5 Ways to Spend Less Money on Rent

Life in California is beYoung adults moving in new homeautiful, no doubt about it. But when you’re a young, ambitious person struggling to build a carrier or form a family in the most densely populated American state things can get tough. While juggling two jobs, you have to find a way you have to pay for your acting classes, eat well and stay in a decent place that one day you may be able to call home. As bills are piling up, you are probably wondering: would it be possible to spend less money on rent without being forced to sleep in creepy dorm-style rooms that defy all the basic rules of comfort? In case you are dealing with the same situation, here are 5 ways in which you can spend less money on rent using your imagination and your killer negotiation tactics.

1. Keep an Eye on Changes That May Appear on the Local Rental Market. Even if you have your heart set on a certain rental, don’t limit your own options. Check online listings periodically to identify potential increases and decreases in rental rates in your ZIP code and profit from the best deals that you may stumble across.

2. Focus on Commonalities. You may tend to think that you are your landlord have nothing in common. In this case you are terribly wrong. Just think about it: you are both trying to make more money! Explore this particularity that you share and let it work to your best advantage. For instance, promise that you won’t smoke or keep pets inside the apartment. This way, your landlord will manage to reduce his cleaning costs once you’re gone.

3. Barter for Your Favorite Housing Option. These days, low-income people who are desperately seeking a new roof over their heads would do just about anything to crash on a comfy couch. Most of them don’t hesitate to advertise their skills and put them at their landlord’s disposal. A great trade can help you save big on rental expenses and keep your renter happy at the same time. How convenient is this? You could cook, clean, fix things around the house, tend to the garden and do maintenance work. Any occupied property involves numerous activities that may require your participation. Just tell your landlord that you’d be interested in this type of arrangement and let things flow naturally towards a deeper collaboration between you too.

4. Provide a Referral for Your Landlord. Low occupancy is a major problem for most landlords. In case your renter has more than a few available rooms on his property, tell him that you could possibly bring a few new tenants in exchange for a small deduction.

5. Opt for a Roommate Matching Service. All tenants should be fully aware of the fact that they are dealing with a landlord’s market. In some cases, renters won’t agree to cut down the price tag of your property of choice. In this situation, you should probably find a cheaper place or decide to get a roommate. To simplify your mission, you could always count on a free roommate matching service designed to get you in touch with people who are dealing with the same problem and match your specific criteria.

Aug 2014

How to Save Big While Renting a Home in California

Right Facing For Rent Real Estate Sign Over Clouds and Sunny SkyAre you looking for the perfect diamond in the rough on the local real estate market? Since more and more people decide that ownership is not their cup of tea for various reasons, the rental market is flourishing. As rental rates keep reaching higher values, tenants must master every trick in the book to profit from the best deals. In case you wish to save some money for a rainy day without living in a cardboard box, keep reading to discover the best tips on how to identify affordable rentals in California rapidly and stress-free.

1. Go Online and Compare Rental Costs. Surf the web and check out online real estate directories. Use calculators to determine the cost of livingand average rental expenses associated with different cities. This first step will help you narrow down your search and focus on the neighborhoods matching your specific criteria.

2. Find a New Roof over Your Head in the Off-Season. It’s always easier to unlock additional savings in the off-season, when landlords have slimmer chances to attract tourists and ask a ton of cash for their vacation rentals. Any amount of money is better than no money at all; therefore you could start your rental hunt in autumn or winter to prey on the landlord’s fear of vacancy.

3. Summer Sublets Let You Enjoy the Big City Life on a Budget. During summer, lots of college students fly back home and most families go on long vacations. This is the main reason why many tenants agree to sublet their apartments for a ridiculously low amount of money. Profit from this amazing opportunity to get the keys to a fantastic place without spending more than you can afford on a rental. If you’re single and baggage-less you won’t need a lot of space, so you could actually go for a tiny, elegant studio in your ZIP code of choice.

