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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Feather The Nest": How You Can Crowdfund Your Down Payments & Home Improvement Projects

How To Crowdfund your downpayment and home repairs

As some of you (as in all of you) have probably noticed by now, the economy struggled hard in the past decade. In a lot of places, it's still struggling.

The current generation is reporting huge percentages of kids still living at home with their parents, and the number of multiple generations living under one roof has sky-rocketed in the past decade. The reason of course comes directly back to the fact that funds are tight everywhere. Many times, it isn't so much a problem of coming up with a monthly payment on a mortgage (which can sometimes be cheaper than apartment rent) as it is a problem of saving up the necessary down-payment for such a dream.

Let's face it:

When times get tough, we're tempted to sit on every last penny. Unfortunately for most people, extreme saving ends up being something like extreme dieting, and the need to splurge just so you can get a break can become almost constant. When things are good, it's easy to sit on a pile of money that you're saving up for a down-payment because you aren't denying yourself an extra here or there (like a dinner out or a nice bottle of wine). When things are bad though, that extra cash is usually what goes towards those "normal" treats. And that means you are saving at a snail's pace.

Not being able to save up a huge chunk of change for a down payment is a big part of the reason that home-ownership has taken a back seat for most fledgling families and college graduates. And I know how rough it can be because I've been experiencing this dilemma first-hand.

Saving Up For A Down Payment

My Dream On Hold:

I've been dreaming about having my first home and being able to decorate it since I was twelve. I was a magazine-saver. I had a subscription to redecorating magazines while I was still in high school. I dreamed of the day I'd be able to put together my own themes for each room, strip wallpaper to put up fresh paint, buy a couch, refinish my cabinets...

Baby Shoes

Fast forward to the present, and here I am: 30 years old and no home of my own for my young family. It's been hard. Some days it's made me sad. I've got two kids that are just beginning to grasp for the first time what it's like to have a bedroom, or a play area in the backyard, or even just a corner of the house that they can claim as belonging to them. We lived with my husband's mom for the past four years (in extremely tight quarters), and while I can't thank her enough for everything she did for us, it was frustrating to constantly know that home wasn't "home".

Behind Our Big Move

Recently I let my readers know that I moved across the country. For us, this was a leap of faith. The job market was awful where we were, and the expenses were even worse. We moved in hopes of landing jobs that would make life on our own a possible experience. But (unfortunately) we still haven't been able to move into our own place. We're keeping watch over my grandfather's home while he's in Florida (and we are grateful for the opportunity!) but we're hoping & praying that by the time spring rolls around, we'll have saved up the down payment we need. We aren't just saving on our own though - we're enlisting our friends & family to help!

And Just How Are Friends & Family Going to Help?

Hopefully this Christmas when I send out my annual greeting cards, I'll be able to let my loved ones in on the scoop: We don't want gifts this year, because we want some help for for a goal bigger than snagging the latest cookware (or a pile of ugly ties).

That's Right, No Gifts.

Instead of presents, I'm going to ask my friends & family to "feather my nest", and by that I mean I'm going to ask them to help me achieve my home-ownership goals by contributing to my fund through an awesome crowdfunding site called Feather The Nest.

I was asked last year to review Feather The Nest's website (you can see my nest HERE), and after I did so the company and I got more involved. They did a video on my story (seen below) and even had me talk with a reporter recently to tell them what I thought of the whole process.


So just what do I think of them?

I think they are amazing. This site isn't just a lifesaver for those who are looking to fund a down-payment... it's a great source for funding home-repairs and renovation projects too! Feather The Nest was thought up as a way to help people achieve their home ownership & maintenance goals by using the greatest resource that all "nesters" already have: the support of friends and family.

When you break it down, the average person probably has about 10-20 family members they would describe as "close", and 10-20 friends that they could say are always there for them. If you suppose that each of these people gives even one gift worth $10 twice per year (which is probably underestimating it by a long-shot) then a single person has a possible $400-$800 in gifts coming in each year. If you add in a spouse and a couple of kids, the number increases to around $3000 that your family probably receives (every year!) in gifts. (Kind of crazy to think about, isn't it!?)

Reality Check:

The problem is though, people who are trying to save towards a house, or even struggling to make a necessary home repair, aren't always psyched about getting sweaters & candles for Christmas. What they really want is money. Asking for money is not classy though. (And we're all trying to be mature, classy adults, right?)

This is where Feather The Nest steps in. They take the uncomfortable-ness out of saying, "Hey, could I have MONEY for my birthday instead of another cologne set?" They make it cool to say, "I need some cash to repair the leak under my sink." They make you seem chic and in-the-know when you announce, "I'm crowdfunding my down payment."

Feather The Nest Logo

In a Nest-Shell?

This site allows me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My family has had to dig their heels in during this long struggle, but we're on the verge of being able to bounce back from our rough start. By the time my grandpa returns in the spring, I'm confident we'll have our down payment money ready-to-go.

And not only is Feather The Nest a safe and reliable source to crowdfund with, but it's free.

That's right, you don't have to do anything to take advantage of these resources other than create your nest on their website at www.FeatherTheNest.com. Create your own nest today and send your friends & family a message to let them know that you're saving up for something awesome in your life, and you want them to be a part of it.

Connect:

You can get your down payment or next home improvement project crowdfunded on Feather The Nest by clicking HERE to sign-in and create your nest. You can also connect with them on social media to stay up-to-date on what's happening in the nest-world by finding them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Have you ever crowdfunded anything? What would you crowdfund on Feather The Nest?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!

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