Newsflash: Update My Home or Offer an Allowance?

I may be in a situation soon where I need to sell my house relatively quickly. (I am anticipating a job offer in the next few weeks that will require a cross-country move.) When my wife and I bought the house two years ago, the only two iffy bits were 1) the kitchen and 2) the carpet. We have a 4-yr-old and two cats, so we just assumed we’d be replacing the carpet before we eventually sold the house. We are wondering whether we should go ahead an update the kitchen and get new carpet now, or if we should just try to sell it as-is and offer a carpet/kitchen allowance to potential buyers.For reference, the kitchen appliances are pretty new, but the cabinets and counters (and probably the sink) would have to go. We have an old hardwood floor in the kitchen, I’m not sure how much it would be to just sand and re-finish. The house is just south of St. Louis (in a nice neighborhood), and we paid $155k for it two years ago.The emphasis would be on selling it quickly, as we really don’t want to be stuck with two mortgages, but of course we don’t want to lose money on it either. So what does reddit think? Should we spend the cash to update it now, or should we leave it as-is and offer an allowance?

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/4h4az8/update_my_home_or_offer_an_allowance/

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New Story Just Out: #NPRreads: Take Your Pick Of Space, Race Or Celebrity

Yet another interesting headline in the world of health and well-being. #NPRreads: Take Your Pick Of Space, Race Or Celebrity
In this weekly story roundup, NPR reporters, editors and producers share what they have been reading. Today’s mix explores life away from Earth, forgotten photos and fallen stars.

Read the full story here

New Story Just Out: Tighter Alcohol Curbs For All Help Reduce Teen Motor Vehicle Deaths

Yet another interesting headline in the world of health and well-being. Tighter Alcohol Curbs For All Help Reduce Teen Motor Vehicle Deaths
Raising the cost of alcohol with taxes makes it less likely that teenagers will die in a drunk-driving accident, a study finds. Some teen-specific policies like graduated drivers licenses help, too.

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Newsflash: First time home buyer who plans to rent out rooms (NC)

I recently graduated from university and while it made sense financially to rent during that time (frequent travel) I’m hoping to purchase a home instead of paying off a landlords mortgage. If anyone has done something similar I’d love to hear your thoughts on my rough plan.I know I’m going to be in the area for the next 2-5 years and I have friends and family who are going to school at the same University I just graduated from who have between 1-3 years left and who would be interested in renting from me. The city I’d be buying in is the 4th fastest growing city in US and the area is constantly flooded with students.Are there any major red flags to the plan of buying a house, renting out the rooms to my friends while still living there, having them pay off a significant portion of the monthly mortgage (and giving them a slightly lower than market price in the area), and then either selling the house in 3-5 years or turning it into a rental property. If I don’t buy I’ll be forced to rent during this entire time which means I’m spending money with no option to recoup at a later date. If I purchase a property and sell it off down the road, even if I sell it for a loss I still retain at least a portion of my initial investment since my renters are paying off most of the mortgage.Any thoughts?

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/4h3m76/first_time_home_buyer_who_plans_to_rent_out_rooms/

Newsflash: Is this how it’s supposed to be?

We started looking into homes in a specific school district about a month ago. We currently drive our kids to these schools daily so we we’re definitely sticking to this rather small pool of options. I was looking and saw one I wanted to see so I messaged a random agent from the site I was viewing. She gave me the number for a guy to get pre approved then showed me the house after I was pre approved. That one wasn’t the right home but I messaged her another I’d like to see, and she had an agent friend come show us. Again, wasn’t right. Initially, she had sent me a link that was supposed to update and notify of new listings in that area. But, even as new listings show up in my searches I’m not getting anything from her. It’s just me constantly searching and emailing her when I find a potential and her telling me that it’s already pending, gone to some auction site, or agreeing to set up to show us a few days out. We’ve never done this before so I asked the very friendly mortgage guy what the etiquette is you feel like your agent isn’t the right one for you, she’s not local to the area we are looking. He suggested that we should tell her that we don’t feel like she has sufficient time to help us in our search or whatever. I have severe anxiety and barely force myself to speak so the idea of confrontation, even in a calm polite way is terrifying. Plus, I’m weird. I intend to have a normal conversation like millions of other adults do every day but it comes out as some nonsensical blundered mess that leaves me shaking my head for months. So I’m learning of new properties on the day they are listed, from Redfin, but others in the small town I’m interested in are learning of them first and getting offers in.This turned into a rant, sorry.

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/4h2rl5/is_this_how_its_supposed_to_be/

Newsflash: First time home buyer opportunities

I’m not trying to go all /r/askhistory but please source all top level responses in this thread (and other places where appropriate). This is meant to be a source of information people can act on. IE if you say “there is this grant” put a url next to it. That said if someone else says that, and you have something to add feel free.Anyhow with that out of the way, a large amount of our subs are first time home buyers. Being a first time home buyer myself at some point in the past, the most frustrating thing was going to an open house and having some random realtor give me vague information about some program that would pay my down payment! I should meet with him and give him all my information and he could tell me more (like how I had to have 6 kids and be a single mother to qualify).What are the legitimate grants, loan programs, etc out there first time home buyers can benefit from?You can expand this to owner occupied too I suppose.I’ll sticky this if it goes anywhere good.

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/4diqp1/first_time_home_buyer_opportunities/

Newsflash: Just bought my fourth house and I’m wondering where to go from here…

I read an interesting article the other day about how an individual who started from nothing and ended up owning 25,000 apartment units over the course of a 35-40 year career. This got me thinking and I thought I would start a discussion here about it.I’ve just purchased my 4th home (3rd rental property) in an area which is projected to grow by 80% over the next 15 years. In the last 90 days, home prices have increased about 5% there, while rents are up about 4% (if you can get a rental that is, they lease in 48 hours or less). My sweet spot are 4 BR SFRs in the $250k ballpark located in the best middle class neighborhoods. These throw off about $3500/year immediately in cash flow before taxes after accounting for all operating costs, including repairs, management, insurance, vacancies, taxes, etc. After 5 years, I project ~8% COC and 17% IRR and these metrics increase slightly each year after. I will add to that there are some interesting trends in the area that could result in dramatic upside scenarios. I plan on owning these properties for 15-20 years.I’m wondering how to scale this model to about 25 properties. Financing seems to be the main barrier here. My bank tells me that they are willing to finance up to 9 homes on a mortgage basis, so I’m wondering what happens after that? How are these financing deals typically structured and what are their requirements?Another alternative is to use the cash flow to pay down balances, but paid off homes have an IRR of only around 9%, so it seems like it would be better – though riskier – to remain leveraged to at least 50%.I’m eager to hear from anyone who has done this, or at least in the process of doing it.

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/4h28z7/just_bought_my_fourth_house_and_im_wondering/

Newsflash: I need help finding out if I’m being scammed

The landlord of this property is in contact with me, and my hopeful roommates attempted to send him a deposit and a moth of rent to get our new house. He says he works on rigs in the gulf so the money gram transfer was supposed to be directed to his sister in law. Money gram declined to process it since it matches the description of a scam partly because he is Russian. He had us sign and scan in a lease agreement before we attempted to send him any money, and the county assessor’s office lists him as the owner of the residence. He even has emailed us a short bio about him and seems to want to get to know is personally, adding that he specifically chose us because the other competitors to by the house were homosexual and he is a conservative Christian. I’m not sure of the subreddit rules, so I’m not posting a name or other information as of yet, but any advice into this would be welcome.

Read more at http://www.reddit.com/r/RealEstate/comments/4h22vb/i_need_help_finding_out_if_im_being_scammed/