Ari Koufos
REALTY EXECUTIVES | 617-799-8948 | ari@arikoufos.com


Posted by Ari Koufos on 4/21/2020

Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

Rental properties are becoming extremely common in the world we live in today. Many people are realizing the huge profits they can make from rental properties, and the need for these rentals isn’t going away any time soon. If you’ve ever wanted to be a landlord and rake in some cash on the side, you’re not alone. However, buying rental property isn’t always easy and there are some things you should understand before getting the keys to your new home.

Make Sure You’re Ready

The fact of the matter is, owning rental property is harder than it looks. From insurance and laws to home repairs and dealing with tenants, it can all be a very time-consuming and stressful job owning a rental property. And if owning property isn’t your full-time gig, the process can be even more difficult. Make sure that you do your homework and that you’re prepared for anything that can happen regarding your new property. Research everything that needs to be done for a rental owner, then also look up how to manage tenants properly. Also, managing a property takes a lot of time and energy, especially if it’s your first time. It's also important to have the right schedule while managing a property. While you can still have a full-time job, you should have the flexibility to meet with the tenants and take care of repairs or issues when needed.

Keep a Proper Budget

When owning rental property, you’re owning a home that can see damage, which can be very costly. And if you don’t have the money to handle repairs and disasters when they strike, then you could have a home just sitting there with no tenants interested. This is why you should always budget for the unexpected. Some examples of what can go wrong include:

  • Broken dishwasher
  • Damaged pipes
  • Irrigation issues
  • Carpet damage
  • Damage to walls
  • Window damage
  • Be Cautious of a Fixer-Upper

    While you’ve always had a dream about buying a fixer-upper and creating something incredible, this dream doesn’t pan out for many. That’s because many of these people bite off a little more than they can chew, and they don’t have the time, energy or resources to really build something profitable. Therefore, you should be very cautious before trying this method for yourself. It is possible to make money from a fixer-upper, but it takes tons of work and can be very difficult, especially if you’re buying your very first rental property. Dealing with one of these properties might require spending thousands on materials, hiring professionals, dealing with plumbing issues and possibly dealing with structural damage.  While you may be very tempted, try looking for a property that needs a few simple renovations and one that is priced below market value.

    Preparation is Key

    Before you jump into buying a rental property, consider the three tips outlined above to have confidence throughout the process. This will ensure that you're well-prepared for what's to come. Fixing a home, dealing with tenants and paying for insurance can all be stressful, so it's best to understand these responsibilities before purchasing a rental property.




    Categories: buying  


    Posted by Ari Koufos on 3/24/2020

    Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

    As the home buying process nears the closing, both buyers and sellers need to prepare for the appraisal. This often the last step the lender requires before approving financing for the buyer, so it’s an important part of the home sale process.

    What is an Appraisal?

    An appraisal is an unbiased, professional evaluation of the value of a home or other piece of real estate. It takes a look at the property, its physical characteristics and the local market conditions to determine the fair market value of a property.

    How Is an Appraisal Different from an Inspection?

    The appraisal is similar to an inspection, but it is a separate step. In an inspection, the inspector is looking at details about the home and its condition that make it safe or unsafe to live in. The inspector is also comparing the home to current building codes to make sure the home is up to current safety standards.

    An appraiser is simply looking at the home’s market value. The appraiser has rigorous training to learn how to evaluate property values and puts that to work to evaluate yours.

    How Does the Home’s Appraisal Impact the Home’s Sale?

    Lenders want to know that they’re lending no more than the home’s actual value, because they don’t want to have a borrower upside down in a home loan at any point. If the home does not appraise for what the buyer is offering, the loan amount will not be approved. This either means the buyer can walk away or the buyer and seller can renegotiate the terms to match the appraised value.

    How to Improve the Appraisal Value on a Home

    Sellers who are worried that a home may appraise too low can take some steps to improve the appraisal value. Repairing cracks in the plaster or stains on the wall, for instance, before the appraisal can help improve its value. Odors and staining on the carpeting should also be addressed before the appraiser comes. Improving curb appeal and showing details about improvements and repairs that are high in value are also helpful in boosting the home’s potential value.

    The home appraisal is a critical step, and often one of the last hurdles between initial offer and closing. Both sellers and buyers need to understand this step, so they can avoid unhappy surprises when the appraisal report comes back. If a home is competitively priced and well taken care of, the appraisal shouldn’t be a problem in the overall sale of the home.




    Tags: appraisal   buyer   home sale  
    Categories: buying  


    Posted by Ari Koufos on 3/10/2020

    Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

    If you are ready to move into a luxury home. You'll find options in most locations in any state you desire. Before you choose, especially if you plan on moving to another state, you should first tackle some other questions.

    Work

    Do you need to keep working to enjoy the lifestyle you have now? If you do, can you find work that will provide you with a similar income? If you own a business, how hard will it be to get that business going in another state? If your business is conducted online only, that is one less thing you will have to worry about — but you do have to find out how businesses are treated in the state you choose to move to. It is not beneficial to run a business in some states because of the extra taxes and regulations that some states have.

    Urban, Suburban or Rural

    It’s no secret that you can get more house for the money in certain states, and, breaking it down further, more house for the money in certain areas of the state. For example, to get a luxury home with at least five bedrooms near or in a large city, you’re going to have to shell out much more than you would if you picked the same house 100 miles away from the city, as long as the location is not near another large city or a tourist area.

