Rent To Own: Good Idea?

Rent To Own, Good Idea?

So you have seen the signs and maybe even considered it, Rent To Own.  Rent To Own can sound so easy and really simple.  You are paying rent anyways why not have it go towards buying a home as well, harmless right?

The reality I have found is Rent To Own properties rarely work out to benefit the buyer or in this case renter.  The issue I have seen is they are not properly executed meaning there is no contract, no public record and no attorney involved either.  This leads to confusion, misunderstanding and possibly nothing legal about it.

First let me say there are people that are doing it correctly, but that is beyond rare to see.  A properly executed rent to own situation would be handled by an attorney, filed in the county records and in writing.  The vast majority unfortunately do not fall in this category.

Remember title stays in the seller’s name, for that reason the buyer is at a disadvantage.  The seller could have a mortgage, which means if they don’t pay they could get foreclosed on, meaning the buyer/renter is out as well.  How can a renter be assured the seller is making the payments?  Who has insurance on the property?

What happens if the seller gets divorced or dies, will their family respect the agreement in place?  My experience has told me no, family wants to sell and not deal with any headaches.  This would mean the buyer is out of luck, out of a house, out their money and out any improvements they have made.  Speaking of improvements, would you be able to do any improvements on the home knowing you could lose that money?

As you can see there are many risks of doing a rent to own which is why I don’t recommend it.  Even the state has no promulgated contract to address this type of transaction which should give you a strong indication that it should not be done.  Instead save for a down payment, fix your credit and work on getting approved.  Yes it will take time and money but in the long run you will so much better off.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

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Tips For Negotiating Repairs

Tips For Negotiating Repairs

Most buyers imagine only having one set of negotiations and that is at the beginning over price and contract terms.  The reality is there are several times when you will have to negotiate and asking for repairs is one of them.  The repairs are brought up right after the inspection is completed and review.  Knowing what to ask for, cost of the repair and which are a must is key.

I strongly believe being prepared is key to negotiating repairs efficiently.  Knowing what all you will ask to be repair, how much they costs and what you might be able to do yourself later is important.  First the most important is what you will be asking to repair, ask yourself what is a realistic concern and what is excessive.  Many sellers will be asking themselves that very question right up front, so be sure you can justify it.  Is the market in a position where a buyer may get everything they want repair or maybe just bare minimum items?  Know ahead of time what is important and what is negligible.  My top five concerns for repairs are foundation, roof, HVAC, plumbing and electrical, anything else is minor in a hot market.

What will those repairs cost both in dollars and in time.  Is it realistic to ask for a certain repair if the seller can’t afford it.  Will the repair delay closing or is it even realistic for the seller to repair as opposed to buying a property as is.  Know if what you are asking for is realistic and affordable to the seller.  Asking to repair the roof might be expensive and time consuming but at the same time very important. 

Is it realistic for all your repair request to be completed?  I often tell my buyer clients to list them in order of importance and decide ahead of time which they can go without.  What I mean is knowing ahead of time that if the seller counters with three repairs instead of the five you requested what will you do.  I suggest you play that scenario ahead of time instead of while it is happening as you are limited on time.  Realize the possibility of the seller not doing all the repairs is possible so be prepared on how you will react ahead of time.

Negotiating repairs can be a tense moment to some but with a little preparation the negotiations can be easy.  Be prepared to expect a counter from the seller, know how much the repairs costs, ask yourself if it is something you can do yourself later and which repairs are a must.  Keep these tips in mind and you will come out of repair negotiations much happier with your results.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Final Walk-Through Tips

Final Walk-Through Tips

The closing date is finally here and you are excited to close on your home but before you sign it is a good idea to check the property one more time.  The final walk-through is scheduled so you have the opportunity to double check everything with the home one more time before signing on the dotted line.  Here are some tips to make sure you cover all your bases.

Remember that once you sign at the title company and the transaction is funded the property is now officially yours.  The purpose of the walk-through among several things is to make sure it is still in the same condition you agreed to purchase it in.  Many things can go wrong, even in just one day so doing a final walk-through is a good idea to be on the safe side.

Your first priority is to make sure the seller has left the property in the condition you expected.  This not only means in the way it was presented when you made your offer but even after the seller’s belongings have been removed.  Often I find movers may scratch the floors, bump the wall or even discover a big stain an area rug was covering up.  This is the time to check for those things both on the inside and out.

