6 Signs Your Bathroom Needs An Update

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The bathroom is arguably one of the most important rooms in the house, and among the most frequently used. However, it is easy for homeowners to overlook this space when it’s time to renovate or update. Updating the bathroom is a worthwhile investment which not only adds value to the home but also increases the overall quality of your day to day life. If you are not sure if you really need to make a change, here are the top signs that it is time to update your bathroom.

1. The Bathroom Has Mold

If you happen to notice dark spots sprouting up in the corners, parts of the ceiling, directly above the bathtub, or shower, it’s time to update your bathroom. Keep in mind that not all leaks/drips are visible, so make sure you look for mildew and mold near the edges and corners of your shower and bathtub. Sometimes mildew and mold problems can arise from minor issues like drips, leaks, faulty pipes, or improper ventilation which can be easily fixed by doing some minor repairs. However, in case you have a serious mildew or mold problem even after you have done the minor repairs, chances are that you have a much bigger problem to deal with. Make sure you deal with that problem immediately, before it gets worse. If the water gets into your bathroom floor, it could eventually end up compromising its’ structural integrity.

2. There are Cracked, Chipped, Stained or Broken Glass in the Bathroom

As mentioned earlier, the bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house. This means that the shower tiles, sink faucets, light fixtures, and ceiling fans are all in frequent use, therefore when they start breaking down, it is time to consider updating your bathroom. If the ceiling starts crumbling, you notice discolored tile grout, the mirror is broken, or there’s cracked linoleum and tile floor, you need to consider how you can repair the damaged materials while updating your bathroom at the same time.

3. It’s No Longer Big Enough

When brushing your teeth or taking a shower, you should feel like you’ve room to move around. Many homes have a standard 8’ by 5’ bathroom; this size does not allow for a variety of layout or design options. If your family has grown and the bathroom feels somewhat cramped, it is time to consider updating the current space with new features that optimize the function and storage.

4. It’s Out of Date

Design trends come and go. If you have a pink bathtub, avocado floors, a brightly colored toilet, or gold fixtures, it might be time to update your bathroom. These are simply out of style and can greatly hurt your chances of resale. Moreover, an outdated bathroom might actually be hiding a number of unseen problems which need to be addressed. You should consider updating by using neutral colors on the bathroom walls, and then accenting with a color. Some other simple tricks can include swapping your outdated flooring, fixtures, lighting, and handles.

5. There are Leaks in Your Bathroom

Leaks are common in many bathrooms. Depending on the particular situation, a leak can be because of a minor problem that’s easy to repair or can be a major problem which has to be addressed immediately. In case the leak is a result of rust or corrosion which has been present for quite some time, it might be causing serious water damage which can weaken the structural elements of your house, and might end up costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. If you notice serious leaks, you should really consider updating your bathroom; not only will it save you on your water bill, it will prevent structural damage.

6. You are Looking to Sell Your House Soon

If you’re contemplating on selling your home in the near future, you should consider updating your bathroom. If your bathroom doesn’t look high class, you need to upgrade it. Also, if you’ve an older house, updating the bathroom is crucial. When the bathroom is updated, it can be a major selling point, and might even position your house for a much quicker sale.

The Summer 2016 Refi Boom – Crunching The Numbers

According to a recent survey from bls.gov, the United States has created over 250,000 new non-farm jobs as of July, 2016. This, in effect, overshadowed the previous prediction of 180,000 that had been speculated by various economic tabloids. While to the average citizen this might sound like great economic news, that’s not necessarily the case for those eyeing fresh mortgages as the rates are now expected to skyrocket. So, does this necessarily mean that the 2016 refi window has already closed?

 

How Rate Markets Work

 

Before we even jump to conclusions, let’s address how the rate markets made their way to where they are now.

 

Keep in mind that individual mortgages are often packaged into separate mortgage bonds – also known as MBS ( Mortgage Backed Securities ). These bonds, in turn, impact rates on a daily basis. If you’re wondering how, then remember that bonds often pay a rate of return to the respective investors every year and that rate in question is always inverse to a specific bond price. (Bonds are often traded on a daily basis.)

 

So, in light of the positive economic news, more bonds will be sold, which as a consequence, makes the prices per bond drop and the rates climb higher. The opposite remains true. And this explains why the rates rose momentarily after the release of a blowout of jobs report at the beginning of August.

