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Nearly Half of U.S. Renters Are Burdened by Housing Costs

Nearly Half of U.S. Renters Are Burdened by Housing Costs

Over the past ten years, the American economy has been on a rapid rise, yet more and more people are struggling to afford rent. According to the new report published by Apartment List, almost half of American renter households can be classified as cost-burdened, spending more than the recommended 30% of their incomes on rent.

Share of cost burdened renters

Essentially half of renter households are still spending more than the recommended amount on their housing costs, while nearly one in four spends at least half of their household income on rent. The number of cost-burdened households reached an all-time high in 2014, even though the cost burden rate was improving. Luckily, the number of rent-burdened households has started to fall and is currently lower than the 2014 peak by 774,000 households. Importantly, 2017 was the first year since 2010 that the number of unburdened renter households decreased, indicating that this year’s improvement in the cost burden rate reflects genuine improvement rather than compositional change. That said, the total number of rent-burdened households remains higher than the 2007 level by 3.1 million households.

In North Carolina, the overall cost burden rate fell from 46.9% to 46.4%. This is well below the national average than the national average of 49.5%.

Rental Housing Cost burden rate is decreasing in the Durham metro area.

According to Apartment List’s report, Durham has the nation’s #41 highest cost burden rate. The cost burden rate decreased from 51.2% in 2016 to 49.4% in 2017. This in turn makes Durham the #41 highest cost burden rate of the nation’s 100 largest metros. 25.0% of renter households in Durham are severely cost-burdened, while 24.4% are moderately burdened. The of cost-burdened renter households in Durham has increased by 9,573 since 2007.

In contrast, the rental Housing cost burden rate is increasing in the Raleigh metro area.

Raleigh has the nation’s #8 lowest cost burden rate.  Yet, the cost burden rate in Raleigh increased from 42.1% in 2016 to 42.5% in 2017. Raleigh has the #8 lowest cost burden rate of that nation’s 100 largest metros. 17.7% of renter households in Raleigh are severely cost-burdened, while 24.8% are moderately burdened. The number of cost-burdened renter households in Raleigh has increased by 13,787 since 2007.

Cost burden rates tend to be highest in coastal areas with high housing costs.

Miami has a cost burden rate of 62.7 percent, the highest of the nation’s 100 largest metros. Nearly one in three cost-burdened renters (30.8 percent) lives in California, New York or Florida. In 20 of the 25 largest metros, a household earning the median renter income would be cost-burdened by the median rent.

Rental Trends: Raleigh vs National Comparisons

Luckily, the number of rent-burdened households has started to fall and is currently lower than the 2014 peak by 774,000 households. That said, the total number of rent-burdened households remains higher than the 2007 level by 3.1 million households.

Signs of improvement can also be seen when we compare growth in the median renter income to growth in the median rent. The chart below shows that the median renter income grew faster than the median rent for the sixth straight year.

rental income gap closing with rent growth

At last, Apartment List explored the relationship between income growth and cost-burden increase. Below is a chart that demonstrates that when income growth outpaces rent growth, cost burden rates will tend to fall. In the Triangle, income has been growing faster than rents, due to the booming job market in the area, which in turn affects the cost burden rate in the Triangle. Large technology companies and vast job opportunities in science and academia make the Research Triangle surrounding Raleigh appealing to new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grads. Combined with relatively low housing prices, the Triangle is the next go-to destination for tech workers around the nation. Despite rapidly increasing rent prices, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are still more affordable than most tech centers.

Cost burden increases when rent grows faster than income

A lack of affordable housing in areas of economic opportunity remains one of the most pressing issues. Households that struggle to pay rent oftentimes have to cut back other basic necessities, which can result in adverse and long-lasting consequences. While the data do show some improvement, there is still much left to accomplish to ensure that everyone can comfortably afford a place to rest their head.

