You Should Never Buy These 12 Things New

Man with guitar
Luis Molinero /

Some things really are better the second time around.

In fact, many used items can be every bit as good as those purchased new. Plus, buying used almost always saves you cash.

So, without further ado, following is our list of the top things you should never buy new.

1. Timeshares

pbk-pg /

Don’t ever pay full price for a timeshare. Some people are practically giving them away because they’re so desperate to get out from under the annual fees.

As Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson puts it in “Ask Stacy: How Can I Sell My Timeshare?“:

“I’d chop off my own foot with a dull ax before buying a timeshare, especially a new one from a developer.”

2. Basic tools /

If you are handy, you need a good set of tools. Buying tools used typically will save you money, and you might even end up with something that is better crafted than what you would find new today.

In fact, Money Talks News’ resident thrifting expert Kentin Waits cites tools in both “8 Things I Always Buy at Thrift Stores” and “7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales.”

If you aren’t handy, you might be able to check out tools from your local library when you do need them.

3. Cars

Driver with thumbs up
pathdoc /

We’ve talked about it time and time again: The value of a new car drops like a rock as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Rather than finding yourself upside-down on your car loan five minutes after signing the paperwork, look for a quality used car that has already taken the huge depreciation hit.

4. Books


We could take this category one step further and say you shouldn’t buy books at all. Many of us live near a public library system that can meet most of our reading needs.

However, we won’t go quite to that extreme. I personally enjoy having a well-stocked home library. I also realize that some books, such as college textbooks, have to be purchased. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price.

Check out “11 Places to Find Free E-Books,” or head to Amazon to find cheap used books, which are often as good as new.

5. Big toys like boats, motorcycles and RVs

freevideophotoagency /

That advice about buying a used car can apply to any type of vehicle.

Virtually anything with an engine — from off-road vehicles to yachts — will depreciate over time. So, in most cases, you’ll get more bang for your buck by purchasing used.

New boats, for example, depreciate quickly. So, even if you buy a vessel that’s just 1 year old, you stand to save a boatload.

6. Houses

sirtravelalot /

Your house is another big-ticket item that is better to buy used rather than new. Not only can you save money, but older homes also may have better “bones” than some new construction.

If you love the idea of new construction, remember that an existing home doesn’t necessarily have to be 50 years old. If you want an energy-efficient home with new amenities, you can probably find it at a lower price if you’re willing to be owner No. 2 or No. 3.

7. Movies and CDs

Monkey Business Images /

Many of the same places that sell used books also sell used DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and CDs. No need to spend money for a new disc when you can get a used one for less money online, at a garage sale or in the thrift shop.

Of course, there’s also your public library, where movies and music are free for the (temporary) taking and cheap when the library holds a sale.

8. Sports gear

Africa Studio /

Raise your hand if your kids have ever started a sport and quit after one season. I’m right there with you.

Instead of spending tons for new equipment, go to a specialty store like Play It Again Sports and buy used items. You can also scour garage sales, thrift stores and Craigslist for bargain finds.

Don’t forget to look for fitness equipment for yourself, too. Buying new weights and kettlebells, for example, doesn’t make sense if you can get used ones for a fraction of the price.

9. Musical instruments

Africa Studio /

Musical instruments are another parental purchase that could be money down the drain.

To avoid purchasing something overpriced or broken when buying used, consider spending a few dollars to have it appraised by a local music store. Or, better yet, buy a used item directly from a shop.

Renting an instrument is another option. However, keep in mind that renting a clarinet for three years could end up costing you more than if you purchased a used one in the first place.

10. Jewelry

Jasmin Awad /

Jewelry is also better bought used than new. Before buying off Craigslist or from a private seller, however, be sure to get an appraisal, particularly if a significant amount of money is involved.

You can also find quality used baubles by shopping for estate jewelry from jewelers or reputable pawn shops.

11. Gift cards

Gift cards
Iryna Tiumentseva /

Here’s one you probably haven’t thought about. Some people receive a gift card to a retailer they don’t like. Others use a portion of a gift card, but have no reason or desire to spend down the remaining balance.

You can find unwanted gift cards by going to a site like Raise. Buying “used” gift cards in this fashion can save you a bundle, as we detail in “How Unwanted Gift Cards Save Me Hundreds of Dollars a Year.”

