Being Outbid On A Home Can Be A Good Thing

Too many people go through a tough time when they are trying to save up money to buy their dream home. One common challenge that makes the entire process stressful is the competition from other potential home buyers. The big fish out on the market target and the shallow pool of properties available. If you don’t have enough money to match their bid, you’ll probably lose out. However its all a matter of perspective, so lets discuss why being outbid might actually be the best thing that can happen.

The beauty of being outbid

While it can be stressful to place your bid on a particular property that is targeted by the super-wealthy, it can also have some benefits. One unbeatable fact is that being outbid in one home is not the end of it all. Suppose you are outbid by a higher offer than the one you placed on a specific home, there will always be another home elsewhere! There is always another home that will provide you with the features you’re looking for an an appropriate price.

The money-saving opportunity

One thing about being outbid on a home is that you end up securing your budget. Stick with your budget and try to avoid a bidding war that could lead you well outside your comfortable range. This means that you will save money and avoid blowing your budget.

Some people make the mistake of placing a higher bid just to win and secure ownership. Conversely, you now have dipped into your reserves and can no longer afford to make the changes you were hoping to make. Without the budget needed to renovate your home, it may never be the home you were hoping it would be.

How to deal with an outbid

A lot of potential homebuyers are tensed when they can’t win the bid and be the owner of a specific property. It is all about being wise and using the right strategies and tips to avoid overspending and stay on the safe side. Here are some insights to help you out.

Determine your budget

Before you think of placing any bid on any home, you should again consider your budget and determine if you can afford the property or not. The point here is to purchase what is within your reach, based on your finances. This means current financial situations and possible future financial situations.

• Do not panic

As you are preparing to place a bid on a particular home, always keep in mind that some offers can be rejected. Never be afraid of placing an offer on any home of your choice.

• Know when to stop

Understand what it is that makes the property so appealing to you and understand what it might cost to add such features to another house with a lower price tag. Set your budget and go into the process with back up houses in mind. Having a back up will allow you to stop at your limit with more ease.

Study the bid keenly

You may encounter a situation where the initial price of the house is really quite low, but the final bidder will pay almost double the price. Therefore, study the number of bids of a particular home before you rush in. Sometimes you’ll come across deliberately low pricing attempting to create a bidding war. Remember try to avoid a bidding war if possible.

• Consider going for the older homes

When the bidding war is heating up on the top homes in the market, you can use this opportunity to look for older homes that need a little remodeling. Here, you will not only save money, but you will have the chance to renovate the home to match your preference.

Have a backup plan

Before you take part in a bidding war, you should always have a backup home (as mentioned earlier) that you will turn to when you are outbid. This helps save you time and spares you the stress of looking for a new home once your target home is gone. The backup home can be well within the price and area or in a different neighborhood all together. All in all, ensure that you know where to turn to after you lose in a bidding war.

You should set your budget and determine the “no-go zone”. If anyone else places a bid that is beyond your limit, you will have to pull out as soon as possible. This will of course save you money and prevent you from making a purchase you really can’t afford. Anyone can be overwhelmed when it comes to bidding on a spectacular home. Nonetheless, it is always advised to consider the aftermath, and determine what you will pay in the long run. Always stick to your budget, no matter how elegant and attractive the target home seems. There will always be another home waiting to give you all the features you’re looking for at the price you want.

The Future of Sharing Your Home?


Property developers, home builders, and mortgage lenders are working hard to adapt to the growing trend of shared properties that are accommodating several generations of families and shared rental units.

Statistics show that more families in the United States are now sharing a home, with reasons ranging from the cultural and economic, to those centered ob providing care to family members.

A Fannie Mae study in 2013 showed that families of the same generation or multiple generations, parents, grandparents, and children, in a shared home accounted for just under a quarter (21 percent) of all households in the United States.

The lowest year on record for homes shared by multiple generations of families in the United States was back in 1980.

