Sunday, March 2, 2014

Common Repairs In Mobile Home Investing

Real Estate Investor Friendly HandymanFor the most part, mobile home repairs tend to be easier and more cost-effective than their site-built single family counterparts.
Since mobile homes are built in factories under similar conditions with similar parts, the same problems seem to pop up over and over.
Let me just mention quickly that we sell our homes to our tenant-buyers on a “rent-to-own” so we try to get them to perform some of the more cosmetic repairs since they are trying to buy it.

Common Mobile Home Investing Repairs

Here are 4 most common repairs that we perform in most of our investment mobile homes:
Many mobile homes use particle board instead of plywood as a sub floor throughout the home.  The particle board is a cheaper material but when it gets wet, it expands and warps, leaving a soft spot that will eventually rot through.
So wherever there is water (bathrooms and kitchens), there tends to be issues.
We will tear out the flooring and sub-floor if the room has water damage and replace it with plywood sub floor and a vinyl or laminate flooring.
We did the flooring work ourselves in the first couple of days but after spending three months involving every weekend to put in the floor in one of our homes, I vowed never again.
Since then, we have used a handyman to install and are also looking into the professional flooring services for future flooring repairs.
I do want to mention quickly about dirty carpets.  We have tried using carpet cleaning services for some of our dirtier carpets, but they don’t seem to do a great job.  Most of the time they need to be replaced.
However, most tenant-buyers will still buy the home with dirty carpets and replace them over time, which saves us the upfront capital.
Outdoor Central A/C Unit
This is one of my biggest “pet peeves”.  The majority of the time when we buy a home, especially if it is a REO, we have to replace the outdoor A/C unit because it has been stolen.  Thieves will steal this unit for the copper content for a couple hundred dollar payday but are doing thousands of dollars in damages in the process.
Anyway, it’s just a part of this business, especially in lower-income housing.
The tip I want to mention is to buy a used A/C unit if possible.  They can run ½ the cost of a new unit and run well.  Many times, the A/C guy will take an owner’s used unit that still works and replace it with a new unit.  He will then resell the used unit.
One quick thing:  make sure the used unit has at least a one year warranty on it.
You will see two main types of roofs:  metal and shingled.
When we buy homes with metal roofs, they almost always need to be Kool-Sealed (a paint that lasts for several years that protects the roof.)  It tends to run us about $1,000 per home for the materials and labor although I don’t believe it’s very difficult for those DIY’ers.
As long as the shingled roofs don’t have any soft spots and the interior ceiling appears to be in good shape in every room, we don’t mess with the roof.  If the roof does need work, we try to patch where we can if the patches will hold for at least 5 years.  If you are simply renting your homes, you may want to look at replacing the roof when the shingles start showing signs of wear (20+ years).
Interior Wall Patching/Replacing
A nice feature of mobile homes is that all of the interior walls are non-loadbearing meaning that you can move the interior walls without worrying about the structural integrity of the home.  We have seen many times where people have converted two bedrooms into one large bedroom.
The walls are also very thin and it’s common to see large holes in many of the homes.  If the hole is smaller than a baseball, we tend to patch the hole; otherwise, we will replace the dry wall.  The dry wall is fairly cheap after all.
However, we try to stay away from painting as much as possible as many of our tenant-buyers aren’t afraid of ugly walls and would prefer to choose the colors.

Mobile Home Investing Repairs Summary

mobile home-real estate investing

Mobile home investment rentals tend to involve more repairs than when selling on a rent-to-own basis because tenants aren’t going to take as good of care of the home as a tenant-buyer. This is a major reason why we don’t do straight rentals.
In fact, of the 5 homes we have taken back, every one has been in the same condition or better than the day we first sold it.
Anyway, hope this helps.  Do you have any other common repairs to mobile homes to add to this list? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW with your ideas or thoughts about mobile homes or repairs.

7 Reasons To Fire Your Real Estate Agent

When Is It Time To Fire Real Estate Agents? Here’s A Quick Video Pointing Out The Major Signs Your Real Estate Agent Is A Dud!

