Parenting

Should You Buy a House Now that You’ve Become Parents?

Should You Buy a House Now that You’ve Become Parents?
Photo by Alena Darmel from Pexels

Parenthood brings many changes and evokes feelings of providing a secure and stable home for your family. For many people, it means buying their first home. However, purchasing real estate is not always a straightforward decision. You must consider several factors such as affordability of down payment, monthly fees, and maintenance. Renting can be an option that you must explore as well. Whether you’re buying or renting a piece of property, here are considerations that you must study so that you can weigh your options smartly.

Real Estate as an Investment

There are several intangible benefits of home ownership, one of which is a sense of stability and pride. You’ll have more space for your growing family and the freedom to do what you want without requiring the permission of a landlord. In addition, on the financial side, you will be able to build equity, making ownership a good investment in the long run.  

Over time, prices of real estate have been rising and home prices nationwide grew by more than 17% in June this year compared to June 2020.  To make the right call, use an online rent vs buy calculator to compare the costs. Bear in mind that there will be recurring expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance, and utilities. Hence, if you are not going to stay put in your home for a long time, it does not make sense to buy property as the costs of ownership are greater than the perceived benefits.

Leasing Property

If buying real estate becomes unaffordable and impractical for your family, renting is a viable option. Moreover, there are no costly maintenance expenses because your space is smaller than a house. Major repairs are usually the responsibility of the owner so you don’t have this unexpected expense that can quickly derail your budget. There are no real estate taxes to think of either. If you’re renting an apartment in a community, you’ll have access to amenities whether it’s a gym room, swimming pool, or clubhouse. 

However, renting has several drawbacks. Your landlord can increase the rent at some point and there are no tax benefits to leasing real estate. If you want to make changes in the property, you must get the approval of the owner. In addition, you cannot build equity when you’re renting, making you feel like you’re wasting money.

The bottom line is being ready to rent or buy a house depends on several factors such as affordability and your plans to stay in one place.  Thus, it makes sense to scrutinize the costs of purchasing and renting to make the best decision for your family.

Education

Stay productive in school with the Class Tracker Student Planner

Stay productive in school with the ClassTracker Student Planner

If there was ever a time where being organized is crucial it is in a changing world like today. We were living life day by day as we knew it to be normal and a pandemic hit stopping us in our tracks. Once we were able to begin getting back to work and school we had been away for a while. Now we need to learn or re-learn how to get more organized. We have become planners and organizers. This is why a Class Tracker for any student or working parent is the best gift to give over the Holidays.

I am the ASB Secretary and Bookkeeper at our local high school and I have to stay on top of money and events. I am also a paper and pen organizer so I have 3 planners I work out of at the office. I have my events planner like above so I have quick access to extracurriculars happening day by day so I can get money bags and orders together for successful events and games. I also keep a binder for closing dates for grades and bell schedules and another for billing.

The Founder of Class Tracker has been in education for over 20 years. As a Teacher and academic coach she saw the lack of a student planner that actually works well for a student who needs this organization. You can trust that Class Tracker student planners have all they need to stay organized. In fact, Class Tracker was names Best Academic Planners for 2021 by CNN.

What you can find at Class Tracker is planners for middle schoolers, high schoolers and College students. Find page markers, goal tracking notebooks and more. Shop Class Tracker for the Holidays.

Education

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements (Learning the Periodic Table)

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements (Learning the Periodic Table)

Who ever thought that learning the periodic table could be so visually appealing? Every detail in the book is so brilliant. The illustrations are bold, the descriptions makes fantastic associations for memorization and the added features are a pleasant bonus (like this downloadable periodic table poster).

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements by Lisa Congdon was made available July 13, 2021. Starting now, your child or teen will begin memorizing and learning the periodic table in such an engaging way.

This book includes profiles of notable scientists, amazing infographics, and more. It combines science, history, trivia, humor to bring an engaging look into the elements. It is available now on Amazon.

*commission link included

Education

Kids learn best through play and safe game sites offer the best practice

Kids learn best through play and safe game sites offer the best practice

If you have watched your kids grow and learn, it is easy to see what motivates them best. Play that encourages learning is such great practice at subjects, skills, concepts and retention. I know that video games are great for strategy and role play, but we want to limit their time they have on the web. Monitoring their access can be overwhelming. Finding games such as board games, card games and even non-subscription play on-the-go is a great tool at home.

My youngest just became a teenager, so games are still a great way to keep that brain going. We have many board games that help master certain skills for his age and the repetition of some online safe game sites are a great tool as well. I recently discovered one such tool that does require a computer, but not any ads, subscriptions or that will take him outside the platform while playing. Plays.org is such a simple game site that brings together some classic games with engaging characters and all you need to learn and grow.

They have so many categories listed in their footer so it is easy to jump right to a particular genre, subject or skill base. I work in the school district and was a bit excited for the kids as I browsed their Math games. If you have an elementary student, you know that they are huge Among Us fans. It is all they talk about, draw and play on the playgrounds. Guess what? They have an Among Us adding game! Tell me they won’t love learning math now!

One of my favorite classic games for strategy and critical thinking is Chess. Plays.org has a few chess games to choose from like this beginner chess game that helps your child navigate through all the rules of chess with hints, tips and they will learn to play so easily. You can see, we needed the practice and tips on our screenshot above. We did not do so well on our first game. Before long, they can sit with the family and work hard through real chess time on family game night.

I love that these are not ‘saved’ games. There are no tiers, leaderboards or extra add-ons eating at your wallet. Just simply head to their site, choose a game and stop when you want. You don’t even have to give any info at all. It’s just there, like the old-fashioned pick-up game with hundreds of game choices and more added daily. If you love family game nights or card games to play and learn from, having screen options is great when everyone else is busy and they are bored of how they are learning. Grab a deck of flash cards, open up a game box or find a category in Plays.org for them this afternoon!