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.

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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

Pandemic House Hunting: What To Do

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, most industries slowly (or abruptly – depending on the industry) came to a grinding halt. Adjustments for the new normal had to be made for businesses deemed essential. Meanwhile, more frivolous ones have no choice but to wait until everything blows over.

How is real estate faring while all of this is going on? Are people looking for a new home going to have to shelve their future until further notice? The good news is that there are practical ways to adjust to this situation without compromising your health and others’.

Do shelter-in-place research

Like most businesses, real estate all over the world has turned to digital means to keep going during lockdowns and quarantines. Now is the actually best time to do your “home” work.

While you are sheltering-in-place, go online and do some research.

  • Bookmark reliable real estate sites, blogs, forums, and social media pages.
  • Use choice keywords to narrow down your search for the following factors:
    • Locations – Google Maps is a great tool for scouting locations.
    • Neighborhood – Areavibes.com is a good way to check the safety of the neighborhood.
    • Dimensions
    • Price range
    • Proximity to schools and businesses
    • Amenities
    • Yelp rating
    • and other factors to help you determine the best possible candidates for your future home.
  • Lookup reputable Property Managers to help you fine-tune your search and provide a pre-approval list.

Go on virtual house tours

Plenty of real estate agencies currently feature virtual house tours using creatively edited videos and slideshows to highlight the properties’ best assets. This is when you can fill in your research with visuals and see if everything is a good fit for what you’re looking for.

These properties are ones where you can go on a virtual tour, and end up getting a good idea of their important aspects:

  • A house tour that offers a 3D walkthrough experience where you can navigate the interiors with ease (like you are in an actual showing).
  • Properties that allow 360° virtual tours so you can “see” all the corners and areas typically not show on traditional slideshows and picture galleries.
  • A virtual tour or “unboxing” of new properties where a presenter does the touring and describes the look and feel of each room and amenities for you.
  • Home and property tours that also give visual information while you “tour”, as if an agent is walking and explaining things right there beside you.

Does the house have the kind of curb appeal you want? Is the layout making the most of the property’s floor plan and dimensions? Is the neighborhood quiet, clean, and offering the kind of convenience you need? Are there unexpected features like sophisticated finishes, natural lighting, a garden, and other factors that other properties do not have? You can go on as many virtual house tours as your heart desires to look for that perfect house (and all its amenities) today.

Avoid red flags

Here is a section on what not to do. Since it has become easy to window-shop for properties with a few clicks, it has also become easy to get scammed by shady real estate agents hard-selling iffy properties. So as not to get conned, consider the following red flags and do your best to investigate (or avoid them altogether):

  • There is no video tour or even enough pictures to give you a clear idea of how the property looks and feels like.
  • If there are pictures or a slideshow, the dimensions are exaggerated or warped.
  • The location leaves much to be desired – such as near busy, noisy roads or somewhere with an unsavory reputation.
  • It has recently been renovated after a disaster – and is back on the market right away.
  • The house has been listed for sale for quite some time (and nobody seems to be interested).
  • The price tag seems too good to be true.

Consult with a reputable Property Manager

A Property Manager can help you fine-tune the research and home tours you have done so far. They are professionals who are well-versed in the language of real estate and all of its requirements. They can help you come up with a list of what to accomplish prior to the actual viewing and purchasing of your future home.

Look for a Property Manager with experience in crisis situations and have exhibited adaptability in seemingly unforeseen circumstances. Those are the best ones who will have your back no matter what. They can help you with controlling costs and negotiating contracts to your favor. And given the current situation, they will insist on safety and health protocols for everyone involved – and not jeopardize it with haphazardly thrown-together site viewing and hard selling.

Fortunately, everything can be found with just a series of clicks. You can look up Property Managers with impressive portfolios and impeccable reputations with just a few keywords and reviews. Now more than ever, the Internet is your best tool for preliminary house-hunting. Use it freely to your advantage.

Bio: Elisha Finman is an experienced RE executive proficient in operations, finances and team building. His track record includes managing a portfolio of New York City multifamily residential buildings. Skilled in all areas of RE management including setting rents, leases, collections and legal, evictions, violations hpd-dob-ecb, building maintenance and instituting cost savings and efficiency measures.

Smart Home – what does it mean?

