You may have heard that design is best left to the professionals, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a go yourself. If you have a good eye for design and the skills to create something truly unique, taking on a project as a non designer can be beneficial. However, it’s important to have a good idea of what you are doing and what you want to achieve.
Top Design Tips for Non Designers
Taking on a new design project as a non designer can be daunting, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t create a fantastic logo or banner. Regardless of what you are designing, think carefully about the colors you are using and the layout of text, images and graphics. You should want your design to be unique and intriguing, but you don’t want it to be complicated and confusing. Remember advertisers (the clients your designing for) want a return on investment. So you’ll soon know if your designs are working or not. If you’d like to find out about measuring ROI – read this Ultimate Banners article.
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Are you thinking of renting out your home? In that case, you need to ask these 10 questions to anyone wanting to rent your house:
1. When are you planning to move in?
This is the question that shapes the rest of your engagement with the potential tenant. The answer here will help you determine whether or not the tenant’s timelines synchronize with yours. If, for example, a tenant wants to move in a month from now but you want to rent it out sooner than that, then there is no point in engaging the person any further.
2. Why are you relocating?
If the tenant is moving into your property after falling out with their previous landlord, you need to know what led to the fallout. Was it because of dishonoring their rent obligations? Was it because of neglecting their other tenant responsibilities as per the lease agreement? The answers they give will tell you whether or not to let them rent your property. In the same vein, ask them how long they have lived in the previous apartment and how long they intend to live in yours. If you establish that they have a habit of hopping from one apartment to another within unreasonably short durations, politely decline their application.
3. Have you ever been evicted for any reason?
This question seeks to clarify the #2 question even further. Maybe they weren’t evicted in their immediate former home, but you cannot conclude that they have never been evicted in the past. Ensure that they give you sufficient details about their journey since they started renting.
4. How stable are you financially?
If they are unstable, chances are that they will give you problems with the rent. Experts say that a good tenant is the one whose monthly rent doesn’t exceed 40% of their total monthly earnings. That is to say that if you expect the tenant to pay $1000 in monthly rent, they should be earning at least $2500 per month. And because monthly income isn’t a perfect indicator of financial stability, make a point of running a credit check to determine how much debt the tenant is in. If your new tenant is in the Gig economy, you might want to ask more questions if they are financially stable.
5. How many people will you be living with?
The last thing you want is to rent your house out to an individual, only to realize later that he brought in his extended family and some of his friends to live with him. There is nothing wrong with housing a needy friend or relative, except that more people mean more wear and tear to your property. Besides, overcrowding in homes is listed by most fire departments and health professionals as a major health and safety risk.
6. Do you own any pets or support animals?
If yes, how many do you have? This is important to know if you have a renting policy that doesn’t allow pet ownership. If you have a set monthly/annual deposit for pets or a limit as to how many pets a tenant can have, make it clear to them beforehand.
7. How clean is your criminal record?
As a tenant’s credit history is significant to your property’s financial future, so is their criminal history to your - as well as your other tenants' - security. Don’t underestimate the number of ex-convicts looking for rental homes in the US today. In 2015, a tenant screening by SmartMove showed that at least 22% of all tenants-to-be had a criminal record. Even if you don’t have a problem renting out to an ex-convict, having this information with you is necessary when planning your rental unit's overall security.
8. Are you prepared to pay all moving costs upfront?
Some landlords require tenants to pay a security deposit, one month rent deposit, and first month rent in full upon signing the lease. If you are such a tenant, or if there are other moving costs attached to your house, then let the tenant know beforehand.
9. What kind of a neighbor can you describe yourself as?
A new tenant can be so unruly that they force their neighbors to end their lease earlier than intended. If they like to play loud music or bring home too many friends, you need to know so that you can append a rule within the lease that will keep their unruly behavior in check.
10. Do you have any follow-up questions?
This sounds obvious but it is very important. You need the tenant as much as they need your property, so you will be wrong not to give them the chance to ask you the follow-up questions they could have. This presents you with the opportunity to appeal to the tenant.
With home prices increasing, it may make sense to pool your resources together with a trusted friend. Home Loan guidelines do not require that you be married to purchase a home together. In fact, you can even have a relative assist you with your home purchase using the Non-Occupying Co-Borrower buying strategy.
If you do choose to purchase together with a friend, here the four things you will want to consider in your decision to do so.
