Renting Rooms to Stop Foreclosure

Are you among the many people trying to figure out a way to pay their mortgage and stop foreclosure? Across the country, times aren’t easy right now and more people than ever are losing jobs, leading to other financial problems like keeping up on house payments. Everywhere you look there are companies offering to stop foreclosure. Before you resort to using specialty foreclosure help services, consider some of the other options out there. One option gaining popularity that can be done without the help of third party servicers is renting a room and flipping that income directly into a mortgage payment.

Stop Foreclosure by Renting Rooms

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you have to make sure you plan accordingly and do your research. Consider first that you may be able to refinance to better fit your payments to your current situation – with mortgage rates at extreme lows right now, this may be a very realistic option for many, but admittedly harder for those where home values have dropped significantly. If refinancing isn’t a viable option, and renting a room seems like the solution, here are some things to do before you start placing your ads to find a renter.

Is it Legal?
If you own your own single-family home then this probably doesn’t apply to you. But if you’re buying an apartment, condo, duplex or other kind of home that has multiple tenants then you should check with your homeowner’s association (HOA) to see if it’s ok to rent a room for extra income.  There may be stipulations in the rules and regulations of your condominium association that preclude you from renting, or preclude leases that are under a certain duration – increasing the number of residents in a building or unit could be considered by some to detract from the quality of life available in the building, one of the many reasons residents pay HOA fees to regulate such situations.

Insurance & Taxes
Parts of your home owners insurance policy may have rules about having extra tenants in the home. Before you rent out a room, make sure that you’re covered. If you go against the terms of your policy, even if done in innocent error, you could up with a canceled policy. In addition, you’ll have to inform the IRS about the extra income you receive from your tenant. Be sure to check with the IRS and understand what this will mean to you.

Functionality
Ideally, you want the room you’re renting to have its own bathroom and its own entrance. Even a kitchen or small kitchenette, separate from your own personal living space, would be nice. This isn’t a requirement, but you can charge more if it has these features and you don’t have to worry as much about privacy for either you or the tenant.

Credit & Rates
When you’re determining how much to charge, be sure to include the added cost of utilities. There are many calculators you can find online to estimate utility costs. Before you let anyone rent a room in your home, you should run a credit check and criminal check. CriminalSearches.com is a good starting point for the criminal check.

These simple steps will help you figure out if renting a room is right for you and if so, how to get started on doing so. It could very well be a way to stop foreclosure without having to bring in much outside help.

Transit Score Determines Home’s Transportation Costs

When it comes to the public transportation system, the United States is slacking. A well-developed transportation system can take the nation a long ways when it comes to becoming green, and Walk Score’s newly launched Transit Score offering allows homebuyers to evaluate long term transportation costs associated with a potential home.

According to a study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute, commuters waste 4.2 billion hours and 2.8 billion gallons of gas sitting in traffic each year. This is a lot of waste. Today’s commuters are very interested in a public transportation system that will help cut back on this waste of time.

Walk Score’s over 4,000 websites has been helping house-hunters find the perfect address for years. Walk Score has now introduced a tool that will help calculate commuting costs into the cost of purchasing a home. This tool is called Transit Score. It is designed to provide buyers with an effective solution to this driving issue.

Walk Score, developed by Front Seat, is based in Seattle. This product has been helping customers make housing decisions based on proximity to nearby amenities. These amenities include grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and public transportation. Walk Score has found that walkable neighborhoods offer tremendous value in terms of the economy, environment, and health benefits. A study conducted by the Center for Neighborhood Technology shows that traditional suburb dwellers can spend up to 32% of their income on the cost of transportation. That’s a lot of money going down the drain! Those living in more walkable neighborhoods only spend up to 12 percent.

Walk Score helps house hunters meet their transportation requirements with Transit Score. This service provides buyers with custom commute reports and a transportation calculator. Before you buy, you can know your transportation costs as well as proximity to public transportation and other essentials. This project is partially funded by The Rockefeller Foundation’s transportation initiative. It allows for third parties to easily add public transit information to its website.

Walk Score’s transportation ratings are currently available in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

How to Buy Landlords Buildings Insurance

Do you have rental properties? Would you like to make sure that you can continue to maintain them and protect your investment well into the future? Would you like to insulate your investment as much as possible from natural catastrophes and more? If so, you need to consider landlords building insurance. If you have heard of it, but have been hesitant to buy because you didn’t know how to go about buying, don’t worry, you’re in the same position as a lot of people.

The best thing you can do to start is ask professional acquaintances who they have their landlords building insurance through. This is a great way to get recommendations about how much you should pay, which insurers will offer you the best rates, where you can get the best coverage for the best rate, and you may even be able to learn a little bit more about the type of coverage you should be looking at in your market to respond to any local nuances in property ownership.

When you talk to others you can not only get some great information about landlords buildings insurance and which companies to use, but you can also gain insider information about which companies or policies you may want to stay away from – sometimes the best information and the most help can come from the negative or less than ideal experiences of others. When you ask others about landlords buildings insurance, be sure that you ask for those companies or policies that you should stay away from, as this can be just as helpful as what firms and policies to pursue.

Another great way to shop for landlords buildings insurance is through your current insurance provider. If you have home owners insurance or anything like this, you should contact the company or agent that you go through. They can often provide you with this type of coverage as well, and because you have other policies with that carrier, you may often be able to receive better rates via multi-policy discounts. This is definitely worth looking into, and if by chance they cannot provide you with the insurance that you need as a landlord, they may be able to give you some great recommendations.

