Do You Have Any Mortgage Questions?

I received an email from Liz, a licensed loan originator and self-proclaimed mortgage person, who suggested that readers here may be interested in an "Ask a Mortgage Person"-type column. Perhaps! Send your mortgage questions to and we'll see how this goes!

One Way to Afford Living in an Expensive City: Live in an Abandoned Office

London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, but if you're looking for some cheap rent, you could consider applying to become a "guardian" of an abandoned office building. Nicole Vloeimans, an NGO worker, pays $635 a month to live in one, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Residents and Developers Clash Over Microhousing in Seattle

The Stranger has a nice in-depth, 6,000-word story on the developers who are building affordable microhousing units in Seattle, and the residents who are fighting against it.

Americans Should Get on the Japanese Washlet Bandwagon

Sometimes you fall down an Internet rabbit hole, and that rabbit hole is about Japanese toilets.

I Bought a House When I Was 21

When I tell people that I own my house, and that I bought it when I was 21, they always want to know how could she afford it? I can see in their faces that they're wondering if I'm a trust fund baby, if my rich boyfriend bought it with me, or if I secretly make money doing something tawdry. Nobody ever asks me that question, but if they did, I think they'd be disappointed in the answer. My secret: I just saved my money.

Too Much House or Not Enough

I found this post on house sizes by country via Radiolab, and it asks: How much space is enough? That depends of course on how big your family is and what you do (my parents knocked down walls and built additions to their house because they needed space to dance). I live in a small studio apartment, which I think is perfectly at the moment, so I agree with what the author of the post, Lindsay Wilson says here: "In my mind if you have decent ceiling heights, good windows, clever storage and not too much stuff a little space can go a long way."

How I Negotiated My Rent in San Francisco

I called my brother and told him I was thinking about living alone. "Really?" he responded. "I mean, I would never want to live alone, but I guess some people like it."

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?

Thinking about buying your first home? Here's one couple's story about everything they had to go through, starting with the house hunt, going through the closing process, and finally hiring a general contractor to remodel their home.

I Spent $3,500 on Shredded Newspapers to Insulate My Home

Still feeling the financial pinch from the house purchase 10 months earlier, I had to make my first capital improvement: attic insulation. Exciting, huh? It wasn't exactly a homeowner’s dream project.

Where the Middle Class Can’t Afford a House

Atlantic Cities looks at the metro areas in the U.S. where homes are least affordable for middle class families (or families earning the median income in the area)—San Francisco being the worst, according to an analysis by real estate site Trulia. New York, of course, also makes it near the top of the list, but New York is a city of renters (and I imagine San Francisco is one too). Where is the housing stock most affordable for median earners? Cities in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan make the list, which you can see in full below.

Rebuilding After the Storm

A coastal community like The Rockaways would certainly be vulnerable when the next one comes around. How much sense does it make to rebuild everything?

Do You Live in a Meth Lab?

Living in a meth lab is expensive. Try not to do that.