Buying Lists To Grow Your Real Esate Investing Business

12-real estate investing marketing toolsOne of the most smartest and most efficient ways to grow your  investing business is to find and market to – Motivated Sellers, Buyers, Potential Renters and Investors.  Real Estate Investing Marketing targeted to many different types of leads may even potentially uncover property investments deals long before the general public and real estate agents get their hands on it.
In researching real estate investment marketing I came across a website called Wall Street List. This website is neat and perfect for real estate investors.  They offer the ability to buy data/leads based on credit, mortgage, banking, public records and area. They are in the “list brokerage” business.  This is not an endorsement just a random example I choose to highlight for you REIClub real estate investors.

Common Real Estate Marketing List Parameters

When looking to purchase real estate investing leads or marketing list you should there are common data parameters for lists. Here is a list of the most common list parameters that Wall Street List’s has on their site:
  • Homeowner type
  • Loan type
  • Rate type
  • Fico score modeled / actual
  • Mortgage amount
  • Home value
  • Mortgage date
  • Lender name
  • Lender type
  • Legth of residence
  • Loan to value %
  • Revolving debt load
  • Trade lines
  • Income
  • Age
  • Phones
  • Geographic locations
  • State,county,zip code,area code,city

real estate marketing10 Real Estate Target Marketing Lists

Here is a snap shot of the Wall Street List types of lists or data packages that may be good for real estate investors:
Make a pre-approved offer to either prime or sub prime refinance candidates who have at least one recorded late payment on their mortgage in the past twelve months. Quite often, a late mortgage payment is a sign of impending financial difficulty.
These homeowners have underpaid escrow and have not paid their property taxes.  These homeowners need assistance to get these paid off right away.
This database allows you to target renters with specific: age, income, and length of renting.
These homeowners have deeded with a typical sub prime lender and allow you to hand pick which lenders to go after.  These homeowners have ample equity and seasoning on their first mortgage.
These homeowners are about to have their 228 prepayment penalty time period expire within 90 days.  These homeowner’s rates can adjust by as much as 5% when they adjust.
Mortgage trigger leads are hard inquiries into a person’s credit report generated daily. These consumers have just had their credit checked within the past 7 days, specifically for a mortgage loan approval.
This database contains homeowners with good credit scores, above 640.   These homeowners are quick and easy to the closing table.  Customize this database to fit your requests of ample debt load and equity position to work with.
This data and time stamped data is coming directly from the credit bureau.  This data is an actual snap shot of the homeowners’ credit report.  This data is the highest quality as a result.  Set your exact fico ranges you wish to work with
Our consumer bankruptcy database contains more than 24 million individual and corporate bankruptcy filings, dispositions and current status records. Search by location, date, chapter, status and more.
These homeowners have all deeded with a typical sub prime lender, with modeled fico scores between 520-640.  These consumers have ample equity to work with and respond well to advertisements.

Real Estate Investing Marketing & Advertising

Investors are always asking – How do you build or grow your “list” for marketing and advertising your real estate investing deals or for finding real estate investments? A simple answer to that question is that you may purchase qualified marketing lists that suit your needs from a list brokerage house. In my research I uncovered Wall Street List who caters to the mortgage and banking  businesses but there are many more out there.
Buying a list to grow or establish your real estate investing business via email, direct mail or targeted advertising is a smart play. Be sure to check out REIClub’s many FREE training articles and videos on real estate investing marketing & advertising for more information on creative investing  strategies.

