For those who have less than a stellar credit history; yet, who still want to have their own home, a rent-to-own option is worth considering. A rent-to-own (RTO) agreement is a hybrid between buying a home and renting a home.
Usually, RTO deals require a significant down payment that applies towards the home purchase. An RTO tenant/buyer gets the option to buy the home for a certain price at some date in the future. The down payment is lost if a tenant/buyer does not go forward with the home purchase.
Another common characteristic of RTO deals is that a portion of the rent applies to the home purchase.
The Pros Of Rent-To-Own Deals
The significant down payment on an RTO deal is usually more than would be required as a security deposit for a lease agreement on a home of a similar type. This down payment gives the home seller/landlord the financial security needed to let a person occupy the home even if they have a bad credit history.
In some cases, the party offering an RTO sale does not even bother to run a credit history check on the RTO buyer.
The seller/landlord gets to keep the down payment no matter what happens. Usually, a person putting down a significant amount is a good tenant in spite of having bad credit. Having money invested in the property gives the tenant/buyer a strong incentive to take better care of the property than if renting or leasing.
Another advantage for the tenant/buyer is the ability to lock in a home purchase price for a sales transaction completed far in the future.
Typical RTO deals last for two years or longer, with the average being five years. This gives the tenant/buyer time to improve credit records and to qualify for the financing needed to consummate the home purchase.
The Cons Of Rent-To-Own Deals
If property values go down in the area where the home is, the value of the RTO deal can suffer. A few years later, the home may not be worth the price for buying it that is in the RTO agreement.
If any life circumstances change, the tenant/buyer may lose the down payment by having to forgo purchasing the property. If the tenant/buyer does not consummate the purchase they lose the down payment plus any portion of the rent applied to reduce the purchase price.
The tenant/buyer in the RTO transaction typically has to take on full responsibility for the home after they occupy it. This is an advantage for the seller/landlord but a disadvantage for the tenant/buyer who becomes responsible for all the maintenance, repairs, and upkeep of the property.
Rent-to-own deals are quite popular and effective for both sides in the deal under certain circumstances. Certainly for those that have a poor credit history an RTO deal is a convenient way to reduce the waste of paying rent and gain some potentially valuable home ownership instead.
Please consider meeting with your trusted real estate and mortgage professionals to discuss your options before entering into a risky financial agreement.
Hardwood flooring is considered a premium flooring material. It’s natural, long-lasting, durable and comes in a wide assortment of colors, wood, stains and plank widths. But hardwood flooring isn’t always the best choice. If you’re looking at homes to buy and eliminating the ones with laminate flooring, you could be overlooking some important considerations.
There are at least four times when laminate flooring is a better option than hardwood:
1. You Live In A Very Humid Climate
Excess humidity isn’t kind to hardwood floors. Wood is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from the surroundings. Too much moisture in the air can make hardwood floor planks “cup,” which is when the lateral sides curl up. Wood swells when it gets wet, which can cause displacement of individual planks. Remember too, that you can live in a temperate climate, but if the house is lakeside or within 10 miles from the shoreline, that will increase the humidity levels in the home.
2. You Live In A Very Dry Climate
Hardwood floors don’t respond well to dry climates, either. In times of very low humidity, wood contracts. This can lead to cracking and the development of cracks in between planks. While the gaps can be temporary, if grime gets in there, they can become permanent. Cracking is permanent and needs to be repaired and then sealed.
3. Your Family Is Hard On Floors
If you have youngsters, a big dog, or other factors, those can be hard on floors. In some cases like this, it can be damaging to hardwood floors, which are expensive to buy and maintain. Laminate flooring is much more accepting of wear and tear, and if you need to replace it, the cost isn’t exorbitant.
4. You Have Special Hobbies
If you have certain activities you engage in, such as painting, fishing, wood carving or other special hobbies, you might want to reconsider the value of laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is a lot easier to clean up when it comes to paint splatters, muddy boots and wood shavings. With laminate flooring, instead of worrying about protecting your hardwood floors, you can focus on enjoying your hobby.
If your real estate agent wants you to see a house with laminate flooring, give it a chance. You might just discover that there are times when laminate flooring is better than hardwood.
If you are in the market for a new home or interested in selling your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.
Whether you’ve been looking for a home for a long time now, or you’re just about to get started on the hunt, you’re probably wondering how long should you spend looking for a new home. Does it take weeks to find your forever home, or months or even a year? What’s typical?
There Is No Typical
The reality is, there is no typical amount of time it takes to find your home. There are too many variables, including how actively you’re looking. Maybe you’ve heard horror stories of people who’ve been hunting for a house for a year. But come to find out, they’ve only really devoted one weekend a month to looking at houses.
Or you’ve heard of a couple who found their dream home in just two days. Well, odds are they spent many nights online, sifting through hundreds of house images and only went to see a handful of homes in person which really met their search criteria.
The Market Plays A Part
It takes longer to find a home when the market is slanted toward sellers. In times like that, there’s less inventory and the houses that are available may be out of reach financially. Keep looking, though, because your real estate agent may find the ideal house on the market from a motivated seller who’s wiling to come down on the price. Hang in there and you’ll find your dream home in any market.
Does Your Dream Home Exist?
If you feel like your home search has been dragging on despite a favorable market, it could be you’re looking for something too elusive to find. Maybe it’s not the houses you’re dissatisfied with, but something else. You may be unconsciously trying to recapture something you’ve lost, like your old childhood neighborhood or a feeling of community.
These are all valid desires that you can acquire with the right home in the right place. Try to identify what you’re really looking for so your real estate agent can help you find it.
When it comes to finding your home, it takes as long as it takes. Enjoy the process, communicate with your real estate agent and try to keep an open mind. One day, when you least expect it, you’ll walk through the doors of your next home for the first time.
When you’re in the market for a new home to buy, your real estate agent will likely invite you to ride along with them to view homes. This is a convenient courtesy, but you may want to reconsider. Your other option is to follow the real estate agent in your own car instead.
Here are some reasons to take your own car when viewing homes:
1. It Gives You Time To Confer With Your Partner
After you’ve looked at one house, getting back into your private vehicle with your partner allows some time to openly talk about the house you just saw without worrying about how it may influence others.
2. It Lets You Drive Slower
Real estate agents do quite a bit of behind-the-scenes preparation when showing homes. They may have driven to a property several times before they bring you to see it. As such, they may drive with the intent of “getting there,” while you may might like to drive slower so you can see more of the area.
When you follow behind in your own car, you can take your time or even slow down more if you see something of interest, like a park or an interesting coffee shop.
3. It Lets You Contemplate Specific Features
When you get back into your own car after viewing a house, you and your partner can sit in comfortable silence if you wish to think about certain features you really liked. This is also an opportune time to make mental notes of features you’d be interested in seeing in future houses. Once you get your list together you can talk about it later with your real estate agent.
4. It’s More Convenient If You Decide To Make An Offer
Let’s say you’ve just seen the house that you are positive you want to buy. You ask your agent to make a formal offer. Now the agent has to head back to the office to submit the offer.
If you’ve driven your own car, you can simply part ways and you go back to work or home and await the results. Otherwise, there’s a delay on the submission while the agent drops you at your house first.
The next time you spend an afternoon looking at houses with your agent, consider taking your own car. As you can see, it’s the smart option.
Partnering with a trusted real estate agent is an important part of your home buying experience. Be sure to communicate your needs every step of the way.
It can be challenging to be organized when you have children. But this is only because, as a devoted parent, you want to be sure your child has everything they need to become happy, well-rounded adults some day.
This usually means you’ll be bringing your kids to extracurricular activities, play dates, fun events and family outings. It also typically means that over the years there will be a steady stream of school supplies, toys, new clothes and maybe even a musical instrument or two. So how can busy parents stay organized with kids?
Share A Calendar
Depending on how you prefer to organize your days, consider sharing a digital or paper calendar with the entire family. Family members can add events as needed and everyone can access the latest updates. This way, no one gets caught off guard when the dinosaur diorama is due on Monday morning or your child’s ballet recital gets moved from Friday to Saturday afternoon.
Don’t Be Too Detailed
Toys and art supplies have a way of ending up on the living room floor no matter how many tidy storage bins are in your child’s room. Try keeping a large wicker laundry basket in the corner of the living room and let your child pile their things randomly inside the basket. This allows for fast cleanups and doesn’t require you to supervise the “organization.” It also lets smaller kids feel like they’re being a big kid by helping to straighten up.
Store Papers In Accordion Files
Keep accordion folders on hand in the kitchen for when your child comes home with artwork or papers with A grades. Have one accordion file for each month, because they will fill up fast. At the end of each month, go through and filter out anything you don’t want to save permanently. With this method you’ll automatically have your child’s best papers saved according to date.
Do Things On The Same Day
It’s surprisingly helpful to make a practice of always doing certain things on certain days. For instance, every Saturday is bath night, or every Wednesday is change the sheets day. This lets kids know what to expect in their lives and makes it easier for parents to remember things.
Children add so much joy to parents’ lives. When you’re organized, you’ll probably find that you have even more time to share with your little loved ones.
Need some extra space for the kids in your life? Call your trusted real estate professional to help you find your next dream home today!
It can be physically and emotionally challenging when moving from one town to another. There are lots of things going on at once; the actual packing and moving your belongings, saying goodbye to friends, changing jobs and just getting used to a new way of living.
It can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Try these six tips for a smooth transition.
1. Let Go
Try to look forward instead of back. You will certainly want to remember all the wonderful moments you’ve had in your “old” town, but give yourself permission to be excited about your new place to live. Leave the past in the past while still treasuring the times you shared with friends and loved one. This will enable you to fully open yourself to new possibilities.
2. Learn Your Way Around
Do some exploring in your new town. If possible, stroll or bicycle around to acclimate yourself to your new surroundings. If it’s too far away and you haven’t yet moved, use Google Earth’s street view to wander around virtually. Locate the places you’ll definitely need, like the post office, coffee shop and dry cleaners.
3. Join Local Groups
Do a search for Facebook groups in your new town and ask to join. You’ll get a sense of the community and get better tuned into what resources are available and what people are talking about. Try searching Meetup groups in the new town for activities in which you’re interested.
4. Plant Roots
Make your new house a home by planting some pretty perennials out front or creating a vegetable garden out back. When you literally plant roots, you’ll feel more like you really belong.
5. Get Involved
It’s hard sometimes to make new friends as adults, especially out of work. But if you make an effort to get involved in the community, you’ll likely find that people are eager to get to know you. Keep your eyes and ears open for ways to join in with community events.
6. Fling Open The Doors
Say yes to life. You’re in a new town, and this is the perfect time to start new projects, try new things and meet new people. Try doing something new at least once a week. You just might find a new favorite activity or a new friend.
These six tips for transitioning to a new town will help you begin your new life with a positive outlook. Remember, there’s no time like the present to start the future!
One of your best assets to navigate the properties in a new town is an experienced real estate professional. Be sure to make contact with your wish list before you start your search.