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Advice from a Real Estate Agent

Tips For Preparing To Live Off Campus For The First Time

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Preparing To Live Off Campus For The First Time

Moving from the dorms to off campus housing is a rite of passage for most college students, and can be a major step toward adult independence. You no longer have to share a tiny dorm room with someone or be under the supervision of an RA. Living off campus also takes extra responsibility and planning. Here are four tips for preparing to live off campus for the first time: Opt for Official Off Campus Student Housing Off campus student housing organized by your university is a very practical option, because it gives you the freedom of off campus living with some of the reliability of dorm life. Typically, your university will own and manage the off campus apartments, though some universities simply compile a list of apartments that are trustworthy and safe and have ties to the university. Off campus student housing will help you avoid some common pitfalls of renting, including unscrupulous landlords or unsafe buildings.  Create a Budget It’s easy to keep track of your expenses when you live in a dorm, because your housing and meal plan are usually pre-paid at the beginning of the semester, and you don’t have to pay utilities. By moving off campus, you are taking on the responsibility of remembering to pay (and having the funds for) rent, utilities, and food each month. Whether you are paying for your apartment and living expenses from a part-time job, financial aid, or your parents are helping you out, it’s a good idea to create and stick to a budget. Free online sites like Mint are a great place to start.  Choose Your Roommates Wisely While you may have been assigned a roommate at random in the dorm, once you move off-campus you normally have a lot more say in who you live with. When deciding to live with friends or acquaintances, think carefully about what you are looking for in a roommate. Someone who is thoughtful, responsible, tidy, and pays their bills on time will make your life easier than a friend who is a lot of fun, but irresponsible and messy. Plan to Furnish Your Apartment Once you have an apartment and roommates, it’s time to make a plan for furnishing your new place. Talk to your roommates over the summer to determine who will supply which items, and try to spread things out so no one is over-burdened. Thrift stores and yard sales can be great sources of cheap but cute furniture, dishes, and household accessories. By following these tips, you will ensure you have a smooth transition from dorm life to off-campus housing. For additional information, you will want to contact a company such as RK...

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Tips To Avoid Losing A Sale Of Your House Over Something Trivial

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Avoid Losing A Sale Of Your House Over Something Trivial

Unless there is a price war occurring due to a shortage of homes for sale, you cannot expect to get a full-price offer on your home. This is why real estate agents often recommend padding asking prices. A padded asking price gives you room to wiggle while negotiating with a buyer, and you should fully understand this when you list your home. You should also understand that finding buyers for homes is not always easy, and you should not risk losing the sale of your home over something that is not really that important. Here are some tips to avoid doing this. Carefully consider what the request will cost When you receive an offer, it may have requests attached to it. For example, it may state that you must fix something before the buyer will purchase the home, or the contract might request that you pay for some of the closing costs. When a contract states these things, it’s important to really consider them, even if they seem very trivial. As you consider the offer, you should add up what it will cost you to complete the task the person is asking for. After doing this, subtract the amount from your sale’s price and base your decision on that. If you find that this would still offer you a price you could live with, you should probably accept the offer, even if it is not something you really think needs to be done. If the cost is too high, you could counter it If you add up the costs to complete the request and they are much more than you can afford to spend on the house, you could always counter the offer. Countering an offer is a risky deal, though, which is why you should carefully think about this decision before you do it. When you counter an offer, the buyer could always reject it, and this would leave you with no deal on the table. Receiving a little less is still a house sale The bottom line is that it can be hard to sell a house and get out of it exactly what you want. This is why you should put a lot of effort into considering each offer you receive for your house. It can often be better to receive a little less money when selling a house than to be stuck with the house for months or years. It can be hard to know whether to accept an offer or counter it, which is why it’s important to discuss this with your real estate agent. There are risks of countering an offer you receive, and you should try to avoid losing a sale over something that is really not a big deal. To learn more, ask a real estate agent for advice about your real estate for...

