How Buying Power Is Determined

The biggest area of your life that you need to understand before you buy a house is your own finances. Before you know what kind of house you can buy, you’ll need to understand your own buying power. While things like square footage, how many bedrooms you need, and finding the right neighborhood are important, you can’t go very far without some type of financing. While understanding how much you can spend on a property is one of the more serious parts of buying a home, it’s something that you’ll want to do. Knowing what you can spend on a home is a step to helping you land a home you love. If you understand your own numbers, you’ll know the chances that you have of an offer being accepted on a place you love.

The Elements Of Your Buying Power

Your Credit Score

This little three digit number has a lot of meaning behind it. This is the most basic piece of information that lenders use to determine your loan worthiness. The factors that influence your credit score include:

  • Payment history
  • How much you owe
  • Length of your credit history
  • Mix of credit accounts
  • How much new credit you have opened

A low credit score is somewhere under 620. Having a score this low doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be denied for a loan, but the type and amount of the loan you’re offered can be impacted. You’ll also face higher interest rates because of a low credit score. This means your mortgage could be considerably more expensive than if you had a higher credit score. 

Down Payment

The 20 percent down as a rule of thumb actually offers many benefits to your buying power. This means that you’ll need 20% down of the purchase price of the home in cash. If you put this amount of money (or even more) down on a home, it eliminates the need for you to have to buy PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). You’ll even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate. A large down payment may be especially helpful in competitive markets where there is a lot of buyer competition.

How Your Financial Picture Appears

Your assets and your debt-to-income ratio are also important factors in your financial picture that you present to the lender. Basically, all of these numbers let both the lender and the seller see how committed you are to buying a home. It is one of the biggest financial undertakings of your entire life. If you can’t show financial responsibility, then it may be a bit difficult for lenders to see that you’ll actually pay your loan back in a timely manner.

The better all of your financial numbers are, the more buying power that you’ll have. If your numbers are good, you’ll be able to afford more house. While it may not be the most exciting thing to look over all of your financial numbers, it’s a vital step in the process of your journey to home ownership. Call or text 508-648-0013 for home evaluation.


Posted on December 3, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Buying, Credit score | Tagged , ,

Don’t Make These Sellers Mistakes

Mistakes Sellers Make

  1. Basing the asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value. Many times sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their home. This can be an expensive mistake. If your home is not priced competitively, buyers will reject it in favor of other larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary because “nobody wants to buy real estate that nobody else wants”. The result is low priced offers and an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than market value. An accurate market evaluation is the first step in determining a competitive listing price.
  2. Failing to “Showcase” the home. A property that is not clean or well maintained is a red flag for the buyer. It is an indication that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, who don’t “spruce up” the house inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and neat, chase away buyers as fast as REALTORS® can bring them. Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time.
  3. Over-improving the home prior to selling. Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their home prior to attempting to sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost. If you are upgrading your home for your personal enjoyment – fine. But if you are thinking of selling, you should be aware that only certain upgrades to real estate are cost effective. Always consult with your REALTOR® BEFORE committing to upgrading your home.
  4. Choosing the wrong REALTOR® or choosing for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list with the real estate agent who tells them the highest price. You need to choose an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell your home. In the real estate business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with a minimum amount of hassles.
  5. Using the “Hard Sell” during showings. Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to “try on” a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. Good REALTORS® let the buyers discover the home on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Overselling loses many sales. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favor of a less expensive home without the features.
  6. Failing to take the first offer seriously. Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a tendency to not take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the market. Experienced REALTORS® know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. Real estate is most saleable early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer.
  7. Not knowing your rights and obligations. The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced REALTOR® who knows the “ins and outs” fully explain the contract you are about to sign.
  8. Failure to effectively market the property. Good marketing opens the door that exposes real estate to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The right REALTOR® will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.

Posted on December 3, 2020 at 1:07 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Home value, Selling your home | Tagged , , , ,

Home Selling Tips

Home Selling Tips

If you’re thinking of selling your home, keep in mind that buyers appreciate a clean look in the homes they view. You can increase the value of your home and decrease the time it takes to sell by making a few simple improvements.

