Spring Cascades St. Lucie West Market Tempts Owners to Sell Their Rental Property
It’s one of the skills a successful Cascades St. Lucie West rental property investor needs to cultivate: if or when to sell. With property prices on the rise, some Cascades community landlords may in fact be asking themselves whether now is the time to cash in. Especially for most everyone whose rental property investment was made during the last few years, it’s already been a profitable gambit. According to the Case Schiller Index, by last year’s close, property prices across the nation had risen at the fastest rate in the previous nine years.
But if—and then when—to sell a Cascades St. Lucie West rental property can be a tough call. As a relatively illiquid investment, it takes a great deal more commitment than the decision to sell a stock or cash in a bond. But sometimes there are circumstances that can make the decision a little easier. For instance:
One clear reason why you might choose to sell is if the rental property is losing money. The rental may have been vacant for too long, or the rent level may not have been sufficient to cover expenses. In many cases, other real estate investors will be willing to lose money in the short term on a property they believe will appreciate in the future. It’s also possible that a full-time rental property professional may be able to tap economies of scale that are not possible for every individual investor.
Your Cascades St. Lucie West rental property may be doing fine—making money and showing substantial value growth—but now an unusually promising alternative investment has appeared. With the strong spring market, it may make sense to sell now to reinvest the profits elsewhere.
Everyone’s tax situation is different, and the tax environment is subject to change. Even if that weren’t the case, there are some years when personal finances mean that a sale would be a much better idea than others. As with any substantial financial decision, your accountant or other financial advisor will have the relevant input.
Being a landlord is not for everyone. Sometimes a professional property manager can alleviate nearly all the stress for an investor who doesn’t relish the vocation, but even then, there can be other chores: bookkeeping, manager management, a leak-through of tenant personality issues…that prompt a landlord to decide he or she would rather direct energy elsewhere. Opting for more passive forms of investment is always a possibility.
Cascades St. Lucie West has already benefitted from some of the fruits of the national real estate recovery – but that alone doesn’t answer whether this Spring is an opportune time for you to consider selling your Cascades St. Lucie West rental property. Contact Realtors Millie and Carlos today for a comprehensive property evaluation—the key piece of information that will help you decide!
Homeowners Are Able To Stop Foreclosure And Strip Down Mortgage Debt
With home prices at record lows and foreclosures at record highs, many homeowners know that their home is worth substantially less than what is owed on their mortgage. While many have made the difficult decision to walk away from their properties, there are many homeowners using chapter 13 bankruptcies to bypass a foreclosure.
There are two areas where homeowners can use a chapter 13 bankruptcy filing to remain in their homes;
1. One, when they are behind on payments and need time to get caught up, and
2. Two, to remove a second mortgage or home equity line of credit from their home.
You cannot eliminate any of the debt from a first mortgage, but second mortgages are treated differently. They can be declared unsecured debt when there is no equity to cover them, as is the case for millions of houses that are now worth far less than a few years ago.
By filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your second mortgage can be stripped off your home and treated as unsecured debt; however, this can only be applied to remove a second mortgage off your home if the value of the property is at or below the outstanding balance on your first mortgage.
• For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and there are two outstanding mortgages, in the amounts of $400,000 (for the 1st mortgage) and $75,000 (for the 2nd mortgage), then a Chapter 13 bankruptcy unsecured debt can be applied. In this scenario your home value of $300,000 would be below the first mortgage, which would allow you to strip off the second mortgage. So your second mortgage of $75,000 is completely unsecured debt.
When that happens in a personal bankruptcy proceeding, the second mortgage is put on hold and no payments are required while the homeowner completes a repayment plan for other debts --which typically takes three to five years. After the repayment plan is complete, the second mortgage is eliminated.
Many of these second mortgages were granted during the housing boil, when home prices were going in one direction – boiling up, up and up. It’s simply a fact that a majority of those loans shouldn't have been made at all, and as a result, homes are “upside down”.
This bankruptcy law is not new at all; this law has been used for years; it’s just never been utilized as much because in the past there usually was enough equity in the home to cover the second mortgage.
Of course mortgage bankers don't like the practice, especially since more and more homeowners are finding this practice a viable plan to save their homes from foreclosure, pay less per month and strip thousands of dollars away from their debt.
Bottom Line is – time is always of the essence and there are no longer enough excuses for allowing your dream to be taken away from you.
Selling Your Home
Once you've made the decision to sell your home, it's time to think about what comes next. Throughout the process, you may find it beneficial to have a checklist to help guide you in some very important choices that you will be making in the coming months.
Interview Several REALTORS®
A REALTOR® is a person who you will enlist to help with the selling of your home. Just like no two homes are alike, no two owners are alike and each has different needs when it comes to real estate. The REALTOR® that you ultimately choose will have access to your home at any time and will be responsible for marketing it to potential buyers. As such, you should choose someone that you feel comfortable with and will do the best job for you. The only way to know which REALTOR® this will be is to speak with more than one, ask plenty of questions and get a feel for how they do business.
