As a homebuyer, it’s important to plan and budget for the expenses you’ll encounter when you purchase a home. While most people understand the need to save for a down payment, a recent survey found 41% of homebuyers were surprised by their closing costs. Here’s some information to help you get started so you’re not caught off guard when it’s [...]
Looking for a rental is a challenging process, even under the best of circumstances. When you factor in the proliferation of rental scams on sites like Craigslist—and the additional layer of complexity that the pandemic has caused—the process begins to feel even more daunting.
With each passing year, scammers get better and better at creating realistic listings to draw people in and steal their money and identity. But with some caution, awareness, and a bit of well-placed research, you can learn to identify and avoid many common traps.
Tips for Avoiding Rental Scams
- Never wire funds. If someone asks you to do this, they are almost certainly a scammer.
- Deal locally, face-to-face, whenever possible. When you go to tour the place, make a point to meet the landlord, owner, or property manager in person. Scammers will often avoid basic, in-person interactions like this. If a renter says they are "out of town", and can't show you the inside of the house, consider this a red flag.
- Use common sense and do your research. If a listing seems too good to be true, it likely is. Scammers will often list a rental for an unusually low price to draw people in. If a rental is priced significantly lower than other comparable offerings, consider this a red flag and either walk away or be very cautious. A good way to avoid fraudulent rental listings is to start with a quick Google search of the landlord’s name, email, and property address. If you find the same ad posted in different places with different names, or detect any other oddities, there’s a good chance the listing is fraudulent.
- Don’t hand over money early in the process. Do not pay a deposit or fees of any kind until you have seen the place (inside and out!), met the landlord in person, and understand the terms of the rental agreement.
- Don’t give out any sensitive information until you have verified the listing is legitimate. Refuse background/credit checks until you have seen the property and met the landlord in person. Here are some examples of sensitive information: your social security number, birthdate/place, home phone number, home address, citizenship or visa codes, banking, financial, or credit card information, driver’s license numbers, etc.
- Know what you are signing. Read paperwork and lease agreements carefully before signing them. If you unsure/uncomfortable with anything in the agreement, do further research or get help from someone with experience. Basic information on tenant rights can be found here.
If you think that you have fallen victim to a scam, file a report with both local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission, and report the issue to Craigslist or wherever the fraudulent listing is posted. You will also want to begin monitoring your credit report for suspicious activity.
As you plan out your goals for the year, moving up to your dream home may top the list. But, how do you know when to make your move? You want to time it just right so you can get the most out of the sale of your current house. You also want to know you’re making a good investment when you buy your new home. What you may not realize is, that [...]
If you’re thinking of buying a home in today’s housing market, you may be wondering how strong your investment will be. You might be asking yourself: if I buy a home now, will it lose value? Or will it continue to appreciate going forward? The good news is, according to the experts, home prices are not projected to decline. Here’s [...]
Your equity is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals as a homeowner. And chances are, your equity grew substantially over the past year. According to the latest Equity Insights Report from CoreLogic, homeowners gained an average of $51,500 in equity over the past year.
If you’re looking for the best ways to use your growing [...]
From apple picking to leaf peeping, there are a lot of great reasons to head out and enjoy some crisp air and sunshine in Western MA these days.
Are you looking to buy a home? If so, we’ve got good news for you.
While there’s no denying the housing market is having a great year, many of the headlines are focused on the perks for sellers. But what about buyers today? As a buyer, you’re likely braving bidding wars and weighing low mortgage rates versus price appreciation as you search for your dream home. If you find yourself a bit discouraged, hear this: there are clear signs buyers may have more opportunities this [...]
Equinox comes from the Latin words “aequi,” which means equal, and “nox,” which means night. It is the time when the Sun is exactly above the Equator and for a brief time, day and night are of nearly equal length across the planet.
This year's Autumn Equinox occurs at 3:21pm on September 22.
In the Northern hemisphere, this marks the [...]
If you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to sell your house this year, there’s good news. Real estate professionals are highly experienced in how to sell houses safely during the pandemic. Over the last year, agents have adopted new technologies and safety measures designed to keep you safe. And experts say these practices are [...]
There’s a common misconception that younger generations aren’t interested in homeownership. Many people point to the fact that millennials put off purchasing their first home as a reason for this [...]
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