Tips For Dealing With Problem Tenants
So you decided to rent out your home or purchased a multi-family building with the goal of earning some extra income from real estate but somehow ended up with tenants who are either not clean, always late on their rent or something else. What are some of the more effective ways to deal with the problem tenants so that they don’t leave your rental house or rental unit in a total disaster? This article explores how to best deal with problem tenants and protect your investment.
Spot Problem Tenants From The Start
One of the easiest ways to deal with problem tenants is not rent to them from the start. Property owners who are managing properties on their own should be thoroughly screening tenants based on the rental applications they submit to you. Full credit checks should be done, criminal history background checks, and even checking out the potential tenant’s current living situation. Is the potential tenant living in a clean apartment or does it look like a tornado went through their home? Trash in the wrong places, dirty clothing, not cleaning up after pets who made messes indoors all can attract pests that can lower the value of your investment and make it more costly to fix once the problem tenant leaves. If a tenant is not living cleanly in their current home chances are they will not be any cleaner up just because they move into your rental.
Credit checks can be important since it shows a tenants ability to handle money. If a tenant has a low score due to too many credit card accounts, too many late payments or missed payments they may not be able to keep up with paying rent when other bill...
Should I Stage My Luxury Home When Putting It Up For Sale?
Luxury homeowners may wonder if it makes sense to stage their luxury home when putting it up for sale. For homes in need of it, staging of a home can boost buyer interest and can result in a better or faster offer on a home than one that is not staged. The primary benefit from staging comes from the fact that the product being sold (a luxury home in this case) has its presentation elevated in order to make it more appealing to luxury homebuyers. Just as with anything to be sold and that requires great marketing, a better looking home will sell easier than the same home if it were not staged. To determine whether staging is right for your luxury home it helps to start with exploring what home staging actually is.
What Is Home Staging?
Home staging covers a variety of aspects of a home. It can address paint colors, furniture choice as well as placement, décor pieces, wall art and more. The goal behind home staging is to make the home more appealing to home buyers. While most of the furniture and staging items used during the process of selling a home will not stay with the home the idea is to give homebuyers a better idea of the potential of the home and make it look more appealing at the same time. Home staging calls for neutral colors so that buyers are less distracted by colors that don’t meet their expectations and instead lets them envision the home...
Pros and Cons Of Different Types Of Investment Real Estate
When it comes to investment real estate there are a number of different options to choose from. Real estate investors can buy single family homes, multi-family homes, and residential properties classified as commercial in order to build an income stream to meet their investment goals. Each type of real estate investment has associated with it different positives and negatives and this article will explore those in detail.
Single Family Residential Home
One of the most common building types available and usually the easiest to purchase is the single family home. A majority of the residential properties on the market today are single family homes. With a single family home an investor is getting a property where generally one family will live and pay rent for. Some larger single family homes can be converted into multi-family homes in order to increase the amount of renters in the property but for this to happen the investor will need to comply with local zoning and building codes. Some areas may only allow single family residences and would refuse to authorize any segmenting of the home in order to add rental units.
The biggest advantage of buying a single family home is the fact that if an investor decides they no longer want to be in the residential investment business they can easily sell a single family home to another investor or to another buyer who is looking to live in the home themselves. Provided there are no tenants in the home, a single family home can...
Guide To The Home Inspection Process When Buying A Home
An important part of buying any home is the home inspection process. During the home inspection home buyers get an in depth look at the home and the condition of various parts of the home. Homebuyers will learn if certain aspects of the home are in need of repair and which parts of the home are working fine. Through the home inspection process homebuyers ultimately learn if the purchase they are about to make is a sound purchase or one that should be reconsidered. This article explores the home inspection and how it can impact the purchase of a home.
How To Choose A Home Inspector?
Just as important as the home inspection is, it is also important to pick a qualified home inspection professional. In many states home inspectors are required to be licensed and in order to get licensed have to at least pass a test if not also have met some educational requirement and/or home inspection training requirement. Working with a licensed home inspector is a great way to make sure an inspector has met some minimum requirements.
In the situation where a state currently has no licensing requirements to be a home inspector (Ohio for example currently does not require licensing for home inspectors) then it is best to look at the training the home inspector has received and for any certifications they may also have. The International Association Of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI for short) represents one of the largest home inspection certification organizations in the United States. InterNACHI is a voluntary organization that trains and certifies...