12. Pets

Inna Astakhova /

Some of you might disagree, but there really is no reason to spend a lot of money on a brand-new pet from a breeder when plenty of preloved (or not so loved) animals need homes.

My local animal shelter and Humane Society regularly have free or almost-free adoption days, during which you can bring home everything from dogs and cats to bunnies and birds. Your local shelter might offer the same.

Unless you’re planning to show your pet, spending hundreds or even thousands on a purebred animal is probably not money well-spent. The $50 puppy from the pound is just as likely to smother you with wet kisses and stare at you with unbridled adoration.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


How to Track Your Spending on the Chase Freedom Flex 5% Cap

One of the key benefits of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card is a rotating 5% earning category. Every quarter, cardholders will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in select categories. That’s up to $300 cash back each year.

The catch? Once you pass the $1,500 spending threshold, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on further purchases in these categories. So, it’s important to know how much you’ve spent toward the limit. That way you can switch to using a credit card that provides a higher return on spending once you hit the cap.

Here’s how to track your spending on the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ 5% earning categories

Between January and March 2021, Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders earn 5% on:

  • Wholesale club purchases.

  • Internet, cable and phone services.

  • Select streaming services.

However, the rest of the 2021 bonus categories won’t be announced until less than three weeks before the start of the quarter.

This makes it hard to plan your credit card strategy for the year. However, it allows Chase to remain flexible and offer categories that are especially relevant for the time — from department stores around the holidays to select streaming services during the pandemic.

For reference, recent bonus categories have included:

  • Q4 2020: Walmart and purchases through PayPal.

  • Q3 2020: Amazon and Whole Foods.

  • Q2 2020: Grocery stores, fitness club and gym memberships, and select streaming services.

  • Q1 2020: Gas stations; internet, cable and phone services; and select streaming services.

3 steps to monitoring your category spending

1. First, check if you’ve activated cash-back earnings for the quarter


First, log in to your Chase account and navigate to the Chase Ultimate Rewards® landing page. If you have multiple Chase Ultimate Rewards®-earning Chase cards, you’ll need to select your Chase Freedom Flex℠ from the list.


Once logged in, click the menu button (represented by three lines) at the top left corner of the page. Then select “5% Categories” from the menu list.


On this page, Chase shows whether or not you’ve activated your 5% cash back for the quarter and the following quarter if registration is open. Do so if you haven’t already. Right below the activation button for the current quarter, you’ll find that quarter’s spending tracker.

This bar will give you a visual approximation of how close you are to the spending cap for the quarter. However, it doesn’t give details on your exact progress. Instead, you’ll need to check another page.

There’s only one place we’ve found that Chase provides an exact figure of how much you’ve spent toward the quarterly $1,500 spending cap.

2. Find the Rewards Activity page

Navigate to the Rewards Activity page. Then, click the “5% cash back” tab on the top menu to scroll down to the tracker.

Here, you’ll find details on how much cash back you’ve earned toward the $75 cap. However, the figures can be a bit confusing. The values listed for each merchant represent the 4% cash-back bonus for the quarter, and the 1% base earning is listed separately.

You don’t have to add up these values to see your bonus category cash-back earnings, though. In the example above, the cardholder has earned $58.48 of their $75 maximum cash back for the quarter.

3. Figure out how much you can still spend toward the cap

It takes a few calculations to determine how much you can still spend before hitting the spending cap.

Nerd tip: Subtract the amount of cash-back earnings so far from $75; you’ll need to divide this amount by 5% (0.05) to find out how much more you can spend before hitting the cap.

In the example above, we need to subtract $58.48 from $75. Then, we divide the $16.52 result by 5%, which gets us $330.40. This is the amount the cardholder can spend in bonus categories this quarter to maximize their cash-back return.

Other bonus categories of the Chase Freedom Flex℠

While the two cards share similar names, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a substantial improvement over the Chase Freedom®.

The Chase Freedom® also earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in select categories, but only 1% cash back on all other purchases. The Chase Freedom Flex℠, however, improves on this by offering the following earning categories:

  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.

  • 3% on drugstore purchases.

Even if you opt to swap this card for one with a higher return after you reach the $1,500 spending cap in a quarter, it is wise to keep it handy for any of the above purchases.

The bottom line

To get the most out of your Chase Freedom Flex℠, you’ll want to max out your 5% cash-back earnings each quarter. But, there are plenty of cards that earn better than 1% cash back on spending. So, you’ll want to switch to using another card once you hit the $1,500 limit.

