Category Archives: Real Estate

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How To Pick The Suitable House Buying Company

Even though you may deem your house as part of your loved investment, cases may arise where you may consider disposing it. One of the factors that can lead you to take that step is financial crisis in your life that you do not have a solution in sight. In this respect, the option that you have is to seek the services of the right house buying firm. Considering that the business is populated with a high number of these service provider means that selecting the proper one can be a tough call. This post is geared towards highlighting the vital steps that you need to follow to ensure that the choice that you reach is satisfactory.

It is important to take into consider how long the house buying real estate professional has been in the business as it will inform the kind of decision that you are going to reach at eventually. The reason why this is critical is explained by the fact that you will be sure that the service provider comes with a wealth of competence and experience that will ensure that they will offer you solutions that are unparalleled. The internet is a good place to find the guidance that will assist you pick the ideal house buying firm. You can rely on the testimonies of the people that have dealt with them previously to establish if you have chosen wisely.

You will have made the right decision by going for the house buying firm that has its operations base in your local region. Why this is important is due to the fact that you will have the surety that this service provider has a proper understanding of the local housing landscape. The implication of this is that finding the buyers for the property that they have listed for sale will be a simple process. Additionally, you will feel more at ease dealing with the house buying firm that is a familiar figure to the people in that area.

You must make sure that you are choosing the services of the properly registered and licensed house buying company like the Crowne Properties Inc. On the other hand, you need to see to it that the service provider is a member of the professional organization that are tasked with the mandate of regulating the operations of the players in the industry. The house buying real estate professional must be held in high esteem in the business alongside a positive rating with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure that you have undertaken a professional valuation of the house so that you can establish how much it is worth in the market.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Web Design Company for Your Real Estate Company

Are you looking for a web design company for your real estate website? It is essential to make some considerations for you to choose the best web design company. Creating the best website will help in the real estate marketing. Also, through the website that will be created by the web design company, you can do real estate coaching and put up real estate quotes. You can also get a chance to connect with real estate speakers who will help you to become better in your real estate business. One thing you can decide is to do is to choose a good web design company such as the Showcase IDX that helps in marketing for real estate agents. Some of the factors you ought to consider when choosing a web design company is the cost of the services provided and the credentials. The following are ideal guidelines to choosing the best web design company.

The first consideration to make is the experience of the web design company. Ensuring that the web design company you choose has been in the business for a long period is essential. You should also ensure that they have a well-trained staff. This will, therefore, help you to get value for your money. Check the portfolio of the web design company to know more about the experience. However, do not evaluate the level of expertise solely over the years.

You should also read reviews. The reviews will help you to find out if the web design company provides expert services. the cost of the services provided by the web design company is another thing you will get to know. The reviews will also help you to know if the web design company is accredited by the necessary bodies. Another thing you will get to know is the experience levels of the web design companymarketing for real estate agents. On the website of the web design company you will get legit reviewsmarketing for real estate agents.

Another consideration you need to make is the rates charged by the Web design company. You should ensure that you choose a Web design company that charges affordable ratesrealtor websites. It is important to make sure that you look at the packages offered and select the one you can afford and one that fits your preferences. Another thing you can do is to budget to know the amount you can set aside to pay for the Web design services. Another thing you can do is to compare the rates charged by different Web design companies. Doing this can help you to find a Web design company that charges rates you can comfortably afford.

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How are Home Builders Beneficial?

It is not an easy thing to build a house of your own. Planning and budget are some of the factors that need to be considered in building your own house. Owning a place that you can call home depends on the planning and your budget. This is where Home Builders in Athens come in because they are able to help you making home plans and house designs to match your exact preferences. Architects work with Home Builders in Athens and give their home design services as well as their building proficiency.

Several considerations should be included in your search for your home builder. These factors will lead you for a better and less bothering understanding of coming up with your own house. The first thing is to plan their allotted budget for the house. The cost of how much it will be should first be estimated. There are chances that you will require a loan for construction and mortgage.

These home builders in Athens al can assist you with the costs as they are aware of the best and right materials and know the places to get these items at affordable prices and their use. The purpose of home plans is to guide you with the design of the complete house. Planning a space, budget setting and construction schedule are some of the reasons why you need a home plan. Home plans need the proficiency of an architect and a home builder. So you decide to solidify the design of your home.

To know how your house will look like on completion can be foreseen by Athens home builders. The specifications of a home that is custom-designed will be done exclusively for the owners of the home. It is therefore not advised to hire part-time constructors as they are not trusted and do not have an experience rather go for home builders that are professionals.