Why Investment Property Owners May Want to Consider Selling Their Investment Property
With real estate prices increasing all over the United States many investors are seeking lower costs investment properties in a number of cities in Ohio. Notable cities in Ohio that these investors are looking at include Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. These investors are looking for lower costs properties with a good history of rents in order to better invest their money than they can in high real estate cost areas like Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY, Seattle, OR, Las Vegas, NV and more. As a result investment property prices in the Cincinnati, Ohio area are at multi-year highs and Cincinnati investment property owners might find it advantageous to sell their properties now while the prices are high.
What Are Some Of The Reason For High Investment Property Prices In Cincinnati, Ohio?
Cincinnati has long been known as having great overall affordability. In fact in 2017 US News & World Reports rated Cincinnati as the 14th most affordable city to live in the US. Not only is the cost of living low in general the real estate in Cincinnati is more affordable than in many other major metropolitan matters. As a result for out of state real estate investors looking to buy properties for a good price and still get a good rate of return, Cincinnati has become one of the go to markets and the prices have gone up as a result. Even with the cost of property management deducted from rents it...
DIY Projects To Do And Ones To Avoid When Getting Your Home Ready To Sell
As the weather starts to warm up and the real estate season starts to heat up homeowners may be wondering what they can start doing in order to get their home ready for sale during for the spring market. In many areas the spring season represents the time when the most buyers are out looking for homes. By starting the preparation process now prior to the peak selling season homeowners can position themselves to be ready during the prime selling period of the year.
Indoor Preparation Tips
If the weather is still cold in your area or there is still snow on the ground then prior to it warming up it is a good idea to tackle indoor projects in order get the home ready for sale. While curb appeal is important to address the interior is just as important to work on as well.
Painting your home with fresh neutral colors is a great way to update the look of a home real quickly and allow buyers to see the home for what it is. Dull paint and dirty walls will never impress any buyer as compared to a home with a clean well done paint job. If you are up to the task of painting your home on your own this is one Do It Yourself (DIY) task that can save you some money. Of course buyers are looking for a paint job done properly so make sure the painting you are doing is as close to perfect as possible. That means all trim must be painted with trim appropriate paint and colors, walls and ceilings must be properly painted and no paint bleed is seen (i.e. paint from the walls is accidently running onto...
What Are Fixtures In Real Estate?
A critical part of any real estate transaction is the actual fixtures within the home that are required to stay with the home after closing. There have been many lawsuits filed on the basis of a homebuyer seeing something in a home prior to making an offer or prior to closing and then not finding that specific item or finding a cheap knockoff after closing. Home sellers should understand what a fixture is when selling a home and be ready to disclose up front if certain fixtures will not be remaining with the home. Homebuyers as well should understand what items are considered fixtures and what items are not so that in the case something is not really considered a fixture the buyer requests that item stay as part of the sale or is aware the item may not be there after closing.
Simply stated a fixture is something that is physically attached to a part of the home that is supposed to stay with the home after the sale has been completed. For example a chandelier attached to the ceiling in a dining room or foyer area is considered a fixture and should stay with the home after the sale. Bookshelves that are physically attached to walls is another example of a fixture that will generally stay with the home. Everything else that is not affixed is considered personal property of the seller and generally does not stay with the home unless specifically requested in the purchase contract.
When it comes to wall mounted TVs the TV itself is not considered a fixture but the actual wall mount that holds the TV to the wall is considered a fixture. Same goes for...
Dealing With Mold When Selling A Home
Mold is a naturally occurring living substance that exists everywhere in nature and its purposes is to decompose organic matter. The organic matter is a food source for mold. Whether you think you have mold in your home or not the fact of the matter is you do have very small quantities of mold in your home. Mold in low quantities is generally not cause for concern. When mold accumulates in large quantities then humans and household pets can suffer ill effects from it. This article explores mold in the home and how it can affect the sale of a home.
What Causes Mold To Grow Out Of Control
As mentioned above mold is found pretty much everywhere and as result is present in a home usually in very small quantities. Certain conditions in a home can cause mold to grow uncontrollably which then may require professional treatment and cleanup in order to get rid of. One of the most common ways which allows mold to get out of hand is water leaks, especially in areas where there is little to no air circulation or the water leak is continuous thus providing mold a constant supply of water.
As the water leak begins to saturate carpets, walls, wood and more mold spores can attach themselves to those items and will start to grow uncontrollably. Especially for items with organic matter in them (wood and drywall) the mold will begin to not only eat away the surface of the wood but will also embed themselves in the wood themselves making removal of just the mold alone almost impossible.
Mold will cause even worse damage to drywall and carpet since the carpet is much more porous allowing the mold to thoroughly get...
