Frequently Asked Questions

Buying and Selling Real Estate FAQs

Can a home depreciate in value?

Generally, real property never depreciates in value, or more so, it is not very common for property to depreciate.  This is why it’s a great investment. Make sure you carefully consider location and community when choosing a home, it can effect the homes future value greatly.

If you are in a newly developed area, do some research on the construction of the surrounding areas being developed to determine if they may effect your homes value.

Is an older home as good a value as a new home?

This is really just a matter of preference, but both newer and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle.

Older homes can generally cost less than new homes, however, there are many cases where new homes can also cost less then older homes. Most new homes will not have any backyard landscaping and some don”t include any front landscaping either. With an older home, the landscaping is normally already completed and could have 10”s of thousands of dollars in landscaping done, which is included in the purchase price.

Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home but shy away because they”re concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve. A good Home Warranty plan protects you against unexpected repairs on many home systems and appliances for a full year or more after you move in.

In a new house, you can pick your own color schemes, flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, custom wiring for TV”s, electrical, computers, phones and speakers, etc., as well as have more upgrade options. Modern features like media rooms, extra-large closets and extra-large bathrooms and tubs are also more attainable in ground-up construction. In a used home, you rely largely on the previous resident”s tastes and technological whims, unless you plan to farm thousands into a remodeling and rewiring.

New-home designers can use new building materials such as glazed Energy Star windows, thicker insulation and other technology that will lower future energy costs for the owner. Most states now have minimum energy-efficiency requirements for new construction. Kitchens and laundry areas in new homes are designed to house more efficient energy-saving appliances. Older homes, unless they have undergone an energy retrofit, usually cost much more per square foot to air-condition and heat.

Builders have to follow very strict guidelines in new-homes and additions, especially in the West and Northwest, where earthquake safety standards must be observed. In general, new homes are usually more fire-safe and better accommodating of new security and garage-door systems.

Older homes can be better judged for their quality and timeless beauty. New homes that now possess a smooth veneer might reveal the use of substandard building materials or shoddy workmanship over time.

As you can see there are advantages and dis-advantages to each, but it really comes down to what fits you and what you are looking for in a home.

What is a broker?

An agent who is authorized to open and run his/her own agency. All real estate offices have one principal broker.

What is the difference between being prequalified and preapproved for a loan?

If you’re prequalified it means that you POTENTIALLY could get a loan for the amount stated to you, assuming that all of the information you provide to the bank is accurate and true. This is not as strong as a preapproval.

If you’re preapproved, it means that you have undergone the extensive buy priligy online generic financial background check, which includes looking at your credit history, previous tax returns and verifying your employment – and the lender is willing to give you a loan, basically meaning you’re approved!

You will usually be provided an accurate figure which shows the maximum amount that you are approved for.  Most sellers prefer buyers that have been preapproved because they know that there will not be any problems with the purchase of their home.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.

Can I pay my own taxes and insurance?

When a loan is originated, the mortgage documents specify the escrow conditions. This has become a standard practice for all mortgages, including FHA, VA and conventional mortgages.  Occasionally on conventional loans, FRFCU waives the collection of escrow requirement at closing if the member has a minimum 20% equity position in the property.

How can I avoid private mortgage insurance?

The easiest way to avoid PMI is by putting 20% down payment; however, PMI can also be avoided if you only have 5% or 10% for the down payment. The way to accomplish this is via a first and second mortgage combination commonly referred to as 80/10/10^s or 80/15/5^s.

These two methods combine a first mortgage lien for 80% of the home price with a second mortgage lien for either 10% or 15% of the home price leaving the remaining 5% or 10% as the down payment. Because the first lien is at the magical 80% loan=to-value, there is no PMI required, even though a second mortgage is being |piggybacked| onto the financing thus allowing for the lessor down payment.

While the second lien terms are not as attractive as first lien rates, the second mortgage is still home mortgage interest and thus deductible as such on your federal tax return where PMI is insurance and offers no deduction.

How is interest calculated on a mortgage loan?

Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.

Is there a minimum credit score?

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.

What benefits do I receive from private mortgage insurance?

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.

What do I do if I receive a tax statement?

Many tax authorities will mail an informational copy of the real estate tax statement to the homeowner in addition to the Credit Union.  However, there are some statements tax authorities do not forward to the credit union, and in special cases we will need your assistance in obtaining the bill. If you receive a statement for any of the following, please forward it to our office by mail or fax.

