HomeRun Homes Rent to Own Homes Blog

My photo

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 real estate agent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label real estate agent. Show all posts

August 14, 2011

Danger Alert - For Anyone Showing Homes

Hi Folks,

   Hope You had a nice weekend, and welcome back.

   Today will be more of a Public Service Message, and it serves as a warning to anyone showing a home to relative strangers, male or female.

   "The attempted kidnapping and near sexual assault of a female Jackson real estate agent on Wednesday has reminded those in the industry about the dangers of their profession". This was taken from a recent story published in the JacksonSun website in Tennessee, written by Ned B. Hunter.

   The agent was showing a home to a man in the late afternoon, when he grabbed her and tied her up and put her in a closet, then left with her cell phone and purse. Fortunately, she was able to escape and call the police, resulting in the arrest of the suspect. She was very lucky, since it could have ended a lot worse for her.

   Earlier this year, I wrote a story in this Blog titled, "Home Security When Selling or Residing", in which we discussed these dangers. Jennifer A. Chiongbian, SVP and Licensed Associate Broker with Rutenberg Realty in New York City, suggests that you let your friends and neighbors know when you are showing a home. She also added another tip regarding your friends and neighbor; "have them call you afterwards to make sure everything is okay."

   Bottom Line...Be careful. You might be showing a lot of homes each day, but please don't get so entwined in the process that you overlook your safety and security. Any helpful suggestions for our friends here?

Our Blog Posts Delivered Directly to your E-mail - 3 Quick Steps:
1. Locate the "Enter your email address" box on the Right Side of your Screen.
2. Type your E-mail address in the box, and click "Subscribe"
3. Check Your E-mail and Confirm Your Subscription...it's That Simple !

Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #realestateagent #danger #showingahome #Jackson #Tennessee

June 7, 2011

Top 10 Legal Real Estate Terms You Must Know

Hi Folks,

   Welcome to Wednesday. Can someone pass me a cold beverage? All kidding aside, it's hot out there folks, so take precautions, wear light colors, drink plenty of fluids, etc.

   As a Buyer of a home, a Seller of a Home, a Real Estate Investor, a Real Estate Agent, etc, there are some terms you need to know before you step into a deal. We have provided a concise list of the most important terms that we need to know.

   The list is not in any specific priority order, as they are all quite important. Always remember to consult a local Real Estate Attorney before getting involved in any and all types of Real Estate arrangements.

1. Quitclaim Deed - This is a document that is used to, "clear up issues involving possible multiple owners of a property", per Sophie Martin, MBA, from the UNM School of Law, who says that with this special form of deed, "someone who might have an interest in your property agrees to hand it over to you."

2. Fee Simple Absolute - Per Martin, this is the, "best and most common ownership of property: full right to possess the property now and into the future."

3. Tenancy in Common - "When you and a partner (or partners) go in on a piece of land, you each own a portion of the whole which you can will or sell to others.", per Martin. Additionally, it means that, "each owner has a fee simple title to his or her share and that title can be sold or willed to someone else.", says Rick Snow, Broker/Owner of First Choice Realty. Snow adds that Joint tenancy commonly has, "rights of survivorship", where multiple parties may own property together and, "if one dies the remaining owners absorb the deceased parties share."

4. Title insurance - Snow describes Title Insurance as, "indemnity insurance against financial loss from defects in title to real property and from the invalidity or unenforceability of mortgage liens." Basically, a form of protection.

5. Escrow - "An arrangement made under contractual provisions between transacting parties, whereby an independent trusted third party receives and disburses money and/or documents for the transacting parties", as defined by Snow.

6. Default - Defined by Snow as, "the failure to comply with some aspect of the contract and either seller or buyer can find themselves in default under the provisions of the contract. Remedies to the non defaulting party should be spelled put on the contract."

7. Easement - A "permission to cross someone else's land.", which is referred to as the proper definition, per Mike Arman, a Real estate salesman and Mortgage Broker for over 20 years. Arman says that the easement holder does NOT own the land, "and cannot cut so much as one blade of grass without the owner's permission.". He also says that they cannot be unilaterally revoked or blocked (Arman says, "next stop is court."). Arman says he *specifically* suggest, "NOT purchasing ANY property which relies on easements or a chain of easements for access". Sophie Martin adds that the most common easements are held by utility companies.

8. Flood Zone - Deemed quite important, per Arman, who says that you need to be, "1,000% sure of the flood zone your prospective property is in - homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, and flood insurance will be expensive and WILL be required by your lender.". Arman says flood insurance comes from NFIP, "which is administered by FEMA (of Katrina fame), which is now a division of DHS".

