How Lying to Your Landlord Can Cost You

3344771391_e73b2404ed_oLying on your rental application or while being a tenant may feel like it’s saving you money and potential rejection, but those lies can cost you! The “costs” may not always be monetary, but can cause a bigger burden to your future rental attempts than you’d expect.

The most common lies revolve around hiding a pet, subletting your space without letting your landlord know what’s going on, faking your job (or references), and whether you smoke or not. Getting caught in a lie obviously has consequences, but how far can these lies bring you down? The list below is classified by ascending severity:

Don’t expect to receive a friendly rental reference if you have lied to your landlord. On the flip side, you shouldn’t lie about who your landlord is when applying to rent other properties because they will catch on and see through what you’re doing.

If you have broken your rental agreement, it is very likely that fees will follow. This may include a pet deposit fee, a fine for hiding this from your landlord in the first place, or a fee to cover any damages that may have incurred.

Any unpaid fees that result from lying to your landlord and breaking your agreement have the ability to affect your credit score. For example, if you defy your landlord’s trust to the point of eviction, future unpaid rent can damage your credit score by around 50 points!

When you break the rules and lie to your landlord, it is within their rights to evict you. This is especially true when you have let a new roommate move in without letting your landlord know, not paying your bills on time (if at all), or having a pet that you aren’t allowed to have. In the pet case, if you are found out, the landlord could make you to get rid of your furry friend in order to maintain residency.

In the case of withheld money or property disputes, a small claims lawsuit may ensue. A lawsuit could also become an issue if your hidden pet inflicts damage on someone, or your secret roommate causes damage to your rental property.

Though it may add more charges to your monthly bills, it is much smarter in the long-run to find a rental place that accommodates all of your needs without having to lie. What may seem like a small white lie now, could impact your credit and future in many different ways.

How to Survive Living in Your “On-Market” Home

Annual open house event for the Wayata Community Sailing Center, Wayzata, Minnesota U.S.A.

Putting your current home on the market isn’t the most relaxing task in the world, especially if you’re still living in it. Since your home needs to be showing-ready at a moment’s notice, here are a few tips to alleviate your stress and keep a somewhat normal routine:

Pack up and organize your belongings now

Assuming everything goes to plan, you’ll be moving out soon so it’s best to pack up your belongings now. While you’re going through this process, organizing similar items and donating/dumping what you no longer use anymore can save you time and space in the future. Buyers will be turned-off by a cluttered home, so only leave out the belongings you’ll need until the potential sale of the house.

Rent a storage unit

While you’re clearing out any clutter you may have, take this time to invest in a storage unit if you have excess furniture as well. Buyers are willing to spend more for open space, so any extra furniture that may hinder that appearance should be removed. Storage units are a great place to put furniture with sentimental (but not essential) value while staging.

Secure your belongings

Since people will be looking through drawers and cabinets during showings, it’s a good idea to lock up or hide any valuables. This will include, documents, passports, jewelry, electronics, prescription medication bottles, check books, etc. Check bedside tables for any additional belongings you may have forgotten about. Your listing agent can insist that agents accompany their buyers throughout a showing. If you don’t have a safe place to lock up these items in your home, temporarily storing them in the trunk of your car can work as well.

Pamper your pets

Send your furry friends on a vacation to family or friends’ houses! If showings last an extended period of time, boarding your pets may be the best option. It’s hard to be apart from your pets, especially during a stressful time period, but you wouldn’t want a prospective buyer to let them get out! Don’t forget to hide their toys and food bowls as well.

Get ready for show time! 

Once you’ve finished preparing for a showing, leave your home as clean and as soon as possible. The goal is to have the prospective buyer see your house as their own, which will be hard if you’re still around. The nicer you make your home look, the fewer days you’ll have to deal with it being on the market!

6 Tips to Speed Up the Sale of Your Home

From proper phrasing to curb appeal, each detail you put into your listing impacts how quickly your house will sell. The buyer market is currently transitioning to appeal to the millennial generation, who will be ready to purchase homes in 2018. These tips will provide you with the knowledge you need to sell your home as quickly as possible!