Aroma is the first thing prospective buyers notice when they step inside a home. To eliminate odors, steam clean your carpet and wash walls and floors with household cleaners and disinfectants. Keep your home smelling fresh by burning candles or potpourri, boiling a pot of cinnamon sticks or putting a dab of vanilla on cold light bulbs before turning them on.

Nothing makes a home look newer faster than painting. Painting your walls and removing outdated wallpaper may be the best interior improvements you can make. For broader appeal, paint in neutral colors such as beige, white, off-white, or gray. These colors suggest newness and cleanliness and can brighten a dull or outdated room. If your carpet is badly worn, outdated or stained, consider replacing it. If your carpet is heavily soiled, you may want to have it professionally cleaned. Brighten the interior of your home by cleaning your windows and opening your curtains to let light in. Clean hanging light fixtures and add the highest-wattage bulbs allowed. Below are 20 suggestions to help you sell your home.

Make the Most of that First Impression:
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted – or at least freshly scrubbed – front door. If it’s autumn, rake the leaves. If it’s winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.
Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends:
Here’s your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your property. Prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look, “with a little work.”
Check Faucets and Bulbs:
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs leave prospects in the dark. Don’t let little problems detract from what’s right with your home.
Don’t Shut Out a Sale:
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect’s mind. Don’t try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.
Think Safety:
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.
Make Room for Space:
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They’re looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.
Consider Your Closets:
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now’s the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
Make Your Bathrooms Sparkle:
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats and shower curtains.
Create Dream Bedrooms:
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.
Open up in the Daytime:
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.
Lighten up at Night:
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights – both inside and outside – when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.
Avoid Crowd Scenes:
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they’re likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum.
Watch Your Pets:
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you’re showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.
Think Volume:
Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it’s time to show your home, it’s time to turn down the stereo or TV.
Relax:
Be friendly, but don’t try to force conversation. Prospects want to view your home with a minimum of distraction.
Don’t Apologize:
No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home’s appearance, let an experienced Real Estate Agent handle the situation.
Keep a Low Profile:
Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But a Real Estate Agent knows buyers – what they need and what they want. Your Real Estate Agent will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
Don’t Turn Your Home into a Second-Hand Store:
When prospects come to view your home, don’t distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need. You may lose the biggest sale of all.
Defer to Experience:
When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert – your Real Estate Agent.
Help Your Agent:
Your Real Estate Agent will have an easier time selling your home if showings are scheduled through his or her office. Offer to keep an eye on the brochure box attached to your sign and make sure it is always filled with flyers. Try to accommodate prospective buyers when they want to see your home.

For A Free Market Analysis, click here


Posted on December 3, 2020 at 1:04 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Home value, Moving, Selling your home | Tagged ,

Moving Tips

Moving Tips

Eight weeks before you leave your present address

  • Remove unnecessary items from your attic, basement, storage shed, etc. Use things you can’t move, such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies.
  • Obtain information about your new community.
  • Secure a floor plan of your new residence and decide what household items you want to keep.
  • Start a possessions inventory.
  • Solicit estimates from at least three moving companies.
  • Call your homeowners insurance agent to find out to what degree your move is covered.
  • Create a file for documenting all moving papers and receipts.
  • Arrange to transfer your children’s school records.

Six weeks before you leave your present address

  • Contact the IRS and/or your CPA for tax-deductible information.
  • Evaluate your possessions inventory. Can you donate anything? Do you need it all?
  • Notify your friends, relatives, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, etc.
  • Subscribe to a local paper in your new community and familiarize yourself with local government, community and social news and activities.
  • Begin the off-site storage process (if applicable).
  • Locate high-quality health-care professionals and hospitals in your new location.
  • Complete post-office change of address cards for the following: banks; charge cards; religious organizations; doctors/dentist; relatives and friends; income tax bureau/Social Security Administration/union; insurance broker/lawyer/CPA/ stockbroker; magazines; post office; and schools.
  • Clean your closets.
  • Hold a moving/garage sale or donate items to charities.
  • Choose a mover. Contact your mover to make arrangements and inquire about insurance coverage.
  • If relocating due to a job, contact your employer to see what costs, if any, they will cover.