Dubai’s ruler issues new decree for controlling rental hikes

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued a decree to govern changes to property rates in the emirate. The step has been welcomed by analysts and tenants alike, assuaging concerns surrounding property price hikes following the Expo 2020 win.
The new law (or decree No. 43) stipulates that increases to property rentals can only be decided by a determined average for properties in a particular area. This average will be determined by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). Landlords will not be able to arbitrarily raise rents on their own whether for residential or office units. The decree outlines a band that will act as a guide for landlords when increasing rental rates.
So what does this mean for tenants? Well, in simple terms, landlords will not be able to increase rents if a property’s rent is just 10 percent below the market average for that area. This rule applies to both public and private units as well as free zone areas. Tenants can check the Dubai Rent Index on RERA’s website to find out more about average property prices. The Index is currently being updated.
In a nutshell, landlords can increase rents when renewal time comes according to the following parameters:
  • A five percent increase if the rental rate is 11 to 20 percent below the average rent.
  • A 10 percent hike if rent is 21 to 30 percent below the market average for similar units
  • A 15 percent rise when rental is 31 to 40 percent below similar units
  • A 20 percent hike if a unit’s rental is more than 40 percent below the market average for the same area
The decree is valid from the date of issue of December 18th, 2013 and should be followed by all relevant parties.
Analysts have said the new rules should bring peace of mind to tenants as landlords will not be able to arbitrarily increase rents. In November, Dubai won the bid to host the Expo 2020. The preparation to host the six-month global exposition is expected to bring in foreign capital and contribute positively to Dubai’s economy with massive developments planned and others to be announced. With this, many residents have been worried about property prices rising and the market heating up. The recent decree is part of several steps taken by the government to control speculation.
A few months ago, property registration fees were doubled from two to four percent. The Dubai government also created a court dedicated exclusively to solving commercial and residential property disputes.
Dubai has been restarting a number of its stalled projects from the days of the financial crisis and announcing new developments. Among those new undertakings is the Mohammed Bin Rashid City, which will be home to 100 hotels, a park larger than London’s Hyde Park, a theme park, and the biggest shopping mall in the world. The emirate is also building the world’s largest Ferris Wheel on a man-made island off the coast adjacent to Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Brokers in Dubai finish 2013 with $490m commission

Photo Credit: mx2-foto
Many things have contributed to the improvements in the property market seen in Dubai since the 2008 crash. One factor which is going to ensure that house and rent prices continue to rise is the recent Expo2020 victory. However, fears are growing in the industry on whether this Expo2020 win will force property prices too high, creating another bubble which will one day burst.
After seeing the latest figures released by RERA, the property regulations branch of the Dubai Land Department, renters and buyers can see that the industry is indeed on the increase. In 2013, Dubai real estate brokers made commission totalling a massive $490million (AED1.8bn), based on the total amount of registered transactions made through RERA. Showing a 50% increase in comparison with the figures at the end of 2012, these high commission figures show that the real estate market in the city is far out of the slump in was in after the world economic crisis in 2008.
The commission is mainly earned from the fee that real estate brokers charge, which is, unless otherwise agreed, set at a value of 2% of the total transaction. The high commission is down to the positive atmosphere amongst buyers and renters. Following the Expo2020 win, many have decided now is the best time to invest in property in Dubai as the city will see itself even further transformed and enhanced in the lead up to the event.
This latest $490million figure will be welcomed by industry professionals making them feel secure that the demand for property is increasing year on year, and will ensure that those trying to sell their property will not encounter problems or be left waiting long for a buyer, as they would have been in previous years.
From the point of view of the everyday buyer or renter, many had believed the prices in property would increase too much and too quickly, causing serious problems for investors, and fears grew that developers would build too many residential and commercial properties for the current demand, leaving Dubai scattered once again with half-finished projects and empty buildings. With these promising figures from 2013, however, there appears to be as much demand as there is supply in Dubai’s current property market, and it is predicted that demand will grow even further as more companies move employees here in preparation for the Expo2020.
Another good sign for Dubai investors is the fact that last month Knight Frank forecast that Dubai’s real estate market will be the highest global performer in 2014, making everyone in the market feel more secure. The property consultancy also predicted a price growth of between 10 and 15 percent for next year, pushing Dubai ahead of other leading cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai.
For now, with commissions on the rise and more property being built every day, the property market looks like it will continue to grow. As long as the growth is stable and the industry maintains a steady speed of development, buyers and renters in Dubai can rest assured that, for the moment, there isn’t another property bubble forming. Industry experts have advised that the dire repercussions of the 2008 property crash have made the industry more knowledgeable and careful, meaning they are aware of the red flags and when to notice a problem before a bubble forms, therefore preventing an eventual burst.

Are we still on a rebound?

