Everything You Need to Know About Rent to Own Homes

Sometimes, mortgage is not the best option for you right now. This is when rent to own homes can be a perfect way to gain home ownership in a non-conventional way.

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Rent to own homes are a popular concept these days because it gives people an opportunity to come a step closer to their dream home.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about rent to own properties to help you make an informed decision.

What are rent to own homes?

Rent to own homes are lease options that give you a choice between buying the property or a requirement to buy it at some point in the future. The rental payments paid towards these homes include rent and funds that partially contribute towards a down payment in the future. If your credit scores are not up to the mark or you do not have the finances to pay for the down payment right now, then you can use this opportunity to hold the property till you do.

How to find a rent to own home?

Rent to own home is not usually find on the listings because they only happen under very specific conditions, such as:

  • When the owner is unable to sell the property even though it has been on the market for a while. In this case, they may list the property as rental with a rent to own option.
  • If the tenant is happy in their home, but the landlord wants to put it on the market, then the tenant may request them to have a rent to own agreement.
  • If a certain property has been on the market for a while, then a home buyer may approach the seller with a rent to own offer.

If you are trying to Find Rent To Own In Edmonton, then you can either start looking at rental listings that come with this option or a sale listing that has been around for a while.

How does it work?

Here is how the rent to own homes work:

  1. You sign an agreement with either of the two options: There are two types of agreements for someone who wants rent to own homes – a) a lease agreement with an option to buy which gives you the right to buy the home at end of your lease but it is not an obligation. But be prepared to lose all the money you paid for the rent; b) lease with purchase agreement makes you legally obligated to buy the property at the end of your lease. However, before you sign up for this contract, make sure you have a home inspection done. You may also want to get pre-approved mortgage to ensure that you will qualify for a loan when the time comes. 
  2. The purchase price is decided by you and the landlord: The purchase price of the property is negotiable and set up front. Traditionally, this price is determined by the real estate agents who negotiate on your behalf. However, agents rarely every get involved with rent to own home transactions because they have no way of getting paid until the home sale concludes. Therefore, you must do all the research and legwork before discussing prices with the landlord.
  3. You have to pay an option fee: While this fee is negotiable, it is mandatory as well. The option fee can be anything between 1-5% of the purchase value that needs to be paid up front. It is one-time and non-refundable fee that gives you the option to buy at an agreed upon price in the future.
  4. You decide the duration of rental term: At the end of your rental, you should be in a sound financial position to buy the home. The rental agreement can be anything from one to three years, depending on how long you need to sort your finances and be ready to qualify for a mortgage. 
  5. Maintenance roles should be defined: Since rent to own homes are a unique situation, the tenant and the landlord are both obligated to maintain the property and keep in good shape until the ownership is transferred. So, be sure to iron out these details in advance.
  6. Your monthly payments cover down payment and rent: You can discuss with your landlord to define these monthly payments that are usually 25% to 30% above the market rent. This additional payment is applied towards your future down payment.

Whether you are in a rent to own home situation or a regular rental, keep an eye on your finances to make yourself eligible for a mortgage down the road.

Author: Eernesto T Felder

How to Save Money When You Own a Home

Owning a home is a smart investment that allows you to build wealth and equity for yourself. It gives you the freedom to live and decorate how you want on your own property, a far cry from the typical rental experience. That said, it can also be financially demanding in a variety of ways, some of which you may not find out about until after you close escrow. In order to maintain your financial stability, you may be searching for ways to reduce your homeownership costs. To figure out how you can reduce your expenses, we must first look at some of the most troublesome areas in your homeowner’s budget. 

Some of the largest expenses of homeownership include:

  • Mortgage payments (and mortgage insurance): Mortgage payments are based on the cost of the home, your credit score, income, type of home loan you have, and more. According to the latest U.S. Housing Survey, the median mortgage payment is $1,100. 
  • Property taxes: Property taxes are required for state and local taxes. Property tax is based on the value of your home and is determined by an assessor. These taxes are used to fund programs and services within the city or county you live in. Property taxes can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: The need for maintenance and repairs is an inevitable aspect of homeownership. While some may be on the cheaper side (insulating the attic), others can throw a wrench in your monthly budget (pipes bursting). According to Discover, you should plan on setting aside 1% of your home’s value per year to go towards repairs.
  • Utilities: From keeping your house cool during summer to enjoying hot showers after a long day, not to mention having the family stream all day, utilities can add up. Combined, utilities can cost upwards of $300 per month.
  • Homeowners association fees: In some communities, HOA fees are required in order to help maintain the operations and aesthetics on behalf of residents. According to Investopedia, these can average around $200 a month, but can be as high as $700 per month. 

