Inside Tiny Houses – Are You Ready?

Mr. Jay Shafer is the responsible genius that came up with the idea of Tiny Houses! His company, known as Tumbleweed, is part of the small house movement. In 2002, He co-founded the Small House Society in Iowa City, Iowa. In 2003 he was commissioned by Gregory Paul Johnson to build The Mobile Hermitage, which became one of Tumbleweed’s first commercially sold homes.

When did Tiny Houses begin blooming?

Turns out to be that during the Katrina Hurricane disaster in 2005, Marianne Cusato developed 308 sq. ft. cottage constructions for the homeless victims and the small house movements bloomed.

You Want One? What to do next?

Identify the square footage you will need. Visit local pre-fab buildings to get the feel of what’s your minimum requirement or rent out a Tiny House for a week-end to make an assessment and experience your hands-on living inside a Tiny House. Then start brainstorming and planning the set-up and your storage needs. Slowly, but surely you will start forming your image of the inside of your Tiny House.

A pre-fab building of 320 sq. ft. is quite enough to make it comfortable and the transition from big to small very easy. Some even include all appliances and HVAC systems. All you need to do is pay for the building (approximately $35K), plus taxes and transportation. Another alternative is to contact a builder of your choice.

You also need to research the State laws and requirements for these Tiny Houses. A good resource of information is through The American Tiny House Association.

There are several different resources and websites that sell plans, workshops, existing real estate for sale or even rentals. So these small homes are here to stay for a long time and a definite solution for not paying mortgage for 30 or 40 years.

Getting Creative Inside Tiny Houses

Picture yourself inside a Tiny House and exactly what you expect in order to feel and be comfortable. Let’s entertain our thoughts right now… think of having enough kitchen cabinets, maybe a slide-out pantry, a small range with oven, enough counter space for preparing foods, a small sink, closets for your bedroom, and where would you squeeze in your washer/dryer combo, oh… and don’t forget of your bathroom commodities. Do you want a loft or same floor bedroom? If you have a loft, how will you want your stairway? Will you have storage underneath or within your stairway? As for your living room area, get into creative gear for saving space with a small sofa with drawers or underneath storage, maybe a drop-leaf table for dining or working with a laptop and continue to work on all your ideas by jotting them down. Then with all your ideas prepare a layout drawing and include measurements.

There are many ideas out there for small scale furniture that save floor area. Sofas with storage drawers, corner desks, floating desks, drop leaf folding tables, storage trunks, Murphy beds, bed that slide out or up and down from the ceiling any many many more. The truth is that, whether it be inside a Tiny House or not, these are also great space saving ideas for small apartments, small rooms, sun rooms, dorms, guest houses, dens and even studios. Many innovating and creative ideas come to life everyday from different sources and all because of the need for them. Very well said by Plato “necessity is the mother of invention”.

Last, but not least – A Reality Check

I recently read an article “Dear People Who Live in Tiny Houses – Medium” by Lauren Modery where she wrote this article on Tiny Houses, and brought up some crude realities of living inside a Tiny House that weren’t so great, but the truth is that depending on how much square footage you buy your Tiny House, these could be custom made to be very comfortable and efficient. You will enjoy many good experiences like, being able to take off whenever you please for traveling, enjoy mortgage freedom, pay very low utilities and get billed for less property taxes. Without a doubt, one big blessing!

But, in the end, it all comes down to planning ahead wisely by staying within your budget and making sure your expectations are met.

Tips For Wholesaling Houses With Tenants

Many new investors expect to be wholesaling vacant houses when they get into the business, yet quickly find a great percentage of properties today are occupied, even foreclosures and REOs. So how does this change the game and what tips can help those wholesaling houses with tenants better navigate the process more profitably?

While many, especially newer real estate investors may find wholesaling vacant houses simpler, there are many advantages to flipping tenant occupied properties in this market.

First time home buyers still make up a small percentage of the market in most areas and certainly don’t provide the consistent volume and speed that wholesaling houses to investors hungry for rental units does.

Properties which already have tenants in place eliminate the guess work for end investors and give them the confidence and advantage that comes with an asset which is already delivering positive cash flow and returns. This can help generate higher profit margins and move homes faster.

Of course wholesaling properties that are occupied can also come with some need for additional due diligence and a few challenges. First and foremost today this means figuring out exactly who is occupying the property and what the deal is.

In many cases today, even when a property has been foreclosed on and classified as a bank owned REO for years previous owners can still be found living there. This is a big problem situation for investors. While it may not appear to be much of a concern for those wholesaling or flipping real estate contracts it can mean getting stuck with a deal no one else wants to touch.

Make sure the property is free of previous owners and squatters before closing or be prepared to be stuck with them indefinitely.

Even when actual tenants are in place it is essential to verify rents, rent status and deposits accurately. Never just take the seller’s word for it, or even their agent or an occupant. Official estoppel letters should be obtained from all units and figures verified.