If you want to do your due diligence of a home builder that you go for, you can find out the years they have been in construction business and the number of jobs they have carried out. The internet can be a good source where you can read reviews and testimonials for the best home builder. Home Builders in Athens provide more features that can included in the house plan and also provide warranty and after sales service if something is not right.

Building your own home is nice feeling no wonder home builders are very vital to bring their wish to have their dream home into a reality. The market has several of them who can offer the needed services. New Homes for Sale Athens today have been designed by home builders to enable the disability to live in further they give them advice on where to get loans.

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How A Newcomer Can Be Successful In The Market

Every time you will try to launch a new product or open a business in a new market, there are a lot of challenges and risks that you need to face. It is even more difficult if the market already has competitors that are mature and developed. But there are still people that are doing it with different degrees of success. You need to read more now in this website for you to know more about how the newcomers in the market can change the industry.

You should know that big companies have set features and product offerings. A newcomer in the market can become a big company if it will be successful. But it is important in the start to keep it simple even if there is enough pressure to add new products and features.

The newcomers must not spread features and capabilities by competing on all levels, they need to use their specific offerings and focus on making them the best niche available. You should consider reading this homepage to discover more about this, click here for more now.

It is important for you to know that if the newcomer wants to succeed in the market, then it needs to bring a big and game-changing product or service. You need to bring a game changer and not just show up in a matured market and bring the same old thing. It is important for you to know completely know the feature set and to prepare on being everywhere. You should read more in order to discover more about this product, check it out!

You need to consider making friends in every place.

It is important for you to make a lot of connections as much as possible in order for you to be everywhere. You should reach out to brand ambassadors, integrated vendors and products, bloggers, and journalists as well.

You need to be real with your reach, if you have this company, then you should not go after the biggest charity in the city since their sponsors are most likely large corporations that are paying larger sums. You should team up with a non-profit organization with the same size that will be grateful for any support and will work in order to grow together.

A newcomer should try to compete anywhere they can.

It will be hard for a newcomer to compete with other mature companies in the industry unless it is a big company that wants to enter a new market. A newcomer will be able to compete on the price if they have smaller profit margins or if their overhead is less. Even if the newcomer can’t compete on the price, they can still provide a quality that is ten times better. You might also provide a better customer service than the other companies, whatever it is, you need to make sure that you can compete and continue to do it every day.

The 2 Simplest Ways to Maintain Your Parkade Properly

The 2 simplest ways to best maintain your Parkade.

How condo boards can maximize their investment now and for years to come.

Recent information on maintenance shows that a condo board can plan to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 per parking stall to keep its parkade in good repair and to budget for upkeep of the moisture protection systems. So, if a building had 150 stalls, it breaks down to an average of $25 per stall, or $15 to $75 thousand dollars.

What are the best ways for a condo board corporation to use this money effectively?

By focusing on the reserve fund and operating budget, here are some guidelines to make sure that the parkade is maintained properly.

Before we start let’s get down to basics.

Most parkades today are equipped with reinforced concrete. These are durable because of waterproof membranes that protect against water and salts, which both can destroy the concrete surface. This happens when water and salts mix together and contact metals and steels which create iron oxide or rust. The rust expands and creates pressure on the surrounding concrete. These metals are found in rebar- which creates strength on the concrete floors. The rusting process reduces the strength of the concrete, and can severely affect its ability to handle weight in the parking areas. Eventually, the structure’s integrity can be comprised, in some cases, it could even collapse completely!

So the aim of maintaining parkades properly is to make sure that the salts and dangerous pollutants are removed on a regular basis.

Here are the 2 simplest ways to maintain your Parkade and help reduce the damage to the parking garage structure.

1) The most cost-effective plan is to have your parkades power swept, pressure washed, and power scrubbed, at least twice a year. This will combat against the harmful influences of rusts, dirt and dangerous debris.

2) Have a regular program for flushing and cleaning floor drains and drain pipes in the garage every 6 months. A good time to do this is as the parkade is being swept and scrubbed. This allows the salts and dirt waters in the parkade to flush down these pipes safely. This reduces the contamination of salts and debris on the concrete surface.

It is a lot easier to make sure the membrane and concrete are properly cared for with regular maintenance than to overspend on replacement costs of the overall structure. A little maintenance goes a long way when it comes to important structures like your parkade.

