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HomeRun Homes is a centralized marketplace which helps people Find or Sell a Rent to Own Home, both Nationwide and Globally to the thriving Rent to Own Market. http://www.lease2buy.com
Showing posts with label landlord. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landlord. Show all posts

December 19, 2011

How The Heck Did I Become A Landlord?

Hi Folks,
   Hope all is well, and your Holiday spirit is brimming over the top!
   OK, I certainly agree, the title of this post may be silly, but the topic is anything but silly.

   Amy Hoak did a great job addressing the "Accidental Landlords" in her story for the WSJ. Hoak defined one such landlord as "a landlord not by choice but because of circumstances beyond control", namely, the real-estate crash, in which this particular homeowner was suddenly faced with a choice: "sell for $100,000 less than what she paid, or hold on and hope that prices recover." She chose to hold on, rent the property, and thus, became an "Accidental Landlord". The chaos that ensued was a nightmare, that was harassing neighbors, and made complaints about everything from loud music to dust on her mailbox.

   "Becoming a landlord when a property proves difficult to sell is also a gamble that housing prices will rebound fairly soon, and that the ultimate sale price will more than cover expenses incurred in the meantime.", says Hoak, but with that gamble also comes legal responsibilities, expenses, and "unforeseen headaches"

   Lisa Eckert, a property manager for Coldwell Banker Bain, in Kirkland, Wash, commented in Hoak's article that she thinks we will see "a lot more owners becoming landlords" due to the economy, and says that people are "turning to renting out as the last-ditch effort". For example, Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Santa Ana, Calif.-based Carrington Mortgage Holdings LLC, says that rents are rising and there are millions of potential home buyers who are unable to qualify for mortgages.

   If you find yourself at the threshold of becoming an "Accidental Landlord", there are some tips that were shared that can help you survive, such as high costs (such as taxes, insurance, possible homeowner association dues, maintenance, etc.). For some landlords, Hoak writes that they might be better off hiring a Property Manager. Basically, a Project Manager, who will handle the maintenance, along with collecting the rent and other related services to managing the property, all for a fee that varies regionally and locally.

   Some of the additional tips that will help both new and seasoned landlords survive, include having a strong and enforceable contract, as well as full documentation of all correspondence, expenses, etc, should they ever need paperwork to bolster the reason for an eviction.

   My favorite quote from Hoak's piece came from Jerry Arnold, who has been renting out a condo he owns in Seattle since 2009, and he said the following about renters; "Nobody treats a property like an owner".

   Mr. Arnold, you are correct. However, there is one other group of people out there that also will treat a property like an owner; tenant-buyers, who are signed on to a Rent to Own contract. Basically, why just rent out a home that you can't sell? Why not rent it out with an option to buy, or Rent to Own?

   Does that make sense? What do you think about that statement?

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #landlord #realestatecrash #rentproperty #risingrent #housingprices #PropertyManager #eviction #RenttoOwn #contract #renter #tenant

October 6, 2011

Real Estate Investing - Angles and Analysis

Good Morning,
   How is everyone doing this morning? Fine, I hope!

   Where do I even start in terms of this topic? It is such a broad topic, and if you ask 10 different people, you might wind up with 10 different answers and multiple opinions.

   Let's look at some of the angles of Real Estate Investing. Basically, the bottom line is that you purchase a property, hold on to it in hopes that the price will appreciate (possibly renting it out while you wait to recoup all or part of your monthly payments), or, you purchase a property and "flip" it, which means buying and selling a property quickly for a profit.

   Where can you find properties? Foreclosures have spiked, and the homes that are foreclosed upon are often sold on the steps of the local courthouse (depending on where you are). The problem here is that these are very risky investments. In a story written by Veronica Chufo on the DailyPress.com ("Real estate investing: Is now the time to buy?"), some investors and real estate agents weighed in on the process and the risks involved.

