Renting vs Buying: What to Consider

Buying a house is the pinnacle of success—or, at least it used to be. It seems as though more and more people are abandoning the popular dream of homeownership and setting their sights on financial accomplishments that are more realistically attainable, like luxury vehicles, designer watches, and worldly travels.

That’s not to say purchasing a property is entirely off the table, though. There are plenty of affordable properties under 20k that you could buy without sending yourself into debt for several decades. There are two sides to every coin, but ultimately, there’s no single “correct” answer—it all comes down to your personal priorities. If you’re debating renting vs buying, consider these points to help you decide which option suits you best.

What’s on your time horizon?

If you’re thinking about buying a house, make sure to consider your timeline in two to 10 years from now. Will you be in the same city? Have the same job? Are you ready to settle down?

The people who like to rent are usually those that value flexibility and mobility; they don’t want to be tied down to a 15- or 30-year mortgage that locks them into one location. Of course, life happens and plans can always change, but if you have to sell your home shortly after buying it in order to move to a new city or place your child in a better school district, for example, you could lose money on your initial investment.

Bottom line: Purchasing a home is an investment in your future, but it’s a long play that will require you to live in the same place for at least two years. Just like any investment, there’s risk involved should the real estate market crash and you owe more on the property than what it’s worth.

How is your credit looking?

You’ll need a positive credit history whether you’re applying to rent or buy a house, but it’s much more important in the case of the latter. Most of the time, homeowners rely on financing to purchase a property; it’s pretty rare for someone to have a few hundred thousand sitting around in cash that they can use to complete the sale in one fell swoop.

Lenders will look at several things when reviewing your mortgage loan application, including your age and income, but credit history is one of the most important qualifiers. Not only do you need a strong credit score to finance a house, but it’s in your best interest to take the time to increase your score as high as possible in order to receive low rates.

A good number demonstrates less perceived risk, so the lender will be likelier to charge less interest on top of the principal balance—saving you a significant amount of money in total borrowing costs in the long run.

Bottom line: If you’ve missed a few bill payments in the past and are sitting on mismanaged debt, you should clean up your credit history before trying to buy a home.

Do you have money saved up?

One of the biggest differentiators between renters and buyers is the money they have saved up in the bank. Even with approved financing, you’ll need to place a sizable down payment—or, the portion of the purchase price that you pay upfront in cash—to show the lender you’re invested in the property and likely to repay the loan.

Many people think they need a down payment of at least 20% of the total price in order to buy a home, but that conventional wisdom doesn’t apply much today. While it’s true that a 20% down payment can help you avoid private mortgage insurance and save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run, this barrier to entry is pretty steep for first-time buyers.

You can buy a home with anywhere between 5-15% down upfront, and there are also down payment assistance programs that can help you come up with the cash. Renting will also require a down payment, security deposit, and money on-hand for application fees, but these costs are usually cheaper than a mortgage and its affiliated costs.

What many people fail to realize, though, is that every rent payment they make likely goes toward paying off the landlord’s mortgage, and the price comparison isn’t that far apart. For example, if rent costs a thousand per month, a mortgage payment might be only 15% more. Rather than throwing that money down the drain on rent, those funds could be better applied to building your own wealth in home equity and increasing your net worth. You could also look into rent-to-buy homes in your area that can help you achieve the best of both worlds.

Bottom line: You’ll need to budget and save up for a home, which often leads people to stick with rent that’s easier to afford while keeping up with the cost of living—but putting in the work can pay off tenfold if you apply the cost of rent toward a tangible asset that you eventually own over time.

Are you financially responsible?

When you buy a home, the hard work doesn’t end once you get the keys in your hand. There are a lot of ongoing costs that you’ll need to keep up with, such as property taxes and maintenance repairs. And, whereas a renter could simply call up the property manager to fix a leaking sink, that responsibility will fall on you to repair yourself—unless you prefer to pay someone to do it for you.