Dubai’s rent prices rose a massive 60% in 2013, sparking fears across the region that the property market was growing too quickly for the industry to keep on top of. The last thing everybody wants is another property crash and it seems this fear is fresh on everyone’s mind when discussing the current market. However, is it possible that we are now over the rebound from the 2008 crash or are we still riding the rebound wave?
Judging from what some estate agents and tenants are saying, the increasingly high prices are now starting to be refused by potential tenants. With rent going up and the majority of salary packages now not reflecting the necessary property allowance, many residents are struggling to keep up with their outgoings. There comes a point when enough has to be enough and the tenants need to make a stand. People will start to become fed up of being ripped off and will start to demand more for their money.
From the looks of things, that will be happening this year. If landlords are not getting any interest on their overpriced apartments they will be forced to make the rent prices more reasonable and this, in turn, will steady out the rental market.
Dubai is considered the global hub for tourism in the region and, because of this, there will always be a steady demand for property to both rent and buy. While there are still significant amounts of available property to rent in the most popular areas, such as Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai, the increasing demand will one day outweigh the supply. However with an estimated 28,000 new residential properties to be finalized this year, it is safe to say that 2014 will not see an overturn in the demand vs. supply balancing act. For now, there will be enough property to cater to all needs.
The most desired areas, on the other hand, are starting to become too desirable, forcing some tenants and buyers to look elsewhere, either due to availability being limited or house prices being too high. As people begin to live in the less populated areas, the population distribution throughout Dubai will begin to even out. Property developers will continue to expand into the deeper parts of Dubai and with time, Dubai itself will therefore be a much larger city. As the city begins to broaden in size the property prices will even out as there will be many more top residential areas to choose from and residents will not be limited to a select, exclusive handful.
As the city continues to grow and develop, so will the demand for high quality yet affordable property. This is when the industry experts need to take care to ensure that the amount of residential units on the market do not over-exceed the amount of people trying to rent or buy property in the emirate. For now, after the high increase in rental prices seen last year, it is safe to assume that we are most certainly over the rebound from the 2008 crash, and with a little luck and guidance hopefully Dubai will not have to face such dire circumstances again.

Conquering Dubai’s Rental Market

Why does it seem that finding a property to rent seems harder in Dubai than it is in other parts of the world? There are enough apartments to go around, yet still you are left desperately calling estate agents and scouring property websites trying to find your perfect place. It can be agreed amongst most renters that using popular property websites to find your new home is easy, but never effective. Rarely do you call up an estate agent and mention the exact apartment you are looking at the web and find it is still available. Instead you’re graced with the familiar line: ‘That particular one is no longer available, but we do have something similar’. Ironically, the ‘something similar’ is normally more expensive. Could it be true that the properties really do get snapped up that quickly or is this an industry trick to get you to meet them in person, where it will be easier to convince you that the property they have really is the perfect one for you?
Asking around, it would seem it is a little bit of both. Property in desirable areas, such as JBR and Dubai Marina, really do vanish like gold dust. The best advice to those looking to rent a property in a popular area is to visit as soon as you can, and do not prolong your decision whether to rent the property or not. While you are deliberating over whether you would like a larger balcony or would prefer more natural light, another tenant has swooped in and taken the property right from under your feet.
In a property market as quick as Dubai’s, you really do need to be on the ball. One way to ensure you do not miss out is to make a priority list before you even start looking at properties. List the things you definitely want and the things you could not live without. Next add the aspects that would really impress you but are not 100% necessary, such as extra cupboard space or a large entrance hall. When you have the idea of what you want clear in your mind, searching properties on property websites will be much simpler and when speaking with the real estate agent you will not waste your time being shown around properties that do not match your wish-list. Your list of preferred aspects may have to change if you realise you are asking too much for your budget, but generally if a property has 75% of the things you want, it’s a great find!
Another tip is to make sure all your finances and paperwork are in order before you start looking to rent a property– just in case you find your dream one, you don’t want to be caught off guard! Make sure all of the mundane ‘admin’ is complete, such as photocopying your passport and visa and ensuring you have a cheque book from your current bank account. These small things take time and in the end could cost you your dream home, as time is not of the essence in this market.
Having said all of the above, an important factor to bear in mind is to not panic rent. Do not rush out and rent the first property you see even if you don’t like it. There are many real estate agents in Dubai, eager to show you their properties, so do not panic into signing the first one you see. Many will agree that, although signing a rental agreement is a financial and thought out process, the most important deal breaker is the feeling you get when you walk into a potential home. There will be some you will just hate and some you can’t stop thinking about. Just don’t deliberate too long with your Dubai home otherwise you may find yourself out of time, out of energy and out of luck!

