Friday, November 09 2012
Fifty percent of Americans recently surveyed say they expect home rental prices to rise in the next year, and it’s making them lean more toward home ownership, according to the Fannie Mae October National Housing Survey, which surveyed 1,000 Americans.
"This has been a year of steady growth in the percentage of consumers with positive home price expectations," says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist. "Increasing household formation, encouraged by an improving labor market, is adding additional momentum to the housing recovery and putting upward pressure on rental price expectations. Expected increases in both owning and renting costs may encourage more consumers to buy and add further strength to the housing recovery already under way."
Rental price expectations continue to rise and are much higher than home price expectations, according to Fannie Mae.
More Americans say that with rising rents, home ownership is looking like a better option. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed say that now is a good time to purchase a home. Eighteen percent say it’s a good time to sell.
Still, the optimism over the direction of the housing market is met with some caution and predictions of a slow recovery--not a high speed one, according to Fannie.
Source: Fannie Mae
Thursday, January 19 2012
Financial experts insist that they don’t have a crystal ball, but they still have to predict the future anyway. That’s why they watch a number of different economic indicators to determine the direction they expect different segments of the economy to head. For the owners of Southwest Indiana rental homes and their tenants, one of the most important segments is the one dealing with rents – will they continue to rise in 2012? If, as many experts predict, rents do continue on an upward path, it will mark the third straight year that they have done so. Evansville area landlords needn’t ignore the trend.
While the year is still too young to have established many economic indicators, here are some to watch for to help you make your own prediction regarding rent price trends that may affect your own decision-making:
To slightly balance those indicators, other signs could hint at a possible future stall in rental rates:
The big question is, if rental home rates do continue to rise in 2012, how much can owners and renters expect? While the majority of analysts agree that residential rents should continue to rise, they vary when asked how much – from 2.5% to 5.5%, depending on which one you ask.
Please let us know if you are interested to receive emails with listings that are suitable for the rental market. We are working with many investors who take advantage of this and in case you do not want to be personally involved with the leasing process we can assist you with that as well. You can reach me by phone at 812-499-9234 or by email at RolandoTrentini@FCTE.com
Thursday, January 12 2012
Borrowers who have a history of paying rent on time may see a boost to their credit score.
Experian, a leading credit report company, added a section to its credit reports last year that reflected on-time rent payments, which helped give a boost in the credit scores to some on-time rent payers. Now the two other major credit reporting companies are following suit.
CoreLogic and FICO recently announced they are also adding a score that reflects payment histories from landlords, The New York Times reports.
“Evidence of positive rental payments could be a plus for consumers,” Joanne Gaskin, FICO’s director of product management global scoring, told The New York Times.
Nearly half of high-risk consumers saw an increase of 100 points or more after their rental history was added to their credit report, says Brannan Johnston, the managing director of Experian’s rent bureau. Consumers with average or higher credit scores, on the other hand, did not see any major difference to their scores.
For former home owners who lost their homes to foreclosure, they may be able to rebuild their credit histories more quickly now by showing they are “very responsible renters,” Tim Grace, senior vice president of CoreLogic, told The New York Times.
Source: “A Good Rental History Can Help Borrowers,” The New York Times (Jan. 5, 2012)
Wednesday, July 06 2011
A lease option is actually a lease with an option to buy. It refers to an agreement between a buyer and seller of property and is a contract valid for both residential and commercial property. Lease option is different from a lease purchase in which both parties are bound to the sale agreement. However, a lease option makes it binding only to the seller, with the buyer not bound to buy the property in question. However, the buyer does have to state an amount as valuation at which he will get the right to buy at a later date.
Features of a Lease Option
A lease option is similar to a lease, except that in a lease option, the buyer has the purchase option at a later date. This option is used by a buyer if he is relocating or setting up a business and does not have the resources at present to pay for the property. It is preferable to a mortgage since the risk element is far lower in this option. For the seller, it holds promise of higher returns and a definite chance of his property being sold. It also provides a price security to the seller in case the value of the property declines. These are therefore more popular in a slow market besieged by recession. Sellers may not agree to a lease option generally when the prices of real estate are increasing. Lease options are good for first time property buyers, since it gives them time to collect their resources to pay for the property they have selected, after 1-3 years. Such a situation arises when they do not have the savings for a down payment. They may even be able to come to an agreement to live in the house they plan to buy through the lease option.
Steps to complete before taking a lease option
Once all these are looked into, a lease option may bring you closer to your dream property
Monday, May 09 2011
To rent or to buy: what used to be a given – that you would buy a home as soon as you could afford to – has become an agonizing conundrum for many a would-be homebuyer, in the face of the housing market’s big bust and super-slow recovery. Low prices seem to create a wide-open window of opportunity, but they also create the concern that prices will keep falling after closing. And that Catch-22 has hundreds of thousands of buyers-to-be stuck on the fence.
Fortunately, there are handful of life, mortgage and local market signals which indicate that the time *might* be right to hop – scratch that – leap off the fence and into homeownership:
Mortgage rates are going up. Home prices have been low for the last several years, and in fact are currently looking like they’re heading back down to the same levels they were at the depths of the real estate recession. During this same time frame, interest rates have also been low – this one-two punch has created record-high affordability for the last four years running, causing buyers to believe that this window of opportunity won’t be closing anytime soon.
While prices don’t look like they’ll be skyrocketing anytime soon, interest rates are another story. Rates have been on a rollercoaster over the past few months, and with inflation and Fed rates set to spike later this year, today’s low interest rates might be as good as they’re going to get for a long time to come. And I mean a very long time – in the next few years, governmental intervention in the mortgage markets is likely to wind down, and that means higher mortgage interest rates are not only inevitable, they’ll probably be here for a long, long time.
Mortgage rates on the rise are one signal that now might be the peak of home affordability, and the peak of the opportunity to buy.
Rents are going up. Rental rates in many areas are also on the rise – in fact, the foreclosure crisis has acted created additional demand on many markets’ rental housing inventory in several different ways. First, former homeowners who lost homes to foreclosure now need to rent; as well, buyers in foreclosure hot spots have been hesitant to buy, many electing to stay renters far beyond when they would have otherwise. On top of all that, super-tight lending guidelines have stopped even some who would like to buy homes from doing so. As a result, rental homes are in high demand – and rents are rising.
Rising rents at a time when the prices of homes for sale are low and, in some places, falling? One more signal that now might just be the time to buy. (Of course, where foreclosures are high, the chances of continued depreciation are, too – to offset this risk, have a long-term plan, to minimize the possibility that you’ll owe more than your home is worth when you need to sell. Read on for more on how to plan for the long term and minimize your homebuying risk.)
When you get to the spot in your career where you can realistically project a stable income 7 to 10 years out, life might be giving you a green light to move forward on your homebuying dreams.
You can reasonably predict the home you’ll need in the years to come. Since successful homeownership requires that you be ready to be in the place for a good number of years, best practice is not just to buy a home with the space and number of rooms you need right now – rather, you should aim to buy the home you’ll need 5, 7 or even 10 years down the road (to the best of your ability to predict, of course). You might be a newlywed with no kids now, but you plan to have them in a few years. Or maybe you’re a newly minted empty nester right now, but can project that you’ll want to retire - and might not want to climb two flights of stairs to get to and from your bedroom - 10 years down the road. Before you buy, you should be in a position to buy the home that meets your future needs – not just your current ones; and that requires that you have a reasonable idea of your life vision and plan for the future.
If you’re able to predict – and afford, at today’s prices – a home with the space, amenity and geographic location you’ll need 7 to 10 years from now, you might be in a good phase of life to get off the rent vs. buy fence.
With that said. . . buying a home is a massive decision and includes multiple, long-term financial and lifestyle obligations, so if one or more of these signals are present for you, that doesn’t mean you have the green light to run out and buy a home tomorrow – rather, it’s a good sign you should begin down that path, if you’re so inclined. You’ll still need to do the work to make sure your personal finances and holistic life picture are also in alignment before you buy, as well of the work it takes to ensure that your real estate and mortgage decisions are sustainable and smart, over the long-term.
It’s not overkill to check in with a mortgage pro, a tax pro, a local real estate broker or agent and a financial planner to make sure all your ducks – not just one - are in a row before you make your move.
Wednesday, April 20 2011
Apartment bargains once dominated the housing market, but those bargains have slowly faded away. As vacancies decrease and rents rise, renters are finding fewer deals.
Analysts expect vacancies to decrease even more and rents to continue to rise through 2013, as the economy continues to improve.
Rental activity recorded its best start for the year since 1999, according to Reis Inc. Vacancy rates have fallen to mid-2008 levels and rents have increased for the past five quarters, now averaging $991 per month nationwide.
Renters are finding the fewest deals along the coasts, such as New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Jose, Calif. These cities are experiencing low vacancy rates. Also, a boost in these cities’ economies is sending rents higher. New York City alone has seen double rent increases compared to the national average and has the lowest vacancy rate in the nation.
