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It might seem like it’s not a big deal for some to rent an apartment, however, the process can get overwhelming especially if you don’t know the requirements needed to qualify.
Before you start searching make sure you know your budget, credit, make sure you don’t have evictions or criminal record, ask how long is a lease, what is the deposit and other requirements, if pets allowed if you have one, if laundry is in the apartment or on site, if there is parking assigned, and make sure to call, text, email inquiring about the apartment you like to see and apply as soon as possible.
It is very common to overestimate your budget. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your gross (before tax) monthly income on housing and many landlords state on rental applications that they want an applicant’s gross income to be 3 times greater than the rent. Just as if you would buy a house, your income is major factor when you rent. It has to be steady consistent for at least the last two months.
Before you start searching for apartment or a house, make sure to check on Rent Calculator (www.Calculator.net) that will help you determine the right amount for your future rent.
Once you have established how much rent you can afford, find out what your credit is. This is one of the major problems I find in new renters. The credit score requirements for rent are way lower than if you would have to have to purchase a home but it is still a very important factor that can deny your application. Some landlords require your credit score to be as low as 600 but will accept even as low as 580 credit as long as you don’t have previous evictions and no collections. Some of you might not be aware that you have collections and if you do know about them, you might don’t know how to get rid of them.
Recently I went through a lot of applications that got denied because of the collections. Let’s touch briefly what is a collection on my account?
For example, you were late on your department store payment of $80 and you did not pay it for a long time, the store could not collect from you, so they sold it to collection agency. This agency will send you a letter to pay this debt and put this collection on your credit. Now your credit has a collection. When landlord see it on your credit, it indicates that if you don’t pay your bills, you might not pay your rent either, so the application gets denied.
What can you do? Make sure you get rid of that collection. How? Simply call that collection agency and offer to pay your debt. Do you know that you can actually negotiate your debt with the collection agency? When you call them, tell you really would like to take off that collection you have from your credit and ask what is the minimum you can pay to make it happen. You will be surprised that you might be offered to pay less that the amount you owe. There are some credit repair companies who will do it for you but be careful because they might charge you monthly without substantial results. In your situation, I suggest you do it yourself. Don’t be afraid to call your collection agency and negotiate.
Besides your income and credit score, you will need to have small savings to show with first month rent and deposit. Typically, deposit is the same as first month rent but, in some situations, when apartment is furnished or comes with appliances it might be more. It may have pet deposit if you have pets.
You also need to factor in additional cost such as utilities. Some leases in A type apartment, which are luxury apartments that are going now for $4000 / month, will include all the utilities in your rent and offer fitness club, pool, club house, but if you rent type B or C, average rentals that are going for $1500-$2000/month may include water and trash, and you will still need to pay for electric, gas, internet, cable.
This is not an exhausting list, but a good guide for documents you will almost always need to submit with your application to qualify.
· Photo ID (driver’s license or passport)
· Verification of current employment and salary
· Copies of your last two pay stubs
· Copies of your last three bank statements
· Copies of last two W-2 forms
Along with your application, you will need to:
Now you are ready to search for your perfect place. Because a lot of rentals are offered by property management, or landlords themselves, realtors do not always have them all on MLS that is why many realtors are not able to help you. You can search for your ideal place on Apartment.com, Rent.com, Home.com, Realtor.com, Zillow.com. I find that Facebook Marketplace is very popular today and many other online searches you can find. Or walk in to lease offices if it’s a big apartment complex and ask if there are vacancies. You may be able to put yourself on the list, if lease office is open to it.
It is frustrating with some online searches you may say, since many times it’s so hard to get a hold of someone or get response to your email. Usually, when there is no response, it means a few things, the apartment has been already rented or your email was simply missed, that is why its very important for you to find out who listed the place and find their phone number to call. If you call multiple times, you will get an answer. It will show that you do really want the apartment you are inquiring about and you are responsible. Communication is key. When you email or text your inquiries, show your interest by asking more details, not just: “Is it available?”
