How to negotiate a rent reduction with home improvements - Chris Bellesini

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  • If you want to save some money on your rent and are a bit handy with a tool or two, this episode is full of practical ideas on how to negotiate a rent reduction with home improvements. Chris Bellesini, Director of Undercover Agent, talks about how he saved $7000 in rent by doing some home improvements on the rental property he and his family were living in.

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    About Chris Bellesini

    Chris is a licensed real estate agent and accountant. He learnt how to deal in property by working for a savvy investor and developer who has bought and sold over 500 homes. He runs a mentoring program for people looking to purchase their next home. If you're looking to sell, Chris researches your area and selects the best agent for you. He can also provide a holistic approach that includes renting to achieve your goals.

    What we discussed in this episode

    00.40: Recap of last week’s episode #1 with Ray Ellis CEO of First National Real Estate on ‘How to apply for a rental property’.

    02.25: Chris Bellesini talks about his accounting background and his passion for real estate and how can we do things better and make it easier for the consumer.

    How can we do things better in real estate to make it easier for the consumer? 

    03:20 – Chris’ mentoring program helps people research, understand if the property has been under or over quoted and how to bid at auctions. Giving people confidence when they’re purchasing their home.

    05:35 – Chris shares about the house in Vermont and the rent reduction he negotiated by offering home improvements.

    07:24 – How Chris made his offer to the agent.

    I made an offer of $50 less a week – from $500 down to $450. I will change this home so it’s liveable for my family to be in. I’m going to paint the walls for you. I’ll remove the bar and I will flatten the back yard. 

    08:10 - Chris saved around $7000 over three years and it only cost him $1000 plus his labour to make the changes.

    I think there’s real potential in there for people who are renting to give value back to the landlord other than with cash. 

    09:50 – Chris increased the value of the house for the landlord by tens of thousands of dollars. Plus the landlord knew there was someone in the house who cared about it. He lived in the home for 5 years and the landlord never increased the rent.

    11:45 – How to negotiate it with the real estate agent and how to provide confidence that you can do the work well. 

    15:05 – Benefits for first home buyers who are renting while they’re saving for a home.

    17:20 – How to negotiate a long-term lease.

    19:15 – Making sure that the house is purely an investment property means its intention is to be rented. It will give you a better chance of being able to live there longer. Do your research before you sign a lease.

    Renting is about a lifestyle choice. The old saying that ‘Rent money is dead money’ I disagree with it. You can often save money by renting as it’s twice as expensive to pay off a mortgage than it is to rent. 

    28:35 – Ludwina shares a scenario of how she could apply for a rent reduction on her rental by doing some landscaping. Chris goes through how he would do the proposal step by step.

    Is this investment in this garden via my tenant going to add value to my property and if the answer is yes, then you’re on a winner.

    32:19 – Next weeks guest is Christopher Zinn, a consumer campaigner for Life Sherpa, Australia’s first online financial provider. Christopher talks about how renting can have some good financial benefits.

    Chris Bellesini & Undercover Agent

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