Outgrowing Your Home With No Chance for Renovation: What Can You Do?

For those families or individuals considering a move “up” in the real estate market, there’s the other option: renovation. It’s convenient, it’s creative, it offers options, and you develop a sense of accomplishment as you make a house into a home. Your home. However, sometimes situations can prevent you from ever doing anything even close to a lick of a paint can and roller on just one wall in your living room.

Why You Might Just Have to Consider a Move to a New Homerenovation real estate

Your rent-to-own home through the H.O.P.E. Program might have the option; make no mistake about that (because your landlord’s laid back, of course). Here’s the thing, though: perhaps your local ordinance won’t allow a renovation, adding new square footage. If that’s the case, what other option do you have?

Your other issue just might be all about the hassle. Think of the plastic wrap, dust, paint cans, ladders, and other non-specific “hazards” associated with a renovation, and if you’re the certain type of homeowner who doesn’t want to deal with all that — as well as shell out the costs from your valuable home equity loan — might want to consider a major move into a larger dwelling.

There’s the issue, too, of over-improving for your area. In the long run, if you’re maximizing sweat equity for your home, adding too much might be a disadvantage to you. Look at the comparables, for one thing — look around your neighborhood. You just might find that a renovation might put your home above the market, hence whenever the time’s right for you to sell and make some profit from all your investment, you could stand the chance of your home sitting there collecting dust while buyers pass you by. Might not be something you want to face!

A Renovation Might Not Be the Best Course of Action, But….

Every homeowner’s situation is different. You might be happy with your tiny Maine house. Who knows. That renovation might be the best idea, as long as your ordinance allows it. If not, though, pack up your stuff!

Building Your Home Equity and Improving Your Income

Who knew that simply living in your home would actually build something called home equity? That’s a good thing, by the way. What is “home equity” on your zero-down home from the H.O.P.E. Program, for instance?

Simply Put, Your “Home Equity” Is the Combined-Amount Market Value of Your Home Based on All the Interest You Invested in It

That could easily include anything from renovations to countless mortgage payments over time. So it’s true: you literally could increase the value of your home — simply by living in it, generally speaking.

You can’t ever know what your home’s value is, though, just by lying on your bed eating some Doritos,real estate Doritos though. You have to call your lender and get the figures from him/her. This isn’t an etched-in-stone situation either, as home equity largely does depend on the market itself around your neighborhood. If your real estate market’s hitting it big in your area, you might see that your property’s appreciating much more, increasing the home equity — or the real property value — a lot more substantially than you would think. Hence you might actually get approved for something called a “home equity loan.”

Since you put so much money already into the home — either through your mortgage payments or renovations — there’s some investment paid off to you in the long run in the event you want to sell the home and move out. Gives you a bit of a cushion and makes it a lot easier to answer any questions you may have about the possibility of upgrading to a new dwelling.

Additionally, Your Professional Life Might Also Progress

This can happen naturally. Perhaps you hit a big raise. Or a promotion. Maybe you changed jobs. Who knows. Regardless of home equity, your income somehow increased and you can actually afford a larger mortgage payment, covering all sorts of additional costs such as closing expenses and additional renovations to the new property, wherever it may be. Suddenly the prospect of moving out seems to be that much more plausible.

Things to Consider When Thinking About Moving Out of Your Current Home

You could ponder on a home equity loan with a line of credit to net you some funds for moving out. Or maybe your career has advanced so well that the idea of moving to a different home makes sense. Whatever the case, know that it’s all about finances. If you don’t have the dollars to do it, please don’t do it! If, however, you might be “rolling” in it to some degree, perhaps you can explore the possibility.

3 Questions You Should Ask as You Consider Moving “Up” in the Real Estate Market

If you’ve clicked on this, you’re probably asking the ultimate question of the universe for those individuals and families progressing toward the next step in life. Whether you’re knee-deep in the real estate market as a renter and seeking a prospect for new home ownership, or you’re currently a homeowner looking to upgrade for more square footage (more rooms, increased space, accommodating more family members), the fact is you’re at a crossroads: should you move forward? Should you move “up” in this real estate market? Yes or no? Should you contact H.O.P.E. to Own, seeing if you can get a lender’s approval for a home mortgage? (Yes)

Before You Even Ask That Question, Though, There Are Three More You Must Address….

Tricky real estate market you’ve got there…. You’re faced with a lot of planning issues, because the odd real estate highwaything about the real estate market is that it’s a lot like a 1-way highway with just one on-ramp and only a few exit ramps for the next thousand miles or so. Once you get on, you have a long time before you’re able to get off — and getting off will land you in the middle of nowhere. Not a fun place to be in the real estate market.

What I mean by that is that you can make a decision, find a better place — and realize that you’re in a much worse place than you were in before. There’s no going back. You might be caught in a money pit, shelling out dollars you don’t have to pay for repairs you don’t want, for instance. Or perhaps the relocation loses you on some amenities you once had. It’s such a risk: this question about moving “up” in the real estate market. You can be better prepared, though, if you ask (and then answer, of course) these three imperative questions:

  1. “Do I Have Good Enough Finances to Manage a Move With My Current Equity?” — Maybe, maybe not. Improving your income and home equity may be a must for the renter or homeowner seeking a move “up” in the real estate market.
  2. “Are there sufficient options out there in the market?” — The real estate market’s very much like an up-and-down wave, trends rising and falling regularly. Sometimes the supply of available homes are aplenty, and sometimes they’re not. Check and see how the real estate market looks before even considering a move.
  3. “Do I Have a Way to Renovate My Home and Add on to It?” — Who knows: you might not even need to move up at all! What happens, though, if you can’t renovate your home to increase your space? What then?

The Real Estate Market Is Tricky, Yes

You’ve got to be on point with that, and that’s just the start of it. Getting a realtor, touring homes, figuring out what your priorities are: these are all necessities, and it’s a big decision. So prepare yourself. You’ve got to start, though, at the very beginning and make sure you’re even thinking of making a move for the right reasons. If you don’t, you could be heading down the wrong highway off the on-ramp and would have to wait a few hundred miles before getting off…. Stay on the right path and SIGN UP RIGHT HERE TO REGISTER FOR YOUR NEW HOME.

Breaking Down 8 Rental Tips Every Tenant Needs to Know About

It’s a jungle out there! Seriously! Let’s say you’ve lived the dorm life in college, and you’ve had a taste of being out there on your own. You’re ready for the big time now: it’s called “renting a home.” This means you have an actual dwelling, complete with prospects for roof leaks, fridge breakdowns, theft, vandalism, rent payments, black mold, and so many other problems, too many to count, and guess what: you’re responsible for all of it! It’s a big deal. Being in a dorm room is one thing; renting an apartment or home is a totally different ballgame, hence we have these rental tips for you to focus on.

Are You Ready to Rent? Check Out These Rental Tips:

Rental tips are like quartzite nuggets for the drifter looking for some direction in life. After all, you’re just fresh out of college — or perhaps looking to upgrade from studio to 2-bedroom, to 3-bedroom, to 4-bedroom — and you need to make sure you’re on the right track. Treat this checklist like the bible of rental tips. This will be your rental real estate religion:

There you have it: eight rental tips. But be sure to follow the links to get more background on them. Trade secrets. Killer knowledge.

You’ll be an Expert at Renting Very Soon

Rental tips like these will ensure that no matter what situation, wherever you live, your opportunity  at a rent-to-own home or apartment won’t ever go sour as long as you always follow protocol, the necessary steps, legal guidelines, and advice to ensure that you not only cover your own bases, but provide the best possible dwelling for you or your family. Don’t get lax — there might be a quiz later!

Check them out at RTO Reviews for more info about what they can do for you right now.

Treating the Prospective Neighborhood Like a Shopping Day at the Mall

You know that timeless show “Clueless” with Alicia Silverstone? It paved the way for mallrats, Paul Blarts, segways, mannequins, food courts, and lots and lots of bubblegum, but who would’ve thought that there was even a shred of knowledge lending to the art of house hunting? Or in this case, renting? (For all intents and purposes, this even applies to home mortgage help with H.O.P.E. to Own!)

Like, Seriously, Shop Around Your Neighborhood for the Best PropertiesClueless Home Renter

You can’t beat this particular strategy out of all rental tips available. Not only do you get in on the trends for real estate in your neighborhood — everything from what’s selling, to what prices have dropped, to location, to safety issues — but you also get to research any specific laws in your area just to make sure you’re kosher (and the landlord would be kosher as well).

Perhaps a side street in the neighborhood doesn’t have any speed bumps, making it a hazard for little children. Or your particular apartment or rent-to-own home happens to be close to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ArtPrize. Consider easements, too. Municipal codes for parks and playgrounds. These are all relevant issues to consider when shopping around your neighborhood for rental prospects. As if….

This is especially true regarding apartment complexes. Feel free to peruse — like you’re shopping at the local Gap store for a new pair of khakis. You want to make sure the units (pants) are top notch and maintained regularly, complete with amenities. Visit the clubhouse. Maybe there’s an in-ground pool available as well. Is it maintained well? Consider that, for sure. Focus on your priorities. This is smart searching and buying (renting, actually), because you certainly don’t want to get stuck in a lease with a unit that makes your life miserable.

