Zillow’s List of Easy Mistakes to Avoid When Renting Your Property

Renting out your property can be a smart investment to make some money, but it’s not always easy; there are several mistakes that many owners make that can actually wind up costing more out of pocket money in the long run. There is no 100% guarantee to weeding out bad renters, but taking the extra steps during the screening process can avoid potential trouble down the road. Zillow has compiled a list of 5 common mistakes to avoid when renting out your property:

1)Proper Documentation– make sure that you’ve put together a signed lease agreement, and make sure that the agreement comes with all of the bells and whistles to cover your house.

2) Discriminating Prospective Tenants – Protect yourself from an legal trouble by familiarizing yourself with fair housing laws, and make sure that your listing isn’t excluding any specific group.

3) Neglecting Proper Insurance – Renting out your space puts you in a vulnerable position for accidents, and leaning back on only homeowners insurance might not be enough to cover you if something were to occur. Protect yourself by looking into Landlord insurance.

4) Failing to Disclose Important Information – If you are aware of mold, asbestos, etc. on your property, be knowledgeable of  information you are required to disclose.

5) Being Too Lenient on Screening – Choosing a reliable responsible tenant is highly important, requiring a credit check isn’t a bad idea to rule out any tenants who might cause a problem down the road.

Economic Downturn Makes Things Tough on Renters and Property Managers

We all know how the economic downturn has effected our own lives, and those across the nation and last week Zillow put together their findings on just how much the economy has affected renters and property managers alike. It’s weighted on property managers to fill rental properties, but with fewer and fewer eligible renters out there it’s become quite difficult to fill that void. New renters who had previously seen their homes go into short sale or foreclosures have been forced into the renting, and might not have alot of recent rental history, or any at all; making it increasingly hard for property managers to decide if they would be responsible tenants and be able to pay their rent on time.

There doesn’t seem to be a quick fix to the solution, and property managers might just have to wait until the economy stabilizes; but Zillow has graciously come up with a list of things new renters can do to speed along the process. For more information on rentals available in the Seattle area, click here.

Curious How Much Your Rent Has Risen? Rental Prices: Past and Present

Do you find yourself wondering what your rental cost would have been, had you moved into your basic one bedroom apartment 3 years ago? Me too! The cost of rent in the Greater Seattle area has steadily risen over the past few years without inventory changes, although builders are starting to pick up where they left off, and apartment building construction is now on the rise all over the city. If you were to take a look at the cost of living in your neighborhood, say in 2007, how much do you think your overall cost of living would change? Well we’ve got the results! Seattle Metropolitan has the stats and the changes might make you resent your non waterfront view home. For instance, the average cost of rent in the Ballard neighborhood back in 2007 was $755, and today the same unit costs around $1,188. Ouch! Take a peak at your neighborhood, you might wish you could rent a time machine.

Zillow Reports Home Values See High Monthly Increase

Attention Homeowners: there is hope after all for your beloved family home that holds more personal value than net worth! Last week, Real Estate website Zillow reported that both national home values and rent both rose in the month of April. According to Zillow, home values rose nationwide 0.7%, marking the largest month to month increase in value since 2006, and April is also the second month in a row for the value to increase! While King County home prices are on the rise, rent is also steadily climbing; of the 178 areas covered by the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, 78% felt a rent increase. The housing recovery appears to be headed in the right direction overall, even though a weighted number of Americans still have homes with mortgages that are underwater, or risk foreclosure.

Buying a Home Might Not Get Much Cheaper

Many renters today are choosing to put off buying a home for several reasons, statistics show that buying a home might not get any cheaper than it is right now. Experts say that 2012 may bet the last year for buyers to take advantage of the weak housing market and foreclosure influx. According to CNN Money, home prices are down 34% Nationally from 2006, and mortgage rates are at an all time low, making it the best year yet to find the bargain deal of a lifetime.

Economists with PNC Financial Services believe that home prices will flatten out by the third quarter of this year, and might begin to climb at the beginning of next year. There are several indicators that the housing market is picking up like the decline in foreclosures, and continued job growth nationwide, and buyers will have more access to affordable mortgages as they build their credit scores. While some prospective buyers who have been wary might be more willing to follow through because of the all-time low mortgage rates and lower home values, some renters still aren’t in a position to take the next step and will ultimately miss the grace period. For more information on the housing market, click here.

Survey Shows Renters More Optimistic About Buying

Renters in today’s market may have seen the value of their parent’s homes sky rocket, then deplete, or they most likely know someone who’s home is up for foreclosure. According to a survey done by the PulteGroup, The hope of home ownership is still in the air for many who rent and want to buy. Survey results showed that 60% of renters who said they would like to buy a home in the future have increased their intent to buy a home in comparison to a year ago. 61% of those folks also said they planned to purchase a home within the next two years.

When asked if they thought buying a home was a good investment, 44% of those poled said yes. According to Builderonline.com, the PulteGroup’s responded to the overall survey results with “We are seeing a renewed sense of optimism, especially from young professionals and young families visiting our communities nationwide,” Deborah Meyer, PulteGroup senior vice president. Many factors went into this survey and interestingly enough the pole also found that just over 1/4 of those poled believe that renting is cheaper than buying, and a little shy of a quarter are still worried about a stable job. For more information on Rentals and For Sale listings in the area, visit Craistlist.

Zillow Reports Rentals Continue to Outshine Housing Market

According to Zillow’s Real Estate Market Report in February, the median price in rent had risen 2% since February 2011, and home values had continued to fall, dropping 4.5% during the same time period. Zillow’s Rent Index illustrated that the year over year gains for an estimated 68% of metropolitan markets measured by the ZRI, and only 8% of metro areas covered by the Zillow Home Value Indexsaw home values rise.

Seattle Rental In Leschi Neighborhood

Today’s rental market is continuing to heat up, with an emphasis on areas where home values have consistently been declining. Foreclosures have been at the forefront in keeping home values down, with foreclosure re-sales making up an  estimated 20.3% of all sales in the month of February. Zillow experts have said that we’ve made it through the worst of the housing market recession, but with the enormous inventory of foreclosures and unemployment are all still factors to overcome on the rise to recovery. For more information on rental listings in the Seattle area, visit Ewing & Clark and Craigslist.