Housing hacks to save money and make smart choices — whether you rent or might want to buy a home

A couple sitting on the floor of their home looking around to see which housing hacks they could use...

Choosing the best housing options can be exhausting: From finding your first apartment — and not overpaying on rent — to wondering if you can (or should) buy a house, it’s hard to feel confident that you’re making the right choices. To help you out, our hosts talk to two housing experts on this week’s Payoff podcast. The goal? To dig up the smartest data-driven advice around.

First, we talked to statistician and psychologist Gian Gonzaga about his research into how people tend to make big life decisions, especially around housing. Gonzaga is currently chief data officer for Earnest, an online lending company that offers student loan refinancing — one reason he’s sensitive to how even the idea of buying a home feels tough for cash-strapped young people.

Then we get into the nitty gritty of real estate markets with Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist with online real estate company Zillow. Terrazas helps explain the housing landscape in 2017, and he gives us the inside scoop on what to look for if you’re starting the process of buying or renting a home.

Finally, our hosts answer questions about how to save money on housing — based on queries sent in by Payoff podcast listeners! They run down great tips for spending less on rent and lowering the costs of buying a home.

In upcoming episodes the podcast will take on more money challenges — particularly around freelancing work and using credit cards. If you have questions or confusion about either of these topics, email us at PayoffPod@mic.com and we’ll tackle your issue or answer your question!

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