9. Subject to availability of suitable financing - This is "Hand written on the contract for purchase and sale", says Arman, who says that this phrase can, "save the buyer's good faith deposit if suitable financing is not available - and the buyer defines "suitable financing", so it can also be used as an "out"". Arman says, however, that the problem is that, "sometimes decent financing simply is NOT available - and 99.9999% of buyers go looking for financing AFTER they've signed the contract and put up a (big) deposit. Lenders often won't waste their precious time on pre-approvals, come back when you've signed a contract so we know you are serious." Additionally, he adds, "Bingo - someone is going to be out five or ten grand when they can't get a loan because of a credit bureau error from 1937."

10. AS IS. - As described by Timothy G. Wiedman, D.B.A. Division of Economics & Business Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, "In an era of bank foreclosures and generally falling prices for real estate of all types, many properties are being sold "as is."". Wiedman says that Buyers should view the term as a, "warning to be cautious, and property being sold "as is" should be professionally inspected _before any commitments are made." He points to a a court case that can provide guidance, which is "Prudential Insurance Company of America v. Jefferson Associates, Ltd." which, he says, went to the Texas Supreme Court in 1995. Wiedman says that "When property is sold "as is," the buyer _may_ get a great deal. On the other hand, the buyer may later discover defects that will be expensive to correct -- and have _no_ ability to recover damages from the seller."

   I hope these terms have been helpful. I cannot stress this point enough: Always remember to consult a local Real Estate Attorney before getting involved in any and all types of Real Estate arrangements. Do you have any important Real Estate Legal Terms to add to this list? we'd love to hear from you.

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

TAGS: #realestateinvestor #legal #Deed #titleinsurance

April 15, 2011

The Big List of Do's and Dont's for Real Estate Investing

Happy Friday !
   We have made it through another week.

   Well...it's here ! "The Big List of Do's and Dont's for Real Estate Investing". Shall we proceed?

   The biggest caveat we have heard from almost everyone that we have been speaking with is to not let your emotions get in the way of investing. "I would say the number one don't would be to not let your emotions get involved with a property. It's not like a car, you don't have to drive it on a daily basis, it's an investment.", says Jamie McKeehan, a Professional Mortgage Planner, who provides the following example; "Just because it's a lake front property with a super cool dock that reminds you of your grandfathers lake house when you were a kid...doesn't make it an investment." Ankit Duggal, Founder and Investment Director of RER, LLC, a real estate investment firm that specializes in the acquisition, renovation, and sale of distressed assets agrees, and says that some investors tend to, "get attached to a property" and are therefore, "not able to see past a bad transaction."

   A variation on this, per Duggal, is that others just become, "emotionally fixated on "winning," and become so intent on acquiring the property that they lose focus on the numbers." Oscar Zamudio, a Commercial Executive with Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, says that some investors are, "willing to add their money to the monthly mortgage simply because they fell in love with the property." Duggal adds the following tip: "Don't personalize an investment home. Keep the rehab neutral so you leave room for the personal taste of all buyers."

   "Don't be attached to investing in your local market.", says Brian Sparr of Sparr Properties, who adds that, "If you feel the need to be able to drive past your investment property at any given time, you are very likely stunting your investment growth.". Sparr advises that you should be, "open to taking advantage of the opportunities other markets are currently providing (even when you factor in the added expense for hiring a property manager to oversee the unit)."

   Obviously, a huge factor in Real Estate Investing is funding. Zamudio speaks about a "basic rule" in investing; "If you can borrow money at a low cost why not maximize it by buying the most amount of money that the investment can cover through its income." Sparr suggests that you have a "long-term plan that you can execute against", and that, "Simply owning a rental property doesn't make you an investor. The purchase or sale of a property needs to clearly fit into your overall plan and help you get closer to realizing your ultimate goals.

   David M. Rice of New Home Star Corp, says that there is, "one overriding piece of advice that I would give to anyone I advised today", which is, "The investment has to make sense.", and continues to say that you need to, "Forget buying it because it is "so much lower priced than it was before" or because "this area is sure to boom"." Rice says that successful real estate investing, "in my opinion, should be based on making investments that make financial sense. One shouldn't count on appreciation, even if it seems "certain". Of course, if the purchase can be appraised a higher number than the purchase price, that's substantiated (relatively) equity. If the property needs work and you do comparisons to find out what the property would be worth when the work is completed, that too is a different story. Look at real estate investments at this point in time. Consider all of the known factors and make a decision that makes sense.

   The Big "Do's" here, are, "Identify what your goals are; Cashflow? Rate of return? Percentage of return overtime? Tax strategy? Appreciation only?", per Glenn Bill of The Glenn Bill Group, and ultimately, per Duggal, "find your buyers needs and fill it. You'll be successful if you can provide what others demand."