 

How the Rates are Expected to Perform in Fall 2016

 

From the analysis in the above paragraph, one may be tempted to believe that the chance to jump on the refinance bandwagon is long and gone. However, this couldn’t be any further from the truth! This is because rate markets are often volatile and throughout the better part of 2016 we have seen the repeated rise of refinancing opportunities albeit, with looming economic uncertainty.

 

Take, for instance, in January and February of this year, the Mortgage rates in the U.S dropped to their all-time lowest level in three years. According to economic gurus and analysts, this could be associated with the concern over the economic instability of other countries outside of the United States.

 

Later in June, around the same time when the U.K voted to exit the larger European Union, the rates dropped even lower, which confirmed the concern of non-U.S territories economic volatility.

 

Now, the coming months usher even more hectic and unpredictable times. There’s a presidential election and, not just one, but three Federal Reserve meetings in the not so distant future. All these will be factors that will influence the rate markets whether we choose to acknowledge them or not.

 

This is coming from an informed perspective that the three remaining fed policy-setting meetings that are scheduled in September, November and December have a high likelihood of introducing or raising the current bank-to-bank lending rates. Which, of course, will, in turn, have an impact on the mortgage rates and bond markets.

 

But before you jump the gun and blame it all on the Fed rate, consider that at times the volatility of the rate markets is affected by the bond market anticipating an impending Fed rate way of ahead of time. A good example is how last year investors dumped their bonds ahead of the annual Fed meeting in December.

 

Far from this, it is general knowledge that the Fed often tries to remain as politically neutral as possible. So this year, the bond market is somewhat split on trying to guess when the next hike is likely to occur. While some think it will be introduced in September, others argue that it will most likely be seen during the December 14th meeting – after the presidential elections.

 

So When is the Best Period To Lock a Refi Rate?

 

Given the unpredictability of the rate market dynamics, it is inevitable that at one time or another you will have to ask yourself this tentative question. One thing is certain, however – rate dips are always coming and going ever so quickly. Therefore, it is always a great idea to keep checking the rates regularly. Remember that as soon as the rates drop, the affected lenders tend to spring into action almost immediately.

It’s still best to inquire about the rate lock. The rate lock is simply the number of days or months when a given rate remains fixed. Normally, the long the rate lock, the higher the rate is likely to be.

Why Overpricing Your House Will Always Be a Bad Idea

Setting your home’s selling price above its actual market value may seem like a great idea…right?

You have room to deal with buyers who like to bargain aggressively. Plus, your agent can comfortably take his or her percentage without compromising what you’ll receive from the sale. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?

Well, the process of property-selling goes deeper than that. A well-maintained house that has been priced competitively from the get-go is more likely to sell within the higher end of its value scale. It is also expected to get off the market in a relatively shorter period of time.

Conversely, an overpriced house is more likely to stay on the market longer than expected. However, the longer it stays on the market, the lower its final selling price ends up. This has been observed in homes that typically lingered on the market for more than two months- they tend to sell for at least five percent less than its initial selling price.
Of course, there are a number of things that contribute to the time a house spends on the market. However, the initial pricing structure has proven the be one of the most influential factors in determing the time to closing.

When it comes to pricing, agents know best. 

As a homeowner, your house is your first and foremost concern. As such, this could result in you having limited knowledge of the world beyond the borders of your own home- which, in this case, is the real estate industry at large. It is because of this limited view of the market that some homeowners have a tendency to overvalue their property- they are just that attached to it. 

There is a common misconception that real estate agents severely undervalue houses to sell and get them off the market as quickly as possible. While unscrupulous agents do exist, the majority of them are more concerned with making sure that your house is accurately priced according to current market conditions.

With this in mind, it’s important to be receptive to your agent’s advice on how to prep up your home for a sale. Potential buyers often respond to a listing within a couple of weeks after posting, so making it attractive right from the start (especially when it comes to pricing) increases your chances of having a favorable sale.

As the popular saying goes, “First impressions, last.” The same rings true for your house listing. 

Take advantage of the early momentum when you first put up your house for sale. An overpriced listing that stays inactive for weeks often ends up having its price reduced eventually until it reaches a price point that is more in tune to what the market perceives its value to be.