The best rental deals can be found in Las Vegas, Tucson, Ariz., Phoenix, and several cities in Florida--all cities where unemployment and foreclosures remain high. According to Reis, Las Vegas was the only city to see rents fall last year.
However, analysts say that bargains across the country are getting fewer, and renters should expect to see an increase in rents over the next three years.
View the Top 6 Cities Where Buying Is Better Than Renting.
Source: “Rental Market Swings Back in Favor of Landlords,” MSNBC.com (April 12, 2011)
Thursday, May 27 2010
While being a landlord certainly has its cons, tops among its pros are the tax deductions for rental homes enjoyed by owners.
From finding tenants to fixing faucets, renting out a home can be a lot of work. Yet perhaps the biggest reward for being a landlord isn’t the rent checks, but rather the considerable tax deductions for rental homes.
Writing off rental home expenses
Many rental home expenses are tax deductible. Save receipts and any other documentation, and take the deductions on Schedule E. Figure you’ll spend four hours a week, on average, maintaining a rental property, including recordkeeping.
Less obvious deductions include expenses to obtain a mortgage, and fees charged by an accountant to prepare your Schedule E. And don’t forget that a rental home can even be a houseboat or trailer, as long as there are sleeping, cooking, and bathroom facilities.
Limits on travel expenses
You can deduct expenses related to traveling locally to a rental home for such activities as showing it, collecting rent, or doing maintenance. If you use your own car, you can claim the standard mileage rate of 55 cents per mile (in 2009).
Repairs vs. improvements
Another area that requires rental home owners to tread carefully is repairs vs. improvements. The tax code lets you write off repairs—any fixes that keep your property in working condition—immediately as you would other expenses. The costs of improvements that add value to a rental property or extend its life must instead be depreciated over several years. (More on depreciation below.)
Depreciation refers to the value of property that’s lost over time due to wear and tear. In the case of improvements to a rental home, you can deduct a portion of that lost value every year over a set number of years. Carpeting and appliances in a rental home, for example, are usually depreciated over five years.
Profits and losses on rental homes
The rent you collect from your tenant every month counts as income. You offset that income, and lower your tax bill, by deducting your rental home expenses including depreciation. If, for example, you received $9,600 rent during the year and had expenses of $4,200, then your taxable rental income would be $5,400 ($9,600 in rent minus $4,200 in expenses).
Tax rules for vacation homes
If you have a vacation home that’s mostly reserved for personal use but rented out for up to 14 days a year, you won’t have to pay taxes on the rental income. Some expenses are deductible, though the personal use of the home limits deductions.
Wednesday, May 26 2010
Renting out your house can be a smart financial move, as long as you calculate your costs carefully.
You have a single-family house you’d like to rent out. Perhaps you’re temporarily relocating for work, or maybe you inherited your childhood home from your parents, and you’re not quite ready to part with it yet.
Renting can be a profitable choice, but it requires an investment of time, money, and organization to make it work. Here’s how to determine whether renting out your house is worth the cost.
Calculate your monthly expenses
You want to charge at least enough to cover your monthly outlay. So the first step is to use our free downloadable worksheet to calculate your costs. Start with regular expenses like mortgage, maintenance, and homeowners association dues.
Check out prospective tenants
As a practical matter, you’ll have to formally check out your prospective renters. MrLandlord.com, an information and service site for landlords, suggests a variety of background checks: credit reports, eviction reports, and criminal background reports. None of these is expensive, but you must get your prospects’ permission.
Account for maintenance and upgrades
Even with the most scrupulous checks, you can’t be completely sure renters will take good care of your home. Eva Rosenberg, an enrolled agent in Northridge, Calif., advises that if you’re not within easy driving distance of your rental property, you’ll need to arrange for someone else to keep an eye on the place, even if it’s just to make sure the lawn is mowed. If the tenants are neglecting upkeep, you’ll want to know about it sooner rather than later, since it could be a warning sign of trouble down the line.
Don’t want the headaches? Hire a property manager
You can save yourself a lot of time and effort if you engage a management company to oversee the property and take care of the details. Some firms charge a percentage of the rental fee, others a flat monthly fee, based on the extent of services. Joe Aimone of GoRenter in Phoenix, Ariz., says his firm offers a variety of services, starting at as little as $50 a month, including general maintenance, rent collection, and—if necessary—eviction.
Keep scrupulous records
Whether or not you use a management company, you’ll have to keep extensive business records. DeDe Jones, CFP, CPA, in Lakewood, Colo., advises owners to save receipts for any expenses and to file them carefully.