  • delinquent real estate taxes
  • supplemental or additional real estate taxes
  • special assessments
  • if the tax authority will not honor a bill request from another party.
How long does the loan process take?

Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.

Rental FAQs For Owners

Do I have to complete a W9 form?

Yes. We must have a completed W9 on file before sending your first disbursement. We will issue a 1099 at the end of the year.

Do I have to complete the utility information sheet?

Yes. The utility information sheet is helpful when marketing the property. Prospective tenants often inquire about utility costs. Additionally, we will attach the sheet to the lease agreement as proof that we have notified the tenant of special water, electric, trash or natural gas services.

What fees do you charge for signing new leases or renewals?

We do not charge additional fees for signing leases or renewals. We do charge 250 dollars at signing of the management agreement. We charge an additional 250 dollars if you would like us to assist you in preparing the property for move when the property first enters management. This is in addition to any cost associated with work that may need to be done in the property. Those cost would be payable directly to the vendors doing the work.

Do you charge for marketing/advertising?

There are no additional charges for our services. However, you may elect to have a VisualTour of your property created by a professional photographer. This VisualTour extends the reach of our marketing efforts. The cost of paying such a professional is generally around 75 dollars.

How long will it take to lease my property?

It generally takes 60 days to lease a property. However, it may take more or less time to secure a tenant depending on a variety of factors including whether the property is vacant, the type of property i.e. student rental, and the time of year. Vacant properties in good showing condition usually lease quickly. Once our properties are leased, they rarely go vacant.

Do I have to allow pets?

We strongly recommend you consider allowing pets. Many prospective tenants have cats or dogs. Tenants must pay a $250.00 non-refundable pet fee per pet prior to move-in. Properties that do not allow pets take significantly longer to lease. It is very important to notify us if you will not allow pets prior to marketing the property.

Should I purchase a home warranty?

It may sometimes be cost effective to have a home warranty in place for maintenance and repairs. When choosing a warranty provider you should be sure they will allow us to use our own vendors. If there is a co-pay it may be best to place a card on file.

What if a tenant doesn’t pay rent?

If a tenant does not pay rent by the 5th (fifth) day of the month, we will attempt to contact the tenant by phone to collect rent and late fees owed before the 10th (tenth) when we close our books. If a tenant becomes delinquent we will call, send certified letters and sometimes visit the property.

If a tenant pays rent late, when will I receive my check?

We close our books on the 10th of each month. This allows us to balance the books, pay expenses on behalf of our owners and disperse income accurately. The benefit to our owners is that we keep balanced accurate records. When you get a statement and or an end-of-year report from us, the information contained in the report is accurate and professionally prepared. This would be impossible if we did not close the books and balance once a month. If late rent is collected after disbursements, we will hold the rent until the next disbursement period.

Do you handle the eviction process?

If our efforts to collect rent from the tenant are unsuccessful, the first step is getting the tenant out of the property. We will buy priligy online usa request that they immediately and voluntarily vacate the property so we may post it for lease and begin procuring a new tenant. If necessary, we will post a tenant for eviction. This is a lengthy process so we always prefer that a tenant leave voluntarily.

What if I want to put my house on the market?

If you would like to place your house on the market for sale and have not included this stipulation in the lease agreement, we will be happy to try and negotiate terms for doing so that are agreeable to you and the tenant. We have developed procedures for stipulating in our leases and renewals that properties will be on the market for sale during the lease term. It is important that owners let us know in advance of signing renewals and leases that they would like to market their properties for sale. We have a program in place for PM owners that includes pricing that reflects the previous relationship established between the customer and CJ&L.

I’d like to move back into my property. How do I terminate my management agreement?

If an owner would like to terminate their management agreement, we ask that they do so in writing. At the time of termination, a management fee will be due on any rents due per any and all leases and renewals currently binding upon the property. This is true when the property sells as well as other situations when an owner decides to terminate. This is true when a real estate commission is due to CJ&L and when no other commission is due to CJ&L. The real estate division of the company and the property management division of the company operate independently and both have to be paid for services rendered. Often we lease vacant properties, create rental history and then sell properties to investors on behalf of our owners (sometimes reluctant landlords). The lease and the rents due per the lease are an integral part of what attracts the investor to the property. Because no management fee is due at lease signing, management fees owed on the rents must be paid whether over the lease term or at the time of termination.

What expenses should I expect before moving tenants in to my property? How much should I expect to spend on repairs at the time of turning the property? Why does the tenant’s security deposit not cover these costs?