Buyers are more likely to strike if the listing reaches around five percent of their desired price. However, if the house takes too long to go down to its ideal price range, potential buyers get disinterested. There is a chance that they would come up with offers that are far below than what one would get had the listing been priced correctly in the first place.
If you have any more questions regarding appropriate pricing feel free to leave your contact info in one of the available forms on the page. Or if you need you can reach out to me directly and I’ll be in touch asap. If you’re looking for more tips tricks and information to help make your buying or selling experience easier check out the rest of my real estate blog! Or if you’re interested in a free home valuation then check out the sellers tab at the top of the page.

Why You Should Wait Before Making Those Home Renovations

There has been tremendous growth in the real estate sector in recent years. This has led to an increase in opportunities for home buyers with all kinds of budgets. More homes are becoming available in top-end locations. A large number of such homes are those that are in less-than-stellar condition and need some degree of work.

As the real estate market becomes more and more competitive, these homes are becoming a smart investment choice for savvy home buyers. One of the main advantages of such homes is that you can modify them according to your personal preferences and increase the value of your investment in the process. However, it is often recommended that as a home buyer, you take your time and actually live in your newly purchased home before conducting any renovations and costly house improvements.

It is okay and even advisable to make some minor changes such as plumbing and lighting repairs but major remodelling work should be saved for later dates. Below are several reasons why it is a good idea to keep sizable home improvements on hold until you have properly settled into your new home.

1. CHANGE OF MIND

Living in your newly purchased home before making permanent upgrades places you in a better position to make informed decisions on any changes. Even if you have internally visualised how you would want the home to be based on its state at the time of the purchase, you will never be able to conclusively tell if the new house will serve you well until you have experienced it first-hand.

Waiting provides you will vital information on certain aspects that will or will not work in your favour or according to your preferences. The daily experiences you have will greatly influence your eventual decision on updates you want to make.

2. BREAK FROM THE NUANCES OF HOME BUYING

For many people, purchasing a home is one of the most important investments they will ever make in their entire lives. So, it goes without saying that home buyers go through a stressful period when closing on homes. You will most likely have made some huge changes in your lifestyle in order to get the home of your dreams. As such, you need ample time to rest and recover from the financial impact associated with home buying. Home improvements are not exactly cheap or easy to complete.

It is a very important process that requires considerable investment in terms of energy, time and money- all of which you may have exhausted in the earlier home buying process. You do not want to put yourself through these stresses in a short period of time. Therefore, it is wise to wait for a while before undertaking any home modifications or improvements.

3. ROOM FOR PROPER PLANNING

For any home improvements to be successful, it requires proper planning and prior arrangements on your part. It does not matter how small it may be. Remodelling your home will take a lot of time as it will require consultation with several contractors, architects as well as interior and exterior designers.

These parties will offer you professional opinions on the many aspects involved in renovating a house. Enlisting the services of the best contractors will ensure that you are satisfied with the end results. This also may end up saving you some money in the long run.

There are very many listed contractors on the market nowadays. This means that getting the right one can be a daunting task in itself. You do not want to hire a contractor under time constraints.

One of the reasons many homeowners want to conduct renovations as soon as possible is to avoid feeling like their home is incomplete. They also state the inconvenience of paying for the improvements down the line, in addition to other expenses such as rent and mortgages.

At the moment this may make financial sense. However, in the long-term, it can cause certain problems. Therefore, it is very important to allocate some time to properly plan and arrange for the renovations.

No matter which home you buy, there is some degree of work that you will have to put in afterwards. While it all boils down to individual preferences and choices, it is recommended that you avoid trying to do all of these activities at once.

5 Easy Tips To Infuse A Retro Look Into Your Home

Retro home decor is making a comeback, and it’s doing it with style as many homeowners are now turning to the older days to give a new look to their house. When you think about retro decoration, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind? Is it the kitchen walls of avocado color? Or is it the classic shag carpets in front of the fireplace? Well, whatever your idea of retro may be, know that vintage pieces not only bring much-needed refreshment in your home but also don’t cost you a fortune.

So how do you add bits and pieces of retro without completely changing the theme of your home? Keep reading this guide to find out.

