A home inspection includes looking closely, paperwork, and the crawlspace

Rent to Own & other buyer questions…

by | Dec 11, 2016 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:

Saturday January 7, 2017 , from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Monday night, January 9th , from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, January 21st , from 10am-1pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (SR-500 & 112th/Gher Rd)

If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….
….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website

Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  😀
Happy Saturday…er…sorry, SUNDAY night…

Another quick reminder that we have our Winter Client Appreciation coming up!  Chris Berg and I are honored to invite you to Star Wars: Rogue One on Saturday, 12/17 from 3pm-6pm (time could change slightly for Star Wars).

Please let Jennifer Komp at jkomp@pcmloan.com, or Jennifer Cobb at jkcobbllc@yahoo.com, know that you would like to attend and they will send you the link to get your tickets.  😀  Tickets are first for current, and past clients…then we will open them up for future clients.  They are first come, first served…and no assigned seating.  Chris and I want you to know that we appreciate you!  We appreciate your trust, your friendship, and your referrals!  So…come watch a movie with us!!  😀

Today was my youngest daughters 7th birthday…time certainly does fly, doesn’t it?  What does Ferris Bueller say?  If you don’t stop every once in awhile, that life is going to pass you by???

We had our last class of the year yesterday.  So weird because it always comes so quickly…. with the holidays coming up we try not to do any classes during the last couple of weeks of the year, and will pick them back up in January.  We already have our classes scheduled for next year.  I like to plan ahead. That being said… if none of the classes work for you, you can always contact me, or Chris Berg, and we will be happy to set up a ‘special’ class for you, or meet with you to go over your questions.  😀

….and talking about questions… I received an email this evening from a young man who took the class earlier today.  It was an excellent email with some very good questions, so I decided to share it with you tonight, and my answers.  I firmly believe that if someone asked a question, then there is usually someone else wondering the same thing, and isn’t what this email blog is supposed to be for?  I am always here to answer your questions, and help in any way I can.  If you need further information…or if there is something I can go into further detail with/for you… just give me a holler.  I feel that information should always be shared, and not hoarded.

“Subject: Thanks Tracie…

I know you’re busy tonight, but I wanted to ask these last few questions before I got busy and forgot. What are your thoughts on Rent to own homes? Are they just as competitive in the current market? Open Houses: Do you have to be approved to tour an open house? And How do Realtors feel about the unapproved taking a tour? Do you have to have an impeccable work history? Is there an acceptable amount of debt to income? I hope you don’t have to sound like a broken record here lol…. but, What is the best way to shop? How picky can I afford to be? How much home is to much home? (Just trying to get in the right mindset is all) Have a good evening Tracie,”

Hi there~

Let me break down your questions one by one and we will go from there…  🙂

What are your thoughts on Rent to own homes?
About 13 years ago I used to work for a well known local builder.  The particular builder kept about 60 lease option homes at a time…sometimes more, but never less. He called these the ‘cash cows’ because rarely does the person leasing the property end up buying them.
The person wanting to lease the home would put down a chunk of money for a deposit.
As long as the person paid their rent ‘on time’ a small portion (about $50) would go in an account in case they purchased the home.

The person leasing the home could do no changes to the home, but were responsible for all the utilities and half the property taxes.
The builder would cover homeowners insurance, but the person leasing the home was required to carry renters insurance of at least a certain amount
The person leasing the home had a certain amount of time in which to buy the home at an already determined price.  IF the person did not buy the home at that time ALL moneys were forfeit to the builder.

He sold maybe 3-5 a year to the people leasing the home…the rest of the folks would lose all the funds they had put in, and move on.

Here’s the catch….for lease options they usually do want a significant chunk of change down.  You are renting the home until you can buy it, and if you don’t buy it….you lose everything.  The purchase price is usually already determined, but what happens when you want to buy if it can’t appraise for that much?  The lease is only good for a specified amount of time….then it is ‘put up, or get out’ time.

I am not a fan of the ‘lease option’ idea because I have seen the downside of it….and had to receive those phone calls from the people leasing the home….angry, distraught, freaked out….it wasn’t fun.  🙁

For many people though, the idea of the lease option is attractive because it feels like they are getting somewhere with the home buying adventure.  The experience I had working with that was that it usually set them back.  IF the concern is your credit….well, they person leasing is still going to pull that.  My suggestion would be to call a lender like Chris Berg (cberg@pcmloan.com or 503-320-0925) and ask him to go over your credit report with you.  You might not be as far off as you think.  He can also help you get your credit in order so you can buy a home.  Sometimes the concern is down payment, but most people are going to lease a home also want a chunk of change put down.  There are some great loans, grants, and other programs to help people with their down payments….so there is that there.