When you finally scheduled a viewing of the apartment, please show up or reschedule if you can’t make it.
Do not wait to apply if you like the place. You should understand that if an apartment is vacant, the owner wants to rent it immediately because he/she is losing money every day its vacant, so the applications are checked immediately upon receipt and once an application gets approved, they want you to sign the lease agreement the next day.
That is why it is so important to have everything ready before you start your search.
This is the time when you need to check the functionality inside the apartment. It is perfectly normal to test faucets, appliances, doors, locks, take measurements for any furniture that has to fit. Check if apartment has laundry, parking, security. Check on the neighbors you will be living with, drive around the neighborhood, see if you are comfortable, stop at the local grocery store, check on the shoppers there.
Make sure to be clear how to apply. Read all the requirements and qualify yourself first before you spend application fees. If you think you won’t qualify with at least one requirement, ask if that can be compensated somehow, maybe with pre-paid rent, for example, you may offer to pay a few months in advance if you have the money and if it will help to compensate for low credit score. I had one renter who paid 6 months in advance to compensate for a few small collections on his account and owner accepted it. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Make sure you ask the term of the lease right away. Most of the leases are 12 months but some I see require a 2-year lease. Be clear in the terms. Read requirements.
Fill out the application for every adult 18 yr. +, sign and include all the documents from step 4 and email or mail to the agent or management office and then follow up with the call or text saying you applied and are now ready to pay the application fees. Obtain instruction to whom and where to pay those fees.
There is so much scam in rental market, so I highly recommend to be careful paying any money upfront. Do not pay deposit before signing the lease and receiving your key. Verify if owner is legit by googling or if you have an agent helping you who you know, ask the agent to verify for you. Verify if agent is legit. There was a situation on craigslist, the person was pretending to be an agent and rented vacant home that actually was for sale and that person collected money and disappeared. So be careful. If something looks too good to be true it might be not true.
Before signing your lease, make sure you understand the length of commitment. Is your lease month-to-month or year long, rules around pets, parking, storage, security deposit, what are you responsible to maintain, what the landlord will take care off, who is your contact if you need to get something fixed, where do you submit requests, or notices, what are the house rules, who do you pay your rent to, when is your due date to pay rent, what are your late payment fees and when rent is considered late.
After your lease is signed, you will walk with the agent, or manager, or owner through your apartment with Move in Move out form and note everything inside the apartment you are receiving. This form is very important as your deposit refund depends on it. If you return apartment in the same condition as noted in that form, you will get full refund of your deposit at the end of your lease when you move out. So, if you see a big nail hole in the wall, note that on the form, if you see a crack in the tile or the floor, note that, if something is broken, note that so you don’t get blamed in a year when you are moving out. Make sure to leave your apartment and appliances clean because if the owner has to clean after you left, they will deduct it from your deposit. One more thing, do not change locks without notifying the owner. Per your lease agreement, the owner must have the key for your place. Let say you did change the lock, make sure to give one key to the owner. You will be in a contract violation if you do not.
Always ask questions if you do not understand the lease agreement. Ask your family members, friends or the internet to clarify any terms you don’t understand. Remember, your lease is a legally binding document, so read every word!
To summarize, before you start searching make sure you know your budget, credit, make sure you don’t have evictions or criminal record, ask how long is a lease, what is the deposit and other requirements, if pets allowed if you have one, if laundry is in the apartment or on site, if there is parking assigned, and make sure to call, text, email inquiring about the apartment you like to see and apply as soon as possible.
Now, you are prepared! Go get your perfect place!