Real Estate Experts Property Management Company

It’s important to understand what is involved in renting your home, especially if you haven’t done it before. Don’t let that deter you, or intimidate you!  A great property management company is an important part of

the equation, and Real Estate Experts has the knowledge and expertise to help you handle all of the details.

Related Posts: Property Managers Can Make You Money…;Rental Property ManagementAre you thinking of renting out your property?

Property Managers Can Make You Money…

Property Managers Can Make You Money…

property managers

 

If you’re thinking of renting out your house, consider this.  Residential property managers can help make and save you money in these five ways.

Property Managers keep your property occupied

Property managers can help minimize vacancies in your rental property. Decreasing vacancies by finding long-term tenants is a way property managers can help you save and make more money. What’s more, is that property managers can help reduce turnover. Turnovers cost money! Paying for advertisement and the cost of fixing any prior tenant damages certainly strains your wallet.

One of the biggest turnoffs in owning a rental property is that you may not always have tenants. Which is to say, you won’t always have money coming in from your investment.

Property Managers help work through legalities

There are a whole host of laws pertaining to the rental market. If you don’t abide by these laws, it’s possible you can run into legal trouble.  The best property management companies knows these laws, and might even have legal consult on their staff!

property managersProperty Managers screen tenants to rent your property to only the best

Most property management companies will use a screening technique to make sure your investment is rented out only to the best tenants. That way, they can protect you from legal issues like a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Property Managers market your property

Being a landlord is, essentially, like running a business! Having a property manager means you’ll have a hand in marketing your “business”.  The best property management companies have been through the process many times, meaning they’ll be able to effectively market your property because they’ve got experience and they use the latest technologies to reach a maximum number of tenant prospects.

Property Managers handle all  maintenance issues

Some property management companies’ include maintenance costs in their management fees. Why not take advantage of that?

The best property management companies have a network of contractors who can take care of the maintenance issues for you.  A network of contractors can also be useful in getting discounts, especially as the management company will need a contractor for more than one property.

Real Estate Experts Property Management Division

At Real Estate Experts, we do things to set ourselves apart from other property management companies.  The foundation of our business is that, “no rental property is going to get beat up on our watch.”  To ensure this does not happen, we do something that no other property management companies do; we inspect the outside of the property monthly and we go inside quarterly.  Maintaining your investment is our highest priority.

It’s important to understand what is involved in renting your home, especially if you haven’t done it before. Don’t let that deter you, or intimidate you!  A great property management company is an important part of the equation, and Real Estate Experts has the knowledge and expertise to help you handle all of the details.  Here is a short list of what we do.  Here is a taste of what we do:

  • An in-depth interview with you allows us to modify a lease to accommodate your specific property needs and keep you protected.
  • All advertising, property showings, credit-criminal checks for quality tenants is our mission.
  • We provide you with a monthly income-expense report along with your monthly check.
  • Monthly/Bimonthly inspections of your property
  • Prepare the right lease that will meet your property and financial requirements
  • We answer your tenants’ calls 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
  • Take care of any and all maintenance issues.

The best news, we do not charge an upfront management fee like other property management companies.  Call us and ask us about our fees and what we do to attract Realtors to show our rental listings.  We do above and beyond to bring our property owners the best service possible.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Learn How to Be a Great Landlord

Learn How to Be a Great Landlord

So, you want to become a landlord?

Welcome to Club Landlord! Turning your home into an investment property surely has some benefits. To reap the benefits of owning a rental property, it’s important to be a great landlord. Follow these five steps, and you’ll be thriving as a landlord in no time.

Have Excellent Marketing

Vacancies are a headache. They’re a landlord’s most common stressor, but vacancies are completely unnecessary. With excellent marketing, you’ll find vacancies in your investment property less and less. What does excellent marketing mean, in terms of rental properties?

Excellent marketing means knowing what the maximum price for a rental property might be. It also means attractively presenting the property by showing its best advantages and strengths. Getting the listing out in front of as many people as possible is another important point of marketing a rental property. You will also want to be sure to answer inquiries on showing the home promptly; prospective tenants love a responsive landlord.

