Practicing Real Estate Law in Western Washington since 1986
November 16th, 2015
Before Filing Bankruptcy
When you are dealing with serious debt and a bankruptcy seems like the right choice, there are steps that you should begin taking to improve the final outcome of your case. Additionally, there are things that you should make sure to avoid doing so that you don’t fall into a worse situation before moving forward with the case.
Credit cards may seem like an easy option for those who are low on funds. They can be easy to take out and swipe when you want to pay for something, but your bank account won’t allow you to. If you are already faced with debt, you don’t want to continue using them and falling into a worse position. Of course, there are some emergency cases where you may need to, but generally, if you are able to avoid using a credit card, do so. Using credit before you file may also hinder your case since the court may choose to view this as debt you didn’t intend to pay. The best way to know whether or not it is ok to use your credit card is to talk with a bankruptcy attorney about your case specifically. Additionally, it is best to avoid all other forms of debt if possible so that you are not in a more difficult position.
You may owe friends and family debt but wait to pay this back. They may be considered an “insider” which means that the amount paid to them can end up being recovered by a bankruptcy trustee in the event that you paid them within the year of filing. This will only include amounts that are over $600.
You will want to avoid transferring assets at this point since it can prove harmful in your case. This may lead to a denial of discharge or a trustee may be able to recover the fraudulent transfer of assets.
Many people feel as though bending the truth of giving a flat out lie will help their case. There may be information that they don’t want out on the table, but telling the truth is the best choice in the long run. Things can often come out even when you don’t expect, as these cases are often closely scrutinized. If you don’t divulge the information yourself it can lead to consequences and can also put your attorney in a more difficult position.
If you are dealing with debt, work with our team to learn your options. We can work with you in the before, during and after process to improve the chances of your case being successful. Call us to schedule a free one hour bankruptcy consultation. The number to call is 253-284-3838. We offer consultations at all of our offices in Kent, Tacoma, Seattle (Northgate), Everett and Silverdale. Planning ahead can save you aggravation and money.
Richard J. Welt
Attorney at Law
McFerran Law, P.S.
1833 No. 105th Street, Suite 101
Seattle, WA 98133
3906 So. 74th St
Tacoma, WA 98409
1833 No. 105th St, Ste. 101
Seattle, WA 98133
25028 104th Ave SE
Kent, WA 98031
2520 Colby Ave, Ste. 101
Everett, WA 98201
9633 Levin Road, Ste 101
Silverdale, WA 98383
McFerran Law is a debt relief agency as defined by federal bankruptcy law.
Urban Institute fellow Erika Poethig has a poster in her office showing 22 apartment buildings along Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. They were all built with U.S. government dollars to provide affordable housing to thousands of low-income households—and have since been converted to market-rate apartments and condominiums.
For Poethig, a former official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, those apartments are a warning.
There are currently about 1.34 million units of affordable housing created by a HUD program known as Section 8 project-based rental assistance, according to a blog post published on Wednesday by Poethig and her Urban Institute colleague Reed Jordan. More than 30 percent of those units are kept affordable by contracts that are set to expire by the end of 2017.
That raises the possibility that property owners, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods, will seek to cash out, wiping affordable units off the books. "Congress doesn't let HUD do new contracts," she said. "Once a project is lost, it's lost."
Under Housing and Urban Development's system, tenants who meet income requirements pay 30 percent of their income in rent, and HUD pays the landlord a subsidy on top of that rent. The average subsidy was $665 a month (PDF) in 2011, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. New York, where 33 percent of units are set to expire by 2017, has more than 123,000 units in the program; Dallas, where 47 percent of units are at risk, has about 8,800.
Why the coming wave of expiring contracts? Most of the units at risk were built from 1974 through 1983 through a federal program that provides cash payments to landlords charging below-market rents. Typically, the original contracts were for 20 years, said Michael Bodaken, executive director of the National Housing Trust. If they were renewed for 20 years in the mid-1990s, they're likely to be coming up now. Since the '90s, HUD has also let landlords renew for one- or five-year periods, adding to the wave.
