Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2 great ideas - same week!!

While the loan rates dip for the 7th consecutive week and my real estate and mortgage lender clients across the country tell me that they are getting more responses, a couple of very good ideas have come across my desk already this week.

One was from an article about a "Micro-Unit" apartment buidling in the Dallas TX suburb of Plano. As much as I have encouraged those with credit struggles to find a "rent to buy" and increasingly desparate sellers to "rent to sell" as an alternative, this "Mirco-Unit" idea has a lot of merit. "Legacy Village" has three of its units measuring 264 square feet. Yet - all three units are rented and the article says "never vacant". Units such as these are usually offset by common areas with amenities ranging from health clubs and/or juice bars to free wireless and playrooms.

The three units profiled rent for $418 per month. Let's look at this from all perspectives.........

For the renter, this represents a low cost way to live in a "better" neighborhood. This amount in rent is too low to be a "rent to buy" but it does give the renter the opportunity to save up for a down payment in the future.

For the "landlord", this could mean higher income compared with one larger unit. Under the aforementioned rent and size, this "landlord" is effectively generating $1,254 per month for about 1,000 sqaure feet (allowing for three 264 square foot units and space for amenities).

If a seller has a multi-bedroom home or townhouse available and is legally allowed to rent, they might consider adding a few locking doors, amenities, and attempt to rent out multiple rooms simultaneously. Sort of an upscale version of what often happens near university campuses.

(To that point, MortgageMarketInfo.com has information about a new Re-Hab Loan Program available in about 40 states so far.)

To those that are realty agents and lenders, this concept may or may not pay immediate dividends, but I certainly suggest using this idea as a building block of your own. Helping a potential future client find a good rental or a good tenant will win you good favor for when the time comes.

The other sharp idea comes from an article in the suburban Chicago Daily Herald about a realty agent (not a client) who found a niche with helping people to find the best contractor for their present home. Whether for an upgrade or repair. I like this idea for very much the same reason as the above one. When this agent helps a homeowner make their home more valuable, it helps both the eventual seller and the agent in the long run.

If you wish to read this article, there is a link to it via the Powerhouse Real Estate blog in the column to the right.

It's nice to see some true innovation come into the marketplace. Please let me know if you have any such innovations to share. The publicity about the real estate market can be positive, if we all work at it.

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