What You Really Need To Know About Real Estate Investment

One of the biggest issues plaguing the economy these days is real estate investment. It is strange indeed but in spite of the great housing crash in America some time ago, people are still inclined to believe their homes are safe long-term investment solutions. It is even considered the best long-term investment.

Over long periods of time, housing prices begin waning. This is a fact and history is proof of it. The popular notion shared by people is that the value of their home will eventually outweigh the cost of inflation. This is not necessarily so. The idea that home prices will increase was perpetuated by the housing bubble of the 2000s.

Most Americans believed that owning a house was essential to fulfillment of the “Great American Dream”. Initially the interest rates were affordable and this was adequate reason to convince people that owning a home was the right thing to do. It didn’t happen overnight for sure. Sub prime mortgages (those mortgages given out to people who had below par credit rating) were being handed out left, right and center and accounted for 20% of the market share. Many late payments, defaults, and bank crashes later; well we all know what that led to. It left the whole world reeling.

This is the down low on the state of real estate investment today and why we ought to learn from history.

Expectations Vs Realities

Expectations Vs Realities

Home for sale

A home is the largest investment for most people. Inflated expectations of this ‘largest investment’ say experts, lead down the path to financial disappointment. Sadly what consumers are blind to is that their home value is lesser than the mortgages owed. When the value of the home depreciates, funds from the sale of a home cannot even pay for their retirement anymore. Continue reading

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Rent or Lease – Make your Right Choice

This debate of whether a rent agreement is better than a lease is like whether ice-cream is better than soft drinks. If you look from the eyes of the tenant, a rent agreement could be better than a lease and vice-versa for a landlord. But before we delve deep in the argument, we should understand what is a rent agreement and what is a lease agreement.

Lease Agreement Vs. Rental Agreement

Rent Agreement

A rent agreement is one where a tenant agrees to pay rent for a given period of time. Rent agreement is usually for a short period of time (mostly a 30 day period) and it could be either renewed or discontinued by either party. This agreement helps both the tenant and the landlord to enjoy freedom and flexibility. While the tenant can freely live anywhere for a month or more as desired, a landlord on the other hand is free to rent out to some other tenant or change some clause and raise the rent. In some cases, the agreement is automatically renewed while adjusting the rent. The notice period is set by the local laws of the state. Continue reading

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What You Should Know When Selling a Home with Mold

Selling your home is a big decision and among the many things you will consider, make sure mold growth is one of them. This is because if the house you wish to sell has a problem of mold you are legally bound to inform the prospective buyer or the appraiser /real estate agent.

Mold has been known to cause many health issues so there are both health and legal issues to consider before selling a home with mold. As a seller you need to know the risks of selling a home with mold, the potential health hazards it could pose to those buying your home as well as the laws which offer some amount of protection to buyers.

Selling a House with Mold Problems

image by carlpenergy

About Mold

Mold is classified as a fungus and can be of any shape. It can look green, white gray or even black. Some molds can be seen while some are tough to spot as they are present in areas that are difficult to spot – for instance attics and basements. Mold can also grow between walls. Mold is usually present and can grow in damp and moist places around leaking pipes, roofs and windows. Mold spores can multiply even in tightly sealed buildings and in homes with improper ventilation. Continue reading

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The Impact of School Locations on Home Prices

Buying a home is a great decision but not an easy one.  A home is an investment and buyers consider a number of factors before zeroing in on a place they want to put their money in. Let us look at some of the buying trends.

Some of the key parameters people consider before taking a decision on buying a home are – apart from the budget, design and layout of the house, is the proximity of the house to the supermarket and healthcare services as well as basic amenities. These few considerations help prospective homebuyers from taking a decision. There is one other aspect which also plays a significant role in swinging home purchase decisions; it is the proximity to good schools in the neighborhood. This is a key factor which can not only influence a buyer’s decision but also impact its pricing markedly. And, this is a proven fact.