   In the article by Chufo, Greg Hatcher, an investor and real estate agent with EZ-Vest Realty, pointed to the fact that a majority of these homes are "underwater" (the value of the home is less than the outstanding mortgage). This means that it would not be a good investment, says Hatcher. There is also the potential for liens on the property, says Hatcher, which would need to examined via a Title Search. One other risk Hatcher mentions, which is probably one that we are all quite familiar with when discussing foreclosures; "an investor can't see inside the house, let alone have an inspection, as a traditional buyer could". In sum, Hatcher says that we would only recommend this to very experienced investors and those that "have cash that they can afford to chance".

   A Less-Risky ("safer?") route is to find sellers that must sell, but do have home equity. Hatcher says that real estate agents could be very helpful in your search.

   When you find an investment property and you're ready to purchase it, it's time to think about financing. Hatcher says that investors often must have a larger down payment (of about 20 percent), and that they also need money "in reserves and cash for upgrades and closing costs". He said that with lenders, "The theme would be cash is king", since they look for buyers who have liquid funds (lines of credit, cash in the bank, money available in 401(k)s or IRAs, per Hatcher).

   What you do with the property boils down to the local market, financing, and your own desires. The typical decision is "Flip or Rent", and this is analyzed by Chufo. Flipping was popular during the Real Estate boom, but has slowed down dramatically, because the "buyer pool has shrunk because lending requirements are stricter", writes Chufo.

   The other flavor is buying a home and renting it out (and sell them when the market rebounds). Other buyers, as Chufo refers to them, are "keep and hold" investors (they will act as landlords by renting the properties instead of reselling them). Patti Robertson, a HomeVestors franchisee in Norfolk and president of the Tidewater Real Estate Investors Group, adds that investors are getting "more rental income now than ever before", and she points to higher rental payments vs. lower housing costs. Specifically, she said, "Rents more than cover mortgage payments", and provides "instant cash flow". Of course, it would be a disservice not to mention Rent to Own, in which the home is rented out with an option to buy at a predetermined price during a specific term, i.e. 12-months, 24-months, etc. (Learn More on Rent to Own Homes Here).

   To determine rent/hold or flip, Hatcher says that a real estate agent would need to conduct a "market analysis on comparable properties", and a post-rehab value of 75-80% of market value would be favorable to a keep-and-hold investor, but he says that a "flipper" would need a property at a market value (post-rehab) of about 60%.

   Investors are still out there scouting for deals, says Chufo. Hatcher suggests that new investors should try to joint venture or partner with more seasoned investors, and can network with other investors via a Real Estate Investors Association (an REIA). One investor, Maryann Krzywicki, has done her homework, and found a business partner. She feels it's a good time to invest, "because it's a buyer's market". Chufo also quotes Patti Robertson (an investor for over 4 years), who is also positive on Real Estate Investing, and says that, "Most people have their money in the stock market right now earning zero, or in the bank earning half a percent. Real estate is on the bottom. It has to go up," she said.

   Are you a Real Estate Investor? Are you a potential Real Estate Investor? What is your experience with the Real Estate Market? Please pass along any tips to our friends that are reading this article.

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #RealEstateInvesting #foreclosure #fliphomes #renttoown #underwatermortgage #financing #renting #lending #landlord #keepandhold

August 29, 2011

Rent, Own, or the Hybrid of Rent to Own?

Hi Folks,
   Welcome back, and I hope all of you made it safely through Hurricane Irene, and ironically, this weekend was the 6-Year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I am still without power, as I post this from a laptop with draining power and through my wireless Droid hotspot. But...the show must go on...

   Oftentimes, when people are renting a home, they get to a point where they realize that they are paying their landlord's mortgage, putting the landlord's kids through college, or any of a million other ways to spin it. But with the complete change in the "norm" that has taken place over the last few years, these thoughts need to be seriously weighed in light of many other factors.

   David Getson, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential in the District of Columbia, was recently quoted in a story by Michele Lerner ("Rent-vs.-own equation changing"), and said that the decision to buy a home vs. rent a home is, “Usually this is an emotional decision rather than a financial one, based on their desire for a dog, to start a family, to put down roots or just to have the ability to paint their walls whatever color they want.”

