homeownership

Should You Rent or Buy a Property in 2021?

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The cultural pressure to buy a property should not be underestimated. Getting a mortgage is often deeply ingrained in your psyche, and it is also viewed as the only way for you to truly become a homeowner. This is not the case at all because there are some advantages to renting over buying. If you want to find out more about them, then the only thing that you need to do is look below.

Bird's Eye View of Three Houses

Advantages to Renting

Tenancies can easily be as short as six months. You can move after this time if you find that your accommodation just isn’t working for you. Of course, if you can give the notice to vacate, then this will give you more flexibility and it will also help you to completely uproot your life if that is what you want. Moving out of a rental property can be much faster when compared to selling a property as well. On top of this, you will have fewer fees to pay and this can be useful if you are in a relationship, but it breaks down. Renting can be a very good way for you to test out the waters if you are involved in a romantic relationship.

You don’t have the worry about the expense of maintenance, and you are not responsible for things that may break down, items such as the heating boiler, the plumbing and electrics. This will give you much more financial security and it will also help you to enjoy the finer things in life. If you rent a furnished property then this will include the white goods and the furniture, as it will all be included. Remember you can take out a condo insurance quote in advance as well, so you know how much it will cost you to get all of your goods covered.

Advantages to Purchasing a House

If you are planning for your future in the long-term, and you have the money then homeownership is certainly a smart move. Playing around with a calculator shows that it makes financial sense as well. Even though you will need to pay fees to get your mortgage, you have to know that this still puts you in a strong financial position. You probably won’t have to pay things such as stamp duty and you won’t have to worry about losing out in the long-term because every payment you make will put you a step closer to being able to own your own property.

Saving for a House Deposit

It takes on average, 10 years for someone to raise a house deposit. Studies have also shown that someone who lives in a big city, such as London, may well need to save up over 15 years.  It’s very difficult for people to get on the property ladder for the first time and even if you were able to save up a small deposit, a lot of lenders will want you to have more.

There are more and more 5% mortgages creeping up on the market overall but if you do want to be in a strong financial position then you may want to try and put down more if you possibly can. The main reason for this is because it will give you a much lower interest rate on your loan and this will work in your favor overall.

When you have saved up for your loan, you then need to think about the hidden costs that are associated with your mortgage. This can include the mortgage fees as well as your solicitor fees too. When you have moved in, you will need to spend a good amount of money furnishing your property and you will need to maintain it. If you have roof tiles that are falling off or if you have a broken boiler then this will all add up when it comes to your expenses overall. You also need to think about interest rates, because if this does go up, then you’ll be paying way more in the long run.

Getting A Mortgage with No Deposit

If you are renting right now, then it may be possible for you to get a mortgage without a deposit. You won’t need to worry about waiting to save up or anything else of the sort. If you do take out a 100% mortgage however then this can put you in a very bad situation. You may find that you end up falling into negative equity because you are not able to get the right amount of money for your house when you sell, and you may also find that you are limited when it comes to your profit overall.

Use Hanging Art to Add Value to Your Home

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Adding artwork to a home can accent aspects of your current interior design such as furniture, rugs, wall colors, etc. If you’ve ever painted a room, selected furniture, and then stood back to look it over and just felt like there was something missing, a really well-fitting piece of art may have been just what you needed to complete the room.

assorted-color framed paintings on the wall

Maybe your furniture and wall colors are sort of drab and a colorful piece of art would really pop in the room and give the room some character. Or maybe your room is overwhelmed with color and what you need is a simple, neutral piece that provides a sense of calm within the chaos. Finding the right type of artwork that complements your space can help you complete your interior design.

That said, hanging art on your walls is an art in itself. You need to take into account a lot of considerations and small details to seek perfection in this task. Chiefly, the position of your artwork depends on two major things, the size of your smaller canvas (the artwork) and the size of your bigger canvas (the walls). Placing the artifacts rightly requires precise measurements and good picture hanging systems.

The following are the basic considerations you need to check in different cases while positioning your art properly.

Normal Wall Height

Solo Art

Hanging a single artwork per wall does not require a lot of contemplation. Just hang the art parallel to the eye level by using the proper picture hanging systems. The basic reason for this is that the viewer while appreciating your art would not want to crane his neck. Thus, the height of around 56-60 inches would suit the best.

Grouping

While grouping a number of artworks on the same wall, hang the largest frame at the eye level as done for solo. Now place all of the remaining artifacts around this considering it as the center.

Tall Walls

For tall walls, positioning your artwork at eye level is not necessary. In such cases, the placement of frames at the vision level would leave a lot of space on the top and look odd. Thus, you can try a series of art or even some artwork tapestries. This way, you will not only end up filling up those spaces smoothly but will also make the ceiling look less far away. Even here, you should try to keep the larger and catchier frames in the central portion near to the eye level.