5 easy tips to infuse a look of retro in your home

1. Use saturated colors

Home decor in the 60’s and 70’s placed a lot of focus on color, which lent almost every house a distinct look of its own. You don’t need to redo your entire home, all you have to do is use punchy hues in certain areas of your house to give it a classic look from the bygone era. While bold colors that go slightly over the top may bring a look of retro to a room, remember that the same color won’t suit everywhere.

As a general rule of thumb, use pale colors in a small room and darker colors in rooms that are larger in size. If your room is small, paint the walls with a lighter color and complement the look by throwing in more saturated accessories.

2. Use vintage furniture and accessories

The best part about going retro is perhaps the fact that you don’t need to match everything to the last possible detail. To bring a feeling of nostalgia all you may have to do is introduce a retro style table, few classic chairs, or a 70’s inspired sofa set. As more people are experimenting with retro visuals, many companies have dedicated themselves to offering specialized services to reimagining and recreating all things retro.

Accessories like a rotary phone, lava lamp, a stacked record of albums placed in a corner, or a few retro posters can significantly boost the overall appeal without burning a hole in your pocket. If you can manage to find old retro posters of your favorite band or films, just frame and hang them on the wall to create a fabulous centerpiece.

3. Make the best use of lighting

Similar to furniture, lighting has a tremendous impact on how your room looks and feels. To fully capture the essence of a bygone era, you may use industrial pendants of vintage style to imbue a rustic kitchen -like feel or bring in few circular mod chandeliers for a quick retro fix. If you are yet not ready to invest in getting permanent fixtures, try out Edison light bulbs that come in a broad range of shapes and sizes. Do not ignore the aspect of lighting if you want to complete the retro look of your house.

4. Change up the beadboard and paneling

Try out some designs of the Victorian era with beadboard or paneling that should be readily available in any of your neighborhood hardware stores. This can be an excellent way to accentuate the retro look of any home as it adds the required character and texture to reflect fully on the older days. Concentrate on overlooked spaces like laundry rooms, hallways, entryways, and other small areas to add an immediate spark to the visual aesthetics.

5. Make the most of the flea market items

There’s always one thing in every home that defines its character. When you’re going for a retro look, the best way you can find a one-of-a-kind piece without burning through the dollars is by checking the flea market or a reputed online auction site. You can bring in an antique steamer trunk and use as a coffee table or use old fabric ladders to hang linens or for stacking potted plants. Whatever you do, be prepared to see a look of astonishment on the faces of your guests.

Bringing a look of retro into your home is easy if you know how to change a few things here and there and are willing to spend some time researching and experimenting. We hope these tips help you get the retro home of your dreams.

What You Need To Know Before Selling Your Home


Are you ready to put your property on the market? You might want to double check this list first!

When you decide you’re ready to sell your home, you will have to dedicate some time and effort to ensure that the carpets are clean, the garden is well kept, and that your home is optimized to make the best possible impression on potential buyers. But you should save some time to take care of this crucial yet easily forgotten, task: contact your local government to ensure that it has the correct information about your property.

Whether your home is a three story suburban mansion or a one bedroom apartment, local government records will have additional details and documents on it. Problems with municipality records on your home can stall the progress of a sale going through, or even derail a deal completely. So make sure everything is accurate and up to date before you decide to list your home on the market.

The building department

Your local town or borough retains records on every building permit that has been issued as well as details of every building that has been constructed within its municipality. The lead building inspector is tasked with ensuring that any modifications that are made to a property meet the current building codes and that any work undertaken is completed by licensed contractors.

The building department is primarily interested in ensuring your property meets health and safety regulations. Whenever somebody makes an application for a permit, the building department will send out an inspector to physically inspect the work that has been completed and signed it off.

How does this affect home sellers?

Once an offer has been made and a deal has been agreed upon by the buyer and seller, the buyer will contact the building department to complete their due diligence. If they discover any issues, such as an open permit that was applied for by a contractor but was never inspected and officially signed off by an inspector, they could possibly abandon the proposed deal with the seller.

It is quite common for sellers to discover that at some point during their property’s lifetime a mistake has been made, permits can certainly fly under the radar with relative ease. The mistake could belong to the contractor that completed the work, the previous owner of the property, or even an administrative error made by the building department itself.

Issues like these can cause a big headache for owners wanting to sell their home. Once a property is sold, the new owner is responsible for any illegal construction or unregulated work, something that is very off-putting to potential buyers.