We encounter the expression “smart home” everywhere today. But it means much more than clever refrigerators and intelligent lighting. Smart home is when your house “thinks” and makes your everyday life as easy, safe and pleasant as possible. Thanks to a smart home, you save precious time. Smart devices organise annoying routine tasks for you. The goal is comfort, entertainment, energy saving and security.

Smart Home how does it work?

The principle can be summed up in the following; Various electrical devices and sensors are interacting and communicating with each other. Often, you can control Individual devices and even entire systems remotely. In this way, a simple and complex process can be automated.

How does the communication work?

Lying by the pool and starting the oven with a roast for dinner? Or making a coffee while still in bed with your smartphone? With Smart Home, such comforts have long ceased to be a vision of the future. At home, the devices communicate using standards such as WLAN, Bluetooth, KNX data cables or even directly via the power line.

All are proven standards and almost all current smart home devices and systems can be installed and operated very easily today – via an integrated display, smartphone, tablet or even a voice control.

Which devices can be controlled in a smart home?

In principle, every electrical device and system can be controlled smartly. Therefore, it is often possible to optimize comfort, safety or efficiency at once. Lighting, heating and air conditioning systems are typical areas of application for smart homes such as controlling canopies, blinds and shutters. Entire lighting concepts can be conveniently controlled and automated.

A message on your smartphone as soon as your laundry is finished?

Thanks to Smart Home, this is not a problem.

But it gets even better, entire home security systems can be controlled as well. While you are away, it is very easy to check that everything is fine at home using your smartphone. If someone rings at your door you can even see who it is and answer at the intercom. You simply access your intercom and cameras at home via the Internet.

Want to buy or sell your home? List it with us today.

How to Find Cheap Land for Sale in Texas

You are making a wise decision if you are planning to find cheap land for sale in Texas because buying a property in the other states can break the bank. If you see the estimated value of the combined areas in the United States, the total will be around 23 trillion dollars. 

If you will look for land in Texas, the average value per acre is only around 7,500 dollars. The agricultural property is one of the reasons for its reasonable price, which makes Texas one of the ideal places to look for cheap lands.

Why Buying Land in Texas Is More Practical

There are a few reasons why buying land in Texas is more practical. The most obvious is that most areas in Texas are agricultural. Moreover, here is why purchasing an estate in Texas is the right choice, especially if you will use it for agricultural purposes.

  • Local government is less strict on controlling the state’s real estate development.
  • Agricultural lands provide a massive amount of reduction in annual taxes.
  • Financing companies are willing to lend to farmers and landowners.
  • You can be eligible for the Federal income tax Schedule F.

As you can see, if you will use the land for farming, wildlife conservation, and timberland, you can save a great deal in Texas.

How to Find a Cheap Land

Now that you know that Texas offers a better deal than with any other estates, you can lower the price more if you know how to buy one at a lower price.

Aside from paying for the land, you also need to consider the other variables like tax receipts and land surveying. Most often, the new owner pays for tax receipts. You also need a service of a land surveyor to ensure that you are getting the exact land measurement for the price you paid.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The common types of properties that are cheap are the property, foreclosed, and government-owned. The only con is that it is not easy to find these properties on your own. You need to contact a bank to ask for foreclosed properties or ask help from mediators like land brokers, auctions, and realtors.

Sometimes, you can find the best deal on e-commerce websites like e-Bay and Craigslist.

The best way to acquire the lowest price is to buy a land that is away from the city and establishments offering essential goods, such as grocery stores, schools, and gas stations. Next is to find the owner and haggle directly. If you are lucky, you can come across the owners who are willing to bargain for a low price to get rid of the property.

As you can see, it is not difficult to find cheap land for sale in Texas.

Author: Kelsey Mickens

First 3 steps to become a real estate investor

It all sounds easy; A monthly cash flow generated by renting out real estate. You can quit your job and live the life you always wanted. But not so quick. What sounds simple in theory is not as simple in reality. It all needs careful preparation and investigation. Careful planning is crucial. In this article, you will read 3 practical first steps for who wants to become a real estate investor.

A property offers many advantages, but the purchase of the rental property needs to be considered carefully. After all, you will be making a decision with a large financial impact – the right strategy is vital. If you consider the following steps, there is nothing standing in the way of your first property investment.

