Tips For Renting A Room In Your Home

If you’ve been thinking about renting out a room in your home for a while for one reason or another, there’s no better time than now.  Plenty of men and women are seeking to rent a room because it is cheaper than an apartment and it also gives them access to a whole house instead of a tiny apartment.  Renting a room out also helps you financially, which can help you breathe a sigh of relief each month.

Here are some tips for you to consider if you do in fact rent a room out:

Research what other rooms are renting for per month

Take some time to check the newspaper or internet sites like Craigslist to see what other people are charging renters per month. You can also see how they word their ad to aid you in writing yours.

Prepare your room

Decide on what room you want to rent out. Hopefully it will have its own bathroom, but if not, some renters won’t mind sharing with the owner.  You may want to move your room into a smaller bedroom if the master bedroom has a bath and you want to offer that to renters.  Be sure that the room is clean and looks appealing.

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Home Ownership vs Renting – How Do I Decide?

If you’re at a point where you’re debating between home ownership vs renting, you’re not alone. It’s a big decision to make, especially considering the monetary investment that’s required. The best way to figure out what to do is to weigh the options side-by-side and consider what’s best for your particular situation. So how exactly do you go about making such a huge decision?

Consider how long you’re staying in one place

If you’re planning on living in one place for a short period of time, or you’re not sure how long you’re going to stay, buying a house may not be in your best interest. It’s not always the easiest process to buy a house, and it would be a shame to go through the entire process only to have to sell it in the near future. Renting gives you the opportunity to leave at any time without the huge hassle. 

Think about the initial cost you can afford

With a house, you have to put down at least 10% of the cost, which typically totals up to around $15,000 or more. When you rent, it’s usually a month and a half worth of rent plus any additional deposit such as one for a pet. If you can’t afford to put down a huge chunk of change, you’re better off renting. 

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Seven Questions to Ask a Home Inspector

Questions to Ask a Home Inspector

If you are buying or selling a home or planning and executing a significant re-model of the home, hiring a qualified home inspector is an essential part of the transaction to protect all parties involved.

Just as important as choosing the right construction contractor for a project is the choosing of the right home inspector.  You can and want to make sure that the choice is made with accurate information about the candidates.  You do not need to depend on their advertising.  A qualified, competent inspector will expect this fact-gathering exercise and will be pleased to offer the information you request.  If there is hesitation by the prospective inspector to answer any of your questions, that hesitation should be a red light.  Move on with your search.

Here are seven essential questions to ask a home inspector in order to qualify as best choice for your needs:

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How to Investigate the Neighborhood That You Want to Live

Love-struck Freddy in the musical “My fair Lady” expressed the feelings for a desirable neighborhood perfectly.  “People stop and stare.  They don’t bother me, for there’s nowhere else on earth that I would rather be.”  Many of us agree with him that there are neighborhoods where at least the pavement stays beneath your feet, but little else, and then there are neighborhoods where we would rather be than in any other place.

There are some rational and proper reasons to investigate the neighborhood before taking the emotional plunge.  Here’s how to choose the perfect neighborhood for you and your family.

Map the neighborhood

Use any one of the number of online mapping applications (Google, Mapquest, etc.) to enter the street address of a residence you are considering.  These apps should include both a map and a satellite feature.  The satellite feature will be useful to see the bird’s-eye view.  Are the lots of trees?  Open space?  Is there a business nearby that may take street parking?  Does it appear there is heavy street traffic (is the house on a main road or deep in a quiet neighborhood)?  Use the street view feature if available.

What amenities are available nearby?  Shopping, schools, parks and recreation are key features that are desirable too have nearby, but maybe not immediately next door.  You can observe traffic patterns and anticipate if there are times of day when just getting out of the driveway may be a major exercise.

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Should I Hire a Property Manager?

Are you a landlord who that owns several investment properties? Are you feeling stressed out because your work is just piling up? Do you have more work and more headaches than you can handle? If you answered “yes” to these questions, it may be time to hire a property manager to make your work easier and lift some of your hard work off your shoulders. Whether or not you should hire a property manager is a question that many landlords face and sometimes have a difficult time answering. There are certain things you should know about property managers that can make your decision much easier.

What is a Property Manager?