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The Benefits Of Buying Rural Real Estate

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Benefits Of Buying Rural Real Estate

Rural real estate may be a small farm community with plots ready for building, or it may be really rural real estate where your next nearest neighbor is a mile or more down the road. If you are interested in the latter, there are certainly some benefits to purchasing such real estate. At the very least, these lots of land and houses are worth viewing in person. It Is So Quiet and Peaceful People choose to purchase land and houses far out into the country for the peace and quiet. There are no trains, sirens, cars, or other city sounds creating a noise cacophony that overwhelms the senses and the nervous system. Most days you only hear the sounds of nature, which are as soothing as those found on a white noise sound machine. You Can Grow Whatever You Like With as much land as typically comes with rural properties, you can grow whatever you like. Flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetable gardens, grapes and grapevines, fruit trees, or all of the above; there is room for it. Plus, you will learn so much about gardening, harvesting, and planting–things you would never learn in the city or be able to teach to your children. You Can Sunbathe in the Buff When you live miles from your nearest neighbor, you can lay outside behind your home to sunbathe. Rural living of this sort lends itself well to no tan lines, as you can sunbathe in the buff and not get caught, spotted, watched, or arrested. You could also sunbathe in any sort of swimsuit you want to wear without someone body-shaming you and feeling really good about how you look. You Can Have a Hobby Farm If you are the type of person that adores animals, the city really limits the number of pets you can have. On your own piece of rural real estate and country living heaven, you can have an entire hobby farm or petting zoo, if you so choose. Most of the properties of this sort are previously zoned for farming and residential, allowing you to have whatever and however many animals you want on your property.  You Can Hunt on Your Own Property If wild turkeys, pheasants, grouse, partridges, and ducks wander onto your property, you can shoot them for food. If you also have some woods on your land and deer, rabbits, etc. wander through, you can hunt them whenever you like. Everything is fair hunting game on your own land, and you do not have to wait for the right hunting season to shoot...

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4 Ways Instagram Helps With Renting Out Properties

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways Instagram Helps With Renting Out Properties

If you own property you plan on renting out, advertising the properties you have available is key to getting tenants into the space. However, advertising can take place in a variety of ways. While you want to advertise on a number of platforms, you want to be sure that you consider Instagram as one of those platforms. Here are four ways Instagram helps: Hashtags: When you post a photo of your rental property, you are able to include hashtags. This is going to help gain an audience directly to your photo. You want to include keywords, such as rental property, real estate, as well as the hashtag of the specific city or region the property is located. Since Instagram has a wide audience, it can easily draw attention to your rental property and lead those viewers to visiting your site for more information on the rental property itself.  High-Quality Photos: Instagram does not compromise the quality of the photos you post. So when you hire a photographer to take photos of the rental property, which is something that is highly recommended, you can be sure that those high-quality photos are going to resonate on Instagram. On top of this, there are some formatting options available, such as landscape photos so that you can post larger photos that show more of the home and property size.  Videos: On top of posting high-quality photos, you can also post videos. Giving a tour of the rental property itself on Instagram is another way to gain attraction to the rental property. This gives viewers a quick idea of the layout of the property to determine whether or not this is a space they can see themselves in. You can even post “stories” on Instagram where you may want to post quick videos of yourself talking about details of the property or giving a small tour that includes interesting details of the property. Quick Content: The biggest benefit of Instagram is that you are giving quick snippets of content about your rental property to a wide range of people. This is going to then bring those who are really interested in the property to your actual site. This is going to eliminate the unnecessary amount of prospective renters that aren’t actually interested in the rental property. These renters won’t take the time to find your site and send their contact information to you.  When you know these four ways Instagram is helpful when renting out property, you can see why it’s something you should consider utilizing. If you are using the services of rental management, like Picket Fence Properties, you also want to consider whether or not they use platforms, such as Instagram when handling renting out your...

