Home Tips

Home Buyers, Home Tips

Rent To Own Vs Buying

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A lot of buyers have heard of a land contract or more commonly referred to as a “rent to own” when they’re thinking about buying.

So, let’s dive a bit deeper into what is a “rent to own” purchase option and how does it differ from purchasing a home outright.

A land contract or rent to own purchase option is a contract between a seller and buyer that essentially outlines a purchase plan with X number of payments at $X rate per month.

An easy way to think of a rent to own contract is a vehicle lease. A car dealership will lease a vehicle to a buyer if they make their payments, they can use the car and those payments are accumulating and being applied toward the purchase price. At the end of the lease, the buyer can buy the vehicle outright, lease another or finance the remaining portion.

Rent to own contracts are very similar. They establish a plan for the buyer to make payments that are applied or deducted from the purchase price. The main difference is there is not a lender or bank in the equation, the seller is assuming that role and risk. Sellers know that and often factor that risk into the monthly cost.

From the seller perspective, they may not be willing to take on that risk. That is why many sellers prefer to sell outright to receive their funds in full without receiving monthly payments and potentially having legal concerns arise years down the road.

Rent to own purchase options may seem more attractive to some because they don’t have the lender piece in the puzzle with “stricter” guidelines for acquiring a loan. That may be appealing to buyers with lower credit or little to no down payment saved up. The buyer may still have a good income and can support a monthly payment, but are not able to get a loan from a lender or bank.

The concern arises if you cannot make your monthly payments to the seller, the contracts are often written in a way that allows for the seller to recoup their property, leaving the buyer in a “rental-like” situation, making payments for years but not gaining equity in ownership. All land contracts vary, but it’s highly recommended to have a real estate lawyer draft and review a land contract prior to signing.

One of the first steps in buying a home is figuring out the financial piece. What can you afford? Can you obtain a pre-approval and loan at this time? Are there a few steps you can take over a few months to improve your credit?

If the finances aren’t in a place needed for a purchase right now, it’s still helpful to connect with a good lender who can help identify opportunities for you to improve your credit and that will result in a better rate down the line.

We hope this resource is helpful to you. If you have questions or want to learn more, please contact our team.







Home Tips

The Inside Scoop on Radon

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We’ve all heard a lot about radon, but what is it and should you be concerned about it?

Radon is an orderless gas naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. The gas is colorless and odorless ,which is what makes it challenging to detect without a radon test. You can either do a self-radon test with a purchased kit, or you can hire a professional to test the radon level.

In this area, it’s not uncommon to have radon is your basement or lowest level of your home. Throughout Marathon County area there is a higher granite concentration than in other areas and that allows for natural decay into radon that may seep into the basement through the foundation.

Low amounts of radon are considered to be “safe levels” and that is at or below 4.0. Anything above that level is considered to be a “higher level” of radon and can be addressed with a radon mitigation system.

A radon mitigation system essentially uses a fan system to pull air from the soil / ground and exhausts it outside through PVC pipe. In addition to that, cracks and other openings in the foundation are recommended to be sealed in order for the system to operate effectively.

After a radon mitigation system is installed, oftentimes the installer will come back out a few days after and conduct a radon re-test to make sure the system is working as planned.

If you have concerns about radon, you can read more information about radon on the EPA website at: https://www.epa.gov/radiation/what-radon-gas-it-dangerous.


Home Tips, Real Estate

Things to Improve Around Your Home

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Are you scratching your head thinking, “What can I do around my house?”. That’s a great way to use some free time, especially if you have projects ready for you. Or maybe they aren’t even things you’ve thought of before.

Here are a few suggestions that can really improve a space, appeal and overall improve the value / impression when you’re ready to sell. Even if you’re not ready, it’ll be helpful down the road when you are ready.

1.) Freshen up the colors. Have a room that has wallpaper or a dated color? Now would be a great time to update the room with a modern and neutral feel. Painting is relatively inexpensive and can really impact the rooms ambiance.

2.) Modernize the fixtures. Have some older handles, light fixtures or accents in a bathroom or kitchen. Maybe it’s time to update those. Again, this is a relatively inexpensive project to take on, but it makes a big difference!

3.) Clean and Organize. Closets, extra bedrooms, etc. This is a great project to build-in some additional storage shelves that can make your closets organized and tidy. You’ll thank yourself when this is done! If you want to go above and beyond, paint the added built-in shelving too!

4.) Update outlet covers. Are your current light switch covers or outlet covers looking dingy and dirty? It’s something we don’t think about much but cleaning existing ones or buying some new clean plates (only about 15 cents each) can really clean up an area. If the actual switch or outlet is dated, you may need some electrical knowledge to get that part switched out, but for most of us, the plates are a good start.

5.) Basement time. Have you neglected your basement? Especially if it’s unfinished, it’s great to clean it up, maybe refinish the stone with a special paint or clean up the storage. Unfinished spaces that are clean are much more appealing while you’re living there and also, for future buyers when you sell.

6.) Last but not least, landscaping. If you have time to look at your home from the street level, analyze and think through, “What would I think if I saw this house from the road?” Maybe adding a few simple landscaping updates is in order. Or maybe it’s time to trim / cut down some dying trees.

The list could go on and on and on. There are a lot of resources out there, so thank you for reading ours. If you’re considering selling and want to get custom or personal advice on projects to tackle before your sale, give Austin a call at (715) 212-4693, or drop him a note below!

Home Selling, Home Tips

Looking to sell your home during the winter?

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A common misconception is the best time to sell is only during the spring and summer market. Historically, that time of year in Central Wisconsin is the ‘busiest’ in terms of the number of buyers in the marketing searching for a home. However, real estate, like other industries, balance on the supply and demand scale. The number of buyers during the winter are fewer, but they are often more serious searchers.

With competitive market-pricing and a solid marketing plan, our team, The Solomon Group, can help you sell your home any time of the year, including winter. The truth is you CAN sell during the winter and we’re here to help!

This past year, I helped just over 200 buyers and sellers with their real estate needs and I look forward to learning about yours to see how together we can make your goals a reality.

Let’s connect! Contact Austin Solomon (715) 212-4693 or fill out the form below.


Home Tips

Home Warranties

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Let’s talk home warranties… what are they and what are they not.

For more information about home warranties and other real estate related topics, contact The Solomon Group, Austin Solomon at (715) 212-4693.