   Lerner writes that the decision to move from renter to homeowner was "simpler in 2005 for two reasons", which she points to as the "trajectory" of real estate prices that made buyers "comfortable that the property purchase would be a good investment", coupled with the fact that mortgage lenders "made it easy for buyers to qualify, even if they lacked cash and had yet to demonstrate a pattern of creditworthiness." However, she writes, the decision nowadays required "more measured thinking about the emotional impact and the financial implications of purchasing a home."

   Getson advises that potential buyers must look at their lifestyle today and the lifestyle they expect to have in 5+ years. In the same story, Bennett Whitlock, a financial adviser and managing director of Whitlock and Associates in Lake Ridge, Va., said, "becoming a homeowner should be part of an overall financial plan rather than a simple rent-versus-own decision."

   Lerner says that instead of contacting a Realtor as a first step (as most potential buyers do), they really should visit a lender and estimate how much they can borrow. Mark Goldstein, president of Capitol Funding in Rockville, adds that some important factors are Job Security, the amount of time the buyers plan to stay in the home, and suggests that buyers should assume 5+ years in the home to recoup costs and see appreciation (similar to the comments of Getson).

   Financially, Getson says that buyers today, "seem to recognize that their comfort level with the monthly payment is more important than borrowing as much as they are approved for". With that in mind, Whitlock suggests to avoid spending more than 33% of your gross monthly income on housing costs. As for a security cushion to cover home maintenance and repairs, Goldstein recommends that you keep some cash reserves on hand.

   Goldstein suggests that one way he advises buyers to prepare for homeownership is to, "take the difference between their current rent and their prospective mortgage payment and put that money in a savings account each month”, and adds that this helps the prospective buyer "get used to the monthly payment and make sure they are comfortable with it, rather than finding out six months after they bought a house that they are paying too much for their mortgage". Definitely a fantastic idea!

   Rent or Own? Decisions, Decisions...! How about the best of both worlds...Rent to Own? Great idea? Yes, I know...shameful promotion time...Rent to Own Homes via our website (HomeRun Homes). OK, sometimes we plug the site...the idea is not to abuse it !

Would You Like Our Blog Posts Directly to your E-mail? Here's How:
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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #landlord #mortgage #realtor #renter #homeowner #lender #renttoown

June 9, 2011

Housing Factors Contributing to Market Direction

Hi Folks,

   Hope you've had an outstanding week.

   Today, I'd like to share a very interesting and very informative story that I came across that fits perfectly within the framework of our discussions here on our Blog. The story, which was written by Ruth Simon and Jessica Silver-Greenberg for the Wall Street Journal (and appeared on Yahoo Real Estate), is titled, "Why It's Time To Buy".

   The story discusses what it calls the, "five-year national housing bust", and discusses some positive signs, short-term concerns, long-term concerns, a 5-Year Outlook, and touches on the topic of Renting vs. Buying.

   Among the positive signs that were cited are the 50-year lows that mortgage rates have dropped to, as well as the affordability of homes. They also referred to the inventory of homes as, "A historic glut of homes", that has created a buyer's market. They did point to the fact that changes are coming, and mentioned a reference from Moody's Analytics that says the number of distressed sales will begin to fall in 2013 (and prices will increase). Additionally, Home Building is at "standstill" (lower chance of inventory/supply getting worse), and they also cited "Household Formation" (a Demographic Indicator) is on the rise, which promises, as they say, "to take a bite out of the glut in coming years."

   When looking at the overall movement of the Housing Market, the short-term looks bleak, as the authors point to Weak Job growth, the fact that Foreclosure sales encompass the lion's share of market, and that Home Prices will fall more in the coming months, per some Economists. For the longer term, they point to the positives of home ownership, such as the ability to deduct the mortgage interest on your taxes, and well as the ability to decorate, paint, and change anything that you want on your own home, "without having to clear it with a landlord." They added to this a, "5-Year Outlook", that points to the coming era of post-foreclosure overload (after the majority of the foreclosure-related inventory), has been cleared, and as housing economists say, "the traditional drivers of the housing market—demographics, affordability, loan availability, employment and psychology—should take over."