If the seller agreed to make any repairs this is a good time to verify they have been completed but also to your satisfaction.  Too often I see repairs are not completed properly or at all.  What you don’t want to happen is have a situation where you are an hour away from closing and no repairs have been completed.  This leads me to my biggest tip when it comes to walk-throughs, schedule two of them.

Having two walk-throughs might sound excessive however I find it cuts down on last minute issues.  The biggest problem I have encountered is finding repairs are not completed or done properly at the final walk through the day of closing.  For this reason I really like to schedule a walk through one week before closing and another the day of closing.  The week before gives you a chance to verify the repairs and if they are not done properly it gives the seller time to get them addressed.  I have found this to be helpful and not cause big delays like finding out at the last minute a repair has not been completed.

Final walk-throughs are important so be sure to schedule them with time so you are not rushed.  Take your time looking over the house but also the repairs.  Schedule two walk-throughs instead so there is time to make repairs or take care of an issue before closing if one is discovered.  Being prepared goes a long way and scheduling two walk-throughs is an important part of making sure you have no surprises.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

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Top 5 Repairs I Look For In An Inspection

Top 5 Repairs I Look For In An Inspection

So the inspection has been done and you are overwhelmed by the report, what repairs are of concern and which are not?  Here are my top 5 repairs I look for when going over an inspection.

Let’s start by acknowledging that no home is perfect and no inspection comes back perfect either.  Also there are more than five items of concern however these are my top five in no particular priority.

  1. Roof - This is a non-negotiable item because it is just that important.  A roof is so important that an insurance company will inspect even after you purchase the home.  If they determine repairs are needed or even replacement they will not cover it and ask that you make the repairs with in a certain period of time.  What happens if you don’t?  They will drop your coverage, which remember you lender expects you to have insurance.  Can you see why this is a non-negotiable?
  2. Foundation - North Texas is covered with clay just underneath the dirt and when that gets to dry it can cause problems with your foundation.  Foundation problems can be small & inexpensive or they can be overwhelmingly expensive.  Not only will a damaged foundation be an issue but dry wall damage, structure and even plumbing issues within the slab.
  3. Plumbing - Plumbing is a necessary function of the home and without it the house is more like a nice shed.  Also this has to be repaired by someone who knows what they are doing which is why a licensed professional is needed.
  4. Electrical - This is the same as plumbing, you don’t want to have the seller do these repairs themselves it is best to leave it to a professional.
  5. HVAC - Remember this is North Texas which means our summers are hot and long, a little AC helps.  Making sure this is in good working condition is key to having a good home ownership experience so start off by having a system working in great working condition.

So those are my top five but by no means are they all I look for.  Just know having a Realtor® by your side is key who is used to seeing these issues and willing to negotiate for you.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

 

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

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Renting Vs. Buying

Renting Vs. Buying

Renting vs Buying, which is better for you?  There are advantages to both buying and renting as well as negatives.  As a real estate agent I am biased towards buying but I am more than aware that it does not work for everyone, so let’s talk about the two.

Renting in my opinion has a lot of flexibility to it.  You get to move whenever your lease is up, you can change area, type of home and even go from plain jane to luxury rental.  Now more than ever apartments are making it more of a resort style living to really keep tenants happy and there longer.  With pools that rival those found in typical resorts and fitness centers to make it easy to save money on gym memberships.  All this is a big plus for renting, so what is the negative?

The reality is you are not gaining any equity and most people see it as throwing money away.  I don’t agree with that because you are getting a place to live in exchange so you do get something for your money but I understand where they are coming from with that statement.  Also parking at apartments can be down right awful even if you have assigned parking.  How about noise from neighbors either above you or besides you.  What if your the one that wants to turn up the radio or have a party, it can get uncomfortable fast for your neighbors.

Buying on the other hand gives you the advantages of not being surrounded by neighbors literally on the other side of the wall.  You have more freedom and that is welcoming for many buyers.  You can finally paint the bedroom walls, change the flooring and really make the home yours.  Did I mention you finally start gaining some equity both by paying down on your loan and the appreciation that usually follows in the housing market.

So what could be bad about buying?  Your mobility is limited, now you can move but it isn’t as easy.  You have to sell your home in order to consider moving, where in a rental situation it is a whole lot more simple.  Let’s talk maintenance, because as a buyer you are now the maintenance crew, so be ready.  Also repairs come out of your pocket so be sure to be ready for that as they can be small or large.