Whether you are a new homeowner or have had your family home long enough to have raised your children in it, saving money in any way you can, can lessen the burden of homeownership substantially. While it might seem difficult—let’s face it there are many costs of homeownership that aren’t so flexible (HOA fees and repairs)—there are a variety of ways to save money when you own a home, starting with these 3 tips. 

#1: Refinance or Pay Off Your Mortgage

Mortgage payments are likely one of the biggest expenses in your monthly budget. Depending on your mortgage terms, you may be able to save money by refinancing. If you are in a better financial position when you refinance (like having a significantly higher credit score), you can qualify for a lower interest rate. Lowering your interest rate can save your substantially over the lifetime of your mortgage.

However, if a lower mortgage payment isn’t sufficient to help with your financial situation, you may also want to consider a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgages, like those offered by GoodLife, are loans available to senior homeowners who need to supplement their retirement income. If you fall into this category, this type of loan may allow you to pay off your current mortgage, so you can eliminate it from monthly expenses.

#2: Reduce Your Property Tax Bill

While property taxes can vary significantly by state, and even sometimes by county, they are still a notable cost that virtually every homeowner has to pay. According to WalletHub, the average property tax bill in the U.S. is $2,279. For some homeowners, like those who live in states like New Jersey or Connecticut, property taxes are more than double the average.

Whether you live in a state with high property tax rates or considerably lower property taxes, you can benefit by finding ways to save when tax season arrives. There are several ways you can save on your property tax bill: 

  1. Exemptions: Exemptions can apply to a certain group of individuals, such as senior citizens, or a percentage of the property. For example, some states exempt a portion of the home’s value from taxes. 
  2. Deductions: Deductions are a tax benefit that reduces your taxable income, and in turn, lowers your total tax bill. Some common tax deductions homeowners qualify for include mortgage interest and insurance, property taxes paid (on your home, land, or a rental property), and home equity loan interest.
  3. Credits: Credits are a tax benefit that directly reduces your tax bill. There are a variety of tax credits that may apply to property owners such as energy efficiency credits and local tax credits. 

If you’re unsure of whether you qualify for one of these tax savings methods, you may want to speak to a tax professional who can help you make that determination. 

To avoid large increases in your tax bill, make sure to do research before making additions or upgrades to your home. For example, adding a pool or expanding the size of your home may increase the value of your home, meaning higher property taxes.

#3: Make Your Home More Sustainable

According to Move.org, the average cost of utilities for U.S. homeowners is $398.24. This includes: 

  • $110.76 for electricity
  • $72.10 for natural gas 
  • $70.39 for water
  • $14 for trash and recycling
  • $85 for cable TV
  • $60 for internet

If you’re looking for long-term ways to save money as a homeowner, making your household more sustainable may be an effective way to cut down on your bills (now and in the future). From lighting and appliances, to more eco-friendly materials, you can use sustainable alternatives to save money and reduce  your household’s carbon footprint at the same time. 

While it might be hard to see how this would be an effective way to save money on your home when you’re making a substantial financial investment, the savings you’ll see over time is well worth the trade-off. And, with more and more of these solutions available, the more affordable options there are. If you don’t have the money to invest in making these changes on-hand, there are special types of loans that can be used to make updating your home possible. 

Some examples of ways to create an eco-friendly home include:

  • Installing solar panels
  • Switching to a low-flow toilet and faucets 
  • Using a smart thermostat
  • Upgrading your insulation 
  • Adding ceiling fans 
  • Updating lighting fixtures with energy-efficient bulbs

If you’re not sure where to start in your home, determine what utilities are costing you the most and start by taking steps to integrate more energy-efficient solutions in your home.

Start Saving

While it might seem like a lot of effort, even implementing one of these strategies can have a big impact on your budget. Finding ways to cut down on your expenses in these three areas can also help you start a fund for the inevitable repairs and maintenance over the years, college savings, or retirement planning. Whether you are simply trying to live a more frugal lifestyle or have specific savings goals, navigating the expenses that accompany homeownership can help you make the most of your investment.

Author Bio

Alexis Maness has a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and is a contributing editor for 365businesstips.com. As a professional content writer, she has over five years of experience and is a contributing writer for several San Diego magazines. Alexis specializes in topics related to business, marketing, finance, and hospitality and tourism.

A cheap pool for your home

Summer means pool time. For many of us, a pool is the epitome of having a good time. Especially in summer holidays a pool is one of the things we don’t want to miss.

But if you usually visit a public pool or leisure centre, that might not be an option right now. On the other hand, building your own pool at your home is a big and expensive venture.

As we have around 39ºC (102ºF) right now, I happen to find myself desperately searching for a cheap pool solution. Little did I know I would find the hot trend of the summer.

What about a stock tank pool at your home?

What is it, you may ask. Well, it happens that these inexpensive farm items were originally designed to water livestock. Now, it seems people have discovered them for their own pleasure. They are appearing in gardens across the world.

It’s a great idea, inexpensive and has a certain charm to it. How can you get one?

Choose a “pool” size

First step would be to find your local farm item supplier and see what options are available. In most areas the biggest round troughs are the most popular. Naturally, they would offer the best swimming experience.

Pick the right spot

Next or at the same time you need to decide where to set it up. You will need a spot with a level foundation. This means it needs a solid, level base free of any rocks or sharp edges.

Add pumps and chlorine

Of course, you like to enjoy your pool for as long as possible. Therefore, you will need to add a few things to keep it clean and safe. I found a very detailed description on how to do it (it has very nice pictures of stock tank pools as well that might give you some ideas). Check it out at Hey Wanderer blog

If you rather buy a house with a pool, check out find cheap holiday homes.

You have a house for sale? List it with us for free.

Smart Home – what does it mean?

We encounter the expression “smart home” everywhere today. But it means much more than clever refrigerators and intelligent lighting. Smart home is when your house “thinks” and makes your everyday life as easy, safe and pleasant as possible. Thanks to a smart home, you save precious time. Smart devices organise annoying routine tasks for you. The goal is comfort, entertainment, energy saving and security.

Smart Home how does it work?

The principle can be summed up in the following; Various electrical devices and sensors are interacting and communicating with each other. Often, you can control Individual devices and even entire systems remotely. In this way, a simple and complex process can be automated.

How does the communication work?

Lying by the pool and starting the oven with a roast for dinner? Or making a coffee while still in bed with your smartphone? With Smart Home, such comforts have long ceased to be a vision of the future. At home, the devices communicate using standards such as WLAN, Bluetooth, KNX data cables or even directly via the power line.

All are proven standards and almost all current smart home devices and systems can be installed and operated very easily today – via an integrated display, smartphone, tablet or even a voice control.

Which devices can be controlled in a smart home?

In principle, every electrical device and system can be controlled smartly. Therefore, it is often possible to optimize comfort, safety or efficiency at once. Lighting, heating and air conditioning systems are typical areas of application for smart homes such as controlling canopies, blinds and shutters. Entire lighting concepts can be conveniently controlled and automated.

A message on your smartphone as soon as your laundry is finished?

Thanks to Smart Home, this is not a problem.

But it gets even better, entire home security systems can be controlled as well. While you are away, it is very easy to check that everything is fine at home using your smartphone. If someone rings at your door you can even see who it is and answer at the intercom. You simply access your intercom and cameras at home via the Internet.

Want to buy or sell your home? List it with us today.

How to Find Cheap Land for Sale in Texas

You are making a wise decision if you are planning to find cheap land for sale in Texas because buying a property in the other states can break the bank. If you see the estimated value of the combined areas in the United States, the total will be around 23 trillion dollars. 

If you will look for land in Texas, the average value per acre is only around 7,500 dollars. The agricultural property is one of the reasons for its reasonable price, which makes Texas one of the ideal places to look for cheap lands.

Why Buying Land in Texas Is More Practical

There are a few reasons why buying land in Texas is more practical. The most obvious is that most areas in Texas are agricultural. Moreover, here is why purchasing an estate in Texas is the right choice, especially if you will use it for agricultural purposes.

  • Local government is less strict on controlling the state’s real estate development.
  • Agricultural lands provide a massive amount of reduction in annual taxes.
  • Financing companies are willing to lend to farmers and landowners.
  • You can be eligible for the Federal income tax Schedule F.

As you can see, if you will use the land for farming, wildlife conservation, and timberland, you can save a great deal in Texas.