Seeing eye to eye with friends and family on the relative merits of music, movies, pickleball, gas versus charcoal barbecues can be a great foundation on which to build a relationship, but sharing the same tastes and interests does not mean you will share the same approach to finances.
To protect yourself, your credit score, your finances and most importantly your relationship you will want to cover every aspect of any real estate agreement, from purchase to sale. The agreement should be in writing with your co-signer before even bidding on a house. This process of creating an agreement will likely teach you a great deal you didn’t even know about your friend. And the agreement will ensure that you see eye-to-eye on the homeownership responsibilities.
You want to know how things will work, down to minor details. What if someone wants to rent out their half of their garage or part of the home? Who pays for the up-keep of the property, and is everything split evenly? What happens if a major repair is needed and one party can’t afford to pay?
Have a lawyer review the entirety of your written agreement for anything you might have overlooked—and to ensure it is legally binding.
It is also suggested that you consider opening a separate joint checking account that each party will fund regularly and equally. The money in the account will cover the household expenses and also establish a savings plan for those unexpected repairs that will certainly come up with homeownership.
A clear plan of how the account will be managed will also need to be agreed upon upfront. This planning will avoid unnecessary challenges in the future.
Before you begin your home search in earnest, you should have a budget and a maximum amount you agree to not exceed, no matter what.
The home buying budget should include not only how much home you can afford, but also how you will be managing the additional expenses that come with purchasing a home like closing costs, the down payment as well as the essential creation of othe escrow account for future property taxes and insurance payments. Ideally, the division of these costs should be put in writing to avoid any future conflicts as a result of planned or even increased costs.
Finalizing—and sticking to—a budget is very important if you’re buying a home with someone you’re not married to. It’s important to agree on scenarios where one co-owner cannot afford to cover agreed-upon expenses and what happens if one member refuses to live up to the agreement. We all know that financial situations change, so what agreement do you have in place if one of the members has a change in their income?
There are two types of co-ownership when you purchase and share a home with a person. “Tenancy in common allows you to split the ownership of the property along whatever lines make the most sense. If one partner contributes the majority of the down payment, they may own 70% of the property, and the other party may own 30%.”
But in this kind of agreement, if one party dies, their share does not instantly pass to the other co-owner. Instead, it will become part of their estate.
Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship is simpler. This typically happens if you are going to split the ownership of the property equally. When one party dies, the other party inherits their portion.
You will want to explore the different types of legal ownership as each one has a different goal and meaning. Here is a resource for you to review, however you may want to get educated from your legal advisor to ensure you make the right choice.
It’s hard to imagine the ending of a relationship before it has even started, but it’s wise to broach the subject before buying a home with a friend.
There are several questions you should be asking yourself and each other: “If one person wants to move, will the other person buy them out? Do you ultimately want to rent the house out? Or would you prefer to ultimately sell and split the proceeds?”
Most problems can be avoided with honest conversations and clear contractual agreements that establish who covers what and when, what happens if one person’s financial situation changes and, in the worst of cases, who will inherit the property in the event of one person’s death.
Buying a home has responsibilities that you must own. And when buying a home with a friend, those responsibilities increase. Being prepared and understanding what you are agreeing to is essential for your protection. The upfront work is important.
Karen Jones, a Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer (NMLS 307015), is located in Scottsdale and has been serving Arizona with their home lending needs for over 40 years. As a Certified Mortgage Advisor, Karen is dedicated in ensuring that her clients are well educated and prepared for their new home loan decision. AmeriFirst Financial, Inc. Grayhawk Office located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Karen Jones does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Karen Jones will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.
If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home this year, you’re probably wondering if you should wait. Today, in Maricopa County alone, there are over 574,621 residents renting, when they can buy and inflation should not be holding them back.
Your ability to purchase depends on your own situation, however, here’s how homeownership can help you combat the rising costs that come with inflation:
If you want advice on your specific situation and how to time your purchase, let’s connect!
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Credit scoring for consumers that have medical collections is changing as of July 1, 2022. And it is about time!
The three primary credit repositories, EquiFax, Experian and Transunion, all have agreed to the changes that will remove approximately 70% of medical collection debt from consumers' credit files.
As of July 1, 2022:
If collections have been holding your credit score down, you may want to consider re-exploring your options after July 2022.
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