5 Things to Do Before Renting Out Your House

Renting your property may seem like an easy way to increase your passive income, but upon starting the process, you may find it to be more complicated than expected. Your house may sit on the market for months without a rental applicant because it is priced above the fair market rent. A bad tenant may be late or outright refuse to pay rent; they have the potential do thousands of dollars in property damage and may ignore your attempts to evict them from the property until authorities are involved.

So how can you avoid the headache of these common difficulties associated with renting a property? Here are five things to do before renting out your house to reduce the risk and stress of being a new landlord.

1. Take Photographs of the Property

Photographs of the property are necessary for several reasons. They are an important part of online advertising – otherwise favorable rental listings without pictures of the property are often passed over by potential tenants because they do not want to have to wait for a house tour to find out that the property does not have a layout or design that suits them. These photographs will also be helpful when your future tenants are moving out, as you can use them to measure any property damage that occurred during the rental period.

2. Assess Fair Market Rent

While it may be tempting to charge higher rent to make money back on recent renovations you may have done or moving costs from when you left the property yourself, the best thing to do is conduct market research: check with rental websites, newspapers, local landlords, realtors, and property management companies to determine the amount that properties of similar location, size and condition are renting for.

3. Create a Concise, Effective Rental Application

An effective rental application will not intimidate potential renters with its length, but will be comprehensive enough that it can be used for tenant screening purposes. Any additional information that you need from the tenant should they pass screening can be included in the lease documents. A good application will have spaces for the following items:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Phone Number
  • Current/Previous Addresses (last 7 years, including landlord name(s) and contact information)
  • Current Employer (name, address, hire date, income, contact information)
  • Authorization to Obtain Consumer Report Statement
  • Tenant Signature

4. Consider Using a Property Manager

Property managers will typically charge a percentage of the monthly rent for their services, but in exchange, they will take care of things such as finding new tenants, creating/signing the leases, collecting the rent, and issuing legal notices (including evictions). Hiring a property manager cuts down on the profit you will make from your tenants’ rent payments, so you should carefully consider the cost-benefit of these services.

5. Find Good Tenants

Finding a decent tenant is easier said than done – many applicants can be friendly, polite, and will seem to be a good fit, but will create a flood of problems for you. The best way to improve the quality of tenants that you are leasing to is to conduct tenant background checks – that is, choosing tenants based on measurable fiscal and rental responsibility. Most landlords will charge rental applicants an application fee to cover the cost of tenant screening.

Is Owning Rental Property, For You?

For some individuals, owning, and operating, rental, real estate properties, is a great idea, while, for others, this might not be the case! The difference, not only applies, to the specific property, but, also, each individual’s personality, attitude, and personal, specific strengths and weaknesses. Some factors include, of, course, financial ones, including the necessary reserves, needed, for purchasing a property, starting with the down – payment, closing costs, reserves for repairs, upgrades, renovations, and contingencies. In addition, some individuals are better – suited, for, owning rental property, than others, because some, do not want, the stresses, and tensions, involved, in this type of commitment. With this in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, review, and discuss, a few of the key factors and considerations, one should thoroughly explore, in – depth, prior to taking the leap.

1. Personal financials: Do you have the necessary funds, and will you qualify, for whatever financing, might be required? Obtaining a mortgage on a non – owner – occupied property, is significantly different from the process, regarding, one for a personal home. In most cases, a larger down – payment is required (often 25% – down, instead of 20%). In addition, the requirements differ, because not only, must you clearly demonstrate, the same things, you do, for a personal loan, you must also demonstrate, the property is viable, from a financial standpoint, and the rents, will handle the cash flow. It’s important, to have, several reserves, including: a) repairs; b) renovations; c) upgrades; unanticipated contingencies, etc.

2. Property financial issues: I am a believer in the 6% – rule, which means, the net return, should be 6%. For example, one factor is the cash flow, while the other is the overall rate of return, or return – on – investment/ ROI. Therefore, if you purchase a $500,000 property, put $125, 000 down, and have a $375, 000 mortgage loan, and the rate is 5%, your principal and interest, on a 30 – year, fixed – rate vehicle, will be approximately $2,000 per month. If the real estate taxes, and other escrow items, including insurance, etc, are, for example, $12, 000 per year, or $1, 000 per month, your total, out – of – pocket, each month, is approximately, $3, 000. If you estimate, upgrades, repairs, etc, are another $12, 000 per year ($1, 000/ month), you should use this $4, 000 per month, figure, for your preliminary calculations. In addition, base you revenues, on having each unit, unoccupied/ vacant, 2 months per year, to proceed conservatively. This means, you should collect a rent – roll, total, from all units, of at least, $4250 per month. In addition, you should be ensured, your net income, must generate approximately $32,000 per year.