Home Near School

Impact of School on Real Estate Buying Trends

Analyses of realty statistics and consumer surveys have revealed a startling insight of consumer behavior in buying homes. Nearly 90% of buyers looking to buy homes show a preference to invest in homes that are closer to schools. This trend is evident among families with children who are yet to complete their education. Continue reading

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7 Negotiation Tips For The Home Buyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Negotiation is both an art and a science. You need to deal in a way that not only appeases you but also appears favorable for the seller. While negotiating, you also need to act timely and smartly. A single slip can throw the ball in the court of another buyer who may be equally desperate for the piece of property you have set your eye on. Here we offer you some tips to simplify the deal-making process and help you strike a winning deal.

home buying negotiation tips

Information Used to Create Infographic (Source): PropertyCluster.com

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Convert Your Home into a Garden of Love for a Date Night

Are you bored of the sameness of dine-in restaurants and shopping malls; and do you wish for a date that is more relaxing and romantic than hectic and expensive? With a few out-of-the-box ideas and simple preparations for a night in at home, you can get a most pleasant evening with your beloved without stepping out of the comforts of your nest.

A date night at home besides offering the much coveted privacy, helps you save a lot of money that you would otherwise be shelling on eating out and traveling. So grab a bottle of wine, light a few candles, and cuddle up with your lover on a couch, in the best place in the world – your home!

Although a fiery chemistry and vibes of warmth are sufficient to convert a regular evening into a memorable one, there are still some ideas that can offer a great deal of enjoyment, subsequently leading to a stronger bonding.

Valentines Day Celebration

image by jnissa

Dance Till You Drop

Dancing is fun; it’s a way to connect; and it is one of the best expressions of passion and intensity – for an activity as divine as dancing with the one you love, you don’t need to be in a public place like a club – privacy will certainly get the best out of you two! Continue reading

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Checklist You Must Follow to Make House Moving a Pleasant Experience

Moving has always been a daunting task and everyone generally ends up saying – “Never again!” However, everyone has to move to a new place sooner or later. So, here are some tips to make your moving a simple and stress-free experience.

house moving checklist

image by mccun934

Pre-Moving Project

The pre-moving project can be divided into the following categories based on the time before moving you out. Continue reading

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Ways to Amicably Deal with Bad Neighbors When Selling Your Home

Selling a home is never a piece of cake; however, bad neighbors can push the prospects further down. A U.S. appraisal group has even stated that the problem of bad neighbors proves costly for home sellers as it is known to have reduced the property value by 5-10 percent.

So while you allocate budget to improve the interiors and curb appeal of your home, you might just need to keep money ready to pay for improving your neighbor’s yard if he is too reluctant to care of things out of his own pockets.

Here we discuss ways to deal with some commonly observed neighbors’ problem that may derail a sale.

Bad Neighbors

Disheveled lawn

If your neighbor simply doesn’t bother to remove the jungle that has grown in his yard, go speak to him politely. If your neighbor is broke, and can’t afford to get it cleared, offer to get it done by the professionals at your own expense till the house gets sold. If you are friendly with the neighbor, offer help to get the lawn pruned. In case, the neighbor pays no heed to your advice, you may call the city and ask for a cleanup. This is possible, as many cities have guidelines for taking care of yards in neighborhoods. Continue reading

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Tips for First Time Home Buyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying a home for the first time can make you excited and nervous at the same time. You may be tempted to check the plethora of property options available to you and scan through the heaps of information on buying a house over internet but all this can be exhausting and confusing. Being your friend and guide, PropertyCluster understands your dilemmas and queries. Here we offer a crisp infographic that will surely make home buying process smoother and simpler. Go through the checklist and make the most prudent decision of your life.

First Time Home Buyers

Information Used to Create Infographic (Source): PropertyCluster.com

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2015 New Year’s Resolutions to Become a Successful Landlord

Every year people make New Year’s resolutions with the aim of improving their lives in all spheres. As a landlord, you too should be taking a closer look at New Year’s resolutions, as it will help you stand out as a landlord and also let you retain tenants and increase your profits in the New Year.

Here are 10 resolutions that you can make this New Year to transform yourself into a successful landlord.

2015 New Year's Resolutions

1. I will actively search for new tenants

Are your tenants causing you more stress than you can handle? It is time to begin searching for new tenants. Have a proper screening system in place, so that you get tenants who treat your property well, pay rent on time and adhere to the terms and conditions of the rental lease. Continue reading

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