Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Beware the "Buy Your House Quick and Easy" Trap - Part 1

by Cynthia LaChapelle

Mr. Tan had received about 20 mail pieces before he finally called the phone number.  Someone seemed to want his rental property very much. 


  •           I Want to Buy Your House.  

  •           Sell with No Commission or Hassles. 

  •            I'll Buy Your House AS IS.  


These are some of the letters and post cards. It sounded like just what he needed  to cash out of the house he had bought in the 1980s for his parents. He originally went under contract in December to sell for $209,000, which seemed like a great price considering it needed work.  That was also a good bit above the tax value. The investor making the offer was with Citylink, a national company, which gave him assurance that they had the money and would close quickly as promised. But they did not. Actually, he soon saw his house posted for sale in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) by an unfamiliar realtor for $224,000. Mr. Tan was surprised, because he was told that Citylink was buying the home. 

He contacted the original investor for answers, and the listing disappeared from the MLS. It "expired" after only 11 days on the market. (If listings are withdrawn, paperwork signed by the property owner must be filed with the MLS, but a listing can expire without ever submitting anything -even the original document - to MLS.) 

Then he told Mr. Tan that Citylink had decided not to buy the house. He said that he was very sorry and annoyed at the company that he purported to work for, so he was going to leave Citylink and try to help Mr. Tan under the name of his own company.  But he wouldn't be able to buy the house himself, because he didn't have the financial resources that the big company had.  

The investor put Mr. Tan's house under a new contract for sale at $175,000. Mr. Tan agreed to a $34,000 price drop. The financial noose was tightening. Since he had agreed to sell his house for a very attractive $209,000 with no fees or commissions, he had moved out his tenants and his mother. His house was no longer producing income, and he had to pay rent for his mother's apartment. 

The justification for the much lower price was that the company had hired an inspection which showing that the house needed a lot of work. This condition was obvious from the beginning, but now it was the pretext for lowering the price drastically. Mr. Tan was willing to do it, because he was now financially committed to selling the house. He had a new monthly burden, but he really had no idea what had already been done to the public records to force his sale without his knowledge and how far this would go.  

Read part 2 for more of the story 

TREIA Presentation Invite & Info

by Cynthia LaChapelle


You're invited to a presentation!

Cynthia LaChapelle, has been a real estate broker since 1986, a TREIA (Triangle Real Estate Investors Association) board member for 12 years and past President. She is a also an investor, rehabber and landlord. After working with Century 21, Remax and Fonville Morisey, she opened her own brokerage in 2005. 

This landlord presentation will be an owner’s perspective of the following issues:

  • Criteria for acquiring buy and hold property in the Triangle area
  • Tips and tricks for choosing and managing tenants
  • Protecting yourself
  • Avoiding legal trouble

Cynthia also will share some of her forms that she uses as a landlord.


When: Thursday Oct. 27  11:30-1:30

Where: Prestownwood Country Club - 300 Prestonwood Parkway, Cary NC

Please register by noon Tues Oct. 25 for rate of : Cost $15 TREIA members, $30 guests

10 Tips on Renting to Dog Owners

by Cynthia LaChapelle

Landlords - Do You Rent to Pet Owners?

I make a point of saying in my ads that I accept all breeds of dogs. I'm a dog lover and foster them for Best Friends Pet Adoption. I'm on a mission to put dogs into homes, but I have a financial motive too. I get more money for renting to dogs. I consider them furry tenants. 

In addition to a non-refundable fee, all dogs pay rent.  That fee is for living there, not for any damage. The tenant still has to pay for damage under my lease. I use the NCAA lease with a couple of the NCAR addenda to close the gaps. My lease clearly states that urine is not normal wear and tear

I prefer to rent to dogs rather than cats, and I won't rent to male cats. They spray urine even up the walls. I've seen more woodwork damage with cats than dogs. They may use your door frames as scratching posts. Plus, I'm allergic to cats. 

10  Tips For Renting to Dog Owners

1) Take the carpet out where possible, and install laminate flooring. 

2) Accept pets with a one-time registration fee and a monthly pet fee.

3) Require written evidence of current shots. I ask for vet records.

4) No aggressive animals.  Check your insurance carrier, to see if they have any breeds that they will not  cover. Mine has no breed restrictions, but most do.

5) The landlord must meet and approve the animal before accepting. (I foster stray pit bulls.) 

6) Have them submit a photo of each pet. Keep it in your file, and when you go there for a repair check to see if it's the same animal. If there are "extra" animals, it's easier to spot that when there isn't supposed to be ... a white one. 
7) No Puppies. One year is a good minimum, but it isn't a line. Puppies chew and pee everywhere. Some older dogs will too, but you can guarantee damage if there are puppies. It's easy for a puppy to do $1000 of damage.
8) It's best to have a fenced yard if you're allowing dogs. Otherwise, they are going to be in your house most of the time. They get bored. When bored they get destructive and chew. They may pee on things or bark and annoy neighbors.
9) Tenant must have renter's insurance with extra liability coverage. Make them send you an initial copy, and send a new one each year. They often let it lapse, even though it is incredibly cheap. It's usually about $50-$75 per year. (Remember that the next time you see someone who had a fire and lost everything from not having renter's insurance.  For $1 per week they would have been fine.)
10) Service dogs legally are not pets, so any additional "pet" fees or "no pet" restrictions would not apply. Also, you must allow any service animal with documentation. It can be any kind of animal, and there is a lot of stretching of the truth in what is a service animal. I personally wouldn't question any credentials, because there are fines for violations. 



Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3