Some of the more specific factors they names that will make or break local markets over the next few years, were as follows:

* Household formation is on the rise, per Moodys, and is projected to increase from 950,000 in 2010 to approx 1.2 million over the next decade.

* Higher demand for second homes, per Moodys, should begin, "sopping up excess inventory in much of the country over the next two years"

* Economic Conditions - "Rising incomes and increased employment tend to give more would-be buyers confidence and buying power."

* Mortgage financing is available for people with good credit, but, "nearly impossible" for people who do not meet the lending guidelines.

* Another interesting point that was mentioned was that, "higher down-payment standards are locking some would-be buyers out of the market.", and they pointed to a recent survey by Zelman Associates that showed that, "Just 35% of renters have the minimum 3.5% down payment needed for an FHA loan on the median-priced home in their market"

   As for the "Renting Vs. Buying" question that many people have pondered, the authors stated that, "Renting is still cheaper than buying in most markets, but rising rents and falling house prices mean that, in some areas, this won't be the case for long.". They said that according to Moody's Analytics, Buying a home is already cheaper than renting in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Orlando, Fla., and that for markets such as Dallas, Las Vegas and Sacramento", "the equation is likely to soon turn in favor of homeownership if current trends persist,"

   One very practical suggestion mentioned was as follows: to compare rental prices for similar properties", and to, "wait until the monthly outlays, including taxes and insurance, are equal." and additionally, they said, "You also could factor in the tax savings of owning, which would make buying more attractive even if the gross monthly outlay is slightly higher."

   In light of the Economic & Housing Market Analysis information, coupled with the Rent to Own perspective that we try to bring to you, this story was a direct hit for you...whether you're a homeowner, home seller, a realtor, or real estate investor. What are your thoughts and comments on this story?

Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #Foreclosure #mortgagerates #realestateinvestor #rentalprices #renttoown #WallStreet

February 7, 2011

HomeRun Homes And U.S. Legal Forms Announce A Strategic Alliance

Hello Again,

   This is just a quick note to announce some great news:

"HomeRun Homes And U.S. Legal Forms Announce A Strategic Alliance"

For the full details of this new partnership with "America's One Stop Shop for legal forms & documents", the full Press Release is featured below:


For Immediate Release:

Robert Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes
(631) 676-3609
(631) 574-2420

HomeRun Homes And U.S. Legal Forms Announce A Strategic Alliance

Ronkonkoma, New York, February 7, 2011 - HomeRun Homes (www.Lease2Buy.com), the long-standing marketplace for Rent to Own Homes, has formed a strategic alliance with the legal forms and documents mega site, U.S. Legal Forms (www.USLegalForms.com)

A Partnership Based on Necessity - Legal Forms For Rent to Own Deals.

U.S. Legal Forms, which is referred to as "America's One Stop Shop for legal forms & documents", has been in business since 1997, and carries over 36,000 state-specific legal forms. Robert Eisenstein, the CEO & Founder of HomeRun Homes, points to the fact that visitors to HomeRun Homes, "are here to find or sell a Rent to Own Home, and they need the proper forms to complete these deals.", and, "since U.S. Legal Forms has been rated '#1 Legal Forms Product' 6 straight years 2006-2011, we evaluated them and thought it would be a great fit for our customers."

Eisenstein says that as a result of this joint venture, visitors can now browse and select the forms that they need via a link on the home page of his website, as well as in the Log In User Control Panel, which is provided to those placing Ads on HomeRun Homes. Some of the forms that would be of particular interest to those working on a Rent to Own deal would be the Landlord Tenant Forms, Deed Forms, Home Sales Forms, Owner Finance Agreement, Purchase Contracts, as well as many others that are offered by U.S. Legal Forms.

HomeRun Homes is working towards a very productive and helpful year for it's visitors and customers, and Eisenstein is hoping that this year is even busier than 2010. Last year, the company celebrated their 8th anniversary, launched a website for foreclosure assistance via Rent to Own, and spent a large amount of time and budget in complying with the new Government Standards for Web Security Compliance, referred to as PCI/DSS.

