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Archive for October, 2010

New Rent2Buy face at blog.rent2buy.com!

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Rent2Buy now has a new face! Check us out at blog.rent2buy.com! The new blog will have all of our new updates and blog posts. Feel free to comment and give us feedback on the new blog. Let us know what you like, what you don’t like, what types of posts you’d like to see in the future, etc. We just want to connect with you, our audience, as best we can. Let us know if we’re doing a good job!

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Rent-to-Buy Program Takes Off in South Africa

October 22, 2010 8 comments

The National Credit Act has made it difficult for potential home owners to get the loans they need to finance the purchase of a new property. This inability to get a loan makes it more difficult for these people to enter the housing market. Both first time buyers and the self-employed are particularly affected by the Act. Reports show that close to 50 percent of employed bond applicants are declined each month. An even more startling statistic is the 58 percent of self-employed applicants who are denied home loans.

A new concept is revolutionizing the South African property market. The introduction of a new Rent2Buy program in the area will provide buyers and sellers with an alternative way to conduct transactions. Meyer de Wall is the founder of Rent2Buy as well as a practicing attorney. According to De Wall, “We negotiate agreements between potential buyers and sellers whereby the buyer concludes a rental agreement with a seller with an option to purchase the property by a certain date and at an agreed price.”

Rent2Buy works by assuring the seller a set price for the property in the future. The buyer of the property pays rent in an amount that is approximately equal to the buyer’s future bond repayment. A unique aspect of the rent to buy transaction is that buyers are able to take immediate ownership of the property. Because they are taking over responsibility for the property, they are able to treat the home like it is their own and make changes accordingly. They will also be responsible for any rates, taxes, levies and maintenance.

“The idea is that the buyer uses the option period of the contract to prove his affordability and creditworthiness to the bank,” De Wall explains. “This way the buyer can eventually secure a loan to purchase the property. In addition to using the time to save for a deposit, he also shows he can afford the property and be disciplined by paying rent regularly and on time.”

Rent2Buy launched a home owner education programme with the goal of training and mentoring bond applicants and helping them succeed at securing a home loan. The My Budget Fitness programme will improve an applicant’s credit rating and put him on the path to being financially fit for a loan.

The programme was developed in association with Solly Molefe of Setsmol Training. “The programme is unique as it assigns personal budget trainers to applicants and uses innovative software to help home loan applicants track their progress and reach a financially fit state,” Molefe says. “Through mentorship, education and month-by-month guidance, home loan applicants reach affordability and clear their credit record as required under the National Credit Act.”

The My Budget Fitness Programme is available to anyone looking to secure a home loan, not just Rent2Buy customers.  The hope is that allowing everyone access to this type of program will improve the ability of anyone seeking a home loan to achieve their goal of being financially fit to be approved for a bond.

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The Question Everyone’s Asking: Rent or Buy?

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

In the present state of our economy, with rising foreclosures and plummeting home values, the traditionally held view of homeownership as the American dream is being challenged. More and more people are asking themselves whether owning a home is truly in their best interest.

The key question people are asking: Is it better to buy during a time of economic turmoil, or is renting a better deal?

Cape Cod real estate expert and agent Danny Griffin says that now is the ideal time to buy a home, as long as the potential homebuyer has the capital to make that investment. He says that “We do get more calls than we’ve ever had for rentals, but first thing we’re going to tell them, or ask them, is have you ever sat down with a mortgage broker and asked, ‘Can I qualify for a loan?’ Because there is no better time to consider buying.”

Caitlyn Sweeney and Joe Maddalena are looking to buy a home in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts. Both work full time, Joe as an assistant golf course superintendent, and Caitlyn as a teacher. The pair want to leave the rental market and take advantage of low home prices to purchase their first home. It is not only the state of the economy and their desire to be done with the rental process that is motivating their desire for homeownership; there is also a certain satisfaction of owning something that they both hope to achieve.