3. Dealing with maintenance issues: Are you comfortable with these challenges and responsibilities?

4. Dealing with tenants: Are you ready, willing and able, to deal with tenants, and collect rents, enforce leases, meet the needs of a tenant, and the personality issues, involved?

5. Opportunity costs: How does the owning of these properties (remember to factor in appreciation, depreciation – benefits, and net income, compare with how, you might do, with other investment vehicles?

How to Simplify Accounting Statements for Rental Property Owners

It is very important that rental property owners understand the activity in their account each month. This is, after all, their money and they should feel confident that their property management company is portraying to them an accurate and easily read accounting of where their money is coming from and what it is being spent on.

One of the most common reasons I have seen rental owners change Property Managers is due to lack of communication in regards to their financials. If their funds are not being reported to them in a logical fashion, on a consistent basis, it creates a lack of trust with their Property Management Company. This can also lead to the rental property owner feeling that they are being taken advantage of, even to the point of them feeling like they are being robbed!

So, how can this be prevented? We prepare not only monthly financial reports, which rarely make sense to anyone who is not an Accountant, we also take a little extra time to give our reporting a personal touch. This includes providing all the transactions that have taken place in their account each month in a simplified, easy to read and understand Owner Statement Summary Sheet.

It is a great way for the financial team to become familiar with each owner’s properties and cash flow so when you do receive an occasional call you will already have the knowledge of their account.

Here is a list of items that can be extremely helpful to a rental property owner, when viewing their summary sheet:

• A section that includes a total dollar amount of revenue collected that month, broken out between rent, utility reimbursements, late fees, etc.
• A listing of which units have outstanding balances owed at the end of the month.
• A section that includes all expenses for the month. This doesn’t have to be detailed, a simple line marked electric bills, or maintenance costs is sufficient. If they do need more detail of the specific charge and what it entailed, they can reference the financial reports, which will provide this information for them.
• A total amount of owner disbursements that were paid that month.

The summary sheet should always include the beginning balance in the owner’s account, as well as the ending balance. The rest of the information doesn’t do much good if the owner doesn’t know where they stand when the month is over.

4 Easy Ways to Increase Profits and Your Rentals

Cha-Ching! It’s the first week of the month and time to cash these checks. It is not always easy, but I love owning rentals; especially now when rents are through the roof. The challenge now is finding property to buy. If you were lucky enough to pick up a few properties the last few years you are likely doing very well, but maybe you could be doing even better! Here are four ways to do even better on your rental portfolio.

Consider renting extra space separately. There is a tremendous amount of upside in this. Garages immediately come to mind, but I have also rented storage sheds separately and have heard of people renting sections of the lot for horse boarding or additional storage.

I have a property now that I rent the garage out separately. It is a two car garage that I rent for $200 a month. This one strategy increases my revenue by 10% and there is little to no expenses with the garage lease, so it actually increases profits by more than that!

Rent extra items. I have heard of rental property owners renting out items such as TVs, computers, or furniture to increase revenue. I have not done that, but I have rented washer/dryers separately. Washers and dryers tend to break down so I will never include them with my rental units. If I buy a property with a washer/dryer or I get one from a tenant that has moved out, I will typically either offer it to the tenant for free or rent it to them. Obviously, renting the washer and dryer will increase the monthly cash flow, but you will be responsible if something goes wrong. It could increase your headache, but it will also increase your profits. If the tenant does not want to rent them from you, you can offer it to them for free or you will want to remove them. The last thing you want is the responsibility of insuring the washer and dryer works without any income for the additional hassle.

Bill tenants for utilities. For some reason this was a hard one for me to do. I was taught early on that I, as the landlord, should pay for the water. The argument is that water is the one utility provider that can lien your property for nonpayment. Although that is true, it still makes since to have the tenant pay water. The worst case is the tenant does not pay and you have to.

In my market, it is becoming more acceptable to ask the tenant to pay all utilities, so why not give them what they expect? The two benefits are increase in cash flow for you and they will use less. I just spoke to Travis in my office about this. He has a tri-plex that had extremely high water bills. He was having trouble figuring it out and was paying that bill each month as the landlord. This was cutting into his profits by more than $300 a month!! The solution for him was to pay a company $2,500 to put in a system to individually meter each of the 3 units. Within one month, he discovered that one unit was responsible for most of the water usage and discovered that they were growing marijuana. Those tenants were asked to leave and were replaced with a much better tenant saving Travis over $150 a month. His next step will be to start sending invoices to each tenant for their water usage, which will increase his revenue by another $150.