So which is better?  To me it depends on your situation and position in life.  Are you ready to settle in the city or area where you are or do you think you will be relocating, even to the other side of the metroplex?  Are you financially ready to take on the responsibility of a mortgage, maintenance and repairs or would you ready leave that risk with someone else?  These are all things to take in to consideration and the answer is different for everyone.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Home Buying Tip: Advantages Of Shopping For A Home During A Holiday

Home Buying Tip: Advantages Of Shopping For A Home During A Holiday

If you are like many buyers you are finding the lack of inventory and high buyer demand to be your number one problem.  A big tip I give to my buying clients is to keep shopping for a home even during a holiday.  Let me explain.

Buyer demand is at all time highs while inventory is at all time lows, these two forces create a buying frenzy.  Often you will hear about multiple offers on homes and it can get tough to compete with every home having multiple offers.  From my experience I have noticed that around holidays such as Forth of July I tend to see demand drop temporarily.  My experience has been that many folks tend to have plans, take a break and all of a sudden there is significantly less traffic of buyers.  I say to use this to your advantage.

I certainly do not mean to ignore the holiday or not celebrate it, but instead make time to continue viewing homes.  You will find less multiple offer situations and your odds of having your offer accepted will be much better.  This could be your opportunity to have your offer accepted and maybe it won’t have to be as aggressive of an offer.  Either way if you are shopping for a home don’t let holidays be a day off, instead get out there and you will find your odds will be much better!

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

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5 Things You Need To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

5 Things You Need To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

Applying for a mortgage is pretty easy but what do you need to apply?  I will discuss the basic five items you generally need to apply for a loan.

  1. Proof Of Income - You will need to prove your income to the lender, which can be done by providing bank statements, pay check stubs, and tax returns.  If you have other forms of non traditional income like a side business, alimony, child support or other misc. incomes you will want to have documentation of that income available.
  2. Proof Of Assets - 401K statements, bank statements, IRA’s, investments and other similar statements.
  3. Good Credit - The lender will pull your credit and review your credit report.  You can get a free copy of your credit report by going to this website.
  4. Employment Verification - Just realize you don’t have to do much other than give your employer’s information, the rest is handled by the lender.  
  5. ID - Have your ID ready, including your social security card as well.  Make sure your identification is up to date and not expired.

Those are the five things you will generally need to get pre-approved.  Have those items ready and by your side whenever you are ready to get pre-approved for a mortgage.  I hope you found this information usual and of value.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

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http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Would You Pay Over Appraised Value?

With increasing demand and lower inventory I continue to see multiple offer situations which inevitably leads to the concern of paying over appraised value.  Would you do it?  Should you do it?

Prices are on the way up on a record pace and driving those prices are buyers willing to pay top dollar for real estate.  Some buyers will go as far as giving the seller asking price, above asking price and even above appraised value.  This is becoming all to common, but would you do this?

I come across this issue all the time and this is the way I like to present it to my clients.  Every client is different so there is not a single solution answer.  The biggest factor to determine if you would do this is your the buyer.  Can you do this?  Do you have the funds to pay the difference between the appraised value and proposed sales price if the lender won’t pay it?

These answers are different for each buyer, especially if they are an investor or going to be using the home as their primary residence.  For investors they are more about the figures, getting a good deal and maybe getting a property below market.  Also what is their ROI?  (Return on investment)  Usually paying over appraised value may not always make sense to them, keep in mind they tend to be less emotionally tied to the property.

On the other hand a person who will actually live at the property may have a different mindset.  They are willing to pay more since they will enjoy it for many years to come.  Maybe they are in a time crunch and have to move.  Or there are other factors like schools, location, etc… that make it worth it to that individual to pay the additional funds.

Every scenario is different but you have to evaluate where you stand, can you do it and also be sure to draw a line in the sand as well.  Set a limit because the last thing you want to do is have regrets after the sale.

With the heart of a teacher I strive to educate my clients so they can be better informed.  I strongly believe an informed consumer makes better decisions and are less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Get Started Buying A Home

Many people are interested in purchasing a home but don’t know how to get started.  Who do you call?  Where do you go?  Online?  In person?  

When you are ready to move forward with buying a home your first step should be to either contact a loan officer or real estate agent.  Let’s start with a loan officer, the reason you would want to meet them is to get qualified.  When meeting with a loan officer they will either get you approved or denied for a home loan.

If you are approved they will outline the details such as the loan amount you qualify for, closing cost, down payment requirements, terms and other important details.  You will also receive a pre-approval letter stating you are approved, it is this letter that you will need to start looking at homes.

