Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Duplexes For Rent

April 30, 2012

James asks…

Which is better: More expensive rent with utilities included, or cheaper rent with fewer utilities included?

My fiance and I are going to be shopping soon for an apartment/duplex/townhouse etc. to share for the first time, and I was just curious about which offer would be better. If you have personal experience with this, I would love to hear pros and cons or whatever information you would like to bring to this issue. Thanks!
Please stick to the question that I am actually asking here. Thanks.

Administrator answers:

It’d be better to get married, then buy a place. Especially in the housing market today.

Statistically, it’s proven that the divorce rate is actually higher among couples who co-habitate. If you love your fiancee you’ll get married first.

Mary asks…

real estate rentals in norman,okla?

duplex for rent

Administrator answers:

What is your question?

Thomas asks…

Renting help?

I have a hard time finding a good house or duplex to rent because:
I have bad credit and one of our past references is bad.

My question is do I have to list all my past references when I am applying for a new place to rent?

And some advice on how to find and get a good place

Administrator answers:

Perhaps offer a larger deposit

Ask a friend to “lie” for you. Have them say that you were good renter and only left the property because they sold it.

Daniel asks…

I’m severely underwater with current mortgage – Will this affect my chances of obtaining a loan for a new home?

I have a duplex. I rent one side and live in the other. I tried refinancing a month ago to take advantage of the low rates and got the “we can’t help you because your appraisal came in at 43% lower” than the value I gave them for the application. The appraisal came in at $207,000 and I gave them $360,000 (because it was appraised for that much 2 years ago). The appraisal was severely affected by other “like” homes in town that have foreclosed.

Now, we’re not in financial trouble – we pay our mortgage every month and have very little debt. Here are the facts:

Our combined income is about 140K annually.
Current mortgage: $2150 (rent covers $1100 of this amount)
Current balance on loan $271,000

Loan rejected!!! Okay… fine.

This really made me angry/sad/depressed. I thought this would put a damper on to our plans as I had originally intended to refinance from a 30 year to a 15 year in an effort to build equity faster. We also had planned on putting our side of the duplex for rent and purchasing another home (in a better neighborhood) to live and raise our kids in. The plan was to keep this duplex and rent it out for the length of the mortgage and hopefully sell it at the end of the 15 year loan and put the profit towards our children’s college education.

My question is: How am I affected by this loan rejection? If I wanted to purchase another home for ourselves – Will the lenders look at my current property’s loan/value ratio and say no to a new mortgage? I asked the lender that rejected our loan the same question and he said that the two property will have nothing to do with each other and that it would not affect us at all. I find it hard to beleive since they rejected my refinance attempt because of my current loan/value ratio. Why wouldn’t they look at my current property’s ratio when determining whether to give me another loan?

Given my situation…Would I have any trouble obtaining a loan for the purchase of a new home while maintaining my current?

Thanks in advance for your expert advice!

Administrator answers:

Yes, the amount of equity you have in your current residence (none, or upside down) will impact your attempt to purchase another home, but may not prevent it. Here is why:

Last year, in an attempt to stop people from purchasing a new, nicer home at current market and then letting an existing, upside down home go back to the bank via foreclosure, the lending industry instituted some new rules. To prevent the “Buy and Bail” phenomenon, you must have 30% equity (or 25% for FHA) in your current home in order to use the rental income to qualify for the new purchase. If you do not have the equity, you can still buy a new home, but you must have sufficient income to qualify making both payments without the benefit of the rental income offsetting the expense of the rental. This is a problem for most people, but may not be for you. Most simply can’t afford to make both payments.

There are four main factors the bank looks at to qualify you: Credit Score, Loan-To-Value, Debt-To-Income ratio, and Assets/Reserves (cash in the bank). Specific to the loan on the Duplex, the Loan-To-Value was your problem. On a new puchase, that property would be classified as an investment property, and the fact that it is upside down does not directly influnce the loan for the purchase.

Lizzie asks…



Administrator answers:

Call a RE firm or a prop mgt company

Sandra asks…

What will qualify for a 1031 exchange?

I have an investment property in Colorado (single family home) that I would like to sell in order to purchase a duplex in Seattle. If I wanted to live in half of the duplex and rent out the other half, does that qualify as like kind? Or if I bought a triplex and rented out 2/3 of it out, does that qualify? Or could I rent out both units in the new duplex for a certain amount of time (how long?) and then later move in myself to one of the units for 2 years to be free of the taxable event? Many thanks in advance!

Administrator answers:

As long as the rental portion is more then what you would “sell” the CO house for, your exchange probably qualifies.

If rented out at all, then you move into it, your gain will never again be tax free, that changed with 2008 tax law.

Please see a tax professional in your area that knows how to do a like kind exchange. It is a fool’s project if done by yourself.

Helen, EA in PA

Nancy asks…

Lawrence Kansas??

What are the “Nice” and “Not-So-Nice” areas in Lawrence, Kansas. My friend would like to know while she is looking for an apartment or duplex to rent.
She has a 5 month old baby too…And her man also.

Administrator answers:

The nicest places in town will be west of Iowa and south of 23rd St (or Clinton Pkwy as it becomes after Iowa). She should avoid neighborhoods east of Massachusetts St. And north of 6th St. On the east part of town. There can be nice places found near downtown, but it’s really hit or miss. If she’s going to school at KU, she would probably want to stick closer to campus. However, I lived at Clinton and Kasold (west part of town) for 3 years and did not mind 5 extra minutes of travel to campus.

John asks…

What do you know about real estate rental business?

Say buy a duplex, live on one and rent out one. You pay your mortgage by renting one unit out therefore you are living for free. Why not everyone doing this?

Administrator answers:

Duplex’s cost more than regular houses. Most people don’t want to be landlords. Most duplex’s are in lower class neighborhoods. You can be subjected to loud and inconsiderate tenants. They may look good when you rent to them, but have the power to make your life a living hell. Their kids are delinquents, their Friends are drunks, you get the idea. It will work if your tenant is a family member, sister/brother or good friend.

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