that the sale price isn’t beyond your means. Ideally, you want to make a down payment of at least 20 percent. This may be a substantial amount of money, but without that down payment, your lender will likely ask you to pay for private mortgage insurance — which can add hundreds of dollars a year to your homeownership costs.

Moreover, the more you can put down up front, the smaller your monthly mortgage payments will be. If you are in the market for a home but can’t hit that 20 percent mark, consider holding off on buying until you have a larger sum saved. (See also: 4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home)

2. Your mortgage payments would restrict your ability to save

Even if you have the ability to put 20 percent down on the house, you may find that the monthly mortgage payments are higher than you can reasonably afford. The U.S. government recommends spending no more than 30 percent of your gross monthly income on housing. That means if you earn $3,000 per month before taxes, you shouldn’t spend more than $900 per month on your mortgage.

You may get approved for a loan much bigger than you expected, but don’t use this as an excuse to buy more house than you can afford. If your payments are too high, you will find it harder to live comfortably or save money for anything besides housing costs. If you have to go into additional debt in order to make house payments, then your “dream home” could become more of a financial nightmare. (See also: How to Make Ends Meet When You’re House Poor)

3. You didn’t get a favorable interest rate

There are two key things that impact how much you’ll end up paying for a house: the sale price, and the interest rate on the mortgage loan. Even if the sale price is within your predetermined budget, you may find your monthly payments to be onerous if…

This Couple Makes Up To $9000 Per Instagram Photo While Traveling, And Here’s How They Do It

Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen have been living what most people on Instagram would call “life goals” since they met in Fiji last year. Not only do they spend their days documenting their world travels with flawless photos, they get paid up to $9000 USD for each one they post.

With Jack now at 2 million Instagram followers, and Lauren close behind with 1.2 million, the couple now makes enough money from the brands and tourism companies that sponsor them to fully supplement regular adventures around the globe, as well as a home base in Bali. In a Q&A recently posted to his official website, DoYouTravel, Jack shared a few tips that helped propel him and Lauren to Insta-fame, and you may want to take notes.

“I edit all my photos in the same kind of style with my own lightroom presets,” he said of their dreamy ‘matching’ effect. He also added that the couple mostly shoots around 1 hour after sunrise, since that tends to be the quietest time of day. The couple reportedly won’t take less than $3000 USD for a post.

Read Jack’s full Q&A here, though be warned – it just might make your dayjob a little harder to get through.

Jack Morris and his girlfriend, Lauren Bullen, have made a living off traveling the world

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10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy

The more electricity you use, the more you pay for it. And in a world that is becoming increasingly dependent upon tech devices, something’s gotta give. Luckily, there’s a way to save money on those bills and help the environment, all at the same time. You just need to capture those intense rays of sunshine and use them for free energy. There are many ways you can harvest energy from the sun. Some methods are free and have been in use for thousands of years. Others require an investment in technology, but in some cases you can even make money by capturing free energy from the sun and selling it!

1. Solar panels

A few years ago, it would have been unusual to spot a house with solar panels on the roof, but now solar panels seem to be popping up in neighborhoods all over. If you have a south-facing roof (or west-facing) and get lots of sunny days in your area, installing solar panels to generate electricity can be a smart investment. The cost of solar panels has dropped in recent years, and with major players such as Tesla starting to produce solar panels, further price drops and improvements in capability may lie ahead. If your solar panels generate more electricity than you use, in many states you can sell this extra energy to the utility company and make money through net metering programs.

Cost: Thousands of dollars up front, depending on square footage installed.

Potential savings: About a thousand dollars per year, depending on your location.

DIY? No, solar panels typically require professional installation.

2. Passive solar heating

This method of harvesting energy from the sun is not new and does not require any special technology. My house has a solarium with south-facing windows to allow sunlight to flood in during winter months. The solarium walls capture the warmth and radiate it back into the house, providing free heating. Any south-facing windows you have in your house will work to provide heating benefits in winter. Open curtains on your south-facing windows on winter days to let light and heat in. Close curtains at night during winter and when the sun is shining in during the summer.

