Real Estate

Talk Sustainability to Buyers, They Want to Hear It

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2020 - 1:00am

A new NAR survey shows that consumers care about how green home features can save them money while helping the environment.

Categories: Real Estate

Sellers Netted $67K in Price Gains During First Quarter

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2020 - 1:00am

Homeowners saw an average 33.7% return on investment over the original purchase cost, according to a new report.

Categories: Real Estate

Fed Says It's in No Hurry to Raise Rates

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2020 - 1:00am

The Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to keep its key benchmark rate near zero, which may ensure historically low interest rates stick around.

Categories: Real Estate

Do Smaller Homes Spark More Arguments?

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2020 - 1:00am

A new study suggests tighter living quarters fuel more household tensions. Consumers complained about chores not being done, cleaning habits, and paying the bills.

Categories: Real Estate

Many REALTORS® Report No Closing Delays

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2020 - 1:00am

Despite the pandemic, more than a third of real estate professionals say their sales are still closing on time.

Categories: Real Estate

A Sign Buyer Confidence Is Shifting: Mortgage Applications Rise

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2020 - 1:00am

Reports indicate that home buyers are gradually returning to the market.

Categories: Real Estate

The Guide to Rent-to-Own Homes

Daily Real Estate News - April 29, 2020 - 4:43pm

Have you been hearing about renting to own a home and wondered how it works? You are not alone, as many folks do online searches trying to understand the process involved. If you have some problems qualifying for a mortgage, a rent-to-own arrangement can seem like the perfect solution.

You avoid the need for a good credit score and don’t have to save a down payment. Two major stumbling blocks are removed for those who would really love to live in a particular property but might not be in a financial position to do so.

As great as renting to own might first appear, there are some downsides which you might not be aware of. We’ll take a look at the benefits and the problems when renting to own.

When you pay rent to your landlord, a portion of the monthly fee goes toward the purchase of the house. You will have to sign an agreement with the landlord covering how long the rental period will last and other important terms of the contract.

When the rental period ends, which is commonly between one and five years, you will have the chance to purchase the home. This can be great if you are unable to buy now, and it can be an excellent arrangement for the seller in a slow market. Sometimes the owner might not be ready to sell but would like an income stream—a win-win!

Sometimes a rent-to-own agreement can include a lease-to-own clause. This can protect the seller by obligating the tenant to purchase at the end of the agreement term. The lease-to-own clause can either be an option to purchase or a legally-binding contract to buy. Whichever of these contracts the seller wants you to sign, you should consult an attorney first.

Pros and Cons of Rent to Own
There are good things about renting to own, for both the buyer and the seller, but there are some significant potential pitfalls as well.

Pros of Rent to Own
For the tenant, it allows them to move into a home that they want to own even if their financial situation isn’t good enough to qualify for a mortgage. While they are living in the home, they have the opportunity to save for a down payment and improve their credit. It also means that the purchase price is fixed even if the value increases over the rental term.

From the landlord’s perspective, it gives them a greater opportunity to sell the home in a slow market. They could get more money for the property because of the advantages this type of sale offers to buyers. If the seller doesn’t take up the option to purchase at the end of the term, then the landlord gets to keep the extra money which has been paid.

Cons of Rent to Own
There are some significant risks for tenants under this type of agreement. If they are unable to qualify for a mortgage when the rental period ends, they will have spent more to live in the home than they would in a normal rental. They won’t get this money back, which will leave them with more of an uphill struggle to find a down payment in the future.

If the landlord doesn’t use the rental money to pay the mortgage, the property could end in foreclosure. The renter will lose the chance to purchase the home and they will also lose their place to live.

There is also the risk of the property’s value falling. This will leave the buyer paying more than the home is worth, and they may find it difficult to get a mortgage for the full amount.

The seller can lose out if the house prices rise and they have agreed to a lower price. There is also the possibility that they won’t sell the house at the end of the agreement and have to begin the sales process again.