Bogdana Dees (Your Real Estate Adviser)
💥We would like to express our gratitude to all of our 2021 Buyers, Sellers and Referral Friends who helped with a successful 2021. 💥For the past year Interest rates were holding up under 3% giving homebuyer's a great opportunity to get into their dream home. 💥Because of lack a of inventory, the real estate market remained in the seller's hands keeping it a "seller's market." 💥We experienced high competition among buyers and had to use all our negotiation power to get our buyers into escrow. 💥Getting our buyer offers in "top position" when multiple offers were being submitted to sellers was the key this year for our new homeowners. 💥Without being the highest offer at times, relationship building with the seller's realtor was highly important. 💥When there is great communication, trust and professionalism, then confidence is created... we go into escrow expectanting to create a win / win for both buyers and sellers. 💥Relationship building has been the most important part of our success. 💥Strangers become clients, our clients become friends and our friends become family. 💥This year we had the opportunity to help find a sweet dog named Chance a new home. Our seller moved to a retirement home. Many kind people and FB groups joined in. Chance has a big yard and 2 new brother and sister as well! ❤ Our team is honored to be trusted and relied upon by so many. Our family circle keeps getting bigger and we are humbled by all of your love and support. Thanks again for making The Full Service Real Estate Group your choice of Real Estate Professionals and Consultants in Southern California!
In this video you will learn about California, Los Angeles, Orange County and Nationwide Market Update for September, 2021 in comparison to previous months and years.
What's happening with prices? What are the projections? What's going to happen next year? Are we really going to crash? So we are really going to repeat 2008, which is way past due? What's happening nationwide and where mortgage interest rates are? All these questions are going to be answered in this video.
There are Timecodes in the description so please feel free to jump to the part that interests you the most.
I'm going to walk you through California, Orange, and Los Angeles County in comparison and I will show you the real data on Info Spark. Let's check.What's happening on Info Spark? As you can see, this is the real data in and is showing the entire California, Los Angeles, Orange County. I do wanna go to a single family and condo and townhomes. We don't really want to mix mobile homes because it's a little different pricing because they have leases. So we really want to just focus on single family, condominium and townhomes that are going to show you better data and what's happening in the realistic market. Houses flying off the market after first showing.
What's the projection on real estate prices, what's going to happen next year? Let's look at this data from the California Association of Real Estate and it's how the California housing market outlook. What's going to happen in 2022 for the first quarter?
Nationwide: what's happening in the real estate market? Major migration from state to state and right now, like a lot of Californians living everywhere, right?
Mortgage: A very popular loan is cash out refinance.
California Housing Index: So is it a good time to buy a house?19% saying yes. 81% say no, they don't think it's a good time to buy a house. Is it a good time to sell houses and now we have a reverse situation. 70% saying yes and only 30% saying no. Will it be easier to find a home over the next 12 months? While 33% say yes and 67% don't believe that it will be easier and do you plan to purchase a home in the next 12 months- Look at this 6% saying yes, 94% say no and will home prices rise in the next 12 months? Here we have almost equal 53% saying yes. 47% say no.
Thank you so much for watching this video. I hope you learned something for yourself and now you can have a little picture of what's been happening in California for the last three months and five years.
How is the market? When housing prices will go down? What is going on with the mortgage? Why is there a shortage of inventories? The answers to all these questions you will find out by the end of this video where is combined two months May and June.
