New Report Shows More People Think Renting Is More Affordable Than Buying A Home

Thanks to a recent study we know that more than 70% of Americans now consider renting a home to be more affordable than buying a home.

The recent data from Freddie Mac found that close to 80% of Americans would prefer to rent instead of buy, this is up sharply from close to 67% of Americans who felt that renting was more affordable than buying a home just a short six months ago.

What’s even more shocking is that close to 58% of Renters have said that they have no plans to buy a home within the near future. This is up from 54 percent of renters who are surveyed over the same period.

What’s Happening with The Real Estate Market?

Among the usual suspects: Mortgage rates are up to nearly 5 percent, the highest they’ve been in seven years. The new rate is one percentage point higher than the beginning of the year. Rates are being pushed up by recent hikes in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate.

But it doesn’t mean renting is necessarily affordable.

Freddie Mac’s survey found that two-thirds of renters say they have had trouble paying their monthly bill in the last two years. Almost 9 out of 10 renters with occupations in what Freddie Mac considers “essential” fields — including healthcare and education — say they have had trouble cutting their landlords checks.

 

More Opportunity for You

On an encouraging note, the obvious benefit that can be gleaned from this article is the fact that with more people viewing renting as being more affordable and favorable than buying, this means more opportunities for people who own rental property.

The key to success though with owning rental property in Houston or else was across the United States is not having to do all the work yourself. Once you own a property you should hire a property management company to manage that rental property for you.

This will save you the time and hassle of having to do things like rent collection, maintenance and communicating with tenants so that you could focus on growing your portfolio of rental properties while living your normal life.

To learn more about the Property Management contact us today (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Post-Hurricane Harvey – Does the Houston Area Hold Opportunity for Investors?

By Vestpro Residential Services

There’s no doubt that Hurricane Harvey was one of the worst hurricanes that the Houston area has ever seen and one of the top natural disaster to strike the United States.

Now that it’s almost been one year since Hurricane Harvey it’s the perfect time to look back on the effects of the disaster and ask if the Houston area hold opportunity for investors? The answer is yes.

Hundreds of Millions Being Spent on The Houston Area

Investors large and small are snapping up thousands of properties flooded by Hurricane Harvey. From billion-dollar Wall Street funds to mom-and-pop flippers, they’ve already purchased at least 5,500 flooded homes, often for dimes on the dollar.

 In the process, they are transforming some Houston neighborhoods into block after block of rentals. They’re interrupting county plans to buy out flood-prone properties. And they’re leaning on the taxpayer-funded National Flood Insurance Program to protect them from future floods.

 “All we’re doing is perpetuating a cycle of flooding,” said Harris County Flood Control District operations chief Matt Zeve.

 Small and mid-sized private companies have dominated the post-Harvey market so far, some sending in executives from California, Colorado and Las Vegas. But now institutional funds, which woo wealthy investors with promises of double-digit returns, are dipping their toes in the water, too.

 The $4.6 billion Tricon Capital Group, of Toronto, wants to spend $600 million in Texas before the end of next year, according to area brokers trying to persuade the company to buy flooded homes in Houston. A $30 billion New York City private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management, has picked up at least a dozen flooded homes among 980 it purchased after Harvey. A California firm, B&P Investment Group, is looking to spend $400 million, targeting homes flooded by the release of water from northwest Houston’s Addick’s and Barker reservoirs.

 “Four hundred million is a lot of money,” said Ryan Pina, president of the Orange County-based B&P. “We’re looking to go in and essentially rehab the city of Houston, bit by bit.”

Get Property Management Here

For property management in the Houston area contact Vestpo Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

HUD Anti-Discrimination Laws You Didn’t Know You Were Breaking

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2016 is officially here and the laws have changed once again including HUD Anti-Discrimination laws.

No ethical landlord wants to commit unlawful discrimination. But some honest employees or landlords run into trouble accidentally, despite the best of intentions, by making a mistake during the screening process, asking an innocent but misguided question or making an ill-considered remark that can form the basis of a discrimination complaint.

Let’s look at some of the mistakes made by landlords and property managers that led to discrimination charges.

Asking About Mental Health, Medical Status or Diagnoses

In one Minnesota case, a woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder attempted to rent a house with her partner. Shortly before move-in, the landlord’s agent became aware of the applicant’s history of mental health issues, and called the prospective tenant asking if there were any “issues” she wanted to disclose before moving in. The tenant disclosed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The agent asked for more information, but the renter told her it was “none of her business.” Subsequently, the landlord refused to rent the dwelling.

HUD Prosecutors deemed the mere inquiry into the mental health diagnosis to be a violation of 42 U.S.C. Section 361(g)(2)(A), and assessed a $16,000 civil penalty against the landlord, in addition to damages.

Discriminatory Advertising Language

In a Philadelphia case, HUD officials were alerted to a Craigslist rental advertisement containing these words: “Not good for young children.” HUD officials investigated and applied to rent the dwelling. Two HUD test coordinators called the lister, one claiming to have a 2-year old daughter, and the other posing as a single man.

The lister told the female caller that the dwelling was directly above a construction business with a lot of heavy truck traffic. The dwelling would be fine for adults, the lister explained, but dangerous to young children. The lister also told the male investigator that he wanted to rent to adults with no children because of the traffic.

HUD officials deemed the actions of the landlord’s representative to constitute illegal discrimination based on familial status. The advertisement was illegal under 42 U.S.C. Section 3604(c) and 24 C.F.R. Sections 100.75(a) and (c)1.

HUD Department officials asked courts to penalize the landlord for each violation, on top of compensatory damages.

Discrimination Based on Limited English Language Skills

An Asian-American man applied to rent a townhome in Champlin, Minn., together with his mother, who was from Thailand. They planned to reside on the property with two children. The property manager took their information and a credit background check. He also collected an application fee of $40 for each of the two adult applicants.

The son’s credit score came back at 725, and his mother’s was 761. Their income qualified the family to rent the apartment. But the manager sent the son an email stating that their rental application was declined. The reason: Both adults would have to sign the lease contract, but the mother had limited English skills. “As I’m told, legal precedent indicates the contract must be translated to her native language,” the manager wrote. “If not, she could easily break the lease.”

The manager also claimed that a certified translation would be required, costing about $500.

The son informed the manager that he had submitted an inquiry to the Department of Housing and Urban Development based on the manager’s statements about his mother’s English language skills.

HUD’s lawyers determined that denying a lease because of limited English skills, as well as the act of requiring a $500 translation fee, amounted to illegal discrimination under 42 U.S.C. Section 3604(a). The Department of Housing and Urban Development is pursuing the property manager for full compensatory damages, as well as a civil penalty of $16,000 per violation.

Source – All Property Management

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Get property management for your Houston Rental Property by calling Vestpro Residential Services, LLC by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or contact us online by clicking here.