Most of those contracts are likely to be renewed. Historically, about 8 percent of expiring contracts are allowed to lapse, according to Poethig's blog post.
That figure may understate the current stakes. Subsidized units are more likely to be converted if they’re in areas with highly rated schools, good public safety, and other neighborhood amenities that make them attractive to low-income households and market-rate developers alike. The loss of affordable housing in nice neighborhoods is particularly alarming in light of research showing that poor children raised in better neighborhoods have better upward mobility than those raised in high-poverty communities.
The city with the greatest risk of losing subsidized apartments may be Washington, where 34 percent of the project-based rental assistance apartments soon to expire are in neighborhoods in which less than 10 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. In Dallas, by contrast, less than 2 percent of expiring units are in low-poverty neighborhoods. New York has the highest number of expiring units in good neighborhoods, but those apartments make up a smaller share—20 percent—of units in the project-based program.
The system for preserving affordable units varies from place to place. State law gives cities in Massachusetts the right of first refusal when property owners want to let a HUD contract expire, and a number of nonprofit groups and a state-affiliated agency are devoted to preserving it. In 2013, a nonprofit called Preservation of Affordable Housingpaid $234 million for about 850 apartments in Boston, Cape Cod, and elsewhere in the state to prevent the units form being converted to market rate. Washington, Chicago, and other cities require landlords to notify tenants in advance of conversions and, in some cases, give them the opportunity to buy the apartment.
Here's another point suggested by the second chart. Because most of the housing in the project-based rental assistance program was created in the 1970s, it tends to be focused in cities that had matured by that time. Cities that grew during the subsequent population booms in the South and Southwest generally have fewer subsidized units.
“We have a housing policy that has not kept up with the geography of poverty,” Poethig said.
According to many reports from across the country, rental rates are on the rise, with more people than ever choosing to rent instead of buy homes. We thought it would be interesting for landlords to see a current snapshot of the rental landscape and see what an impact being a landlord is having on today’s economy.
In a recent New York Timesarticle, millions more Americans are renting than ever before, whether by choice or by circumstance. According to the article, home ownership in the United States has been falling steadily for eight years. This means that rentals are booming and real estate investors are happy to see that the number of new rental households is consistently increasing, with some of the strongest numbers in recent decades. Essentially, the country’s vacancy rate for rentals is among the lowest it has been in the last two decades, according to the article. That’s good news for landlords who often worry about whether they’ve made the right decision about getting into real estate.
There are approximately 110,000,000 renters in the United States.
There are approximately 23,000,000 landlords in the United States.
Every day, there are more than 2,600 new renters.
The majority of rental properties have just 1 renter in the unit (36.6%) while the second highest group has 2 renters in the unit (26.7%).
More than 27% of renters fall into the age group of 25-34 years old, the largest percentage of all age ranges.
The places with the highest percentage of renters are Washington D.C. (59.24%), New York (47.01%), Hawaii (43.49%), and California (43.09%).
The places with the lowest percentage of renters are West Virginia (24.82%), Minnesota (25.45%), and Michigan (26.33%).
Today, nearly half of all renters pay more than 30% of their income on rent, according to the New York Times.
So what does this mean for landlords and real estate investors? The good news is that in most places, the demand for rentals is exceeding the supply, so there are plenty of good applicants to choose from and units shouldn’t sit vacant for very long. The other good news is that when supply is limited, the prices go up, and indeed rental rates across the country are rising, leading to an increase in profits.
Something that landlords and real estate investors need to consider, however, is that in some areas, rents are getting so expensive that they are unaffordable. For example,renters in certain cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami are paying more than 40% of their income in rent. These factors, plus an overall lack of supply of places to live is causing renters to look elsewhere for affordable places to rent. This means that landlords in smaller suburban areas with access to good transportation routes may be in an even better position to keep units full as people flee those cities and towns where rent is simply too expensive.