Should you buy new or old?

Dubai can be recognised for its modern architecture, record breaking facilities and rich array of glamour, but it’s safe to say it’s not known for its old or period property. With the Emirate only being 42 years old, the majority of the property is relatively new but there are some houses and apartments that we could refer to as ‘old’ property.  In this fast paced economy it feels like any property over 10 years old is technically old, but what are the pros and cons of investing in these older properties, rather than buying brand new?
New homes usually sell for a higher price per square foot than resale homes, particularly properties which could be considered ‘old’ and are in need of a spruce up. The market shows that the majority of buyers in Dubai are looking for something new and modern, which they can walk in to and not worry about any work needing to be done. This means that those who are wanting to have a ‘project’ may be able to find a bargain. If you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty and restyling and remodelling a home, there are lots of villas and apartments on the market which are in need of a loving touch. With labour costs being considerably cheaper than other cities, remodelling your Dubai property can be a cost effective way of getting your dream home, just the way you want it.
On the other hand, buying new property seems to be the easiest option, especially when most of the Dubai population work long hours and do not want to use their precious free time sourcing tiles and choosing paint colours. Buying a new home means less construction worries, with great, energy efficient aspects. Appliances are all brand new and come with warranties, meaning if anything goes wrong you can get the manufacturer to repair or change them free of charge.
An advantage of buying a brand new property or buying off-plan is the flexible financial plans some property developers offer buyers. They are trying to sell a large amount of apartments or houses at the same time so are much more likely to offer you better interest or benefits when buying from them.  Buying a brand new property also means you do not have a chain of buyers and sellers to wait for. The property is new and ready to be sold, so if you like it and want to buy, it’s as simple as that! If buying off plan, you can also sometimes choose which style of kitchen and bathroom suites you prefer, adding your personal touch to your property. Although remodelling an older apartment may seem like a fun and exciting project, it is vital you consider the rest of the building before investing your time and money. If the rest of the building and facilities are not up to scratch you will be spending money on your apartment, but may not see a return when the time comes to sell it as the rest of the building will let you down. Property experts always say that it’s better to buy the worst house on a good street, rather than the best house on a bad street. Bear this in mind when buying an older house or apartment, making sure the building or location will not stop you from making money on your property.
Whatever you decide when buying in Dubai, whether you want the stronger sense of community an older property offers, or the chance to have a blank canvas without dealing with other people’s D├ęcor nightmares by buying new, there is enough property on the market to get you exactly what you want. Just make sure you give your real estate agent a full brief on what you are ad are not looking for and enjoy discovering your next dream home!


What Goes in a Backyard that Pushes a Home’s Sale

A backyard is a place for the family to spend meaningful time together. This would explain why prospective homebuyers give so much emphasis to it. Here we list some factors that people seek in the backyard. A backyard that fulfills these requirements could have a profound effect on the sale of a home.
Backyard that Pushes a Home's Sale

Yard that Adds Value to Your Property

Homebuyers are interested in buying homes that look beautiful both inside and outside. And, your backyard, if well maintained, can make the house look charming at the very first glance. Though a beautifully landscaped backyard increases the aesthetic appeal of your home, some people may hesitate to take such a house. For instance, a couple that has a busy professional life may find it cumbersome to maintain it. So a good idea would be to focus on keeping the backyard pruned, neat and tidy and not make it extravagant.

That Offer Ample Space for Families

Families are looking for an enclosed, private area where their kids can play safely. They want a backyard where they can host family gatherings and spend time with their loved ones. It is a place to rest and relax amid natural beauty. So if your home has a backyard then this will be a plus point for you and it will definitely increase the chances to sell your home fast.

That Offer’s Enough Space for Pets

If a prospective homebuyer is a pet owner, a small backyard with hardly any space for the pet to play can be unappealing. This especially true if the person has a dog. They view the backyard as a place for the pet to get exercise and also use it to relieve itself. So, if your home does not have a backyard, you will be losing a sizable chunk of prospective homebuyers, who want ample space for the family pet to run and play.

That has Good Selection of Trees/Plants

There should be well pruned healthy plant and trees, which are in trend. You must avoid maples, junipers and such plants that trigger allergies. Today, a large many people are prone to allergies and therefore you must pay special attention to this factor.