The Rent-to-Own Process
The first stage is to work with the seller to agree to the terms of the contract. This will include the eventual purchase price, the rental cost, the maintenance responsibilities and the length of the agreement.

There will likely be more to pay than a normal rental agreement, including extra money that goes toward the purchase and a fee for the option to buy. This fee could be anywhere from 1 to 5 percent of the agreed value of the home and won’t be refundable.

As a buyer, you should treat an agreement like this with the same importance as if you were buying a home the normal way. Think of the money you are putting up as akin to losing your earnest money when buying a home. It is highly advisable to think about the transaction in these terms. For example, getting a home inspection and having the value appraised are two items that should be at the top of your due diligence list.
When you have signed on the dotted line, you have to make sure you make all your rental payments on time. If you don’t, you risk breaching the terms of the agreement and losing the chance to purchase the home.

Final Thoughts on Lease to Own
The choice of renting to own brings with it many risks for the buyer and a few for the seller. When entering into an agreement like this, careful consideration needs to be given as a buyer and you have to make sure you will be in a position to purchase when the contract ends.

You may find that the risks outweigh the chance to purchase, and waiting longer may be the better option. There are upsides and downsides for both parties in these type of real estate agreements. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding on how the rent-to-own process works, so you can make an informed decision.

Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell Metrowest Massachusetts real estate for the past 33 years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England for the past decade. In 2018, he was the No. 1 RE/MAX real estate agent in Massachusetts. He works for RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton Mass.

The post The Guide to Rent-to-Own Homes appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

NAR Calls Sales Slowdown Temporary

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 29, 2020 - 1:00am

Given record low mortgage rates, listings and buying activity will likely resume once the economy slowly and safely reopens. Read more from NAR’s latest housing report.

Categories: Real Estate

Fed Waives Limits on Savings Account ‘ACH’ Withdrawals, Transfers

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 29, 2020 - 1:00am

The usual limit of six transactions per month has been expanded for account holders.

Categories: Real Estate

Homeownership Reached 8-Year High Before Coronavirus

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 29, 2020 - 1:00am

Some economists believe owning a home may become even more prized once the pandemic subsides.

Categories: Real Estate

After the Pandemic, Will Consumers Want Larger Housing?

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 29, 2020 - 1:00am

Smaller homes and “microapartments” were once thought to be a trend in real estate. But small-space fatigue may be settling in.

Categories: Real Estate

Is Now the Time to Boost Your Social Media Advertising?

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 28, 2020 - 1:00am

Report measures the effectiveness of Facebook ads during COVID-19.

Categories: Real Estate

Realogy Sues to Keep $400M Relo Business Sale From Derailing

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 28, 2020 - 1:00am

Realogy Holdings has sued the investment firm that was set to purchase its relocation business for now trying to back out of the deal.

Categories: Real Estate

What Owners Like, Dislike About Their Homes When Sheltering

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 28, 2020 - 1:00am

Homeowners’ perception of “home” is changing. Find out what features are now ranking highest on their wish lists. 

Categories: Real Estate

How to Strengthen Your Resolve to Exercise During Quarantine

Daily Real Estate News - April 27, 2020 - 4:27pm

(TNS)—The COVID-19 quarantine has left our routines in shambles, including our exercise routines. Without the structure provided by a daily schedule, it’s easy to have workout sessions fall by the wayside.

Consider the office worker who normally unwinds from a long day of staring at a computer screen by swinging past the gym on their way home to jump on an elliptical machine or take a yoga class. But when working at home, there are many other things that provide escape. You can catch up with a TV show you missed. You can play tug of war with the dog. Or you can just veg out.

So how do we keep motivated to exercise when plopping on the couch and eating ice cream is so tantalizing?

For starters, give up the notion that the inspiration to exercise is going to sweep over you like a sweaty tsunami.

“Stop waiting for or looking for a ‘feeling’ of motivation,” said Tom Nikkola, vice president of nutrition and virtual training at Life Time. “Like many other feelings, feeling motivated is something that comes and goes.”