  1. De-clutter and clean your home
    This step will make your home appear larger and more appealing to buyers. A home full of junk indicates to buyers that there will not be enough storage space for their items, so organizing and cleaning up will make a huge difference in perception.
  2. Lighten up your space
    By utilizing an open concept, adding mirrors, extra lighting, and light paint colors you can create the illusion that your home is larger than it is. Using framed art to decorate, rather than canvas, also helps to bounce light throughout your home.
  3. Having a backyard deck
    According to a survey conducted by Trulia, 59% of millennials included a backyard deck as a must-have feature for their dream home. Creating a cozy and cohesive backyard space can fulfill this need, as long as it is visually appealing.
  4. Focus on ROI rooms: Kitchen and bathroom
    If you’re going to remodel any portion of your home before putting it up for sale, focus on updating the kitchen and bathrooms. These two rooms are major selling points for most home buyers and will have the largest return on investment.
  5. Be word conscious in your listing
    According to a study discussed on MSN, these phrases can impact the sale speed of your house:
    -“Beautiful” or “gorgeous”: sold 15% faster
    -“Landscaping”: sold 20% faster
    -“Move-in condition”: sold 12% faster
    -“Motivated” or “must sell”- sold 30% slower
  6. Enhance your curb appeal
    To create a great first impression, start by cleaning up and landscaping the outside of your home! Millennials are interested in being healthy and giving back to the environment, so starting a vegetable garden will attract 40% more home buyers.

Remembering to fine tune the details of your home and to consider the target market will make your home selling more efficient overall!

Are The Repairs Worth It?

 

Even if you have the money to repair your home… is it truly worth the time and effort to go through with it? Only if you plan on keeping the home for a while. Otherwise, it is almost always better to just discount the sale and let the new buyer spend the money on fixing it over time.

 

A new buyer will, presumably, stay for a while, whereas you are just trying to sell your home. Instead of spending huge amounts of money on your outdated kitchen, just discount the price and let the new owner take care of it. You’ll make more money on the sale overall.

 

The exception to this rule… is when you have to make repairs in order for the new buyer to pass inspections set down by his/her mortgage lender (i.e. if they are getting an FHA loan). It depends on the state of your home, but occasionally, the buyer may not be able to secure a mortgage until repair work has been performed.

 

If your house needs extensive repairs, yet you cannot afford them, you may be stuck looking for a cash buyer – someone who has the available capital to buy your home without securing a mortgage. If this is the case, look around to your community. Do you know anyone who loves a fixer-upper? Do you know anyone who may have relatives in desperate need of a home?

 

Some repair costs can spiral out of control… such as foundations or a new roof. Foundations can cost up to $30,000 just to repair. While there are many methods for fixing foundations, there is almost no way that you will be able to do it yourself. Roofs are also extremely pricey to repair, yet they are absolutely necessary to fix. Ignoring roof repairs can lead to extensive water damage inside a house, which in itself can drive up the cost of repairs.

 

So, what if you don’t have the money? That’s what we are here for! If your home needs extensive repairs, yet you are trying to sell, give us a call to see how we can help. We buy houses “as is” – any condition, any neighborhood. Call us for an offer within 24 hours!

 

Buck Buys Houses.

Best Small Cities to Move to in America

Based on living expenses and the overall life experience here are Buck Buys top 10 small cities:

1. Rowlett, TX
2. Idaho Falls, ID
3. Cedar Park, TX
4. Noblesville, IN
5. Hendersonville, TN
6. Mansfield, TX
7. North Port, FL
8. Barlett, TN
9. Tinley Park, IL
10. Moore, OK

What Makes a Superior Small City

We created this list based on demographic and other data we collected about 100 cities with populations under 60,000. Six criteria in total were surveyed:

  • Cost of living
  • Crime
  • Median household income
  • Unemployment rate
  • Median home price
  • Homes for sale per capita

Below, you’ll find details on the economy, crime, and housing markets of each city to give you more insight into why they ranked so highly.

