Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: Ways to ditch the 6 percent agent fee when selling your house, the value of hiring a semi-pro, money moves for LGBT couples, the case for buying a drone and more.

1. Why Do I Have to Pay My Real Estate Agent 6%?!

[Credit.com] “Selling a house can be expensive. Not only are you probably going to have to lay out some cash to spruce it up so you can get top dollar, you also have to plan on paying a real estate commission, which usually runs 6 percent of the sales price. On a $300,000 home that’s $18,000 — not a small chunk of change.

Six percent to sell a house has always seemed high to me. As this article points out, it doesn’t take twice the effort to sell a $300,000 house as a $150,000 one. So why do agents deserve twice the money? Yet, despite Web-based disruptions in nearly every other business, this stubborn fee is still alive and well. Check out the article for the history of the home-sale commission and a few potential workarounds.

2. Need Help? Call a Semi-Pro

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Although the first impulse is to seek out a top professional for a problem (including minor ones), it may save money to get a semi-pro to help.”

Handyman instead of a plumber or a painter. Nurse practitioner instead of a doctor. Nonprofit animal clinic instead of a veterinarian. Optometrist instead of an ophthalmologist. You get the idea: Using people who are competent but not as heavily credentialed can save money. Read the post for more, but don’t show this one to my wife. She’s a nurse practitioner, and I don’t think she’d be wild about being called a semi-pro.

3. How to Make Money Flying Drones: Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

[The Penny Hoarder] “Jase Robak used his drone to record a three-alarm fire and other local events, but as a hobbyist, he couldn’t sell his footage, reports Nebraska-based KETV. Now, thanks to his permit from the FAA, he can capture video and photos from his drone and sell them to clients, from real estate agents to insurance companies.”

Been looking for a way to monetize your drone? Me, either. But maybe we should be. Ways to make money include news gathering, aerial surveying, inspecting pipes and power lines, advertising and wedding photography. Check out this article, then try to persuade your spouse you can’t afford not to buy a drone.

4. 3 Smart Money Moves for LGBT Couples

[Debt.com] “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, same-sex couples, and modern families are receiving more acceptance and support than any time previously, and that’s presenting more opportunities than ever to plan a financial future together.”

This segment of our population has gotten a lot of media exposure lately, and this post offers tips and advice specific to them. Moves include getting married, embracing changes and doing additional planning. See the post for details.

5. 5 Ways to Stop Wanting More Without Settling for Less

[Wise Bread] “… we find ourselves in this daily tension between pursuing more and enjoying what we have. Here are a few tips for being happier with what you have today.”

If you find yourself wondering why you’re working more and enjoying it less, this article might help. Tips include thinking about what really makes you happy, setting obtainable goals, celebrating what’s meaningful, prioritizing your community and giving and receiving. It’s a good reminder that money is the means, not the ultimate goal.

Stacy Johnson

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