Step 1: save money

The more money you can save, the easier the later financing of the property will be. You should therefore start saving as early as possible and also improve your creditworthiness.

While you save capital on the purchase of your first property, you can of course invest the money you have accumulated. However, make sure that your assets will be available in time for purchase. Long-term investments are therefore less suitable.

Step 2: plan financing

Before you actually start looking for a property, you need to be clear about the size of the investment you want or can invest in. Will you start small with a one- or two-room apartment or do you start directly with an apartment building?

When talking to a bank advisor, you will know the loan amount you can get. Together with the money you have saved this results in the upper limit for your investment, which enables you to narrow down your property search.

When calculating, take into consideration additional costs: real estate transfer tax, notary and estate agent fees.

Step 3: object selection

Knowing your upper limit, you will now be able to decide in what type of real estate you like to invest in. You can now study a few scenarios to figure out

  • what type of real estate (house or apartments…)
  • in which location
  • long or short-term rentals

you should invest in to bring you the most profit.

Your time as a real estate investor

Don’t forget to take into consideration your own time that you need to spend regularly to look after your real estate investments.

Image by Sascha Westendorp from Pixabay

Although short-term holiday rentals can be a lot more profitable, they will also need more of your attention and time.

Correctly estimate your time

It is not so easy to correct mistakes when buying a property – so make sure to take your time before you decide to buy a certain property.

And even after buying, be aware that you still need to invest time: be it to make accounts, organising repairs and renovations, dealing with your tenants… There will be always something that will need your attention.

A competitive market for a real estate investor

Generally, the real estate market has been on the upswing for several years. If you want to be a real estate investor today, you are therefore dealing with a competitive market.

A big advantage of real estate is the opportunity to generate a cash flow month after month. With rented houses and apartments, you can still make a profit after covering all costs and already collect capital for the purchase of the next real estate.

You have not much money available for your investment? Why not start small. Have a look at www.propertyunder20k.com to find cheap real estate for sale.

Real Estate for Preppers

I just stumbled upon a few websites for preppers when I looked up how to make my own yeast (there was none left in the shop). That’s when I discovered that there is a whole trend out there, it looks like everybody wants to become a prepper these days. There are also a few real estate websites offering properties for preppers.

What are preppers and what is real estate for need?

Preppers or survivalists are people who prepare for emergencies, including probable disturbances in social or political order, as well as preparations for personal emergencies, such as job loss.

The main focus is on self-reliance, stockpiling supplies, and gaining survival knowledge and skills. Among other things preppers often stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient, if possible, off-grid living, and build structures such as underground shelters that may help them survive a disaster.

Why do so many look for real estate for preppers now

The covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to re-examine their way of life. It created a wave of interest in rural living and particularly in prepper properties. Relocation to rural areas where one can be self-sufficient to some degree is an increasingly attractive possibility.

A lot of workers have been sent to work from home, and discovered, they actually love it. They are seeing its many advantages. With internet available in even isolated locations, the feasibility of working from home has gone up radically.

It can be immensely satisfying to grow your own food.

Less populated areas = easier social distancing

People in city areas are feeling restricted to their homes or apartments. In such densely populated places, social distancing can only be accomplished by staying at home. In less populated areas, or maybe suburbs where a house comes with its own big garden there is plenty of opportunities for outdoor activity, while easily maintaining a proper distance to others.

If you are planning to become a prepper, survivalist or maybe you are just seeking some more space outdoors by moving to the countryside, have a look at our real estate listings.

Time of opportunity for a real estate investor?

The covid-19 outbreak has affected every industry. As new unemployment numbers come out it leaves people speechless. There is no guide book for times like these. Some real estate investor may see a opportunity to hunt for real estate offers.

Many home owners didn’t have the money to pay their mortgage this month. Also, many tenants could not pay their rent as a result many landlords are in trouble to make their mortgage payments. Looking at the current mess on the real estate market many see this as an opportunity for property investors. Some already speak of a real estate recession.

But not so fast

Of course, we can already start thinking about possible consequences for the real estate market. Nevertheless, we need to keep in mind that we don’t know yet what exactly we will have to face as this covid-19 pandemic continues.

A possible scenario

One scenario would be a compressed but normal recession and it would probably look a lot like the 2008 recession, but quicker and deeper. Of course, it is not difficult to imagine other set-ups where a larger disaster awaits.