Two homes in a single property

The statistics show a growing trend of shared homes, a shift that the property industry must adapt to.

John Burns Real Estate Consulting conducted a survey on the growing trend of shared homes. Their results show that forty-two percent of potential home buyers plan to accommodate for their adult children; and forty four percent would like their property to be able to accommodate their elderly parents/family members.

Property developers and home builders are adapting to the growing demand for shared homes by creating and adapting properties so they can accommodate several generations of the family. Separate entrances, bedroom suites with private kitchen areas and living spaces, and separated outdoor areas are becoming increasingly important tick boxes for family aimed properties. The privacy and secluded areas of the property are designed to offer a home that can accommodate several generations of a family, but still offer some separation.

The beginning of the year saw the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) International Builders’ show in Las Vegas, which showcased the latest homes that have been designed to offer comfortable living accommodation for several families or help home owners that wish to earn an extra income from their property.

Element Design Build displayed a 5,000 square foot concept property that included a completely separate accommodation unit on the second floor of the property, designed to accommodate children of adult age or elderly parents/grandparents.

A TRI Pointe company, Pardee Homes, showcased another property that featured two guest suites, that include separate entrances and self contained kitchens, which could be rented on internet based home sharing markets and websites.

A survey conducted by TRI Pointe discovered that over 1 in 3 (35 percent) young adults would like the opportunity to rent out areas of their home, at least intermittently. According to Linda Mamet, the vice president of corporate marketing at TRI Pointe, the financial benefit of renting out part of their home made the prospect of buying a home a more affordable proposition.

Mortgage

However, potential home owners will still more than likely need a mortgage.

By analyzing the data of loan performance and household demographics, Fannie Mae demonstrated that the makeup of American households was changing, and asked whether the rules that govern mortgage lending should be adjusted.

As a result of the research Fannie Mae conducted, the HomeReady mortgage was introduced at the start of the year. The mortgage allows lenders to consider the extra income from renting or boarding to help the requester qualify. The HomeReady mortgage also permits potential buyers to put down a minimum of 3 percent and also eliminates the top barrier and credit score that is often cited as a hindrance by young potential buyers that are currently renting a property.

The vice president of capital market, underwriting, an pricing at Fannie Mae, Jonathan Lawless, claims that the HomeReady breaks from the traditions of lending by offering a groundbreaking new element to a mortgage, that supports those that wish to have an extended household.

Making strides forward by adapting to the needs of the market

The housing industry is quickly attempting to adapt to meet the needs of the market and demand for accommodating shared households, whether it is a newly designed property layout that can provide private space for renters or independent members of the family or a new type of mortgage that regards methods of income differently.

The housing industry works in the same ways as other business industries; once a product is doing well other companies will adapt their strategies to follow in the footsteps of what is successful. So we can expect plenty more of invention as the housing industry adapts to the changes of the modern day household.

Thinking of Buying a Flipped Home?

Home buyers often make the mistake of assuming that a recently renovated home is the same as a brand new property. They see the newly renovated property as a problem free and ready to move in home. Newly renovated homes often sell for top price, due to the buyer’s belief that the property is turnkey and ready to move in.

House flipping shows are very popular on TV and make the process of transforming a home seem quite easy. However, TV shows do not stick around long enough to show how the home holds up after a buyer moves in, strong weather, and unavoidable wear and tear.

Property flippers and contractors are often keen to move on to the next property as soon as possible. While others can find hidden issues that require greater expense, resulting in them going over budget. Work on the home can often be rushed as a result.

If you are thinking of buying a flipped home, one that has been purchased by the seller within the last year, the tips below will help you avoid any distressing problems down the line.

Concentrate on the details

While new bathrooms, kitchens, and appliances will draw your attention, try to look beyond at the quality of the workmanship. The details will reveal how well the work on the property has been completed.