To improve your chances of maximizing your cash-back earnings, continually monitor your progress toward hitting the spending cap each quarter from your Chase account.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:


With Florida’s Luxury Market Sizzling, Here Are the State’s 10 Most Expensive Homes>

As the cold weather continues in most of the nation, temperatures in Florida are sizzling—and so is the real estate market.

It’s difficult to keep up with the dizzying pace of high-dollar deals in the Sunshine State.

To recap February thus far: Only a month after landing on the market for $140 million, a brand-new Palm Beach mansion wound up selling for $122.7 million. The golf legend Greg Norman’s cool compound on Jupiter Island recently listed for $60 million and has already landed an offer. David Tepper, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, just spent $73 million on a brand-new mansion—also in Palm Beach.

Big money has migrated south, and Florida’s luxury market is off to a blistering start in 2021.

With multimillion-dollar mansions flying off the market, we wanted to take stock of what’s left at the top end of Florida real estate. And we have great news: For deep-pocketed buyers still on the sidelines, there are plenty of other opportunities to shine.

Plenty of mansions with enormous price tags are still out there. Slather on the SPF 50 and have a look at the 10 priciest places currently available in Florida.

Price: $115 million

Known as Gemini, this giant, 62,200-square-foot compound has both Atlantic Ocean and Lake Worth frontage, with 360-degree waterfront views. It’s been languishing on the market for years and was once listed for as much as $195 million back in 2016.

Built in 2002, it has plenty of space, with 33 bedrooms, 38 full bathrooms, and 14 half-bathrooms.

The main house has 12 bedrooms, each of the four cottages on the beach has two bedrooms, another house has seven, and of course there are guest and staff houses.

For fun, owners and guests can choose a bottle of wine from the wine cellar, swim in the pool, putt on the PGA standard golf area, hit some balls on the tennis court, play basketball, work out in the gym, or relax in the spa.

To relax, you can stroll through the botanical gardens, which feature 1,500 species of tropical plants.

2000 S. Ocean Blvd, Manalapan, FL
2000 S. Ocean Blvd, Manalapan, FL


Price: $110 million

Built in 2003, this 28,399-square-foot Mediterranean mansion on Billionaires’ Row has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and six half-bathrooms.

It sits on 2 acres right on the ocean, with an ivy-covered, cloistered courtyard surrounding the pool.

1341 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL
1341 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL


Price: $95 million

If you want a bit more space, how about your own island? Known as Pumpkin Key, the 26-acre island sits in Card Sound Bay in the Florida Keys, near Key Largo.

It’s a short helicopter ride away from Miami and a brief boat ride to shore.

Right now, there’s a 5,000-square-foot, three-bedroom home on the island, which was built in 1985. It has loads of entertaining space, with an indoor-outdoor feel and a huge pool.

There are also two caretaker’s cottages and a dock master’s apartment near a 20-slip marina that can handle megayachts.

The island’s landscape is lush, and there’s room for several more homes. Tennis courts in the center of the island also serve as a helipad.

10 Cannon Pt, Key Largo, FL
10 Cannon Pt, Key Largo, FL


Price: $84 million

Completed this year, this brand-new, 18,000-square-foot mansion also sits on Billionaires’ Row.

Inspired by the homes in Bermuda, this estate offers 175 feet of direct oceanfront. It has seven bedrooms with ocean views, as well as two kitchens and oversize living spaces.

The lower level has a wine cellar with room for 4,000 bottles, a home theater, and a fitness center. Guests can stay in the two-bedroom guesthouse.

901 N Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL
901 N Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL


Price: $78.5 million

This 7,686-square-foot contemporary home is on a large lot at the tip of Palm Beach, with views of Palm Beach Inlet.

Built in 2020, the seven-bedroom home has water views of both the ocean and the inlet. Outside is an infinity pool along with tons of outdoor patio space.

Inside, luxe amenities include a theater room, a sauna, and gym—all with a modern feel.

149 E. Inlet Dr, Palm Beach, FL
149 E. Inlet Dr, Palm Beach, FL


Price: $56 million

Never lived in, this 17,190-square-foot home was completed in 2019. The two-story contemporary residence has an abundance of natural light, with doors that open to allow for cross breezes and indoor-outdoor living.

Dubbed Lago-a-Lago, the six-bedroom house is being offered fully furnished. For aquatic aficionados, there are docks in both the front and back yard.