Get the Right Tenants

Speaking of tenants, you’ll only want to rent your property out to the right tenants. Beginning with excellent marketing, there’s a process to getting the right tenants. This process includes thoroughly vetting applicants, including credit checks, criminal background checks, income verification, and reference checks.

By doing these things, you’ll ensure your investment property is housing the right tenants.

Preserve the Assets

be a great landlord

Having the right tenants means you won’t have to worry about the condition of your property (as much). Even so, you’ll want to protect the value of your asset. Choosing the right tenant means choosing someone who will take good care of your property. Preserving the investment property continues with regular inspections, and prompt maintenance when needed by skilled, trustworthy contractors at a good price.

On-point Accounting

Automatic drafting, online payments and receipts are a baseline of convenience for both you and your tenant. Proper trust accounting on security deposits keeps you on the right side of the law. Rent reminders and immediate follow-up on any late payments ensure that you always get paid.

Lastly, thorough bookkeeping allows you to capitalize on the matchless deductibles allowed on rental property, turning tax time from burdensome to profitable.

Routinely Doing Steps 1-4

There’s only one way to do all of these things easily, and that’s to hire an excellent property management company, that you trust explicitly, to do them for you. Seal the deal on an effective and less stressful rental is to find a property management company.

The good news is that a property management company would have your back. At Real Estate Experts, we offer property management services that would fit your every maintenance, property service, and management your rental needs.

Real Estate Experts

Our property management team is ready to hear from you if you’re looking to turn your home into a rental or investment property.

At Real Estate Experts, you pay zero lease-up fee, which means we don’t get paid until you do. Once your property is leased, we charge at the bottom end of the spectrum, just 8% of the rent. And that’s our only fee, ever. Not only do we provide some of the cheapest rates, but I also feel confident telling you that we provide the best service you can get.

In order to charge the least and give the most, we can only work with excellent clients. Learn what’s required to be a Real Estate Experts client.

Moving? Consider Renting Out Your Home

Moving? Consider Renting Out Your Home

When you’re relocating, many people assume this means they need to sell their home. Of course, you want the money your home is worth so you can pour it into your new home. But is this truly your only option? In some cases, there’s another option. Consider renting out your home!

Maybe you’ve had your house on the market for a while, but you haven’t gotten any bites. Maybe you need to move quickly, and you haven’t had time to market your house properly. Whatever your reasons or your situation, there are benefits to renting your home out.

Why you should consider renting your home out

We know real estate is a good way to make income, make investments, and boost your wealth. All three things sound pretty great, right?

Some people use the equity they’ve built in one house and use it against their next. Buying a house is an incredibly large expense, so it makes sense you might want to use what you’ve built in one house to pay for the next. The option of investment stands, though. You can turn your home into an investment property, reaping the benefits of the added income renting the home brings along.

Turning your home into an investment property surely has some benefits.

The benefits of renting your home out

For starters, you may be able to get better interest rates for your mortgage. You can try talking with several mortgage lenders to find one who will work with you in your individual situation and help you make a financially responsible decide with your property.

You also have the knowledge of potential renters because you’ve lived in the area for a while. At least, for some period of time. You know to market your property, you know it’s strengths and weaknesses, and you can help your favorite real estate professional get to know the property better, too.

Because you’re living in the home before you move (for most situations), you have a chance to fix the property while you’re still living there. Repairs, updates, and new appliances are some issues you can tackle. However, if

renting your home out

you wait until the property is rented out, it’s entirely possible more expensive repairs can be written off with the help of whoever your financial consultant may be.

So, you’re thinking of renting out your home?

Welcome to Club Landlord. There’s work involved here which doesn’t involve extra income. Instead it involves some challenges like finding tenants, finding good contractors, late payments, and more. Maintenance can be difficult, especially when you’re not around to witness the scenes or situations requiring maintenance. Not to mention, there is a financial cost associated with owning a rental property.