The signs of rushed work include:

Slanted or unevenly spaced bathroom tiles

Doors that do not close flush to the door frame

Gaps between the wall and countertops

Light switch plates that are slanted or not flush to the wall

Any cosmetic mistakes could be an indication of bigger problems that cannot be easily spotted by the untrained eye. If the house flipper little attention to the details, you should make sure to check the plumbing connections, the gas line to the water heater, and the electrical panel. Lack of attention to detail can often times signal lack of attention to other more significant areas of your home.

Make sure you have a full inspection of the property

Buyers often make the mistake of assuming a newly renovated property will be in brand new condition. Don’t make the same mistake and be sure to get a quality inspection done.

An inspector will be able to check the quality of the contractors work, and find any hidden issues that the buyer may not see. Has the contractor completed the work thoroughly or tried to get away with the minimal amount due to the desire for a short turnaround on the property? Have the renovations been completed in compliance with code?

The local area authority will have signed off on the renovations, but officials are strictly looking at issues concerning health and safety. A home inspection will give a complete overview of whether the property is up to scratch.

Be diligent

Buyers that are purchasing a flipped home should make sure to fully review the disclosures. Were the correct permits taken out and signed off for the work that has been completed?

Make sure you receive copies of all work approvals and finalized permits. If you don’t receive them, you can look for them online or at the local building department. All permits that are applied for and signed off on are a matter of public record.

Always ensure that all permits are cleared before closing on a property. As the new owner, you could be liable for any unsafe or illegal work.

Research the flipper

Find out as much information as possible about the seller. Are they an experienced contractor? Do they have a positive reputation in the community? Your estate agent can help you find information relating to the seller.

Good contractors and investors have been flipping properties for some time, and have an established reputation. A property flipper with a strong track record should be open and clear with disclosures, documentation, and even provide warranties. A good home flipper is interested in maintaining their reputation as well as accumulating satisfied customers. They don’t want complaints from buyers, legal issues, and a bad reputation.

The last two years have seen a significant increase in homes being purchased for the purpose of renovation followed by resale. Improvements can be completed to a high standard, but there is a chance the contractor was over budget or short on time. Properties that have renovation rushed can leave the new owner with plenty of problems.

Flipped properties should be checked over top to bottom by a trained expert that knows what they are looking for. Poor workmanship can cost money and the peace of mind of the new owner.

Becoming The In Demand Property On The Market


Boost the interest in your property by including additional key amenities and making the most of the buyer appeal of your home’s top features.

Whether you have lived in your home for two or twenty years, when the time arrives to sell your home you must change how you view your property. You need to view your home as a product that is for sale. Like any good salesman, you want your product to attract the interest of buyers and stand out from the competing products on the store shelf.

Of course it can be difficult to change how you see your property. The memories that you have made here paired with the emotional attachment you feel for your home can make it a difficult mental switch. However, sellers that can form the needed emotional detachment and make that mental transition will benefit financially over those that struggle to overcome their attachment to their home. Properties that move quickly into the contract stage and with few hold ups in price negotiation and reductions usually sell for greater financial value, a goal that every seller should have when selling their property.

What are buyers are looking for in a home?

The homes that sell the fastest and are on the market for the least amount of time usually have lots of the hot features that buyers in today’s market find appealing and desirable. A good salesman knows that the key to making a product appealing is to understand what the consumer wants, and to provide the product that fills that need. People selling their home should do the same with the sale of their property.

When you’re in the stages of preparing to put your home up for sale, you should consider making minor renovations, upgrades, by cleaning the property and possibly some light staging. It is not unheard of for some sellers to question whether they really want to leave their home after making noteworthy upgrades to their property, prior to putting it on the market.

In today’s housing market, the majority of buyers are looking for turn key homes that are ready for the buyer to move in as soon as the paperwork of the property purchase is complete. The more attractive move in ready features that a property has the better to attract potential buyers.

Focus the upgrading of your property on kitchens and bathrooms

It is a well known and well established rule of real estate that the kitchen and bathroom can make or break the sale of a property. If your home’s kitchen or bathroom is outdated or a little tired, consider an upgrade that could bring some life into the room and attract buyers.