Four weeks before you leave your present address

  • Start packing!
  • Send furniture, drapes and carpets for repair/cleaning as needed.
  • Gather auto licensing and registration documents, medical, dental and school records, birth certificates, wills, deeds, stock and other financial documentation, etc.
  • Contact gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable TV and trash collection companies for service disconnect /connect at your old and new addresses. Also ask for final readings.
  • Request refunds on unused homeowner’s insurance, security deposit with landlord, and prepaid cable/internet service.
  • Notify your gardener, snow removal service and pool service (if applicable).
  • Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowner’s, medical and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home.

Three weeks before you leave your present address

  • Make your travel plans.
  • Arrange to close current bank accounts and open accounts in your new locale (if necessary).
  • Notify your state’s motor vehicle bureau of your new address.
  • Arrange for childcare on moving day.

Two weeks before you leave your present address

  • Arrange special transport for your pets and plants.
  • Service your car for the trip.
  • Contact your moving company and review arrangements for your move.

One week before you leave your present address

  • Prepare detailed directions and an itinerary with emergency numbers for your moving company.
  • Settle outstanding bills with local retailers. Pick up dry cleaning, and return library books and rented videotapes.
  • Take pets to the veterinarian and get copies of their records.
  • Drain gas and oil from power equipment.
  • Give away plants not being moved.
  • Cancel newspaper delivery.
  • Buy two-weeks worth of medication and have your prescriptions forwarded to your new pharmacy.
  • Buy traveler’s checks.
  • Make arrangements to pay for your move.

Two to three days before you leave your present address

  • If you’re not doing it yourself, have your mover pack.
  • Defrost refrigerators and freezers.
  • Consider gathering all valuables and giving them to family or friends to hold until the move is completed.
  • Disconnect all major appliances.
  • Contact your moving company for any updates.
  • Pack first-night items and a survival kit. Keep them in separate boxes in your car. First night items may include: sheets, towels, toiletries, phone, alarm clock, change of clothes and flashlight.
  • Mover’s survival kit may include: scissors, utility knife, coffee cups, instant coffee/tea or a coffee maker, water and soft drinks, snacks, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, pencils and paper, local phone book, masking and/or duct tape, trash bags, shelf liner and aspirin or ibuprofen.

Moving day

  • Be home to answer any questions your mover may have.
  • Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric and water).
  • Stay until your movers are finished.
  • Complete information on the bill and carefully read the document and the inventory sheet before signing it.
  • Keep your copies of the bill and inventory until your possessions are delivered, the charges are paid and any claims are settled.
  • Take one final look around to see if you forgot anything.
  • Give movers the directions to your new home, and an emergency number where you can be reached during the move.

At destination

  • Unpack first-night items and mover’s survival kit.
  • Be at the destination to welcome the movers and be on hand to answer any questions.
  • After the job is completed, pay what is owed. The driver is obligated by law (a federal requirement for interstate moves) to collect payment upon delivery.
  • Scrutinize the unloading of your items and account for each one on your inventory sheet. Check promptly and carefully for any damaged or missing items.
  • Place moving and other important documents in a safe place.
  • Go to the post office and collect held mail.

Posted on December 1, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Buying, Moving, Real Estate Cape Cod, Selling your home, vacation home | Tagged , ,

Adding Value To Your Home With A Fireplace

Fireplaces are often seen as a necessity for homebuyers. It adds charm and decorative as well as physical warmth to a home. More than half of new homes have a fireplace. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, you may wonder if installing and maintaining a fireplace is worth it. Will it add value to your home? There are a few things you need to consider before you decide to take on this project.

Value

Keep in mind that fireplaces are not directly accounted for during a home appraisal. Yet, they add value to a home. Home buyers will pay more for homes that have fireplaces. Depending on the location of your home, a fireplace can increase the value of the property by a significant amount- up to thousands of dollars.

Location

The location of a home really has a direct effect on how much value it adds it a home. When added to other amenities in your home, a fireplace can compound to make the home appear more luxurious. A fireplace is a must in a higher end home.  

On the flip side, more modest homes may not need fireplaces. If a home needs many other improvements, a fireplace may not add much to the property. The amount of value a fireplace adds is very much dependent on the type of property it’s being added to.       