There is not much else you can do than to…

Stay positive

We should not forget that the real estate market moves very slowly, and the covid-19 pandemic is still young.

It is very unlikely that all of a sudden people will sell their homes for next to nothing. Even if home owners get under pressure because they can’t pay their mortgage anymore, we need to keep in mind that this will happen to thousands of people – most probable they will receive some sort of help to prevent them from losing their home.

Time of opportunities

No doubt, there are and there will be more opportunities for a real estate investor. This is a good time to go hunting for real estate bargains.

Real Estate Investor to the rescue

At the same time, nobody feels good about taking advantage of disaster. Therefore, it has to be noticed that many will be happy to find buyers quickly even if it means to sell for less. A real estate investor may be able to give exactly that help that the home seller needs at this time.

Find great real estate offers on www.propertyunder100k.com

Less new home listings

Spring is naturally a time when sellers put new home listings for sale as more people are looking for a house to buy. Home sellers hoping to take advantage of the buyers new born enthusiasm after the winter period. But this year, new listings dropped significantly in March and early April as the Covid-19 outbreak embraced the globe. 

Real Estate Portals report less new home listings

Zillow, inc. reported yesterday that newly listed homes in the U.S. were down 27.1% from a year ago in the first week of April. They reported that the number of newly listed properties usually increases in late March and early April as home buying season starts. This year it’s been quite the contrary as many states have suggested or instructed people to stay at home. New listings in the U.S. have fallen 19% from the beginning of March.

No surprise

We can see the same trend happening on our website with international real estate listings. The number of new listings dropped slightly as well as the number of people who made enquiries about real estate offers.

It is totally understandable that people had other things on their mind than getting a new home. Nevertheless, after the first weeks past we can now see that the number of enquiries is slowly coming back to normal.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Social distancing cooled the real estate market

While the covid-19 outbreak and the resulting social distancing have cooled the real estate market considerably, it isn’t completely motionless. Buyers, sellers and real estate agents have started to change their activities as they adapt to public health requirements. They make 3D Home tours available or make home viewings via video conference.

Therefore, it seems like a good time now for all home sellers that are in a wait-and-see-mood to get their home for sale out there.

Need for new homes is still there

Although there is a particularly strong wait-and-see pattern similar to what happened during past pandemics we can see that customers still interested or actually needing to buy a new home even if they are not going to walk-throughs or able to close on transactions in person. Especially smaller and cheaper properties are in high demand.

List your home for sale

If some predictions turn out to be true and house prices will fall dramatically due to the covid-19 outbreak wouldn’t it be better to sell your house today rather tomorrow?

Don’t wait any longer, list your home for sale today.

Will Covid-19 drive people back to the countryside?

After 4 weeks being locked up in an apartment in town, I wish I could be in the countryside. I’m not alone, we can see a tendency on our website that the demand for real estate on the countryside is slightly increasing. If it will lead to more sales is still to be seen.

We need nature to be happy

Some recent news from Portugal, where people flocked in thousands to the beach during country lock down or from Snowdonia National Park in Wales, UK that was inundated with visitors, simply shows that we still value being out and being in the nature. It doesn’t matter how comfortable our homes are or how convenient it is to live in the striving city we need nature to be happy.

Since Covid-19 many see things differently

During lock down we all seem to have been busier than ever keeping in touch with friends and family through messaging. Sharing funny stuff, thoughts and just moments of our daily life has become part of our routine. I received many photos from friends who live in the countryside. They show how they do relaxing walks in the forests that are just at their doorsteps or how they do some gardening, growing all sorts of vegetables. “Lucky them!” I thought, I wish I could do the same.

Having a balcony is a start

All I was able to do so far was to grow some salat and strawberries on the balcony. Anyway, that’s already better than nothing. But still, I think I would really enjoy living in the countryside especially in this uncertain covid-19 future to come.

Taste the fruit of your own labor.

Eating your own produce

Especially now where many people started working from home – me included – it would be great to get away from the computer sometimes and do a bit of gardening to find your balance and be out in the nature.  As a reward you might even be able to eat some of your own produce.

What do you think, will covid-19 drive people back to the countryside?

Please leave a comment below and tell us what you think.