A simple lick of paint can work wonders in the kitchen. Paint cabinets white to give a bright and clean look to your kitchen, and consider including some new stone counter tops made from granite or quartz. Old and tired faucets should be replaced with fresh new units.

Upgrades should be seen as an investment and you can see an incredible return on the moderate amount you need to spend to brighten up the key features of a property.

Make the most of your property’s key features

Industry experts know that a property with certain features is more likely to sell faster. Even if you are unable to upgrade your home, you may already be blessed with some of the hot features that are on most buyers’ wish lists.

If you home has subway tiles in the bathroom or kitchen, craftsmen features, or barn doors you are already a step ahead of the competition with these hot features that are currently in demand. Home features that are in demand help to sell a property faster, so if you have them make the most of these features.

Home sellers must think like the CEO of a company selling their new product, fashion accessory, or gadget, for their industry. A smart salesman finds out what their audience wants and adapts their product to meet the demand of their customers.

When you are ready to sell your home, consider the needs of your potential buyer and turn your property in to an in demand product that will attract buyers.

The Pros and Cons of a Month-to-Month Lease

The rental market can prove to be a very intimidating environment. There are a number of sites to search through, legal jargon to research, and even misleading landlords to deal with. Obviously it can be a very rigorous process. However, there are certain decisions to make before you even consider entering the search phase of your apartment hunt. Making these decisions early on will help elevate some of the potential stress of the entire process.

So let’s go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of specifically a month to month lease. The type of lease you decide on will impact a number of things as you move along. So consider your own needs first and compare them with the following pro’s and con’s.

Pro: Flexibility

For some flexibility is a very important aspect of owning an apartment. Obviously investing in a mortgage can lock you down for a longer period of time. If your future is somewhat up in the air, even within the next 6-12 months than a month to month lease might be ideal for you.

It’s important to note that you’ll need to give your landlord at least a 30 day notice before you’re ready to move on from your apartment.

Con: Cost

While you did the added flexibility you’ll often times be charged a premium. The goal is to have an apartment rented as much as possible and finding someone to replace you can prove to be a challenging process for the land lord. To compensate for the possible time gap between your departure and another renters arrival you might have pay more.

A 12 month lease will certainly be cheaper and allow you to lock in a rental rate. However, if you do need to leave before that 12 month period is up you’ll need to find someone to take your place. This is the only way you’ll be allowed to terminate the agreement early.

Pro: TYPICALLY you can switch to a long-term lease

In most cases a Landlord will be open to the idea of you becoming a longterm tenant. As long as you we’re a good tenant that is. Discuss this possibility with the landlord first however before making your final decision.

Con: Non fixed rent

On a month to month rent basis the landlord is legally allowed to hike your rent for any reason. One of the best benefits to a 12 month lease is a locked in rent rate. So be leery of this possibility.

Pro: Renovated

In most cases it isn’t all that difficult to find an apartment that was actually designed or renovated specifically for a short term renter. Places near hotspots in town for example typically accommodate such a thing. Also you should find there are some caps in place in most cities preventing land lords from hiking your rent too high. Again though, only a longer term lease will let you establish a fixed rate.

Con: Cost of Moving

Flexibility is great and all but remember if you bounce around from short term lease to short term lease, you’ll use up money that could have been used on a down payment. Also there are some apartment complexes that charge a move in fee.

Con: More Searching

In most cases landlords will want a longer term commitment so you might have to do more searching than you would like to. Finding the right land lord who won’t hike your rent and will be perfectly fine with your short term lease is some what of a rarity but it certainly can be done.

Choosing between a short term lease and a 12 month lease can certainly seem like a difficult task. Flexibility is certainly a desirable quality, especially if your at an early stage in your life. It’s important to note however again that you can in most cases opt out of your 12 year lease if you have another renter lined up to take your place. So talk to your land lord and see if they’re comfortable with you locking in a 12 month rate as well as with the possibility of you leaving as long as you have a replacement.