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Looking For A Summer Rental Property? What To Ask

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Looking For A Summer Rental Property? What To Ask

When you and your friends or family want to visit a popular destination area for a week or more, looking for summer rental properties instead of a hotel chain has some advantages. They can feel more like home and allow you and your relatives or friends to have a more private experience. However, without experience with these types of rentals, you might unwittingly cause problems for yourself unless you ask questions like the following. Is This a Privately-Owned Property? There are some rental properties that are owned by private families and other properties that are owned by corporations and managed by property managers.  The reason that ownership matters to you is that it’s sometimes easier to communicate and negotiate directly with the people who own the house. However, if something should break and you have to get it repaired, it can sometimes be easier to resolve that problem quickly because property managers can approve repairs right away in most cases. You might have to wait a bit longer for a private owner to take care of it. Who Pays for Air Conditioning and Electricity? While some owners will include utilities of some kind, it is vital that you have a clear understanding of who will be responsible for the air conditioning and electric bills. Life can be rather miserable without air conditioning during hot summer days, but it can also cause the electric bill to spike. If you will need to pay that bill, or a portion of it if you’re only staying a few days, you need to factor that into your plans. At What Point is the Cleaning Deposit Kept? The ability of renters to keep the property clean and neat can be a source of contention between the owners and those renting the property.  You are likely to have to put down a cleaning deposit which should be refunded to you if the landlord is satisfied with the condition of the property after you leave. You need to find out what would cause the landlord to keep your cleaning deposit so you can avoid causing those kinds of problems. To make things easier, you might decide to have a housekeeper come in every few days. You should also snap photos of the property when you arrive so that if there is a dispute later, you can present proof of what the space looked like on your first day. The more knowledge you have about a particular property and how things will work during your rental experience, the better. Ask your realtor for more guidance. For more information on choosing a summer rental property, check out a company like Pace real estate...

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3 Fast Facts To Know Before Buying A Rental Property

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Fast Facts To Know Before Buying A Rental Property

Buying your own home can be an overwhelming experience, but buying an investment property can be even more challenging. From finding the right property in the right location to purchasing at the best price to ensure you will earn some sort of profit, it is easy to see the challenges of investing in a rental property. However, with proper planning and execution, your rental property will offer you a high return on investment. Known as a ROI, or cap rate, this percentage is the average annual rental rate the property will bring in after expenses. When considering a certain property to rent, you will want to make sure to buy low while ensuring you can receive a decent enough monthly rent. This is your best option for a successful rental property. With these tips, you will know what to look for when buying a rental property. Location, Location, Location If you know anything about real estate, you know that location is the most important factor to consider when making a purchase. The more desirable your location, the more appealing the property will be. A small cottage or condo near a metropolitan area, airport, and large corporations would be appealing to single business people and younger couples just starting out in their professional fields. A 3 or 4 bedroom home in a great school district with amazing parks and recreational facilities would be ideal for a family with young children. No matter which location you choose, make sure it has a low crime rate and is conveniently located next to shopping centers and major highways if your rental clients need to commute to and from work or school. Know About Updates/Repairs If you find a property that is in an appealing location, you must also consider if you will need to make any repairs or updates before listing it as a rental. Individuals will not want to rent out your property if paint is peeling, mold is present, or the heating and cooling system does not function properly. In addition, renting a property that is in need of dire repairs could result in severe health issues and potential lawsuits. Hire an inspector to look over the property before you invest. This may be an expense, but it is an important one that can protect you, your finances, and your renters. Inspectors should give a thorough evaluation of the roof, heating and cooling, septic and plumbing, and electrical. Since these are imperative parts of a property, repairing or bringing these systems up to code could be time consuming and expensive. Purchase Smart Another thing to keep in mind when you are considering the purchase of a rental property is the actual purchase price. The price will vary according to a few factors that may include if it is being sold by the individual owner or a bank. Many owners will accept a lower offer, unless you are trying to purchase a hot property. This may be a property in a very appealing location or if the inventory in your market is low. Purchasing a property that is owned by the bank is your best option for a higher ROI. These foreclosed properties are auctioned off, allowing the bank to make a portion of the mortgage costs back. Buying a foreclosure at...