There are times when your property will be vacant. There are times when your property will be damaged, or otherwise. One way to seal the deal on an effective and less stressful rental is to find a property management company.

The good news is that a property management company would have your back. At Real Estate Experts, we offer property management services that would fit your every maintenance, property service, and management your rental needs.

Real Estate Experts

Our property management team is ready to hear from you if you’re looking to turn your home into a rental or investment property.

At Real Estate Experts, you pay zero lease-up fee, which means we don’t get paid until you do. Once your property is leased, we charge at the bottom end of the spectrum, just 8% of the rent. And that’s our only fee, ever. Not only do we provide some of the cheapest rates, but I also feel confident telling you that we provide the best service you can get.

In order to charge the least and give the most, we can only work with excellent clients. Learn what’s required to be a Real Estate Experts client.

 

Rent to Own Homes: the Who, What, When, Where, and Why

Rent to Own Homes: the Who, What, When, Where, and Why

Most people aren’t familiar with the option to rent-to-own homes, instead more are familiar with rent-to-own appliances. Like leasing a car to own, you can rent a house to own. Let’s break down rent-to-own agreements, and how they benefit both the seller and buyer.

Rent to Own Homes: the Basics

Rent-to-own homes are similar to car leases that end in ownership. The seller of the house gives the renter or tenant the option to buy the property sometime in the future. The time of sale is typically one to three years in the future with the price agreed upon at the beginning of the contract.

Essentially, the lease agreement on the rent to own home is the same as a standard lease but there’s a very important addition. This addition is termed “option money” which is the money tenants/buyers can use against the house in the future. Option money might be anywhere from 15-20% of the rent fee for the house. So, if you’re renting a house that’s priced at $1200 per month, you’d be paying $1440 per month, with the additional $240 going toward the purchase of the house at a later date.

Your rent money works for you, here, because it acts as a credit which will reduce the final purchase price of the house.

Sample Terms of a Rent to Own Contract Otherwise Called a Lease Purchase Agreement

Rent-to-own contracts aren’t one size fits all, but there are a handful of purchase terms you can expect to be present.

  • Option money: this is a one time fee that allows a buyer to purchase the house in the future. Some contracts present this as an option for tenants to purchase later on, but not an obligation to do so.
  • Purchase price: the price of the home will surely be in the contract of the rent-to-own agreement. The seller will determine the price.
  • Rent: payment for the monthly fee of renting the house will be determined in the contract, too. Rent in a rent-to-own situation is typically higher than what the rent would normally be, but that’s because the buyer is putting money away to purchase the house later on.
  • Maintenance: it depends on whether the seller or buyer will pay for maintenance costs. This will surely be determined in the contract. The potential buyer may be responsible for maintenance, repairs, and association fees or insurance. It’s also possible the seller will retain responsibility for these things, though the buyer will need renter’s insurance.
  • Purchasing the property: at the end of the lease or agreement, the buyer can purchase the house or opt not to purchase it. However, should the buyer decide not to purchase the property, they do have to give up the money paid until that point in time. Should they decide to purchase the property, the end of the lease is the time to do so. They can then apply for financing and finally purchase the home!

Advantages for the Landlord

Of course, there are advantages for the landlord in rent-to-own situations. For one thing, sellers and landlords of rent-to-own homes have the benefit of long-term renters. Anyone entering into a rent-to-own agreement will be around for a while; after all, they’re putting money down on the house. They’ll want to stick around, at least for the terms of their agreement. Remember, that’s around one to three years, so the landlord is guaranteed a revenue stream at the very minimum.

On the subject of a revenue stream, landlords also get the added benefit of no gap-time between renters. Since the tenants are hoping to purchase the house at the end of their lease (or they have the option to), landlords don’t have to worry their property will be left vacant for long periods of time. What’s more? They know the tenants are motivated renters, which is to say their behavior as tenants will be top notch.

If you’re thinking of renting out your home, Real Estate Experts would be happy to discuss how we manage properties and our fees.  We pride ourselves on being different and providing services that go above and beyond.