The top 10 most expensive rental markets in the country, according to CheatSheet, are:
Northern New Jersey-Long Island
New York City
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach
Los Angeles-Long Beach
As rental markets continue to heat up around the country, landlords and real estate investors should always be thinking of the long-term for their business. While construction is rushing to meet the demand of rental units, with more multifamily properties being built this year than ever before, there is the possibility that too many rental properties will eventually cause the rental market to cool. As inevitable as the tides, real estate investing has ebbs and flows, and as the housing industry continues to gain strength over the next decade, landlords and investors need to prepare for the inevitable leveling off.
Keeping the overall reasons for becoming a landlord in mind will help property owners benefit from every twist and turn of the rental market, and paying attention to statistics can help landlords spot trends that can give them good information on what to expect in the near and distant future. Treating rental properties like a business will always help landlords make wise decisions rather than emotional ones.
I wanted to help you create explosive productivity so you get big things done (and make your life matter). Here are 21 tips to get you to your best productivity.
#1. Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work.
#2. Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action.
#3. Remember that big, brave goals release energy. So set them clearly and then revisit them every morning for 5 minutes.
#4. Mess creates stress (I learned this from tennis icon Andre Agassi who said he wouldn’t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he’d get distracted). So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done.
#5. Sell your TV. You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.
#6. Say goodbye to the energy vampires in your life (the negative souls who steal your enthusiasm).
#7. Run routines. When I studied the creative lives of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity’s not about luck. It’s about devotion.
#8. Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.
#9. Don’t do so many meetings. (I’ve trained the employees of our FORTUNE 500 clients on exactly how to do this – including having the few meetings they now do standing up – and it’s created breakthrough results for them).
#10. Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.
#11. Outsource everything you can’t be BIW (Best in the World) at. Focus only on activities within what I call “Your Picasso Zone”.
#12. Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drop our IQ by 5 points!). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It’s all about practice).
#13. Get fit like Madonna. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity.
#14. Workout 2X a day. This is just one of the little-known productivity tactics that I’ll walk you through in my new online training program YOUR PRODUCTIVITY UNLEASHED (details at the end of this post) but here’s the key: exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm to set you up for wow in the evening.
#15. Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy. And get less done.
#16. Work in 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel (another game-changing move I personally use to do my best work).
#17. Write a Stop Doing List. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore.
#18. Use your commute time. If you’re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.
#19. Be a contrarian. Why buy your groceries at the time the store is busiest? Why go to movies on the most popular nights? Why hit the gym when the gym’s completely full? Do things at off-peak hours and you’ll save so many of them.
#20. Get things right the first time. Most people are wildly distracted these days. And so they make mistakes. To unleash your productivity, become one of the special performers who have the mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This saves you days of having to fix problems.
#21. Get lost. Don’t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
I truly hope these 21 productivity tips have been valuable to you. And that I’ve been of service. Your productivity is your life made visible. Please protect it. Stay productive. – See more at: Robin Sharma’s Blog
For years, it has been illegal to discriminate, but many landlords implement practices that are blatantly illegal. For example, it is against the law to exclude families from consideration because you feel children cause wear and tear on your rental property or because you prefer a "mature and quiet" environment. You may limit the number of residents you allow in a unit per Fair Housing guidelines, but you must apply that standard equally to all applicants.
2. Be consistent in your screening process.
Each applicant must be treated exactly the same. Check credit, income, and references. Verify employment, income, and bank account information. Follow the same procedure for everyone, not just those you feel are a risk. Do not give any prospective or existing tenants preferential treatment (including friends & family)!
3. Screen tenants thoroughly, but know what questions you can and cannot ask.
Many seemingly innocent questions or remarks (such as inquiring about a disability, marital status, or even a person’s height!) can lead to accusations of discrimination. If you ask the wrong questions, and then decide to reject a tenant, they may lodge a Fair Housing complaint, even if your reason for rejection had nothing to do with the offending question. And…there are Fair Housing watch-dog groups that are eager to help them pursue legal retribution.
