Archive for May, 2013

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Underwater Owners Try Landlord Role

May 28, 2013
Daily Real Estate News |      Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Home owners who are still underwater on their mortgage—owing more than what it is currently worth—have emerged as a growing crop of “accidental landlords,” CNBC reports. While home prices are on the rise, about a quarter of all home owners are still underwater, according to some survey estimates.

Some home owners may find they need to relocate for a job, but can’t afford to sell their home yet so they opt to put it up for rent. But jumping into the landlord role isn’t always easy, particularly for novices.

“When the market dropped, many people emerged with a life event prompting their need to move,” Todd Allen, a real estate professional in Northern Virginia, told CNBC. “Fortunately for many in the D.C. metro area with higher incomes and lending guidelines softening a little, individuals and families were able to qualify for the purchase of a second home, but their new landlord status did not necessarily generate positive income—often they incur a loss. Furthermore, many of my own clients have learned many other downfalls in being a landlord.”

The growing number of “accidental landlords” is one of the reasons behind today’s low inventory issues, real estate professionals say. “Usually a buyer is also a seller, making the transaction a wash in terms of inventory, but if the buyer is not a seller, and instead becomes a landlord, inventory takes a negative hit,” CNBC reports.

Source: “Underwater homeowners find they’ve become accidental landlords,” CNBC.com (May 24, 2013)

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Stumped on home upgrades??????????? Here’s some ideas…

May 16, 2013

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Stumped as to which home upgrades make sense? Interested in renovations for value, but you’re unsure what to tackle? I have a few simple guidelines I use to help clients narrow their scope and focus on the right choices.

Question #1: How long will you live in your house?

If you’re hunkering down for the next decade or two, don’t hesitate to do what you would most appreciate in your home. This is especially true of cosmetic changes, when appealing to potential buyers is a non-issue. After a decade or two, your upgrades might need upgrades, so go with projects that make the most sense for your taste and the way you prefer to live in your home.

Question #2: What have the neighbors done?

There’s wisdom in getting an idea what the surrounding homes look like. On one hand, you may get inspiration from ways in which your neighbors have transformed homes which are probably similar to yours. On the other, you’ll get an idea how much renovation you can get away with in your market. Upgrade to hard and heavy and you might not be able to get any of that money out if you’re going to sell, since the home will need to be listed far above market comparables.

Question #3: What’s a hassle in your house?

If something in your home is a hassle, it’ll probably bug prospective buyers as well. Is there limited storage space? Nowhere for guests to stay? An old-fashioned bathroom with a funky layout? There’s good reason to handle these headaches. You’ll not only enjoy the upgrade while you live in the home, but you’ll improve it for buyers when the time comes to sell.

When you get down to actual projects, there are details to consider, such as budget, timing, and design choices, but these three questions go a long way to getting your upgrade ideas organized.

I’m also available to offer my professional thoughts on possible upgrades. Get in touch if you’d like me to stop by for a walk-through of your home. I’ve seen hundreds of homes and would love to provide a helpful perspective: Call me at 407-925-7721 or email: lindahutchinson@msn.com.

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