Other Cases

Walls close to the dining areas are usually visited as seated. Therefore, the eye level of such regions is lower as compared to other walls. This way, your attention hotspot lowers down to 3-4 feet and thus requires you to place the artifacts in the portions of the wall.

While hanging artworks above your furniture or other home decor items, you must keep a gap of around 5 inches. This is the ideal margin for positioning artifacts. In addition, while doing so, you must also keep in mind that the width of the art should be at least ⅔ of the width of the furniture. For instance, the width of an artwork (or group) placed above a 6′ wide sofa should be at least 4′.

Final Words

Good art pieces require proper viewing to be truly appreciated. Thus displaying them at the right height becomes very important. By considering the above factors while hanging your art pieces on the walls, you can create an impressive effect on the viewer’s mind.

new homeowners guide

New Homeowner’s Guide: 7 Tips to Lower Maintenance Costs

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Buying a house is one of the costliest endeavors in everyone’s life. If you plan on taking this major step, you have to be extra careful and considerate about it, especially when it comes to the financial aspects. If you have a strict budget and need to spend all your savings on your dream home, you’re probably well aware that the next few years will not be about careless expenses. 

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table

Of course, even if you’ll have a slimmer wallet after the purchase, it doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to spending your hard-earned monthly cash on the things you love. As a homeowner, there are specific ways you can save as much money as possible while also making your house a better investment and also minimizing every financial risk that might arise. 

What’s the secret that every homeowner needs to know? Well, it all boils down to how well you can manage your home’s maintenance. Every house or apartment requires some repair or constant upkeep. Considering your home’s age and condition, the annual maintenance cost is about 1% of your house or apartment’s value. So, if you’ve spent like $350,000 on it, it’s a good idea to put aside at least $3,500 just for upkeep. 

How to do that and how to lower the expenses when it comes to the maintenance part of it? Luckily for you, we’ve got all the answers you need, and we’re ready to share them with you, so stay tuned!

Be smart about buying and moving in

If you’re still at the consideration phase and haven’t picked out your home yet, meaning you are preparing your budget for the purchase, don’t forget that you can keep the maintenance expenses down with a few simple tricks.

It’s always a great idea to look for a relatively newly built home. A house that is only a few years old probably suffered less wear and tear. Before signing the papers and shaking hands, inspect the home thoroughly, looking for signs that might indicate potential problems and higher repair costs. 

You can save a few hundred dollars on moving, too.

How? The idea is to find a moving company that’s trustworthy, professional, and licensed and offers services that are reliable and not that expensive. Empire Movers can take the burden of moving off your shoulders while making sure your wallet remains pretty thick.

Be a handyman

If you have fundamental knowledge and skills for basic maintenance jobs, you can save a small fortune on an annual basis. Even if you’re not as experienced as a pro, you can still get the job done. Plus, there are dozens of articles, videos, and how-to guides on various upkeep tasks, so you can always learn more.

Plus, when you do the work yourself, you don’t have to wait for a contractor. Usually, the waiting time is a few days, but it can take even a week for a pro to visit your home and check for a solution during busy periods. However, there are specific maintenance tasks you probably shouldn’t do if you’re not a professional. Jobs that necessitate some skills or technical knowledge, such as electrical work, is best left for a real pro. 

When you can’t do everything yourself

As we’ve mentioned above, there are certain tasks you must leave to a professional. Even if you’ve become a DIY master in a short time, there will also be some maintenance jobs that require the eyes and hands of a skilled pro. To get the job done the right way, you need to hire a contractor or request a company’s services.

Before you decide on a contractor or a professional firm, do you research and get to know them. Recommendations and referrals are beneficial in these situations, as they are the best way to find trustworthy and experienced service providers. If they offer discounts or cut you a nice deal, that’s the icing on the cake. 

Prevention is key

With everything in life, preventing a small issue from becoming a major problem is a course you must take. It’s a great idea to conduct routine upkeep. Be sure to replace the furnace’s air filter at least once every three months. By doing this simple task, you can vastly increase the lifespan of your costly HVAC system. Plus, fixing cracks in your windows or doors or cleaning out the gutter every once in a while will reduce maintenance costs in the long run. 

Prepare for seasonal changes

As a homeowner, you have to adjust for every season. For example, winter has a totally different effect on your home than summer. This is especially true if you live in an area with stark differences between these two seasons, meaning winters are freezing, summers are way too hot. 

When your home faces different environmental effects every single year, such as heavy snow, too much freezing, or strong sunlight, you have to count on various types of damages. The alternating cycles of contraction and expansion will put your house to the test. To avoid big problems, conduct a thorough seasonal inspection and fix the things that need your attention. 