How Buyer Feedback Can Help Home Sellers
A crucial aspect of selling a home is paying attention to the feedback provided by homebuyers and their real estate agents. After every showing real estate agents are usually sent an automated email, which asks for their opinion on a number of things with regards to the house they have just seen. While the email goes to the homebuyer’s agent the information provided to the home sellers can come from both the buyer as well as the buyer’s agents. The buyer’s agent provide feedback based on what their buyers tell them about the home or the buyers can directly provide the feedback if the email is forwarded to them.
Sometimes the buyer’s agents ignore the emails since they may have gone through multiple homes in one day and the buyer’s comments and thoughts can blur together in the mind of the agent. Other times due to the buyers visiting so many homes the agents may provide generic comments about the home that don’t give the homeowner much to go on other than the buyers may or may not be interested in their home.
The helpful buyer’s agent will provide detailed comments and thoughts based on what their clients felt and what the agent also sees. Regardless of what level of commentary is provided home sellers still can use any feedback provided to guide them towards making adjustments in the home’s price, marketing strategy, presentation or more. Failure to take into account buyer feedback can lead to a doomed sale with no offers coming.
Buyer Feedback On Home Pricing
One of the most important aspects of putting a home on the market for sale is ...
What Is Earnest Money In A Real Estate Transaction?
Whether you are buying or selling a home chances are the question of earnest money will come up. Earnest money is not required as part of a real estate transaction. A contract to purchase a home requires and offer, acceptance (by both parties) and valuable consideration. The act of offering to buy a home with money (financed or cash) is the valuable consideration. Earnest money is part of the overall valuable consideration but on its own is not a requirement.
What Is Earnest Money?
The word earnest means “serious in intention, purpose, or effort;”. The earnest money part of an offer to purchase a home shows that the buyer is serious and willing to commit funds towards the home purchase. Generally there is no set amount that buyers should give as earnest money and customs may vary from state to state as to how much should be given. Some areas may suggest giving one percent of the total purchase price as earnest money whereas others may have a custom of giving a couple of thousand dollars or more based on the value of the home being purchased.
When an offer to purchase a home is written the homebuyer has the ability to specify the amount of earnest money to be provided as part of the offer. Generally the earnest money check will be collected and deposited right away upon acceptance of the offer. The earnest money can be deposited with either one of the real estate brokers who are party to the transaction and goes into their trust account. The earnest money can also be deposited with the closing/title...
How Will The New Tax Changes Impact Cincinnati Real Estate?
The recent changes to the tax law will have an impact on Greater Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky real estate and real estate in other areas as well. The law makes changes to the tax deductions homeowners and property investors can use. This article explores what the changes are and how they may impact real estate owners in general. As this covers the changes more generally it should not be relied upon for tax advice. Everyone’s tax situation when owning a home is different and for specific tax information related to your situation you should speak with a local tax professional for guidance on what works best for you.
Changes In Mortgage Interest Deduction
Prior to the change in the tax laws married homeowners filing jointly could deduct mortgage interest for mortgages up to one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) in value. A non-married individual or married filing separately could only claim mortgage interest deductions on a mortgage amount of no more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00). Any interest amounts paid above those limits were not deductible.
Under the new law the mortgage limit is now seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000.00) for married homeowners filing jointly and three hundred seventy five thousand dollars ($375,000.00) for single filers. Therefore if a married couple have a total mortgage amount in excess of $750,000 they can only deduct interest that goes...
Great Real Estate Blogs From 2017
With the increase in social media use and the sharing of videos, pictures, audio podcasts and more there is still something to be said for the written word. Whether the reader wants to read something on the bus while headed to work or is taking a quiet break to catchup on the news humans like to read to gain their knowledge. There is no rewinding or fast forwarding to get to the good part of an article. It is all just there for the reader to absorb. Hence I put together this list of great real estate blog articles from 2017 that are must reads for the homebuyer, home seller, home owner and more. Not only are the articles great but the bloggers who wrote the articles also know quite a bit about real estate and are happy to share their thoughts with readers. Check out all the articles in the post below and be sure to read the other great articles from the bloggers mentioned here.
Do You Know What Dual Agency Is?
One of the best blogs of 2017 was Bill Gassett’s article on dual agency. For those who are not familiar with the term, dual agency in real estate is when one agent represents both the buyer and seller in a transaction. Frankly, dual agency is one of the worst things possible for consumers. The only person who benefits from dual agency is the real estate agent who makes a double commission. Whether you are a buyer or a seller when you agree to dual agency you lose the person you hired to represent you!
Here is an example. You hire the best agent in town to sell your home for you. Your confidence is real high in hiring this agent because they are extremely knowledgeable...