4. Find Your Y. Want to start living as close to your favorite celebs as possible without going bankrupt? If so, just analyze the offers presented to you by the nearest YMCA. About 89 YMCA’s still exist nationwide and ensure accommodation options for low-income people.

5. Start the First Round of Negotiations and Create Your Plan B. Hate the idea of spending more than one night in a slightly depressing dorm-style room? In case your ambitions are limited by a tight budget, chances are that you won’t live next door to Christina Aguileraanytime soon. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your dream of relocating to California. Get to plan B.

Start haggling with your new soon-to-be landlord or consider getting a roommate to split the costs. Use your negotiation skills to lower the asking price or make your landlord bring additional perks to the table.


Aug 2014

4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying a Home in California in 2014

House In Hands Of BusinessmanYou’ve dreamed about sandy beaches, crazy water sports, gorgeous shorefront views and vibrant entertainment options all your life and now your dream is about to come true, as you are contemplating the idea of buying a home in California. Nonetheless, this is a big step involving considerable expenses, so you are probably asking yourself many questions. Am I making a smart move here? Am I ready for this radical change, from a financial standpoint? In case you have always wanted a solid roof over your head in the sunny state of California, we’ve got excellent news for you: real estate experts affirm that now is the best time to buy a property. Keep reading to find out why.

1. Interest Rates Expecting to Increase. In case you are relying on financing to purchase a house in California, you know that interest rates are your worst enemy. It’s always difficult to deal with raising home prices and raising interest rates simultaneously. Nonetheless, specialists warn people that interest rates could reach 5% by the end of the year or during the first quarter of next year. In case you are intimidated by huge interest rates, it would be a good idea to buy now.

2. Home Prices Are Not As Intimidating As They Used to Be. In recovering markets, home prices are not very prohibitive. As long as you are determined and flexible, you could find affordable homes in your ZIP code and use your negotiation skills to lower the asking price or unlock additional perks. Feel free to make and impose your own rules; you are operating on a buyer’s market.

3. Renting Is Not Always a Cost-Effective Strategy. In some of the most overcrowded, top-rated Californian homes you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 and up on rent. According to calculations made by financial analysts, a 4.2% interest rate correlated with a mortgage of 400,000 dollars would lead to a monthly payment of 1,961 dollars.

In this case, wouldn’t it be preferable to try to find a single-family home located in a less sought-after neighborhood that would still enable you to raise your kids in a safe environment and leave your Californian dream to the fullest?

4. A Great Job Can Boost Your Buying Power. An excellent job is a constant source of income that can boost your quality of life and also increase your buying power. Any creditor will analyze your particular debt to income ratio before offering you any form of financing. Therefore, a new job offer that may bring you to California could mark the end of your financial hardship, allow you to pay off your debts and buy the home that you’ve always wanted for you and your family.

At the end of the day, proper research, perseverance and an understanding of the local real estate market will help you find the best place under the hot Californian sun. There’s no time like the present, so hurry up and get the keys to the house or apartment that you can afford today.


Aug 2014

5 Californian Home Selling Mistakes That Can Put Your Prospects on the Run

For sale signIn a buyer’s market, most people who are eager to sell their properties are faced with numerous challenges. They have to repair or replace things around the house, boost the curb appeal of their Californian property, market it in a cost-effective manner and find the simplest, most efficient ways to attract buyers. On top of that, most sellers are already overstressed with their relocation and end up ignoring a few common home selling mistakes, including the ones listed below.

