The Ideal Rent to Own

As mortgage laws get tighter and people are finding it harder and harder to qualify for their own mortgages today, rent to own is fast becoming an option that many people are turning to.

BUT what makes a great rent to own tenant-buyer or rent to own program?

Truthfully, the best and most successful rent to own tenant-buyer is someone that already has a homeowner mindset.

Young, old, single, married, families, divorced, self-employed or new to the country. It doesn’t matter which category you fall in to, rent to own could be a good option for you if you have not been able to secure a traditional mortgage as a result of credit challenges or lack of down payment. Rent to own will give you the opportunity to choose your own home, the time to repair your credit and the discipline to build your down payment while you build equity in the property BUT it isn’t a slam-dunk for everyone. Even though rent to own can work for many types of situation, here are the mindsets of the people that will succeed in a rent to own:

1. Eager and motivated to be a homeowner because they understand that real estate is one of the best ways to begin building their wealth

2. Determined to repair any credit issues that they have to deal with

3. Understands the benefits of equity appreciation

4. Takes pride in maintaining and upkeep of their home

5. Is tired of spending hard earned money on rent which only makes their landlord rich

Even with the right mindset (which is half the battle), you still need to align yourself with the right rent to own program or model. There are many options out there (Tenant first where you select your home, property first where you select a home from a list of available homes, no-money down etc.) so the best advice is to always do your due diligence on the people or company offering the rent to own and on the rent to own programs available. This is key. A great rent to own program can be defined by many things and is likely to be subjective but for me, here are some of the things you should be looking for:

1. A program where you are supported on your credit repair efforts. Two or more heads are always better than one. Even having someone you trust to bounce ideas off of or have questions answered sometimes makes the difference.

2. A program where enough of the monthly payment goes towards your down payment or option credit so that you can increase your down payment to 5% or even better, 10%.

3. You should be selecting your own home. Even though it is a “home” for your family, it should fit your needs and budget… and you should LOVE it. How likely are you to succeed if you don’t enjoy being there or being in the neighbourhood.

4. Transparency. Are all the numbers provided to you up front? Avoid surprises later by ensuring that you agree on the numbers before you commit to the property.

5. Homeowner feeling. Don’t enter into a program where you are going to be “landlorded”. One of the best things about rent to own is that you have the freedom to update the property and make it your own. You shouldn’t be micro-managed around being a homeowner.

How to Rent an Apartment With a Felony

If you are looking for an apartment, one of the things you can expect is for the management at the leasing office to conduct a credit check and a criminal background check. In the last 10 years, this practice has increased and even become controversial as some apartment offices are accused of downright discriminatory behavior. Nonetheless, the practice of running background checks has become more widespread as technology makes it easier. Today, a leasing office manager need not conduct make any phone call as all the background information on a prospective tenant is easily and readily available online at the touch of a button. If you have a misdemeanor criminal conviction, chances are you may still sail through a criminal background check because most apartment managers are actually looking for felonies and this is where it gets tricky. Can someone with a felony conviction get approved for an apartment?

A felony conviction is deemed much more serious than a misdemeanor and can actually result in a denial of an apartment or other housing where a criminal background check is conducted. There are many kinds of felonies but apartments are mostly concerned with those that involve:

  • Violence
  • Sex
  • Drugs

These three types of felonies are deemed serious enough for an apartment management to deny you housing. But is there hope? If you are currently looking for housing and have a criminal felon y conviction, the first thing you need to do is come clean beforehand. Do not wait for the apartment manager to pull the record but rather, inform him or her of the existence of the record. This can be even more effective when you write, in your own words, the circumstances surrounding the conviction. In many cases, this gesture can cause you to be approved.

Another way to gain approval would be to come with a number of references. These should be people who are reputable in the community, such as the local sheriff or fire Marshall, the local pastor or bishop, elected official or other prominent character. These references should state that they know you and that they attest to the fact that you are now a responsible individuals and the episode that surrounded your conviction is a thing of the past and is not likely to recur.

Finally, if you have a felony conviction, many apartments are willing to overlook it if it something that happened in the distant past. They tend to frown at recent convictions and will be lenient on cases that occurred years ago as long as there has not been any recent incidences.

People with felony convictions can also secure housing by approaching private landlords. While some do conduct criminal background checks, many do not.

Finding Places to Rent an Apartment in Chicago With Bad Credit, a Broken Lease Or a Criminal Felony

Chicago is the third largest metropolitan in the United States and as such attracts thousands of people each day. The city is also a formidable financial center making it a magnet for people seeking economic and career opportunities. Chicago has many different apartments which are excellent for any purpose and for any family size. If you are shopping for an apartment rental in Chicago, it is best to be armed with the necessary information required. One of these is to know your credit score because Chicago apartments will conduct credit and rental history checks not to mention criminal background checks as well. So where can one rent an apartment in Chicago if they have a prior broken lease, less-than-adequate credit or a criminal record?