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Two Pieces Of Home Buying Advice You Should Ignore

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Pieces Of Home Buying Advice You Should Ignore

When you announce you want to buy a home, everyone in your social circle will suddenly become real estate experts who have mounds of advice for you on the process. While it may come from a good place, the advice you receive may not always be the best and may even hurt your chances of getting a good home at a great price. Here are two pieces of home buying advice you should ignore. Have the Listing Agent Represent You Most people who proffer this advice want to help you save time and money. Their reasoning is you won’t have to pay the realtor’s commission (since it’s usually covered by the seller), and there’s only one person you have to go through to negotiate with the seller. Additionally, some people think that using the listing agent will provide some type of leverage when it comes to getting a good deal on the price. However, no matter how great the listing agent is, it’s hardly ever a good idea to have that person represent you in the transaction. You wouldn’t have a lawyer represent both you and the plaintiff in a personal injury case. It’s the same concept. The listing agent’s duty, first and foremost, is to the seller. If you want to make sure you’re not buying a lemon and really get a good price, it’s best to hire your own real estate agent whose sole duty is to protect your interests. Start with a Low-Ball Bid Another common piece of bad advice new buyers hear is to submit a low-ball offer. The idea is to give yourself more room to negotiate a good price on the home. There is also the unspoken idea that maybe you’ll get lucky and the seller will be desperate or ignorant enough to accept it without quibbling over the number. While these may seem like valid reasons, submitting a low-ball offer will most likely backfire for a couple of reasons. First, sellers represented by real estate agents will already know what the home is likely to sell for. So submitting a low-ball offer may make you look unreasonable and someone they probably don’t want to deal with. Second, the seller won’t even bother looking at your bid if there other people offering more upfront. It’s best to work with a real estate agent to come up with a reasonable offer to give yourself a fighting chance to get the home you want. For help finding the right house for you or assistance with negotiating with sellers, contact a local real estate agent. He or she will help you evaluate the homes for sale to get the best one for your...

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3 Things To Consider When Purchasing A First Home

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Consider When Purchasing A First Home

First-time home buyers often have a lot to consider before purchasing their first home. Buying a home can have a big financial impact and can involve years of saving and budgeting. For many homeowners, finding a home that fits their lifestyle and that is also affordable can take some work. Looking at homes for sale can also be a little overwhelming. Here are three things that first-time home buyers should consider before purchasing their first home. Needs Versus Wants Distinguishing between needs and wants is a must for first-time home buyers. While looking for homes for sale, potential homeowners should consider things such as how close the property is to their work, whether or not there is enough parking, and whether the home is large enough for their needs. Needs should be prioritized over wants. Resale value is also important. First-time home buyers should consider whether or not their home will be easy to sell in the future before purchasing. If the home is in a less than desirable location or has a strange layout, it may not be the best choice for a first home that will likely be put on the market in the future. Have A Realistic Budget One problem that many first-time home buyers run into is that they are unsure of how much they can actually spend on a home. When it comes to mortgage payments, spending no more than 25 percent of take-home income is a good rule of thumb. However, mortgage payments aren’t the only expenses that come with owning a home. First-time home buyers should also consider things such as closing costs and other fees that come with buying a home. Maintenance costs can also cost a lot more than first-time homeowners expect. Setting aside one percent of the home’s value each year for maintenance is recommended, however some homes may require more than that. Pay Attention To Appraisals Before purchase, mortgage lenders will send an appraiser to determine the value of the home. If the appraisal falls below what the potential home buyers are willing to pay, it can be a problem. First-time home buyers want to avoid purchasing a home for a price above it’s appraised value. This can be difficult after falling in love with a property. However, low appraisal values may indicate that the home is not a sound investment. When purchasing a first home there are a few things that home buyers should consider. Making sure that the home meets the homeowner’s needs is a must. A realistic budget is also important when it comes to purchasing a first home. First-time homeowners should also make sure they pay attention to their mortgage lender’s appraisal of the home. Purchasing a home for more money than it’s worth can have a negative financial impact down the...

