Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Every landlord has had the feeling at one time or another that a prospective Milton tenant may not be a good choice. Call it a hunch, or intuition—but something tells you that this tenant may be trouble down the road. There is more than enough riding on the decision to make you want to pay attention to your instincts, but that’s where being aware of the dos and don’ts of tenant management comes into play. You need to protect your business and property, but in so doing, you also need to heed outside factors.
Chief among those factors is the housing laws and regulations. This is a realm where there’s no shortage of fine print—and since I don’t offer legal advice, we needn’t wade into the technical weeds. But there are some common sense concepts that should shed light on the subject.
One of the key things to remember is that it is frowned upon to arbitrarily accept or reject tenants based on personal preferences or whims. Of course, a landlord does own the property whose use the tenant is asking to borrow, but nevertheless, most people understand why anti-discrimination laws have been created. Some feel they go too far—some, that they don’t go far enough—but at any rate, one fact is indisputable: ignoring the rules can have bad consequences.
One easy-to-follow idea is to prepare your own written standards for accepting prospective Milton tenants (standards that are certain to not contravene discrimination guidelines). Another that is universally considered good practice is to require every applicant to fill out an application form with the kind of information that state and federal guidelines allow. When everyone is required to complete an application in full, failing to do so becomes grounds for rejection. The kinds of information should be relevant to the landlord’s business needs; and the standards may be high or low, as long as they are evaluated evenly for every applicant. Some common criteria:
· Prospective tenants should never have been evicted from a property.
· Prospective tenants should have a credit score above a certain level
· They should have no record of any judgments having been levied against them for failure to pay utilities.
· They should have proof of employment and enough income to reliably pay rent (the national average income level is 3 times rent).
· Prospective tenants should supply references from previous landlords—references that can be verified over the phone.
Of course, none of this means a landlord is required to rent to just anyone who comes by. The key is to define the ideal tenant, make sure that ideal isn’t based on random discriminatory criteria (like race or sex or religion)—and then to adhere to a consistent evaluation process. And the fact is, the potential financial rewards should more than compensate for heeding the basic ground rules.
If you will be taking a look at the inviting opportunities that Milton income properties currently offer, I’d like to show you some of the best ones. Give me a call!
On January 6, the Senate confirmed Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, making it the first time ever that a woman has led the nation’s most important financial institution. In some respects, it makes her the most powerful woman in the United States.
As with every personnel change in the Fed, Yellen’s rise has fostered plenty of concerns about the direction the Federal Reserve will take under her leadership. Since it’s the institution that determines the federal funds rate—which in turn dictates how much businesses and individuals pay for their loans—any change in Federal Reserve policy has a significant impact on our local home loan rates. Sooner or later, those rates affect just about all of us.
So, what clues do we have about the direction Ms. Yellen is likely to lean? One came just before the financial crisis. Before the financial meltdown, Yellen expressed concerned. In 2005 she is quoted as saying, “Analyses do indicate that house prices are abnormally high, that there is a “bubble" element, even accounting for factors that would support high house prices."
Last year was an excellent one for Delaware real estate, yet according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index, national housing prices are still 20% off the peaks set in 2006. Research from real estate website Trulia shows that U.S. housing is still 4% undervalued (compared with a 39% overvaluation reached at the 2006 peak). Happily, Yellen, an early identifier of the previous housing bubble, has not expressed similar concerns about today’s real estate market.
In 2012, the Federal Reserve’s previous leadership announced an unemployment threshold of 6.5% as the point at which it would consider raising interest rates. During Yellen’s first testimony as Chairman, she stated that the Federal open market committee would likely keep interest rates near zero well past that mark. In Yellen’s view, the “recovery in the labor market is far from complete.” As evidence, Yellen pointed to 7.1 million people who are mired in part time work but who would prefer full time jobs—and to the 3.6 million people who have been unemployed longer than six months.
For Delaware home loan rate watchers concerned that a rise in rates might dent real estate values, the new Chairman has sounded some reassuring notes. In her recent address to the Committee on Financial Services, Yellen explicitly stated that she expects “a great deal of continuity in the FOMC’s approach to monetary policy.” That could mean that interest rates for local home loans might gradually rise, it’s not likely to be precipitous.
The bottom line: dramatic rises in interest rates are unlikely under Yellen’s watch, but those considering getting a home loan who have not yet taken advantage of still low interest rates might do well to consider doing so.
Savvy shoppers; don’t sit on the sidelines, call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.