Who Knew Renting Would Be so Competitive?

Like we may be seeing soon with March Madness, competition will get wicked. Take advantage of that and shop smart. Selective. Particular. But in order to do that, you’ve got to follow this rental tip and SIGN UP RIGHT HERE TO REGISTER AND BUY YOUR FIRST HOME!

Why Researching Landlords Is a Lot Like Waiting in Line at the DMV

Patience, Daniel-San; Mr. Miyagi will teach you how to be a real estate guru. You said it best there! It’s all about patience. Paint the car, paint the house, paint the fence! Are you kidding me? It’s true, though; you have to be patient, thorough, and complete with your investigation of rental properties and apartment complexes, researching landlords to the hilt until you know what their favorite colors are! This isn’t a joke. This is the real deal.

Why Is Researching Landlords so Important?

For one thing, you’ll need a few items to ensure you’re following legal protocol and compliance. Landlord-tenant law’s very particular about a lot, so researching landlords will ensure you’re on the ball. Here’s a quick list:

  • Identificationlandlord real estate paperwork
  • Proof of Employment and Income
  • a Copy of Your Credit Report

That’s not to say you may face a landlord that’ll completely shut you out if you’re missing just one of these. This is where it’s not completely like the DMV, out of luck in renewing your driver’s license without a birth certificate, for example. These documents, though, will certainly help fast-track you toward signing your new lease on the day you view the property. This is crucial.

Why? Consider the tight rental market, for one thing. Real estate prices can get scary, right? All that searching for the right rental home even with all the updated rental tips you can get your hands on will amount to nothing, because your timeline for getting into some property runs dry, and you’re left to still searching. It’s smart to be as prepared as possible before even approaching a landlord.

While researching landlords, too, don’t forget to bring all sorts of supporting documentation regarding repairs, pre-emptives for move-in inspections and other forms. You not only go through the process a lot faster — but a lot smoother.

Take a Number

Trust me. You’ll thank me for it. All that time and effort reviewing and researching landlords left and right might be a hassle at the moment, but you can rest assured: it’ll pay off in the end. As in you’ll be living in a rental that’s kept well, maintained, and you’ll have your landlord wrapped around your fingers.

Why It’s Probably a Good Idea to Have a Real Estate Attorney

Think about how this might be relevant to you. You’re dealing with a landlord, for crying out loud! Ask a room full of fifty home renters if they ever had just one problem with their landlord, and chances are at least 50% of them will raise their hands. Maybe this is why homeowners sleep a lot after having coped with rentals in the past….

Seriously, Though — You Need That Real Estate Attorney on Your Side

It goes without saying that the lease, essentially a real estate contract, will have specific lingo that youreal estate law might want a specialist — a real estate attorney — to basically translate for you. Know the fine print. Understand the terms of your security deposit — and especially if its kosher legally, yet another reason why it’s smart to have a real estate attorney look it over.

Because this is basically contractual law, you have to stipulate that you get everything in writing. If you don’t, legally that landlord can do whatever he or she wants regardless of what the real estate attorney can do for you. Therefore, take note: if a landlord promises something to you (and every real estate attorney will tell you this) get it in writing. Period.

It’s important to discuss matters with your real estate attorney in the event that your privacy’s violated. Case in point: if the landlord or maintenance staff enters your rental beyond what’s stated in your rental agreement stipulating guidelines, you can safely say that it’s a sure bet your privacy rights have been infringed upon. Discuss that with your real estate attorney immediately. You then just might have a case in court for compensation.

Every Tenant Has Rights

It’s common to say that the landlord’s the ‘boss.’ That’s not true. In many ways, the tenant’s more of the boss. In truth, though, both the landlord and tenant are partners in agreement to maintain a business relationship. You pay rent; the landlord maintains the property for you. Plain and simple. Out of all rental tips, this has to be the simplest.

Just to ensure the relationship’s maintained well, you never know: that real estate attorney just might come in handy! For more answers to your questions, though, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE H.O.P.E. PROGRAM RIGHT NOW about rent-to-own homes in your area.

Who Gets to Fix the Faucet: Tenant or Landlord?

This can be as confusing as the Edward Nygma with the riddles, and if I were Batman, I’d get some ground rules down on what guidelines to follow in spite of the many situations you could be involved in with a landlord, property management company, or apartment complex. Get some rental tips together and make sure you’re prepared — because Batman’s always prepared.

