Shopping for Your Home

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Renters, Know Your Rights!

I was awaken from a deep sleep a couple of nights ago from a VERY high strung individual, ok drama queen, BOY ABOUT TOWN, regarding his continuing rental nightmare and I know that many of you are experiencing similar issues, so I decided to give all you renters some tips and facts. First of all, before you decide to rent from anyone, DO SOME RESEARCH about the owner and management company. Ask current tenants, past tenants and neighbors about them and their experiences with them. It will definitely decrease the chances of being victim to unwanted rental problems caused by non-caring, unresponsive landlords (slumlords).

Before You Rent

If the property manager says the deposit will be returned whether you decide to rent the apartment or not, always get that verbal promise in writing.
Request a written lease that clearly states all the terms. Oral leases are subject to misunderstandings and are more difficult to enforce.

If there is no written lease, how your make your rental payment (weekly, monthly, etc.) determines the length of the agreement.

Before signing a rental agreement make sure you understand the terms of the contract. If you don't understand, don't sign the lease!

Before signing a rental agreement do a walk-through while listing any problems that should be fixed before you rent. Verbal promises made by the landlord should ALWAYS be included or attached as a written agreement to the lease and signed by the landlord.

A security deposit is one of the most common requirements of landlords. Include any and all problems or potential problems such as broken fixtures, worn rugs, ripped linoleum, broken tile, etc. in your walk-through list.

Know the difference between a security deposit and an , administrative fee or processing fee; usually only security deposits are refundable.

Your Landlord's Responsibilities

1. The roof must not leak.
2. The walls must be weather-tight and in good repair.
3. The stairs must be safe for normal use and maintained in good repair.
4. Windows and doors must be weather-tight, water-tight, rodent-proof and kept in sound working condition. Outside doors have to have proper locks.
5. Window panes cannot have cracks and holes. Outside windows must have screens.
6. Inside floors, walls, ceilings must be basically rodent-proof and kept in sound condition and good repair and should be safe.
7. The house or apartment must have hot water that is connected to the kitchen and bathroom sinks, tub or shower.
8. All houses or apartments must have a flushing toilet in good working condition.
9. When cooking and heating equipment are provided by the landlord, they must be safely installed and in good working order.
10. There must be adequate garbage disposal facilities or garbage storage containers.
11. Every habitable room must have at least two separate floor or wall electric outlets and, additionally, every kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and hallway must have a ceiling or wall-type fixture, or an outlet controlled by a wall switch near the entrance to the room.
12. All electrical systems must be in good repair and good working order.

Questions? Concerns?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Making Your Money Work for YOU!

Would you stash money away in your linen closet for a rainy day or would you put it in the bank to collect some interest? Obviously, you would want to keep that money where you can make money. Many of you out there are doing the opposite; how much equity are you sitting on? Why not make that money work for YOU! Times are tough, the market if down, but the price is RIGHT! Do what all the savvy investors are doing now, BUY BUY BUY! Your equity is doing nothing for you if it just sits there. I know it's scary, however as I've mentioned before TIME IS RUNNING OUT! There are fantastic deals out there that are manageable as well as gold mines in five years time. Real estate has NEVER let us down in the long term, no crystal ball needed. Yes, we have had a BIG downturn, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Foreclosure properties are moving FAST, our Obama administration is giving you tax breaks and many of us are getting great loan modifications that make us able to keep our homes. We are even seeing price wars! Bids are coming into those great deals out there and when those start to escalate more and more prices, ALL PRICES, will start to ascend and we can all again sing HALLELUJAH!

Not convinced? Need some proof? Want to know where you stand? Contact me for the facts on how YOU too can be a savvy investor!