renting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4006/all en-US 9 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_surfboard_beach_17775322.jpg" alt="Kids finding ways to earn an extra $1000 this summer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to boost your bottom line this summer? Pick up one of these gigs to put $1,000 or more in your pocket before the season is over.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Dumb Ways You're Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></p> <h2>1. Take Tests Online</h2> <p>If you fancy chilling inside in the A/C instead of baking under the beautiful sun, consider&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usertesting.com">taking online tests</a> to help build up your bank account. As a tester, you're paid $10 for each 20-minute test you complete. A test involves browsing and providing feedback on a website that is selected for you. Your feedback on the websites design and usability is recorded and at the end of the test you are asked to answer four simple questions. Earning $10 per test, you could easily work early mornings or late evenings for two to three hours (three to six tests) per day. At that rate, you would reach $1,000 in less than 20 days. Hold steady and you're looking at easily making $2,000 to $3,000 this summer.</p> <h2>2. Become an Event Staffer in Your Area</h2> <p>When I was in college, I worked at the local minor league baseball stadium during home games, and with my working wage plus tips, I pulled in a couple thousand dollars over the course of the regular season. If sports aren't your thing (although that aspect shouldn't matter since <em>money</em> is your real thing), poke around for other event-staffing gigs, like working concessions at concerts, cleanup crews for stadium and field events, and security if you look like you could hurt somebody.</p> <h2>3. Register for a Camp Counselor Position</h2> <p>I was a camp counselor during the summer for nearly a decade &mdash; before the very sight of children gave me debilitating migraines &mdash; and I always pulled in good cash, plus free food and lodging. At the very low end of it, I made about $300 per week at a five-day sleepaway camp (of which there were three per summer) up to about $3,000 for an eight-week session. It's not hard work (it can actually be a lot of fun!), and you'll make lifelong friends and memories &mdash; once those little buggers go to sleep, of course.</p> <h2>4. Share Your Knowledge as an Online Tutor</h2> <p>Think you're a smarty pants? Trade your wisdom for cold, hard cash as a tutor.</p> <p>&quot;While you may need a teaching certificate for elementary, high school, and college subjects, many sites that help international students learn English as a second language do not require a degree or certificate,&quot; says Angie Nelson of TheWorkAtHomeWife.com.</p> <p>The number of hours you work will be according to your schedule and how much demand there is, but you can expect to earn at least $10 an hour at most places, if not more.</p> <h2>5. Turn Your Car Into a Taxi or Delivery Service</h2> <p>Lyft and Uber are so passe.</p> <p>If you want to participate in the turn-your-personal-vehicle-into-a-cash-cow economy &mdash; but don't want to drive drunk people around all day &mdash; look into becoming a freelance delivery person.</p> <p>&quot;The gig economy is the hot trend this summer, but not everyone likes the idea of being someone else's personal chauffeur through Lyft or Uber,&quot; says business expert Mike Catania. &quot;Good news &mdash; there are other gig-based jobs out there: Postmates pays their errand-based drivers $12/hour plus tips, and residents around San Francisco, New York, Chicago, or L.A. can be a courier for Shyp, where you can expect to make around $16/hr.&quot;</p> <p>Just log 70 to 90 hours of road time with these services to reach your $1,000 goal.</p> <h2>6. Pick Up Odd Jobs on Craigslist</h2> <p>Don't forget about good ol' Craigslist to make some quick bucks. When I was in college, I used to help elderly folks in their gardens, among other odd jobs here and there. Even today, Craigslist is still an excellent resource for picking up side work. If you dedicated an entire summer to picking up gigs, there's no doubt that you'll reach your $1,000 goal.</p> <h2>7. Rent Out Extra Space in Your Home</h2> <p>I feel like I talk about this nonstop, but if you really want to juice up your summer earnings, rent out the extra space you have in your home. Could be a spare bedroom, or just your couch &mdash; if you live in an area to which people travel, somebody will rent the space if your accommodations are nice enough. I've been doing this for about eight years now, and I've made hundreds of thousands of dollars. Surely you can pull off $1,000 in a summer. At $50 a night &mdash; which is incredibly reasonable for a small bedroom &mdash; you'll only need to book 20 nights, and it's easy work with the help of sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and Roomorama.</p> <h2>8. Watch Other People's Pets</h2> <p>I started watching other people's pets last spring using sites like DogVacay and Rover, and it's a fun and easy way to make $1,000 this summer if you keep your prices below the nearest competition but still competitive.</p> <p>If you want to add a little philanthropy to your efforts, check out the pet-sitting website called&nbsp;<a href="http://sittingforacause.com/">Sitting for a Cause</a>. The site connects pet owners with pet care professionals, then facilitates bookings and payments through the site. It charges a 10% commission fee, which is 5% to 10% lower than DogVacay and Rover, and donates 50% of its profits to animal related causes. Depending on the services you choose to offer, you can earn anywhere from $20 to $100 per client per day.</p> <h2>9. Rent Out Your Clothing</h2> <p>Have the kind of style that other people would pay for, ladies? Rent out your clothes.</p> <p><a href="http://www.garment-exchange.com/">Garment Exchange</a> is the first community driven peer-to peer marketplace that allows women nationwide to rent their clothing for money. The site facilitates wardrobe sharing by providing all of the packaging and insurance, and handles the communication. It provides clothing owners 80% commission of the rental. Most women rent their items for 20% of the current retail rate.</p> <p>On average, women have over 250 articles of clothing in their closet, which could mean serious income potential on items you wear less frequently.</p> <p><em>Do you have other bright ideas on how to make $1,000 this summer? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-summer-side-jobs-for-new-grads">6 Smart Summer Side Jobs for New Grads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-introverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-retirement-jobs">6 Great Retirement Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income craigslist extra money gig economy pet sitting renting side jobs summer summer jobs Tutoring Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1731287 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_thinking_house_59055710.jpg" alt="Man making moves to break his lease" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most renters understand that a lease benefits them as much as it does landlords, since it protects both parties. However, if you need to break that lease, you could be on the receiving end of some tough penalties and legal actions. Don't panic yet, though &mdash; there are moves that could save you a lot of money&hellip; and your sanity.</p> <h2>1. Find New Tenants for the Landlord</h2> <p>The biggest issue landlords have with breaking a lease is the loss of income. The landlord has overhead, including a mortgage payment, HOA costs, water, and more, and they all have to be covered even when the property is empty. This is why there are penalties for breaking a lease &mdash; to cover the landlord against loss.</p> <p>However, if you are proactive and find good tenants to replace you, it's very possible the landlord will waive the fees and let you break the lease. After all, you have brought in new tenants, saving the landlord time and effort, and in most cases, extending the time the property will be filled. (If your lease expires in July, but you bring in someone to rent from March-February of the following year, you've done the landlord a favor).</p> <h2>2. Plead Your Extenuating Circumstances</h2> <p>Landlords are people, too. If you're renting from a big property management firm, you won't have much luck. But if it's an individual, arrange a time to sit and chat, and explain the reasons why you have to break the lease. Be open, be honest, and see what happens. If you have to break the lease to move back home with an ailing parent or relative, the landlord could be very sympathetic, and may do something for you (cutting the early termination fee in half, or waiving it completely). But, don't lie. Making up some bleeding heart story could backfire, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask" target="_blank">you don't want an angry landlord</a> as an enemy, especially when they have the law on their side.</p> <h2>3. Look for a Contract Breach</h2> <p>If you have to break the lease, you may well be within your rights to do so without any kind of termination fee &mdash; <em>if</em> the contract is, in fact, not being adhered to. Remember, the contract is for your protection as well as the landlord's, and the property should be safe and well-maintained. If you have been living with a broken refrigerator, a moldy bathroom, or any other type of problem that makes the property tough to live in, you can use it to your advantage.</p> <p>However, you cannot just ignore these issues for months and then decide to break the contract. You will need to provide evidence that you asked the landlord to address the issues. Also, take pictures, and keep copies of all correspondence. If you can show your requests for help fell on deaf ears, you will have a great case to break the lease without a fee.</p> <h2>4. Negotiate Payoff Terms for the Penalties</h2> <p>Early termination fees can be very scary. When you see a $1,500 lump sum, it can make you think twice about even considering it. However, landlords can be very flexible if they know they are going to get the money in a set amount of time. Consider asking for an installment payment plan for any early termination fees.</p> <h2>5. Use Your Security Deposit as a Bargaining Chip</h2> <p>You will have put down a substantial security deposit when you signed the lease. Usually, it's around one month's rent, and this can be just enough to cover the costs of the landlord while they find a new tenant. If the property is in a highly sought after location, it will not be empty for long, and that security deposit will more than cover any costs the landlord has. It's much easier for them to simply keep that deposit and avoid a bunch of paperwork, rather than trying to take you to court for fees.</p> <h2>6. Find a Sublet</h2> <p>Ready to become a landlord yourself for a while? Well, try subletting. Now, you may find that the contract forbids you to sublet the property, so you may have to talk to the landlord (or do it without saying anything, and hope for the best). As a general rule, landlords don't really care where the money comes from, as long as the property is well maintained and the tenants cause no trouble. And remember, if you sublet to someone who wrecks the place, that's all on you. Your name is on the lease, so the landlord is going to be reimbursed, either way.</p> <h2>7. Can You Blame the Neighbors or Surroundings?</h2> <p>Do the neighbors upstairs have parties until 4 a.m. every weekend (or worse, every day)? Do the neighbors harass you, or make life hell for you in general? Is the neighborhood itself in serious decline, and no longer a safe place to live? These are all conditions that you may be able to use to break the lease without a termination fee.</p> <p>Once again, you would have to prove that you asked the landlord to deal with the situation, and that nothing happened. But if you can prove the property became unlivable, you can argue you were &quot;<a href="http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2011/07/ask_an_expert_breaking_a_lease_over_neighbor_noise">constructively evicted from your property</a>.&quot; This is something that can go to court, so you need to be really buttoned-up, and will most likely require legal assistance.</p> <h2>Haggle Over the Early Termination Fee</h2> <p>Landlords would rather have some money than none at all. If you are going to have to pay $2,000 to break the lease, but can only afford $1,000, talk to the landlord about a lower penalty. This is easier to do with an individual than a property management company, as the latter has the backing of corporate funds and on-staff legal counsel. But&hellip; it's always worth a try.