Cost

It’s possible to add a fireplace to just about any home. The cost will vary by a large amount ranging anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Specific requirements may exist within your city dictating how fireplaces must be installed. Keep in mind that everything from the type of fireplace that’s being installed to the height of the chimney must be considered. Look into things like:

  • Emission limits
  • Chimney height
  • Construction requirements
  • Permits
  • Type of installation

Each requirement will add a bit more cost to the project, so it’s best to do some research beforehand. 

Getting The Maximum Value

If you decide that adding a fireplace is the right decision for your property, there are a few ways to get the maximum return on your investment. First, you should build the fireplace in the room of your home that’s most used. This space would most likely be the living room or family room in most cases. Keep in mind that adding a fireplace can drastically change the look of a room.

Whether you’re adding a fireplace or putting in an initial one, you can be sure that it will add value to your home in the form of attraction and home price.  


Posted on December 1, 2020 at 6:47 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Buying, Home value, Remodel, Staging, vacation home | Tagged

Things To Look for in Your First Home

The concept of a starter home is an American tradition that has existed for decades. Buying a starter home makes it possible to achieve homeownership, financial independence, and to build equity and credit while you transition to a larger home.

However, your first home doesn’t need to be a tiny, one-bedroom house with none of the amenities that you want.

In today’s post, we’re going to look at some of the things that are desirable in a first home or starter home, so that you can make the best financial decision now that will help you save more in the long run.

Top things to look for in your first home

1. Resale value

Perhaps the most important thing to think about when buying your first home is the day that you eventually decide to sell it and upgrade. There’s a lot that goes into the purchase value of a home. But, if you maintain the home or even make some upgrades, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sell it for more than you paid.

Other factors that affect resale value are the location and real estate market trends. While you may not be able to change the economy, you can choose to buy a home that is in a location others will find desirable in the coming years.

2. Size

The cost of your first home will be determined by its location, as mentioned before, but another huge factor will be the size or square-footage of the home and yard.

If you don’t plan on having children in the next few years and don’t currently have kids at home, having several bedrooms and a large backyard probably aren’t huge priorities. This means you’ll be able to save by buying a small home on a small property.

Similarly, if it’s just you and a significant other living in the home, you may be comfortable with just one bathroom for the next few years. These omissions can save you a ton of money on your first starter home.

3. Transportation and proximity

Typically, when people buy their first home they are just getting settled into their career and may still change jobs a few times. Most workers in today’s economy change jobs between 10 and 15 times throughout their career and do so more often toward the beginning.

This means it will make sense for you to buy your first home within commuting distances to companies in your industry.

4. DIY and fixer-uppers

Homes that are in need of repairs or renovations can be a great way to save money and see a return on your investment when you decide to sell. Of course, there are limits to how many repairs are reasonable while still getting your money’s worth from a home.

You’ll know from your home inspection or by doing a walk-through with professional contractors how much work is required to bring the home up to standards. Use those resources to ensure that you’re making a sound financial decision for your first home. Call or text us at 508-648-0013. We will be happy to assist.


Posted on December 1, 2020 at 6:19 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Buying, Moving | Tagged , ,

Thinking about Renting out a Property? Things to Consider. Copy

Many property owners at some point consider renting out their house. Whether it’s a property they inherited, a summer home they rarely use, or they’re just trying their hand at property management.

 It’s a common misconception that renting out a house is passive income. You’ll have to do a lot of work if you plan on keeping your tenants around and paying their rent.

 In this article, we’ll discuss some of the things you should consider if you’re planning on renting out a house or property you own.

The rental process

Some landlords take shortcuts during the rental process to save time or money. However, doing so could cost you big time in the long run. If you don’t utilize a real estate agent, draw up the proper contracts and agreements, or fail to do due diligence with walkthroughs, you could easily end up losing money on your investment.

The safest approach to finding reliable tenants and renting your property securely is to use a property manager who knows the practical and legal aspects of renting so you don’t have to worry about making any beginner mistakes.

DIY property management

If you decide you want to save money and manage the property yourself, there are a few things you should keep in mind when looking for tenants.

First, use background checks and credit checks to ensure your future tenants are in good financial standing.

Next, ask for references on your application, preferably from former landlords. Most landlords will happily let you know if their tenants were good about making on-time payments or were difficult in other ways.

When it comes to your lease, don’t try to write it from scratch. There are several templates available online. Try to find one that covers most applicable laws in your area, then hire a lawyer to read over your lease and make any pertinent changes.

Finally, be sure to collect a security deposit or first and last month’s rent. This will give you some protection if your tenant stops paying or causes costly damages in the building.

Know your legal limits

If you’ve ever rented before, odds are there were a few things you wish your landlord did differently. Before beginning this endeavor of becoming a landlord, make sure you’re doing it by the book.

Find the laws for your state and city regarding landlord/tenant requirements. Know when you can enter the apartment and how long of an advanced notice is required to do any work in the apartment.

Before sending any complaints or notices to your tenant, make sure you are in the right, legally speaking and can back up your claims with evidence. To do so, you’ll need to practice rigorous bookkeeping. Document and keep copies of each payment you receive and all of the money you spend on repairs and maintenance. These records can help you should you ever need to prove yourself in a court of law.

Finally, be respectful and courteous with your tenants. Going out of your way to be helpful will often save you headaches in the long run. However, know when your leniency is being taken advantage of by tenants who are avoiding paying rent or abusing your property. Call Team Stevens & Manley with any questions. We are here to help!


Posted on November 16, 2020 at 2:26 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Property Management, Real Estate Cape Cod, Rental | Tagged , ,

Want a Beautiful Yard But Don’t Like Yard Work? Here’s How to Make It Happen?

Photo by Manfred Richter via Pixabay

If you’re like many homeowners who are busy with work and family obligations, you love the thought of your outdoor living space serving as a personal sanctuary during the occasional moments when you manage to get some downtime. However, it may also be true that the time you spend in your yard and garden area is more about chores than anything else, with very little room for relaxing with a book and a beverage, enjoying a cookout with family and friends, or simply sitting quietly on a garden bench while listening to the birds sing. Following are several suggestions for how you can exchange some of that outdoor task time for outdoor leisure time.

Rethink Your Lawn

You can save yourself hours of mowing, weeding, feeding, and other lawn chores every week by seriously downsizing your lawn. If you’ve got active children in the home and want them to have a soft surface to play on, consider creating a play space with playground mulch instead of lawn. Leave a small patch of lawn so that you can still enjoy the occasional gratification of bare feet on velvety green grass.

Go Native

Ask your local garden retailer for recommendations on flowers, shrubs, and trees that are native to your geographical area. These plants thrive in local soils and climate conditions, and they’ve developed natural resistance to regional pests and pathogens. You won’t have to spend time babying them along with special fertilizers and pesticides — at most, they’ll need an extra drink of water during drought conditions and routine clipping and mulching.

Use Plenty of Mulch

Which brings us to mulch. Mulch provides multiple benefits in the yard and garden area. Organic mulch slowly releases nutrients into the soil, and any type of mulch acts as an insulator for plant roots, protecting them from temperature extremes on both ends of the scale. It also acts as a deterrent for the germination of weed seeds, as well as, helps provide your outdoor living space with a pulled-together appearance.

Build a Rock Garden

Rock gardens provide an almost maintenance-free way to maximize the aesthetics of your outdoor living space. Most rock garden plants don’t require extra water and fertilizer once established. Rock gardens are also ideal for placing on slopes because they significantly decrease soil erosion from precipitation runoff.

Install a Smart Irrigation System

Smart irrigation systems save homeowners money as well as time. They’re equipped with sensors that determine the amount of moisture in the soil, for instance, and the water won’t come on unless the soil is dry, and they can also be set to shut off if it begins to rain. Call Team Stevens & Manley 508-648-0013 for all your real estate questions. We are here to help!

 


Posted on November 16, 2020 at 2:25 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Landscaping, Lawn | Tagged , ,

Thinking About Renting Out a Property? Here Are Some Things to Consider Copy

Many property owners at some point consider renting out their house. Whether it’s a property they inherited, a summer home they rarely use, or they’re just trying their hand at property management.

 It’s a common misconception that renting out a house is passive income. You’ll have to do a lot of work if you plan on keeping your tenants around and paying their rent.

 In this article, we’ll discuss some of the things you should consider if you’re planning on renting out a house or property you own.

The rental process

Some landlords take shortcuts during the rental process to save time or money. However, doing so could cost you big time in the long run. If you don’t utilize a real estate agent, draw up the proper contracts and agreements, or fail to do due diligence with walkthroughs, you could easily end up losing money on your investment.

The safest approach to finding reliable tenants and renting your property securely is to use a property manager who knows the practical and legal aspects of renting so you don’t have to worry about making any beginner mistakes.

DIY property management

If you decide you want to save money and manage the property yourself, there are a few things you should keep in mind when looking for tenants.

First, use background checks and credit checks to ensure your future tenants are in good financial standing.

Next, ask for references on your application, preferably from former landlords. Most landlords will happily let you know if their tenants were good about making on-time payments or were difficult in other ways.

When it comes to your lease, don’t try to write it from scratch. There are several templates available online. Try to find one that covers most applicable laws in your area, then hire a lawyer to read over your lease and make any pertinent changes.

Finally, be sure to collect a security deposit or first and last month’s rent. This will give you some protection if your tenant stops paying or causes costly damages in the building.

Know your legal limits

If you’ve ever rented before, odds are there were a few things you wish your landlord did differently. Before beginning this endeavor of becoming a landlord, make sure you’re doing it by the book.

Find the laws for your state and city regarding landlord/tenant requirements. Know when you can enter the apartment and how long of an advanced notice is required to do any work in the apartment.

Before sending any complaints or notices to your tenant, make sure you are in the right, legally speaking and can back up your claims with evidence. To do so, you’ll need to practice rigorous bookkeeping. Document and keep copies of each payment you receive and all of the money you spend on repairs and maintenance. These records can help you should you ever need to prove yourself in a court of law.

Finally, be respectful and courteous with your tenants. Going out of your way to be helpful will often save you headaches in the long run. However, know when your leniency is being taken advantage of by tenants who are avoiding paying rent or abusing your property. Call us to discuss your options at 508-648-0013 or email us at info@stevensmanleyre.com


Posted on November 16, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Buying, Buying a rental property, Buying rental home, Property Management, Real Estate Cape Cod, vacation home | Tagged , ,

Best Practices for Pricing Your House

Before you list your house, you’ll need to establish a competitive price for it. That way, you can increase the likelihood of stirring up plenty of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.

Now, let’s take a look at three best practices for pricing your home.

1. Evaluate the Real Estate Market

The current real estate market’s conditions can impact your ability to sell your residence. However, if you study the real estate market closely, you can differentiate between a buyer’s and seller’s market and plan accordingly.

In a buyer’s market, the number of home sellers exceeds the number of homebuyers. As such, you likely will need to establish an aggressive price right away to separate your house from the competition.

On the other hand, a seller’s market favors home sellers over homebuyers. If you’re operating in a seller’s market, you may be better equipped than ever before to earn a significant profit.

To differentiate between a buyer’s and seller’s market, examine the prices of recently sold homes and available homes in your area. This housing market data can provide deep insights into the current state of the housing market. Plus, this data can help you understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

Ultimately, a home appraisal can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time.

During a home appraisal, a professional appraiser will examine your house both inside and out. Then, this appraiser will offer a valuation of your property based on his or her findings.

A home appraisal involves an evaluation of the current condition of your home, your house’s age and your neighborhood. Therefore, if you complete a home appraisal, you should have no trouble using the appraisal results to help establish a fair price for your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to selling a house, there is no need to work alone. Fortunately, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive expert insights into all aspects of the home selling cycle.

A real estate agent is happy to meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. Next, this housing market professional will offer home pricing recommendations, ensuring you can make an informed decision about how to price your house.

In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can enjoy a seamless home selling experience. This housing market professional will promote your residence to large groups of homebuyers, set up home showings and open houses and put together an engaging and informative home listing. Also, a real estate agent will always keep you up to date about any offers on your home.

Looking to list your home in the near future? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can establish a competitive price for your residence and boost your chances of a fast, profitable home sale. Call Team Stevens & Manley at 508.648.0013.


Posted on November 16, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Kriss Stevens | Posted in Moving, Real Estate Cape Cod, Selling your home | Tagged , ,