How to Find a Cheap Land

Now that you know that Texas offers a better deal than with any other estates, you can lower the price more if you know how to buy one at a lower price.

Aside from paying for the land, you also need to consider the other variables like tax receipts and land surveying. Most often, the new owner pays for tax receipts. You also need a service of a land surveyor to ensure that you are getting the exact land measurement for the price you paid.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The common types of properties that are cheap are the property, foreclosed, and government-owned. The only con is that it is not easy to find these properties on your own. You need to contact a bank to ask for foreclosed properties or ask help from mediators like land brokers, auctions, and realtors.

Sometimes, you can find the best deal on e-commerce websites like e-Bay and Craigslist.

The best way to acquire the lowest price is to buy a land that is away from the city and establishments offering essential goods, such as grocery stores, schools, and gas stations. Next is to find the owner and haggle directly. If you are lucky, you can come across the owners who are willing to bargain for a low price to get rid of the property.

As you can see, it is not difficult to find cheap land for sale in Texas.

Author: Kelsey Mickens

Keep your home covid-19 free

Many things changed since the arrival of the Covid-19. This is also true when it comes to your home. Many took measures to make it easier to keep the house clean. Most important of all, many changed their behaviour of what they do first when they come home.

There are some basic procedures you should do to protect your home.

In order to do that, you need to organize the entrance of your home and observe a few guidelines. Traditionally, in some countries people already do this for many centuries.

It doesn’t need to be a big space, only large enough to be organized in a “dirty zone”, an “in-between zone” and a “clean zone”.

The “dirty zone”

There should be a space right at the front door, where we can take off your coat, leave your bag and keys, take off and put away your shoes. Ideally, you would clean the soles of your shoes with disinfectant.

In this area you always keep a rug on the floor, a hanger to hang your bag and coat, a trash can with pedal, a bottle of disinfectant or diluted bleach and a disposable paper roll (to clean/disinfect your shoes). If you like to add some comfort and you have some additional space you can put a chair as well.

The floor and the rug should be washed regularly.

The “in-between zone”

In the “in-between zone”, always keep some alcoholic gel. Here you disinfect your hands or even better, if you have the possibility, wash your hands with soap here.

The “clean zone”

In the “clean zone” you put on your slippers and maybe other comfortable clothes you only use at home. Now you are all ready to use the rest of your home.

What if you have a dog?

If you come home with your dog, you should also clean the animal’s paws every time.

Do not use alcohol or bleach to sanitize the dog’s paws as he might lick it.

Did you create different areas at your home? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Do you like to buy or sell your home. List it on www.listproperty4free.com

Make some space for microgreens

Microgreens are the new star that was born out of the covid-19 situation. They have been around for a while but got really popular now as a fresh food source that you can produce from the comfort of your own home. But what is it and how does it work? Here comes a short overview.

What are microgreens?

Basically, microgreens are baby plants, they are young vegetable greens that you can harvest 7–21 days after sprouting depending on what you were growing. Once the plant’s first true leaves arise, they are ready. You can cut them and enjoy the tender stems and leaves.

Best of all, they have a rich flavour and concentrated nutrients – some call them super food as often they contain higher nutrient levels than more mature vegetable greens.

Why should I grow microgreens at my home?

Not only are they cheaper if you grow them yourself but also a lot more convenient. Depending on the microgreen you decide to grow in your home you can really streamline the process.

Also, you have full control of the seeds, soil and water you use, you will know it’s 100% organic.

Why are microgreens so popular now?

Many people have limited their grocery shopping due to the COVID. Meaning they only shop once every one or two weeks.

Unfortunately, this means you might be running out of some fresh salads and vegetables. Growing your greens seems to be the obvious solution to this problem. Once you see how delicious they are it’s easy to get addicted.

A corner ready to grow your microgreens

You don’t need much space to grow your microgreens. You can grow them outdoors or indoors – where ever you have some space for a tray and some sunlight. Please make sure to use trays that are food safe.

There are many types to choose from

Lentils are one of the healthiest microgreens you can grow.

If you are also one of those who gets hooked on those microgreens, you better prepare a nice bright corner to grow them in larger amounts. You can get a shelve in order to have several trays in the same space.

Just give them a try

But before remodelling your house, or starting a big microgreens production – why not to grow a few different ones on your windowsill to see if you like them?