4. Make decisions based on sound business reasons.
It is legal for you to choose the tenant from among the prospects, as long as your decision is based on legitimate business criteria, not personal bias. You may reject a tenant based on poor credit history, insufficient income, or past behavior (late rent, damage, eviction, etc.). These are legitimate reasons; they indicate the prospective tenant is a poor business risk. You may also refuse to rent to people who don’t pay the required security deposit or who fail to meet one or more of the conditions for tenancy.
Most standard leases will include basic information about the agreement, such as property address, dates, names of tenants, rent amount, security deposits, etc. However, the Devil is in the details.
Most experienced landlords will tell you that the Devil is in the details.
The real headaches come when a situation arises that is not addressed in the lease. By that point, the landlord is emotionally involved in the issue, and can’t truly be objective in his/her decision on how to handle it.
To help you prevent some headaches, I’ve listed seven of my favorite (and useful) lease clauses in the section below.
These clauses have saved me dozens of hours of correspondence, and thousands of dollars in legal drama, simply because I put them in the lease.
With that said, I am not a lawyer so you should consult with a licensed local attorney before using these in your own leases. You are responsible for performing your own research and complying with all applicable laws in regards to your unique situation.
Though a legal precaution, this is perhaps one of the most important clauses in a lease. This clause states that if one aspect of the lease is found to be illegal, the rest of the agreement will still be legally binding.
SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this Agreement or the application thereof shall, for any reason and to any extent, be invalid or unenforceable, neither the remainder of this Agreement nor the application of the provision to other persons, entities or circumstances shall be affected thereby, but instead shall be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Without this clause, a judge who has found one small clause to be illegal, even if accidentally so, might consider the entire lease to be void. No matter how rock-solid your lease is, you should include this clause in your lease.
2. Late Fees and Allocations
Though I’ve never had a late rent payment since I started using Cozy to collect rent, I always include this clause – just in case my tenant turns rebellious.
Further, if you don’t specify a late fee in your lease, it will be nearly impossible to charge a late fee after-the-fact.
Please check your state laws because some have statutes that require a specific “grace period” and limit the amount you can charge.
Regardless, this clause should specify the exact amount of the fee, the time at which it will be assigned, and if there are any additional, daily late fees for nonpayment.
LATE FEE AND ALLOCATION OF PAYMENTS. In the event that any rent payment required to be paid by Tenant(s) hereunder is not paid IN FULL by the start of the SECOND (2nd) DAY OF EACH MONTH, Tenant(s) shall pay to Landlord, in addition to such payment or other charges due hereunder, an initial late fee as additional rent in the amount of 5% OF THE MONTHLY RENT AMOUNT. Further, a subsequent late fee of TWENTY DOLLARS ($20.00) PER DAY will be incurred by the Tenant(s) for every day payment is delayed after the 2nd day of the month.
All future payments will be allocated first to any outstanding balances other than rent. Any remaining monies will be allocated lastly to any rent balance.
The last sentence in this clauses ensures that all fees are paid first with whatever money the tenants choose to give me. The reason I allocate payments first to fees is because it’s much easier to sue a tenant for “unpaid rent” than it is for an “unpaid late fee.”
If you don’t outlaw subleasing, your tenants will do it when you’re not looking. Worse, you can’t penalize them for it.
You might be able to terminate the lease, but that’s not always preferable because then you have to find new tenants.
I always prefer to allow subleasing, for a price. I give my tenants the option to sublease, but they have to pay a one-time fee. Further, the sublessee has to submit an application and is subject to my normal screening process and subsequent approval, only to eventually sign a subleasing agreement.
ASSIGNMENT AND SUBLEASING. Tenant(s) shall not assign this Agreement, or sublet or grant any license to use the Premises or any part thereof without the prior written consent of Landlord. Consent by Landlord to one such assignment, subletting or license shall not be deemed to be a consent to any subsequent assignment, subletting or license. An assignment, subletting or license without the prior written consent of Landlord or an assignment or subletting by operation of law shall be absolutely null and void and shall, at Landlord’s option, terminate this Agreement and start the eviction process of all Tenant(s) and occupants.
If subletting is approved by the Landlord, a one-time fee ofTHREE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($300.00) PER SUBLET, is assigned to the lease. All subletting individuals are required to submit an application to the Landlord for evaluation and screening. Landlord reserves the right to reject any sublessee that does qualify. If any sublets are initiated by Tenant(s) without the prior written consent of the Landlord, for each individual sublet, Tenant(s) will be assigned and responsible for the subletting fee, for each sublet, spanning the entire term of this Agreement.
Subleasing is common with my group houses. Many times, three of the five tenants will travel home for the summer and ask to sublet their room.
The answer is always “yes” and then almost instantly, my wallet feels $900 heavier. To help with the subleasing fee, many of the tenants increase the cost of their room, thereby offsetting the fee (which I’m fine with).
In respect to a residential lease, joint and several liability means that each tenant is jointly AND individually responsible for the entire rent amount and for any damages.
It allows you to consider all tenants as a single entity, for the purposes of giving notice, serving court documents, collecting rent or suing for damages.
MULTIPLE TENANTS OR OCCUPANTS. Each Tenant(s) is jointly and individually liable for all Lease Agreement obligations, including but not limited to rent monies. If any Tenant(s), guests, or occupant violates the Lease Agreement, all Tenant(s) are considered to have violated the Lease Agreement. Landlord’s requests and notices to any one Tenant(s) constitute notice to all Tenant(s) and occupants. Notices and requests from any one Tenant(s) or occupant (including repair requests and entry permissions) constitute notice from all Tenant(s). In eviction suits, each Tenant(s) is considered the agent of all other Tenants in the Premise for service of process.
Many states have a set list of landlord and tenant obligations, in which either party can terminate the agreement if the other doesn’t fulfill his or her duties – with proper notice.
I go a step further and actually list the triggers for default in the lease, so that the tenant is aware of them. The logic is that if I ever have to terminate the lease for a violation, the lease should back me up.
DEFAULT AND COMPILING OF RENT. If Tenant(s) fails to comply with any of the financial or material provisions of this Agreement, or of any present rules and regulations or any that may be hereafter prescribed by Landlord, or materially fails to comply with any duties imposed on Tenant(s) by statute, within five (5) days after delivery of written notice by Landlord specifying the non-compliance and indicating the intention of Landlord to terminate the Agreement by reason thereof, Landlord may terminate this Agreement. If Tenant(s) fails to pay rent when due and the default continues for five (5) days thereafter, Landlord may, at Landlord’s option, declare the entire balance (compiling all months applicable to this Agreement) of rent payable hereunder to be immediately due and payable and may exercise any and all rights and remedies available to Landlord at law or in equity and may immediately terminate this Agreement.
Tenant(s) will be in default if: (a) Tenant(s) does not pay rent or other amounts that are owed; (b) Tenant(s), guests, or occupants violate this Agreement, rules, or fire, safety, health, or criminal laws, regardless of whether arrest or conviction occurs; (c) Tenant(s) abandons the Premises; (d) Tenant(s) gives incorrect or false information in the rental application; (e) Tenant(s), or any occupant is arrested, convicted, or given deferred adjudication for a criminal offense involving actual or potential physical harm to a person, or involving possession, manufacture, or delivery of a controlled substance, marijuana, or drug paraphernalia under state statute; (f) any illegal drugs or paraphernalia are found in the Premises or on the person of Tenants(s), guests, or occupants while on the Premises and/or; (g) as otherwise allowed by law.
As you may have noticed, upon default, I force the compiling of rent for the remainder of the lease term. Meaning, if my tenants start selling drugs from my rental in month three of a 12-month lease, I can still hold them responsible for the other nine months of rent (or until I find a replacement if I’m forced to mitigate damages).
Lease renewal is a tricky thing. Some landlords prefer an automatic renewal approach, however, I prefer not to be tied down like that.
All of my fixed-term leases don’t automatically renew, however I still require a tenant to give me 60 days notice of their intent to move out at the end of the lease. Meaning, the assumption is that they will be renewing (assuming the rent doesn’t go up too much), even though the lease doesn’t automatically renew.
It just means that we need to sign a new lease if they want to stay.
The reason for this clause is that it guarantees that I have 60 days notice to try to find a new tenant. If they fail to provide 60 days notice of non-renewal, they are still held responsible for 60 days of rent, unless I can find a replacement sooner.
I usually set a Google calendar reminder, and I try to notify my tenants of their responsibility at 70-75 days from the end of the lease – so that they can start thinking about their options.
RENEWAL. This lease agreement is not constructed to be automatically renewed at the end of the term for which drawn, however the intent to renew this agreement by the Tenant(s) will be assumed. All parties will need to sign a new agreement in order to activate a renewal term. If Tenant(s) intends to vacate the Premises at the end of the lease term, Tenant(s) must give at least sixty (60) days written notice prior to the end of this lease. If sixty (60) days’ notice of non-renewal is not given prior to lease term, Tenant(s) are responsible for the equivalent rent amount due for the sixty (60) days after notice is given, even though this lease does not automatically renew.
7. Use of Premises
Though I can’t discriminate based on familial status, I can restrict the number of people based on the number of people in the initial group of tenants. Meaning, if a family of four moves in, the lease should restrict usage to only those four people.
This clause keeps existing tenants from moving in unapproved “family” (yeah right), and keeps unemployed boyfriends or girlfriends from becoming rogue tenants.
USE OF PREMISES. The Premises shall be used and occupied by Tenant(s), for no more than FOUR (4) persons exclusively, as a private individual dwelling, and no part of the Premises shall be used at any time during the term of this Agreement by Tenant(s) for the purpose of carrying on any business, profession, or trade of any kind, or for any purpose other than private dwelling. Tenant(s) shall not allow any other person, other than Tenant’s immediate family or transient relatives and friends who are guests of Tenant(s), to use or occupy the Premises without first obtaining Landlord’s written consent to such use. Any guest staying in the property more than 2 weeks in any 6 month period will be considered a tenant, rather than a guest, and must be added to the lease agreement. Landlord may also increase the rent at any such time that a new tenant is added to the lease premise. Tenant(s) and guest(s) shall comply with any and all laws, ordinances, rules and orders of any and all governmental or quasi-governmental authorities affecting the cleanliness, use, occupancy and preservation of the Premises.
BONUS: Surrender of Premises
Last but not least, this clause saves the day every time I have a tenant moving out.
A few weeks before they plan to move out, I simply remind them of this lease clause and send them the “move-out cleaning instructions,” which details my expectations and suggestions to ensure they get their full deposit back.
SURRENDER OF PREMISES. Tenant(s) have surrendered the Premises when (a) the move-out date has passed and no one is living in the Premise within Landlord’s reasonable judgment; or (b) all Premise keys and access devices have been turned in to Landlord – whichever comes first. Upon the expiration of the term hereof, Tenant(s) shall surrender the Premise in better or equal condition as it were at the commencement of this Agreement, reasonable use, wear and tear thereof, and damages by the elements excepted. Tenants are responsible for hiring, coordinating, and paying for a professional cleaning of all carpets prior to lease end.
Where can I get a Full Lease?
Though I think these clauses are helpful, they are not a complete lease.
There only four websites that I recommend for premium, state-specific leases.