What if you are denied, what should you do or expect?  The reality is many people get denied and that is perfectly okay.  The loan officer will give you an evaluation as well as a plan on what to do to be able to qualify in the future.  Figure out that plan and execute it, this will insure you are headed in the right direction to be able to qualify in the future.

Next it is a good idea to meet with a Realtor®, I suggest this for several reasons.  Regardless if you are mortgage approved or not it is a good idea to know the process of actually searching for a home, making an offer but more importantly learning the market.  I like to show buyers what the market is doing in the price point and area they are interested in.  This gives buyers a realistic idea and expectation of the market so they are clear on what to expect.

The key to starting your process is to be prepared.  Be ready to apply for a mortgage, learn what the market is like and what it will take to be a successful buyer.  Being prepared is key in my opinion and leads to a better buying experience.

With the heart of a teacher I strive to educate my clients so they can be better informed.  I strongly believe an informed consumer makes better decisions and are less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

10 Tips For Home Buyers

It can be easy to get caught up in looking for the right home and forget about some of the details.  I see this happen often where buyers only think about a couple of details like the interest rate, home location, layout and monthly payment, however there is much more to the home buying process.  Here are some buying tips I really hope will help you!

1) Protect Your Credit - Get Pre-Approved - Yes this might be a bit obvious but I can’t stress this enough, protect your credit before during and after.  It takes time and good credit choices to build up your credit but it can only take a moment to ruin it.  Having good credit gives you more and better options, so protect it.  Along these lines, make time to get pre-approved even in advance of your purchase so you know where you stand and what you should expect.

2) Know Your Limits & Fees - This is key before you start your home search, knowing what you are approved for and what fees to expect.  You wouldn’t shop for a tv with out first knowing the specs and costs, applying for a home mortgage is not much different.

3) Be Informed - keep all your documents together from start to finish, ask questions - From the first loan estimate, copy of your credit report, home inspection, and all the way to your closing documents it is a good idea to keep these all together.  Having these documents readily available through out your transaction is important and will save you time and stress in case you need to access them.

4) Set your priorities - Write your priorities down and remind yourself what it is your looking for and why.  From location, price point, type of home, etc… have those priorities as you don’t want to venture off and end up with buyers remorse.

5) Work with a Realtor® - As a Realtor® I work on this every day and I am up to date on many aspects of this topic from contracts, interest rates, inspection and so much more.  Take advantage of the fact the commission is paid by the seller and essentially a free service to you.  Why wouldn’t you have your own representation, the seller does… shouldn’t you?

6) Know The Market - Don’t be afraid to start many months in advance to when you plan to buy, use that time to learn the market.  Figure out what you can get for your money, which you might have to make adjustments.  By the time you start your search you will be ahead of the competition and making better decisions and offers sooner!

7) Don't Fall In Love - inspect the house - Too often buyers can fall for a home hard and want that home no matter what, even if it means skipping on a home inspection.  The reality is all homes are not perfect, even new homes should be inspected.  Take your time this is a big decision and an inspection will prove to be valuable in the long run.

8) Consider Utilities, HOA dues, maintenance, etc.. - Yes the sales price is only one part of it, the reality is there are many other expenses associated with a home.  The most frequently asked question is how much are the utility bills, especially the electric bill.  Others consider the landscaping and what it will not only cost to water it but also maintain it.  Just be sure to look at the whole picture, remember once you buy it then you have to live in it and maintain it, consider those expenses as well.

9) Think RESALE - Don’t forget that one day you will have to put this home on the market, how will it appeal to the general public?  Sure you may like it and think it is unique but that may hurt you on resale, the reality is we have to think ahead to the day it goes on the market with you as the seller.

10) Just Say No - No big purchases, no new credit, etc… - Once your shopping for a home, under contract and waiting to close your favorite word should be “NO.”  No to putting anything on credit cards, no to opening new credit card account, no to a new vehicle you have to finance… no, no, no.  Just say no!  Why?  Because adding more credit can change your ratios, credit score, etc… and could then hurt your financing or even get you decline.

There are many things to consider when buying a home, these are some of the least mentioned topics that I thought would be good to bring up.  Remember there are many things to consider when buying a home beyond the layout and the sale price.

Again I hope this was of value and maybe you picked up a tip or two.  My goal is always to be a resource and educate my clients so they can make informed & educated decisions.

Have questions about this or other topics, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome