Should I Stay or Should I Go: Rental Real Estate

Many people chose to rent for a variety of personal reasons. Sometimes people stay in a rental for years and years. It may be hard to tell when it is time to move from one rental property to another. Or it may be hard to tell when it is time, if ever, to stop renting, and to buy a home. Should you stay or should you go?

 

Reasons to Stay and to Go

  • Land Lord or Management Company

A management company or landlord can make your world wonderful or a pain. My unit was recently sold to a new group and the new supervisor is making up rules as she goes. My home is my sanctuary, and when she begins to cause discord there, then I begin to think it is time to move. If there is a change in personnel or personality for the worst, that may be cause for you to leave.

 

  • Rent Increase

If your rent increases drastically, then it could price you out of your unit. Just remember that moving is expensive, as well. Will the movers, the first, last, and security fees, and the pet fee actually cost you more than the monthly rent increase combined? Do the math and go by the numbers for your decision.

 

  • Deterioration of the Rental

Has the appearance of the rental as well as the general upkeep fallen off recently? Is the grass in the front high as your waist and full of weeds? Are the railings rickety and the steps crumbling? You can call the city for some of these offenses, but if they continue to happen, you may want to get out of the building soon.

 

  • Growth in the Family

If the family has increased so much that two of the children are sleeping in the bathtub, you need to move. While you have had this place since you were a freshmen in college, it appears that it no longer suits your needs. If you are unable to move due to finances, then a redesign of furniture and storage may free up some more room for the family. Sometimes, money locks you in to a small place and you work with what you have.

 

  • Investments

If you are now ready to build up home equity, then you need to buy your apartment if possible, or relocate to a new place you can purchase. Let a good financial planner and real estate agent help you know your financial boundaries and then let the hunt begin.

 

  • Job Relocation

Congratulations on your new job. However, if you are so far from your existing rental that your new pay increase is being eaten up by travel costs, then let the games begin and find your new home. If you know that this career stop will be short with a new move coming quickly behind this one, then sign the appropriate lease term. See if you can get a six or nine month agreement.

Seasonal Sales

When buying or renting your house, condo, or apartment, you might want to consider the time of year you go shopping . The season can make a difference in the price and the housing availability. If you have time to wait until the desirable season for the area you wish to live in, then you might want to consider doing this for some savings.

 

Tropical Regions and Tourist Towns

Some areas have distinct tourist seasons. For example, in Florida the season runs from Thanksgiving to Easter. The long-term vacationers, known as Snow Birds, deplete the market during this time period. The market opens up right after Easter. This happens even for rentals because sometimes an owner will decide to let go of the property because of the marketing trends. The housing market then becomes flush with options and prices are dropped.

In areas like this along the eastern seaboard of the United States, one also has to consider hurricane season. There are federal rules on the time period that you can buy a home if the storm is approaching your desired area. This may prevent you from getting out of or into a contract in a speedy time period. So, there is more to consider that a glut in market in tropical tons.

 

Snowy Starts

Areas known for their snow and cold weather activities have the same thing happen, but just at different times. Traditionally, the market swells when warm weather arrives. There are a few areas, such as Steamboat, that defy this trend and are simply expensive and slim in options for the entire year. It is attractive for snow skiing and then attractive for the cooler weather deep into summer.

 

Rentals

These trends do affect the rental sector of real estate, as well. It may be difficult to find a 12-month lease in Daytona, Florida. If the management company knows he or she can get double the price during season, they may be willing to sit on a vacant property during non-season rather than tie themselves to a deal that garners much less money.

So, if you are willing to sign a rental agreement for nine months (or however long the non-season exists), rather than 12, the landlord may be agreeable. This way they get sub-payment during your agreed time and the higher rent during season. If you only need a place for a short time, then everyone wins.

You can look to see if there is an increase in availability after season, just like with purchasing, if some people do decide to divest themselves of their property. Some people are simply not cut out to run rental properties and discover this after a short stint in the field.

 

Trendy Towns

Towns go through phases where they are simply not trendy anymore for whatever reason. If you can keep an eye on social media as you hunt, try to stay away from the hip spots, as they will cost more. Sometimes, simply looking a few blocks out of the region is enough to see a market decrease.

Tips about Real Estate

At one time or another we will all have dealings with real estate, if it is buying or selling a home or perhaps just buying some real estate as an investment.

When do have these dealings we will not be familiar with all the ins and outs of buying and selling and so we rely strongly on an estate agent to assist us.

There are though some thins that we should do on our own, like making the house as presentable as possible for both the agent’s evaluation and for any potential buyers that show interest.

Studies have shown that those people that sell their house and spend money on professionally landscaping their land prior to selling, receive back 107% of the money they spent in improved selling price.

This may not sound too profitable but it is a higher percentage return than most people get for making renovations prior to selling and you home is not disrupted whilst the work is underway.

If you are buying a house, it is always best to get the house you are considering buying, inspected. Often whoever the insurance company is that you will be using to insure your new house will require an inspection be done on it but if they don’t, get one done anyway so that once you move in you do not get any surprises.

Whether you are buying or selling, you should not wait for the next financial crisis to occur, if you want to buy or sell a house, do it and don’t wait.

Although the fluctuation in property values was extreme in 2007 and 2008, that is an exception and not the rule and so usually any ups and downs in property values is slow and gradual and certainly not something you should wait for.

