Listing Courtesy of RE/MAX REALTY GROUP REHOBOTH
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!
The upheaval in global financial markets over the past few years may have been unnerving for almost everyone, but among the hardest-hit group was first time home buyers, in Sussex County and across the country. Many had to deal with the stress caused by an uncertain economy, the fallout on business and job security, and, more directly, a pronounced increase in the difficulty of securing mortgages.
The good news for Delaware first time home buyers is how the national situation has stabilized. It’s confirmed by the increase in the number of people interested in buying a home for the first time—which has climbed out of the slump. The latest NAR (National Association of Realtors®) annual Profile—a yearly report describing home buyers and sellers—shows that new entrants into the residential market accounted for 39%, just 1% shy of the pre-crash mark.
If you’re selling a Delaware home and have priced it attractively, it could pay to be mindful of this important segment of our market.
So just who are Delaware’s first time home buyers? That’s where the NAR report gives us some important clues. Three-quarters of first time buyers across the nation fall into the category of current tenants —those living in rented accommodations—with 18% still living with parents. As you’d expect, almost all (98%) of that segment hope to fund their purchase with a mortgage, with 81% preferring a fixed-rate loan. Some first time home buyers plan to use personal savings for the down payment, but many others plan to get help from family. (Sussex County home sellers take note: one possible incentive to make your listing stand out might be to include an offer to cover closing costs.)
Three-quarters of respondents were aged from 22-42. The single most common reason given for buying a home is to start a family (70%), and of those buying a home for the first time, 51% are married couples. With proportions like those, any home in a family-friendly area should benefit by pointing out attractions like local parks, playgrounds and superior schools.
Maybe the most interesting statistic in the report was that 28% of the first time home buyers were already making plans to move again within five years! It may follow that, at least in many cases, first time home buyers in Delaware may not want to deal with remodeling issues. Attracting them could be the final reason to bring your property into “move-in” condition.
Well thought-out marketing is the key to success with any listing, whether it’s catering to Delaware first time home buyers or to any other segment. If you are thinking of selling your own home, a call to me and a some preliminary groundwork on a marketing plan that will work for you is definitely in order!