gardens for renters

Small Space Gardening Tips for Renters

Winter is almost over and Spring is right around the corner.    With Spring less than a month away, now is a great time to start planning out your garden.  You don’t have to own a home in order to have a great garden.  In fact those with limited space can still grow quite a bit of produce.   Small spaces are actually ideal for growing vegetables since it mimic conditions similarly found in traditional “walled gardens”.  Let’s look at some of the way you can get the most out of your balcony or small yard.

  1. Hanging Baskets

Hanging pots or baskets are a great way to save space and can allow you to grow many different crops, including herbs, salad leaves, tomatoes, and peppers.  These types of crops require a lot of sunlight so be sure to place these where they get the most exposure and water them very well.

  1. Trailing Crops.

Trailing crops are things like Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Green Beans.  These crops are great for small spaces because they can be trained to grow just about anywhere.  Train them along the edge of the railing on a balcony or up lattice.

  1. Make use of quick crops.

Plants like Swiss Chard and Radishes are ready to sow in almost no time at all.  Make use of the gaps that may develop in the garden with these quick crops.  These types of crops are usually matured in just a matter of a few weeks and can be great way to make the most of your space.

  1. Wall Training.

It’s important to make use of vertical space when you don’t have a large plot to work with.  There are many fruits such as apples that can actually be pruned to grow along a wall and they produce just fine.   This also frees up useful bed space for the underplant planting of leafy veggies or squashes.

  1. Underplanting

This another great way to make use of space.   In areas around taller crops such as corn or say sunflowers.   You can make use of the space underneath those crops.  Leaf vegetables such as lettuces will flourish in those conditions and squash can be trained out to sunnier areas to give it the energy it needs.

  1. Vertical Beds

There are many products available that are called Vertical Gardening Systems or vertical beds.   You can buy these or build them yourself. to increase the amount of soil you have available in a given space to plant your crops.
There you have it.  If you’re looking to plant a garden this spring and your still renting that apartment with limited space these tips are sure to help you out.   If you’re looking for more space to plant a garden you might want to consider putting that rent money somewhere useful and check out our selection of Rent-to-Own homes.


FHA Rate Cut Suspension Hurts First Time Homebuyers

On Dec. 27, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that premium rates for mortgage insurance on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration would drop by a quarter of a percentage point.  This change would have brought the rate down to what it was before the housing market crash in 2008.  New home buyers using a government-backed FHA loan and who put down a small down payment would have benefited from this change greatly.  Continue reading


Finding Rent-to-Own Homes in Miami

Miami, FL is a whirlwind of flashing lights and colors with smells and flavors from every corner of the world.  The people here don’t say “I love Miami” when you ask how they feel about this city, they just say “I love you, Miami” because the city is more than just concrete shopping malls and white sandy beaches it has a personality and a soul.   It just might be the most beautiful city in the US.

So why do people love Miami?  Well Miami is certainly well known for its food and you can find it pretty much everywhere. The downtown area alone has roughly 65 restaurants, many of them highly rated on review sites.  But not only is downtown Miami a rich cultural haven of food it is also brimming with entertainment with plenty of things to do and see.

To start off you’ve got the American Airlines Arena in Downtown home to the one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Miami Heat. There’s also venues like the Gusman Theatre & Grand Central.   You’ve also got the beautiful Grand Central Park and all of this within walking distance or close to a metro mover.

Brickell functions as the city’s financial district is home to copious amounts of co-working spaces and starts ups.  The Brickell area has tons of great restaurants & a bunch of laid back bars, you’re also just a hop, skip, and a jump Vizcaya & the Miami Museum of Science.  Brickell is known as Millionaire’s Row and is the main area where celebs build their homes.

There’s also Midtown and Wynwood which are both overflowing with Art & Music. It’s not uncommon to see commissioned artists on the street tagging the sides of buildings and sidewalks.   The world hottest musical gigs pass through here all the time and is constantly buzzing with shows.  Oh in case we forget to mention there’s food.  Lots of good food.

Biscayne Corridor is another great district of the downtown area.   Shops, Gyms, Margaret Pace park, and great Spanish restaurants all among bay view condos. This area is right between downtown and midtown so you get a mix of both.

So we discussed a few areas of Miami and talked about the food, the entertainment and the culture, now let’s talk about the weather.   Miami weather is just unbelievable.   From Fall to Spring you have amazingly comfortable weather.    Yes the summers get hot and humid but you quickly get used to it. Ready to move yet?

Of the major cities in the U.S. Miami is surprisingly affordable. The nonexistent state income tax plays a large role in the affordability of Miami but it’s also the pricing of real estate.  Let’s compare Miami to New York and San Francisco.

San Francisco
Median Income                $       64,000
Median Home Price        $ 1,115,000

New York
Median Income                $       56,000
Median Home Price        $     670,000(1.4 Million in Manhattan)

Median Income                $       46,000
Median Home Price        $     278,000

As you can see from these numbers, Miami is surprisingly affordable considering its size and location.  so come by our rent-to-own listings in Miami and take a look at the available homes.


Clauses you need in a lease agreement

37% of US household are renters. That’s nearly 44 million lease agreements signed.  With the current rental crisis and the low inventory of available rentals, there are some landlords who may be looking to take advantage of those desperately trying to find a rental home.  Common issues we’ve seen are landlords that overcharge tenants, or landlords who include clauses in the agreement that might be detrimental to a renter. Continue reading

RTO programs (3)

What are Rent-to-Own Programs?

When you hear the term “rent-to-own” you probably think of furniture or electronics but in some cases it refers to home ownership.   Rent-to-Own homes are types of arrangements that can be incredibly lucrative in the right circumstances.    But first let’s talk about a typical rent-to-own program.

In a typical rent-to-own program a tenant will rent a home for a certain number of years, usually 3-5, and then when the rental time expires the tenant has the option to purchase the home they’ve been renting.    The tenants usually have to purchase this option to buy the home which is referred to as a Lease Option Agreement.  The purchase price of the option is normally set at 3% of the home price. This 3% can be looked at like a down payment as the option fee is also applied to the purchase of the home. Continue reading