Tips

How to Combat Rising Rent Costs

A recent headline from CNBC’s real estate correspondent, Diane Olick, stated: “Rents are rising at the fastest pace in almost two years.”  And she’s not alone in letting everyone know the rental market is getting more expensive.  A quick Google search brings a flurry of similar headlines.  I’m going to skip what’s causing the recent acceleration in rental increases and instead, suggest a long-term solution to that problem.  Yes, buying.

It is NOT surprising that rents rise due to supply and demand, and also to increases in interest rates and operating costs (Like insurance, property taxes, maintenance, and repairs).  Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, you know that operating costs can not be controlled.  But, you can control increases in costs arising from interest rates and supply and demand.  And that’s where the FINANCIAL STRATEGY to buy comes into play.  When you buy, you lock in an interest rate and 75% of your monthly payment will be guaranteed for as long as you own your home.  For example, if you start with a $1,000 monthly payment, $750 of it is never going to change.  That’s opposed to a rental arrangement where the landlord can raise the rent every year if they want.

Another bonus to owning that renters miss out on is EQUITY BUILD-UP.  This can occur in two ways.  The most often discussed is the equity one gains when the value of one’s real estate increases due to inflation or supply/demand factors.  That’s the one we hear about on the nightly news when they talk about “House prices rose X% in the past year”.  That’s great, but there’s another way that homeowners increase their equity.  With each monthly payment that gets made, a portion goes to pay the interest and the rest goes to pay down the principal owed.  Eventually, that process pays off the mortgage loan and the homeowner then owns their home “FREE AND CLEAR”.  Now, that’s cause for celebration 🙌 🎉.  And that is what is implied when you hear people say “I’m sick and tired of paying someone else’s mortgage” or “I’m tired of throwing money away each month”.  Now to stop that feeling, simply buy rather than rent. Give me a call at 317-625-0655 and I will show you what’s available.

Tips on selling during the holidays

Selling a home is no doubt a stressful time. Add the craze of the holidays, you may need some advice from the experts. We asked our real estate agents for tips that can help minimize the stress and possibly get that SOLD sign up before the big guy 🎅 comes to town.

  • Consider potential buyers spiritual backgrounds 🕎 in your market before decorating for the holidays. Keep it simple
  • Less is more when decorating a home for the holidays while you are trying to sell. Limit the amount of holiday-specific decorations that are displayed
  • Large over-size Christmas trees 🎄 and other holiday decorations consume space that might make rooms or landscapes appear smaller
  • Install and remove exterior holiday decorations ~2 weeks before and shortly after the It’s less distracting
  • Tum off lighted holiday decorations 🌟 before showings. Buyers should focus on your home and not your decorations
  • If you are having out-of-town house guests, ask your real estate agent to postpone showings until after your guests depart
  • Help potential buyers visualize 👀 your home in other seasons. Display summer photos of home / gardens to show off other features of the home
  • Before showings, remove snow ❄️, ice and leaves from walkways and driveways. Don’t overlook outside entrances to basements, garages, and porches. And don’t forget the pet dirt 💩. It’s a turn-off to buyers

Hope these tips help to keep stress levels to a minimum during the holiday season. If you need to talk through your specific situation, give us a call. Happy to help!

Home Inspection 🕵️— to attend or not?

For most home buyers, having an inspection performed by a licensed inspector is a “no brainer”.  This is especially true if you don’t have a BIG comfort zone when it comes to home construction!  The cost generally runs somewhere around $450.  Now, that may seem like $450 extra you don’t have as you’re getting ready to come up with your down payment and closing costs, not to mention moving expenses and getting your new home set up.  But, if the inspection points up a major defect you’re not aware of, I guess I’d rather know that in advance rather than 3-6 months down the road.  So, I find most buyers benefit from having an inspection done, and it’s well worth the money.

Once that’s been decided, the next question is should the buyer attend the home inspection or skip it?  Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons.  Here are my thoughts on the topic:

PROS

  • Basically you’ll learn a lot about your future home.
  • You’ll learn where the electrical panel and main shut off valves are.
  • You’ll learn some things about how to maintain parts of your home that maybe you wouldn’t otherwise have been aware of.
  • You’ll get the inspector’s perspective on the significance of blemishes ( of which there will likely be many- dozens even, on average).

CONS

  • The process will take a half day of your time, on a work day.
  • It’s boring.  It’s a lot of standing around checking emails and Facebook while the inspector crawls through the attic and crawl space, test electrical outlets and water faucets.
  • It causes you to focus strictly on what’s wrong with the house.  Because of this, some lose sight of why they wanted to buy the house in the first place.  And with all the focus on what’s wrong it’s easy to lose perspective about the blemishes.  After all, we all accept blemishes in our homes, and when we go to sell there will be a list of blemishes the next inspector will find.  Heck, many of the ones on your inspection report will still be there when you go to sell.
  • And besides, within 24 hours you’re going to get a comprehensive report complete with colored photos detailing everything the inspector finds.

In the end, it’s entirely up to you.  There’s no harm or foul either way.  And it’s not a life or death question.  Personally, I find a good compromise is to attend the last half hour of the inspection.  This is what our friends at US Inspect recommend for experienced home buyers.  It allows you to take a look and hear what the inspector has to say about the house in general and about key issues.  That may make it easier for us to talk about the findings and to come up with a strategy to deal with those key issues.

For answers to all your real estate questions, give Indy’s Choice a call at (317)  625-0655.

Photo Credit: Designed by Freepik