Bottom line: If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of property maintenance and the ongoing costs of homeownership, it might be better to rent so you know exactly how much money to budget every month.

Do you have competing goals?

Finally, check in with your financial goals to see if there are competing priorities. Let’s say you just graduated from college; would you rather pay off your student loans or invest in the real estate market? Do you need a down payment to purchase a new vehicle?

Bottom line: It can be challenging to pay off debt or save money when owning a home, so consider your financial goals and decide what to accomplish first.

By keeping these thoughts in mind as you compare renting vs buying, you’ll be more likely to make the right decision for your financial future.

Samantha Rupp

Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.

How and Where to Invest in Real Estate: The 4 Best Ways to Profit

It’s not a secret that real estate can yield bigger profits than most businesses, but did you know that you can earn in this market even if you don’t sell a house?

If you have ever experienced having a landlord, there’s a good chance that you have observed how challenging it is for them to field calls from tenants all day about overflowing toilets or giant bugs. But while it may not seem like the most glamorous job, being a real estate investor can be quite lucrative.

Aside from renting out a place, there are plenty of ways that you can get a significant return on investment in real estate. The only problem is that not all investors understand how they can do so, or even know which investments can get them a significant ROI.

If you’re new to the trade, this article is for you. Read on to learn the four best ways to profit by investing in real estate.

1.   Buy a rental property

This is probably the most straightforward method of becoming a real estate investor. ‘Investment property’ refers to any commercial or residential property to be rented out to tenants without any additional fixing or flipping.

When you own a rental property, you don’t just get what you paid for, but you also build wealth-generating income. Add to that equity appreciation and the leverage you have with real estate, and you have yourself a solid investment.

Still, it is worth noting that owning a piece of rental property may not be for everyone. When looking for houses or apartments for sale, you have to make sure that you consider your interests, lifestyle, and the potential drawbacks, including:

●      Time commitment

Owning a property and renting it out to tenants requires time, even with the help of a property management agency. Make sure that you can accommodate this in your schedule. Otherwise, it would be best to try something else.

●      Cost barriers

Another major concern most investors have about a rental property is the cost of buying one. If you’re taking out a loan for it, many lenders require a minimum of 25 percent down payment for an investment property loan. Thus, it would be better to consider undertaking this type of real estate venture if you have reserves worth several months’ expenses.

●      Uncertainty of yield

Although many rental properties provide a continuous source of income for many (especially if you pick an apartment in a highly desirable location, like a Business Bay property in Dubai, for example), it isn’t a 100% done deal. Vacancies can happen, and things may break. Although there is great potential in this sort of investment overall, there are considerable short-term risks.

2.   Invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Real estate investment trusts or REITs allow investors to put in their money and let it grow without actual, physical real estate.

Although usually compared to mutual funds, REITs are actual commercial real estate properties like retail spaces, office buildings, apartments, and hotels that yield income through leasing. The revenue gathered through these properties is divided amongst the REIT holders – also called ‘trustees’ – in the form of a dividend, which they can automatically reinvest to allow it to grow further.

But while REITs are an excellent way to invest in real estate for people without the time to handle rental properties, they can also be complex and varied. Some of these are traded on an exchange the same way stocks are, but others aren’t publicly traded. This means that the kind of REIT you invest in is a huge factor in how big a risk you’re taking when engaging in this form of real estate investment.

3.   Purchase a vacation rental

Vacation rentals are quite different from the rental property mentioned previously. While the latter involves having long-term tenants, vacation rentals are only occupied by tenants on occasion.

One of the perks of having this type of investment property is that you can use it as your second home when it is vacant. It would also be easier to finance vacation rentals compared to long-term rental properties, particularly if your lender considers it your second home as it means you don’t need to use the rental income to qualify for the loan.

Moreover, these properties usually bring in higher rental income per day compared to long-term rentals.

But, like other investment options, vacation rentals also have some disadvantages.