  1. Pricing Your Property Too High or Too Low. If you price your property too low you lose money. If you price it too high, you inevitably intimidate buyers and delay the selling. To prevent these drawbacks, you could hire a realtor and ask for his advice on this matter, or you could check out online listings to be able to estimate the overall value of your home, by comparing it to similar properties sold in your neighborhood over the last few months.
  1. Becoming a “Helicopter” Seller. Are you hovering around your property while sellers are trying to feel the vibe of the place that could become their next home? This is a major mistake that could deter prospects. Naturally, you know your property like no one else and want to play host and paint your California-based house in the most flattering light; nonetheless, your interventions could give potential buyers the impression that they are invading your personal space. Instead of being intrusive and pushy, let your agent handle showings and enable your prospects to discover a friendly, neutral space that they could feel more comfortable in.
  1. Not Being Flexible When It Comes to Penciling in Showings.  Keep one thing in mind at all times: determined home sellers do not need 48 or 24 hours’ advance notices when it comes to giving the green light to a new showing. Last-minute showing indicate that you are flexible and hell-bent on selling your house as soon as possible.
  1. Not Being Ready to Welcome Your Prospects. Is your house clean or are you counting on your buyers’ lack of attention to detail? Make no mistake: buying a home is an important decision and most prospects have a keen eye for detail. The fact that your upholstery is dusty and old may not influence the overall value of your property, but it will reflect that you are a sloppy homeowner who may also be dealing with much more serious problems triggered by poor maintenance, like a defective plumbing system or a leaky roof.
  1. Not Using Great Negotiation Skills. In a buyer’s market, it is imperative to be able to counterattack the strategies of savvy buyers who will try to lowball you. This means that you have to be able to put the right price tag on your property and take pride in excellent negotiation skills to stay on the same page with your buyers, while defending your profit.

At the end of the day, by avoiding all these common mistakes you make sure that you and your prospects speak the same language and manage to prep the field for a mutually advantageous real estate transaction.

Aug 2014

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Expert to Sell Your Californian House

Real estate market - young Indonesian couple looking for real esYour house is definitely one of your most valuable possessions. You’ve worked extra your entire life to be able to afford it. You have decorated and redecorated it over and over again to match your taste and personality. You’ve watched your kids grow up in it. But even the most beautiful stories have an ending. If changes in your life are forcing you to move to a different city, consider selling your Californian house with a little help from a realtor. We know what you are going to say: real estate agents don’t do pro bono work. Even so, there are at least 5 great reasons why you should let a realtor represent your best interest.

  1. Experts Provide an Insight into the Local Real Estate Market. Are you worried that you may underprice or overprice your property in the absence of solid numbers allowing you to compare properties similar to the one that you currently own? A realtor will be able to tell you how much your home is actually worth at a first glance and help you price it right to attract buyers looking for fair deals.
  2. Agents Can Point You Towards Minor Cost-Effective Improvements. Does your roof need patching? Should you repaint your exterior walls to increase the curb appeal of your home? Sometimes, when you’re overly stressed with the moving process, you can neglect quite a few simple, yet extremely important details that could make or break your real estate transaction. For instance, how many buyers do you think that a house with a leaky roof could attract? Several fixes demanded by homes can be conducted on time and on a budget; moreover, in some cases minor improvements related to landscaping or a new paint job can put your home in the center of everyone’s attention and speed up the house selling.
  3. Real Pros Use All the Available Tools to Help You Seal the Deal in Record Time. Are you any good with computers? Do you know how to browse through different real estate directories, take the most amazing pictures of your house, post them on various websites and add video tours to make it easier for potential buyers to analyze the features of your property? A good realtor will know how to promote your property in both online and offline environments fast and at a fraction of the costs that you would have to deal with.
  4. Realtors Know How to Handle Hardball Strategies. In case you didn’t know, you are trying to sell in a buyer’s market. This means that most prospects will explore all the tricks in the book to make you lower your asking price. A competent, experienced real estate agent is basically your neighborhood expert. Real pros have amazing negotiation skills and the ability to anticipate and address any conceivable tactic developed by potential clients to get a great property for less than its actual value.
  5. Real Estate Experts Let You Avoid Hassles and Focus on Your Relocation. Let’s face it: when you’re about to start a new life in a different city, the last thing that you want to worry about is your home selling process. A good realtor will simplify your mission, by showing you the steps that you should follow to sell your house at a profit on any market.

A short-term collaboration with a friendly, dependable, goal-oriented real estate agent is a great support during a period of transition. By relying on professional services you could actually turn the selling process into an enjoyable experience.

Aug 2014