“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
– by Mark Twain
I HAD TO SHARE ONE OF THE MANY THINGS I’VE HAD ON MY BUCKET LIST THAT AS OF FRIDAY I CAN CHECK OFF.
I CONQUERED THE HALF DOME HIKE AND IT WAS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!
FREDDIE OFFERS CASH INCENTIVES FOR BUYING CONDOS
Freddie Mac’s HomeSteps unit is offering cash to buyers willing to purchase one of its foreclosed condos that has been lingering on the market. HomeSteps is hoping to unload some of its high inventory of foreclosed condos through the incentive program, known as HomeSteps Condo Cash.
Through the “Condo Cash” program, condo buyers of HomeSteps properties can get up to $1,500 to help pay for standard home owner association dues.
The offer is only valid to owner-occupant buyers and on HomeStep condos that have been on the market for at least 120 days. To participate, buyers must submit offers between Aug. 15 and Nov. 15, and close escrow by Dec. 30.
Some of the homes also come with a two-year Home Protect home warranty to cover electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, heating, and other major appliances and systems. Home Protect also is offering up to 30 percent discounts on the purchase of new appliances (see http://www.homesteps.com/smartbuy/ for more information).
KEEP CLIENTS BY BEING A REAL ESTATE EXPERT
Although 84 percent of home buyers say they would use the same real estate agent for future transactions, the percentage of those who actually do so is lower.
Experts say there are several ways that agents can ensure that they are not forgotten by past clients — such as sending “Just Listed” and “Just Sold” postcards to the whole neighborhood and past clients to broadcast their success.
They should constantly remind people of who they are and what services they offer to ensure they remain visible, and they should use unique marketing to generate attention.
Additionally, agents should reach out to past customers and prospects who might be experiencing financial troubles; and they should act as a consultant to past clients to determine whether they are eligible to claim the federal home buyer tax credit, positioning themselves as a real estate expert.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE RENTING A HOME YOU CAN’T SELL?
In this difficult housing market, more and more homeowners are considering renting their house instead of adjusting the price. We strongly believe that residential real estate is a great investment and therefore can understand this thinking. However, if you have no desire to actually become an educated investor in this sector, you may be headed for more trouble than you were looking for.
Before renting your home, you should take the following steps to make sure this is the right course of action for you and your family.
Set a consultation appointment with an eviction attorney
People rent out their homes assuming that every tenant will pay the rent every month. We must realize, because of the current economy, there are millions of people not paying their mortgage. There is a chance you may rent to someone who at some point can’t (or simply won’t) pay you the rent. Understand what the legal challenges of eviction could potentially be before deciding to rent your home
Interview property managers
If you are not a full-time investor, hire a professional to handle the property. You need someone to find a qualified tenant, collect the rent and manage the problems. You don’t want to have to make collection calls. What would you say if a tenant told you that they had enough money to either buy food for their children or pay you your rent but not both? You need a person experienced with these situations to help.
You also don’t want to receive calls at all hours of the day and night regarding maintenance issues or challenges a neighbor may be creating for your tenant.
Create an honest budget
Sure, you will receive revenue in the form of rent. However, don’t forget you will also have expenses. Some of the expenses you should consider:
- Mortgage Payment (unless there is no mortgage on the home you will rent out)
- Property Taxes
- Maintenance Expenses such as repairing or replacing: roof, heating/air conditioning unit, appliances, etc.
- Insurance – Check with your insurance company who may suggest or demand that you increase your liability coverage.
Again, renting out residential real estate historically is a great investment. However, it is not without its challenges. Make sure you have decided that you want to rent the house because you want to be an investor, not because it looks like an easier way out than selling the house.
HOMEOWNERSHIP: STILL THE AMERICAN DREAM
Yesterday, Fannie Mae released their National Housing Survey for the second quarter of 2011. They survey the American public on a multitude of questions concerning today’s housing market. Each quarter, we like to pull out some of the findings we deem most interesting. Here they are for the most recent report:
Most Important Reasons to Buy a Home
When we talk about homeownership today, it seems that the financial aspects always jump to the front of the discussion. However, the study shows that the four major reasons a person buys a home have nothing to do with money. The top four reasons, in order, are:
- It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
- You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
- It allows you to have more space for your family
- It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)
The Home as an Investment
Though most people purchase a home for non-financial reasons, everyone realizes there is a money component to homeownership. Here is what they said on this issue:
- 65% of the general population (and 67% of homeowners) believe that homeownership is a “safe” investment.
- 56% believe that homeownership has more potential as an investment than any other traditional asset class.
- 69% think that now is a good time to buy a home (this number has increased in each of the last two quarters)
Rent vs. Buy
We are always interested in the difference people see in renting vs.. owning.
- 63% of renters have aspirations to someday own their own home
- 72% of renters think that owning is superior to renting
- 95% of homeowners see homeownership as a positive experience (4% see it as a negative experience) while 82% of renters see renting as a positive experience (17% see it as a negative experience)
- 96% of homeowners live in a single family residence while 46% of renters live in a multi-unit building
Even in difficult times, Americans still realize the value of homeownership.