   Barb Getty, a Real Estate Investor, Landlord, and an Author, provides some operational tips, for example, to, "Protect yourself by operating under an LLC or other corp., and if you do your own management, tell your tenants you’re the property manager – not the owner. This makes them feel you’re in their corner, a go-between, and when things get rough you can say, “Let me talk to the owner and I’ll get back with you.”. Getty also says that you need to have an, "airtight lease", and "do enforce it", because, "The best lease in the world is worthless if you can’t, or won’t, enforce it's terms. Landlords quit this business because they’re frustrated, overwhelmed and burned out. The reason? Tenant management issues. If you have a great lease and follow it, burnout won’t be an issue."

   "Don't rely solely on the information you find on the Internet.", says Sparr, who adds that, "there is no substitute for the facts obtained by getting your hands dirty in the local market." Bill suggests that you, "hire an agent to help you. An agent who has owned rental property in the past. Preferably an agent who has lost investing money in the past." McKeehan takes this further, and says that, "A must do, is to speak with multiple Realtors about the property, even if you are loyal to one. It never hurts to hear multiple opinions from professionals, this will save loads of cash.

   OK, so once you have your goals, funding, structure, and your team in place, where to invest? "Location, Location, Location", say Dina Goldentayer of the DS Team in Florida, ..."When buying for investment, the future upside of a neighborhood is the most important factor. What makes people want to live there? Good schools, new restaurants, proximity to highways. These are all factors that will attract a renter and a future buyer when it's re-sale time."

   Christine Michaels, an investor of condos in one of the hottest markets in Florida, suggests that you check the crime grid for the neighborhood. Additionally, Michaels says that if you're building condo high-rises, you need to, "Find out if empty lots are zoned for high-rise". If you are investing in a condo, She also suggests that you, "attend a homeowner's meeting", and also, ask if there is upcoming special maintenance", which is, "critical as it will affect your budget."

   Once you find a property that meets your investing criteria, says Bill, "Inspect the property". Michaels suggests that you, "Kick the Tires", some of which she has done, such as, "talked to residents, flushed the toilets, observe the management office". Duggal adds that you need to, "Do your homework: Perform the market research and the neighborhood comparables, and inquire upon multiple contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other people who will be doing work on the house for you. This way you know that you're well informed, well prepared, and that you're getting the best deal possible.

   When it comes to tenants, Bill recommends that you, "Don't purchase unless you have a tenant history, verify taxes and financial viability of the seller. i.e: check the title close(ly) with a title company". Bill advises that you do not, "get involved with a tenant with out a lease and proper disclosures being signed, especially for lead based paint and mold", and also suggests that you should not, "agree to pay for tenant's utilities this can cost you big time". Getty says that you should not be, "overly trusting !", and, "When your tenant is behind in the rent payment and promises it will be there next week, make them put it in writing, signed by both of you, with the threat of an eviction being filed if the rent isn’t paid by then. I learned – the hard way – that “next week” never comes. Choose to think the best, but by all means, have a backup plan!"

   Some additional tips, says Goldentayer, are to, "Read the Fine Print. It is crucial, especially in a condominium, to evaluate the building's rules on leasing, pets, and re-sales. As an investor who is unlikely to occupy the property, it's vital to make sure it can be easily rented to produce steady income." She also says that, "The Numbers Must Work. For an investment property, buyers are much more focused on the balance sheet versus how pretty the kitchen cabinetry is. So, run the numbers carefully and always assume a worst case scenario, such as a period of vacancy and deferred maintenance issues."

   Sparr advises that you should, "have a sizable amount of money set aside as an emergency reserve.", and says that, "The unexpected is going to happen - appliances going out, the roof needing a repair, missed payments from a tenant - but by setting aside enough money to cover many of these types of issues, you will protect your interest in the property and allow yourself to sleep soundly each night".

   For rehabs, Getty suggests that you, "Don’t overdo it on the rehab.", and says, "...That middle income home is only going to bring middle income rent, like the other homes around it. Make the rental attractive in less expensive ways – nice landscaping (good curb appeal), pleasing paint/carpet colors, nice window coverings, faux countertops that imitate the expensive stuff."

   In closing, Bill says that you should not be, "hurried or pushed into making a decision without understanding all the risks.", "Don't think you will get rich quick. The only people getting rich quick are people selling get rich quick schemes!", and finally, "Have the guts to go ahead with the purchase once it all makes sense."

   Hopefully, these Do's and Dont's can be incorporated into your Real Estate Investing endeavors. If you have anything to add, there are a lot of people reading this post, and would love to read your helpful comments.