Owners should expect to spend up to one month’s rent or more preparing a house for move in at the time of entering management or between tenants. CJ&L will most often seek approval for repairs exceeding 250 dollars. However, CJ&L reserves the right to approve repairs exceeding 250 in cost when preparing the property for lease either at the beginning of management and/or during the turning of the property. If owners chose to prepare to turn their own properties we ask that they coordinate carefully with CJ&L. CJ&L will not partially turn the property. Owners may turn or allow CJ&L to do so. Tenants cannot be charged from the security deposit for maintenance. CJ&L contractually binds tenants via the lease to either clean the property or pay from the security deposit to have the property cleaned after move out. However, there are sometimes cleaning charges paid by the owner. This is a subject best discussed in depth with Christy Baker Jenkins.

Rental FAQs For Tenants

When is the security deposit due?

The security deposit amount is equal to the monthly rental rate and is due on or before the lease start date. It must be paid via certified check or money order, and it cannot be combined with any other payments. In most cases, the deposit can be provided at the move-in inspection in exchange for keys.

How much is the pet fee?

The non-refundable pet fee is most often $350 per pet but not always. Pet fees are NOT applied to any damages that your pet may cause. Not all properties allow pets. Please read our property descriptions for information regarding pets. If nothing specific about pets is listed, then pets may be allowed with owner approval. You must provide age, weight and breed information to be considered.

What is the non-refundable fee due at lease signing?

Once a lease is executed, we require payment of a non-refundable fee that is equal to the monthly rental rate. The non- refundable fee will secure the property and upon move in will convert to the first full month’s rent payment. This fee must be paid by certified check or money order. It is not the same as the security deposit.

Do you do short term leases?

Typically, we do not offer short-term leases. Most lease terms are a minimum of 12 months. In rare cases, an opportunity to lease for a shorter time may arise. Please read our property descriptions for information regarding lease terms.

How do you screen tenants?

We use AppFolio, Inc. to obtain consumer reports and/or investigative consumer reports in regard to credit, rental and criminal history. By submitting an application, the applicant certifies that all of the information in the application is true and correct.

Are applications approved on a first come basis?

No. APPLICATIONS ARE NOT ACCEPTED ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS. The landlord/owner and agent reserve the right to accept the application that best suits the needs of the owner.

How are applications evaluated?

The $55 non-refundable application fee covers the cost of a credit check, background check and rental history search. Each occupant over the age of 18 is required to complete a rental application. We review each application as a whole, which includes reviewing the credit history, criminal background, rental history, and total household income.

In cases where multiple applications are received, we evaluate all applications and make a decision that best suits the owner of the property.

An application will not be considered “complete” and will not be processed until the following are provided to us: a complete and signed application from you and each co-applicant and/or co-signer; application fees are paid to us and all qualifying documents are submitted to us by each applicant.

Are application fees refundable if we are approved but don’t get the property?

Application fees are NON-REFUNDABLE. There are NO EXCEPTIONS. We encourage you to view the property in person

prior to submitting an application. Should your application be approved but circumstances dictate that you do not get the property for which you applied, the application fee will NOT be refunded. In some cases, we can, however, transfer your application to another property that we manage. In this case, you will not have to pay an additional application fee.

Do we have the right to terminate early?

Although our lease does not allow for early termination, we do have a process for dealing with situations when tenants must terminate before the lease end date. In exchange for the forfeiture of the deposit to CJ&L, we will market the property for lease, screen applicants and execute a new lease, to replace your lease. Until a new lease is executed, you will be responsible for abiding by the lease terms as originally agreed. If a new lease is executed, a termination to release you will be executed. Other terms may be a part of any termination but most of our terminations include a forfeiture of the security deposit to CJ&L, payment of move out charges including but not limited to cleaning fees, a $50 admin fee for paperwork processing, and any prorated rent due through the start date of the new lease

When do I get keys?

Keys are provided at the move-in inspection but not before tenant has provided proof that utilities for the property are held in the name of the tenant and all initial payments (i.e. non-refundable fee, admin fee, pet fee, security deposit, prorated rent) have been received.

How do I inquire about the status of my application? How long will it take for a decision to be made on my application?

We receive a high volume of applications. In most cases, you can expect to hear something within 3-5 business days. We will notify you via email whether you are approved within 10 days after the date we receive a completed application. You must not assume approval until you receive actual notice of approval. If, within 10 days of submitting your application, you have not received an email notification regarding the status of your application, please contact us.

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