Reduce turnovers. This one might sound obvious but is often overlooked. Turnovers can be very expensive. In fact, it is not uncommon for one turnover to ruin your profits on a unit for two or more years. The cause includes loss rent, marketing for a new tenant, repairs, and more. Reducing turnover can be complicated. Here are just a few ideas to help.

Screen tenants – This is the single best way to keep your turnovers low. It is extremely important to get quality tenants, and the only way to do that is to screen them properly. Obviously credit and criminal checks are essential, but it is also a good idea to interview your prospect about why they are moving and why they want to rent from you, call references, insure they can afford the rent and utility payments, have a stable drama free lifestyle, take care of their stuff (look in their car when you meet them), and have an emergency contact that will help them if they get into financial trouble.

Smaller rent increases – In a hot rental market like we are in, it is challenging to keep up with the pace in which rents are rising. Often times rent in the area is going up faster than I can raise the rent, which is a very positive thing. The reason this occurs for me is that I do not want to increase rent more than a tenant can afford. My experience is that if the tenant cannot afford the rent increase, they will not tell you. They will attempt to make it work and will eventually fall behind, creating a costly turnover. It is much better, in my opinion, to work with your tenant with reasonable increases and keep them happy and paying their rent each month.

Maintenance – I just had my maintenance team go out to a rental to unclog a shower drain. I got a bill for the service for $125. On the invoice it mentioned that he found hair in the drain. Why is it my responsibility to clear a drain that the tenant clogged? Well the answer is… it’s not. My lease states that I am not responsible for any clogged drain, so when I got the invoice I created an invoice that I sent to the tenant with a copy of the lease and a copy of the invoice I received for the maintenance call. I just got the $125 check in the mail today. Now the tenant is conditioned to take better care of the unit because I am not paying for issues they create.

The other thing about maintenance that has worked really well for me is to take care of items that I am responsible for right away. I do not delay at all. When I get a maintenance call, I will get my team on it right away. The tenant will normally hear from the person scheduled to fix the issue the same day. This has really helped me keep tenants. I have had tenants tell me several times how much they appreciate that. It is not uncommon for a tenant to ask me to rent them another place when they decide to move, and it is also not uncommon for me to hear that a tenant stayed longer than they wanted simply because I took care of them.

Is Your House Prepared to Be a Rental?

If you have lived in the house for a while, there may be broken or worn out items that you have overlooked. Safety issues and even legal issues should be resolved before you put your house on the market. It is in your best interest to do some preparation before you post the “for rent” sign.

Repairing structural or system defects should be at the top of the list. Tighten handrails, repair steps, and remove hazards inside and outside the home. Make sure all heating, plumbing and electrical elements are up to code. Elevated decks, railing, flooring and framing should be inspected by a Class A contractor for structural safety. Your goal is to have all systems running smoothly and efficiently.

Pay special attention to regularly used appliances such as refrigerator, stove, microwave, washer, dryer, etc.. These appliances receive heavy use daily and should be in good working order. Bathrooms, toilets, showers and tubs should have a clean appearance and be free of mildew. Replace missing tile grout and re-caulk tub and shower with a fresh bead of caulk. Is your carpet stained or worn? Cleaning the carpet, or if necessary replacing it, will freshen up your home. Make sure there is at least one working smoke detector on each level of the home and replace old batteries with fresh ones.

Make sure the property has a clean and tidy appearance inside and out. Remove all personal items from the interior and exterior of the home and yard. Take cans of old used paint to the dump along with yard waste and other items that are not needed. Clean out the garage and sweep away dirt and cobwebs to make the space fully usable. Improve curb appeal by trimming shrubs and bushes and touching up peeling paint on the house or porch.

When thinking about whether to make an improvement or an upgrade to your potential rental property, consider the competition and the price range of other rental homes in your neighborhood. Think about who your target tenant will be. Your location along with the price will be the deciding factor in who will be interested in your house. Will you attract university students, a family with younger children, or singles? You don’t want to over-improve your home and price yourself out of the rental market in your area.

Lastly who will service and manage your home? Do you plan to manage the property yourself or employ a management company? If you are managing the property yourself, you will be the sole contact for the tenant – collecting rent, performing regular property inspections, routine maintenance, and emergency repairs. Hiring a property management company will relieve you of these responsibilities and partner with you to make your investment profitable.