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: #realestateinvesting #realestateagent #rental

September 22, 2010

Misuse of Tax Funds During Lean Times

Hi Everyone,
   Hope your week is going well. I have a few miscellaneous topics that I would like to touch on today.

   I'd first like to rant about the silly misuse of tax funds during lean times. In Central Long Island, we have many double-yellow two-way roads that weave through multiple different communities. The problem is that the traffic always tends to back up due to the growing population, coupled with the fact that it is only one-lane Eastbound and one-lane Westbound.

   Now, fortunately, towards the end of last year, they began a project which we believed would be to widen the road (2 lanes Eastbound/2 lanes Westbound). They reclaimed property from the sides of the road, cut down trees, and tied up traffic even further with this project. However, after a few punctured tires and ruined front-ends on our cars, we stuck it out, assuming that we will all be in a much better place with that extra lane.

   Pay Attention - here is the kicker; They are putting an island in the middle of the road to separate it ! Almost one year of work just for an island? OK, in all fairness, I think that there will be a left turning lane carved into the island, but was that really worth the effort and the capital expenditure?

   Now that my rant is over, we received an interesting suggestion that we are considering, and it was from a Real Estate Agent that said we should let Agents put their picture on their Realtor/Home Services Ad. This is a very good point, and it is something that we will discuss with our developer. Please keep the suggestions coming in...it is our way of making sure you are happy

   As for the Public Speaking Appearances, we are currently in talks with 2 different East Coast REIAs, a West Coast Real Estate Investing Group, A Real Estate Wealth Investing EXPO, a Canadian Real Estate Convention, and a few other parties. Some of the topics that will be discussed at these events (by yours, truly), are Rent to Own Homes, Real Estate Investing, analysis of deals, marketing yourself, finding deals, staying motivated, and staying focused. Please make sure you reserve me for your next event, since it appears that I will be quite busy the next few months with these venues.

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

July 12, 2010

Common Misconception: Realtors ARE Welcome !

Hi Everyone,

   We hope you had a great weekend, and welcome back.

   Today, we would like to address a very common misconception, and we would like to clarify this for all of those who have asked us about this. We receive countless E-mails from Realtors, real estate agents, real estate brokers, etc, with some wonderful comments about our website, but telling us that since they are Realtors, they cannot use our website. This is a huge misunderstanding on the part of these individuals and companies, and we would like to discuss this today, since this one fact is holding them back from finding buyers for their homes for sale (or homes for Rent to Own), and simultaneously, is taking away from extra responses that buyers on our website can have presented to them.

   We would like to put this right out into the open to all people in the Real Estate industry; We are not your competitors - we are your friends and your resource.

   We are here for buyers, sellers, investors, Realtors, and anyone who is selling a Rent to Own Home, Buying a Rent to Own Home, or is offering home-related services (appraisers, attorneys, Realtors, mortgage brokers, etc). I will admit that when we first started, we did rant against Realtors, basically, it was a "silly rookie mistake", and we realized that we are all here for one purpose - to help people buy or sell homes. So for our tiny mistake back about 8 years ago, we take full responsibility and we apologize.

   Now, we know that not all of your clients want to Rent to Own. Some of them would like to sell outright, and if they can, fantastic. However, should their listing sit dormant on the MLS and be in jeopardy of becoming an expired listing, this mean that the homeowner is not able to get out from under their payments, and a Rent to Own might be the solution to their problem. So, that is where we come in - and we reiterate - we are not your competition. Of course, we ask that you not contact any homeowners on our website and ask them to list with you as that would be a violation of the terms of our website (and of course, just plain unethical), but, if you are contacting them about buyers that you have, then by all means, make the connection with the homeowner, and identify yourself and your intentions.

   Occasionally, we receive E-mails from people asking if we send them listings, however, we have clearly defined in our terms and in our "About Us" section (http://www.lease2buy.com/rent-to-own-homes.php), namely, "We do not "send" you listings: All of the listings of Rent to Own homes, Rent to Own buyers, and home service providers are all listed on our website, and you can browse them for FREE !".

   So, to summarize, where the MLS is a listing of homes for sale, HomeRun Homes (Lease2Buy.com) is a listing of homes available for Rent to Own, homes wanted by Rent to Own, and Home Services available for homeowners and prospective homebuyers. This puts us in a unique position within our niche of the Real Estate Market, and not as a competitor with the MLS and Realtors.

   Hopefully, we have been able to answer your questions about who we are and why we can work together. Your focus is on transactions, listings, and deals, and our focus is on being a central meeting place for Rent to Own buyers and sellers, but we both share a common ground in providing customer service and helping people. Realtors definitely help people, and we would like to think we do, as well.

   Have a Great Week and Happy Rent-to-Owning !!!