1. Rowlett, TX

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

Rowlett is a suburb of Dallas of 57,703 resident earn a median household income of $82,466—56 percent more than the national average.

Crime in Rowlett is quite low at 42 percent below the national average, something that no doubt helps its residents sleep soundly in their homes, which cost about 19 percent less than the average for the rest of the U.S. at a $161,400 median list price. There is one home on the market in the city for every 164 people who live there.

Rowlett’s 6.3 percent unemployment rate is 12.5 percent below the national average.

2. Idaho Falls, ID

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

Known as Eagle Rock until 1891, Idaho Falls isn’t a stranger to “best places to live” lists. In the case of our ranking, the city really stood out in terms of its cost of living, which at 12 points below the national average is the best of any city in our top 10.

The city’s crime rate, at 5 percent less than the U.S. average, isn’t nearly as good as Rowlett’s, however. Its median home price of $126,000—37 percent below the national average—is better though, as is its ratio of one home for sale for every 92 people. The city’s 57,899 residents bring home less than their counterparts in top-ranked Rowlett, though, managing a median income of $46,161, or 13 percent below the national average.

The 5.6 percent unemployment rate in Idaho Falls is 22 percent below the average for the rest of the nation.

3. Cedar Park, TX

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

We head back to Texas for our No. 3 on the ranking, Cedar Park. Located near Austin, TX—in fact, Cedar Park also appeared on our ranking of best suburbs in the country—the city has the lowest crime rate in this top 10 ranking at 51 percent below the national average.

Cedar Park’s median household income of $70,914 is 34 percent above the average for the rest of the country, and at $258,000 its median home price is 30 percent above the associated average. With one house on the market for every 182 residents, it might be harder to find a home there compared to our top two small cities.

At 5.2 percent, Cedar Park has the second-lowest unemployment rate in our top 10; it is 28 percent below the national average.

4. Noblesville, IN

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

Located not too far from Indianapolis, IN, Noblesville and its 55,075 residents are situated in the middle of America’s Corn Belt.

Crime in this small city is 38 percent below the national average, which comes at a bit of a premium as the cost of living is seven points more than the average for the rest of the country. Household income, however, is also above average by 27 percent at $66,936. Noblesville’s median home price is six percent below the national average at $186,300 and there is one home on the market for every 84 residents there.

The unemployment rate in Noblesville is 11 percent less than the national average at 6.4 percent.

5. Hendersonville, TN

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To
 
Nashville, TN suburb Hendersonville has a population of 53,080 residents who make 18 percent more than the rest of the country in terms of median household income at $62,627. The cost of living there is eight points below the national average. Crime is considerably lower at 37 percent below average.

In terms of housing, Hendersonville’s median home price is 25 percent above the national average at $249,900 and there is one available home on the market for every 101 residents.

As for unemployment, it is currently at 6.5 percent, which is 9.7 percent below the national average.

6. Mansfield, TX

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

The third small Texan city in our top 10, Mansfield is technically a suburb of Fort Worth, TX—although it’s equidistant to Dallas—and has a population of 59,317. It’s also the most competitive housing market in our ranking with one home for sale for every 239 residents. The price of its homes is 12 percent above the national average at $225,000.

Once you have a home there, you can expect low crime—it’s 43 percent below the national average—and a cost of living that’s 3 percent above what it is for the nation on average. The median household income in Mansfield is the highest above average in our top 10; at $91,959 it is 74 percent above average.

Mansfield’s unemployment rate of 5.4 percent is an impressive 25 percent below the national average.

7. North Port, FL

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

Once a part of Port Charlotte, FL, North Port became its own city in 1974. Now its 58,378 residents enjoy a cost of living that’s 10 points below the national average, although the median household income there is actually 10 percent below average at $47,655.

Finding a home in North Port is actually easier than anywhere else on our top 10, as there is one available home for every 40 residents. The median price of its homes is $139,900, which is 30 percent below the national average. Its crime rate is 16 percent less.

In terms of employment, North Port’s unemployment rate is 7.4 percent, which is 2.7 percent above the average for the rest of the U.S.