</p> <p><em>Have you ever broken a lease? How'd you get out of it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments breaking lease contracts landlords lease rental agreement renting sublet Wed, 22 Jun 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Paul Michael 1736373 at http://www.wisebread.com Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore? http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hammock_beach_000031567486.jpg" alt="Couple wondering if it makes sense to stay in a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying in a hotel isn't necessarily the cheapest option, especially when you're staying in a big city, like New York City. However, before you book that apartment on Airbnb, you should consider the various advantages of staying in a hotel.</p> <h2>Discounts Are Available</h2> <p>Airbnb is <a href="https://www.busbud.com/blog/airbnb-vs-hotel-rates/">not always the cheapest option</a>. Depending on where you stay, it may actually be more affordable to book a hotel. It can be very affordable to stay at a hotel using discounts, promo codes, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">hotel loyalty programs</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">credit card reward programs</a>, and express deals on bidding sites. While you may be able to get a promo code for your very first day on Airbnb, there generally aren't any promo codes available for short-term rentals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>You Can Complain</h2> <p>When you have a complaint at a hotel, all you have to do is call down to the lobby and let them know. If you want to take it one step further, you can ask to speak with a manager. This will usually result in discounts, upgrades, and just about whatever you ask for.</p> <p>When it comes to Airbnb, there is really nobody to complain to. If you are unhappy with your stay, you're stuck there anyways. At the end of your trip, if things don't go as planned, you may get a full or partial refund on your stay at a hotel. However, if you're booking a short-term rental, you likely won't get a discount.</p> <h2>You Only Have to Deal With Professionals</h2> <p>With Airbnb, you will likely have to deal with the hosts &mdash; before you book your trip and throughout your stay. Some hosts can be less than welcoming or accommodating. At a hotel, your interaction with hotel staff should be minimal, and they are expected to act in a professional, corporate manner.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Special Extras</h2> <p>You can expect a number of special extras when you stay at a hotel. These same extras aren't usually included in a short-term rental stay. Some of the most common extras you can often receive from a hotel include:</p> <ul> <li>Free soaps and shampoos (so you don't have to waste your own);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Endless clean towels and linen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Special treatment on special occasions (let them know if it's your birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary so that they go the extra mile for your trip);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fitness room or spa;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Business center;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel bar or restaurant;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Continental breakfast or buffet.</li> </ul> <h2>Hotels May Be Cleaner</h2> <p>We've all heard the horror stories of black light findings and rumors of how filthy hotel rooms can be. However, have you considered how clean an Airbnb apartment may be? The owners aren't held to any standards, so you may be sleeping in a bed with dirty linen or using old towels.</p> <p>At a hotel, you can expect daily housekeeping, whereas with Airbnb, you're on your own to make the bed, empty the trash, and clean up after yourself. This can result in a tidy hotel versus an unkempt and unorganized Airbnb apartment.</p> <h2>Hotels May Be Safer</h2> <p>When it comes to a hotel, only the front desk and housekeeping should have a key to your room, so you can rest assured that no one should be coming in at night. On the other hand, with Airbnb, you have no idea how many people have the key to the apartment you're staying in, which may might you feel uneasy at night. Hotels also usually have security on the premises, security cameras, computerized door entry cards, and even room safes for enhanced security.</p> <h2>Hotels Are More Relaxing</h2> <p>Staying at a hotel feels more like a vacation from everyday life. It is a break from the normal daily grind. On the other hand, staying in someone's home on Airbnb may feel more like staying at home, with similar responsibilities.</p> <h2>Flexible Stays</h2> <p>You can book a hotel room for as little as one night, whereas with Airbnb, you usually have to book multiple nights. If you are expecting a late night arrival, a hotel is usually very flexible with the check-in time, whereas an Airbnb apartment usually has early check-in times that cannot be negotiated.</p> <h2>Local Assistance</h2> <p>Many avid travelers have made the case for Airbnb that staying in someone's home will allow you to find local favorites and get expert recommendations from your host. However, you can get the same experience from a hotel. Simply ask the concierge for recommendations, directions, and advice about the area. Staying in a downtown or metro area will also automatically put you in touch with some of the best things the area has to offer.</p> <h2>You Get What You Pay For</h2> <p>If you don't get what you see in the hotel's description, you can simply complain and they'll have to hold up to their end of the deal. On the other hand, Airbnb descriptions and photographs can be very misleading, so you don't always get what you're expecting.</p> <h2>Is Airbnb Still the Best Choice?</h2> <p>There are still a number of important reasons to consider short-term rentals. According to Priceonomics, compared to the average hotel room, you can <a href="http://priceonomics.com/hotels/">save up to 50%</a> by renting a private room on Airbnb, and up to 22% by renting an apartment on Airbnb. Those are substantial savings. You'll also have access to an entire apartment, including a kitchen and living area, as opposed to just a cramped hotel room. If you'll be staying in a popular area, like New York City, make sure to carefully weigh your options to determine if a hotel or Airbnb is right for you.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other reasons to stay in a hotel? Have you had experiences at a hotel or Airbnb you'd like to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accomodations AirBnb apartments hotels loyalty programs renting trips vacations Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1718095 at http://www.wisebread.com The Only 5 Rules You Need to Know About Investing in Real Estate http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000074853063.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The numbers are impressive: The median existing home price for homes across the United States stood at $232,500 in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's up 6.3% from the same month one year earlier, and marks the 50th consecutive month in which median housing prices have increased from one year to the next.</p> <p>This steady rate of appreciation might inspire you to invest in residential real estate. After all, the performance of the housing market during the last four years has been far steadier than that of the stock market. But be careful: Sure, investing in real estate can be profitable &mdash; but it can also be risky. Investors who don't do their homework before sinking their dollars into homes could lose a bundle of money.</p> <p>Here are five rules you must know before <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-estate-investing-is-cheaper-and-easier-than-you-think" target="_blank">investing in real estate</a>.</p> <h2>1. Don't Let Your Emotions Betray You</h2> <p>Jamal Asskoumi, owner of the online real estate agency CastleSmart, says that too many inexperienced investors make the mistake of falling in love with a property for the way it looks. They then invest in it without running the numbers to make sure that the home has real potential to increase in value enough to make it a sound investment.</p> <p>Falling in love with a property can also cause investors to spend too much on it upfront, making it nearly impossible for them to make a profit after their purchase.</p> <p>&quot;Unlike stocks that are numbers on a screen, property must be liked and appreciated before it can be invested in, and this is the downfall of many investors,&quot; Asskoumi said. &quot;When visiting a property, investors sometimes become attached and feel as though they have to have it, regardless of the price. They end up paying more than what is necessary and lose on the investment.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Have Enough Money to Cover Both Known and Unknown Losses</h2> <p>Investing in real estate isn't cheap. You are buying a home, after all. But the real trouble spot for investors are the unexpected costs: If you rent out your investment, you never know what damage your tenants might cause. Fixing that damage could cost thousands of dollars.</p> <p>You also have to be prepared for possible losses. Housing values can go down as well as up. You need the financial cushion to handle these fluctuations, said Rocky Lalvani, a financial coach and founder of the Richer Soul financial blog.</p> <p>You also need the money to cover possible monthly losses until your property does appreciate enough in value for you to sell it and earn a big profit. Maybe your mortgage on the property you bought is $2,000 a month but you can only rent the home for $1,800 a month. You'll essentially be losing $200 a month while you wait for your investment to appreciate.</p> <p>&quot;Be prepared for losses; it's a cost of business,&quot; Lalvani said. &quot;Real estate may lose money in the short term while your asset is building over the long term.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Don't Rent to Just Anyone</h2> <p>Finding good tenants is one of the biggest challenges in investing in real estate. The wrong tenants could damage your property, stop paying their monthly rent, and force you to evict them, a process that is long and costly.</p> <p>That's why it's so important to do your research before renting out your home. Run the credit of potential tenants to determine if they've struggled to pay their bills before. Run criminal background checks, too, on potential tenants.</p> <p>Above all, never simply buy into the promises that potential tenants make to you.</p> <p>&quot;Tenants will literally lie about anything and everything,&quot; said Eric Bowlin, a real estate investor and founder of the real estate investing blog EricBowlin.com. &quot;Assume everyone has no job, no income, and a long eviction record, until otherwise proven.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Invest in the Right Neighborhood</h2> <p>You want to invest in an area in which homes are most likely to increase in value. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that any home, even if located in a desirable neighborhood, will be worth more 10 years from now than it is today.</p> <p>But investing in the right neighborhood can at least increase the odds.</p> <p>Study what homes are selling for in any neighborhood in which you want to invest. Study, too, the average monthly rents that homes and apartments in a neighborhood fetch.</p> <p>A neighborhood that is dotted with new restaurants and shops might be a good investment. So might be one that is gaining the reputation as being an up-and-coming area. Be careful, though: It's easy to spend too much upfront in these hotter neighborhoods.</p> <p>Paul Ullman, founder and chief investment officer of Asset Based Lending in Hoboken, New Jersey, says that the key is to look at the strength of nearby schools and to target areas that have positive job growth. It helps, too, to know the neighborhood in which you are going to invest.</p> <p>&quot;Ideally, invest close to home, at least initially,&quot; Ullman said.</p> <h2>5. Know Your Limits</h2> <p>Before investing in real estate, be honest about what you can and can't do. If you're not particularly handy, you might not be able to repair that leaking dishwasher on your own, for instance, and might need a plumber to resolve the problem. That will add to the costs of your real estate investment.</p> <p>You might also want to avoid 2:00 a.m. calls from tenants complaining that the heat in their apartment isn't working. To avoid these calls, you can hire a professional property management company to take over the daily operations of your real estate investment. Hiring such a company, though, costs money, and will eat into your profits.</p> <p>&quot;I always tell people who are interested in getting into investment real estate to consider how comfortable they are with doing any kind of repairs or construction to a house or rental property,&quot; said Todd Barton with the Atlanta office of Renters Warehouse. &quot;You'll have to budget in the costs of contractors or professional property managers. Be honest with yourself upfront so that you don't get into a situation where you are overwhelmed with projects and mounting debts.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you taken the plunge and invested in real estate? What other rules should new investors stick to?