Cypress is a small town that locates in North Orange County, California, surrounded with other small cities of Orange County and is northeast of Long Beach, Los Angeles County. Cypress is very conveniently located: about 20 minutes from everything - the nearest beach, the closest airport in Long Beach, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, about 40 minutes to downtown Los Angeles and 40 minutes to Newport Beach, Fashion Island. In addition, Cypress is full of amenities. You can actually walk to CVS or pharmacy from your home, and local stores. The city is very close to all major freeways. Cypress attracts families with it's great school district. All public schools: elementary, junior high, high schools, are As or in their 10s. Oxford Academy is #2 best school in the USA and to get enroll in to this academy, you need to live in the district. In addition to so many public schools, there are a lot of private schools as well, and a lot of Christian schools. So you have variety of choices to what school you are going to send your child. Despite being so small, Cypress has 26 parks around. So if you have a little ones, you can take them to local park toys where they can slide, swing, clime, enjoy seeing friendly squirrels and ducks. There are plenty of parks that have basketball court, volleyball court, tennis court here. Cypress is very friendly, clean and safe. When you come into Cypress, you see and feel how well it is taken care of, how clean it is, and it's pretty safe since police department is really close and they always around. A lot of headquarters of major corporations found their home in Cypress. We have Rolls-Royce Yamaha, Mary Kay, Mitsubishi, Travel House, Fujifilm, naming just a few. A lot of them are on Katella Ave. It was very hard for me to find cons on this beautiful city because some of you might like that the city is so small and has no nightlife. Cypress is small and sleepy town with only 47,000 residents, and besides being sleepy, It does not have much of fancy romantic dining. Also, If you are single or like to have nightlife around, Cypress is not your city. You would end up driving to nearest beach cities: Long Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach for fun time. And make sure you have a car, because public transportation is very poor in Cypress. Finally, housing is very expensive. I can't imagine the young family starting the family here unless you are into a computer science or any other jobs, you have that makes a lot of money. Average price in Cypress is $800,000. The cheapest place you can buy right now is 2beds, 2baths condo for $515,000, and the most expensive home that is for sale right now is almost $1.2 million.
In today’s episode you are going to learn what is probate, how to avoid probate, and why would you want to avoid probate?
If you're new here, I'm a broker at full service real estate group. And I'm here in Orange County, Southern California. Because my office has been getting so many probate sales It's very sad to me to observe how much money and time family's been losing through probate process.
What is probate? Probate isn't necessarily evil. It's been created with a good intention. Let's say your die with the will then court makes sure everything gets distributed according to that will and all creditors get paid. Let's say your die with no will. Then they also make sure everything gets distributed according to their conduct and rules and regulations on distribution of the real and personal properties. And it goes through the family tree.
Who goes to probate? If you die in California and have real and personal properties that worth more than $150,000 than all your assets will go to probate. And it will take place in probate divisions, at superior court in the county you own your property.
How do you avoid probates? Well, if you're worth less than $150,000, you're not going to go to probate. Everything going to be distributed without probate court. But if you worth more than $150,000, the estate, you inherited worth more than 150,000. Then it's going to go to probate unless it has a trust, but you know, not only trust can save you from probate. There are many other things, especially if you have just one house or a few houses, and you want to point only one or two people as the beneficiaries, or as those who can receive that house, then you can take a title in a certain way that it goes straight to them. You can take title as joint tenancy, as a community property with the right of survivorship. It's also good to know that not everything goes to probate. And if you check on this table, you can see that all accounts such as retirement, life insurance payable on death transfer on death account, joint tenancy properties do not go through probate and only houses, investment accounts, bank accounts, build personal items, partnership and sole proprietorship go through probate.
Why do you want to avoid the probates? Because of two big reasons: time and money. It takes four months to a year to go through probate process. And did you know that cost off the probate based on your home value on the fair market value, not your asset, not your equity. For example, your home worth $500,000 and you owe $450,000 of mortgage. So technically you have only $50,000 in equity. That's not how they calculate. They calculate like this: the home is $500,000 and then they charge you based on that $500,000. So in this case, you're going to pay about $13,000 in legal fees for your probate process.
To find out exactly how Probate Cost is calculated, please check on the table in the video.
To learn more about California Estate Planning, please check on this book: Every Californian’s Guide to Estate Planning written by Attorney Lisa W. Hanks or click on this link: https://bit.ly/3fmv6QT
Looking to sell in Orange or Los Angeles County, visit our website:https://www.fullservicerealestategroup.com/ or call us to request in-depth evaluation.
Here at Full Service Real Estate Group we are specializing in probate sale, so if you inherited the house that needs to go through probate, please call us at 714-767-0748.