8. Bartlett, TN

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

The second city in Tennessee in our top 10, Memphis, TN suburb Bartlett has a population of 55,945 and is known for its historic plantation homes. Its crime rate is 47 percent below the national average, while its median household income is 41 percent above at $74,514.

The median home price in Bartlett is 10 percent below average at $179,900 and there are 173 residents for every home that’s on the market.

As one of three cities in our top 10 with higher than average unemployment rates, 7.3 percent of Bartlett’s residents are out of work, a number that’s 1.4 percent above the national average.

9. Tinley Park, IL

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

Named a best place to raise a family by Businessweek in 2009, Tinley Park made our top 10 thanks in no small part to the fact that its crime rate is nearly 50 percent below the national average. Its safe citizens—57,144 of them—also earn a median household income that’s 45 percent above the national average at $76,605. Its cost of living is six points above the national average.

Housing-wise, homes in Tinley Park cost seven percent below the national average at $184,900 and there is one home for sale for every 127 residents.

The unemployment rate in Tinley Park is the highest in our top 10 at 8.2 percent, which is 14 percent above the national average.

10. Moore, OK

These Are America's Best Small Cities to Move To

While the 57,810 residents of Moore have to contend with tornadoes, the people who live in this Oklahoma City, OK suburb also have to be a bit more concerned with crime. That’s because the city has the only above average crime rate in our top 10 at 45 percent above the national average. Fortunately, some other factors help even things out.

For one, the cost of living in Moore is 10 points below the national average, and the median household income, at $55,710, is 5.6 percent above. The median home price is 37 percent below average at 128,000 but there are 169 residents per home for sale.

A real positive standout for Moore is its unemployment rate, which at 4.3 percent is an impressive 40 percent below the national average.

 

 

Summer Savings: Easy and Affordable Fixes

The hot weather has finally arrived! Of course this means blasting the A/C in your house, and spending quite a bit of money doing so. Check out the following tips for quick ways to save money, and energy, during the scorching summer months:

Insulate & Seal:
According to Energy Star, proper insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs as much as 20 percent. If you can only afford to insulate one place in your house, start at the attic or your highest floor. Those places can hold more heat, which will radiate down throughout the rest of your house. Insulation can stop this flow of heat, which will make your air conditioner work less, saving you money.

Caulk up those windows and weather-strip doorways. This makes your home more energy-efficient by sealing up major sources of air leaks, cutting down on your heating or cooling bills in the process. A simple do-it-yourself caulking job will only cost you around $50 for all the materials, while saving you much more in the future.
caulking

Clean Filters:
Dirty air filters can significantly block airflow in the house, reducing your system’s efficiency. By cleaning your filter, you can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%. Clean your filters monthly during the summer for optimal performance.

filters

Shades & Blinds:
During the summer, awnings reduce solar heat gain by up to 65%. Consider installing adjustable or retractable awnings, so that sun can still warm the house during winter. On the sunniest and hottest of days, close the blinds on your windows. According to the U.S. Energy Department, this can reduce heat gain by approximately 45%.

Closing drapes on windows that get direct sunlight can also prevent heat gain. Use medium-colored drapes with white plastic backings for the best reflection of heat (this reduces gains by 33%).

blinds

Unplug:
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average household spends $100 a year on plugged-in devices, even those not being used directly. Nationwide, these unused appliances use up 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, costing around $11 billion in total.

The EPA reports that computers account for 2-3 percent of overall US home and office energy use. Your best option to reduce this is to unplug your computer entirely, not just put it in sleep mode. You can also invest in a power strip that can sense when your computer is in sleep mode, which then turns itself completely off.

unplug

Finally, unplug that garage or basement fridge! You know, the one with the expired sodas and ketchup bottles in it. If you are hosting a party, keep the fridge unplugged until the night before. This gives plenty of time to cool those beverages and apple pie.

Fix up your home now to sell it later. Sell your home fast for cash with Buck Buys Houses.
http://www.zillowblog.com/ , epa.gov