For one, marketing and managing this type of rental property requires more involvement on your part compared to those leased out long term. Because of this, the cost of property management is a bit higher, with many property managers expecting to get paid 25% of the total rent. This is more than twice the 10% standard for long-term rentals.

4.   Fix and flip real estate

If you’re a fan of real estate TV shows, then you’re probably familiar with the term ‘fix and flip’ or the act of ‘flipping houses’. Fixing and flipping a property means that you buy a home for the sole purpose of refurbishing it and selling it quickly for a profit.

This particular investment option can be quite a lucrative option in real estate, especially if everything proceeds as planned. After all, what better way to earn some cash than by buying an underpriced home, showing it little love through inexpensive renovation, and reselling it for a higher price?

However, this strategy is a little bit harder to accomplish in reality compared to how they present it on TV. First, it comes with a higher risk as the maths behind flipping properties means you have to be very accurate in your estimated cost of repairs. That alone is a challenge in itself.

Plus, flipping homes is a job that requires not only your attention but a lot of time as well. This means that if you’re a passive investor, you should consider another investment option.

Remember that fix-and-flip investments can be quite daunting, even for the most experienced professionals. In fact, even the people you see doing this on TV require a team of four people or more, with varying expertise in real estate marketing, civil engineering, interior design, and others.

There are also some rules you must know about before deciding to jump into the fix-and-flip bandwagon:

  • You make money when you buy, not when you sell. Stick to the 70 percent rule; the acquisition, repair, and holding costs shouldn’t exceed 70 percent of the amount you expect to sell it for.
  • Time is equivalent to money in this trade. Dragging your feet during repairs and selling can destroy your profit margins.

Invest wisely in property

Property investment has a high potential of helping you build your wealth. When done right, you can even make it your main source of income.

Still, it would be best not to put all your eggs in one basket. Invest wisely by choosing the right kind of real estate investment among those listed in this article.

Author: Damac Properties

10 Useful tips in beautifying your small studio apartment

Tired of the old look of your apartment? Well, there are many ways to make a small apartment blossom. All you have to do is do some digging and find the right thing which will suit your place. Though small apartments have space issues, if you utilize everything in the right way decorating your apartment can turn into a fun activity and build something useful yet pretty! Here are a few tips which you can apply when you plan to create your little space even more pretty and beautiful.

  1. Start by defining different areas of your house

There is a possibility that you have a living room, a kitchen clubbed all together. By separating each area with the other, you create more space and the house looks different! You won’t feel that this is one entire portion. A bookshelf or a high rack can separate two different areas well and if not racks then you can add a dining table or some curtains also.

  • Multiple-use furniture

This kind of furniture is one of the most trending items on today’s date. People love to have those things in their house which serve not just one purpose but more. Tables that can serve as an iron table as well as a dining table, Stools which can be used for sitting and can easily be clubbed into a small cubical to save space, a sofa which can also serve as a bed.

  • Choose vertical storage ideas

Choosing to switch to vertical storage than horizontal can help you in two ways, it looks good and more spacious. You will find a lot of space empty when you choose to go vertical and the best part about it is that you won’t even compromise with storage. Vertical storage items can in fact help you gather more storage.

  • Old junk makes the best decoratives

If you are willing to empty your pockets on decorative items, then we want you to know that you already have a lot of them. Old items which are not of any use like old CD’S, jewellery, books, and even furniture can turn into great decorative items. Search for the best DIYs and you will know what wonders you can create.

  • Stay well organized

The organization is the key to success! No one likes a messy house after all. Just make sure that everything is placed after use and most importantly everything has a place of its own. If you do not define your things, then obviously it won’t look pretty and decent. Make sure to keep everything organized and well maintained. Cleaning the dust from your house regularly will also serve as a factor here.

6. Make every space count

When you have a small studio and want to make it pretty and elegant, you have to make sure that you utilize every bit of the space very efficiently. Our main goal is to give the room a beautiful look as well as make it look spacious. We do not have to make the space overcrowded but useful in the best way possible. If you have a fireplace and find it of no use, you can think of an innovative way to decorate it well or even use it for storage! So, start thinking about which corner of your house needs a makeover.