Bottom line, just be open an honest with your landlord about your intentions and you should be able to find a set up that works out well for the both of you.

Green Features: Can They Help Sell A Home?


Equipping your home with a geothermal system and solar panels may appear to be a major plus point when it comes time to sell your home, but will it really make a difference to potential buyers?

Most of today’s home buyers like to hear about a property’s LEED certification, solar panels, geothermal systems, and Energy Star rated appliances. Likewise, today’s property developers and sellers like to tell potential buyers about their property’s green features, because of the monetary expense they have invested to upgrade the property. But do these features really affect the way a buyer feels about a property? Will they be willing to pay more money for a property – and can the green features of a home actually make a sale?

Can green features get buyers to part with more cash?

Home buyers spend extra money for features of a property that they can physically feel and show off to impress family and friends, a media entertainment room, spa bathroom suite, chef’s kitchen. Most buyers will probably have reservations about paying extra for a property’s features that are concealed or are not easily appreciated, such as a new boiler, plumbing system, or roof.

The green features of a property are somewhere in between. There is a certain appreciation and cool factor for a property’s solar panels or environmentally friendly smart phone controlled thermostat. If a home’s green features have a cool factor a buyer will be willing to pay extra for the property. However, if a property has green features that fail to excite a buyer, such as a concealed air filtration system, they are not likely to spend more than they would for a similar property that lacks the features.

Money saving green features

A home with green features that fails to excite is unlikely to result in a buyer spending more money to purchase the property. But, if the home is equipped with green features that will save the owner money in the future or in the short term, potential buyers are likely to be more interested.

When it comes to the resale of a property, it is unlikely that the seller will recover the full cost of investment in green features, such as solar panels or environmentally friendly thermostats. Like a redesigned kitchen or upgraded bathroom, the cost is built into the total value of the property. This presents a situation that is very beneficial for buyers, as they can reap the benefits of a green feature and any cool factor at the same time.

New builds: including green features or not

For new builds, the potential buyer needs to make a very detailed cost versus benefit breakdown of including any green features. Developers usually offer a choice of floor plans and custom features to buyers, including geothermal systems for heating and cooling a property. The extra cost of these systems is usually around $50,000; however the federal government offers tax credit that immediately returns $30,000 to the buyer. The initial cost of the system is also usually included with the cost of the mortgage, so the buyer is not required to make any initial investment of cash.

The energy bills of a property with a geothermal system are hundreds of dollars lower than that of a property without the feature, so within 5 years the buyer would recuperate the cost in energy bill savings.

However, the decision to include green features for the extra investment is a personal and financial decision for each individual buyer. If a buyer does not plan to be living in the property for the long term they may feel that they will not benefit from the saving in energy bills, and that future buyers will not be willing to pay extra for the feature, especially in a slow housing market. Buyers that plan to spend a long time in the property, or want to commit to being environmentally friendly with their home, may feel differently about including green features.

A growing market

A growing niche of the housing market is willing to spend extra on green features, and are less concerned with the cool factor or cost saving of the feature. While the cost saving is a bonus, their concern for the environment drives their decision making.

It is ultimately a personal decision that each buyer should consider, the environmental impact and cost saving and how they influence your real estate decisions. One thing you can be sure of is that green features are here to stay and will become increasingly important in the housing market.

4 Steps to Buying a Second Home

Many people love the idea of owning a chalet in the mountains, a beach house retreat, or a cool apartment in the city, but never take the plunge. Buying a second home is a big financial and life changing step that requires a lot of thought. By following the steps below, you can make then decision of whether or not you are ready for a second property, and find out exactly how how to go about preparing for the purchase of a second home if it is the right decision for you.

Is a second home affordable for you and your financial situation?