Why Millions Of American Are Nestled In Rental Homes
With hefty monthly rent, car payments, unpredictable family expenses, a mottled credit report and an empty savings account, it’s nearly impossible for an average American family pull together a decent down payment. The fact that interest rates are relatively low and lending requirements have been loosened has not prompted most Americans to advance for mortgages. Families whose household income averages at $100,000 annually are nestled in a starter home.
The market is improving and sales of existing homes is projected to increase to a maximum in the next six years and out of the total buyers, 32% will make up for first-time home buyers. The best property manager, agents and other real estate professionals will tell you how millions of Americans are stuck in rental housing unwillingly.
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." ~Anonymous
Many Can’t Save For Down Payments
The market is just a few years out of the wrenching housing bubble and as it recovers, it would surely take some time for it to surpass how it was before the bubble. It’s sad that the nation’s homeownership rate has been declining for 8 years down to about 64% in the first quarter of 2015. At this time when renting is preferred to buying a new home, the best property managers in WA have a lot of tasks to do. With demand for rental homes rising, it means that many homes will be on use throughout and maintenance will need the hands of one of the top 10 property management companies in your area. Property management companies will be responsible for keeping the property in a good condition.
Increasing Cost of Renting
The rise in the cost of renting is partly attributed to expensive management practices. But with the hands of a property management company which is a home of the $99.00 property management fee, property management should be cheaper. Most of the people living in the rentals were once home owners who lost their homes due to foreclosure. With this, it’s obvious that most renters have spotty credit reports making qualification for a mortgage difficult. Even though the government has created some programs to encourage lenders to offer mortgages requiring a small down payment, reports shows that few people have taken advantage of those programs.
The dynamical demographics are causing significant shift in housing trends. It’s expected that most households in the coming years will be mainly composed of people with a minority background. These are the people who historically had fewer assets and lower incomes and therefore were not able to buy homes. At the same time, Millennials are struggling to find decent jobs and most of them are being saddled by the heavy student loan payments. Rental property owners are taking advantage of these and they need to work with a worry free property management company to ensure that the housing conditions meets with the standards of the current generation.
Normally all real estate agents work for a broker and therefore all those fees paid to real estate agents must pass through the broker. It’s the broker who can pay a real estate commission and sign a listing agreement with the seller. Property management companies such as Washington State real estate investment property management and investment are paid by the property owners and not brokers as many people think. Most listing agreements gives that an agent’s broker the right to market a home.
The seller agrees to pay the agent after he/she successfully brings a buyer to table. This fee is a representative of the sales price.
"Your problem isn't the problem. Your reaction is the problem." ~Anonymous
Who Pays Who In The Real Estate Market?
The monthly cost of property management is carried by the property owner and not the tenant. Most of property management companies helps in maintaining and ensuring that properties are in good condition all-year-round. A buyer doesn’t directly pay property management companies or agents. In the case of buying a property, the commission should be featured in the sales price. Property management companies are exclusively paid by tenants indirectly.
An Estimate of Transaction Fees in Real Estate Processes
Many consumers out there believe that real estate fees are simply 5% of the sales price that a real estate agent earns commission. The real costs of selling a property may be higher but the fees paid for maintenance of the property are always low compared to the services being delivered. A property management company in most States is a home of the $99 property management fee. It doesn’t cost much to carry out regular maintenance. Transaction fees in real estate may include sales agent commission, Escrow costs and recording costs, Title Insurance costs, repairs, inspection fees etc.
Typical Real Estate Fees
Every seller has the right to negotiate for commission and the same is replicated when dealing with property management companies. Full-service property managers charge flat-fees. As a property owner, it’s imperative to know what to expect and want from your property management company before attempting to discount the fee. Ask yourself, how much can I get for rent before accepting to pay a property manager.
Real estate fees in vary in different real estate markets. Agents with vast knowledge of the industry and experience often charge more. Listing agreements specifies the amount of fees to paid and hence most of the time, these fees aren’t negotiable. A buyer can only negotiate terms of purchase and the sales price and remember that all these fees are tax deductible.