Happy growing.

If you rather like to grow something in your own garden, why not to check out propertyunder20k.com for some affordable homes with garden?

How to handle a multiple offer situation

With real estate markets heating up again after the COVID lockdown, many find themselves in a multiple offer situation. What is it and how can you as buyer or seller handle it the best way? Here is a short overview.

What is a multiple offer situation?

A multiple offer situation happens when several people make an offer on a property.

This often happens in a seller’s market when competition is high – meaning there are more buyers than there is real estate for sale. However, it can happen in any market and especially for houses within a reasonable price range or those that are a good deal for another reason.

multiple offer situation as seller

If you are a seller, multiple offers are great news. You are in a situation everybody dreams of.

Your real estate agent will probably explain various negotiating tactics for you to think about. For example, you could just accept the best offer. Or you could notify all buyers that there have been other offers to give them the chance to make a better offer.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

multiple offer situation as buyer

As a buyer, how can you make sure your proposal wins when there are multiple offers on the table? Here are a few tips.

The best tactic would be to find out what the seller is hoping for. Is he looking for a quick sale, sell for the highest price or maybe he even prefers to get some more time before moving out…? Maybe he has a personal attachment to the house and is looking for someone who really appreciates it. There can be many different situations that made the homeowner put his house on the market.

Making an offer

When making an offer try to make it attractive, best a little above listing price to show that you see its value. You can also offer to pay a deposit as a down payment. Like this you show the seller that you’re really serious about closing the sale.

Some even suggest to write a personal letter to the seller.

A word of caution

Please note, it has happened that buyers were told by agents that there are other offers on a house in order to get a better price, when in fact this was not true. It has to be stated that there are severe consequences for agents who do this.

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Real Estate Market heating up

After many weeks of heavy speculations, we finally have some proper numbers to work with. This is certainly good news for real estate agents and home sellers. More and more real estate news popping up declaring that the real estate market recovered and best of all, it seems some place even have a higher rate of competition than before. This means that due to high interest a home for sale receives multiple offers. That is a scenario every home seller is dreaming of!

For buyer its not so good news – but hold on, this all depends on where you are looking to buy. Situations vary depending on the location. Some markets are still low due to the covid-19 and have not come out of their historic price drop yet. Those would definitely be perfect grounds for bargain hunters.

Where are the hot spots?

In general, most locations that were in high demand before the covid-19 pandemic are heating up again, some are even described as being on fire.  This is the case for the

Toronto Real Estate Market

reported here: https://torontostoreys.com/toronto-real-estate-market-hot-june-2020/

Another report talks about “Bidding Wars” in several states of the USA with

Boston metro area

having the highest rate of competition.

Locations with a bidding-war rate above 50% are Salt Lake City, Denver, Seattle, Austin, TX, San Francisco/San Jose, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Portland, OR. This information was found at https://www.redfin.com/blog/competition-increases-homebuyers-coronavirus-drives-housing-shortage/

It is also noteworthy to mention that offers for single-family homes faced higher competition than before the pandemic. To have your own place means more right now than ever, we can see this among all the new buyers who are trying to find a home with more privacy.

Also, the

Allegheny housing market

is picking up where it left off before the pandemic. It was part of only a few locations in the United States where real estate services were considered non­essential. Since the restrictions were lifted prices are back to where they were before with even a shortage in the housing market. This was reported here

Where are prices still low?

Some locations that were hit especially hard by the pandemic are still at a price low.

For example, this is the case for

Spain Real Estate Market

Although too early to make a certain prediction, there have been reports that are not sounding promising. As reported by ‘Bloomberg’ at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-12/spanish-real-estate-is-heading-for-its-second-crash-in-a-decade

it looks like Spain’s home market is heading toward another crash. Experts who study the property market reported that the hit to housing prices in 2020 could range from 6.5% to 15%.

If you were thinking to buy a home in Spain this seems like a good time.

Do you know of any other locations where we can find cheap real estate? Please leave a comment below and let us know.

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We are happy to write articles that are interesting for our readers

As we have real estate listings from all over the world there are endless questions from the buyer’s side as well as from the seller. This means there are limitless subjects to cover. Also, there might be some interesting developments on the real estate market you think our readers should know about.

If you inform us of some latest real estate news, please don’t forget to give us your source Of course, we will not publish anything where there is a chance of being fake news.

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Image by William Iven from Pixabay

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