Assessor records

The town assessor observes the local real estate market and, for the purpose of property tax, can identify if your property’s assessed value is in line with the market.

If the market slows down, the assessor will not automatically lower the estimated value of your property and lower your property taxes. However, they will regularly go through recent permits issued by the building department and increase the assessed value of your home if any recent improvements or renovations have been completed that could increase the market value of your property. This would mean higher property taxes.

Your property could be either over or under assessed. If it’s over, you should make a grievance to your assessor with any records or information that would support your case for decreased market value. Every local government has a system in place to deal with assessment grievances.

Stay one step ahead

Before listing the home, check the available government records on your property. Some issues, such as an open permit, can be easily fixed. If it’s a more serious issue, you should delay listing your property until it is resolved. Solving any of type of problems with government records ahead of time saves prevents any surprises from coming up later that could derail a sale.

Renting Vs. Owning After You Retire

There has actually been an increase in older renters over the last 10 years. Those over the age of 55 actually contribute to about 42% of the rental market now. This percentage is projected to increase as Baby Boomers presumably follow the same path.

 

It’s important to understand the pros and cons however of choosing between renting and homeownership. Let’s break each one down so you can better decide theater or not you should spring for that home after retirement.

 

Pro: Bye Bye Mortgage

 

If a really big focus for you is the fact that you’re still having to chip away at that mortgage then clearly you’ll be happy to rent. One less thing to worry about when you finally retire. You might even find a place to rent that has a lower monthly cost than your mortgage did. So you do have the potential to be saving money here.

 

Con: Bye Bye Tax Breaks

 

Homeowners receive substantial tax breaks. There are deductions on the property tax as well as the interest on the mortgage. Saving on these taxes can add up significantly especially if your property taxes are significantly high.

 

Pro: Flexibility

 

If you’re really focusing on traveling after you retire then renting will be ideal for you. Renting gives you the flexibility to bounce around either on a month to month basis or 6-month basis. However, if you’re looking to stay in one city/place for a longer period of time, maybe near your family. Consider owning a home.

 

Con: Bye Bye Home Owner Status

 

Most people have a sense of pride from being a homeowner. If you’ve lived in your home for a while you’re probably emotionally attached to it. So it’ll be important to prepare yourself emotionally if you’re planning on selling your home.

 

Pro: Maintenance

 

Obviously one of the most challenging things of home ownership is keeping up with the home maintenance. If you’re choosing to rent this isn’t an issue for you anymore. If you decide to sell your home these worries can fall onto your landlord’s shoulders.

 

Con: Renting can be expensive

 

This one really varies depending on where you live. Typically however, it is cheaper to own a home than rent one. Also when you consider the low mortgage rates today it’s one of the best times to own a home. The mortgage rates have recently hit an all-time low of approximately 3.25%

 

Pro: Amenities

 

One of the big pro’s surrounding apartment complexes is that most of them offer you a wide range of amenities. Everything from a nice gym to a pool and even game rooms and office centers. You can even have a concierge on staff and if you’re retiring that can make your life a little easier when it comes to the little things.

 

Con: The Landlord

 

You may not be accustomed to dealing with a landlord or property management company. It can be a little bit of a difficult task , I would recommend doing some in-depth research on the situation before you actually sign a lease. By that meaning speak to the previous tenants if at all possible and find out how quickly previous issues were resolved. There is also the potential for your lease to be raised at a moments notice so be prepared for that potential increase in your monthly expenses

 

Pro: Insurance Is Cheaper

 

Renters insurance averages around $180 and $360 a year, while your potential homeowners insurance cost is significantly higher.

 

Not sure which is the right decision for you? Reach out or leave me your contact info and I’d love to answer any questions you might have. Choosing to rent or own a home really comes down to your individual circumstances and it’s very important to consider all the pro’s and con’s very carefully. If you’re looking for more info feel free to comb through my blog for tips and tricks that save you time and money during your real estate buying or selling process.       

 

You Might Want To Buy Your Retirement Home Before You Retire

If you’re considering retiring in the next 8-10 years then you might want to start considering your retirement home! If you buy it early there can be significant financial benefits. This is especially true if you’re planning on getting a mortgage.