Get An Appraisal
When you list your home for sale, an appraisal will be helpful for a number of reasons. As the seller, you may wonder why you would need to have your home appraised, but here's why. As a seller, you do not want to overprice or underprice your home. If you ask for more than the home is actually worth, lenders won't likely grant a loan even if you find a willing buyer. If you price your home too low, not only will you be taking away from your own profit, but potential buyers may wonder what's wrong with the home that it's priced so far below market value.
With an appraisal, you can list your home with the knowledge that you need to make sure the price is right. If you want to advertise the home as a bargain, sell it somewhat below the appraised value. Buyers will know they are getting instant equity in the home and lenders will see the investment as a good one.
As a final thought to choosing an asking price, note that your REALTOR® will require a commission and possibly other fees in connection with listing your home on the market. It's perfectly acceptable to ask the REALTOR® for a written summary of these fees, as opposed to just a mention of them in the contract, and how much they will be. With this information, you will know exactly how much money you will have left in your pocket from the sale of your home.
Decide How Quickly You Want To Sell
Believe it or not, your schedule could greatly impact the listing price. If you are in a hurry to sell, you may find that a competitive asking price will help you to get the cash you need much quicker. A price that reflects the higher end of a buyer's budget may take some time to sell, so consider these factors when pricing your home.
Make Time For Updates
Your REALTOR® will offer advice as to what needs updated, repaired or changed in order to maximize the potential of your home. When a buyer looks at a house, they are looking at the cost, needed repairs or upgrades, decor, etc. Once your REALTOR® does a walk through and explains what, if anything, needs updated, you will commit to an asking price and sign the listing agreement.
As a seller, you are probably already aware that potential buyers will make an offer that could be less than your actual asking price. Most REALTORS® will tell you that if you ask for 'X' amount of dollars, buyers will probably offer you 'X' amount instead. That's the name of the game, and you will need to decide whether or not your asking price is firm or negotiable. If an offer comes your way, you will always have the option of making a counteroffer or simply rejecting the deal altogether.
As a final thought to the negotiation process, keep in mind that buyers typically offer less than they are actually willing to pay initially. Most offers are time sensitive, which means you may have to make some quick decisions. Of course, your REALTOR® will be there to guide you through every step of the process and will likely offer an opinion as to whether or not an offer is fair in the current market.
Close The Deal
When the price is right and you agree to the terms, it's time to say goodbye to your former home and hello to a brand new life. Letting go is not always easy, but moving forward is a part of life. If you still live in the home, most contracts will require that you move within 30 days. If you no longer live in the home, most buyers will want to move in immediately.
The Pitfalls of For Sale by Owner
Many homeowners think that selling their home alone without the help of a real estate agent will help save them money in the end. The fact of the matter is that selling your home on your own isn't easy work. In fact, you may actually lose a substantial amount of money when you try to swell your pockets you aren't formerly trained in the business of real estate.
A Realtor can not only save you money, they can save you time and stress so that you can make the transition from one house to the other as smoothly as possible.
Putting Your Home on the Market
Did you think you could erect a “for sale by owner” sign and everything else would be smooth sailing? While this is a start, there is a lot more to it. Many homeowners learn about multiple listing services, which is basically an index of homes that are on the market and then pay about a few hundred dollars to have their home listed. When calls don't start flooding in inquiring about the home many sellers wonder what the problem is.
The problem is that it takes more than a listing to get Realtors to visit your home with their clients. Realtors are loyal to other Realtors--that's just the way it works. Also, when you work with a Realtor he or she may be able to network with others to be sure that your home is getting as much exposure as possible, all for the price of the sales commission. A Realtor will also have other avenues to explore with listing your home on the Internet and locally.
The Value of Your Home
Sellers lose money when they attempt to sell their home on their own because they don’t know the true market value. A Realtor knows all of the current market values and trends and can help you get the most for your home no matter what the market situation is.
The majority of people in the market for a home go with a Realtor; in fact 80% of buyers work with a Realtor because the Realtor has a good reputation and they need help maneuvering the real estate market. If you put a sign in your yard, in the newspaper, or on bulletin boards in various areas buyers have no idea who they are dealing with. Though a buyer may be able to get a good deal on a home that is for sale by owner, they are leery of working with someone that they don't know and may or may not have real estate experience.
As you can see, there are many reasons to work with a real estate agent instead of trying to sell your home on your own. While a Realtor may take as much as 6% of the selling price, this is peanuts for all of the work and stress that they are saving you from.
Just think; the legal paper work, home inspections, showing your home, and marketing with other Realtors to sell your home as quickly as possible for a reasonable price is what a Realtor does and simply stated what you cannot accomplish.