“Exercise,” he said “needs to be a nonnegotiable if we want to stick with it. That’s especially the case right now for those of us sheltering in place. We’re surrounded by the comforts of home, and if exercise isn’t a nonnegotiable, we’ll talk ourselves out of it.
“We don’t need motivation when exercise is a nonnegotiable.”

One of the best ways to create an exercise mandate is to make an appointment with yourself, said Jennifer Menk, senior director of Health and Well-Being for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.

“You should be very intentional about it,” she said. “You should dedicate time in your schedule for it. Schedule a workout just like you schedule a meeting. And if you can, do it the same time every day. It’s important to be consistent.”

It also helps to be consistent in where you work out.

“If it’s possible, you should set up an exercise area,” Menk said. “It doesn’t have to be a big area. Just a place where you can say, ‘This is where I do stretches’ or ‘This is where I jump rope.'”

During the quarantine, the vast majority of fitness centers are offering online training sessions (some require club membership, but others are open to everyone). Offerings cover the gamut from strenuous boot camps to soothing meditation sessions. Both Nikkola and Menk highly recommend them.

“You don’t feel so alone,” Menk said. “You can tell who else is there. There can be 40 or more of us there.”

This is motivating for people who enjoy the social aspect of workout classes.

“You get energized when you’re around other people actively pursuing health and fitness,” Nikkola said. “Nothing is as effective as that live community. However, that’s not possible for most of us right now. For now, connecting with others online who are committed to health and fitness helps you shape your thinking and behavior.

“One other benefit of finding an online health and fitness community is that the conversations tend to be more positive. Where there’s so much negativity and divisiveness online, pursuing fitness has a unifying effect on us.”

A classic piece of motivational advice is to have a workout partner whose presence makes you less likely to skip a session. Social distancing makes that difficult, but there are workarounds.

“You can have an accountability partner,” Menk said. “This is someone you can check in with” to report when you have worked out. And if you like a little challenge, you can compete to see who works out more.

If you lack discipline, it’s helpful to find a partner who won’t buy lame excuses.
“If you have a tendency to make poor health choices, you need someone to call you out on it with a certain level of candor,” Nikkola said. “It doesn’t feel good, but when you have someone who won’t let you lean on your excuses, you’ll be more likely to stop leaning on them.”

Many of the motivational steps that worked pre-quarantine still can be effective: Vary your exercise routine to avoid boredom. Keep a workout log (“What is tracked is done,” Menk said). Set a series of smaller, achievable goals instead of a big, pie-in-the-sky objective. And speaking of pie, “Earn the food you eat,” Nikkola said.

Need one more incentive? With all the emotional turmoil that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic, working out is more important than ever.

Exercise relieves stress and anxiety, Menk said. “There’s no doubt about it—you benefit mentally as much or even more than you do physically.”

©2020 Star Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post How to Strengthen Your Resolve to Exercise During Quarantine appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

FHFA Won’t Require Lump-Sum Payment After Forbearance

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 27, 2020 - 1:00am

Borrowers with Fannie- and Freddie-backed loans will be contacted by their mortgage servicer to work out repayment options.

 
Categories: Real Estate

Ideas to Help Your Neighbors Through COVID-19 Pandemic

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 27, 2020 - 1:00am

Get inspired by the thoughtful, innovative ways your colleagues are supporting small businesses, essential workers, and community members.

Categories: Real Estate

How Flamingos Are Putting Smiles on Homeowners’ Faces

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 27, 2020 - 1:00am

REALTORS® in California are spreading joy by surprising their neighbors on their birthdays with yard displays.

Categories: Real Estate

You Can Start Applying for Loans Again Soon

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 24, 2020 - 1:00am

A total of $370 billion in relief through the Small Business Administration is on the way.

Categories: Real Estate

How COVID-19 Is Affecting the New-Home Market

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 24, 2020 - 1:00am

“While we expect to see some further impacts to the industry, we remain confident that housing will be a sector that will help lead the economic recovery,” the builder trade group says.

Categories: Real Estate
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