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt">Should You Sell Your Home to Pay Down Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tips-for-getting-your-security-deposit-back">20 Tips for Getting Your Security Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-want-to-be-a-landlord-part-i">So You Want to be a Landlord? Part I</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-worry-about-missing-the-bottom-in-houses">Don&#039;t worry about missing the bottom in houses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in">6 &quot;Tourist Towns&quot; That Are Actually Great to Live In</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Real Estate and Housing appreciation housing market landlord neighborhoods property management renting residential real estate risks tenants Thu, 26 May 2016 09:30:22 +0000 Dan Rafter 1717920 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Questions Landlords Can't Ask http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_rental_sign_000024945777.jpg" alt="Learning which questions landlords cannot ask" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The rental market is tough these days, especially in big cities. You have to scan the classifieds, jump on opportunities, and be ready to say yes at a moment's notice. So the last thing you need is for some landlord to refuse you a lease because of questions he or she is actually not allowed to ask. Here are 10 of those questions. Getting asked any of them should give you pause.</p> <h2>1. Where Were You Born?</h2> <p>It may be an innocent enough question, especially if you have an accent and the landlord picks up on it. But it's actually against the <a href="http://www.fairhousingresources.com/Fair-Housing-Act-Full-Text.html">Fair Housing Act</a> to ask questions regarding someone's nationality. A landlord cannot ask about your parents' nationality or upbringing either, or your spouse's. This is all information that should have no bearing on your application, or your suitability as a tenant. If a landlord does ask, <a href="http://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/property-management/tenant-screening/rental-application-question-illegal/">the penalties can be severe</a>.</p> <h2>2. Have You Ever Been Arrested for Anything?</h2> <p>If a landlord is asking this, they're probably trying to protect themselves from someone who could be trouble. But, landlords are simply not allowed to know about your arrest record. They are entitled to know if you were convicted of a crime, and that will come up on a standard background check. However, since innocent people can be arrested and then set free, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-most-important-lessons-i-learned-about-money-when-i-became-a-landlord" target="_blank">landlords aren't entitled</a> to arrest records.</p> <h2>3. Are You Straight, Gay, or Bisexual?</h2> <p>This has absolutely no place in the conversation, and cannot be asked by the landlord. It's a direct violation of the Fair Housing Act, and by doing so, the landlord could face severe penalties. If sexual orientation ever becomes an issue, know that it's a violation of the law.</p> <h2>4. Do You Have Any Disabilities?</h2> <p>Many landlords may be genuinely looking out for you here. They may know that the wheelchair access to the building is very poor, or that it would be a tough building for a blind person to negotiate. That is all well and good, but it's not their concern. Someone with a disability has the same rights to rent a home or apartment as an able-bodied person. What's more, every apartment or home up for rent should be made available to a disabled tenant. If the landlord steers you to one particular apartment over all others, they could actually face legal action. When it comes down to it, a person's disability, even if it's severe, cannot be brought into question when renting. It's also worth pointing out that pet policies do not apply to service animals.</p> <h2>5. Tell Me About Your Kids</h2> <p>Another big no-no. Anything relating to kids, whether it's their ages, how many you have, where they go to school, or if you're planning to have any, it's all off limits. Once again, this is all down to the Fair Housing Act. Landlords could use that information to discriminate against a tenant (especially those who believe children will just cause a lot of noise and mess), and the law just does not allow that. You may naturally bring up kids in conversation (especially if you're interested in a park in the area, or local daycare centers), and that is your right. But the landlord cannot and should not initiate it. (By the way, some landlords have found a way to skirt this by assuming you have children, and simply asking for their names on the application. You do not have to complete that information.)</p> <h2>6. So, Do You Go to Church Around Here?</h2> <p>Once again, this may seem like an innocent enough question, but probing about your religion is a direct violation of the Fair Housing Act. The landlord may not mean anything by it, but the assumption could be made that he or she is favoring Christian applicants over all others. Perhaps the landlord is biased for, or against, Muslims or atheists. None of this should have any impact on your application. Your faith, or lack thereof, is your concern, and yours only. Should any question about religion come up, the landlord is breaking the law.</p> <h2>7. Are You Married?</h2> <p>You have to wonder why that would be any concern of the landlord. After all, married people do not necessarily make for better, or worse, tenants. Some married couples are model citizens, others fights constantly and may appear on an episode of <em>Cops</em>. But none of this is relevant anyway, because the landlord is not allowed to ask you anything about your marital status. Even a statement like &quot;I see you two are engaged,&quot; which may be prompted by seeing a ring, is not kosher. You do not have to answer this question, and the landlord asking it could get in trouble for doing so.</p> <h2>8. Are You On Welfare?</h2> <p>A landlord has every right to ask about income. After all, they need to know that you can pay the rent on time, without any trouble. But where you get that income &mdash; that's different. If you are on welfare, receive food stamps, and get other kinds of benefits or public assistance, you can keep that information to yourself. The landlord cannot pry, and cannot deny anyone tenancy based on that information. If he or she does, it's cause for an investigation by the local authorities.</p> <h2>9. How Old Are You?</h2> <p>Seems like a standard question, right? And most rental applications have a &quot;date of birth&quot; section for you to fill in. But, asking about your age is another one of those protected pieces of information covered in the Fair Housing Act. It's quite possible a landlord wants to rent only to people in a certain age bracket. This is against the law. The only time age can be introduced as a factor is if your application is for a senior community or retirement home. Other than that, it's a no go.</p> <h2>10. What Race Are You?</h2> <p>Similar to the nationality question, this is a huge violation of the Fair Housing Act. Even if it's posed as a compliment, (like &quot;You have beautiful olive skin, are your parents Greek or Spanish?&quot;), the landlord is stepping way over the line. No questions about your race can be asked, and if it comes up, you can report the landlord for discrimination.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been asked any of these questions? How did you respond?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments discrimination fair housing act illegal landlords questions renting Tue, 24 May 2016 10:30:03 +0000 Paul Michael 1715216 at http://www.wisebread.com The 3 Best Cities With Rent Control http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-cities-with-rent-control <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-3-best-cities-with-rent-control" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_city_selfie_000083881091.jpg" alt="Woman living in best city with rent control" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rent control is the dream of renters everywhere. Yet only four states &mdash; California, New York, Maryland, New Jersey &mdash; and the District of Columbia have rent control policies in place. Read on for our guide to scoring a rent-controlled apartment in one of the best cities where price-protected apartments are signed into law.</p> <h2>San Francisco</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/san_francisco_street_000024852251.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>San Francisco is one of 15 <a href="http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/appendix2.shtml">California cities with rent control</a>. It's also one of the priciest places to rent an apartment in America. And while some city dwellers say rent control, along with foreign buyers and an influx of tech workers, exacerbate the sky high cost of housing, many folks, such as Joe Leung, are <a href="http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/San-Francisco-Housing-Rent-Up-A-Sizzling-148-Percent-in-12-Months-300995041.html">thankful for the relief</a> rent control provides them. Leung, who is 42, is a tenant in a rent-controlled Chinatown complex. He pays $540 a month for a single room. That's about one-fifth the list price of a studio in that same area. In this city where the median rent tops $3,000, rent-controlled apartments are a huge help to many families, and people like Leung, who are just trying to make ends meet.</p> <p>In San Francisco, rent-controlled units are those that were issued a certificate of occupancy before June of 1979, which amounts to a whopping 82% of the multi-family unit market. The rules are as follows: Landlords of rent-controlled units may <a href="http://www.sftu.org/rentcontrol/">raise a tenant's rent</a>, but only by a set amount tied to inflation &mdash; the annual allowable rent increase for 2016&ndash;2017 is 1.6% &mdash; and not more frequent than once every 12 months. Landlords can petition for additional increases tied to costs such as capital improvements or maintenance, but these hikes must be approved by the Rent Board before they can be passed on to the tenant.</p> <p>If Frisco's rent control policy sounds like a dream come true, be sure to note the following: While Leung enjoys his $540 monthly rent, some of his neighbors in the same Chinatown building are paying upwards of $1,200. That's because the city's policy allows landlords to adjust the rent of any rent-controlled unit to match the market rate when a tenant vacates the unit. When the vacancy is filled, the tenant's new, market-adjusted rent price becomes controlled by the aforementioned rules. So, theoretically, if an apartment is rent-controlled at $540 monthly in 1990 and the tenant moves out in 2016, the next tenant's rent very well may rise by several thousand dollars, depending on the market price. This facet of the law has been criticized for facilitating an environment in which landlords have an incentive to nudge out their tenants. Of course, the law includes protections to help insure that doesn't happen.</p> <p>A renter's search for a rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco would be most fruitful in <a href="http://www.trulia.com/blog/trends/rent-control-sf-nyc/">the oldest neighborhoods</a>, such as Forest Knolls, Downtown, the Marina, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, and Golden Gate Heights. Old may mean cheaper, but it doesn't necessarily mean cheap. Nob Hill, for example, is a long-established, upscale section of the city, where two-bedrooms go for nearly $5,000. Many rent-controlled apartments in Nob Hill are priced far higher than the average renter can afford to pay. The fewest rent-controlled options are in areas dominated by new construction, such as SoMa and Mission Bay. Notably, public housing projects are exempt from rent control, as well as most single-family homes and condos.</p> <p>Benefits of scoring a place to live in San Francisco include access to great restaurants, wine country, and tons of high-paying jobs, especially those in the tech sector.</p> <h2>Washington, D.C.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/washington_dc_street_000016584691.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Rent control provides residents of the nation's capital with a layer of protection against the prohibitive cost of living in a housing market where affordable options are quickly vanishing. Housing is generally deemed affordable when it amounts to no more than 30% of a household's income. But in D.C., the inhabitants of more than half of all rental units spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The median price for a one-bedroom rental in D.C. is now $2,000. There are <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/study-no-inexpensive-housing-left-on-open-market-in-dc/2015/03/11/281aaa94-c80c-11e4-b2a1-bed1aaea2816_story.html?tid=a_inl">almost no more apartments</a> in D.C.'s open market that rent for less than $800 monthly.