    Are you looking for something that doesn’t take a ton of maintenance? You might prefer a luxury home in the city with a small yard. If you like the idea of spreading out, having a large pool, hot tubs, stables, riding trails, ATV trails and other amenities on your property, you’ll have better luck finding that in a rural area.

    Commuting and Schools

    If you have school-age children, check the rating of the schools. Just because you live in a luxury neighborhood doesn’t mean that the schools for that neighborhood have a good rating. Additionally, you might have to take your children to school if you live too far out for the school bus. And, on the subject of commuting, if you have to work to maintain your lifestyle, you’ll have to commute if you choose a rural luxury home. How long is the commute? Is it something that you can manage or will that commute take too much time away from your family?

    Nightlife and Attractions

    If you like to go out a lot, living an hour out of town might not be for you, as much as you like a property. If you have to be in the thick of things, you might prefer a luxury neighborhood in an urban or suburban setting. If you want peace and quiet, and prefer connecting with nature, then you might choose a rural luxury home, such as a large ranch or a home with large acreage.




    Tags: buyer tips   luxury   location  
    Categories: buying  


    Posted by Ari Koufos on 12/31/2019

    Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

    It may be tempting, when buying a home remotely, to jump at the first great deal that fits your checklist. But, number of beds and baths aren't everything. Location matters, too. So does the school district if you have school-age children. Don't be afraid to delve deeply into a property that you're thinking of buying sight unseen, because failure to do so could lead to some serious buyer's remorse. Here's the checklist of items to cover and questions to ask before you buy a home long-distance. 

    Neighborhood Crime Statistics

    Sites such as ADT.com and Cityrating.com can help you learn about crime rates in your potential new neighborhood. The local police department or sheriff's office is a good resource, too. All are easy to find online once you know the address of the home or county in which it's located. Find registered sex offenders living nearby and whether your new neighbor has a collar for burglary. 

    Costs of Getting There

    If you're searching remotely for homes that are close to your new job location, ask your employer about job relocation assistance. Sometimes employers have packages in place to help with the logistics involved in relocating for work. A package might include financial assistance for multiple items, including:

  • Costs associated with moving companies.
  • Costs associated with storage facilities.
  • Cost to rent or own a home in the new location.
  • Costs associated with selling your existing home.
  • Having financial help to get you and your family settled in before your first day of work at your new job is a great perk. It goes a long way toward alleviating the stress of relocation. 

    HOA Restrictions

    Homeowner's Associations can be beneficial in keeping housing values steady in your target area, but they can be costly, as well as restrictive. Is your new home governed by an HOA? If so, expect to pay monthly dues, and read up on the restrictions before you commit. If you plan to change the color or layout of your new home, you may have strict guidelines you're required to follow. 

    Reputation of the Local Schools

    Parents of school-age children should also be concerned with the school district they're moving into. Your real estate agent should be a good resource for the best schools in the area, but it never hurts to Google. The best schools have a low student-to-teacher ratio, strong test scores compared with the rest of the state and plenty of support programs in place for students and parents.

    A little homework done from the comfort of your home office can help you score the remote home purchase of your dreams. Don't be afraid to play investigator throughout your new target neighborhood. 




    Categories: buying  


    Posted by Ari Koufos on 12/12/2017

    Let's face it paying monthly rent for your tiny apartment is no longer feasible. Instead, you need a bigger place to live, i.e. a house that you can enjoy for years to come. As a first-time homebuyer, exploring the real estate market may sound like a fun, exciting opportunity and it is! However, you need to prepare for the housing market, and by doing so, you'll be able to improve your chances of finding your dream residence quickly and effortlessly. So what does it take to find the right home? Here are three ways to boost your chances of buying your ideal house: 1. Save Money Before You Buy a Home. You'll likely need to find a lender that can offer you a mortgage with an interest rate that fits your budget. And if you save money before you buy a house, you could improve your chances of getting a mortgage with a lower interest rate. Typically, having enough money to cover several months worth of a home's mortgage may make you a better candidate for a mortgage than other potential homebuyers. It also is important to keep in mind that saving money now may help you pay closing costs and other fees that frequently arise during the homebuying process. 2. Look at Both Your Income and Debt. Ideally, you'll want to establish a budget as you prepare to explore the real estate market, as this will allow you to determine which houses you can afford. When you create your budget, be sure to consider both your annual income and outstanding debt as well. Evaluating these factors will enable you to better understand your yearly expenses and ensure you're able to search for homes that fit your budget perfectly. Don't forget to consider your future earnings as you develop your budget, too. For instance, if you're a student who already has a job lined up after graduation, you may be able to handle a larger monthly mortgage payment. On the other hand, if you have a baby on the way, you may want to account for the expenses associated with a newborn as you pursue a residence. 3. Monitor Your Credit Score. For homebuyers, your credit score reigns supreme in the eyes of lenders. Thus, spending some time monitoring and improving your credit score may make it easier for you to move one step closer to landing your dream house. Remember, you're eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) annually. And if you review a copy of this report, you can understand where your credit score currently stands. If your credit score is low, you can improve it by paying off any outstanding debt. Furthermore, if you find an error in your credit report, be sure to notify the agency that provided the report to you to ensure you can fix this mistake; otherwise, the error could impact your ability to buy a house. Being a first-time homebuyer sometimes can be challenging. But if you use the aforementioned tips, you may be able to bolster your chances of purchasing your dream residence.