The Internet is a great tool when you want to shop for any type of insurance, too. Yes, even landlords buildings insurance. Online you can make the process straight forward by submitting your needs and requirements into a form, followed oftentimes by receiving several quotes at a time from different providers. The Internet has made shopping for landlords insurance, much like many things, more convenient and efficient. In some cases, you will also receive an online discount, which is always a good thing!

Non-Newspaper Ways to Find Boston Apartments

There are many ways to find the best apartment, whether to rent or to buy. Here we’re going to talk about five non-newspaper ways to find Boston apartments. Finding an apartment in Boston is not always easy, with inventory sometimes turning very fast. Most people will immediately turn to the newspaper when searching for apartments for rent, but there are many other ways through which you can get a nice apartment that matches your needs, desires and budget. Here are just a handful of the ways you can find the perfect apartment without ever opening up another newspaper.

1. Brokers: You might be aware that there are many broker agencies that work with apartments for rent, oftentimes housing a team of specialists within the brokerage that focus solely on rentals. You can get help from them and they’ll assist you in finding something that is perfect for your needs. Keep in mind that they will oftentimes charge for their services – oftentimes not directly, but indirectly. If you have a budget to afford it, then you can easily get an apartment that has everything you need. This is a great option if you simply don’t have the time to carry out the hunt entirely on your own. They’ll search for you and you’ll only spend time going to look at apartments for rent when they find one that seems to be just what you’re looking for – in terms of budget, needs, location and amenities you’d like to have.

2. Word-of-mouth: Always keep your ears open when you’re on the hunt for an apartment. You can ask your colleagues if they know of any and ask them to also keep an ear out for you. They can contact their neighbors and if something comes up, you’ll find new opportunities you would have possibly never known about before. You will be surprised to know that this way you will be able to save lots of money as well, as you will more than likely not have to pay a broker’s fee.

3. Walking around Boston: Do you have an idea of the area you would like to live in? If so, get out and spend some time walking around in that area. Many times, owners place for rent signs in the windows of a brownstone or rowhouse, or on the gates surrounding a larger complex.

4. Housing offices: Find out what kind of local housing offices and services there are. You may be surprised at the deals you can find through these kinds of organizations. For instance, the Boston Housing Authority has several resources available. If you’re a college student, then you may want to contact the office of student housing at your institution.

5. Boston apartment referral services: These services aren’t particularly well known, but they are growing in popularity. They’re especially helpful if you are searching for apartments for rent on the Internet. The Internet is the perfect way to connect you to any area and you can find websites that offer specialized services to help you find an apartment in a distant area – ideal for students moving into an area of the city that they are not at all familiar with as new transplants. These sites will let you look for apartments based on various features like budget, location, area, number of bedrooms and other amenities.

Read this Before Purchasing Land Online

Buying land provides investors with a lot of opportunities, and as land purchases become more prevalent across the USA, there are some key considerations to keep in mind.

Besides personal gain, land may be used for certain recreational purposes or as a summer/winter retreat. The land may be developed into horse stables, hunting grounds, fishing ponds or mountain hiking zones. You may even build guest houses or lodges to help tourists.

Land Auction Online

In all likelihood, you will probably buy property from an agent in a rural part of town if you are not doing it online. Agents offer property that is bound to satisfy your preferences, though it depends on the amount you are ready to shell out. You will then be able to figure out what kind of land best suits your needs. The agent will look for the specific type of land that you have singled out, and you may need to accompany him/her to get a larger picture of the land that you think would be perfect for your plans.

Buying a piece of land is not as easy as it sounds. There are a lot of legalities involved and a slight mistake in the documents could mean a huge loss in investment. It is advisable to perform thorough research on the land and to have good knowledge on the different fundamentals involved in real estate trading.

The internet is a handy tool to buy land online and you may be lucky enough to purchase land from different states or countries at a very cheap price. These are properties that you would have never known about, let alone been able to buy in the ‘old days’. You will then be able to sell it for the market rate or above it, depending on the demand and have the potential to go on to make a profit out of it.

Purchasing land online is as simple as a click of the mouse. You can get all the details and images of the land that you are interested in right at your desk with the help of the internet – without actually visiting the land. You can even get a list of FAQs answering all your doubts about the land answered by the owner.

However, there are certain limiting factors and considerations when you buy land online. You will not be able to see the whole land with your own eyes as you have to rely on what the camera lens shows you. You may try asking the owner for some aerial pictures of the land and also some questions on the geographical conditions of the place, supply of water, irrigation and agriculture facilities and also check if there are any restrictions on the use of the land that you are interested in (from perhaps, the presence of wetlands or property easements).

Knowing about the climate in the area is also important. You may also want to know the wildlife present in the area, the kind of soil and the greenery surrounding the land. Make sure that the land is not barren, this is important.

Make sure that the area does not lack modern amenities and is not technologically backward, and if so, be prepared to factor their correction into your comparative purchase price. If you have plans on using the land for recreational facilities, see to it that the area is accessible all year round. Also get yourself and the land properly licensed so that you do not get into any legal troubles in the future.

When buying land from the internet, ensure the seller you are buying from has good feedback, and attempt to use “offline” resources to also verify and confirm purchase details and transaction legitimacy.