By doing so early you’ll be taking advantage of the current low-interest rates as well! 30 year fixed mortgages have dropped to approximately 3.4% currently. Not only are there appealing saving options but there’s considerable financial benefit to putting money towards your retirement home while you’re still employed. So let’s jump right into some of the most important reasons you should consider buying your retirement home so far in advance.

Getting approved for a mortgage

When your loan application is being evaluated your debt-income ratio will be a very important aspect of that evaluation. This ratio will obviously be in a better position while you’re employed. Which means, you’ll have an easier time applying for your mortgage while you still have a reliable income.

If you waited to apply for the mortgage until you retired, it’s possible that you’ll minimize the size of the loan you could potentially apply for. Also, you can start chipping away at that mortgage ahead of time and take less of your allotted retirement income out of your pockets. Essentially, you’re getting well ahead of the overall financial impact a mortgage can have.

Renovations

Odd’s are when you finally pick your retirement home you’ll be looking to make some improvements. If you’re purchasing a newly built home or building your home from the ground up however, you can ignore this section.

It’s definitely recommended that you set yourself a budget for the renovations you might have in mind. Referring back to the first point made about securing your mortgage early. It’s also very beneficial to have a steady income from working full time during the renovation process as well. It’s always possible to uncover a random setback and this steady income can help you deal with it accordingly.

Chipping away at that mortgage

Like I said earlier, beginning to pay off your mortgage early will put you well ahead of the game. The ideal goal is to obviously be debt free during retirement. For that very reason, some may choose to rent when they retire. However, if you’re choosing to become a homeowner, the sooner you can start paying off that mortgage the better!

Not only are you getting ahead of the game initially but you could make additional payments as well. Getting ahead 8-10 years on that mortgage is one thing but being able to possibly afford additional payments while you’re employed? You could cut your mortgage to a 15-year mortgage by the time you’re ready to move in.

Long term plans

Budgeting your living expenses for retirement can be rather unpredictable. However, if you already have your retirement home set aside you can get a very good idea of what it will cost on a monthly basis to live there. So owning your home in advance gives you years of planning in terms of financial allocation.

Your portfolio

Finances willing, if you can carry two mortgages at once you have the opportunity to rent out the house those 8-10 years before you actually want to move in. Essentially allowing tenants to cover the cost of the mortgage while you’re waiting to retire. Or you could allow yourself to retire early by utilizing the additional income from your potential tenants.

Additionally, you should look into the potential tax benefits of making it a rental property. There are a number of benefits to renting out your additional property before you actually decide to move in.

If you have any more questions regarding your future retirement home don’t hesitate to ask! Your retirement should be treated with careful planning. Living in comfort financially should be a very manageable task for you to accomplish.

Top Tips To Help You Avoid Breaking Your Lease

Most renters tend to make plans for the next 6 to 12 months. However, sometimes life throws you something unexpected that changes your whole life plan.
You may have been offered a better job in a new state, or you and your partner may be expecting a new baby and need some more room.Whatever the situation, the thought of breaking your rental contract can keep you up at night.
Before you forfeit your deposit of the remaining rent owed on your lease, it is advisable that you know your options and then discuss them with your landlord or property manager.
Talk about your situation
If your life situation has altered or you have a problem with the property, talk things through and don’t assume you have to deal with it alone. 
Start by talking to the landlord or property manager. We may live in a world of emails and digital communication, but a face to face discussion can be more beneficial than an email exchange. Be concise and clear when you inform them about your circumstances and why you are unhappy or are in need of a change.
Before knocking on your landlord’s door or making an appointment with your property manager, carefully think your situation through and decide whether you really need to quit your lease. 
Some problems can be worked out with the manager. If your roommate is leaving and you will struggle to afford the rent by yourself, the property has some issues or the noisy neighbors are contributing to a miserable living situation, your manager should be able to work with you to help fix the issue. 
Property managers and landlords are used to having to deal with these types of problems and will most likely have some sort of operational framework in place to help resolve them, whether it be unpleasant noisy neighbors or issues with the property itself. 
Let them know what is making you unhappy and you may be surprised at how quickly the issue can be resolved, without having to break your lease.
Consider your options
After you have spoken to your landlord or property manager and discussed your situation, you may both decide that it is necessary that you quit your lease. However, you can then work through your available options. 
Depending on the scale of the company that is managing the property you are leasing and the terms of your lease agreement, you might have several options available to you.
If you require more room or need to downsize, you may be able to move into another property in your building. This can be an easy and attractive option if you are expecting a baby and will need more room in your home, or if your roommate has left the apartment and you require less space and more affordable accommodations. 
You can also check to see if your landlord or property management team has another property available at a different location. If you need to relocate for your job, it could be that your property management company owns several buildings in other states and there is an option that you can transfer.
However, depending on state tenant laws, your lease terms or tenancy agreement, some of these changes to your lease may involve fees.
Negotiate your lease before you sign on the dotted line
Although you may have some options, the best way to avoid breaking your lease is to make sure you negotiate before you agree to the rental terms.
If you are considering buying a house in the near future, it would be worth trying to include a mortgage clause. The length of time to complete the purchase of a property can be unpredictable, especially with a short-sale home. It is a good idea to have a flexible lease that won’t hit you with heavy fines. 
If your job requires you to relocate, you can negotiate a clause in the lease that covers relocation. 
You can’t always predict every change and turn life will bring, but for the ones that you can, try to include a clause in the lease that gives you a loophole. 
Try to think ahead
 