“You’re putting a lot of money into something that’s not yours,” Sweeney says of renting. “You don’t get to change anything, decorate the way you want to, you don’t have a yard, you don’t have extra rooms.” Sweeney is looking forward to taking the new property they purchase and putting her own touch on it.

Joe Maddalena says that they have considered their finances carefully in order to come to the conclusion that they are ready to take the next step towards homeownership. “I think we’re both at an age now where our jobs are secure,” he says. “We’ve saved up some money and houses are at reasonable price.”

Griffin says that the “smart buyer is coming in now and saying, okay, finally, I can buy these at a normal price again and it’s affordable for me and I can live within my means.” He states that “It’s already happening in most of the majorly hit markets in the United States, especially Las Vegas, California, Florida — all of the over-inflated places like that are beginning to hold. You’re seeing people come into that marketplace, whether they be first time homebuyers, second homebuyers, they’re beginning to say ‘Hey, this is a reasonable price and I need to be invested in this now.'”

Trulia, an online real estate tracking site, recently released its quarterly Rent vs. Buy Index.  According to the Trulia index, homeownership is cheaper than renting in Arlington, Texas; Fresno, California; Miami and Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona. Tara-Nicholle Nelson, a real estate broker and lawyer focusing on consumer education at Trulia, says that in these areas, “we see a real pattern of foreclosure hot spots. Prices have dropped a lot in these cities and their rental markets have seen a huge influx of renters.”

Though the traditional American dream is to own a home, there are many benefits to renting. There is no property tax, no maintenance costs, and no financial burden of paying for miscellaneous home improvements such as a new roof or dishwasher. There are some places where renting may be a better and more affordable option.

A few of the top cities where rents are cheaper than buying include New York City; Seattle; Fort Worth, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska and Sacramento, California. What do all of the top-ranking cities on the renting-is-cheaper-than-buying side of the index have in common? They are major regional centers of employment.

According to Nelson, “Homebuyers want to live where jobs are and where they believe they’ll be able to get jobs in the future.” The economic advantages of living in these areas contribute to the disparity in rent and ownership costs, and make taking advantage of low rental rates the best option for a lot of people.

Nelson makes sure to point out that the index is just a “snapshot in time,” and should not dictate what is best for every family or individual in terms of renting or buying. She says that “Just because a place is on that list doesn’t mean it’s unwise to buy depending on your personal circumstances.” Other factors to consider when debating whether to rent or buy include financial assets, time commitments and stability.

To read the original article, click here.

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Spanish CAM Bank in New ‘Rent to Buy’ Partnership

October 20, 2010 1 comment

Due to the amount of unsold properties in Spain coupled with falling home prices, Connells Group is to market thousands of heavily discounted Spanish properties.

Connells is partnering with Mediterranean CAM, the property branch of the Spanish savings bank CAM.

The rent to buy program will give buyers the option to rent a property for up to seven years. If the renter decides to purchase the property in the first two years, all the rent paid may be deducted from the purchase price.

In addition to the rent to buy option, buyers will have access to 90% mortgages through CAM.

According to Stuart Flavell, Connells chief executive: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Mediterranean CAM to market properties abroad. CAM Bank is the fourth-biggest savings bank in Spain and is an important financial institution with an impressive track record.

“Now is a great time to purchase a Spanish property and we believe there is an increasing number of people looking to buy in this market.

“Our customers can now purchase a property abroad, safe in the knowledge that they have the backing of a recognised and respected UK estate agent, together with guidance and advice from a well-established and successful Spanish Bank.”

To read more, click here.

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Rent2Buy Agent Network Program: FREE LEADS for Real Estate Agents

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

List one Rent to Buy property a month and your exclusive zip code will be for free!

Reserve an Exclusive Zip Code!

Rent2Buy Agent Network program will increase your experience, value and potential by being a member of our agent network program. Our Agent Network Program will allow you, the real estate agent, to be in direct contact with our buyers and sellers. You will have the opportunity to be the EXCLUSIVE AGENT in your TERRITORY. We only allow one agent per zip code, so you will not have any competition from other real estate professionals in your EXCLUSIVE area. Sign up now and receive the following information.