Advantages for the Renter or Buyer

Being a tenant in a rent-to-own home isn’t without benefits, either. Rent becomes an investment, for one thing. Your money begins to work for you because you are actively saving towards the purchase price of the home.

Poor credit history may not be an issue, either. Even if you have bad credit, a rent-to-own agreement gives you the flexibility to build up your credit, and repair bad credit. As there isn’t a finance company or bank involved, credit becomes less of an issue. You also build equity towards home ownership, which is valuable of course.

There is a one very important thing a buyer needs to know.  There are no real estate forms for a rent to own homes, or a lease purchase, situation.  Because the agreement can be tailored to whatever the buyer and landlord negotiate, this contract has to be drafted by a Real Estate Attorney.  This is done at the buyers expense unless you can negotiate something with the landlord.

Real Estate Experts

Determining if rent-to-own is the right choice for you can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Working alongside a great real estate professional can help you decide if the property is a good investment. With a professional’s help, the rent-to-own agreement will be thorough and all details will be ironed out carefully.

At Real Estate Experts, we are fierce representatives for our clients and known as expert buyer agents.  Contact us and see how we can help you find just the home you are looking for. To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings, click here, and feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected].

Are you thinking of renting out your property?

Are you thinking of renting out your property?

Then you’ll need a great property management company…

It’s important to understand what is involved in renting your home, especially if you haven’t done it before. Don’t let that deter you, or intimidate you!  A great property management company is an important part of the equation, and Real Estate Experts has the knowledge and expertise to help you handle all of the details.

But how do you choose a property management company? We’ve got the answers to that, too.

Where to Start When Choosing a Property Management Company

It’s a good idea to start with a list of local property management companies in your area. With that list in hand, you can start your research process online. Check out their reviews, and focus on companies that have lots of five star reviews. When people write rave reviews about the service they’ve received, you can hedge your bets on the company being on point. A few one star reviews shouldn’t freak you out, because some people have negative things to say about everything. As long as the overwhelming majority of reviews are really positive, put them on your “to call” list.

Creating Your “To Call” List of Property Managers

Next up on your to-do list of picking a great property management company is to give two or three of the best reviewed companies a phone call. If you don’t hear back promptly, move on. If they can’t be bothered to serve you well before another company, why should you expect them to once they’ve locked you in? This is a great move to protect your interests.

Once you being talking with a representative, there are three questions you should absolutely ask. There are some property management companies that cut corners in these areas, which makes these questions important to discuss.

  1. Do you respond to tenant inquiries the same day?
  2. Do you regularly physically inspect the property? (A quarterly interior inspection is a minimum. We do this and a monthly exterior check.)
  3. What do you do when a tenant is late on rent? (If you don’t hear the words “immediate phone call” and “notice to vacate,” don’t hire them. If you want someone to be soft and sloppy with your money…ask a friend to manage your property for free. You’re paying a professional to be professional.)

If the prospective company answers these questions affirmatively and confidently, you’ve got a great property management company on your hands. Finally, there’s one more question to ask.

Discussing Fees With a Prospective Property Management Company

The fee you’ll be paying to the property management company is important to discuss. Not only because it’s important to know information up front and figure that into your budget, but it’s also important to know what the prospective company expects. Eight to ten percent of rent collected is a pretty standard fee for property managers. Most companies also charge a “lease-up” fee, frequently half or more of the first month’s rent, to cover all the upfront work of getting a tenant in place.

Real Estate Experts

At Real Estate Experts, you pay zero lease-up fee, which means we don’t get paid until you do. Once your property is leased, we charge at the bottom end of the spectrum, just 8% of the rent. And that’s our only fee, ever. Not only do we provide some of the cheapest rates, but I also feel confident telling you that we provide the best service you can get.

In order to charge the least and give the most, we can only work with excellent clients. Learn what’s required to be a Real Estate Experts client.

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