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Home Means… Learning to Live Affordably

Is it possible to buy an affordable house in today’s housing market? 

Alex and Ky here! This is a question many people around Reno are asking, but really, it’s a topic many are worried about. Housing prices are continually going up with no signs of slowing down.

Before we dig into this blog post, the answer is YES. There are a lot of options out there for people to try and buy property even though it can seem daunting.

This topic came about when a viewer wrote in to us:

“We’re a young couple at 24 years old and my husband is currently a service advisor at a Reno dealership and works his butt off every day to bring home just enough to pay the bills. I just saw John and Andi [on KTVN] talk about how you have to make at least $75k to be able to afford a house in the Reno area now. Do you guys have any ideas for us? It’s heartbreaking to think that even with the purest intentions and the biggest heart, by working hard and doing everything he possibly can and more, that it still won’t be enough to get us a home in the place we both grew up in.” – Viewer

We went to Realtor, Andy Marino with Ferrari-Lund for answers! Have a look!

Is it possible to live affordably when housing prices are on the rise? 

This is something that many people struggle with, including ourselves. We found some helpful tips!



  • If you have access to public transportation, you can save on gas, mileage and even parking fees. Carpooling is another great way to save money and limit wear and tear on your vehicle.
  • At work, it’s helpful to take turns driving when my coworkers and run errands. It’s a simple way to reduce the amount of gas I use on a weekly basis.


  • If you sign up for automatic monthly billing, many installment plans will offer an interest rate reduction. Selling unused or perfectly conditioned items, like clothes, home decor and collector’s items, is a great way to make a few extra bucks to pay your bills. Poshmark, Mercari, LetGo and OfferUp are some of the top rated apps for buying and selling used items.

Energy Bills

  • Consider installing CFL or LED lights in your home. These light bulbs don’t only last for several years, but they are nearly four times more energy efficient that incandescent bulbs. Often times your water heater is kept hotter than you need. By lower the temperature you’ll save money on energy costs.
  • Personally, I keep my thermostat set to at least 70 degrees (unless it’s really really hot outside) so the air/heating system isn’t always running. This helps keep my energy bills low and my wallet happy.

Entertainment Expenses 

  • Reducing or getting rid of your cable bill all together will help you save money month to month. Look at other expenses, like subscriptions and memberships, and figure out what is really important to keep and which ones you can do without.
  • I have subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu, which costs less combined than paying a monthly cable bill.


  • Cooking at home not only allows you to be in control of your food (hopefully you’re cooking healthy meals), but it also helps you save money you’d spend at a restaurant. I love getting to bring leftovers to work for lunch the next day; two meals for the price of one!
  • People knock Winco, or other “money friendly” grocery stores, but I find the produce is good and I save a significant amount of money on food.


  • Paying for term life insurance is significantly less year to year, even if you buy a coverage plan that is similar to whole life insurance. You can also save money by raising your deductibles. Doing this can often reduce any annual premiums you pay for, which will save you money at the end of the month.

Other Expenses

  • Stop buying things you don’t really need. For me, I had a problem buying clothes, especially if I was bored or going through a tough time. Over the past year, I’ve learned self control and have steered clear of the mall. Of course I still go shopping, just not as much as I used to.
  • Limit how much you spend on beauty services. Dying your hair or getting your nails done can get pricey. Opt for the basic manicure or pedicure and if you don’t really need to dye your hair, just get a cut and maybe treat yourself every other appointment.
  • Moving to a less expensive area will take a big strain off your monthly bills. If you can, moving to a different state, or even just a different part of town, will help you save money on housing expenses.

Thanks to Andy Marino and our wonderful viewer for writing in!

-Ky & Alex

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