A property manager basically does exactly what the title states; manages your properties. They will be the one who shows the properties when they are available for rent, they will do the background checks and determine which tenants seem like the best fit, they will receive a phone call if something is broken, and they will handle all other odds and ends.

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How to Find a Good Contractor for Home Improvement Repairs

You may need to make home improvement repairs for any number of reasons, not the least of which may be to prepare your home for sale.  You need to be certain before hiring just any contractor that you know how to find a good contractor for your repairs.  Not every contractor in your immediate area is going to be equipped to provide the services you need.

The last thing you want is to hire the wrong contractor only to find they do not have the skills or experience you need.  Your budget is not going to be the only thing that suffers from a rash decision to hire a contractor just because he is your brother-in-law.  Here are five suggestions to determine what factors are necessary to consider.

Determine the scope

Your first factor  is to establish the scope of work needed.  If it is a kitchen renovation, for example, you might want to consider the condition of your master bathroom, at least, and add it to the work needed.  Kitchens and bathrooms are a linked set in the eyes of most home buyers.  They are looking for updated fixtures, appliances and materials.

On the other hand, don’t let the scope grow excessively from the original plan unless you have a liberal budget.  What starts as a kitchen and bath proposition can easily extend to other rooms if you allow it.

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What Have We Learned Since The Housing Bubble Burst

It’s been five years since the housing bubble burst, and while things still aren’t back to where they once were, they’re certainly on the mend. Despite all the bad news in the real estate market at the time, there’s been a lot of good lessons learned that have since helped a lot of people. So what exactly have we learned since the housing bubble burst?

Don’t buy what you can’t afford

One of the biggest issues that we have learned is that many bought homes they couldn’t really afford. They figured they would just deal in the meantime and sell for a huge profit in the future. If there’s any lessons to take away, it’s that if you can’t afford something – especially a huge investment like a house – then you’re better off buying something more practical or just forgoing the idea all together.

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How to Evict Your Tenant

As a landlord, you want to develop a good relationship with your tenants.  The most reliable tenant is one of longstanding who pays their monthly rent on time and keeps the property in good condition so that, should they eventually move, they do not cause excessive costs to prepare the residence for the next tenant.  However, there are some tenants who present problems with their lease causing a landlord to reach a point of decision to evict the tenant to resolve the problem.  Here are the steps that define how to evict your tenant.

Review the Landlord and Tenant Act

Now would be a good time to review the Landlord and Tenant Act, the federal law that most states have adopted to regulate matters between landlords and tenants.  It covers the key requirements affecting leases for rental properties.  They are: lease requirements, which outline the parameters of the lease such as duration of the lease, amount of monthly payment, the security deposit requirement, regulations regarding guest policy, pet limitations, noise limitations, maintenance, privacy expectations and cause for eviction.  This law is the primary guide, along with the language of the lease agreement that will help you determine if there is cause for eviction.

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What to Look for When Buying a Hawaii Investment Property

Given the very strong growth projections we’ve seen for the Hawaii Real Estate Market especially in Honolulu it definitely makes perfect sense to buy a Hawaii investment property. At the same time, there are various factors you need to keep in mind before you get swayed by the gorgeous beaches and amazing surf.

Be Clear about your Investment Purpose

When investing in Hawaiian real estate, you should fully understand the purpose of your investment. Is this a retirement home which you will snuggle into for your golden years?  Are you contemplating a permanent move to Hawaii right away?  Have you planned it purely for the sake of rental income?  Whatever be the case, you really need to be very clear about it right up front. Keep in mind that your purpose will in turn determine a variety of nuances related to the property that you purchase.

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Tax Tips For Residential Real Estate Investors

residential Real Estate Investors

So you’re thinking about becoming a residential real estate investor, but you’re unclear about the tax advantages that you can enjoy as a new landlord? Rest easy, there are numerous tax advantages that our federal government recognizes for real estate investors. The government has created numerous incentives as a matter of practicality: if private investors don’t provide housing for people, then the government will need to provide that housing. It’s much easier for Uncle Sam to create incentives for private investment than to manage properties.

However, there are also certain out-of-pocket expenses associated with real estate investing that are not tax deductible. Although our government is quite generous to people who provide housing, it’s not a complete free ride.

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