That’s Low on Maintenance

If your backyard requires a lot of maintenance, prospective homebuyers will not be very happy. While you may love to grow roses or produce your own compost, a prospective buyer may find this a nuisance and decide against buying your property. Many times, these types of projects are seen as time-consuming and also as projects that eat up money. So, while a swimming pool, rose garden and even a compost pit can add value to your home, it need not always work to your advantage. Sometimes, these features can pose a hindrance while you are attempting to sell your home.

That Has Good Drainage

A good drainage in the yard would ensure that the house will remain protected from water. Lack of proper drainage would mean moisture inside your home and that could lead to several issues including health problem.
While most homeowners do not see the value of having a backyard, it comes to the forefront when they want to sell their homes. If your property does have a backyard, make sure it is neat and tidy and the lawn is mowed. This should be done before you plan to put your house on sale. Also, mend the fence and get your backyard looking warm, inviting and safe. You will be amazed at what a difference it can make to the look and feel of your home. Above all, a well-maintained backyard can help you attract buyers like bees to honey!

Ways to Design the Perfect Home Office for Your Needs

Working at home can be fun and also help increase your efficiency and make you more productive. However, this means that you need to design your home office in such a way that it promotes productivity and efficiency. If you are going to be distracted by your regular household routine, working at home will no longer be fun or exciting. While it is easy to make your office at home casual and an extension of your living space, this may lower your productivity. So ensure that your home office looks and feels like an office, so that you are not distracted or interrupted even while working from home.
Designing Home Office
image by patrix99

Planning Your Home Office

Before you start the actual design, it is necessary to list down things you will be doing in your home office. The kind of work you will be doing and whether you will be having meetings will dictate how you design and organize your office. Even the equipment you have in the office should be based on your requirements.
It is best to jot down these things, so that you go about designing your home office in a planned and organized manner. Once you have this ready, it is time to shift to the space. Check your home and see which is the best place to have your office. It can be the garage, a guest room or a room that is not used by the family. If using the garage, you should ensure there is adequate lighting, ventilation and heating so that you are comfortable regardless of the weather. Also, the area should be away from the normal interruptions that you could face while working from home.

Setting Up Your Home Office

There are a few things that you need and this should be part and parcel of your home office design.
Storage: Many people forget that home offices require adequate and planned storage space. Try to use the room vertically, so that you have sufficient place to keep your files, documents and other paperwork. Also, this will ensure that there is enough room for the next important thing in a home office – equipment.
Equipment: Things like Internet connectivity, laptop or computer, printer and a telephone are important for working efficiently. Try to get the best possible package for your Internet and telephone, so that you do not spend a bomb. Also, having a laptop and Wi-Fi connection means that you have the freedom of working away from your desk or chair. Be sure to insure the equipment, so that you are covered if you suffer a loss due to natural disaster or theft.
Privacy: When you are setting up a home office, the last thing you need is your family disturbing you. So ensure that the space you choose is away from all the family humdrum. Use portable screens to limit the distraction you may face from activities in the surroundings. Alternatively, you can use bookcases that will offer you privacy and also function as a great storage space.
Lighting: Good lighting is important in any workplace and a home office is no different. Try to get in as much natural light as possible and for areas that are dark, use white light. Make sure the lighting is a perfect blend of task and general light. Use LED lighting to save money on your electricity and make your home office more energy efficient. While installing the fixtures, make sure there is none over your computer screen, as it will cause a glare. Also, do not place your computer in front of a window or other light source.

Organizing the Layout

Perhaps the most important thing is organizing and planning the layout. You should plan your home office in such a way that you can access all areas easily and comfortably. Also, try to keep little things together for easy access. For instance, you can keep all writing materials, such as note pads, paper and pens together. Be sure your desk is comfortably place with a comfortable chair. Focus on the ergonomics, so that you reduce the stress on your body and enjoy working in your newly designed home office. Also keep 2-3 extra chairs to receive people who may come to visit you.
Try to go for subtle wall and curtain colors, so that you do not feel down or depressed. Usually, shades of blue and green can motivate and keep energy levels high, especially when working long hours.
Follow these tips and you should have a beautifully and well-designed home office where you will enjoy spending time and being productive.