</p> <p>Established in 1975, D.C.'s rent control law now covers more than 60% of all rental units. Apartments are generally rent-controlled if they're in buildings constructed before 1975 and owned by landlords who control at least five units. Federally subsidized units are exempt from the law. Landlords of rent-controlled units may not raise the rent more than the current rate of inflation plus 2%, and the rent generally cannot be raised more than once a year. When a tenant vacates a unit, however, the law permits landlords to raise the rent by up to 30%. As is the case in San Francisco, future tenants of rent-controlled units are typically charged much higher rents than the tenant before them. No matter how you dice it, the cheapest apartments, by logic, are already taken.</p> <p>Though it's not a perfect system, the benefits of scoring a rent-controlled apartment in the nation's capital are indisputable &mdash; access to some one the world's best museums, political events and universities, as well as a cap on annual rent raises. Finding a rent-controlled unit, however, takes a little detective work. Luckily, landlords are mandated to divulge whether their building is rent-controlled. All you have to do is ask. You can also find out whether a particular apartment is subject to rent control by calling the D.C. rent administrator's office, which keeps a database of these units.</p> <h2>New York City</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/new_york_city_000050678398.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The city that never sleeps lures new residents for many reasons &mdash; the art, the theater, the big wig jobs &mdash; but the cost of living ain't one of them. The average New York rent tops $3,000, making it one of the nation's most expensive places to lay your head at night. Another blow to affordable city living: Less than 2% of New York's apartments are rent-controlled, a status applied to units in buildings erected before 1947. The clincher is that these units must have been occupied by the same family since 1971. Rent-controlled apartments can be passed down within a family, but only to a family member who resided in the unit for a minimum of two years prior to the key exchange. In other words, New York's rent control policy is all in the family, leaving most of us lustful and out of luck.</p> <p>But, to prevent average Joe city dwellers from getting completely priced out of the market, New York also has a rent stabilization program that works similarly to rent control in other big cities. While <a href="http://www.nycrgb.org/html/resources/faq/rentcontrol.html">the guidelines are complicated</a> with many caveats and exceptions, most rent-stabilized apartments in New York are in buildings of six or more units erected before 1974 and priced below $2,500 monthly. Landlords cannot raise rents above a certain ceiling dictated by inflation. For 2014&ndash;2015, the increase was capped at 1% for a one-year lease. Once the rent reaches $2,500, however, or if the tenant's income surpasses $200,000 two years in a row, the landlord can deregulate the apartment and adjust the rent to match current market rates. All told, about 45% of New York's apartments are rent stabilized, making your chances of snagging one about 50/50.</p> <p>The <a href="http://nycrgb.org/html/resources/zip.html">New York City Rent Guidelines Board</a> keeps a list of all the city's rent-stabilized units. Inwood and Washington Heights are the Manhattan neighborhoods with the largest concentration of regulated units. In Brooklyn, Crown Heights is your best bet.</p> <p><em>Do you wish you lived in a rent-controlled apartment?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-cities-with-rent-control">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-common-apartment-hunting-mistakes-to-avoid">9 Common Apartment Hunting Mistakes to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments cost of living expensive cities new york city rent control renting San Francisco washington dc Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1694763 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_paperwork_000063885707.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to get their apartment deposit back" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Forking over a security deposit, sometimes equivalent to one month's rent, is a necessary evil &mdash; especially when there's no guarantee you'll get it back. It's a considerable amount of money when you factor in that most apartment lease terms are relatively short (anywhere from three to 12 months), and you'll have to shell out yet another deposit for your next place.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that landlords can charge you for repairs that exceed your deposit amount. Therefore, it's important for you to know what the standard repairs are and learn your landlord's expectations for the condition of the apartment when you return the keys. And, get it in writing!</p> <p>Here are six ways to ensure you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit" target="_blank">get your apartment deposit back</a>.</p> <h2>1. Talk to Your Landlord</h2> <p>The first thing you can do is have a conversation with your landlord. Do this early on &mdash; at the signing of your lease, if possible. Minor repairs should be expected, but clear up any other expectations. In most cases, things like carpeting is a standard replacement, but smaller landlords might want to abate the expense by taking carpet cleaning fees or replacement costs out of your deposit, where it will cost a lot more than if you were to do it yourself.</p> <h2>2. Clean the Unit</h2> <p>It's not only polite but common courtesy to leave the apartment in the same condition you found it. Be sure to clean and wipe down appliances, including the stove and refrigerator, and take out your trash.</p> <h2>3. Retouch</h2> <p>Don't leave structural damage, like large holes, destroyed tiles, and exposed fixtures. Small holes that are left behind after hanging curtains and pictures are okay and you shouldn't worry about those. They key is to get the apartment in as close condition as possible to how it was given to you.</p> <h2>4. Resolve Any Maintenance Issues</h2> <p>If something is broken in the apartment, have it fixed prior to your departure. For instance, although that leak under the sink that you failed to report wasn't your fault, it caused the cabinets to rot and now they need replacing. The landlord could charge you for this if it's not discovered until after you moved out.</p> <h2>5. Remove Any Add-Ons</h2> <p>If you've put up partitions or walls, even with the landlord's consent, have them removed even if you think it's an upgrade to the apartment (unless otherwise expressed). Your lease contract more than likely states that these types of structural changes will be removed at the tenant's expense.</p> <h2>6. Bring Back the Original Paint Color</h2> <p>If you're going to paint, be sure to change it back to the original paint color when you leave. If you do not, the landlord has the right to charge you for this. It will cost more than if you were to do it yourself or contract a painter. Also, ask what the original color is. It's very important that you don't have the walls painted <em>off-white</em> just because off-white paint is on sale, when in fact, the original color was <em>white</em>. Making that mistake once cost me $400 from my deposit.</p> <h2>7. Take Photos</h2> <p>Upon your departure, take photos to document the condition of the apartment. This is evidence against any future claims that there was significant damage to justify the withholding of a security deposit. And basically, when you leave, the apartment should be in move-in ready condition with the exception of needing a thorough cleaning.</p> <p><em>Have you ever lost part &mdash; or all &mdash; of your rental deposit?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments cleaning landlords painting renting security deposits Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:00:19 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1672230 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Sell Your Home to Pay Down Debt? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/balacing_mortgage_debt_000042650836.jpg" alt="Wondering if you should sell your home to pay down debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've made one of the biggest financial mistakes of all by running up thousands of dollars of credit card debt. And because of the cards' high interest rates, the debt continues to grow every month that you don't pay it off.</p> <p>But there might be a solution &mdash; if you own a home. You can sell that property, take the proceeds from the sale, and pay off your credit card debt. It's a drastic solution. But if you have no other options for paying off your credit card debt quickly, selling your home might be a sound choice.</p> <p>&quot;If there is no light at the end of the tunnel, or game plan to pay it off, the best solution might be to sell your home and rent,&quot; said Peter Grabel, managing director of Luxury Mortgage Corp. in Stamford, Connecticut. &quot;Over the last decade, we've learned that real estate doesn't always go up in value. Taxes go up, and there can be endless maintenance costs connected with ownership. For folks in this position, selling might be an attractive solution.&quot;</p> <p>But before you decide to place your home on the market, realize that selling off real estate won't work for every person who is struggling with debt. In many cases, owners won't even make enough money from a sale to eliminate all of their high-interest-rate debt.</p> <h2>When Selling Makes Sense</h2> <p>For this plan to work, you must have enough equity in your home. If you owe $150,000 on your mortgage loan and your home is worth $220,000 in today's market, you could, in theory, expect to earn about $70,000 when you sell your home.</p> <p>Fortunately, more homeowners today are probably in position to earn solid profits when selling their homes, said Joe Parsons, senior loan officer with PFS Funding in Dublin, California.</p> <p>&quot;As the housing market recovers from the crisis of 2008 and its aftermath, many homeowners discover that they have equity where before they had none,&quot; Parsons said. &quot;Those who are carrying large amounts of consumer debt may find that they can sell their homes and become renters, using that windfall equity to retire the consumer debt.&quot;</p> <h2>Some Rental Markets May Be Too Pricey</h2> <p>While this might be appropriate for some homeowners, it won't be a good choice for many others, Parsons said. Once owners sell their homes, they are at the mercy of the rental market. Apartment rents are soaring across the country, especially in large metropolitan areas. This can make renting an expensive proposition.</p> <p>&quot;In many areas, owning a home, even at today's prices, is less expensive than renting an equivalent property, even without considering the large tax advantages that come with owning,&quot; Parsons said. &quot;Rents will increase in the future.&quot;</p> <p>Selling a home is expensive, too, and involves a long list of fees, most of which the sellers pay out of the proceeds of the sale. The largest of these is the commission that owners have to pay to their real estate agent, one that is typically 6% of a home's final sales price.</p> <p>Parsons gives this example: If you owe $270,000 on your mortgage and you sell your home for $300,000, you might generate less than $15,000 cash on the sale after paying out commissions.</p> <h2>Other Debt Reduction Options</h2> <p>Greg Cook, mortgage consultant with First Time Home Buyers Network, said that he has worked with customers who did face enough consumer debt that they were considering selling their home. Cook said that he advised these customers to take other measures before giving up their homes.</p> <p>&quot;My advice to them has always been to 'stop the bleeding' as soon as possible,&quot; Cook said.</p> <p>That's why Cook has recommended debt-management programs offered by reputable credit counseling agencies as a way for struggling homeowners to get their debts under control. In such programs, consumers work with an agency that creates a repayment plan for them, allowing them to repay all or part of their debt in monthly payments that they can actually afford.</p> <p>Cook said that it often makes financial sense even for consumers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money">struggling with debt</a> to hold onto their homes. That's because if these owners want to one day return to the housing market, they will most likely be doing so at a time in which housing prices, and possibly interest rates, have increased.</p> <p>If consumers do sell their homes to pay off their debt, they then need to take a close look at their bad financial habits to make sure that they don't run up their credit-card debt again, Cook said.</p> <p>&quot;Assuming they used all their equity to pay off the consumer debt, the next step is to initiate a long-term savings plan so they will have the funds required to buy a home in the future,&quot; Cook said.</p> <p>While selling a home should be a last-resort plan, Cook said he has seen this move work out for some consumers. He points to clients who last year sold their home and used $78,000 to wipe out all of their consumer debt. These owners, Cook said, had been drowning in debt.