Before you get excited about a cozy countryside cottage, you should assess your financial situation and research the costs of a second home, beyond just acquiring a second mortgage. Be aware that some mortgage companies will charge more interest for a second home if you intend to rent out the property as a holiday let, or to a tenant, as financial lenders categorize a rental as a greater risk than a property used as a primary residence.

Are the maintenance, insurance, and property taxes affordable when you are not using the property as a residence? Gas, electric, garbage disposal, and water utility bills all require paying, even when you are not using the property.

As with the property you currently reside, unexpected upkeep and repair costs always appear at some stage. If you like the idea of a large garden for summer BBQs and family get-togethers, you must be prepared for the landscaping costs to maintain the property when you are away from your second home.

It is worth noting that hiring a property manager to keep check of your second home may be advisable, especially if you plan on leaving your property for longer than a few weeks at a time.

Pick a location for your second home

The idea of a second home on the beach may sound ideal, but will you have the time to visit your new second home as often as you would like to? Unless you plan on renting out your second home for large segments of the year, it may not be a good idea to invest in a property that you will only be able to use a couple of weeks a year.

If you are already spending a considerable amount of time in a location, and have the finances to afford a second home, then purchasing a vacation home may be a great option for you.

Look into insuring a second property

After you have evaluated the real cost of owning a second home, and you know the location you want to buy in, researching the cost and considerations of insuring a second property is next.

The insurer of your current property is a great place to start. By insuring both your properties and any vehicles may make you eligible for discounted rates.

Insurance rates can vary on lots of factors. If your new second home is in an area affected by flooding, or has a swimming pool, especially with no fencing or gates surrounding it, it may mean more expensive rates or no possibility of insurance coverage at all.

Find your new second home and enjoy it

After you have looked into all the possible costs of owning a second home and you have selected potential areas you wish to buy, get in contact with a real estate agent and arrange some viewings to find your new dream vacation property.

A second home offers the possibility of enjoying glorious vacation time from the comfort and familiarity of your own home. After spending some time at your new property you will come to realize how cost-saving owning a vacation home is to renting, along with the privacy that cannot be found among the crowds of tourists at hotels and resorts.

A second home that is purchased in the right area can also be a financially beneficial purchase, even if you decide against renting out the property. Depending on how they are used, a second home can also be eligible for some tax benefits.

Choose a location that you love to frequent and use your second home as a place to unwind, relax, and experience memorable days with the family.

The 3 Most Common Moving Day Nightmares


Relocating to a different property can be very stressful. Below are the most common moving day problems and how to avoid them.

Bad moving company

Some moving companies are incompetent and can even be completely fraudulent.

The movers don’t show up or arrive late

The time you agreed with the company passes and after making a phone call you are given an excuse, more time elapses before the movers finally turn up several hours late. The result is a very stressful day and a lot of wasted time. The worst possibility is that you cannot get in contact with the moving company and are left with a wasted day and the financial loss of the deposit you gave to a fraudulent moving company that disappeared.

Your movers aren’t prepared 

Your moving day can also be disastrous if the company you hire arrives in a vehicle too small to transport your belongings, or lacks the expertise and equipment to safely handle your valuable items. An incompetent moving company may cram your belongings into a small van and scratch your expensive TV, or drop the set of china you inherited from your grandmother. The result is an emotionally and financially damaging moving day.

The movers are criminals or scammers

This might be the worst potential problem that can occur with the movers. The moving scammers may ask for much more money than was previously agreed by claiming that extra services are required for the move. They can even withhold your belongings until you pay an additional fee, or steal your expensive items and abandon the rest.

The solution to problems with moving companies is simple. Ensure that you carefully research the company before hiring them and handing over any deposit. Make sure that you are hiring a reputable company that is experienced and fully licensed. It is also recommended that you purchase any appropriate insurance for transporting your possessions, better to be safe than sorry.

Problems with traffic

Bad traffic or accidents can derail your moving day.

Stuck in traffic

The moving truck is late due to traffic and you run out of time to go ahead with your move. You might have to postpone your moving day and go through the stress of moving all over again.