How to Choose Tenants that will Help to Boost your Rental Business

In the rental business, selecting the right clients (tenants) is the most crucial part of being successful; for, if you rent your place to a wrong tenant, there is very little you would be able to do to make up for the loss. Good tenants are the ones that keep your premises in good shape, pay their rents on time, adhere to guidelines if any and behave well with the neighbors or fellow tenants.
Get the Right Tenant for Your Rental Property
With a few checkpoints and careful scrutinizing, your chances of getting to the right tenants go significantly up. You may use the following 6 steps to efficiently choose tenants.

1. Interact Personally and Telephonically With Prospective Tenants

Inter-personal interactions are a great way to figure out if one would be a good match to your requirements. Ask them about their family size, pets, rental history and preference in terms of the neighborhood. Try to get to know as much as is necessary to help you decide, without coming across as intrusive, else, it may backfire on you and you may lose a good tenant.

2. Contact Some References like Previous Landlords

Previous landlords and neighbors can give you information about the general behavior of the tenants, whether they pay rent on time and left the property in an unharmed condition. A tenant who has a consistent record of late payments is likely to repeat the same behavior and you must be extra careful in renting your place to someone like that.

3. Check Credit Scores

Poor credit scores are a red signal; those laden with debts may find it difficult to make timely payments of rent despite their income being up to the mark. Credit histories will also tell you about the bill clearing records of the prospective tenant – minor delays here and there should not worry you, but consistent delays should.

4. Verify That Their Income is Sufficient to Afford the Rent

Monthly incomes of at least three times the rent amount are desirable. If the interested party’s income falls below the mark, check for other things like debts and credit scores as well before you make a decision.

5. Make Sure You Take a Security Deposit

However rosy things seem in the beginning, you cannot completely rule out the possibility of any future trouble. Security deposits of at least a month’s rent amount are a good practice for all property owners.

6. Check for Criminal Records if Your Instincts Inform You of Something Dicey About the Prospects

You can get access to a person’s criminal record with their name and date of birth from the state and county courthouses. Therefore you need to check a valid ID to ensure you have their correct name and birthday. You can choose not to have violent or rash people in the house. However, it would be unethical and unlawful to discriminate against tenants due to some activity in the past that has already been dealt with. So do check out legal guidelines for renting before you base your decision on past records.
In addition to the above steps, instinctual guidance is a powerful thing to make decisions. If you don’t feel things to be right, chances might be that they are actually not right. Therefore, use facts as well as your own gut to select the right tenants for your property!

Top 10 Things a Home Inspector Will Examine in Your Property

A home inspection is warranted before buying a home and the intention is to assess whether there is any revision that is required on the negotiated deal value. It is essentially an exercise performed to do a more accurate value assessment, and thus allowing a more informed decision on part of the buyer.
Most home inspectors tend to ignore the minor defects as it causes an unnecessary deviation of attention from more important defects, which would lead the buyer to spend a substantial sum of money for repairs. The exercise is crucial as it could have material implications on the deal value and in some case it also turns out to be a deal breaker. The home inspection findings are usually very definitive and if the buyer and seller remain committed to the deal these can be resolved.
Home Inspectionimage by denisp12
Discussed below are the typical check points that home inspectors usually take a clue from regarding the property condition.

1) Electric wiring condition

In order to ensure that there are no electric wiring issues, an inspector would typically look for the following issues -
  • Whether or not there are any uncovered wires
  • Supply wires should be cleanly entering the home
  • Are there any damaged or burn out electrical points
  • Check the proper functioning of all electrical points and their ratings

2) Plumbing systems

A home inspector would try to understand if there are no leakages in the system or if there are any blockages. To ensure the same, an inspector would typically check all taps and other water outlets to see if there is adequate pressure.

3) Dampness in basement

The typical problems that plague basement is dampness. An inspector, while visiting the basement, would check for white powdery mineral deposit on your wall just above the floor level. If you haven’t stored anything in the basement, the inspector is likely to suspect problems. He would also check for mild dew like odor in order to ascertain any dampness related issues. If the signals suggest possibility of water / moisture seeping in a water proofing will be recommended.