</p> <p>The clients were also military veterans. They were then able, using a VA loan, to buy a new home with no money down once they eliminated their debts.</p> <p>&quot;They, however, are an exception,&quot; Cook said. &quot;Most families end up not being homeowners again for a long time.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you ever sold a home to get out from under consumer debt?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate">The Only 5 Rules You Need to Know About Investing in Real Estate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in">6 &quot;Tourist Towns&quot; That Are Actually Great to Live In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-need-to-know-when-renting-to-own-a-home">5 Things You Need to Know When Renting-to-Own a Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-shouldnt-buy-a-house-yet">5 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Buy a House (Yet)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing debt equity housing market renting selling your home Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Dan Rafter 1673867 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_car_000057087274.jpg" alt="Woman learning what to know before leasing a car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Leasing is now more popular than ever. In fact, Millennial car buyers are <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennials-more-likely-to-lease-vehicles-than-older-americans-reports-edmundscom-300116019.html">leasing 46% more</a> over the past five years because they are able to afford their dream car at a much lower cost. If you've thought about leasing a vehicle, then we've provided what you need to know before visiting the dealer.</p> <h2>Benefits of Leasing</h2> <p>The benefit of leasing a vehicle is that it is a shorter-term option, as opposed to buying a car. A simple way to think of leasing is as a long-term rental option. You will pay for the car while you need it, and at the end of your lease, you'll simply return it.</p> <p>There are a number of other benefits associated with leasing a vehicle, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Lower repair costs, because the warranty will cover most of them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lower sales tax, since you'll only be responsible for paying sales tax on the portion of the car you finance.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lower monthly payments compared to buying.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Typically, there is no down payment, or a very low down payment, required.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fewer obligations &mdash; at the end of your contract, you simply turn in the keys and walk away.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>New vehicles every few years. Once your lease term is up, you can choose a new lease and enjoy all the benefits and features of a new car. This also means that you can drive a better car for less money every month. On the other hand, you won't be able to customize your vehicle.</li> </ul> <h2>Length of Lease and Key Contract Terms</h2> <p>Lease terms usually last between two to four years. However, every leasing contract is different, so you want to find out specifics, like the length of the term and the mileage cap (which is typically between 12,000&ndash;15,000 miles/year).</p> <p>Most drivers agree that leasing contracts can be very confusing, even more so than when buying a vehicle. If you'd like to go in as prepared as possible, consider reviewing some <a href="http://blog.caranddriver.com/the-terms-you-need-to-understand-before-leasing-a-new-car/">common contract terms</a>. There's a long list of costs, terms, and fees on a lease contract, but the key items to look for are pretty clear.</p> <h3>Gross Capitalized Cost</h3> <p>This is the sticker price of the car. Like everything else in life, it's negotiable. Don't pay full price!</p> <h3>Adjusted Capitalized Cost</h3> <p>This is the price of the car less negotiation, rebates, trade-in, and down payment.</p> <h3>Residual Value</h3> <p>When you turn in the car at the end of the lease, the carmaker estimates it will still be worth something; the car's residual value. The higher this number, the lower the depreciation (and the lower your payments).</p> <h3>Depreciation</h3> <p>This is the value of the car over the months and miles you will be driving it. You can think of this as the rental fee for the car. Or you can think of it as Adjusted Capitalized Cost - Residual Value.</p> <h3>Money Factor</h3> <p>This is the interest rate you'll pay, but it's not a straight forward interest rate.To compare it with an actual interest rate, multiply it by 2400, so you have a better idea of the value of the loan. This is also negotiable.&nbsp;</p> <p>This interest rate will be charged to the sum of Adjusted Capitalized Cost <em>and</em> Residual Value. It seems like double counting, but you're paying for both the use of the car and money the finance company &quot;loaned&quot; you to lease the car. It may appear on your bill as Finance Charge or Rent Charge.</p> <h3>Monthly Lease Payment</h3> <p>Finally, this is what you'll pay each month. It's simply the Depreciation + Finance Charges + Sales Tax.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-leasing/calculate-your-own-lease-payment.html">good lease deal</a> is one with the lowest Adjusted Capitalized Cost, the highest possible Residual Value, and the lowest possible Finance or Money Factor. Be sure to negotiate for all three!</p> <h2>Financing and Payment Options</h2> <p>As is the case when purchasing a car, you will have a number of financing options available to you when leasing. Make sure to research lease specials and financing options in your area before visiting a dealership. Use <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/price-promise.html">Edmunds' Price Promise</a> tool to find special offers near you.</p> <p>Leasing can be difficult if you don't have good credit. If you aren't getting the financing terms you're after, then the DMV recommends first working on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly">raising your credit score</a>, offering a higher down payment, or lowering the annual mileage of your lease. If you have a vehicle trade-in, this can be a great start for your down payment.</p> <p>Remember, the higher your down payment is, the lower your monthly payments will be. On the other hand, some experts recommend putting as little down as possible because if your vehicle is wrecked shortly after leasing, you will be out of any money you invested upfront.</p> <h2>The Risks Involved</h2> <p>A leased vehicle is basically a rental, so it's even more crucial that you follow maintenance requirements on time because you could be charged extra fees if you don't. You will also need to be more careful when driving the vehicle around, because you'll be responsible for paying wear-and-tear charges for any damage &mdash; even small cosmetic issues.</p> <p>Leasing agreements can have additional fees involved, such as lease drive-off fees and fees when turning in the car. A drive-off fee is a deposit that needs to be made upfront and includes your first month's payment, and usually adds up to about $1,000 extra.</p> <p>If you go over your mileage cap and have driven more than your leasing agreement specified, then you may be subject to another fee. Consumer Reports estimates an excess mileage penalty of $.10&ndash;$.25 for every additional mile. Review your lease agreement and ask the dealership about any additional fees you should know about.</p> <h2>It Will Never Truly Be Yours</h2> <p>Another downside to leasing a vehicle is that you will never truly own it. You will only pay for the use of the car (as long as you drive it). However, at the end of your leasing agreement, you may have the option to purchase the vehicle for a discounted price.</p> <p>Once a car buyer pays off the car they've purchased, they can drive it around for years without making a payment. But a person that leases will have to keep paying for their vehicle month after month. This can mean big savings for a car buyer after they've finished paying off the auto loan.</p> <h2>Ending Your Lease Early</h2> <p>So, what happens if you decide to turn the car in early? An innocent mistake like this can result in thousands of dollars in termination fees. Often, with early termination, you will still need to return the car and pay what you still owe, which results in a lot of wasted money. Your leasing contract should specify the early termination penalties and conditions, so you'll know what types of fees to expect.</p> <p>There are other options for breaking the lease early, but they can be difficult undertakings. For instance, you can find someone to take over your lease and assume the payments, but this can be a time-consuming and stressful process. You can also work with a company or lease-trading site that can help you sell your lease to interested buyers (for a fee). Your dealership may also be willing to trade in your vehicle for another vehicle. Lastly, you might be able to buy the vehicle from the dealership or sell the vehicle to a private party.</p> <h2>What to Ask at the Dealership</h2> <p>There are several questions you'll want to ask at the dealership, including:</p> <ul> <li>Is GAP insurance included? GAP insurance will protect you in the event that the car is stolen or totaled in an accident.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What do the warranties cover? You'll want to find out about extended warranty information and what's included in your coverage. Then, you'll know which maintenance services and repairs you'll be personally responsible for.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Can I transfer the lease later? In the event that you need to terminate your lease contract early, you'll need to make sure that your leasing contract will permit this. Asking upfront if the dealership allows lease transfers will save you a lot of time and frustration later.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What will the total cost be? You might get sidetracked by the lower monthly payments, but in the end, leasing may be more expensive than you think. Inquire about the total cost so that you can get a better picture of what you will be paying in the end (not just per month).</li> </ul> <p><em>Do you have other tips for leasing a car? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-buy-a-car">6 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Buy a Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-calculate-your-new-car-budget">7 Easy Ways to Calculate Your New Car Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation contracts financing lease agreements leasing new cars ownership renting Tue, 01 Mar 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1662574 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's Why Your Parents Could Buy a Home While You Still Rent http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/older_married_couple_000014305685.jpg" alt="Learning why our parents can buy a home and we still rent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You pinch your pennies. You look for extra income. You're disciplined. And yet you can't get close to saving enough for a decent down payment on a house. It's especially frustrating because you know your parents somehow managed to buy their first home with very little trouble. Were the Baby Boomers just better than you? Or are there reasons why they could save up and you can't?</p> <p>It turns out there are some valid reasons why your folks could buy a home while you're still renting. Here's a look.</p> <h2>1. Houses Just Cost More</h2> <p>Even when you adjust for inflation, houses are more expensive than they used to be. The House-Price Index maintained by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is a tool that measures affordability, mortgage defaults, and mortgage prepayments, and it has more than tripled since 1980. The average home price, when adjusted for inflation, was $157,000 in 1980. Today, it's $180,000. (It peaked at nearly $230,000 in 2006.) Affordability is a truly, truly serious problem in many metropolitan areas, including San Francisco and New York.</p> <h2>2. There Are No New &quot;Levittowns&quot;</h2> <p>One key reason that homes cost more is because there hasn't been as much development of affordable and middle class housing. After World War II, there were many new housing developments with acres of simple, affordable homes designed for veterans and their families. Developments in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York were named &quot;Levittown&quot; after developer William Levitt, and sold quickly. Many of today's Baby Boomers grew up in these homes or purchased them in the 1950s and 60s. These days, affordable housing is more scarce and new developments of simple homes aren't as plentiful.</p> <h2>3. You Have More &quot;Necessities&quot;</h2> <p>Think of all the things that you pay for that did not even exist 40 years ago, or that might have been viewed as luxuries. A computer. Internet access. A cell phone with monthly plan. Cable TV and/or a streaming service. You <em>could</em> live without these things, but they are increasingly seen as necessities that could add up to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.</p> <h2>4. Student Loan Debt</h2> <p>Rest assured, your Baby Boomer parents did not come out of college with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. But that's the reality for many young people today. College costs have been rising above the rate of inflation for years, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the average member of the Class of 2015 will have to pay back $35,000. That's money that you might still be paying back when you probably would prefer to be saving for a good down payment on a home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?ref=seealso">Should You Refinance Your Student Loan?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Young People Can't Find Good Jobs</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 12% of people between age 16 and 24 are unemployed. Among African-Americans, it's even worse, with one out of every five young people seeking work. If you can't find steady work at a young age, you can't begin saving. Combine that with student loan debt, and it's no wonder so many young people are behind the financial eight ball.</p> <h2>6. You Have to Save for Retirement</h2> <p>There's a good chance that your parents never put money into a 401K or Individual Retirement Account. That's because their employers were far more likely to offer a pension, or defined benefit retirement plan. The Social Security Administration reports that participation in pensions by workers in the private sector fell from 38% to 20% between 1980 and 2008. Baby Boomers are also more likely than Millennials to believe that Social Security payments will be around when they retire. If you feel like you need to set aside money for your own retirement, that's money that can't go toward saving for a home.</p> <h2>7. Incomes Haven't Been Growing</h2> <p>One of the more troubling signs in the economy in recent years is that people aren't being paid more as years go by. The Economic Policy Institute reports that the economy should be producing wage growth of between 3.5% and 4%, but that growth has been stuck at about 2.3% for almost a decade. Fortunately, inflation has been quite low, but there's no question that people aren't getting the type of salary and wage increases Baby Boomers became accustomed to.</p> <p><em>Sound familiar? What's keeping you from purchasing a home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tips-for-getting-your-security-deposit-back">20 Tips for Getting Your Security Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt">Should You Sell Your Home to Pay Down Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing baby boomers buying renting saving Wed, 30 Dec 2015 12:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1626818 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters' Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_holding_umbrella_000079724871.jpg" alt="Man learning reasons he definitely needs renters&#039; insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the U.S., the national rent average rose 3.3% over a year ago rents &mdash; although some cities saw even greater annual increases. Since last year, renters saw their median rent climb 5% in Detroit, 8.5% in Kansas City, and a whopping 14.9% in San Francisco.</p> <p>Faced with ever-increasing rents, many Americans may opt to skip renters' insurance. But while there are many kinds of insurance that aren't worth it, renters' insurance simply isn't one of them. Here are five good reasons why you <em>totally</em> need renters' insurance.</p> <h2>1. Protection for Your Personal Property</h2> <p>A very common renters' misconception is the belief that their landlord's property insurance will cover damage or loss in case of fire or a break-in. But a survey from insurance company Nationwide revealed that 68% of renters ages 23 to 35 would <a href="http://www.nationwide.com/about-us/040814-renters-insurance-survey.jsp">spend an estimated $5,000</a> to replace their belongings if an unfortunate event did occur. Despite the potential big loss, a stunning 56% of the surveyed renters didn't have renters' insurance.</p> <p>A standard HO-4 insurance contract, commonly referred to as renters' insurance, provides the necessary protection for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-need-an-inventory-of-your-stuff-and-its-easier-than-you-think">your personal property</a> against covered perils, including fire, theft, vandalism, and even volcanic eruption. A best practice is to look for a policy that provides 100% replacement cost protection, which may be a bit more expensive &mdash; but ultimately worth every penny. After all, you want to replace your loss with the latest TV model, not one from two years ago.</p> <p>Another best practice: If you're an avid comic book collector, have a taste for expensive imported furniture, or are an early adopter of all things high-tech, look into floater insurance to get the necessary higher-limit coverage that you need for any specialty belongings.</p> <h2>2. Additional Coverage Away From Home</h2> <p>Most policies provide protection for your personal property up to 100 feet from your home, so your stuff is covered when moving or using your building or community's facilities, such as a shared pool or clubhouse.</p> <p>However, there are additional benefits for owning renters' insurance. Depending on your policy, your personal property may also be covered in case of theft <em>outside</em> the premises of your home. Let's imagine that you're using your laptop and expensive high-definition earphones at a coffee shop. You walk away to get a refill and somebody makes a run with your items. The &quot;off premise theft&quot; clause of your renters' insurance may enable you to make a claim for the stolen items.</p> <p>Consult your insurance agent and read the fine print of your policy to learn more about applicable coverages and limitations. For example, if you store many items in a trailer or storage facility for part of the year, you should ask about extended theft coverage.</p> <h2>3. Liability Protection</h2> <p>Life happens. Say one night one of your friends slips and falls down the stairs at your apartment, severely hurting her back. Or your dog bites your neighbor's son, requiring your neighbor to spend several hundred dollars in medical expenses. While you can't prevent every single event, you can buy coverage against potential lawsuits.</p> <p>If you are held legally liable by a court, then the liability portion of your renters' insurance would cover payouts for medical bills related to the accident, or replacement costs for the other party's property damaged at your home.</p> <p>Keep in mind that your dog's breed may affect your monthly premium or even your eligibility for coverage. Many insurance companies will deny coverage for pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, doberman pinschers, rottweilers, and German shepherds. When shopping for renters' insurance, provide full disclosure of your dog's breed and history of biting or abuse (in the case of rescue dogs).</p> <h2>4. Affordable Price for Loss and Liability Protection</h2> <p>In the survey from Nationwide, three out of four of those without renters' insurance don't realize they can get monthly coverage for as little as the cost of a pair of movie tickets.</p> <p>According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average renters' insurance policy costs between <a href="http://www.naic.org/documents/consumer_alert_renters_0812.htm">$15 and $30 month</a> for $30,000 to $50,000 of property coverage, with a deductible ranging from $500 to $1,000.</p> <p>However, lower prices are possible. In 2014, a writer for Forbes magazine was able to find a renters' insurance policy to cover $25,000 of his personal property for an <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2014/04/08/renting-an-apartment-this-mistake-could-cost-you-5000-or-more/">annual lump sum payment of $150</a> ($12.50 per month). Paying 0.60% to fully protect all of your stuff is as affordable as it gets.</p> <p>Check for additional potential savings for:</p> <ul> <li>Having certain security or fire-prevention systems;</li> <li>Being a non-smoker;</li> <li>Being part of a special interest groups (e.g. labor union, alumni association);</li> <li>Bundling with existing car insurance policy;</li> <li>Staying claim-free for a specific period of time; or</li> <li>Having special status (e.g. senior citizen, college student, or military).</li> </ul> <h2>5. Greater Choice of Rental Opportunities</h2> <p>Last but not least, making the investment in renters' insurance may expand your options when looking for apartments. More and more landlords are requiring renters' insurance from their tenants.</p> <p>The cost of homeowners' insurance is rising faster than that of renters' insurance. For example, in 2012, the average premiums for homeowners' insurance and renters' insurance increased by 5.6% and 0%, respectively, from the previous year.</p> <p>A landlord can only legally require tenants to carry renters' insurance when signing a new contract or renewing an existing lease. By shopping in advance for an adequate policy, you can have ammunition to prevent a rent increase &mdash; or be ready to find a new and better place!</p> <p><em>How are you protecting the personal property in your home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance">Why You Should Have Renters Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-common-apartment-hunting-mistakes-to-avoid">9 Common Apartment Hunting Mistakes to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing apartments liability property damage renters insurance renting theft Wed, 02 Dec 2015 18:07:53 +0000 Damian Davila 1617556 at http://www.wisebread.com The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_moving_000048994080.jpg" alt="Couple deciding to use Airbnb to rent their space out" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Location, location, location.</p> <p>According to some experts, those are the only three things that matter for any property. If your first instinct is to list your rental property in the local newspaper, consider this: nine in 10 people in the market for a property today <a href="http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/Study-Digital-House-Hunt-2013-01_1.pdf">rely on the web</a> as one of their primary sources, and a full 52% of them turn to the Internet as their first step.</p> <p>So where on the web should be listing your rental? Here are 11 places to start.</p> <h2>1. Craigslist</h2> <p>With more than <a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/factsheet">50 billion page views</a> per month, <a href="http://www.craigslist.org">Craigslist</a> is a great starting point for promoting your rental property. All apartment rental <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">postings on Craigslist</a> are free, except those for brokered apartment rentals in the New York City area (a $10 fee applies). To increase your chances of getting leads, you must include pictures. On Craigslist, you can upload up to 12 photos from your rental property and any user can leave out postings without pictures from their search queries.</p> <h2>2. Airbnb</h2> <p>Unlike Craigslist, on <a href="http://www.airbnb.com">Airbnb</a> you have a clearer picture of who you're dealing with. Most Airbnb users connect their accounts to their Facebook profiles so that they can filter searches by &quot;Social Connections&quot; and show listings that their friends have reviewed, or where they are mutual friends with a host.</p> <p>Of course, to leverage social connections on Airbnb, you first need to have reviews of your rental property. Most Airbnb Superhosts advise first-time users to research nearby properties and price your rental unit between 10% to 20% lower to increase your chances of landing those first bookings. Experienced Airbnb hosts suggest to not only list the good things about your rental, but also the bad things. Guests appreciate the honesty and, some of them may not mind those bad things at all!</p> <h2>3. HotPads</h2> <p>A free option to list your single-family home, townhouse, or individual apartment unit is <a href="http://www.hotpads.com">HotPads</a>. Based out of San Francisco, HotPads distributes your listing automatically to various partner sites to maximize your listing's exposure and get you more leads.</p> <p>If you have some money available to promote your listing, HotPads offers you the option to enhance it for as low as $1 per day. Your featured listing only appears to a user when it meets the category (e.g. buy vs. rent), geography, pricing range, and housing type specified in that user's query.</p> <h2>4. Trulia</h2> <p>Renting your apartment? There's an app for that. <a href="http://www.trulia.com">Trulia</a> lets you post your rental apartment using both iPhone and Android devices. Trulia is part of the same 20+ site syndication network as HotPads. However, two key things that set Trulia apart from HotPads are the first's active community and blog with useful articles.</p> <h2>5. Apartments.com</h2> <p>You probably have seen Apartments.com's hysterical TV ads featuring Jeff Goldblum in his <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zi8zwN57Ug">Brad Bellflower persona</a>. If you have several properties for rent, <a href="http://www.apartments.com">Apartments.com</a> provides detailed analytics for each of your listings. By seeing key performance indicators, such as number of impressions by day, number of appearances in search results, and number of clickthroughs in your listing, you can fine tune your listings and experiment to find out what works best.</p> <p>A nice feature of this site is that you can add a video to showcase your property and track the views by day of the video. By providing a video walk-through of your rental, you can entice more people to contact you.</p> <h2>6. ForRent.com</h2> <p>For those living in communities near universities or colleges, or in those attractive to retirees, <a href="http://www.forrent.com">ForRent.com</a> is a great option. This site has sections dedicated exclusively to off-campus housing and retirement living. ForRent.com charges $100&ndash;$150 per listing and additional fees for enhancements, such as additional photos and maps and directions.</p> <h2>7. Rent Jungle</h2> <p>Another pay-to-play option is <a href="http://www.rentjungle.com">Rent Jungle</a>, which boasts over 700,000 active listings of apartments and rental homes. Individuals posting 20 rental units or fewer pay $47 per month per listing and are able to include a three-photo gallery, unit information, floor plan, contact information, and list amenities and features.</p> <p>Like Apartments.com, Rent Jungle provides a dashboard to review traffic, manage leads, and tweak your listings.</p> <h2>8. PeopleWithPets.com</h2> <p>Talking about a jungle &mdash; it can be quite an adventure for pet owners to find good, pet-friendly apartments. If you think your apartment can offer outstanding accommodations to furry companions, then you could consider spending the $69 per month (with a minimum three-month commitment) to advertise your rental at <a href="http://www.peoplewithpets.com/advertise/">PeopleWithPets.com</a>.</p> <p>The fee may seem a bit high, but it may be due to two factors. First, we are talking about a niche market: <a href="http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp">65% of households own a pet</a> according to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey. Second, the site currently ranks quite well at the first page of Google results for &quot;pet friendly apartments.&quot;</p> <h2>9. DogVacay</h2> <p>Now, if you're more of a &quot;dog person&quot; than a &quot;people person,&quot; you may prefer to play hosts for pets without their owners. In that case, with <a href="http://dogvacay.com">DogVacay</a> you could rent your space for pet daycare or dog boarding.</p> <p>If your application is approved for dog boarding, then DogVacay pays you 85% of customer payments via PayPal one business day after boarding is complete. There is a $5 check fee if you prefer to receive a check via snail mail. The 15% cut from DogVacay is to cover a series of costs, including a comprehensive pet insurance with a $1 million commercial general liability coverage, a $1 million professional liability coverage, and a $25,000 veterinary coverage for guest dog ($250 deductible covered by guest).</p> <h2>10. JustPark and ParkingSpotter.com</h2> <p>Last but not least, you could cash in on your empty driveway, garage, or parking space by making them available for rent. <a href="http://www.justpark.com">JustPark</a> and <a href="http://www.parkingspotter.com">ParkingSpotter.com</a> are two sites that let you offer your parking spot for rent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.</p> <p>According to ParkingSpotter.com, the average monthly parking rate are <a href="http://www.parkingspotter.com/faq">$297.50 and $460</a> in Philadelphia and Boston, respectively. With such prices, it makes sense to try your luck making an extra buck with that empty driveway.</p> <p><em>Had a good or bad rental experience with any of these? Let us know below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing AirBnb apartments hotpads landlords pet friendl renting trulia Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:15:22 +0000 Damian Davila 1593885 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Surprising Things You Can Rent for Extra Cash http://www.wisebread.com/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wedding_dresses_000022803729.jpg" alt="Woman earning extra money renting her wedding dress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Okay. So you're intrigued by the whole idea of renting your stuff to make some extra money. But what exactly should you rent and how exactly do you rent it? The list of stuff you can rent for cash is so vast that your imagination is your biggest limitation. From the ordinary to the outlandish, here's what you should know about what to rent &mdash; and how to rent it successfully.</p> <h2>What Should You Rent?</h2> <p>It depends. What do you have? Where do you live? How much are you charging? Like everything else, your success as a &quot;stuff renter&quot; will depend on supply and demand. For instance, renting your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-parking-apps-for-your-city">parking spot</a> or driveway will work better in densely populated areas like cities, college towns, or during special events. Renting a high-end baby stroller can work well in tourist areas, because people prefer to not lug theirs on a plane.</p> <p>But no matter how great your product, no one will rent if it's not priced right. Why would someone rent your private vehicle when a better price can be had at the auto rental place?</p> <h2>How to Rent Successfully</h2> <p>The biggest peer-to-peer marketplace is probably Craigslist, where people have had successful and lucrative experiences. Facebook is up there too with groups dedicated to connecting owners with people who want to rent their stuff. However, if you're looking to widen your scope and increase your options, you might try one of the websites below. Most of them are free to join. Some are even free to use, while others earn a commission when a rental transaction is completed.</p> <h2>Rent Anything</h2> <p>These marketplaces cast a wide net.</p> <h3>1. Craigslist</h3> <p><a href="http://www.craigslist.org/">Craigslist</a> is a huge market for renting anything and everything. It's free to list, there are no commissions to pay, and you set all of the parameters. Since there is no intermediary, take extra precautions when it comes to meeting prospective renters, and developing rental agreements to cover yourself against theft or damage.</p> <h3>2. Loanables</h3> <p><a href="https://www.loanables.com/">Loanables</a>, like Craigslist, offers the opportunity to rent things from multiple categories. Also like Craigslist, people post what they want to rent, decide on the price, and how the payment transaction is handled. Loanables does provide both parties with a rental agreement. While it is free to post a listing, Loanables takes a 10% fee for any transaction completed.</p> <h3>3. Zilok</h3> <p><a href="http://us.zilok.com/">Zilok</a>, which originated in France and has expanded to the U.S. (among other countries) is another site where people can list and rent items across multiple categories. While some locations are hot and have a lot of listings, others are non-existent. It is free to list your items, and Zilok is paid a commission when your stuff is rented.</p> <h2>Rent Your Vehicle and Parking Space</h2> <p>Your car can be a twofer &mdash; rent your car and then rent the space you park it in.</p> <h3>4. Getaround</h3> <p><a href="https://www.getaround.com/">Getaround</a> is a peer-to-peer carsharing service that is available in California (Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco) Portland, OR, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, IL. They will be coming to NYC soon. Getaround has safeguards in place like insurance coverage and identity verification processes to help you feel secure. They also offer 24/7 support. You set the rental amount and the dates that your vehicle will be available for rent. There are no membership fees and it is free to list your vehicle. Getaround receives 40% of the rental fee and you keep a 60% cut. They advertise some users earn hundreds a month and thousands per year using their service.</p> <h3>5. ParkingSpotter</h3> <p><a href="http://www.parkingspotter.com/">ParkingSpotter</a> is an app that lets you list your parking space for extra cash. You can rent your space short term or longer term. You choose your price, though there is a guide with suggested rates. It's free to list your space and ParkingSpotter is available in multiple big cities across the U.S.</p> <h3>6. RelayRides</h3> <p><a href="https://relayrides.com/">RelayRides</a> is another peer-to-peer system that helps owners rent their vehicles for extra money. Their market is much larger than Getaround's as there are literally hundreds of cities across the country available for owners to rent their vehicle. Listing your ride is free with their app and when your vehicle is rented, you take home 75% of the rental fee. You decide the length of time it will be available to rent and the rental price. Payment is received three days after a reservation is completed.</p> <h2>Rent Your &quot;Residence&quot;</h2> <p>The term &quot;residence&quot; is sometimes used loosely based on some of the sleeping arrangements available. Think tricked out van or a tent in someone's backyard. Whether yours is eccentric or more traditional, consider one of the sites below to make some extra cash.</p> <h3>7. Airbnb</h3> <p>It's free to list your space on <a href="http://www.airbnb.com/c/kimo25?s=8">Airbnb</a>. It's probably the most liberal site out there in terms of the type of space you can rent (igloo or van with a bed anyone?). They do charge a 3% service fee when your space is rented and guests pay a guest fee. Reservations and payments are made through the site. While the site does not provide rental agreements, individual renters can supply their own if they wish. Airbnb also offers a $1,000,000 &quot;Host Guarantee&quot; against property damage.</p> <h3>8. HomeAway</h3> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10784590-1438817078000">HomeAway</a> specializes in &quot;whole spaces,&quot; so think in terms of entire houses, apartments, boats, barns, etc., not rooms. There are three listing choices. List for free and pay a 10% commission when your space is rented, pay a $349 annual fee and pay nothing when your space is rented, or pay a professional to list your space for you and pay a 13% commission when your space is rented. Owners provide their own rental agreement and payments can be handled through their website. HomeAway also owns other websites including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.travelmob.com/">TravelMob</a> (for people who live in Asia),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/cg66p-85-7NVRPPQRSNPOVPRSSWNPSRWWPVSUSOOO">VRBO</a> (Vacation Rentals Only), and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vacationrentals.com/">VacationRentals.com</a>.</p> <h3>9. Roomorama</h3> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12325506-1440752446000">Roomarama</a> is for people who are interested in renting out a room, apartment or condo, or house. It's free to list your space and Roomorama does not earn a commission when someone books it. Instead, Roomorama collects a fee from the guests. Roomorama collects the rental fee and sends it to you through PayPal, which deducts a 3% transaction fee.</p> <h2>Rent Your Photography Equipment</h2> <p>Camera and gear gathering dust? Put it to work.</p> <h3>10. Cameralends</h3> <p>Are you a photography buff with lots of equipment that you wouldn't mind renting to others? Well even if you only have a few pieces, you could turn your equipment into passive income. <a href="https://www.cameralends.com/">Cameralends</a> specializes in connecting owners with people who want to rent everything from cameras to lenses, lighting, video recording equipment, and more. It is free to join the site, and they take 10%&ndash;30% of the profit from successful rentals. Payments are handled online, and security measures are in place to ensure the safety of your equipment.</p> <h2>Rent Yourself</h2> <p>You are your most valuable resource.</p> <h3>11. Bridesmaid for Hire</h3> <p>I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised that this is an option, but it is.&nbsp;<a href="http://bridesmaidforhire.com/">Bridesmaid for Hire</a> is a newish option that lets those in need hire various bridesmaid services such as virtual support and wedding planning, all the way up to acting as a bridesmaid or maid of honor on the big day. Prices start at $199 to over $1000. The business is expanding and they are looking to add more bridesmaids (mother of the brides, etc.) to their network. If you think you'd enjoy renting yourself out as a bridesmaid&nbsp;<a href="http://bridesmaidforhire.com/become-pro/">consider applying</a>!</p> <h3>12. RentAFriend</h3> <p><a href="http://rentafriend.com/index/">RentAFriend</a> is a &quot;strictly platonic website that allows you to rent friends from all over the world.&quot; The type of friends available range anywhere from dinner/movie companions, to being a tour guide for out of town visitors, teaching a language, sharing art or cooking skills, and more. It is free to list a profile and set your own hourly rate, which is usually between $15&ndash;$50 an hour. The site claims that some people earn several hundred per week and keep 100% of the proceeds. RentAFriend earns money through membership fees paid by those who want to rent friends.</p> <h2>Rent Your Wedding Dress</h2> <p>You looked great in it &mdash; and the money it earns will look good in your savings account.</p> <h3>13. Borrowing Magnolia</h3> <p><a href="https://www.borrowingmagnolia.com/">Borrowing Magnolia</a> is a website is for people who want to make some extra cash by renting their wedding dress to others. It's an easy and stress-free way to make an extra buck because the staff does all of the work for you. Interested parties will complete a &quot;submit a dress&quot; application which consists of question about the dress, along with some pictures. If your dress is accepted, you'll work directly with the staff regarding the rental price and how much you'll earn per rental. Shipping, cleaning, and maintaining the dress is taken care of by them.</p> <p>Renting your belongings can be a great way to bring in some extra income. You can do it around your schedule, control what you rent and to whom, and set the price and length of time. But first, take a little time to conduct some due diligence about rental guidelines, laws, and of course taxes in your area. Once you know, you'll be limited only by your creativity. Good luck!</p> <p><em>Have you rented out your stuff before? What was it like? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer">9 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-amazon-pay-you">7 Ways to Make Amazon Pay YOU!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/skills-that-can-save-you-money-part-1-parallel-parking">Skills That Can Save You Money Part 1: Parallel Parking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/uber-lyft-and-more-where-to-find-the-best-rideshare-deals">Uber, Lyft, and More — Where to Find the Best Rideshare Deals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Extra Income Cars earning money loaning parking peer-to-peer renting renting house wedding dresses Thu, 10 Sep 2015 21:00:26 +0000 Kim Owens 1553392 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000062152642_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've found the ideal apartment in the middle of the big city. But there's one problem: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">Financial mistakes in the past</a> have left you with a low credit score. Now you're worried that landlords will reject your application because of those times you paid your credit card bill late or forgot to make your auto loan payment.</p> <p>There is hope, though. It's possible to rent an apartment even if your credit score is weak. But you might need a little help from a family member, or be willing to pay a bit more rent each month.</p> <h2>Credit Matters</h2> <p>It's not surprising that most landlords today check your credit. Your three-digit credit score tells landlords how well you've managed your finances in the past. If you've paid bills late, missed payments, or suffered a negative financial judgment &mdash; bankruptcy or foreclosure &mdash; your score will be low. A FICO credit score of 740 or higher today is considered an excellent score. Scores of 620 or lower raise red flags.</p> <p>Don't give up hope if one landlord rejects your application. It helps to shop around with different landlords, said Brent Cotterman, owner and chief executive officer of Financial Rehab in Phoenix.</p> <p>&quot;Just because you're rejected from one place doesn't mean you will be from all of them,&quot; Cotterman says. &quot;Different landlords have different tolerances for risk. It doesn't hurt to apply at four or five different apartments.&quot;</p> <p>If your score is weak, here are some steps you can take to convince landlords that you're still a good risk.</p> <h2>1. Get a Cosigner</h2> <p>The easiest solution is to convince someone &mdash; usually a family member &mdash; to co-sign the rental application with you. In such an agreement, your cosigner is agreeing to make your monthly rental payments if you fail to do so. This provides protection to landlords wary of renting to someone with bad credit; your landlord will still receive rent, even if you aren't the one making the payment.</p> <p>Your cosigner will need good credit. But, be sure that you can actually afford your rent. You don't want to put your cosigner in the position of having to pay your rent for you. That's a good way of ruining a relationship!</p> <h2>2. Check Your Credit Reports</h2> <p>Before seeking an apartment, order copies of your free credit reports from <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. You're entitled to order one free copy of each of your reports &mdash; the national credit bureaus TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax each maintain a credit report on you &mdash; every year.</p> <p>Once you receive your report, study it carefully. It will list the money you owe on your credit cards, auto loans, and student loans. It will also list missed or late payments. If you spot any errors, correct them. You can do this online with the three credit bureaus. Don't skip this step: Fixing an error on your credit report can quickly boost your credit score.</p> <h2>3. Be Honest</h2> <p>Don't try to hide financial mistakes from landlords; once they pull your credit, they'll find them. Instead, prepare a written note explaining why you missed credit card or student loan payments. Maybe you briefly lost your job. Maybe you were injured and faced staggering medical bills.</p> <p>Whatever the reason, explain it in your letter and give it to potential landlords. Make sure to include an explanation for why you won't be missing payments again in the future.</p> <p>Your landlord might be willing to overlook a weaker credit score if you have an explanation for your past financial missteps.</p> <h2>4. Point to Solid Income</h2> <p>If you have a solid monthly income stream today, you'll be more likely to convince your landlord that you are no longer a risk to miss rental payments. Maybe those missed auto loan payments came when you were working a lower-paying job. Now you have a job that pays you a good salary. Point this out to your potential landlord. Show landlords copies of your most recent paycheck stubs stating how much you are now earning. A solid income might help ease any concerns your landlord has about a lower credit score.</p> <h2>5. Pay a Little More</h2> <p>Some landlords might charge you additional fees &mdash; often called risk fees &mdash; if your credit score is low. If you agree to pay these higher fees, landlords might be more willing to overlook a low score.</p> <p>You might also offer a bit more in rent each month to landlords who are wary of renting to you. An extra $50 a month might convince a property owner to overlook your weaker credit.</p> <p>Before agreeing to pay extra, though, make sure that you can afford the higher monthly payments.</p> <h2>6. Offer a Larger Security Deposit</h2> <p>Landlords might consider you a more attractive renter if you offer a larger security deposit. This makes sense: If you do fail to make your rent payments, your lender will keep your security deposit. If you provide a larger one, your lender is taking on less risk by renting to you and might be more likely to overlook that bad credit score.</p> <h2>7. Start Building Credit</h2> <p>If you do land an apartment even with weak credit, here is some good news: You can now build a stronger credit score by paying your rent on time every month.</p> <p>Traditionally, landlords have not reported monthly rent payments to the three national credit bureaus. This meant that renters didn't help their credit scores by paying rent on time. That is changing. Experian and TransUnion are now collecting data on rental payments. Renters who pay through online services such as RentTrack and RentReporters can have their payment data sent to TransUnion and Experian. As renters pay on time, their credit scores with these bureaus will steadily rise.</p> <p>&quot;The one thing that will improve your credit score the most is paying your bills on time,&quot; Cotterman says. &quot;So make sure to not pay your bills late. You won't get marked as late on your credit report until you are 30 days past your due date. Every time you hit that 30-day mark, you get a 30-day marker on your report. That will lower your report significantly. So pay your bills on time.&quot;</p> <p><em>What other techniques have you used for renting an apartment with weak credit?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments credit history credit score landlords renting Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:00:25 +0000 Dan Rafter 1533280 at http://www.wisebread.com The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_rent_reminder_000021309733.jpg" alt="Deciding how much rent you can truly afford" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you looking for a new place? Not sure how much you should be spending on rent? We've come up with some general guidelines to help you determine what the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">ideal rent</a> is for your income.</p> <h2>1. Establish a Budget</h2> <p>First, you need to assess your income. How much do you bring in every year, with any salary, bonuses, dividends, interest, support, or other means of income included? If you're not sure where to get started, you can easily calculate your monthly budget using simple&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/smart-spending/home-budget-plan-calculator.aspx">home budget calculators</a>.</p> <p>You should expect to spend about 60% of your budget on the top three budget items for most families, which includes housing, transportation, and food. Avoid going too far over this number, because you'll also need money for emergency funds, your retirement plan, entertainment, credit card payments, insurance, and all of your other monthly expenses.</p> <h2>2. The 30% Income Rule</h2> <p>In the past most experts recommended spending no more than 30% of your income on rent &mdash; and it's still a fair rule of thumb. On the other hand, this may just be an arbitrary number because every person's situation is different. For instance, approximately 20% of households spend <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-07-17/housings-30-percent-of-income-rule-is-near-useless">more than half their income</a> on housing and are still living comfortably.</p> <h2>3. 40 Times the Rent</h2> <p>Many landlords require that your income is 40 times the monthly rent &mdash; or more. Simply take your pre-tax annual salary and divide it by 40 to find the monthly rent that you will be approved for, assuming your landlord uses this requirement.</p> <p>For example, if your annual household salary is $100,000, then you could afford to spend $2,500 per month on rent ($100,000/40 = $2,500 per month). If you find that your total income is not 40 times the rent, but you know that you can do it anyhow, consider applying with a guarantor.</p> <h2>5. 50/30/20 Guideline</h2> <p>A simple rule that many follow is the 50/20/30 guideline. This suggests spending your income in the following manner:</p> <ul> <li>50% on fixed costs (such as rent, utilities, and transportation).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>30% on day-to-day expenses (such as entertainment, dining out, shopping, and other miscellaneous things).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>20% on financial goals (like paying down debt, building an emergency fund, and saving for retirement).</li> </ul> <p>For example, if your monthly household income is $8,000, you'll want to budget $4,000 on fixed costs, $2,400 on flexible spending, and $1,600 on future financial goals. Once you account for all of your monthly income, you can budget half of your income towards fixed costs. Once you subtract utilities, transportation, and other fixed costs from this number, you will know what is left to spend on rent.</p> <h2>6. What About Additional Fees?</h2> <p>If you'll be working with an agent, remember to account for the broker's fee. They'll typically charge between 8%&ndash;15% of the full year's lease, usually as a large upfront payment due at the time of signing. There will also be a deposit to consider and move-in costs.</p> <h2>7. What Are You Comfortable With?</h2> <p>At the end of the day, you'll need to ask yourself what you feel comfortable paying. What is the most you're willing to spend every month? Figure out what your priorities are, what your necessities are, and what you can sacrifice in order to save money on rent. And when in doubt, spending less than 30% of your income on total housing costs remains a smart guideline.</p> <p><em>How much of your income do you spend on rent? Share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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