Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Real Estate Corner

Q. Are Rent-To-Own Homes A Good Idea?

A. If you’re interested in owning a home, but you’re having some difficulty obtaining conventional financing, renting a home with the option to buy may be a good alternative. In this scenario, a portion of your rent goes toward the purchase of the home. It’s important to carefully read the contract, and consult an attorney if you have any questions or concerns before entering into a contract.

Typically, you will sign a lease with an option to purchase for an agreed price over a specific time (1-2 year lease, at which time you’ll need to obtain financing from a lender). To acquire the option, the renter/buyer pays a one time, non-refundable fee, called the option consideration (2-7% of the purchase price). A percentage of all your rent payments (at least 50%) should be applied toward the purchase of the home. Rent payment must be on-time; otherwise it won’t count towards the purchase price.
You’ll be required to handle most of the home maintenance. Make sure you have the house inspected by a professional before entering into a contract.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New On The Market - 1702 Lexington, Pleasant Hill, Missouri

Click on this Photo for more information, additional photos and virtual tour!

Landscaping 101

Landscaping can add 7 to 15% to your home's value. Colorful landscaping, a fresh coat of paint and attention to detail not only bring you enjoyment every day, but also increases the value of your home.

Select Indigenous Plants
Choosing native rather than exotic plants for your landscaping will reduce maintenance and increase curb appeal. They don't need watering except during establishment, nor chemical fertilizers because they are already adapted to local conditions. Native plants not only accent your home, they also attract colorful birds and butterflies.

Cold Weather
Keep your landscape from looking cold and bare in the fall and winter months by choosing hardy plants that look good year around. It's important to think in terms of bark, berries and shape.

Bring Life to Small Spaces
Small garden ares should not feature too many different kinds of plants and materials. This will make your landscaping look cluttered. Container gardening can work miracles in small spaces, with the added benefit of being easy to move according to the plants needs. If you live in an apartment or condo, revitalize your entryway, patio or balcony with attractive hanging baskets, planters and unique personal accessories.

Create an Outdoor Space
Create an outside living area by adding a deck or patio for entertaining and relaxing year round. This addition is also a great investment in your home. A 2008 Cost vs. Value Report produced by Realtor Magazine stated that installing a deck can provide up to 81.8% return on investment while a pool returns only 20-50% according to Money Magazine. There are a variety of different surfaces to fit any style or budget.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Is There A Silver Lining?

The truth is that there is a Silver Lining in the current market.

Affordability is high. The Housing Affordability Index that measures the ability of a typical American family to qualify for a mortgage based on the median-price for and existing single-family home. A score of 100 indicates that the typical family would have the exact amount required on a 20 percent down payment and monthly payments of no more than 25 percent of their household income. Currently, the index is at 135.2, which means the average American family not only can afford to purchase a home, but will also have excess money for living expenses.

The selection is vast. It continues to be a Buyer's Market. You have more homes in which to choose from.

Owning a home is still one of the Best Long-Term Investments you can make. Historically, homes appreciate, despite short term spikes.

Don't look back wishing you would have purchased real estate when I can show you how!

Source: Buffini and Company