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Can You Afford A New Home? Here’s How You Can Figure It Out

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can You Afford A New Home? Here’s How You Can Figure It Out

First-time home buyers will often look for houses for sale before knowing how much house they can afford. Even those that think they know often find out they weren’t prepared for many of the costs that go beyond the asking price of the house itself. How much can you afford? Here’s how to figure it all out. How Much Can You Really Afford? The amount of money you will need for a new home can vary widely. A good way to figure out is to do a little math. There’s a few pieces of information you will need to start with. Yearly household income – All the income your entire household brings in, before taxes. Costs – How much you spend every month on debts, bills, and anything else. Savings – The amount of money you can put down for your potential home purchase. After you gather those numbers, you can start to look at different lenders. You’ll want to check out their offers and terms. Try to read the fine print as well, since it’s a good idea to add in all the fees and other charges that will come with the loan. Write this information down for a few lenders that advertise rates that appeal to you. Break out the calculators You will take all the gathered information, and plug it into a few different home affordability calculators. It’s important that you use a few different ones, as they don’t all use the same methodologies. If you have a specific lender in mind, they may also have a home affordability calculator on their website. When you’re done, you’ll have a very good range to work with. The calculators will let you know what you can afford in the area you choose. They will also tell you how much you can afford to pay on a mortgage each month. Some even give you a full breakdown of how all the values you entered play a role in the final number. Armed with this knowledge, you’re in a far better position to seek a loan. Padding out the numbers You also need to factor in additional costs. Some of the calculators may have space for certain costs, which can help with this part. Remember that a mortgage isn’t all there is to purchasing a new home. Take that affordable home price, and tack on an additional 5% to cover other fees, charges, and eventualities. Your new home will come with one-time charges, as well as ongoing ones. Things like insurance, taxes, and home maintenance will never go away. You may face a lot of different fees and charges during the search, and at closing. Depending on how you go about things, you may have to pay application fees, as well as fees to any professional that helps you in your search and purchase. So keep that in...

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Two Warning Signs The Home You’Re Touring May Have Issues

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Warning Signs The Home You’Re Touring May Have Issues

An open house is an excellent way to see a home up close to determine if it fits your needs and preferences. While measuring the rooms and judging the age of the appliances, it’s important to also keep your eye out for subtle signs the home may have serious issues that will require a lot of money to repair. Here are two red flags you should investigate further. Signs of Neglect Homes are great, but they require a lot of work to maintain, and not every homeowner is up to the task. Unfortunately, a poorly maintained home can mean expensive repairs for any new owner that decides to buy it. While you should automatically pass up a home that needs some TLC right out of the gate, it’s important that you know what you’re getting into before you make a purchase so you’re fully prepared. Although the homeowner may have made some cosmetic improvements, a home that hasn’t been maintained well will often leave telltale signs, such as: Uneven floor tiles, which may indicate a rush repair job Leaky faucets Non-working lights or electrical outlets Little to no caulking around windows and doors Faded paint Cracks and stains on walls, floors, and stairs Dirty chimney Dirty air filters These may seem like minor things, but it may mean the homeowner hasn’t taken good care of the home when added up together. And if the homeowner hasn’t kept the small things in good repair, it’s safe to assume the larger things (e.g., water heaters) are probably not faring well either. Be sure to have the home thoroughly inspected by a professional, and ask for concessions on any major issues that are uncovered. Aggressive Scent Management Another red flag that things may not be what they seem in a home is aggressive scent management. It’s a well-known fact that lovely scents like cookies and vanilla can make a home seem more attractive to homebuyers, so it’s not unusual for sellers to use this trick. However, if the seller appears to be overly aggressive about the use of scents in the house (e.g., use of candles, scent plug-ins, and room sprays), it could be a sign that he or she is trying to cover up objectionable and/or worrying odors, such as mold or pet damage. Take a closer look at the walls, floors, and ceilings for things that may indicate issues. For instance, black and grey spots on ceilings may indicate a mold issue. Water damage on walls may mean there was a flood of some type which, in turn, may mean you’ll be dealing with water damage. Again, a good inspector can help you uncover these issues so you don’t end up paying more for the home than necessary. For more information about these issues or help selecting the best home for you, contact a realtor at a real estate agency like Jeff Glover & Associates...

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