Recovering From An Expired Luxury Home Listing
An expired luxury home listing can be a frustrating experience considering all the time and effort involved to have a home on the market for sale. The constant need to keep the home in ready to show condition for three, six or more months can be draining on the homeowners. There are many issues that can account for a luxury home not selling and this article explores those issues in depth and provides some insights for luxury homeowners to help prevent the same situation from happening again.
Pricing Is A Major Factor
Pricing is one of the primary reasons a home will fail to sell. No matter how much money is spent on marketing, staging, photography and more an overpriced home has a huge stigma to overcome. Homebuyers have instant access to thousands of homes on the market each day and are able to compare homes in similar categories to determine if a home is fairly priced.
Homes that are overpriced stand out like a sore thumb. The reason the overpriced home stands out is because they are being compared to other homes in the same price range and the features, quality and size of those luxury homes are commonly shared statistics. If the home being sold is in the same price range as larger homes with more luxury features than most buyers will ignore the overpriced home or might schedule a showing out of curiosity to see if there is something in the home that warrants a higher price. Once homebuyers tour the home and see it does not offer much of over other similar priced homes they will quickly remove that home from any further consideration.
Homeowners can fall into the trap of using the wrong information to determine the price...
How To Turn Your Home Into A Smart Home
With all the talk about smart homes and how they can save money and time for homeowners many may be wondering how they can turn their homes into a smart home. A smart home is not necessarily any one thing that needs to be added and suddenly your home is now considered smart. A lot of the controls from smart homes do start with a smart phone or a tablet and a Wi-Fi Internet connection. As almost everyone these days has a smart phone they can be well on their way towards a smart home with some additional equipment. (Note: Per disclosure requirements, some of the links in this article do pay us a commission if you buy something after clicking on the link.)
Basic Smart Home Features To Consider
The smart home features discussed in this section can be used anywhere around the house that you want to use them. Features like a smart video camera that can be used to monitor your pets, your children, the security of your home and more. These smart video cameras like the Nest Camera, the Yi Camera and more can monitor any room in your home and send video images to your phone anywhere in the world. These smart cameras require an internet and power connection to operate. Some of the cameras are fixed but have a wide angle view that can see quite a bit, whereas other smart internet connected cameras offer the ability to pan and scan around the room to see different things. Not only can these cameras show a live image of what is happening in your home some can also record video either to your phone or on the camera...
November 2017 Greater Cincinnati Luxury Real Estate Market Report
As is to be expected during the holiday season home sales begin to slow down as fewer luxury homes are bought and sold. Fewer sellers are looking to put their homes on the market during the holiday season due to travel or family visit plans.
The upcoming tax bill making its way through congress could change the landscape of real estate by eliminating or limiting mortgage interest deductions as well as increasing the time required for a home seller to be in a home to get a tax break on any gain from the sale of their home. Currently a homeowner must live in a house for at least two of the last five years to be entitled to a tax free gain from the sale of $250,000 for a single person and $500,000 for a married couple. In the tax law as proposed the timeframe would change to require homeowners to live in the home for at least five years out of the last eight years. That change in time required to live in a home could potentially slow down housing sales since people will have to stay longer in the home if they want to sell and not be taxed on the gain. Ultimately what the final tax bill says still remains to be seen as the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are still negotiating a reconciled bill to send to the President.
Consumers Shift To High Gear, But At What Cost? by Mish Shedlock
Relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio? 14 Reasons You’ll Love It!!!
Planning on relocating to Cincinnati, OH? Here are some reasons why you will love the Greater Cincinnati Area which encompasses parts of Indiana, Ohio and Northern Kentucky. You can travel between the three states and still be close to your home. Cincinnati has lots to offer for anyone looking to relocated here, where you want hip uptown living, suburban neighborhoods or rural living. Be sure to check out the Cincinnati Life Facebook group to get up to date information and check out the wide range of homes for sale in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Cincinnati has a vibrant community with plenty of places to go, meet and be social. Whether you want to join a local club, attend classes to enhance your knowledge, attend the theater, or more you are bound to find someone with mutual interests. The different neighborhoods in Cincinnati have a lot of different options to offer. Whether you want the Downtown Cincinnati feel, the Over The Rhine hip place to be, or prefer a more relaxed living in neighborhoods like Anderson, Delhi, Alexandria, Florence or more Greater Cincinnati has what you are looking for.
2. Cincinnati Is A Food Lovers Paradise
For the past few years a number of Cincinnati eating establishments have been ranking pretty high in the nation. In fact ...
What Is The Purpose Of The Final Walkthrough When Buying A Home?