7.  Keep an eye on the color palette

Color combinations and schemes matter a lot when you are trying to bring everything in harmony. Make sure to utilize colors that are complementary with one another especially when you have an open space apartment. You can always go with one family color and follow the shades or go along with colors that are matching with the main shade you choose. Avoid using dark shades in small spaces, as it will make your space even smaller. Using shades that are light can make your room look big and spacious.

8. Put those beautiful coffee tables to use

Coffee tables can be used for a lot more than you think. Those big coffee tables can be used in the living room and also as a bookshelf! Didn’t get it? The best way you can utilize the coffee tables is by piling up the books on it and keeping it aside with your couch or use it as a pretty table for bedside purpose. The best way to use things efficiently is to put everything to work and avoid buying extra clutter which will be useless once you shift to a different place.

9. Use of carpets to define zones

The best way to define zones and make it look different from the other is by using a beautiful carpet or even two to double up! Carpet double can be so much fun, right? Just start with a basic colored carpet and then top it up with some stylish and sturdy smaller carpet. These can be animal print, furry, or even something more classy. You can always use two color combinations to define the space in a better way.

10. The use of mirrors can be very much decorative right?

If you are wondering that you have no space to fit in things in the studio, then we have got you covered. Using mirrors as a decorative item can be one of the best ways to sort things out. There can be pretty DIYs used and also if you wish to buy them, the choice is yours. If you think that you wish to decorate your walls and that art can be difficult to choose upon, then this is something which will help you anyway! You can create a painted frame for your mirror, can rope it up to make it look exquisite, the choice is yours.

In short, a small apartment needs to be simple yet pretty. Keeping things organized and clean will help you the most. You can add a few details and decorations to make it look perfect. Adding a few lighting items will not only illuminate your house but also make it look exquisite.

About the Author: Natasha Blackford is a content writing specialist who writes articles for SpeedHome and also a food blogger who is trying different things and sharing her recipes through youtube.

5 Smart Tips to Renovate Your House and Make it More Expensive

If you are trying to sell a house and make the most of it, you better make sure to turn your property into a super-attractive home. Let us be straight about it and tell you that it’s not an easy job – at least not in most cases – but it definitely pays off to renovate your house and make it more expensive.

You’ve probably brainstormed hundreds of possibilities, but do you know the most productive house repair tricks? If you don’t know where to start, check out five smart tips to enhance your real estate and sell it for the maximum price possible.

1.     Take Care of Street Appeal

Humans are visual beings who judge other people and things almost instantly. According to reports, it takes a person only seven seconds to form the first impression. In other words, your house may have only a few seconds to impress potential buyers.

How can you help prospects fall in love with your property? The answer lies in street appeal. You can improve it using many different tricks, with the most popular being:

  • Mowing the lawn to make clear yard lines
  • Cutting the trees to make them look neat and clean
  • Replacing lanterns and other outdoor lights
  • Repainting the front fence

2.     Free Up Some Room

Do you know what really impresses house buyers? It is a place with enough room to add personal stuff and make it feel like home. This is exactly why we recommend freeing up some space before the next prospect pays you a visit.

You can do it by removing personal things from the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. Take out your family photos, souvenirs, and all other items that might interfere with the visitor’s experience. The bottom line is that you need to depersonalize the property and let your guests imagine what they would do with it.

Keep in mind that this trick applies to all properties, from small downtown houses to 30a home real estate.

3.     Consider Kitchen Upgrades

A kitchen is almost always the central point of every house. Everything revolves around this room, so you might as well consider completing a few kitchen upgrades.

A tip that proved to be useful is to introduce natural light to the kitchen. If you have nothing but a small window, think about replacing it with a much larger window. Of course, there are lots of minor solutions to think about here such as refurbishing the floor or replacing worktops.