Know the problematic aspects of your home

It’s no secret that every house or apartment has its weak points, those areas that can become challenging offer the years, meaning you have to spend more money on fixing them. For instance, if you’ve moved into an older home, a shaky foundation might cause you a headache from time to time. Or the roof needs constant maintenance. Getting to know your home’s pain points as soon as you move in will help you become proactive and prepared, so you can handle the issue properly when the time and occasion arises. 

Cash reserve for maintenance

Yes, having an emergency fund is easier said than done when you’ve just dumped your entire savings on a new home. However, if you can, make sure you set some money aside just for upkeep. Considering the size, age, and value of your home, you should save at least a few hundred dollars. Of course, the more you manage to save, the easier time you will have with maintenance. 

How To Fix An Annoying Leaking Kitchen Tap?

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No one likes the sound of a dripping tap night after night as you try to go to sleep, not only does it wastewater, but it can drive you crazy the slow drip, drip, drip. Fixing your leaking tap may not be as difficult as you might think with a little bit of know-how. 

stainless steel faucet in tilt shift lens

Whether you are a seasoned professional DIY or you are new to maintenance and basic house updates, here are some handy tips for fixing a leaking tap in your kitchen. 

How to fix a leaking kitchen tap? 

Firstly, you will need to get an understanding of what you are working with, and whether you have a cartridge valve on your kitchen tap, or a ceramic disc, compression valve, or a ball-style faucet. No matter which one your tap is, you will be able to find a replacement at your local hardware store or your plumbing supplier. 

Once you have determined the type of tap you have, you will need a bunch of tools that are most likely around the home including a wrench, screwdriver, hammer, washers and seal replacements, pliers, valve replacement, and some silicone or grease. 

Step 1: Shut off the water at the wall

This is an important step if you don’t want to be covered in water when you start your kitchen tap DIY. You will find the tap usually under the kitchen sink, and you should turn this off first before taking off the tap handle otherwise you will get soaked. 

Step 2: Once the water is off, detach the kitchen tap handle 

Once you have ensured there is no water flowing, then you can start removing the screws on your kitchen tap handle. Sometimes the screws are underneath the logo in the center of the tap or they could be behind the tap itself, either way, you should be able to find these fairly easily and you will need to use your tools to detach the handle safely. 

Step 3: Remove the valve 

This part can be tricky and you might need to use a little force or a set of pliers – if the valve is stuck this could be due to mineral build-up and you might need to use some silicone or a little bit of elbow grease to get the valve open and off. At this stage, you can also remove any of the rubber components to be replaced. 

Step 4: Replace all the components 

Now you have everything in pieces, it is time to replace the rubber elements and also the valve and then work in reverse to put everything back together. You might need to add some silicone as well to ensure everything is lubricated and working well. 

Once you have completed all these steps, you should turn on the water again and test the kitchen tap is working well and everything is leak-free. If you do find that there is still an issue, you should call in an expert to get them to inspect the work. 

Always call on a licensed and experienced plumber to ensure everything is being carried out to the highest standard and your warranty is not affected for your taps and any plumbing in your house or property. 

3 Ways to (Instantly) Boost the Value of Your Home

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When you own your home, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your property well-maintained. By doing so, you’ll protect your investment and hopefully prevent its value from declining. However, there are things you can do to increase the value of your property too. If you want to maximize the value of your home, take a look at these top tips now:

Real Estate, Home, House, Single Family Home

Extend the Property

When you extend a property, you gain extra square footage, which should automatically increase the value of your home. From a straightforward attic conversion to an extensive, two-story addition, there are numerous options available. Furthermore, extending a property can be cheaper than you think. By using the existing structure to draw up plans, experienced contractors can minimize the amount of work involved to help you keep costs down. 

Enhance Curb Appeal

How your property looks has a major impact on its resale. While real estate investors may not be too concerned with curb appeal, potential homeowners or tenants will be swayed by appearances. To ensure you’re making the most of your property, landscape gardens, pave driveways and paint the exterior of your home at regular intervals. 

It’s important to remember, however, that you are usually held responsible for any repairs which are needed following work that’s been carried out on your property. If heavy equipment or vehicles cause pavement damage while accessing your property, you may need to pay to have this repaired. Fortunately, this isn’t an unusual problem and one that can typically be fixed quickly, easily and cost-effectively. 

Redesign Your Kitchen and/or Bathroom

When it comes to selling a home, it’s the kitchen and bathroom that really make an impact on potential buyers. If you’re going to redecorate or redesign any part of your property prior to putting it up for sale, these are the two areas you’ll want to consider first. 

Although there are buyers who will consider purchasing a property that’s in need of repair, selling your home without completing any outstanding work can substantially reduce its value. By repairing water leaks or replacing damaged shower trays, for example, you can restore your home and ensure you get a fair price for your property. 

When to Reinvest in Your Home

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, then you may want to make strategic changes now in order to enhance its value. However, even if you’re not planning to sell any time soon, it’s still worth keeping the value of your home in mind. When you decide what changes to make to your property, always consider the impact potential modifications will have on its value. 

There’s a good chance that your home is your most valuable asset, so you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure it retains its value in the future. By keeping it well-maintained, ensuring it’s aesthetically pleasing and making repairs when they’re needed, you’ll be well on the way to boosting the value of your home. 

7 Common Mistakes First-Time Home-Buyers Make

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Purchasing your first home can be one of the most memorable moments in your life.

But along with this excitement can come many questions and uncertainties about making sure that the correct decisions are in place. From location to finances (and everything in between), several considerations need to be taken to ensure that buying your first house will be a fond memory to look back on.

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table

We know you’re doing a ton of analysis and home searches, perhaps you’re diving into the Redfin vs. Realtor searches and things like that. But, first, take a look at a few common mistakes that first-time home-buyers make and how you can avoid them.

Neglecting a life insurance policy

Whereas around 85% of homeowners have homeowners insurance in the United States, another type of insurance that homeowners with a mortgage need to consider is life insurance.

While life insurance may be a task that you feel inclined to push off (as it’s harder to think about you or a partner passing during the excitement of shopping around for a new home), securing a policy can help save the financial well-being of your loved ones.

There are several different types of policies, so research which kind of plan is the most affordable option for ensuring that mortgage payments go through if there was a sudden loss of income.

Because mortgages typically extend through many years, a life insurance policy prevents passing along this debt to your partner or family. There are online life insurance resources that can help navigate how long you should plan on securing a plan for your circumstances and new homeownership, which factors will influence your rates, and which type of coverage is available.

Overlooking the importance of location

You may have found your dream home, including all the features you were looking for in your new place, along with the right price tag. But something that is just as important to remember when saying ‘yes’ to the house is also where your new home is located. Several factors make up what is considered a ‘good location,’ so spend time analyzing what can be dealbreakers or what you are willing to settle one.

For those with jobs farther from their home, make sure to factor in your daily commute and how much time you are willing to spend transporting to and from work.

blue earth globe on table

Furthermore, consider those living around you. If you are seeking a quieter neighborhood, or prefer something more lively, make sure that your choice takes into account how the people around you and your surroundings will impact the satisfaction in your first home experience. Be sure not to sacrifice on location, even if it means waiting to find a better fit.    

Forgetting a back-up entry plan

As mundane of a task as it may seem, many first-time home-buyers neglect to have a spare set of keys cut in case of emergency or alternative entry options after settling into their new place.

Preparing for unforeseen circumstances, in the beginning, will ensure that you will be ready for these situations before they arise. In addition to getting spare keys made, it is also a good idea to have a secure place to hide them outside of your home to avoid burglary. 

If you prefer more modern or alternative technology, consider investing in a keyless door lock. Write the password information down somewhere safe and have extra batteries on hand if needed. Focusing on the security of your new home will allow you peace of mind knowing it is taken care of even when you aren’t around.

Packing unnecessary clutter

In the moving process, new homeowners should reflect on their belongings and what is actually essential to bring with them to the new house. Along with the other stresses that come along with moving into a new home, bringing unnecessary clutter can add to all the other pressures you may be dealing with. 

In fact, studies have shown that the average American home consists of 300,000 items. Before committing to your moving company or making arrangements, go through your belongings and get rid of unnecessary items.

assorted-color apparels

Not only can this reduce moving expenses and save you time in your unpacking process, but having less clutter can create a smoother transition and more polished home. Additionally, having a garage sale or selling unwanted items online can help diminish a few of your moving expenses.

Focusing on multiple projects

The chances are that you will want to make to your new home either after or before your move-in date—like renovations, repairs, remodels, or re-decorating. While you may feel inclined to jump into several projects at once, remember that tackling one project at a time can actually benefit how fast and efficiently you complete all your plans.

If you are looking to hire a professional for a job, search around for trusted and local people who can get the job done. Planning this out in advance will also help you gauge the amount of time needed to finish your projects— and can even be helpful to compare to which home improvement ideas you can do on your own

Reflect on home maintenance

When selecting a new place to call home, don’t forget about the maintenance on the outside of your house. If you are looking to secure a large back yard or the property has several plants or trees that will need maintenance, consider if this is something you are willing to upkeep actively.

Examining your new home’s maintenance will also include tasks such as cleaning gutters, pest control, and roof preservation. Establishing a plan and determining how much time you are willing to spend on these responsibilities will help you set aside the necessary budget and time you will need to maintain the beauty of your new home. 

Disregarding organization with finances

While you may have a vision of what you want your dream house to look like, remember when buying your first home that purchasing within your means will help your financial stability in the long run. Shifting from renters to homeownership can be an adjustment, and often time new homeowners tend to underestimate the way this lifestyle change can have an impact on the revisions you must make in dealing with your finances.

Luckily, there are professionals, like the C4D crew, that can help you navigate these tougher decisions and organization of your finances.

To gain the most of your first home-buying experience, avoid these common mistakes, and actively set yourself up for the most enjoyment in making the big move. Find confidence that you will make the right decisions, and above all, congratulations on becoming a new homeowner.

Contract for Deed

[2019 UPDATES] Contract For Deed: The Ultimate Guide

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Contract for Deed Home Financing in 2019

Contract for deed home financing is a great option for those individuals struggling to get a traditional loan from the bank. Now, let’s get into the details.

Conventional financing, in 2019, as we all know, is the preferred home loan vehicle. This refers to a standard mortgage loan from a licensed lending institution, and typically can be a15 or 30 year loan with a down-payment that ranges from 3 percent to 20 percent. The higher your credit score, the better deal you will get.

Even before you find your dream home, you should obtain mortgage pre-approval from your lending institution. While pre-approval does not guarantee that everything will go smoothly, it does provide you with significant negotiating power when dealing with sellers.

Applying For Conventional Financing

Your parents probably had to spend an afternoon at a banker’s office when they applied for their first home loan. Now, you can do this by phone or online, although you will eventually have to sign closing documents in person. Some important things to do and factors to be aware of are:

  • Know your credit score.
  • You can easily see this number at Credit Karma, and the service is free.
  • Determine what factors make you less attractive.
  • High student loan balances, maxed out credit cards, judgments, liens, unpaid taxes and underreported income can hurt you.
  • Analyze your actual credit report and correct errors. The FTC reports that one of every five credit reports contains inaccuracies.
  • Optimize your credit status by paying down card balances to below 30 percent; do not make any large credit purchases while attempting to secure home financing.

Understanding What You Can Afford

Banks have certain debt to income ratios that they do strictly enforce. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) explains:

“Your debt-to-income ratio is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income.  This number is one way lenders measure your ability to manage the payments you make every month to repay the money you have borrowed.”

To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, you add up all your monthly debt payments and divide them by your gross monthly income. Your gross monthly income is generally the amount of money you have earned before your taxes and other deductions are taken out.  For example, if you pay $1500 a month for your mortgage and another $100 a month for an auto loan and $400 a month for the rest of your debts, your monthly debt payments are $2000. ($1500 + $100 + $400 = $2,000.) If your gross monthly income is $6000, then your debt-to-income ratio is 33 percent. ($2000 is 33% of $6000.)

Evidence from studies of mortgage loans suggest that borrowers with a higher debt-to-income ratio are more likely to run into trouble making monthly payments. The 43 percent debt-to-income ratio is important because, in most cases, that is the highest ratio a borrower can have and still get a qualified mortgage.

Housing Affordability

Finding Your Home

You can spend all day trolling Trulia and Redfin, but many times you can be missing out on homes for sale that only Realtors can easily access. Remember, sellers pay real estate commissions—you don’t—so avail yourself of this free service and find a good Realtor.

Finding Your Home With Contract For Deed

Working With A Contract for Deed Realtor

The Realtor/client relationship is a two-way street. If you are a type A personality and want all of your texts answered within two minutes, make sure your Realtor is as hyper as you are. Conversely, don’t expect your Realtor to work miracles with incomplete or false information. For example, don’t inflate your income and/or minimize your debts at your first meeting. In the credit world, there are no secrets, so be upfront with you Realtor.

Turned Down For Traditional Financing?

Mortgage Rejection

Those that give up after being rejected for a home loan end up renting apartments while those savvy enough to understand that there are alternatives to conventional financing will look at the rejection as a bump in the road and move forward. Rent to own is one way to become a homeowner, but a preferred method is MN contract for deed. In a rent to own situation, you pay rent to a property owner that may put aside a portion of your monthly rent as a down payment for a future purchase.

If everything works out, either the seller provides financing or you obtain it at some later date. In a contract for deed sale, you sign a contract that states that you will be given the deed to the property you are occupying after you make all of your required payments. Contract for deed is seller financing, and while interest rates can be a bit higher than conventional financing, credit requirements are typically significantly more lenient.

Finding Contract For Deed Opportunities

There are a limited number of MLS contract for deed listings.  If you’re lucky, you might find the right opportunity in a nice location. At C4D, however, we give you an advantage that others that wish to utilize contract for deed just don’t have. Just bring the home you wish to purchase to us. If we can do the deal, we will purchase the home and sell it to you on a contract for deed basis. We have paved the home ownership road for many that were rejected for conventional financing. Application is easy—just go to our website. C4D has the financial power behind them to make these deals happen.

Contract For Deed Documentation

While C4D offers less stringent credit requirements, we still will need pay stubs and bank statements. We look, however, at your situation today, and we care a lot more about what you can do now than what bad things have happened to you in the past. At C4D even high student loan balances and recent bankruptcies are not necessarily the hindrances they would be at a large bank.

Contract For Deed: How It Works

Although the nightmare of waiting 60 days or more to close on even great credit deals is generally behind us, banks take longer than we do at C4D. We usually can close deals in as fast as two to three weeks.

MN Contract For Deed Costs

We’re upfront about all of this. We do require an origination fee and we do add a small initial property markup. And, the interest rate you pay will be higher than the prevailing conventional mortgage interest rate.

Contract for Deed: What Problems?

We have many satisfied former renters that are now homeowners. We are transparent and forthright. If we can help you, we do everything possible to get your deal done. We are MN contract for deed experts, and happy customers are our paramount concern.

If you deal with an individual that is offering a contract for deed, you have to do serious vetting to ensure that there will be no problems with your deal in the future. With C4D, this is not necessary.

Contract for Deed: True Disclosure

When we purchase your home, we get a loan from our bank. With the blessing and full knowledge of our bank, we then sell the property to you with a MN contract for deed. You make your monthly payments to us and we, in turn, make our payment to the bank. But check this out:

We’ve never missed a payment and don’t ever plan on it.  In addition, we’ve worked with our bank partner to have an assignment of contract included in your documents that basically says if we stop paying our lender, you can pay them directly and your contract remains intact.

You won’t find this protection with most individual contract for deed sales. In fact, many times the seller’s bank isn’t even made aware of the transaction, and this can throw the original mortgage into default because of the due on sale clause that is embedded in almost every mortgage note. Our agreements with our bank do not have due on sale clauses.

Everything is upfront and at closing the contract is recorded at the appropriate County.

Helping You Refinance

Our goal is to get you into a home and ultimately help you refinance with a traditional lender.  We have relationships and systems in place to help make this happen. Typically, we can help people refinance within three years of purchase.

For the Realtor: Turned Down? There Is Still Hope!

So you spent weeks trying to get your buyer and seller agree upon a price. Both were difficult at times, and when you finally got all sides to listen to reason, an old unpaid judgment appeared and derailed the financing. After you’re done binge watching House of Cards to ease your pain, give us a call. We have been able to resurrect many deals that have been turned down by others.

Realtor Contract for Deed

We are a reputable, experienced and recognized company that does MN contract for deed. You bring us the buyer and the property, we buy the property and sell it to your client on a contract for deed. Even if you have an iffy buyer with shaky credit and you have not yet found the perfect property, bring them to us; we will get many of them pre-approved and send them back to you.

Is My Commission Protected?

Realtor Commission

You betcha! 80% of our referrals come from realtors, and they wouldn’t keep coming back if we didn’t guarantee that their commissions would be protected.

The Deed

Contract for deed means exactly that.

  • We buy the property.
  • We hold the deed.
  • We sell the property to the buyer.
  • They occupy the home.
  • They make their monthly payments.
  • At the end of the contract period, we turn over the deed and they are homeowners!
  • They can also refinance early with a traditional lender, and this is something that we will facilitate.
  • In addition, the buyer actually has equitable title, and can sell the property at any time if they wish to move on.

What About Financing?

Yes, we use a bank.

  • Our bank gives us a mortgage.
  • Our bank knows what we are doing.
  • The buyer pays us and we pay the bank.
  • We are never late.
  • We never miss payments.
  • Our mortgage with our bank does NOT include a due on sale clause.
  • In fact, we have an assignment of contract put in place that basically says if we stop paying our lender, the buyer can pay them directly and the contract remains intact!

The Final Paperwork

We will hold your client’s hand from application to closing. We will assist with all documentation and paperwork.

When The Offer Is Accepted

At this point, Taylor and the C4D Crew take over.  We work directly with the lender and title company to schedule closing and work out all the paperwork.  The C4D Crew will also work directly with the C4D buyer on all the paperwork and logistics for the day of closing This will be one of the easier transactions you do this year!

Down-Payment

Contract For Deed MN Down Payment

A down-payment is of course necessary, but the down payment be gifted to the buyer in a C4D transaction. Just make sure your clients speak with their accountant for possible tax implications.

C4D Crew Reputation

We can provide you with client references. Just by looking at our website you can see that we provide tons of valuable and free information about MN contract for deed. Of course, we are in business to make money—so are you—but we are also dedicated to helping those with compromised credit become homeowners.

How Long Does It Take?

From the time you and your client find a home they’d like to buy, and an offer is accepted, we can close as quickly as two to three weeks.

Credit Score Minimum?

We don’t have one. We look at every deal individually. Prior BKs, student loans, judgments divorces and tax liens are all issues we can work around.

Credit Score

Can You Approve Any Deal?

In short, no. We are not going to lie and tell you that we can do anything, but you would be amazed at what we can accomplish.

Call Us About Contract For Deed

MN Contract For Deed

Again, just because the loan officer rejected your client’s loan, your deal is not necessarily dead. Contact us and we’ll quickly get started on a contract for deed program that can make your client’s home ownership dream a reality.

The Major Tax Benefits of Homeownership in 2019

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Home ownership is still a great deal, and you can save substantial tax dollars because of it. In 2019, however, some of the benefits of home ownership have been curtailed, and those interested in exactly what a homeownership tax credit does should read on.

What is a Tax Deduction?

There is a difference between tax deductions and tax credits. A tax deduction is an amount that you can subtract from your gross income. In previous years, the IRS allowed what they call the standard deduction; that was $12,000 per year per married couple.

That meant if you earned $60,000 in 2018, and were filing jointly, you would be about to immediately deduct $12,000 from your income and pay taxes only on the remaining $48,000.

homeownership tax credit and deductions

An image of a Five Most Common Tax Deductions Chart.

For the tax year 2018, the standard deduction has been increased to $24,000. That means that on a combined income of $60,000, you and your spouse could deduct $24,000 and pay taxes only on $36,000.

The caveat here is that you can either take the standard deduction, or you can itemize expenses, add those up, and use that amount as your deduction. The purpose of doubling the standard deduction was to keep people from having to itemize and save receipts.

What Is a Tax Credit?

A tax credit is something that would actually reduce the amount of taxes that you owe, like the American Opportunity tax credit that applies to attending college.

Capital Gains Tax

There is not a national homeownership tax credit per se. Yes, you can deduct a certain amount of mortgage interest and property taxes, but it may be more advantageous to just take the new higher standard deduction. The mortgage deduction amount for the year 2019 has been capped, and so has the property tax deduction amount.

IRA Considerations

If you are considering the use of your IRA to fund a down payment, tax laws do allow you to forego paying IRA withdrawal taxes up to a certain amount. Be sure to check with your CPA regarding this.

Home Equity Interest Loan Deduction

Again, this is not a homeownership tax credit, but you can deduct a certain amount of home equity loan interest if you have taken out a home equity loan.

Capital Gains Exclusion

Capital Gains Exclusion

Our friends at NOLO tell us:

“Married taxpayers who file jointly get to keep, tax free, up to $500,000 in profit on the sale of a home used as a principal residence for two of the prior five years. Single folks (including home co-owners if they separately qualify) and married taxpayers who file separately get to keep up to $250,000 each, tax free.”

The Comparison

Remember, if you are renting, there are no possibilities for mortgage or property tax interest deductions, and you can’t take out a home equity loan so that deduction will be unavailable also. There are certain states that offer a homeownership tax credit, and renters from Bloomington, Indiana to Eugene, Oregon are out of luck here also.

As you can see, home ownership still provides a lot of tax incentives, and states provide worthwhile homeownership tax credit. If you are unable to get traditional financing, these tax breaks can still be yours through the use of MN contract for deed.

Contract for Deed Homes: What Realtors NEED To Know

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There are a number of reasons Minnesota residents looking to buy contract for deed homes have had success. But you might ask: why not just buy your home with a traditional mortgage from the bank? Let’s talk about that.

We’ve all had it happen. 

Loan Rejection

After a difficult and protracted negotiation period, you finally got both your buyer and the seller to agree on price, contingencies, and before-closing repairs. At the end, everyone came to their senses, gave a up a little, and all parties were looking forward to closing.

Then the bank stepped in and killed the deal. Even though your buyer was pre-qualified, they made a mistake, didn’t follow your instructions and decided to finance an expensive vehicle. As the bank did a final credit check, the new car loan appeared and skewed the buyer’s debt to income ratio. The deal was dead, but you could have brought it back to life.

Contract for Deed Homes

Image result for home buying process

Contract for deed is a widely accepted Minnesota financing tool where a seller finances the property purchase on an installment basis, and they buyer receives the deed upon making the final payment. Many think that for this to work they need to find free and clear properties where a seller agrees to be the bank.

Why free and clear?

Because sellers can’t usually sell encumbered properties without breaching the lender’s mortgage contract. Therefore, those interested in contract for deed financing look specifically for contract for deed homes. There is another way, however.

Companies Like the Contract for Deed Crew (Yes, that’s us!)

There are quality companies out there like C4D, and it works like this: You bring a deal to C4D. Like a bank, C4D analyzes the deal to ensure that the seller can make the required monthly payments.

Unlike a bank, however, C4D can look past problems like the vehicle purchase mentioned above. With a good contract for deed homes company, you will be dealing with the company owner—not a bureaucratic bank loan officer. If C4D approves the deal, they will buy the property.

They do this with a bank loan, but the company’s bank does not include a due-upon-sale clause in its mortgage to C4D. Therefore, C4D legally and ethically buys the home, and with the bank’s blessing, C4D sells it on a contract for deed to the buyer.

Contract for Deed Homes

Benefits to the Realtor using Contract for Deed

  • You can explain difficult situations to C4D and they will understand. A debt to income ratio that has recently changed can be worked with if the buyers can legitimately afford the home.
  • Contract for deed revives dead deals. Banks can be arbitrary and unforgiving, but with a contract for deed transaction, the seller has more leeway to analyze what really makes the buyer worthy.
  • While a down payment is needed, the actual percentage is not necessarily set, and there are even ways the contract for deed companies can facilitate payment assistance.
  • Buyers can look at any home—not just contract for deed homes. With a MN contract for deed sale, the seller is unaffected since a company like C4D is the only purchaser they need to deal with.
  • All real estate commissions are protected.
  • Sellers can move their homes more expediently because companies like C4D have lots of buyers waiting for their dream homes.

Also, if you’re looking to understand property value event more, check out this presentation:

Presentation courtesy of LoseTheAgent, a listing platform for homes for sale by owner.

Don’t let loan officers and finicky banks get in your way. Consider using MN contract for deed for any deal where the lender is causing you trouble. It’s worth an email!

Minnesota Homes For Sale

Minnesota Homes For Sale: September Updates

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It’s hard enough to ascertain exactly where a certain real estate market is headed, and with the wide variety of sources available, it’s equally difficult to distill those in order to make informed decisions. We’ll try and help you understand the current Minnesota real estate market and Minnesota homes for sale.

Minnesota Interest Rates

Minnesota Homes for SaleIt’s obvious that the Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates low has revived the housing market. Two years ago, you could still get a rate just at or even below four percent if you had excellent credit. Look at this chart to see the effect of a one percent mortgage rate difference:

You can see that a one percent rate increase on a $200,000 home loan costs almost $100 per month. Do the math any figure the costs for more expensive homes, and you will easily view the worrisome effect that higher interest rates cause.

Interest Rate Prediction

Home Interest Minnesota Real Estate

Our friends at Kiplinger tell us:

“The Federal Reserve is committed to raising short-term rates this year and next because it’s concerned about the tightening labor market. The Fed very much wants to stay ahead of any inflation that rising wages may generate and will lift short-term rates by a quarter of a percentage point twice more this year after doing so in June. That would put the federal funds’ rate at 2.5% heading into 2019, when another three increases are expected.”

These increases will trickle down to mortgage rates, and those looking for Minnesota homes for sale will see increases beyond these current rates:

Minnesota Mortgage Rates as of September 6, 2018
TERM RATE CHANGE LAST WEEK
30-year fixed mortgage rate 4.43% 0.02 4.41%
15-year fixed mortgage rate 3.90% 0.01 3.89%
5/1 ARM mortgage rate 4.16% 0.01 4.17%
30-year fixed jumbo mortgage rate 4.53% 0.05 4.48%
30-year fixed refinance rate 4.43% 0.03 4.40%

When the mortgage interest rate reaches five percent, this can cause Minnesota home buyers to take a step back and maybe consider staying where they are or renting.

In addition, a recent Minnesota Star Tribune article said that any price relief will have to wait until 2020:

“Relief is on its way for home buyers in the Twin Cities and beyond who are frustrated by a lack of house listings and lightning-fast sales, according to a survey of housing experts. But they will have to wait until at least 2020. That’s when experts see key indicators in the housing market tilting toward buyers. ‘Conditions are starting to show signs of easing up, but the effects of years of limited construction still linger,’ said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas, cautioning that any shift will be modest. ‘Inventory is still falling on an annual basis, and home values are growing well above their historic pace.’”

Minnesota Homes for Sale: The Alternatives

So, if you are looking for Minnesota homes for sale, you’ll find a torrid market where the median home price may soon reach $300,000. Many in your position may decide to wait out this era of rapid increases and, as we previously mentioned, think about staying put or renting. Our friends at Abodo tell us this about the Minnesota rental market:

A one-bedroom apartment in St. Paul now averages $1020, and a two bedroom is priced at $1256. Both of these median prices are little changed from last month. While the nationwide rental market has shown an uptick since July, it can still be cheaper in some locations to rent rather than buy–more about this in an upcoming post.

It Can Be a Challenge

Finding your home can be stressful and financing it can be even more challenging. At C4D, our goal is to see you become a homeowner with a good, solid traditional loan. Sometimes, however, this just doesn’t work, but through our expert use of MN contract for deed, we get people into homes and put them onto the path of rewarding home ownership. Turned down at the bank? Be sure to contact us because we have helped lots of persons with credit issues ranging from divorce and job loss to bankruptcy and foreclosure.