Do you have to be approved to tour an open house? And How do Realtors feel about the unapproved taking a tour?
You do not have to be pre-approved to check out open houses…in fact the agent working the open house is hoping that you are not pre-approved or working with another agent because THEY want your business.  Weirdly enough open houses are not there to sell the house…in many cases, that house already has a bunch of offers!  So why does an agent sit at the open house if they have offers (and even if they don’t)?  Marketing….  open houses are simply ways for the agent to market for unattached buyers.  Most open houses have sign up sheets that they will ask you to sign.  The agent then uses the sign up sheet as a way to contact you to try to get your business.  I usually tell my clients that if they are going to open houses to use my name on the sign up sheet, to tell the agent holding the open house that they are working with me, or to use fake names/numbers if they don’t want to be bothered. 🙂

Do you have to have an impeccable work history? Is there an acceptable amount of debt to income? 
These are good questions for Chris.  😀  His email address is cberg@pcmloan.com and his number is 503-320-0925.  Each loan program, and assistance program has different rules and amounts.  There is no “one size fits all” with lending.  🙂

What is the best way to shop? 
The best way to shop for a home is to get pre-approved (very important 2nd step as the 1st step is always the Free Community Home Buyer Education Classes).  Once you are pre-approved with a and to sit down with a Realtor to go over what you want in a home.  What are your top 3 things you are hoping to find in YOUR home?  What is your price range that you are wanting to look in?  Everyone wants as much as they can get for their price range, and that is fair…but you don’t get T-Bone Steak for the price of Ground Chuck.  You need to be realistic in what home you are going to get for your price range.  Some of the bigger homes may need a lot more work…so you have to ask yourself if you are going to have the money to do that work, the time needed to do it, and what are you willing to do?  Some of the smaller homes may be more ‘move in ready’.  Once you are pre-approved, and you’ve hired an agent to help you, then both of you will be looking on www.rmls.com for homes that will work for the home you want, and the price range you want to buy in.  It’s like having those two big circles….  OO …  One is price range…and one is homes you want… where they overlap (we will pretend those 2 O’s overlap there a little bit, ok?) …then those are the homes you look at with your agent.  You agent will make appointments, and together you will go look at those homes.

How picky can I afford to be?
This, my friend, is a loaded question…  your picky may not be that picky at all… or it may be unreasonable.  You may say that you want a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, move in ready condition with new(er) windows, a new(er) roof, new(er) siding…in essence you want a new home….but you only want to spend $230,000….that is pretty unreasonable.  EVERY home is going to have issues, and going to need some work.  You, as the buyer, need to know to what level you are willing to, or can, do some work.  A lot of this also depends on the price range you are looking in (the higher your price range, the nicer the homes get.), and what type of home you want in your price range.  Everyone always says that they wish they were ‘approved for just a little more’ so they can get what they want.  Sadly…this isn’t the case…. I have a client pre-approved for $400,000 and can’t find anything in their price range they would want to buy.  The issue isn’t being approved for more money… the issue is finding the best home for you in the price range that you are approved for.

How much home is too much home?  
Ummm….you’re killing me here!  😀  Again, this is a loaded question as it depends on your needs.  I have had clients who needed/wanted HUGE (well, huge to me) homes for just one or two people.  I have had clients with four kids who could have purchased larger homes, but fell in love with something ‘cozier’.  What are you looking for in your home?  How much home do you need?  Personally, I hate paying for space that I am not using…  I don’t want to pay for it…either in mortgage, or heating, or cooling.  I am cheap.  LOL  I have clients who insist on formal dining rooms, or extra guest rooms.  I can’t tell you what is too much home because I don’t know how you are going to live in it.  😀  I think this would go back to what your top 3 things you want in a home are.

I don’t know if this all makes sense, or if it is helpful.  I am hoping it is.  If you have questions, or want to talk more about it… I am here for that.  I’m happy to help in any way I can.  Some people really aren’t sure about what type of home they want….they have a general idea… but sometimes looking at homes can help define that.  Sometimes being a Realtor is helping clients find what they want in a home so that we can help them find THE home.  We wear lots of different hats…  LOL

So there is his email…and my response to his emailed questions.  I hope it helped him…and I hope it helps you too.  Have a great night!

Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you.  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  AND If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  
 As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  Your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.

If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email,  text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!

Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.

.   ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…

Upcoming Topics: What happens after an offer is made?
Last Week:  Escrow Accounts & what they do

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,