There are many different localities within Chi-town where this is possible. The following areas have different apartment leasing homes that cater to applicants with an unflattering rental history, tainted credit or criminal past:

  • Downtown Chicago
  • Southside
  • Center City
  • Southwest
  • Bridesburg

One challenge that many people who have a poor rental background or less-than-perfect credit is where to locate apartments that are willing to work with them. This is because many second-chance apartments in Chicago do not advertise that they work with people with imperfect credit. This leaves applicants to guess which can be a costly and frustrating exercise indeed.

Techniques of find bad credit apartments in Chicago

One way to find second chance apartments in Chicago is off course the Internet. This can also be tricky because not all websites are straightforward and apartments rental regulations are constantly being revised.

Another option is to contract an apartment locator. Usually if you tell them what the issue is they can look for an apartment for you which can cater for people with previous issues such as broken lease agreements, bad credit or criminal pasts.

Important information to bear in mind

It is essential that you understand that even if the apartments are willing to work with impaired credit and/or an imperfect record as far as renting, they will still request that you fulfill a few requirements:

  • Have a job for at least six months prior
  • Be earning at least 3 times the rental amount
  • Not be convicted of violent crime or crime against minors
  • If felony, it has to be at least 5 years old

Sometimes the apartments will also require a hefty deposit and may hike their rent. But again these requirements vary from apartment to apartment and locality to locality.

Are you looking for apartments in Chicago which will approve you despite a previous broken apartment lease agreement, sub-prime credit or a criminal record?

How To Negotiate A Rent Decrease With Your Landlord During A Recession

Recessions are difficult. A tenant may have accepted a lease arrangement in good faith with the expectation of continued income, but then find circumstances change. Rent that once was easy to pay can suddenly become difficult, or even impossible, to pay. As a result, many renters consider asking for a rent decrease in such trying conditions.

Considering asking for a rent decrease is not the same as asking for or getting a rent decrease. It takes a combination of honesty, planning, courage and desperation to be able to successfully negotiate a rent reduction. If you need to reduce your rent, there are some essential tips on how to approach your landlord with your request.

Landlords often find that it is preferable to grant a rent decrease instead of forcing an existing tenant to move and then to incur the expense of finding a replacement tenant. Tenants who are able to negotiate a rent decrease also are spared the time and expense of looking at other rentals.

While no landlord wants to hear a tenant say that they are unable to pay the rent as previously negotiated, during extended economic recessions, landlords often are willing to be flexible for existing tenants. If you are unable to pay your rent, it is preferable to be upfront with your landlord, so be prepared to approach them as soon as you are aware of your situation.

When meeting with your landlord, explain why your income has dropped. Your employer may have cut your hours down, reduced your wages, or both. Avoid being emotional about the situation; discuss this in a logical manner with your landlord. Experienced landlords will have weathered economic downturns before. The chances are good that they will understand and perhaps even appreciate you coming to them as soon as you are aware of your decreased income.

Particularly during lengthy recessions, it may be useful for you to ask about rental rates for similar units in your area. Providing current rental rate comparisons to your landlord may give you an additional bargaining chip.

If your research shows that other tenants in your area are paying lower rates for similar units, this can be helpful in negotiating a lower rent. Landlords will generally desire to keep some income coming in rather than losing all of the income from your rental unit.

Be sure to negotiate directly with your landlord. If the complex uses a management company, negotiate with the highest ranking person available to you. Have proof available as to the reason your income is reduced and be sure to remind them that you have always paid your rent on time in the past.

Looking for Affordable Apartments for Rent

Are you moving to a new city? If you are then, finding affordable apartments for rent is probably one of your priorities. You can choose from plenty of options in your search these days. Finding the right rental property may not be as difficult as you imagine.

Your income is the first thing that you should consider if you are looking for an apartment. It may be possible to seek help from organizations like HUD if you fall within a certain yearly income. You can benefit from the affordable apartments for rent for low income tenants that these groups offer.

Do you fall within the state guidelines of programs like HUD? If you do, then you should make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity to find affordable apartments for rent according to your income. These organizations work with your specific level of income so you will only pay what you can actually afford.

Asking questions from the people I knew was the first thing I did, when I was looking for affordable apartments for rent. This turned out to be one of the most valuable resources available. I was lucky to have friends and family members who were willing to help me find a place that I could afford on my meager waitress income. I have to say that I was shocked when I discovered many cheap, unadvertised apartments for rent in my area.

An unadvertised rental that was behind a private home was one of the nicest options available to me. I found a cozy one bedroom suite that was perfect for me in that small building. I almost fell in love with the place, even though it wasn’t one of the affordable apartments for rent that I put on my list. That wonderful apartment was just too far out of the way for me.

I had no choice but to try the other affordable apartments for rent on my list. I had my eye on a place that was located on a perfect location and I already knew the landlord. I talked to the owner and asked to be put on a waiting list because the current tenant was about to move. I would have never known that the apartment was going to be available if I hadn’t networked with friends and family.

You can also find affordable apartments for rent by searching the newspaper. However, shopping around might be a better option. It’s important that you become familiar with the neighborhood. It would also be wise to consider how far you want to drive to work each day. You can find the best cheap apartments for rent available by simply asking around.