Negotiate your rental agreement before moving into the property to have the best chance of avoiding breaking your lease.

These 3 Tips Will Help You Protect Your Deposit

 

The required amount of your deposit varies depending on the local real estate market and the state itself. Usually, it’ll be anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to three percent of the agreed price of the property; some areas may even require up to 10 percent.

The down payment shows the seller that you are serious about purchasing the property. Once the funds are deposited, they cannot be withdrawn or touched without the agreed written consent of both the buyer and the seller. Once the escrow is closed the funds are put towards the balance of the down payment.

Just like the terms and price of the property, the amount required for the deposit is negotiable. However, it will not be popular with the seller if you put down much less than what is customary in the local market.

You can get your deposit back but you can also lose it if you are not careful. Below are three top tips to protect your deposit.

Know the property

Every house, whether a new build or a period home, should have an inspection before being sold. You should also include a contingency in your contract to ensure that you are covered in the event of any unpleasant or costly discoveries.

An inspector will examine everything from the roof to the foundation. Specialist inspectors can be called in to look for any pests, such as termites, or to go over the heating and ventilation systems. Even brand new homes should be thoroughly inspected.

If the inspections reveal any issues, you will need to decide whether to pull out of the deal or proceed. Inspection contingencies are often quite vague and allow the buyer some room to withdraw from the deal and have the full amount of their deposit returned.

Written loan approval and appraisal contingency

You will need written proof of your loan approval, and you will want to make sure the property is not appraised for less than the price you agreed with the seller.

You should include a contingency clause that allows you, the buyer, to receive written confirmation of loan approval before progressing with the deal. If for some reason, your loan is denied you can walk away from the deal with your deposit returned to you in full.

Make sure you keep this contingency in place, even if you are struggling to get written loan approval from your lender. Loan providers can, and have, withdrawn funding at the last minute. Make sure you keep in close contact with your loan provider, and if necessary request an extension from the seller. If you sign off that you have been approved a loan and are later denied funding, you risk losing your deposit.

You should also include an appraisal contingency. If the property is appraised for less than the agreed price with the seller you should keep the right to walk away from the deal with you deposit intact, or at the very least renegotiate the agreed purchase price with the seller.

Go over the property disclosures

Most real estate markets require the seller to compile a list of disclosures that show the seller’s knowledge and experience of owning the property. They are required by law to reveal any defects, faults, or location issues that have or could have a negative impact on the property.

You should also have an opportunity to review any public records and reports, such as the building permit history or environmental hazard maps.

After your offer is accepted, you should be sent the list of disclosures. If you don’t like anything revealed by these disclosures, this is your opportunity to pass on the property and withdraw from the deal.

You will need to sign off on these reports and disclosures, so make sure that you thoroughly go over the information and proceed with caution. Your deposit will be at risk once you sign off, so make sure you ask questions, request additional documentation or reports, and carefully investigate anything that concerns you about the property.

Your hard earned cash is on the line

Depending on the price of the property, the buyer’s required deposit can be a considerable sum. If a property cost $400,000, a three percent deposit would amount to the significant sum of $12,000. So make sure that you proceed with caution and protect your deposit as you progress towards closing on a property.