Keep on top of this at closing to ensure all funds paid are prorated and appropriate amounts are transferred to the new owner. As the buyer or middle man remember that cash back at closing due to deposit credit and rent paid in advance is not profit. Some have boasted walking away from the closing table with thousands in cash, but which actually needs to be held for refundable deposits or forwarded to new buyers.

The buying and selling process, especially when there are multiple sales in a short period of time can be very stressful and annoying for renters. Be friendly, be as transparent as possible and ensure that they understand the benefits to prevent them from becoming difficult or blocking potential deals.

I Buy Houses – Tips For Selling Your Home to Private Real Estate Investors

Many of the “I Buy Houses” signs you see posted on street corners and in front of homes belong to private real estate investors. In today’s recessed economy, a large percentage of homeowners are struggling to attract buyers. When property owners need to sell their house quick they oftentimes turn to individuals or organizations that specialize in buying houses for cash.  

Before calling the number on “I Buy Houses” signs, it is important to engage in due diligence and determine the source. Unfortunately, there are many scammers in the world and currently the real estate market is a prime target.  

Thanks to the Internet it is relatively easy to locate information about anyone. Business owners are required to register in each state they wish to conduct business. In most states, the Department of Revenue oversees business registrations. Other states utilize the Secretary of State office.  

The Attorney General’s office handles consumer complaints; as does the Better Business Bureau. Realtors and brokers are licensed through the Real Estate Commission.  

To locate any of the sources above via the Internet, type in your state plus the name of the organization, e.g; California Real Estate Commission. These agencies can help to ensure you are working with a licensed, legitimate, complaint-free business or real estate investor.  

I buy houses in southern California and work with a group of nationwide investors. Nearly all of us have heard horror stories of innocent homeowners losing their property to foreclosure scams. Mortgage financier, Freddie Mac, offers an article on how to avoid foreclosure rescue schemes.  

As an investor, people call me nearly every day, begging me to buy their house. The biggest problem I encounter is the fact that people wait too long before they take action. By the time they call me they are panic-stricken and desperate. It shouldn’t be that way.  

I’ll give you the same advice I give to everyone else. If you are delinquent on your mortgage, you need to call your lender now. I realize you might believe your lender is the devil incarnate, but most banks will work with you if you don’t ignore their requests. Once a house falls into foreclosure there is little room for negotiation.  

If there is no hope of getting back on track, ask your lender to engage in a short sale. Lenders agree to accept less than is owed on the loan if the borrower can sell their home within a certain time frame. Short sales are relatively complex and require time and patience.  

Short sale real estate is typically priced around ten percent under market value. In some areas, short sale properties are being sold up to 50-percent under market value. It’s best to work with a real estate investor who possesses short sale experience and understands the process.  

Selling your home to a private real estate investor is no different than selling to any other buyer. The exception is that investors are experienced and know what needs to be done and when to do it. Working with an experienced investor can simplify and expedite the process.  

In closing, be certain to read and thoroughly understand any legal documents prior to signing them. It’s always a good idea to have a real estate lawyer review the documents to ensure they are legally-binding and will stand up in a court of law if necessary.

Tips for Choosing the Most Appropriate Student Houses

Accommodation is considered to be very important for students who travel to different countries for further studies. Every student looks for a place that is full of facilities when travelling abroad and if you are spoiled with choices of student homes, then you must know the right ways for choosing the most appropriate one for yourself. Below are some tips that you must carefully go through as they will help you greatly in choosing the right house.

• Make sure that the one you choose is full of facilities. Facilities such as bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are very common. What you need to look for is a joint gallery and verandah as they both will help you connect with the students who have taken the apartment next to yours. These facilities are must as every student looks for some interaction besides the studies.

• It should be under your budget. Make sure that the student house you go for falls under your budget line so that you can save money for the rest of your expenses, for example; electricity and phone bill. Before you choose an apartment, you must make a comparison table of the ones you shortlist as that table will help you figure out the apartment that will suit you best.

• Make sure your surroundings are healthy. You might not want a place where all the garbage of the city is dumped and therefore it is very important that you take a closer look at the surroundings of the apartment you go for. If you find out anything that is uncomfortable for you and your studies, then you must quickly go for another option.

• Take as much help as possible from the internet. Internet is a very reliable tool that can give you all the information you need about student accommodation and therefore you must spend some quality time researching the right kind of house for yourself. Make sure that you look for those houses that you can afford easily.

• Seek some professional help before finalizing your decision. Internet is indeed a good source of information but for a better idea about these concepts, you must seek professional help so that you can know whether your selection is right or not.

So these were some tips that you need to follow for choosing the most appropriate student houses. Accommodation won’t be a problem if you take these tips seriously. Make sure that you have enough money with yourself so that you can stay without going bankrupt till your visa ends. These tips are very effective and helped a lot of people who were confused for choosing an appropriate apartment for themselves. I am pretty convinced that once you take all your options under consideration, you will be able hit the finest student house that will be rich in all the facilities. If you need more information regarding the topic, you can surf the web as it will answer all the queries that you have regarding student accommodation.