Any idea that can make a new chef more comfortable is welcome.

4.     Beware of Details

You probably know that the devil is in the details, a proverb that perfectly suits the real estate business. If you want to get the highest price for your house, you need to pay attention to the smallest features that are easy to repair but make a huge impact on buyers’ decisions. This is what we are talking about:

  • Wall cracks that make your house look old
  • Dust and dirt in lower corners and spider web in the upper corners
  • Broken flooring elements
  • Faucet leakages
  • Malfunctioning door handles
  • Any other broken or dysfunctional elements

5.     Think about Energy Efficiency

House owners who make their property energy-efficient can impress potential buyers and convince them to complete the purchase. Details such as wall insulations and double-glazing windows can look great in the eyes of a typical client for two distinct reasons – financial and environmental. Of course, it will also make the price of your home skyrocket.

Up to You

House renovation goes a long way, especially if you need to repair a lot of interior elements. However, you can speed up the process if you focus on the essential improvements only. In this post, we showed you five smart tips to renovate your house and make it more expensive. Can you renovate your place like this?

AUTHOR BIO

Leon Collier is a content creator at several thesis writing services in Edinburgh. Apart from working at the essay writing service UK, Leon is a blogger who specializes in business, real estate, and finance. When not writing, you can find him behind a book or playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12 Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12

Image:

Photo by Roelf Bruinsma on Unsplash

Everything You Need to Know About Rent to Own Homes

Sometimes, mortgage is not the best option for you right now. This is when rent to own homes can be a perfect way to gain home ownership in a non-conventional way.

Kitchen,luxury home,construction,real estate,free pictures - free ...

Rent to own homes are a popular concept these days because it gives people an opportunity to come a step closer to their dream home.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about rent to own properties to help you make an informed decision.

What are rent to own homes?

Rent to own homes are lease options that give you a choice between buying the property or a requirement to buy it at some point in the future. The rental payments paid towards these homes include rent and funds that partially contribute towards a down payment in the future. If your credit scores are not up to the mark or you do not have the finances to pay for the down payment right now, then you can use this opportunity to hold the property till you do.

How to find a rent to own home?

Rent to own home is not usually find on the listings because they only happen under very specific conditions, such as:

  • When the owner is unable to sell the property even though it has been on the market for a while. In this case, they may list the property as rental with a rent to own option.
  • If the tenant is happy in their home, but the landlord wants to put it on the market, then the tenant may request them to have a rent to own agreement.
  • If a certain property has been on the market for a while, then a home buyer may approach the seller with a rent to own offer.

If you are trying to Find Rent To Own In Edmonton, then you can either start looking at rental listings that come with this option or a sale listing that has been around for a while.

How does it work?

Here is how the rent to own homes work:

  1. You sign an agreement with either of the two options: There are two types of agreements for someone who wants rent to own homes – a) a lease agreement with an option to buy which gives you the right to buy the home at end of your lease but it is not an obligation. But be prepared to lose all the money you paid for the rent; b) lease with purchase agreement makes you legally obligated to buy the property at the end of your lease. However, before you sign up for this contract, make sure you have a home inspection done. You may also want to get pre-approved mortgage to ensure that you will qualify for a loan when the time comes. 
  2. The purchase price is decided by you and the landlord: The purchase price of the property is negotiable and set up front. Traditionally, this price is determined by the real estate agents who negotiate on your behalf. However, agents rarely every get involved with rent to own home transactions because they have no way of getting paid until the home sale concludes. Therefore, you must do all the research and legwork before discussing prices with the landlord.
  3. You have to pay an option fee: While this fee is negotiable, it is mandatory as well. The option fee can be anything between 1-5% of the purchase value that needs to be paid up front. It is one-time and non-refundable fee that gives you the option to buy at an agreed upon price in the future.
  4. You decide the duration of rental term: At the end of your rental, you should be in a sound financial position to buy the home. The rental agreement can be anything from one to three years, depending on how long you need to sort your finances and be ready to qualify for a mortgage. 
  5. Maintenance roles should be defined: Since rent to own homes are a unique situation, the tenant and the landlord are both obligated to maintain the property and keep in good shape until the ownership is transferred. So, be sure to iron out these details in advance.
  6. Your monthly payments cover down payment and rent: You can discuss with your landlord to define these monthly payments that are usually 25% to 30% above the market rent. This additional payment is applied towards your future down payment.