Accidents

A traffic collision could occur on the moving truck’s route, it could delay the arrival of your belongings. The worst scenario is that the moving truck is involved in the accident and your possessions are badly damaged or even worse and lost completely.

The moving truck breaks down

If the moving truck breaks down you will have to wait for a replacement vehicle and transfer your belongings. Your relocation will delayed by some considerable time.

Parking problems

There is no space for the moving truck to park, you may have to wait for hours until a suitable space opens, or the moving truck has to park a long way from your new home. As well as wasting your time, the moving company may charge you for the delay or the extra distance they have to carry your possessions.

Sometimes you will suffer bad luck, and there is not much you can do about breakdowns and accidents. Pick a reputable moving company with several vehicles and make sure to reserve a parking space outside your old and your new home if possible.

Bad organization

Plan your relocation step by step to avoid the common moving day problems below.

Last minute packing

If you leave packing to the last minute, you may discover that you have many more possessions to relocate than you previously thought and it doesn’t fit into the moving truck. You might not even be ready when the movers arrive and lose time and possibly money due to extra fees.

Furniture issues

If your larger possessions don’t fit through the door, you might have to pay for a hoisting service to have it removed at extra cost, or leave behind items that have sentimental value.

Problems with paperwork

Many people forget to transfer utilities and don’t have any electricity or water when they arrive at their new property. You can be fined if you don’t change the registration of your car and driver’s license in time.

Safety concerns

Don’t overlook safety on moving day. Many people suffer injuries and accidents on their moving day by overlooking safety concerns.

The Seller Rejected Your Offer, Now What?

Finding the perfect home can be a trying process to say the least. You’ll encounter a number of houses and people before you finally come across that perfect match. Also, you may find yourself in a situation where you want the home more than the seller wants you to have the home. As heart breaking as this may be, there’s always more fish in the sea, or in this case…houses on the market.

So what can we do if we come across a situation where your offer was rejected? Well, if you’re set on this home then we’re going to have to do a little strategizing. Obviously theres no obligation for the seller to accept your offer if they don’t want to. They can reject your offer for literally any reason. Every seller you come across will have different motivations for selling and thats important to remember. Of course we can’t guarantee that the seller can be convinced to sell at the price point you’re willing to offer so make sure you’re not hung up on a property that just wasn’t meant to be.

Let’s dive right into the 3 best ways you can respond to a seller who has rejected your offer.

1. Don’t over analyze

Your first instinct might be to over analyze why the seller rejected your offer. Don’t spend your valuable time looking up the sales history and tax records and comparing everything the seller’s agent told you with everything you think you know. Before you know it you’ll find yourself in a deep hole more confused then you were at the start.

If you’re offer was rejected its best to speak with your agent and discuss further options. Be open to the idea that this house will remain out of your reach simply fro reasons you can’t overcome. I’m certainly not advocating that you just drop all interest in the house. However, if your first offer was your best possible offer and it was a no go consider moving on. If it wasn’t your best possible offer see option number 2 just below.

2. Go all in

If you made an offer and it wasn’t enticing enough to the seller consider upping your offer. Common practice is to make an offer with some room to increase if need be. So presumably you made an offer with a little room to increase, logically the next step would be to make your next best offer and hope this time you land a deal.

Make it clear this is your highest offer and put it in writing. If they still aren’t interested or they don’t respond to you its time to move on. Consult with you agent before you make your final offer and mentally prepare yourself to move on if it doesn’t go through.

3. Put the home behind you

Purchasing a home is an emotional experience, you might find yourself emotionally attached before you’ve even closed on the house. So its important to put that home out of your mind immediately if your best offer was rejected. Lingering on the home and questioning why you didn’t get it will distract you from finding a new one.

Take this time to reflect on the process and prepare yourself for the next one. Remember some of the features that made this home so inviting to you. Just because you didn’t get this home doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice those important qualities. Certainly not all homes we’re created equal but you’ll always find similarities across the board when house hunting.