  • Access to property photos
  • Contact info about homeowners currently in default with regards to their mortgage
  • EXCLUSIVE TERRITORIES starting as low as $60.00 per month
  • For Sale By Owner leads
    • Qualified Real Estate Leads – Every real estate lead provided is an individual who has requested to speak with an agent
    • Exclusive Real Estate Leads – Every real estate lead you receive is exclusive only to you and will not be re-sold
    • Real Estate Leads in Real Time – Our real estate leads are delivered instantaneously to your email and/or mobile device
    • Real Estate Leads with a direct request from Real Estate Buyers – Only individuals who are looking to buy a home
    • Real Estate Leads with a direct request from Real Estate Sellers – Only individuals who are looking to sell a home

Click here to sign up, and one of our representatives will be in touch with you!

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Rent vs. Buy – Jill Schlesinger from CBS Money Watch weighs in

October 15, 2010 2 comments

The following is a clip from a conversation Jill Schelsinger of CBS Money Watch had with a New York City resident in the newly opened Highline Park on Manhattan’s west side. In the clip, Jill interviews Matt, a young renter who says his primary financial goal is to save to buy a house. He is currently trying to save around $100,000 for a down payment, and has no debt.

Rent vs. Buy

When Jill asks, “Does it make sense for you to own something now instead of rent?” he replies, “I don’t know.”

Though people often say that renting is just throwing money out the window, sometimes renting really makes sense. For example:  If you are saving for a half a million dollar house that requires a $100,000 down payment, there will be additional costs. On top of the down payment you are going to have a mortgage and insurance, on top of which you will pay taxes as well as any maintenance costs.

Jill recommends going through the exercise of finding out what the comparable rent would be to get pretty much the same thing. If the numbers come out such that owning will be $6000 a month and renting will be $3000, it might not make sense to buy. Keep renting! Jill also points out that sometimes it doesn’t make sense to own if you live in a big city where owning is expensive.

If you use the extra money well, by putting it in savings or in a 401k, then the option to rent makes sense. In this case, Jill says to rent until it doesn’t make financial sense to rent anymore, or when you find something you love and the price differential is not that great.

There is no clear answer to the rent vs. buy question. It all depends on your financial status, where you live, and what your goals are. Jill Schlesinger makes a good point: Owning a home may not be your best bet in every case. To make the most informed decision possible about how to achieve your goals, do a cost comparison between renting and buying, factoring in your own personal financial circumstances. Careful consideration and an open mind will allow you to make the best possible decision.

Watch the 3 1/2 minute video on CBS.

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Hong Kong Rent-to-Buy Initiative to Improve Housing Market

October 14, 2010 Leave a comment

In Hong Kong, a two-tiered solution to the skyrocketing home prices experienced over the few years has been proposed. The country will stop offering residency to foreigners who buy property. The second part of the proposed changes to Hong Kong’s policy is the implementation of a rent-to-buy program.

The new rent-to-buy program will offer 5,000 units for first-time property buyers. Buyers will able to rent for up to five years before eventually purchasing.

Cusson Leung, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, commented that “many of the policies announced today may have only limited impact on the property market in the near term.”

“Take the rent-to-buy scheme,” said Leung, “a lot can still happen over the next few years.”

The rent-to-buy program will let first-time property owners rent a house for up to five years at a fixed rental cost. Half of the total rent paid during the rental period will be put towards a down payment to buy the home.

According to Wong Leung-sing, a research director at Centaline, Hong Kong’s biggest privately-held property broker, “These are good measures..I think this whole policy address is a move in the right direction.”

The first stage of the project is scheduled to be completed by 2014, and will include 1,000 units in the Tsing Yi district. Officials hope the new rent-to-buy initiative, coupled with a cease in residency offers to foreigners buying property will cool home prices and allow the housing market to settle. Only time will tell.

To read the original article on Bloomberg,  click here.

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