Tips for Getting Your Rental Property Ready for Fall Weather

Fall 2017 is officially here and with it comes a change in weather! If your rental property isn’t ready for the change in weather it could be left unprotected. Thankfully, you can get ready for fall weather simply by following the tips in this article.

Do end-of-season yard maintenance.This doesn’t just include raking the leaves (although that’s important, too!). It also means trimming the hedges, fertilizing the grass, trimming unwieldy branches, and removing any weeds or roots that may impact siding, patios, and walkways.

Pack up and store outdoor items.It may seem a little premature to do now–but if the recent spate of hurricanes is any indication of what the rest of this season will look like, it’s a good idea to start now. Clean, pack up, and store outdoor furniture, grills, and other items that could be damaged by late fall or winter weather. If your property is located in a hurricane-prone area, be sure to tie down any large items that could wash or blow away.

Drain water lines.If your property is located in a cold-weather climate, now is a good time to turn off the water leading to outdoor spigots. Turn off sprinkler systems and drain outdoor hoses to prevent water from freezing and bursting the lines.

Clear debris from gutters.One of the best things about fall is watching leaves transform into beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow. But it only lasts for so long–and then those leaves fall, clogging gutters in the process. Be sure to clear all debris from rain gutters to prevent water from pooling–or worse, causing roof damage.

Inspect the roof.Climbing up a ladder and getting onto the roof is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to ensure that the roof is in good condition when you’re heading into the winter months. Loose or missing shingles are easier to replace during the fall. Otherwise, you could face costly roof repairs caused by hail, sleet, and snow.

Seal windows and install storm doors.Aging seams and weather stripping around windows and doors often lets cold air in and warm air out. This drives up heating costs, which can add up for landlords and HOAs that pay for heat as part of their fees. Seal drafty windows and doors with caulk, install new windows if necessary, and swap out screens with storm doors and windows.

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What are the main reasons you should invest in Houston Real Estate?

Have you been thinking about investing in Houston Real Estate but you’re not sure if now is the right time for you to invest or not?

Now is a great time to invest in Real Estate especially for these reasons:

Reason #1 – Demand

Thanks to a recent study by the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies and their 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing Report we know that demand has been one of the primary factors which has been driving the Real Estate market during 2015.

There’s been huge demand for rental properties and an even bigger demand for homes for sale thanks to historically low mortgage interest rates which has brought out the first time home buyer, and casual investor, in search of Houston Texas Real Estate and homes nationwide.

Reason #2 – Mortgage Interest Rates Will Increase

Many economists predict that Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will be increasing mortgage interest rates gradually in the coming months and these increases can mean the difference between paying less money now for a mortgage payment, or more if you buy a home in the future.

Reason #3 – Home Ownership Has Dropped While Renting Has Increased

Last of all, but most important, you should invest in Houston Texas Real Estate is because of the fact that renting has increased across the United States while the actual homeownership rate has decreased.

With a greater demand for rentals nationwide especially among Millennials and Baby Boomers it makes sense to invest in Real Estate because that demand isn’t expected to change in the coming years.

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To get started with investing in Houston Real Estate contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

Houston Real Estate

Houston Texas Rental Market – Reasons to Have Renters Insurance

By Vestpro Residential Services

HOUSTON, TX. – Do you own rentals on the Houston Texas Rental Market? If so, there’s no denying that Hurricane Harvey was one of the worst natural disasters that we’ve ever seen and a prime example of why your tenants should have renter’s insurance.

How Should Houston Renters Get Started With Renters Insurance?

Thankfully it’s very easy to get started with renter’s insurance thanks to the Internet, any Houston renter can search online and get quotes for a renter’s insurance policy in as little as 10 minutes.

A typical renter’s insurance policy will cost a renter about $30 per month and the average deductible will be about $500.

Property owners in Houston should require their tenants to have renter’s insurance because, not only does the renters insurance policy protect the tenant if their personal belongings are damaged or destroyed due to fire or some other act of God, the renter’s insurance policy also acts as a liability policy by protecting the tenant if one of their guests is injured and needs medical attention while they are in the tenant’s rental property.

Besides covering the medical costs and expenses, the renter’s insurance policy will also cover the tenant’s legal costs as well.