Whether you are in a rent to own home situation or a regular rental, keep an eye on your finances to make yourself eligible for a mortgage down the road.

Author: Eernesto T Felder

How to avoid Real Estate Scams

Our real estate portal can be a great way to find somewhere to rent, to buy a cheap property or to sell your house. But with any online space there’s always a risk of hoaxers being active and attempting to trick you.

With thousands of live ads at any given time, it’s hard for our real estate websites to stop every fake ad or block every fake user instantly. Therefore, being aware of what to look out for is a big help to avoid real estate scams.

What does a Real Estate Scam look like?

Real Estate scams trick potential buyers or home sellers into thinking they are dealing with a legitimate contact but it is actually a scammer.

Unfortunately, there isn’t just one method that fraudsters use.

For Sellers

So far, the only known scam on our website are fake enquiries. This means someone sends a message to the advertiser through the contact form on our website.

Once the advertiser replies to the enquiry the scammer can use his email contact to spam him with emails.

He might tell a story of “being a soldier in Iraq that likes to invest in your country” or “ being the widow of president so and so who likes to move to your country with all her millions ”. Stories like that definitely ring a warning bell.

We also recommend that you discontinue communications with the enquirer if he/she:

  • doesn’t want to travel to see the property or asks you to come and see him
  • wants to buy the property for a higher price than asked
  • likes to know your bank details or to wire funds via money transfer services
  • wants to pay in advance

For Buyers

As we have no way to check the authenticity of an advertised real estate, we recommend caution before giving sensible information to anyone you don’t know. This is standard online practise.

Scammers will usually pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads. That’s why they are very difficult to spot.

The ad can be for anything, rental properties or real estate for sale. Most probable, it will even include pictures and other details – maybe copied from a genuine seller’s ad.

We recommend that you discontinue communications with the seller/landlord if he/she:

  • asks for rent payments or deposits in advance
  • seller claims to be unavailable and insists on payment before you can inspect the property
  • seller is very interested to get all your personal data

Also, if you are still not sure, you can do an internet search using the exact wording in the ad, many well-known cheats can be found this way. If the advertiser is a real estate agent you can also look up his business information to see if he is legitimate.

How to protect yourself from Real Estate Scams

Being informed about possible dangers in itself is already a protection. It helps you to be cautious and to look out for warning signs.

We all heard this many times, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

We focus on advertising cheap properties for sale our website, therefore many times it looks too good to be true. But of course, that does not mean they are fake ads.

A good indicator is to search for similar properties for sale in the same location. Also see if the real estate needs major works. You might be looking at a fixer-upper. Only if the price seems far lower than the competition you may question its authenticity. Often the reason for one real estate being cheaper than others is its condition, location or legal problems.

Use a safe legal procedure to buy Real Estate

Fortunately, most countries have a certain procedure in place when it comes to buying properties.

This makes it almost impossible to go through with a Real Estate Scam until the end. For example, in many countries it is mandatory to use a notary or lawyer to deal with the sale. Even if the seller requests a deposit as a down payment before the sale, this can already be handled through a trust account of a notary.

Sticking to the official process is a simple and very effective way to safeguard yourself against real estate scams.

How to report a Real Estate Scam

Have you spotted a fake ad on our site? Please, drop us a quick message in our contact form.

Do you like to report a scam? Depending on the country you are from there might be different places that are best for you to report the scam.

Here are just a few

Australiahttps://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam

UKhttps://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/

USAhttps://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds