Newsflash: If you’re buying in an area that’s easy to rent out, does the ‘5 year’ rule still apply?

I’m looking at houses in the SF Bay Area. I’m young and don’t have kids, so the possibility of moving is on the table but not definite.However, I do want to get in on buying soon, and would live-in. It’s really easy to rent out places here- so does the ‘if you’re not going to be there 5 years, don’t buy’ mode of thought still apply?

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3r0v9w/if_youre_buying_in_an_area_thats_easy_to_rent_out/

Newsflash: [Update] Bottomlined contract in place – sewer and electrical issues after inspection. Negotiation advice please.

Background here.Well, I cut the last EMD check yesterday, but not without some shenannigans. First up – the sewer. The seller agreed to extend the contingency deadline and figure out what the problem is. Turned out it was collapsed tiles and without us asking, the sellers fixed the pipe to the sewer main. We went back out to reinspect and the backyard is tore up to shit, but we can deal with it. The only other pressing thing was the breaker box, but my financing guy said I cannot get any more credit back from the seller so we were stuck.We went back to the seller and offered up three names to reputable electricians in the area and wrote in the contract that they must use our choice, but fix it themselves before we sign off on the inspections.And then, the shenanigans started. The selling agent said they couldn’t get a hold of our choice electricians, so he wanted to use his guy. My realtor was all on board – even though we couldn’t find a working phone number, any reviews, or internet presence on the guy. For some reason, my realtor had him call me. Checked his licensing with the city and couldn’t pin it down – but “he had breakfast with the city inspector that morning so really – It’s OK”. Strangest conversation I’ve had in a long time, but ended it with – “Seriously, I’m not approving you for the work.”I called my first choice electrician and the manager stated they never received a call from anyone. So the selling agent lied. Got on the phone with my realtor who was STILL squawking that it was not a big deal and gave her an ultimatum. Get it done like I want, or no deal.For some reason, the sellers then wanted me to set up the appointment, call the electricians themselves, then have the electrician confirm with me that the appointments were made. The electrician then called me and demanded a deposit. This prompted another call to my realtor to say “this isn’t my job, I don’t own the house yet, the seller and their agent need to make this happen or I’m out.”Low and behold, it gets done in three days, I have it inspected and supply my last EMD check. We should close by EOW.Serious pain in the tuckus but my realtor didn’t like ruffling feathers nor negotiating. Thankfully I have no issues with these things and pushed back, especially when my gut told me not to back down.So far, here’s the damage from not using an experienced real estate agent:messed up paperwork on the initial contract – I’m out 1000 dollars more up front because she miscalculated the EMD. I should have caught it but it was a weird contract thing and I’m doing things without a great deal of prior knowledge.My realtor almost ponied up $3000 more in costs because she thought the selling agent screwed up on the initial bottom lined contract. Wanted to send him a new contract to sign after the first – out of i’m not sure what type of approach?!? I had to convince her not to run calculations for him, refuse to sign a new contract, and rewrite emails for her so she would let him come back saying – nope, no mistake.The last thing was my realtor trying to say any electrician would be fine and I should just let it go. Yeah – hell no.Hopefully, I will be getting a small check back at closing, considering I’ve overpaid at the moment. I’m lucky that my BIL is my mortgage guy and is waving all fees.Now…how does one blow insulation? 🙂

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3r0fai/update_bottomlined_contract_in_place_sewer_and/

Newsflash: Seller left to vegas on the day we were suppose to close!

Purchasing a four-plex cash with 11k down for earnest money. Sellers agent let us know that the seller would be in town on Monday to sign. Feeling a little disgruntled by the un professionalism, what recourse do I have? Does he keep Novembers rent? Unfortunately none of that was covered in the contract. Has anybody here gone through something similar and if so what did you guys end up doing? Thanks in advance!

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3qzwk3/seller_left_to_vegas_on_the_day_we_were_suppose/

Newsflash: ROI on building extra bed/bath and detached apartment for future rental