So get out there and get to know more houses, each one has something new to offer you! So get out there paint the town red, or your new home red for that matter. Either way try to relax and enjoy the home buying process, as taxing as it may be. Your agent will be there to guide you through the whole process and make sure you don’t settle on a house lacking your dream requirements.

Odds are you’ll come across another home down the line that is even more perfect for you than you had ever imagined. For every seller to reject your offer there is one waiting to close on the house of you dreams. So let’s get out there and start house hunting, your dream home is waiting.

Tenants Beware: Hidden Costs and Fees


In recent years, the rental market has been booming. Data from the most up to date U.S. census shows that, over a 10 year period, the number of renters has grown at its fastest rate since 1965. An increase of around 8.5 million renters in the last decade has seen the competition increase and the pressure grow on both renters and landlords. Tenants face fierce competition to find a suitable and reasonably priced home, while landlords try to get the right rental price for their property in an ever increasingly competitive rental market.

Every landlord is running a business, and like every business they try to maximize profits. Sometimes a property’s monthly rental cost seems reasonable, but the utilities and other hidden fees can add up to a sizable extra cost for the tenant. Listed below are some of the hidden costs and add-ons you should look out for before signing a tenancy agreement.

Utilities

Utility bills are often overlooked by new tenants that are excited to move into a property. To understand the overall rental cost of a property, tenants should take the cost of all the utility bills into consideration. State laws differ when it comes to how tenants are billed for utilities, and what happens in the event of missed payments and utility shutoffs.

Utilities can be part of a total, all-inclusive, rental cost and be billed to the landlord. Other rental properties may require the tenant to have the utility bills in their name. In apartments and flats, master meters are often used by landlords to serve the entire apartment block or building and the tenants are billed individually. This is known as third-party billing and is popular with landlords, as they can advertise a base rental cost, but then charge for the utilities as an extra add-on cost.

Third-part billing regulations

Some cities view third-party billing as deceptive, and introduced legislation to oversee third-party billing. Seattle introduced third-party billing ordinance to cover all residential buildings that contain over three units, in an attempt to combat deceptive landlords from fraudulently overcharging tenants for utilities.

In 1977, the non-profit Tenants Union of Washington State was formed to offer help, information and advice to tenants, in regards to tenancy issues, third-party billing and other issues connected to utility costs.

The advice the organisation offers is not restricted to Washington State. It is advisable that all tenants, regardless of location, follow their advice in regards to utility bills.

– Make sure to ask questions and have a clear understanding of utility services before signing a tenancy agreement

– Act quickly to set up utility accounts

– Always pay utility bills on time and retain all payment documentation

– Take precautions to protect yourself with the landlord

– Try to resolve any utility disputes quickly

Other hidden fees and charges

Some landlords may charge additional fees, other than utilities. Sometimes these fees are optional services and other times they are required by all tenants, depending on the tenant’s specific agreement and situation. These fees can even be related to supply and demand, depending on the competitiveness of the rental market.

Landlords can charge separate fees for parking, and additional costs for any pets at the residence. Landlords may also charge an application fee that must be paid regardless whether a tenant is approved or not.

Condos and apartments that are subject to homeowner’s associations (HOAs), can charge for tenant- occupied units and separate moving in fees. Amenities that are not considered utilities, such as internet access and cable TV, under most state ordinances, may be billed to the tenant as an additional fee from the landlord or HOA.

These additional fees are on top of the security deposit and advanced payment of rent that is required by most landlords, usually the first and last month of rent that is to be paid before a tenant can move into the property.

Need advice?

There are many non-profit advocacy organizations around the country that are able to offer help and advice to tenants. Most states also provide information for landlords and tenants on their official websites. If you are still confused, or cannot find the information you require, it may be worth consulting with an expert that knows the state law and can offer advice and services to help resolve tenancy issues and problems quickly and at an affordable cost.