After an offer on a home has been made, appraisal completed, inspection done and repairs negotiated, one of the last activities done prior to the actual closing on the home is the final walkthrough. While a final walkthrough is not required it is highly recommended and serves a great purpose both for the home buyer as well as the home seller. In the final walkthrough a homebuyer makes one last tour of the home in order to see the condition the home will be in once the buyer takes possession. If there are major issues found during the final walkthrough then the buyer can refuse to close which means the transfer of ownership will not take place. Usually the closing is put on hold until the issue is taken care or although in the rare occasion a closing can be completely called off if something substantial is discovered during the final walkthrough.
After closing and taking possession of the home the buyer is generally responsible for everything associated with the home. Of course if the seller failed to properly disclose an issue that should have been disclosed then the buyer may have recourse against the seller, but that is a topic for another article. In this article the importance of the final walkthrough is explored along with suggestions for both the homebuyer and home seller as to what they should be doing prior to and during the final walkthrough.
How Should A Homebuyer Conduct The Final Walkthrough?
The final walkthrough is not a time to have another home inspection and look through the home with a fine tooth comb. A home inspector could be brought along to inspect a home being purchased...
How Residential Real Estate Differs From Commercial Real Estate Transactions
When people hear the term real estate it is often meant to cover broadly real estate in general. Basically the land and anything attached to the land like a building, home, factory, warehouse or something else. Within the real estate world itself residential and commercial real estate are generally looked at differently. Frequently agents specialize in residential or in commercial real estate since the way each are sold can be quite different. Residential real estate often has many more federal, state and local laws and regulations that govern the transaction whereas commercial real estate usually does not have as many restrictions. This article takes a look at some of the differences in residential and commercial real estate.
Financing Differences Between Residential and Commercial Real Estate
One of the big differences encountered in commercial versus residential real estate is that with residential real estate there are a number of government programs and loans that allow buyers to purchase residential real estate for low to zero money down and have low interest rates. With credit scores as low as 580-600 in some cases homebuyers can buy a home with little money down with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. With commercial real estate on the other hand buyer’s credit scores are closely looked at and lenders want to see strong credit as well as sufficient assets to protect in case of default on the loan. Commercial lenders do not have the same government loan programs and instead will offer loans with high interest rates and shorter terms (15-20 year loans sometimes with a balloon ...
Great Local Cincinnati Charities To Know About For #GivingTuesday
After Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and then Cyber Monday. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all about buying something at a discount or buying local in anticipation of the upcoming holidays of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Festivus and more. Another day for consideration is #GivingTuesday. With #GivingTuesday the idea is to contribute some money to a charity of your choosing so those who are in need can benefit as well from the holiday season. Being a personal fan of local charities I have compiled a number of local charities in this article that operate in both the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area and Northern Kentucky. Take a look at the great things these local charities are doing and consider donating to them or becoming a volunteer.
La Soupe located at 4150 Round Bottom Road Cincinnati, OH 45244 and helps people get nutritious meals. Founded in 2014 by Chef Suzy DeYoung the goal of La Soupe is to repurpose excess food (that would otherwise be thrown out) to create tasty and nutritious soups and meals for those in need. Currently La Soupe rescues approximately 5000 pounds of food per week and with that is able to feed 2000 children in and around the Cincinnati area. La Soupe recently sent 23,000 pounds of food to assist with hurricane recovery efforts in Houston, Texas.
Not only does La Soupe give soup to those in need they also sell their soups to anyone wanting to buy their delicious soups. So in case you want to make a donation in person be sure to also...
Tips For Selling A Multi-Family Home
Many out of state buyers are looking to make a purchase of a multi-family building here in Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky due to the lower cost as compared to other states. With the lower cost and higher Return on Investment (ROI) out of state investors are lining up to purchase great cash flowing properties and as a result Greater Cincinnati multi-family properties are at 5-7 year highs. While demand is high that does not mean multi-family building owners can expect a cake walk when it comes time to sell. Multi-family building owners still need to prepare their buildings so that they attract buyers who want a ready to cash flow building as opposed to those buyers looking for a bargain. Bargain hunters will only be interested in a building if the price is in the bargain range.
A multi-family home is a building that allows for two or more families to live together in separate apartment/living spaces but generally under one roof. Conventional mortgage financing can be used for multi-family buildings when there are no more than two to four units in the building. Anything more than four units requires commercial lending products in order to purchase. Due to the allowance of conventional mortgage financing for 2-4 family buildings buyers can actually buy one of these buildings as owner occupied and pay a lower amount for down payment (anywhere from 0% to 5% depending on the loan program). If a buyer does not intend to occupy the building then down payment requirements are in...