520 Island Dr, Palm Beach, FL
520 Island Dr, Palm Beach, FL


Price: $49.9 million

Sitting on a V-shaped point on Biscayne Bay, this nearly 19,000-square-foot house, finished in 2018, has a dazzling modern design and views of the open ocean and downtown Miami.

Walls of glass showcase the views and allow for a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors. The highlight of the outdoor space is a gorgeous glass mosaic pool with an artistic pattern.

The eight bedrooms include a master suite with a grand entrance, a custom dressing room, and a spa bathroom.

The boat dock is 140 feet long and can accommodate a megayacht of up to 200 feet. Meanwhile, the captain of your yacht can enjoy the captain’s quarters.

41 Arvida Pkwy, Coral Gables, FL
41 Arvida Pkwy, Coral Gables, FL


Price: $49.5 million

Nestled among the stark white modern homes on Palm Beach’s Billionaires’ Row is La Salona—a mansion built in 1928.

With its 19,434 square feet of living space on almost an acre, this Mediterranean beauty has belonged to the same owner for three decades.

The house boasts 16 bedrooms and includes a three-bedroom apartment on the first floor and another three-bedroom apartment on the second floor.

172 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL
172 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL


Price: $48.5 million

Surrounded by 674 species of trees and plants, this 13,465-square-foot estate measures 2.38 acres.

Built in 2007, the two-story home has 245 feet of waterfront and direct access to Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. And of course, the private dock can handle a large yacht.

Inside, the 12 bedrooms and nine full bathrooms each have unique design features. The compound also has its own chapel, wine cellar, and home theater.

8901 Arvida Ln, Coral Gables, FL
8901 Arvida Ln, Coral Gables, FL


Price: $46.75 million

The ocean is the backyard at this 17,370-square-foot Mediterranean estate. Built in 1991, the seven-bedroom home offers a master bedroom on the main floor and plenty of living space.

The interior is ornate, with plenty of Old World charm, combined with modern conveniences.

It’s located in the exclusive Seminole Landing neighborhood, and could potentially be subdivided to allow for the development of a family compound or additional structures.

12210 Banyan Rd, North Palm Beach, FL
12210 Banyan Rd, North Palm Beach, FL


Sportscaster Joe Buck Quickly Snags a Buyer for His Luxe St. Louis Home

The sportscaster Joe Buck made quick work of his home in St. Louis, MO. After just four days on the market, the $3,295,000 mansion has received multiple offers and is now in “pending sale” status.

Buck, 51, purchased the property in the Ladue area back in 2013, for $2.36 million. Eight years later, the pristine property has been impeccably updated to suit a family of sports fans.

The co-listing agent, Julie Buck Brooks, a relation of Buck’s, adds, ”The property is situated on 6 private acres in the heart of Ladue—which is not something you find every day. The fantastic outdoor room, with a stone fireplace and pool, provide ample entertaining space.”

The 10,269-square-foot residence features six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms on three levels. Close to the city’s exclusive Bogey Golf Club, the estate features an open living plan and an idyllic outdoor setup.

The co-listing agent, Megan Rowe, calls the property “the epitome of luxury.”

She adds, “This home is incredibly popular, due to the unique floor plan. It’s hard to find a luxury home with a ‘ranch’ feel, which provides an open floor plan and main-floor living.”

The high-ceilinged entry flows naturally into the living room and formal dining room. The sunny great room includes a fireplace and two sets of French doors leading outside.

A large eat-in kitchen is equipped with a center island, breakfast bar, and built-in banquette. The office on the main level—which currently showcases the award-winning sportscaster’s multiple Emmys—includes built-in bookshelves and a unique barrel ceiling.

The private master suite, a spacious escape, offers views of the grounds, a luxury bathroom, and two walk-in closets. Four en suite bedrooms are on the main level, and two upstairs, along with a family room.

On the lower level, an owner can easily host game-day parties in a lounge area with a wet bar and wine cellar, as well as a full bathroom. The two exercise spaces should satisfy any fitness-minded owner.


Watch: Golf Legend Greg Norman’s FL Estate Is Truly Epic


Outside, the perks include a patio with a stone fireplace, built-in grill, pool, and spa, all overlooking the grounds.

The family hasn’t moved far. Last year, Buck and his wife, Michelle Beisner, reportedly upgraded to a massive estate nearby for $4.5 million.

The son of the late sportscaster Jack Buck, Joe grew up in the St. Louis area. He announces for Fox Sports, providing play-by-play commentary for the NFL and MLB. He also serves as the play-by-play announcer for the World Series. Beisner is a feature reporter for ESPN.

Rowe and Buck Brooks, both with Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty, hold the listing.


American Express: Free One/Two Month Trials To Obé Fitness

Update 2/23/20: Extended until 03/31/2021.

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • American Express is offering cardholders a free two month trial to obé fitness monthly membership. You can also gift a one month membership to a friend.

The Fine Print

  • As a US American Express Card Member, you are eligible to redeem a 2-month free trial to obé fitness monthly membership.
  • This offer is eligible to all US American Express Card Members and for a limited-time only, ending 8/16/2020.
  • Trials are only available to new obé fitness subscribers and only for the monthly membership.
  • You will be charged the full monthly amount of $27 after your first 2-months and charges will continue monthly unless cancelled.
  • Please cancel your membership by signing in at and navigating to your subscription settings.
  • You can cancel anytime during the first 2-month free trial with no charge.
  • Card Members must cancel the automatic renewal before the due date of their first payment as well as subsequent monthly payments to avoid being charged.
  • To redeem the 2-month free trial, US American Express Card Members must click through this webpage and complete the purchase journey within the obé fitness website.
  • If you leave or close this webpage and return later, this offer may no longer be available.
  • Purchases are subject to obé’s Terms and Conditions, available at: Please visit for contact information and/or any additional questions or concerns.
  • Offers void where prohibited by law. Other restrictions may apply. Offers, prices, rules, and benefits subject to change without notice.

Our Verdict

Previously T-Mobile users were offered a one month free trial, so I don’t think these are particularly rare. Although for cardholders you obviously get two months. Just remember to cancel as you are enrolled automatically and will be charged $27 per month if you forget to cancel. American Express is also offering a free year of ‘Calm’ sleep and meditation app. And earlier today brought back the shop small promotion.

Post history:

  • Update 11/2/20: Extended until November 30th.


19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

a shopper regrets a purchase
Prostock-studio /

There are certain purchases that buyers tend to regret.

No, that doesn’t mean everyone: There are plenty of happy boat and hot tub owners out there, and surely more than a few people count their timeshare property as a true delight.

But when faced with one of the potential purchases listed here, it’s a good idea to take a breath and think seriously about whether to buy it.

1. DVDs

Dragon Images /

Movie-watching has moved online, with streaming and downloadable films that are easier to manage and watch than ever. You can buy or rent movies on demand from streaming services like Redbox or Amazon’s Prime Video.

What’s for sure is, you don’t have storage space for hundreds of DVDs. You’re not Blockbuster Video, and besides, look what happened to them.

2. Extended warranty

Extended Warranty /

You’ve bought the product, but the sales pitch isn’t over: Now your clerk is gunning to sell you an extended warranty, just in case the brand-new product falls apart.

Research the product you’re buying. Extended warranties can be complicated. We explain the ins and outs in “Should I Buy an Extended Car Warranty?” and “Are Extended Warranties Worth It?”

Whatever you do, first check whether you have coverage through other sources, such as a manufacturer’s warranty or through your credit card. You may not even need to fork out for extra coverage.

3. Boats

freevideophotoagency /

There’s an old saying: The two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it.

Owning a boat is a lot of work. If you live on a lake and have plenty of room for it, and are willing to spend the money needed to keep afloat, then ship ahoy! But most of us can get by with an occasional boat rental, or wait until our friend Gilligan invites us over for a sail.

For more options, check out “4 Ways to Go Boating Without Buying a Boat.”

4. Timeshare

Virginia Beach, Virginia
JoMo333 /

Timeshares, which give you a partial share of ownership in a vacation property, are probably one of the most stereotypically regretted purchases — and for good reason.

You may love vacations, but do you always want to vacation in the exact same spot? Yes, you can exchange your timeshare with others, but booking a hotel or resort is more flexible.

Those are a few reasons why Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson says, “I’d chop off my own foot with a dull ax before buying a timeshare.”

5. An extravagant wedding

Wedding couple
Cedric Carter /

A wedding lasts one day, and then it’s all photos and memories.

You’ll be just as legally married in a $100 gown as in a $5,000 one, and you’ll have a lot more money left over. You can pull off a wedding elegantly without going into debt in the process.

Learn how: “Your Own Royal Wedding: 20 Classy Ways to Save on the Big Day.”

6. Pricey engagement ring

Diamond ring
Vladimir Sazonov /

And speaking of weddings, consider whether a whopping diamond ring is really the best way to tie the knot.

Modern jewelers offer more price-conscious alternatives that are just as lovely. Your hard-earned dollars can bring more satisfaction if they’re used for a down payment on a home. So, consider lab-grown diamonds — not only are they cheaper, they’re more environmentally friendly.

7. Desktop computer

NicoElNino /

Desktop computers once were an amazing innovation, but few people need that kind of computing power these days. A tablet or laptop gives you the flexibility to move your home office around and travel with your computer if you wish.

Think different, a la Apple’s motto. And when it comes to home computing, don’t think big — think small.

8. Giant tent or other expensive camping gear

dezy /

For hardcore campers, owning a nuclear-fueled camp stove, a three-bedroom tent, an enormous inflatable mattress or a kit specifically made for roasting s’mores might make sense.

But for those of us who camp maybe only once every year or two, a small tent and standard sleeping bag work just as well. And you can always just toast marshmallows on sticks, which are still free.

9. Camcorder

StockKK /

Most of us carry smartphones these days, and their video capabilities keep getting better and better. Hauling around a camcorder, storing it and getting the videos off of it is a chore few of us need.

10. Home printer

Using a printer to print out documents
FabrikaSimf /

Even those who run a home business are finding fewer and fewer opportunities to use gigantic printers, since so many documents can be filled out, signed, sent and received electronically.

Printers take up a ton of space and require replacement ink cartridges that can cost as much as a new printer.

Those in major cities who need a printer for a one-time use can make the occasional trek to the public library or local business offering printing services.

11. Pedometer

Andrew Haddon /

Counting steps to keep yourself moving is trendy again, but it’s not pedometers that brought it back. Instead, it’s wrist-worn fitness trackers and smartphones and smartwatches.

You have to plan to wear a pedometer. With a smartphone or smartwatch, you can track your steps almost without thinking.

12. Home exercise equipment

Sladic /

There likely have been days when you wished you didn’t have to make the trek to the gym to work out. At those times, buying exercise equipment seems like a no-brainer.

But the equipment is huge and bulky, and storing it takes up precious space in your home. Did we mention that it’s also seriously expensive?

13. Single-purpose kitchen gadgets

Woman making fruit juice with a juicer

Some kitchen appliances make solid sense: Coffeemakers and toasters earn their keep every day. But appliances that are super-specific and can perform only one rarely needed task? They’re rarely worth the money.

Will you really use a juicer, a bread maker, a hot-dogger, a food dehydrator? Maybe once or twice, but it is unlikely to earn the space it takes up on your kitchen counter.

14. Pools and hot tubs

kurhan /

Sure, some people swim every day. And some of us can’t imagine gloomy winters without a hot tub.

But for many people, there’s only a short period of time when a pool or hot tub is used enough to earn its keep. After that, it becomes a huge bowl of water that needs to constantly be cared for and cleaned.

15. Piano

Skumer /

If you’re on Facebook, head to the online shopping section to see how many people are desperately trying to give away pianos for free. Few things take up more space and are more difficult to move than a piano.

If you truly have a junior Beethoven in your house, you may genuinely need a piano. But if your kid hasn’t even learned where middle C is, you can start with a borrowed portable keyboard and see if music lessons hit the right note.

16. Fine china

Kondor83 /

Once, fine china was on every couple’s wedding registry and was broken out regularly for dinner parties and family holidays. Ours is a more casual world now, for good or for ill. Few engaged couples want 12 place settings of Royal Doulton china.

If china appeals to you, check with the older generations in your family. They may be happy to give you theirs.

17. Collectibles

Toy Collection
Tinxi /

Face facts: Beanie Babies that were the rage in the 1990s are never going to make you rich.

The same goes for most collectibles, from Franklin Mint collector plates to Department 56 Snow Village buildings.

If it makes you happy to buy a spoon or shot glass from each country or state you visit, have your fun. But don’t collect with the expectation that you’ll make money from the collection one day.

18. Baby gadgets

Africa Studio /

New moms and dads don’t need half of the things on many baby registries. Diapers and clothes, sure. Burp cloths and bassinets? Go for it. But a diaper wipe warmer?

If you’re giving a present to a new parent, consider a gift card.

19. Giant desserts

Man eating giant sundae
Todd Castor /

Many restaurants have one on the menu — the giant, jumbo, lollapalooza, monster-sized dessert. But eat one, and you’ll quickly regret it.

Unless you have a soccer team or hungry family to help you eat the giant treat, skip it.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


Scottie Shot an Air Ball, So Can Larsa Pippen Slam Home a Sale in South Florida?

Larsa Pippen, an original cast member of “Real Housewives of Miami,” is taking a shot at selling the Fort Lauderdale, FL, home she owns with her ex-husband, the basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.

After coming on and off the market for years, the swanky spot is now back with a price tag of $12 million. And to help drive home a sale, Larsa will throw in her car collection, valued at around $1.5 million.

In the past, the NBA legend took the lead in sales efforts on the waterfront mansion, which the couple purchased as an empty lot for $1.3 million in 2000. The deluxe domicile they built in 2004 came on the market as long ago as 2009, for $16 million.

Now, Larsa is directing the effort to sell the home, which has languished on the market for years. She’s also juggling an offer to reprise her role on a reboot of the long-dormant “Real Housewives of Miami.”

In a new push for buyers, she’s filmed a video tour of the posh pad and hired Nest Seekers International to revamp the marketing strategy. The Elliott Team’s Erin Sykes and Margo Fuller at Nest Seekers International represent the listing.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the new team is bullish on finally selling the long-languishing mansion.

One big reason? The South Florida market is hotter than ever.

“Despite COVID, the real estate market in South Florida performed remarkably well compared to other major metropolitan areas,” says Shawn Elliott of Nest Seekers.

He’s handling the marketing for the property and tells us that the frenzy in the Sunshine State’s luxury market is “fueled by a surge of buyers from the Northeast, California, and Midwest who want to take advantage of Florida’s favorable climate and lack of state income tax.”

As we’ve noted in earlier coverage, this luxury megamansion is a standout. The amenity-filled spread on a double lot measures 13,500 square feet and includes a NBA basketball court, a pool with a slide, and fountains.

Known as Villa Del Lago, the waterfront residence is in the coveted gated community of Harbor Beach, and offers 215 feet of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway. Buyers can pull up in their personal yacht, because the deepwater dock can handle megayachts measuring up to 190 feet.

The mansion was designed by Randall Stofft Architects, and luxe fixtures and finishes were used to craft the Mediterranean-style marvel.

The deluxe estate features six bedrooms and seven full bathrooms, plus two partial bathrooms, including a massive master suite with a giant walk-in closet, a coffee bar, en suite bathroom, and a private balcony overlooking the water. The second floor can be accessed by elevator.

Other resort-style amenities include a home theater, game room, fitness center, climate-controlled wine cellar, hot tub, and a commercial-grade summer kitchen.

The next owner will also enjoy membership to Harbor Beach Surf Club, a private, 300-foot beach with a pavilion and private marina, fully serviced with chairs, umbrellas and five-star club amenities.

Other perks include close proximity to the ocean, privacy, and 24-hour Fort Lauderdale Police security.

In addition to the keys to the house, a buyer will acquire the keys to some pretty sweet rides, including a Porsche 911 GTU RS, a Mercedes G63 AMG, and a Ferrari 488 Pista, the New York Post notes. Perhaps those luxury whips will finally fuel a sale.

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How Shaquille O’Neal Become a Real Estate Investor

Shaq became famous as a basketball player, a very large basketball player! He was 7-1 and was well over 300 pounds when he was playing in the NBA. Not only is he one of the best basketball players of all time but is a real estate investor as well. He has also been a major part of many other businesses like Ring doorbells, Five Guys Franchise, and he was an early investor in Google. After leaving the NBA, he has become even more involved in real estate and been a part of some very large deals! It is hard to find the exact information on what Shaq has done real estate-wise, but he has given hints over the years in interviews on how he started and what he is involved in. From what I could find out he started by flipping houses with a partner in New Jersey. He has also been involved in low-income housing in Denver and done deals in Florida as well. He currently is focusing on large projects in the New Jersey area where he spent time as a kid.

Where did Shaq live growing up?

Shaq was born in New Jersey and his father was a basketball player as well. However, his father had drug problems and was never a part of Shaq’s life. Shaq did have a stepfather who was in the army and Shaq ended up living in Texas and Germany as a kid because of his stepfather’s career. Shaq ended up going to high school in San Antonio and leading his team to a state championship. Shaq was a always big kid. He was 6-6 when he was 13! I was 6-1 when I was 13, but I stopped growing at 13 and Shaw did not.

It is important to know where Shaq grew up because it impacted his real estate investing later on. He was not a real estate investing just to make money. As he said on CNBC Make It:

I don’t invest in companies just to try and get the big hit,”  “I [invest] because I know it’s going to change people’s ideas… change people’s lives.”

How did Shaq blow his first million?

Shaq had an amazing interview with Daymond John (The Shark Tank) about how he spent a million dollars the first day he made it. He spent $150,000 on a Mercedes for himself, then his dad wanted a car so he bought him one, and then he bought his mom a $100,000 car. He bought jewelry, suits, CD changer, went to Vegas, etc. Then his banker called him in to warn him about his spending. Shaq had no idea about taxes and that he had spent the entire million without realizing it!

From that point on, he made sure to take care of his money and learn from those who know about money. He credits Magic Johnson with helping him learn a lot about money and investing it instead of wasting it.

How did Shaq start his real estate investing career?

During Shaquille O’Neal’s long playing career, he earned an estimated $292,198,327! He definitely had a head start as an investor by earning so much money in the NBA. However, he did not start with huge projects although some of the articles you read will have you believe he did. In a 2002 article from the Denver Post about an affordable housing project he said:

“We started buying homes out of foreclosure and paying $10,000 or $12,000 for them, fixing them up, and maybe selling them for $25,000 or $35,000,” Shaq said.”It would be easy for me to develop a housing community around a golf course or buy strip malls, but that’s not how I want my book to go.”

He was talking about Mike Parris, who was his uncle and business manager, and mentioned that he was doing this 4 years ago, which would have been 1998 when he was 26. Shaq started small in his hometown. At the time he would have been playing with the Orlando Magic in Florida.

While he may not have been the one swinging the hammer, he was definitely investing in real estate at a young age.

How did Shaq’s real estate investing evolve?

Shaq started the O’Neal group in 2006 which invests heavily in real estate, but as we know he was involved in investing before that. In the article in the Denver Post from earlier, he was also involved in buying big projects before that as well. In 2002 Shaq said;

“My dream is to own $1 billion a year in affordable housing,”

  • He started by purchasing a $65 million affordable housing project in the Denver area that eventually cost $100 million after property improvements and other costs were factored in. The project consisted of 1,500 units and the seller would only sell to investors who were willing to keep the affordable housing aspect of the project.
  • In 2006 his company invested in The Met in Miami which was a highrise with 1,000 units.
  • He also recently opened an $80 million apartment complex in New Jersey and has plans for another $150 million high rise.

What is a little frustrating is the giant gap you see from 2006 to 2018! it is hard to find much information on the O’Neal group or his real estate investments during that time. There was another project he was involved in Atlantic City, but I could not find out if that project was ever completed. However, he was not just investing in real estate during his career. He has done many things!

What other businesses has Shaq been a part of?

Shaq has said he loves real estate and obviously has been a part of some huge deals but he has done many other things as well! Here are a few of them:

  • Pre-IPO Google stock: He bought into Google before it even went public.
  • He started a clothing line
  • He has owned 17 Auntie Anne’s Pretzels restaurants
  • He has owned 150 car washes
  • He has owned 155 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises
  • He has owned 40 24 Hour Fitness gyms
  • He has been a partner in Las Vegas nightclubs
  • He has owned a movie theater
  • He was a partner with Muscle Milk
  • He was a partner with Vitaminwater
  • He was a partner with Loyal3
  • He has released albums with commercial success
  • He has been in movies and on TV
  • He is super involved with law enforcement

I am sure I am missing many other things he had done or been a part of! I have no idea how many of these things he has sold or still owns but he has sold many of his investments and business over the years. He is obviously very diversified!

How involved is Shaq in real estate investing?

I have no idea how involved Shaq is or was in real estate. He sounds very passionate about it when he talks about so he could be very involved. However, he has so many other things going on it would not surprise me if he is mostly the money guy and other people find the deals and put together the projects. There is nothing wrong with that as the best investors learn how to make money without doing a ton of work! If Shaq happens to read this and has some more information to add, I would love to hear from you! Mark @