For additional information on the topic, "HomeRun Homes And U.S. Legal Forms Announce A Strategic Alliance", please visit http://www.Lease2Buy.com


Founded in 2002, HomeRun Homes is a Centralized Marketplace which helps people Buy or Sell a Rent to Own Home, a Commercial Property, or to offer Home Services nationwide and globally to the thriving Rent to Own market

- END -

Thanks again, and have a great week !

Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #renttoown #landlord #ownerfinance

February 2, 2011

How Do you Handle Tenants?

Hi Folks,

   Hope you're having a great week. If you're getting hit by this huge ice storm, please drive carefully today !

   A great deal of any business in the Real Estate industry deals with tenants. Today, we're going to take a look at some tips for handling and managing tenants; easy tenants and difficult tenants.

   Let's start out with a personal favorite, the "Easy Tenant". According to Jacob J. Gabrie, a Commercial Shopping Center Manager and a Broker and CEO of Town Center Realty Group in California, "They deserve lots of respect", since, "these are those that I don't have to constantly contact to remind to pay rent, they don't complain and really are the reason why a job like mine is as fantastic as it is". As Beth VanStory says, "With good tenants, I think the most important thing to do is be responsive and address issues promptly"

   Now, for the flip side, the "Difficult Tenant". Gabrie says that he deals with this group firmly and "head on", and says that they lie regarding when the rent is coming, about providing a certificate of insurance, etc. Basically, as he describes it, "You give them an inch they take a mile- but that is the nature of these type of group."

   VanStory tells us that she recently had a, "very challenging experience and learned two valuable lessons". The first lesson is to "Always thoroughly screen your applicants.", for example, as she says, "insist on speaking with previous landlords or property managers.", "Insist on a credit report.", and "If the law in your state allows, ask to see a bank statement.". VanStory points to her bad experience, where she failed to do this as she was in a rush, and says, "If I had done a thorough check I would have found out that my tenant had grossly misrepresented himself. I would not have rented to him had I done a thorough background check."

   The second lesson mentioned by VanStory is to, "Use the law", and at the sign of the first problem, "begin to engage in every legal process available to you.", and, "Make sure you thoroughly understand the law." She said that with her bad experience, since she, "wanted to "get off on the right foot" and "be a nice landlord."", it cost her money.

   VanStory says that, "It's not about being nice, it's about protecting your asset and it's a business. If the rent is late by whatever grace period you define (ours is days), immediately issue a "Pay or quit" and start all the legal documentation you will possibly need should you have to move to eviction." Similarly, Gabrie says that he maintains, "experienced collection and risk management executive on my staff who helps me keep this group in line as well- something that is not common in the industry."

   Ultimately, it boils down to how much of a risk do you want to take? With less due diligence, your risk remains high, so if you have the means and resources to dig deep within the confines of the local laws, then definitely do so.

Have a Great Day, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !

Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #tenant #landlord #creditcheck

July 15, 2010

What Tenants Look For In a Rental Property

Hi Everyone,

Yes, we know that we don't usually post on Thursdays, however, we wanted to pass along a great article that we were interviewed for, called, "What Tenants Look For In a Rental Property". In that article, w have listed the 10 most common things that tenants were looking for in a home over the past 60 days.

To Summarize, these 10 items are:
1. Double Garage/2 Car Garage
2. Some Land/Acreage
3. Must Allow Pets
4. Pool
5. School District
6. Basement – Nice Size & Finished Basement
7. Proximity to transportation (Bus/Subway, etc)
8. Backyard Would Be Nice. A Three Bedroom Would Also Work.
9. Fireplace.
10. Washer/Dryer Hook Up

We were very kindly referred to as, "HomeRun Homes (www.Lease2Buy.com), a rent-to-own classifieds powerhouse" and "...a highly-ranked online classifieds service exclusively for rent-to-own properties", of which we are very proud of! The full article can be seen here: http://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/blog/2010/07/14/what-tenants-look-for-in-a-rental-property/

Have a Great Day, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !!