Research shows that about 42% of people search online before buying a house or property. The real estate agents are hired by a mere 14% of people to look for homes on their behalf. The National Association of Realtors published that about 82% of buyers consider online platform to be rich in information on houses and properties. These numbers do matter to everyone as buyers are continuously searching online to get real estate properties and agents. You can make it more straightforward for your customers to reach you online by investing in search engine optimization entirely. Here are several real estate SEO tips that new real estate agents can take into consideration.
Most young people who are working today are looking for advice whether to buy or rent a house. Earlier, buying a house was the obvious solution because it was a lifetime investment. However, over the last decade, things turned around, and it’s not easy to make up your mind whether to buy or rent a house. This article will help you explain different pros and cons of both.
In the past, a decision of whether to rent or own was purely decided by whether you want to live in a house or an apartment. Nowadays there are a lot of factors which determine what you will do. Today land rates have gone up, tax and other expenses have also been added making owning a house expensive. Today there are condos which allow people to live like a community with provision amenities at a cheaper cost. Land rates have gone up, and real estate has been flooded making it hard to predict how the market will be for a long period.
If you live in a small apartment and you are looking forward to owning a house, you will find out that it’s more expensive and the reason behind it is because you are getting more square footage. Interests on home mortgages are deductible, but it is mostly overrated. In most cases, it’s expense which you are paying someone else instead. In fact, if you are looking to have a big tax deduction, you can contribute to charity reducing your overall taxation. House deductions are good, but still, they are an expense. You should seek advice from an accountant to understand how much you are supposed to pay.
When you rent a house, your landlord is responsible for paying taxes, insurance, doing maintenance and sometimes paying for utilities. On the other hand, if you buy, you are responsible for repair and all maintenance costs which are needed in a home. Hence, if you have a lot of these repairs in a year, you will end up using a lot of money than a tenant especially if you are hiring technicians to do the work. However, you can reduce these costs if you can do it yourself. Therefore, you can get the skills online on how to fix problems yourself without hiring professionals.
If you own a house, you have an “advantage because you can use it as security to get a loan.” according to Jackson Tims, an expert realtor in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. If you are in a needy situation without savings, you may use your house to get a loan which you will later pay to get the security of your house back. This is a privilege renters don’t have because they don’t possess necessary ownership documents needed. However, if you don’t understand the process, you can get necessary information from a professional first to understand what you are getting into to avoid future regrets. Many people have lost ownership of their homes through this process, and you can be a victim too, but if you’ve professional advice or guide, you can avoid making mistakes.
When selling a house, transactions involved are very high because you cannot do it alone. You need the help of a realtor or even a lawyer to make selling success. Real estate agents charge you 6% – 7% commission on sales making your moving an expensive ordeal. You may opt to sell the house yourself but if you are not a professional real estate agent, expect to have a lot of hard times trying to get the best deals and to sell your house. You don’t possess the skills and experience to expose your house to many buyers in the market, and you may end up taking a lot of time selling it. Also, since you don’t understand the market very well, you may give your house a price tag which is very high or too low ending up in a lack of buyers or losses respectively.
On the other hand, renters should understand that they don’t control their destiny like homeowners do. There are a lot of uncertainties associated with renting because the landlord may raise the rent after the end of a lease period making it unbearable for you. Also, the landlord may decide to sell his or her property leaving you with no choice other than to look for another home. In extreme instances, you may be kicked out of a property, but this is not very common especially if you are a good tenant. However, there are a lot of scenarios where you could end up paying more or looking for another home to stay in.
Owning a house has the benefit of freedom to do what you like with the property. As a homeowner, you can decide the colour of your walls, the type of tiles to install among other things. This is not possible when you rent because you may end up losing the house altogether. If you have a backyard, you can decide on what to do with it, and you won’t be worried you may lose your deposit or security money!
When you own a house, you are responsible for all the decisions involved because you are the owner. It is hence flexible to own a house because you may do all the upgrades you want to have in your home slowly. For instance, you may add a hot bathtub to improve your bathing experience. This is not the case when you rent a home. Additionally, you can make other improvements such as additional of a fence, driveway, etc. if you have money. Flexibility comes in when you’ve to solve a problem that you never intended will be e.g. a leaking roof. You will have to find a means of getting it done even if you did not have any money to avoid further damages.
Owning a home has its good and bad side too, but this depends on how you see it yourself. Before settling down on making a decision on whether to buy or rent a home, you should take your time to analyze the factors involved. Ideally, most people prefer owning their homes although it might be expensive especially when dealing with certain markets like downtown Vancouver condos it has a lot of benefits compared to renting.
If you own real estate property, you should look for a qualified property management company to care for your property. Even though you will pay some fee, it is worth it because they have the following benefits:
They look for higher quality tenants
Imagine the hassle of screening tenants yourself over a long period. It is a daunting task, and you could end up getting a bad tenant who will even worsen your problems. On the contrary, a management company has skilled workers who carry out regular and in-deep screening to have high-quality tenants who are easy to handle because:
- They pay rent on time
- They rent for a long period
- They put less wear and tear on the unit they’ve rented
- They are easy to handle
In fact, these property management companies have workers who have been working for a long period enabling them to see a lot of applications over the time. Therefore, they can easily dig for facts about the applicants, and they are hence able to look for warning signs. Additionally, you will be shielded from rental scams which are directed to property owners.
You will have fewer costly and time-consuming legal problems
If you’ve rented property to tenants, it takes only one of them to cause a real headache and financial problems over a dispute. Hiring a good property manager will enable you to avoid these costly and time-consuming legal problems.
Since it’s their area of expertise, property managers have knowledge about landlord-tenant laws to make sure that you are not vulnerable to potential lawsuits. There are different laws in each municipality and state covering the following areas:
- Lease Addendums
- Collection of rent
- Screening of tenants
- Safety and property conditions of the property
- Termination of leases
If you don’t possess required knowledge on these areas, you may end up having a lot of problems with tenants and government in courts.
You will have shorter vacancy cycles on your property
To be able to fill your vacancies within the shortest time possible, a property manager will help you improve the following three areas:
- Improve and prepare the property –with an experienced property manager, he or she will suggest and oversee implementation of cosmetic improvements which would lead to revenue maximization
- Determining the best rent rate – determining the optimal price of a property requires you to have knowledge of the local real estate market, data of property recently sold comparable to your unit and even access to rental rate tools which are available. If you charge too high, you will have few or no tenants, and if you charge too low, you will be losing money on a monthly basis. This is one of the reasons why you need the help of a good property manager.
- Market your property effectively – a property manager has been in real estate market for a long time, handled numerous business deals, marketed and sold other property and therefore he or she possess the skills and experience to market your property effectively. A good manager knows how to advertise your property, the platforms and even what to say to get a lot of candidates. If you need to sell your property after some time, you will have maximum profits with less struggle if you have a good property manager.
They help retain your tenants
Even though losing tenants may seem normal, there are serious additional charges which may emerge. For instance, your property may need thorough cleaning, changing door locks, painting the walls and other repairs which may be needed to make your unit appealing. Also, you need to include marketing, showing the unit to future tenants, screening tenants and settling the tenants. All these activities could turn out to be expensive, time-consuming and tiring. Hence, there are benefits of retaining your tenants for long which property management companies are good at. Since they are professionals, they know how to make their tenants happy and feel cared for and thus retains them for a long period. Navigate here to find out more.
They have an effective rent collection process
As a landlord, you may be faced with different problems on rent collection and late payment of the rent leading to a disrupted cash flow. A solution to this problem is hiring a property management company to run your property. Normally, they have a regular cash flow because they collect rent on time making tenants understand that rent collection is not negotiable. Since you’ve hired them, they will chase down rent, listen to excuses, and evict a tenant when necessary just to maintain a regular cash flow. In fact, most property owners confess that it is easy not managing their houses because they’ve to handle a lot of problems involving money. However, this is not the case with property managers because tenants understand they have a policy that needs to be followed.
They help you with taxes
Being in real estate for long, they can understand laws about taxes and hence they can help you understand the deductions you can claim if you don’t know. They can also help you organize necessary forms and documents needed to claim the deductions.
Lower maintenance and repair costs
When you hire a management company, you gain access to their contractors who maintain and repair houses at an affordable price. This could result in significant saving compared to hiring a handyman yourself to do maintenance and repairs. On the other hand, management companies have a policy of inspecting the house before a tenant relocates to make sure that everything is okay, this lowers repair and maintenance costs.
Increase the value of your property
With preventive maintenance practices on your property, a repair issue is dealt on before it becomes a more costly problem. This tends to increase the value of your property because it remains as new with few or no repair needed over a long time. A management company can also offer you suggestions about upgrade and modifications needed to increase the rent and insurance too.
Personal benefits of property managers to property owners
- Reduce stress – hiring a manager reduces problems you could have faced if you were managing it on your own. You will not have to chase down rent, evict tenants, deal with paperwork, screen tenants, etc.
- You get a lot of free time – with all the activities needed to be taken care of in management, you will have a busy schedule if you do it yourself. However, with a manager, you can easily find time to do other activities which you couldn’t have
- You have freedom of investment – with a good property management company, you can invest wherever you want to even if you are far because you don’t have to manage the property yourself. You can therefore invest or do other businesses without worrying about your property
It is evident that a management company is very beneficial to property owners. However, you can only reap these benefits if you choose a competent company which is trustworthy and professional in its undertakings. You should, therefore, take your time before choosing a management company because a poor company could be a headache to deal with.
Seller financing is carried most commonly in one of two ways.
Seller Takes Back Mortgage
The first is for the seller to take back a mortgage on the house. The buyer signs both a promissory note (promising to repay the loan) and either a mortgage or a deed of trust (allowing the seller to foreclose if the buyer fails to pay). In return, the seller signs a deed transferring title to the buyer. Because the buyer holds the title, the buyer can sell the house or refinance, but the buyer must keep making the agreed-upon payments to the seller. This technique is used on properties that the buyer wants to live in or sell and offers the buyer a lot of flexibility and options. It most commonly occurs when the seller owns the property outright.
Seller Keeps Title to Property
The second and less popular way is for the seller to keep title to the property for as long as it takes you to pay off the loan. The contract the buyer and the seller sign is known by various names, including contract for deed, contract of sale, land sale contract, or installment sales contract.
Seller financing is financing extended by a seller, instead of a bank, to a buyer. The buyer pays interest to the seller and is approved by the seller instead of the bank. The buyer and seller agree to the interest rate and the total term. They can choose to create their own documents or use an attorney to create the mortgage document and close the deal. And last but not least, the seller usually keeps a lien, or legal right, to the property in the event that the buyer discontinues payments.
Seller financing can be a great way for a credit-challenged buyer to secure a property without having to deal with a bank. As a result, seller financing is often more common during down times in the real estate cycle. On the seller’s side, if one of your long term goals as an investor is to have a portfolio of performing assets, you can have a monthly cashflow secured by real estate purchased via seller financing. Seller financing can be a great exit strategy as well.