Renting versus Buying a Home

HomeJust because you can buy a home does not always mean that you should. It’s important for you to consider if it is better for you to own or rent a home.

Here are five reasons you might want to rent:

  1. You may be moving within five years. It usually takes five years to break even on your home purchase or investment.
  2. You don’t want the responsibilities associated with being a homeowner. It can be expensive and time consuming to maintain a home.
  3. You have a bad credit report. If your score is below 620, you will not get a good interest rate.
  4. You have a high debt ratio. A high debt ratio means you may not qualify for a loan.
  5. You have job instability. If your job is not secure, it’s not a good idea to buy.

Here are four reasons you might want to buy:

  1. You want to build equity. The longer you own your home the more equity it will build. When you pay rent, that money goes down the drain.
  2. You get a tax break when you deduct mortgage interest.
  3. You want the emotional satisfaction of owning your own home.
  4. It’s an investment. With low interest rates and home prices, buying investment property is a wise decision.

How to Find the Perfect Tenant for Your Real Estate

for rent blue 3d realistic paper speech bubbleOf the many joys of property management, good tenants top the list. The top of the headaches list? Bad tenants. Problems from failing to pay the rent in a timely manner to inadequate cleanliness to inconsiderate community habits plague the rental world of real estate.

You can find the best tenant for your vacancy by following these few steps.

  1. Advertise

Having plenty of applicants to select from means that you can find a good match for the vacancy. So advertise to collect a crowd of prospective tenants. It’s worth the extra time spent showing the property to more people to find a reliable tenant.

  • Spread the word among your friends and family that you have a space available. Through personal connections, you are most likely to find a good match for your space.
  • Put a sign up outside the unit. People living in the neighborhood, or visiting family or friends in the area, are the most likely to want to rent there.
  • Put listings for your real estate in online sources…such as craigslist.
  1. Review Rental Applications with Care

While there are no guarantees, a few practices can help you screen applicants for your real estate vacancy.

  • Check Rental History: If your prospective renter has moved every three months, it’s worth asking why. When you call to verify rental history, check with former landlords to find out if there were any issues.
  • Check Credit Reports: Your prospective tenant might proclaim that he is independently wealthy, but even if he is, that doesn’t mean he pays his bills on time. That said, remember that credit reporting agencies aren’t always accurate, so do allow for issues to be explained.
  • Verify Income: Your tenant should have a steady means of meeting his rental obligation. Request copies of recent pay stubs or other income to ensure that the tenant can reasonably afford the rent you are charging.
  • Check Job References: Ideally, you want a tenant who has a stable job history.

Of course, as a landlord you already know that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), or disability.

Pros and Cons of Home Ownership

3D question mark concept - HOUSING PROBLEMS... - Stock ImageiStock_000032478210LargeIf you’re sitting in your apartment right now thinking: I wish I could paint it, but my lease doesn’t allow it, maybe it’s time to talk to a real estate agent about purchasing a new home. Before you rush off to the store to look at paint samples or, more importantly, sign on the dotted line of any mortgages, consider the pros and cons of buying.

Pros

  1. Financial Investment: Given the gloomy news on foreclosure rates across the country, it is easy to forget that buying real estate is also a means of saving and investing. The money you pay in rent to your landlord goes to your landlord; the money you put toward a mortgage goes toward building equity in your home.
  2. Pride of Ownership: By buying a home, you will be able to paint the interior walls any color, renovate to your heart’s content, put nails in the walls and know that it is truly your territory. As a homeowner, you have a level of control over your environment that renters lack.
  3. Putting Down Roots: Purchasing real estate is a commitment to a community, akin to staking a flag in the ground. You’re not just passing through, if you own your own home.       Most mortgages are 15 to 30 years.       Certainly, you can sell before that time is up, but with closing and moving costs and an uncertain market, the era of flipping houses for fun and profit is at a close. Buying your first home may involve considerations on other long-term decisions such as where you want to raise your children.

Cons

  1. Additional Expenses: Even if the mortgage you secure on your home is less than your current rent, home ownership comes with a lot of extra bills. You may not have considered the cost of yearly real estate taxes, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. If your water heater dies as a renter, your landlord is required to replace it.       As a homeowner, you’re looking at the time and expense of getting it replaced yourself.
  2. Less Flexibility: Rental leases often include provisions for leaving before the termination of the lease. So, if you’ve decided to accept a job offer in Paris, while you might lose some money in security deposits, you can sever your connection relatively easily. That’s not the case with a mortgage. You are responsible for the payment on the mortgage whether you live in your home, rent it out while you’re in Paris or leave it vacant. Buying real estate is a serious, long-term commitment.
  3. Less Time: With most apartments, someone else is raking the leaves, shoveling the snow, mowing the lawn, and replacing that broken water heater. As a homeowner, those duties would fall to you or someone you hire to tend to those issues.

Whether you’re ready to stop renting and buy a home or you need more information before taking the plunge, I can help. Give me a call or email me today.

 

 

How to Find the Perfect Tenant

For RentOf the many joys of property management, good tenants top the list. The top of the headaches list? Bad tenants. Problems from failing to pay the rent in a timely manner to inadequate cleanliness to inconsiderate community habits plague the rental world.

You can find the best tenant for your vacancy by following these few steps.

  1. Advertise

Having plenty of applicants to select from means that you can find a good match for the vacancy. So advertise to collect a crowd of prospective tenants. It’s worth the extra time spent showing the property to more people to find a reliable tenant.

  • Spread the word among your friends and family that you have a space available. Through personal connections, you are most likely to find a good match for your space.
  • Put a sign up outside the unit. People living in the neighborhood, or visiting family or friends in the area, are the most likely to want to rent there.
  • Put listings for your rental in your local newspaper and online sources (such as craigslist).
  1. Review Rental Applications with Care

While there are no guarantees, a few practices can help you screen applicants for your rental vacancy.

  • Check Rental History: If your prospective renter has moved every three months, it’s worth asking why. When you call to verify rental history, check with former landlords to find out if there were any issues.
  • Check Credit Reports: Your prospective tenant might proclaim that he is independently wealthy, but even if he is, that doesn’t mean he pays his bills on time. That said, remember that credit reporting agencies aren’t always accurate, so do allow for issues to be explained.
  • Verify Income: Your tenant should have a steady means of meeting his rental obligation. Request copies of recent pay stubs or other income to ensure that the tenant can reasonably afford the rent you are charging.
  • Check Job References: Ideally, you want a tenant who has a stable job history.

Of course, as a landlord you already know that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), or disability.

If you are investigating new rental property purchases or looking to sell some of your current assets, I can help. Give me a call or email me today.

The 10 Safest Places To Live In Illinois

Original Post By Movoto.com http://www.movoto.com/il/safest-places-in-illinois/

When you’re looking for a new home, one of your biggest concerns is probably finding a safe area. Maybe you have a family or you’re just looking to start one. Maybe you just worry for your own personal health. Maybe you want to make sure your home will have a good value down the line. Either way, safety is definitely important.

Well, here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog, we know a thing or two about safe areas (and finding homes). After all, we’ve ranked the safest places in many states before and we do happen to be a real estate company, so it makes sense. Illinois happens to be next on our list, so if you’re looking for security in the Prairie State, this might just point you in the right direction.

The safest place in Illinois were:

1. Village of Homer Glen
2. Village of Buffalo Grove
3. City of Geneva
4. Village of Bartlett
5. Village of Roselle
6. Village of Lisle
7. Village of Glen Ellyn
8. Village of Glenview
9. Village of New Lenox
10. Village of Libertyville

If you’re curious where your hometown ranked, you can check the chart at the bottom of this article to see the top 50 safest spots. And if you’re curious as to how we found these very safe places, you can go to the very next section, where we’ll discuss our methodology.

How We Created This Ranking

As with our other safety-related Big Deal Lists, we first made a list of the most populated places in the state. Then, using the Uniform Crime Report from the FBI (2012) we found data in what we deemed important criteria. If a place did not report their data to the FBI report, then it was omitted from our list. The criteria we looked at were:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Vehicle theft

We then  divided these crimes into four different categories:

  • Murders
  • Violent crimes
  • Property crimes
  • Total crimes

That gave us a total of 115 locations with reported data. Once we had those numbers, to compare big and small places fairly, we found each of these crime rates based on crimes per 100,000 residents.

We then ranked each place with a score from one to 115 for murders, violent crimes, property crimes, and total crimes, all per 100,000, with one being the safest possible score.

Because most would agree that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes are a little worse than others, we weighted these rankings so that they would be worth 30 percent of the overall score, where the total number of crimes would be worth just 10 percent.

After that we averaged each places weighted scores into one Big Deal Score, and the place with the lowest number for their score became our safest spot.

So, if you’re looking for a safe place to make your home, these places were the supremely safest. Why exactly? Let’s take an in-depth look at why each place earned a spot in the top 10.

View each town in depth from the original article posted on Movoto.com. 

http://www.movoto.com/il/safest-places-in-illinois/

Buying vs. Renting

Screenshot 2014-09-30 20.11.30

Original post 

 

Belief in Homeownership

BeliefinHomeownershipUpdated

by  on April 11, 2014 in Infographics

Renting versus Buying a Home

SONY DSCJust because you can buy a home does not always mean that you should.  It’s important for you to consider if it is better for you to own or rent a home.

Here are five reasons you might want to rent:

You may be moving within five years. It usually takes five years to break even on your home purchase or investment.

You don’t want the responsibilities associated with being a homeowner.  It can be expensive and time consuming to maintain a home.

You have a bad credit report.  If your score is below 620, you will not get a good interest rate.

You have a high debt ratio.  A high debt ratio means you may not qualify for a loan.

You have job instability.  If your job is not secure, it’s not a good idea to buy.

Here are four reasons you might want to buy:

You want to build equity.  The longer you own your home the more equity it will build. When you pay rent, that money goes down the drain.

You get a tax break when you deduct mortgage interest.

You want the emotional satisfaction of owning your own home.

It’s an investment. With low interest rates and home prices, buying investment property is a wise decision.

Links:

Own or rent a home

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Owning_vs_Renting

Debt ratio

http://www.money-zine.com/Calculators/Loan-Calculators/Debt-Ratio-Calculator/

Deduct mortgage interest

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html

 

Practice Fire Safety

Firefighters Discuss StrategyYou know what an ounce of prevention is worth? In the case of fire, it’s worth your home and everything in it. Here are six tips to prevent fire from devastating your home. 

Repair or replace appliances that repeatedly cause fuses to blow or circuit breakers to trip. This indicates the appliance is causing an overload that could lead to fire.

Keep your clothes dryer’s lint vent clean. Lint is highly combustible. Make it a habit to clean out the lint trap after every load. Also, make sure the flapper to the exterior is opening while the dryer is running. Keeping lint cleared out not only prevents fire, it also helps your clothes dry quicker and saves energy.

Know where your main gas shutoff valve is. If you use natural gas or propane, make sure you know where to shut it off in case you smell a gas leak. The main valve is usually near the meter or tank. Go outside to call your gas company to prevent the phone from setting off a spark that could ignite the gas. Never turn the gas back on yourself.

Practice fireplace safety. Keep fireplaces clean by having them inspected annually by a certified chimney specialist. Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door. Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.

Install smoke alarms.

High on walls
On every level of your home
Outside every bedroom
Inside bedrooms if you close doors at night
Test their batteries every season; make it part of your equinox/solstice rituals

Invest in fire extinguishers

Make sure they are ABC rated
Learn how to use them and review instructions periodically
Have one on each level of your home
Have them serviced annually

Don’t risk the loss of your home (or your life and family!) to fire. Fire prevention is easy, recovering from fire is not. For more safety tips, subscribe to my blog – it’s free!

Links:

Fireplace safety

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/heating/fireplace.shtm

Smoke alarms

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/alarms/

ABC rated

http://www.fire-extinguisher101.com/

 

How to Find the Perfect Tenant for Your Real Estate

House for rent

Of the many joys of property management, good tenants top the list.  The top of the headaches list? Bad tenants. Problems from failing to pay the rent in a timely manner to inadequate cleanliness to inconsiderate community habits plague the rental world of real estate.  

You can find the best tenant for your vacancy by following these few steps.

Advertise

Having plenty of applicants to select from means that you can find a good match for the vacancy. So advertise to collect a crowd of prospective tenants.  It’s worth the extra time spent showing the property to more people to find a reliable tenant.

  • Spread the word among your friends and family that you have a space available. Through personal connections, you are most likely to find a good match for your space.
  • Put a sign up outside the unit. People living in the neighborhood, or visiting family or friends in the area, are the most likely to want to rent there.
  • Put listings for your real estate in online sources (such as craigslist).

Review Rental Applications with Care

While there are no guarantees, a few practices can help you screen applicants for your real estate vacancy.

  • Check Rental History: If your prospective renter has moved every three months, it’s worth asking why.  When you call to verify rental history, check with former landlords to find out if there were any issues.
  • Check Credit Reports: Your prospective tenant might proclaim that he is independently wealthy, but even if he is, that doesn’t mean he pays his bills on time. That said, remember that credit reporting agencies aren’t always accurate, so do allow for issues to be explained.
  • Verify Income: Your tenant should have a steady means of meeting his rental obligation. Request copies of recent pay stubs or other income to ensure that the tenant can reasonably afford the rent you are charging.
  • Check Job References:  Ideally, you want a tenant who has a stable job history.

Of course, as a landlord you already know that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), or disability.

If you are investigating new rental property purchases or looking to sell some of your current assets, I can help. Give me a call today.