Cost: Free if you have south-facing windows.

Potential savings: Hundreds of dollars per year.

DIY? No, look for south-facing windows when choosing or building a house.

3. Solar water heater

Heating water requires a lot of energy, so why not capture some of that free energy from the sun instead of running up your electric or gas bill? A solar water heater circulates water through an insulated collector using a water tank that is painted black to maximize heat collection. This hot water can be used directly or can be fed into a traditional water heater to save energy.

How We Lose Billions Of Hours And Money On Social Apps Without Even Noticing It

The time and money we spend on social apps is shocking, and here’s the truth revealed:

People spend 1.15 billion hours each month on playing mobile games.

Games rank second behind social media activity in terms of time spent on devices according to a survey conducted in 2016.[1]

On average, we spend 2 hours on social media apps per day, which add up to 5 years and 4 months over a lifetime.[2]

In case you’re wondering, you can actually fly to the moon and back to Earth for 32 times with that time!!

And it’s not just the time that we’re losing.

Social apps gain millions of dollars from us every day.

Many of us don’t mind spending a dollar or 2 on mobile apps—multiple dollars, on multiple apps.

For instance, one of the top-grossing games in the App Store Pokemon Go, earns as much as $2.3 million per day; while another popular game, Candy Crush, makes $1.1 million a day.[3]

Now you’re probably a little concerned about the time and money you’ve been spending on apps, so it would be a good idea to look at why this is happening, and what you can do about it.

We spend a lot of time on our mobile because we feel bored easily and our phone is too handy.

Boredom doesn’t make us happy and it’s natural that we want to get rid of it no matter what, and impulsive behaviour, such as playing with the phone, is our way of doing it.

Our phone provides us with a comforting escape from boredom—endless scrolling might be mind-numbing but it’s still better than doing nothing, and we just can’t stop.

The reason why social media apps seem so attractive is that they give us (a bit of) the excitement we crave when we’re bored. On top of that is their convenience, since we always have our phones nearby and unlocking them only takes 1 second.

But do you know that playing with the phones can’t really kill our boredom?

We thought playing with the phones could keep us busy and happy, but science says…

These Cities Out-Earn Entire Countries

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Large cities, not countries are the future centres of world power. They will become islands of good governance in a world in which globalisation has eroded the nation state. That point was argued in #768, which emphasises population size and growth as yardsticks for metropolitan importance across Europe.

An even more crucial measure is economic power, expressed in GDP. By that measure, the ten richest large urban conglomerations in the world are each worth more than entire countries – including some of the world’s biggest economies.

This map compares the 2015 Gross Domestic Product in Purchasing Power Parity, expressed in billions of dollars, of the world’s ten richest metro areas to that of countries with a similar GDP-PPP$.

  • Tokyo, the world’s richest (as well as largest) conglomeration, has a GDP of $1.62 trillion. That is in the same league as South Korea, the world’s 14th-largest economy, with a GDP of $1.75 trillion.
  • In 2015 New York, in second place on the metro rich list, produced almost as much wealth as the entirety of Canada, the second-biggest country in the world – and without the benefit of that country’s considerable natural resources.
  • On the other U.S. coast, Los Angeles came pretty close to duplicating the Gross Domestic Product of another giant country, Australia.
  • Seoul, capital of South Korea and responsible for more than half of its GDP, on its own out-GDPs Malaysia.
  • Greater London generates almost the same economic output as the entire country of the Netherlands.
  • Paris – almost the same GDP as London – easily outperforms South Africa, one of the top three economies of its continent.
  • Shanghai, virtually on a par with Paris, is a mightier economic power than the Philippines.
  • Moscow is a bigger economic hub that the United Arab Emirates.
  • Osaka produces more than a fifth more wealth that Switzerland.
  • And Beijing‘s GDP is more than…