4) Structural issues

Structural issues are most critical as the stability of the structure is threatened. Home inspectors try to identify structural problems by looking for -
  • Leaning columns or studs
  • Exterior wall cracks or bowing
  • Chimney cracks
  • Column or beam cracks
  • Foundation cracks
A visual inspection may not reveal all structural issues as cracks may be hidden behind patches or exterior and interior finishes.

5) Heating systems

There are commonly two reasons why the heating systems may be functioning inadequately. Either the insulation would be ineffective or the furnace could have outlived its optimum functioning life.

6) Leaky roof

Improper water proofing on your roof could result into a leaky roof. A home inspector would try to spot areas where the paint finishing on the roof is wearing out.

7) Rot damage

Inspectors have a moisture meter which can tell them about the moisture content in the wood. If the moisture content exceeds 20 percent, it is a red flag. If a rot is suspected, the inspector would use a carpenter awl to probe the wood. Sometimes the rot shows up as cracks or as fungal growth.

8) Mortar deterioration

The inspector may probe the mortar wall with a screw driver in order to get a clue on whether there is any deterioration of its strength. If the strength is below a threshold level, there is a risk of collapse of the structure.

9) Number and types of cracks

Cracks can reveal a lot on the hidden problems. Most inspectors are likely to observe and analyze the cracks in greater detail. They may not spell out the problem instantly, but are likely to take home the details on cracks. They will look at various details like number of cracks, their orientation, direction and continuity. This will help them spot a fundamental problem.

10) Security Issues

A home inspector will look into the safety aspects of the property by inspecting the performance of security systems and the devices monitoring the levels of smoke and carbon monoxide installed in the house. He would also examine whether all the locks and deadbolts are functioning normally.
As a seller if you want to successfully clear the home inspection, you would need to focus on these maintenance issues much earlier. Basically, even before you put up your property for sale, you should get a home inspection done on your own. Based on the results of the inspection, you should get the rectification done and only then post the property for sale.

Before Buying a Mobile Home You Need to Know Everything About It

Buying a mobile home is not a popular concept. This is because people have never considered the benefits of having one. For most people, a home is a grounded place where they can enter or travel to every day. They invest a lot of money in setting up homes and end up living there for a life time. However, a mobile home can offer equal comforts for a fraction of the cost.
Buying a Mobile Home
There are many types of mobile homes to fit into people’s needs. If you are one of those who are considering investing in a mobile home, here are some things that you should know.

Mobile Homes – The Options

Mobile homes come in various sizes similar to our regular homes. They come as single occupancy or double occupancy. The single occupancy mobile homes usually are narrow and all the rooms are in a row. They are connected with each other in most cases.
A mobile home built for double occupancy is a combination of two single mobile homes. This kind of home looks almost like a complete residence.
Mobile home as the name suggests can travel along with you. You have the freedom to carry your home along with you. However, the only challenge is finding a place to park your home. There are several mobile home parks in the country today. The other option is to buy a parcel of land and position your mobile home on it. That way, it will turn into a grounded house. Some mobile home parks allow owners to rent space to ground their mobile homes.

Funding Your Home Mobile Purchase

Unlike traditional homes, financing a mobile home can be tricky. You have to know the ins and outs of the process to be successful. Some mobile home sales company fund small homes. It is not practical to buy a small, single occupancy mobile home through a big lender. For a double occupancy mobile home, financial assistance can come your way more easily. However, a mobile home which is financed has tenure of 15 years or less.

Mobile Home Insurance

When you invest in a mobile home you should have a comprehensive insurance plan in place. Since you will be traveling by road ideally the insurance plan should cover your driver’s insurance and as well as home insurance. It is possible to find a bundled up plan that is especially tailored to fit the mobile home needs.

Buying a Mobile Home

Mobile homes that are covered with tin and aluminum roofs are history. There are several types of homes that come with steel and porcelain that can keep your mobile home cool in summers and warm in winters. Such mobile homes also are durable.
While buying a mobile home you need to check the entire facility without leaving any stone unturned. You need to check the plumbing and drainage. You need to inspect the floor carefully for rust or damage. You also need to calculate the running costs of the home. The maintenance aspect of a mobile home is far less than a traditional home. However, there are some things that need attention. Furnishing of the home is the last thing you need to worry about because they are always built to look attractive.
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