How a Superhero Would Get a Faucet Fixedreal estate Batman

Basic rule of thumb: your landlord has one expectation to fulfill: a habitable environment for the tenant (in this case Batman, who has a bat cave with minimal plumbing, it seems). A habitable environment is defined specifically as a dwelling providing adequate heat, water and electricity. It has to be safe. So in the case of a leaky faucet, you then ask the ultimate question: will the tenant or landlord fix the problem? Good question….

Batman would just do it on his own, but here’s the thing: by law, landlords are required to repair or replace items that have been damaged through normal wear and tear. That simply means if the faucet started leaking over time, chances are the question of tenant or landlord is answered by the latter. If the tenant broke the faucet, however — tenant or landlord? You guessed it: tenant.

The Question of Tenant or Landlord Not Entirely Black or White

You can tell automatically that the question of tenant or landlord isn’t necessarily an easy question to answer, because any situation regardless of real estate trends for 2015 — debatable even in a court of law — can have differing viewpoints. Perspectives. Opinions. It can get pretty confusing.

This is why, in fact, it’s important that you have this all set up, written out, and agreed upon immediately even before you sign a lease. That way whenever anyone asks the question of tenant or landlord as far as repair and replacement are concerned, the answer’s pretty easy — as easy as Batman beating the pulp out of the Joker.

Yes, Your Landlord Is an Actual Human Being and Not the Terminator

It’s sad that everyone thinks of a landlord as that cybernetic killer, preying on the innocent and taking your money. Your landlord is not the Terminator, people. Arnold Schwarzenegger would retch at the thought. In truth, your landlord’s probably one of the most harmless mammals known to man, and if you really get to know your landlord well, that mammal might actually be adorable! (Not really)

The Unfortunate Stigma of Your Landlord

This does contribute to the negative connotation simply because we don’t like to address concerns with landlords. Your landlord just might evict you — shudder at the thought! Bear this in mind, please: if it real estate terminatorwasn’t for you, the tenant, your landlord wouldn’t have a shred of revenue come in! Your landlord needs you.

Additionally, by law, your landlord has a responsibility to you — to the well-being of the dwelling as far as maintenance and safety are concerned — which means his or her first priority is to ensure that all your needs are met. Rental tips for the up-and-coming home renter never saw this coming as positive as it is: you can talk to your landlord about your problems, and he or she will address them immediately.

Just be upfront and honest. If you’re having trouble paying this month’s rent, bring it up immediately. Don’t hide. Don’t give your landlord a reason to start banging on your door.

If you’re getting really sick of hearing that faucet drip, be honest: let your landlord know. It’s his/her job to get it fixed. By law, it’s a requirement.

Communication Is the Key to Success as a First-Time Renter

I’d venture to say that your landlord probably appreciates it. Honesty, openness, laid-back. The reverse is the same for landlords far and wide. They won’t normal tenants on their books, people. Not crazy people. So when they’re facing the decision of signing a rental agreement for a rent-to-own home with the H.O.P.E. Program and a particular tenant, it’s clear that the decision has to be a sound one.

You ensure your landlord’s confidence in the best way — by always being a tremendous communicator. Even during Judgment Day.

 

The Crucial Importance of Renters Insurance

You may heard of renters insurance but wonder why on God’s green Earth would you ever need it. Who knows — you may not need it at all. After all, you technically don’t own anything in the home except for your typical belongings: perhaps a TV, some clothes, a phone, and maybe a few other things. It’s not like you can’t have any policies already for such things, but believe me — renters insurance is a real thing for tenants, and not only can it be a smart option for you (if you have high-priced items in your place, such as a laptop or computer), but your lease might actually require that you obtain it.

You Would Then Need to Consult With an Insurance Company About Renters Insurance

See what your options are. In the end, you’ll be thanking the fates for the decision you made, perhaps surviving a very nasty fire in your rent-to-own home from H.O.P.E. to Own, and having all your personal belongings reimbursed — all because you were smart enough to take out a policy for renters insurance!real estate fire

It’s particularly imperative that you do consider renters insurance, because your landlord’s policy won’t cover any of those damages. The only damages he or she would be covered on would be any of the included appliances and the structure itself. Basic rule of thumb: if you bring it into the home or apartment, chances are your landlord’s insurance policy won’t cover it at all.

Protect Your Own Property

And it’s affordable, just so you know. So out of all the rental tips you get to apply, this one won’t cost you a fortune. You can expect perhaps approximately $350 annually, covering a total of $50K in reimbursements for your stuff. That’s a pretty good deal in my opinion. Take advantage of it.