If you are considering buying real estate as an investment and so are buying a house so you can rent it out, you should make sure that you do all the necessary math first.

Yes, buying to rent can be a profitable investment providing you ensure that you pay a price for the house that can be replaced by the rent payments.

First you will have to discover what reasonable rates for rent are charged in the area. That rent must then be able to cover the cost of any mortgage, allowing for the house being vacant some of the time and also for any maintenance costs that may arise from time to time.

As most people that buy to rent, hire an estate agent to manage their property, the rent charged must also be enough to pay the agent’s fees. Most investors find it better to invest in duplexes so they can get in two rents which make the incomings higher than the out going expenses.

Many investors use the 1% rule which is that rent should be 1% of the value of the house. A $100,000 house would therefore need a monthly rent of $1,000 where a duplex costing the same would need two rents of $500 each.

Unconventional Ways of Financing Real Estate

A significant number of real estate investors with limited investment funds will naturally gravitate towards conventional real estate financing methods like mortgages, hard money, or loans from private and portfolio lenders. For one reason or another either related to your credit history or your cash flow, you may not qualify for these loans or you may just not prefer taking these paths. Even in those cases, there is no reason why you should put investment plans on hold. With a little financial creativity, you can still get your project to take off. Consider these unconventional financing alternatives.

  1. The Seller Financing Option

This is an excellent way to get around traditional mortgages. Mortgage payments are made to sellers rather than to banks. An agreement synonymous to a promissory note is usually framed to detail the agreed terms between the buyer and the seller such as interest rates and the repayment period. It is important to note that this is not a popular alternative among sellers. It is often taken as a last resort especially when they encounter difficulties getting a buyer for their properties. Selling financing is off the table if the seller is unwilling or if he/she does not claim full ownership of the property.

  1. The Lease option

The lease option, also known as the rent-to-own option, can be a great option to acquire a home. Ordinarily, the buyer and the seller will strike a deal that will see the buyer rent the property for a specified period of time after which he/she has the choice to buy. The rent charged by the seller during that period is generally higher than normal because some of it forms part of a down payment for the property. If you are to take this route, you have to willing to buy the property before that period expires because you risk forfeiting your money.

  1. The Private Funding Option

Private funding has to be the best option if it can be accessed. Different from typical private lenders, private loaners involved in this case are friends and relatives. This means that you can agree to very friendly terms as compared to all other financing options. The only problem with this option is that it is not very common. It is stark clear that real estate investments are capital intensive therefore not many of your friends and relatives will be willing to part with large sums of money to finance your project. In addition, some people are reluctant to do business with their family or friends since defaults can mess up relationships.

  1. The Insurance Policy Option

The insurance policy referred to here is the whole life insurance. If you have taken this policy and you have made significant contributions, you may be allowed to borrow from it. As a matter of fact, you can access these funds without any sort of vetting.

These alternatives go a long way to demonstrate that your financing options are not limited to the traditional ones. In fact, the chances of negotiating good terms are better with unconventional ways. Some Investors have made use of these options before and there is no reason why you should not try them.

What is Real Estate?

Obviously the term real estate can have different meanings in different countries but in the UK and several other English speaking countries, it refers to a piece of land that has assets on it. These assets may include buildings, minerals, crops, water or any other immovable objects. That is the broad meaning of the word but most people will associate it with housing, which is more properly referred to as residential real estate.

 

Residential Real Estate

Residential real estate is a property that has buildings which can accommodate one or more families and there are several types of these which include attached/multi-unit dwellings, multi-family house, terraced house, condominium, co-operative, semi-detached, single-family detached house, portable dwellings, houseboats or even tents.

  • Attached/multi-unit dwellings – In the United States these are usually referred to as apartments whilst in the UK they are referred to as flats and consist of multiple dwellings, often in a multi-story complex, within a perimeter of lockable doors.
  • Multi-family house – This usually refers to a detached house which has a separate family unit on each floor.
  • Terraced house – Often referred to as town houses or row houses, these are several single or multi-unit buildings which have been built in a row and so have shared walls with no space between each of them.
  • Condominium – Although this term usually applies to apartments or flats that have shared common spaces, it can also apply to several town or row houses.
  • Co-operative – This is the term given to a complex that has multiple residential units and in exchange for using one, a resident holds shares in the complex.
  • Semi-detached – Semi-detached dwellings are sometimes referred to as duplexes and consist of two housing units that have a shared wall.
  • Single-family Detached House – This is house that stands alone, having no shared walls.
  • Portable Dwellings – These are residences which could potentially be moved.
  • Houseboat – A floating home.
  • Tents – This usually refers to a dwelling which has walls and a roof made of fabric and is very temporary.

Whenever the last three, portable dwelling, houseboat or tent are included in residential real estate listings, they will often include the parcel of land on which they stand or, in the case of the houseboat, the berth where it is located.

When a residence is listed it may have a size mentioned and that size will state living space in the United States meaning, the size not including any attached garage or other non-living space however, in Europe, the size will usually include all areas but both should be in square meters.

 

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate may include any place where a business has been sanctioned to take place, such as a mall, garage or hotel but may include elements of residential units.

It is perhaps important to note that if you intend to operate any type of business from your residence, you should first look at commercial real estate listings as it may be illegal to operate a business on many of the residential real estate listings.