Home Prices Up 12.9 Percent from Last Year: Case-Shiller

 

 

topStories Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Home Prices Up 12.9 Percent from Last Year: Case-Shiller
In recent housing news, the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index tracked a 0.8 percent rise in February based on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is slightly better than the predictions of national economists; A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 0.7 percent rise. Nationwide home prices were up 12.9 percent on a year-over-year basis, …Read More >

More Than Half of States Show Improving Housing Markets

 

topStories Saturday, April 26, 2014
More Than Half of States Show Improving Housing Markets
Freddie Mac recently released its Multi-Indicator Market Index(SM) (MiMi(SM)) for February showing the U.S. housing market overall recovering at a slightly slower pace from the previous month. However, more than half of all states, as well as more than half of the top 50 metro areas, continue to show an improving trend. Eleven states and the District of Columbia, and four metro areas, are …Read More >

Top 10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Spring after Severe Winter

 

topStories Thursday, April 24, 2014
Top 10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Spring after Severe Winter
As much of the United States recovers from one of the harshest winters in recent history, it is important to inspect your home for damage and plan for home maintenance, repair and remodeling projects. Winter weather can be particularly damaging to a home and the tips from NAHB Remodelers can return your home to top condition

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Home Values at or Near Pre-Recession Highs in 1000+ U.S. Cities

 

topStories Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Home Values at or Near Pre-Recession Highs in 1000+ U.S. Cities
Declines in home values experienced during the recession have already been, or are close to being, erased in almost 20 percent of metro housing markets nationwide as values continue to rise, according to the first quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. U.S. home values climbed 5.7 percent year-over year in the first quarter, to a …Read More >

New Homes Are Less Expensive to Maintain

 

 

topStories Monday, April 21, 2014
New Homes Are Less Expensive to Maintain
April is new homes month. And one of the virtues of a newly constructed home is the savings that come from reduced energy and maintenance expenses. In a previous analysis, we used data from the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) to offer proof. The AHS classifies new construction as homes no more than four years old. For routine maintenance expenses, 26 percent of all homeowners spent $100 or more a month on various upkeep costs. …Read More >

Builders Continue to See Market Improvements

 

topStories Thursday, April 17, 2014
Builders Continue to See Market Improvements
The March NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose one point from a one-point downwardly revised February to 47. This is the third consecutive month with the index below 50, the point where more builders see the market improving rather than getting poorer. Two of the three components of the index remained unchanged; the current sales index was at 51, the same as the one-point downwardly revised …Read More >

Working at Home: Who Claims the Home Office Deduction?

 

topStories Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Working at Home: Who Claims the Home Office Deduction?
Often cited as a “red flag” for audits, the home office deduction is in fact a legitimate business deduction with particular importance for certain careers and small business owners. Moreover—from the housing economics perspective—IRS data concerning the deduction, along with Census data reporting who works at home, can shed light on an important and growing role for homes: …Read More >

How to Select the Best Tenant for Your Rental Property

 

 

How to Select the Best Tenant for Your Rental Property

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You bought your investment property to make money over time, and with the right tenant, it can. Selecting a tenant is the most important aspect of managing your investment property. An undesirable tenant can turn your owner experience into a nightmare if they damage the property, fail to pay rent on time or at all, or cost you when you have no choice but to evict them. The situation can get ugly fast. So, let’s discuss how you can be sure to rent your property to the best possible tenant.

Renters

Eliminate the least desirable applicants over the phone Before you invite them into your property, get to know them a bit better. When a renter calls to schedule an appointment to view your property, ask a few initial questions so that you can ensure you are only inviting reasonably qualified renters to look at the unit. If they are unwilling to fully answer your questions or are disrespectful, then you can eliminate them as possible candidates. Ask them questions like:

-Do you have pets? -How many people will be living in the space? -Do you have good rental history? -Can you verify that your monthly income is three times the rental amount?

Consult Their Previous Landlords Have a discussion with at least two of their former landlords and ask them these questions:

-Did they pay rent on time? -Why did they move out? If they were evicted, was it for non-payment or for breaking lease rules? -Did they get along with their neighbors? -Did they provide 30 days notice before vacating? -Did they keep the property in order? -Did they damage the apartment other than general wear and tear? -Did they complain or request maintenance often?

If the applicant is a first time renter they will not have a rental history, in which case, you may require a co-signer for the lease agreement.

Run a Credit Check It is important to know that your future tenant has a habit of paying their bills on time. A credit check will reveal their bill paying history and how much debt they have. Even if they earn more than three times the rental amount per month, they may still have trouble paying rent if they have a lot of debt. A credit check will also show prior court judgments and/or bankruptcy filings.

Check Their Criminal Background With just a name and date of birth you are able to view a tenant’s criminal record, which you can find at state and county courthouses. (It is important to check a valid ID so that you have their correct name and birthday.) Unfortunately, there isn’t a nationwide database of criminal records, so it may be difficult to reveal an applicant’s entire history, especially if they have lived in several states across the country. You will find it easier to justify rejecting an applicant based on drug-related or violent crimes than you would rejecting an applicant with multiple speeding tickets. Remember to reference state laws to make sure you do not unknowingly and illegally discriminate against renters with particular criminal convictions.