Carol Rock's Blog
So, you want to buy a property and offset it with rental income, but a multi-family or apartment complex is a bit too rich for your bank account? No problem! Most of the steady increase in new renters comes from young millennials, and you can cash in on this increase as well by buying just a slightly larger property. Renting out rooms to students, or the other half of a duplex is a great way to supplement your income or offset that larger house purchase you don't completely fill yet.
Some layouts are better for segregating (for privacy) and renting out than others. Look for homes with secondary entrances, guest houses, separate parking, and multiple bathrooms or a finished basement with its own bathroom to ask for the highest rents. Your agent can help you find these properties; they are experts in the needs of potential landlords.
Owning and Renting a Duplex
Duplexes have some significant income advantages, especially for new investors. If you're planning to live in one of the units for at least a year, you'll qualify for FHA loans that can cover over 90 percent of the property value. Additionally, you can rent out the other side to offset your payments. That lets you be both a homeowner and a landlord at the same time, whereas if you were to purchase a single-family home with an FHA loan, you would still have to live in it for a year before renting it out, cutting down on your potential income. The downside of living in and renting out your duplex is proximity. You typically share a wall with your tenants, which means very little is hidden from them, and you're always on call if they need something.
You can also rent out your duplex to your elderly parents or grown children, which allows you to be together while having separation and privacy.
Being a Landlord
No matter what size your rental property, from a single room to an apartment complex, you are responsible for the property. That means all maintenance, landscaping, upgrades, appliances, emergencies, and anything else that crops up is yours to take care of in a timely manner. Be sure to check your state and local laws for the specific landlord requirements and tenants’ rights in your area.
Next time you make that open house list, be sure to ask about properties good for sharing with a tenant. Your realtor can help!
If you plan to buy a home in the immediate future, there are several concerns that you should address before you embark on your house search. In fact, some of the most common homebuying concerns include:
1. Lack of Home Financing
You know you want to purchase a house, but obtaining financing sometimes is difficult. Fortunately, if you meet with various banks and credit unions, you can review all of the home financing options at your disposal and map out your home search accordingly.
Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask a bank or credit union relative to home financing. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable home financing specialists who are happy to assist you in any way possible. These specialists can respond to your home financing concerns, and as a result, help you make an informed mortgage selection.
2. Tight Homebuying Timeline
If you are tasked with relocating to a new home as quickly as possible, you may have to conduct a fast house search. But if you explore ways to maximize your time and resources, you could boost the likelihood of conducting a successful home search, regardless of your homebuying timeline.
Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of homebuying tasks that you need to complete. You then can establish goals designed to help you stay on track with your homebuying timeline.
You also should keep a close eye on the housing sector in your preferred cities and towns. That way, if a great home at a budget-friendly price becomes available, you can instantly pounce at this homebuying opportunity.
3. Establishing Realistic Homebuying Expectations
The homebuying journey offers no guarantees. If you enter the housing market with realistic expectations, however, you can avoid potential disappointments during your home search.
To establish realistic homebuying expectations, it generally is a good idea to make a list of home must-haves and wants. This list will allow you to hone your house search to residences that meet your criteria. It also can help focus on available residences that fall within your price range.
In addition, it often helps to hire a real estate agent before you conduct a house search. A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about finding and purchasing a house. Plus, he or she can provide expert insights at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides when you are ready to submit an offer to purchase a home, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive homebuying proposal and submit it to a seller. If a seller accepts your offer, a real estate agent then will help you finalize your house purchase.
Ready to embark on the homebuying journey? Address your homebuying concerns, and you can minimize risk as you begin your search for your ideal residence.
When you think of all the things that go into getting your house ready to go on the market, you may want to throw your hands up and run away. Do not despair, there is hope. You will free up a lot of your time when you ask for help from your real estate professional. The support may come in the form of a quick walk-through of your home and property so you can note where to put your time and effort. From the front to the back and even into the dreaded bathroom cupboards you will need to scrub and organize all the places a buyer will want to look.
Neat and tidy curb appeal
Often, the initial impression people get of your home is the online picture. Because of this, you will want your entryway and front yard looking clean and inviting. You will often hear the advice to depersonalize your yard and home. Doing so allows the potential buyer to see themselves living in that space. It may seem sterile and generic to you, but it really will help you get your house sold. Keep the front porch area simple with a small seating area or colorful flowering planters to greet potential buyers. Keep away from lawn ornaments or too many flower pots and planters this will look cluttered and make the area seem small and cramped.
Every closet, every drawer
If you are still living in the house while it is on the market keeping it clean will be a struggle. So, to combat this, a good old fashion de-cluttering is in order. Storing away items not in season or rarely used is in order. Take advantage of some of your garage space and get a jump on packing those boxes to move. Remember this is just temporary, and a clean-looking space welcomes the buyer and communicates you cared for the property well. Remember when people are looking, they may open cupboards and drawers so organized them and repair anything that needs attention. A sticky drawer or loose cupboard door is a turnoff to buyers.
The quick start list
A few quick and easy ideas to start you in the right directions are:
- Shampoo all the carpet areas
- Wash all the windows inside and out, plus screens
- Pressure wash the siding, brick, decks, walkways, driveways, and garage doors
- Keep the lawn and edging trimmed and weeds pulled
- Wipe down all the interior walls and cabinets
- Dust everywhere
Take any suggestions your real estate professional gives you seriously. It may even be worth paying someone to come in and do a few larger projects to get your place in top condition. Call your local realtor for a market analysis of your home today.
Everyone dreads moving day (if you don't, you are a rare breed). Remember how tired you got just thinking about it - The hassles of house hunting, the sorting, the packing, the heavy lifting, the question of which is worse, the "moving out" or the "moving in"?
Thankfully, there are now numerous apps that help when it comes to moving in or out, whether locally or across the country. It is essential for you to know which apps are your best friends when you are relocating. In most cases, they will save you plenty of time and money.
Zillow comes up as number 1 in most moving apps rating lists and for a good reason too. This trade center of real estate has been described as the most credible site for house hunting. If you are indecisive, this is the perfect place to start. A great feature is that it comes with pictures of the external and internal layout along with video walk-throughs so you can see what you are getting without being there physically. It also offers information on the neighborhood.
It is annoying when you have to rummage through neatly packed boxes in search of just one little thing or when your movers unload the kitchen box in the bedroom. Apart from packing neat boxes, it is even better to monitor what is in what box and where they need to be unloaded. The cool thing about Sortly is its visual inventory list.
Take pictures of items as you pack, adding them to the inventory, then print out QR codes for each box. When you need to unpack in your new place, just scan the codes, and you get a full view of the contents of each box — no more rummaging.
This app is where the muscle comes in. Moved is better compared to Dolly because dolly is said to be more expensive and is best used when you need a little help with a small move. Moved asks "where?" and "when?" and then links you up with someone whom you can collaborate with to plan the process and book moving companies.
After the stressful day (which could have been worse without these apps), you only want everything in its right place. No app is going to unpack your clothes and arrange them in your wardrobe, but you do get something close with this app. Magicplan helps you create a plan for how you want to organize your new place. It's like the blueprints of your future decor. It can measure distances to create a precise floor plan virtually so that you know where everything goes.
Moving doesn't have to be a scary venture. Once you have put together your plan, you can pack your boxes based on that and use sticky notes to direct the movers where to set the boxes. Contact a reliable moving company also to make sure your move is as smooth as possible.
You may take your front door for granted. Maybe you only use your front door occasionally when company comes or you have a gathering at your home. It’s amazing how much more curb appeal you can give to your home with a properly lit front door. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you brighten your front door and the overall appeal of your home.
Make Your Front Door Shine Through The Night
If you want your home to have curb appeal, you may think of the daylight hours. Sure, you want your home to look good during the day, but there are 24 hours! You can find plenty of ways that you can add nighttime curb appeal to your home with correct types of landscape lighting. Some ideas to help you highlight your front door can be found below:
Put a spotlight on the entryway
Using bold lighting like this can help you to enhance the features that are already present on the front of your home.
Use sconce lighting
This type of lighting is easily mounted onto the side of walls or the side of your home. You can use these types of lights to add to the style of your home as they come in many different kinds from the stately to the fun and whimsical. These lights also provide quite a welcoming touch to the home.
Consider Lighting Your House Number
Wherever your house number is present, you should try to light it. This way, after daylight hours, guests can clearly see what house number is yours. You can do this with a lamp post or a spotlight depending on where you have your house numbers mounted.
Use Lighting Variations
Just as you would on the inside of your home, the outside of your home should use variations of lighting. Use sconces for overhead lighting. Think of the lighting on the outside of your home based on the main types of lighting: task, decorative, ambient, and accent lighting. Using these basic design principles can help you to find where the need for light is in your yard.
Highlight Your Landscape
Your hard efforts at landscaping aren’t just for the daylight hours. Use lighting in your yard as a way to highlight the beauty of your yard the whole day and night through. If you have particularly unique trees or bushes, or a nice statue in your yard, use lights to brighten the space and show off the best features that your yard has to offer.
When thinking of lighting your yard keep safety as your first priority and design as your second for a great outdoor lighting scheme.