Mrs. Never_noob and I are currently in the process of renovating our house, which we think will eventually be a rental in 5-10 years. We live in a 2/1 in a rapidly growing area in the Tampa bay area in FL. We are expanding the kitchen, adding an indoor laundry room, an extra bathroom, and a small bedroom/office, which will make our house a 3/2. Basically, doing all the things that we want to stay comfortable in our small house for the next 5-10 years but also set the stage for a more valuable property in the future.Once that is done, we have a very old 390 sq ft old detached garage that we use as a gym. The building is too old to do anything with without starting from scratch, so we are going to demo that and build a new semi-finished rec room/gym in its place. This will be insulated, with no garage doors, air conditioned, drywalled, powered, and plumbed, but no fixtures yet. We intend to build such that, when we move in 5-10 years, we will be able to finish the interior and rent it out as either a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment while also having the main house rented out.A few questions:-What are reasonable sizes for a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment? Obviously marginal $/sqft decreases as we go bigger, but we probably don’t need or want a back house that is almost the same size as our actual house (currently 900 sq ft, will be ~1200 when we’re done with additions). Is it reasonable to have a 650sq ft 2 bedroom apartment? Or are we better of just going to 500-550 and making it a 1 bedroom? If either is viable, which would make the most sense from an ROI perspective?-While we will get tremendous utility out of having our home gym available to us for the years we are in the house, how can we best calculate the value of this from a financial standpoint?Numbers:* 3 bedroom houses in our area on par with our house rent for ~$1600-2000 and go FAST. It’s almost impossible to find a rental here and has been that way for years. I’d feel very safe estimating $1600/month and a near-100% occupancy rate. (or 1800/month and a lower rate)* 1 bedroom apartments rent for 600-800 and 2 bedroom apartments rent for 1200-1400.* We have a 15 year mortgage at 3% (PITI=$1200) but are paying extra so it’ll be gone in 10 years.* The renovations and the detached garage will be paid for in cash.* The detached building should be about $80/sq ft unfinished, and then another $20/sq ft when we go to finish it and turn it into an apartment (we’ll be doing just medium quality finishes). The $/sqft go down a bit as we go bigger, so probably figure $5/sqft in either direction.We bought the house for $160k, and we’ll be putting $140-160k into it (so ~300-320k) and I’d guess we can rent it out for somewhere between $2200 and $2800. I’m gonna guess if it isn’t our primary residence, taxes and insurance would go up about 50%, so let’s figure $6,300 a year instead ($525/mo) of the $4,200 a year we are currently paying. Obviously this isn’t purely an investment, as it will be our house for a while with features and comforts that we want, but I’m trying to figure out, roughly, how this shakes out financially.Any thoughts?

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3qz4r6/roi_on_building_extra_bedbath_and_detached/

Newsflash: Moving back to AU. Trying to free up equity in (US) & (UK) properties to purchase a house in AU. Having trouble doing so.

I really would like advice from international property owners. We (F – Australian National, M – Canadian and HK perm resident) are moving from the US back to Australia. We own property in the UK from our time living there, and the US (Illinois). We have paid off ~$60k on US ,mortgage and ~£30k on UK mortgage. We were planning on taping into this Equity to buy a property back in Australia. Both the US credit union and large US bank (Chase) are not open to allowing a “second mortgage” for someone purchasing property overseas. Not being an American probably doesn’t help.Any advice from the property investment gurus here would be appreciated.Cheers

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3qz19t/moving_back_to_au_trying_to_free_up_equity_in_us/

Newsflash: Thank you /r/RealEstate – closed yesterday (FSBO)

Thank you folks for all the great advice (past and present). We closed yesterday on a FSBO home and will be moving in the next few weeks.WARNING: Last time I bought a house the financial market crashed… just sayin’

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3qyiy9/thank_you_rrealestate_closed_yesterday_fsbo/

Newsflash: Termination of residency – what courtesy do I owe the realtor?

I just found out that the home I rent is about to be listed for sale. I have chosen not to purchase and instead will be moving, however there is a possibility that the home may be listed before I move out. Am I under any legal obligation to open the home for a realtor and unknown other persons to view the home? If I am required to allow them access do I need to leave the house and allow them to view the home without me there?Thanks for your input!

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3qxjp1/termination_of_residency_what_courtesy_do_i_owe/

Newsflash: Dumb question about closets

I’m a seller and I want to take all of my closet hardware with me, including hanging rods, etc. There would just be empty reach-in spaces left (with closet doors intact). Is that against selling etiquette? Am I supposed to leave something at minimum for the potential buyer?Apologies if this is the wrong sub for this question.

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3qxc4y/dumb_question_about_closets/

Newsflash: [US][MX] Financing real estate abroad?

Hey all. I searched for similar questions but was unable to find anything. I’m a US citizen who’s been living in Mexico for the last few years. I’ve thought about buying a house here, but the interest rates are crazy. The lowest I’ve seen advertised is around 10% and many people pay upwards of 13% on 20 year loans. Are there any other options for someone like me to finance real estate at a more reasonable rate? I work for a US company, have an excellent credit rating, and can come up with a sizable down payment if that matters. Thanks in advance!

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/3qwpdg/usmx_financing_real_estate_abroad/

New Story Just Out: International Leaders To Discuss Substances That Cause Global Warming

Yet another interesting headline in the world of health and well-being. International Leaders To Discuss Substances That Cause Global Warming
NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about next week’s international conference on substances in air conditioners and refrigerators that heat up the atmosphere.

Read the full story here