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For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Houston Texas Rental Market

Emergency Numbers For Houston Texas

By Vestpro Residential Services

There’s no doubt Hurricane Harvey will continue to dominate the new for the coming weeks, especially this week since flood waters are not expected to go away any time soon because Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit the Houston area again by Thursday.

The floods in Houston have put a strain on emergency services phone numbers.

**Call 911 in the event of a life-threatening emergency.**

Do not use 911 to check on the status of the weather, flooded roads, power outages, or anything that is not an emergency. These calls delay help to people in true emergencies.

The United States Coast Guard posted additional phone numbers that were set up for people who are in danger and need rescued.

281-464-4851

281-464-4852

281-464-4853

281-464-4854

281-464-4855

Residents can also call 311 or Houston Police’s non-emergency phone number at 713-884-3131.

713-207-2222 to report downed power lines to CenterPoint Energy

They urge people not to rely on social media to report that they need to be rescued. Rescues need to be coordinated by trained officials. There is very little your local TV station can do.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management in the Houston TX area contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Simple Tips For Keeping More Renters

There’s no doubt that owning rental properties is a great way to generate long term cash flow and wealth but the reality is that if you’re consistently losing renters every year, instead of having long term renters, you may be dealing with more stress and loss of revenue than you should.

In this article we will show you how to finally break the cycle of losing renters every year and keep long term renters in your rental properties.

Tip 1 – Update Your Rentals

Most renters these days want to know that their landlords actually care about them, and are not just renting to get their money.

You can keep your Humble Texas Renters happy by updating your rental units.

Consider painting the inside and outside of your Humble Texas Rental Properties, replacing bathroom and kitchen sinks, improving curb appeal and adding more lighting outside.

Tip 2 – Make It Easier For Tenants to Contact You

Offer your Humble Texas Renters more ways to contact you including by your mobile phone or email.

Most renters won’t be calling, texting or emailing you 24-7, but they will like to have the confidence in knowing they can reach you should they have a question, concern or problem which needs to be resolved.

It’s also important to consider offering your tenants the ability to pay their rents online via your website or a 3rd party payment platform so you can speed up the process of getting paid and won’t have to deal with the age old problem of collecting checks from your tenants.

Tip 3 – Offer Perks For Tenants Who Renew Their Leases

Last of all, you should consider offering perks to tenants who are considering renewing their leases.

Some perks to consider offering are: 3-6 month gym memberships, restaurant gift cards, basic satellite TV or Wi-Fi for 6 months or free rent for one month.

At Vestpro we know that sometimes you don’t have the time or energy to focus on keeping your tenants satisfied and that’s where we come in.

With our full suite of rental services we can help you run an efficient property management business.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 972-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Reasons To Hire A Property Management Company

Over time as you own more rental properties in Houston Texas and the surrounding areas you will find that it will become necessary for you to hire a property management company because, a qualified property management company will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rentals yourself so you can focus on growing your portfolio of rental properties.

If you’re not sure that hiring a property management company is the right choice for you to make or not here are reasons to hire a property manager:

Set the Right Correct Rates for Your Rentals

One of the biggest problems many property owners face is setting the incorrect rates for their Income Properties.

We are your biggest asset in this area thanks to our market research, which will guarantee that we rent your properties for the right rates, insuring you have the right balance between stable monthly income and super low vacancy rate.

Collect Your Rent on Time

Another area where we will be an asset to your Income Property portfolio is rent collection.

Over the years we’ve developed the right internal systems which will insure that your rent is collected on time every single month and deposited into your account or mailed to you.

Effective Property Marketing

As you grow your portfolio of properties you will find that one of the most time consuming duties is marketing a home, plex or property when you have a vacancy.

Vestpro has solved this problem for you. Effective property marketing is another of our biggest assets which will save you the time and hassle of property marketing yourself.

Choose the Right Tenants for Your Properties

Last of all, but most important, at Vestpro we will choose the right tenants for your properties by performing the following tasks including: credit check, income verification and reference checks so you don’t have to.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online. 

 

 

How are renters finding your rental property?

How are prospective tenants or renters finding your rental property? Are they searching offline, online or a combination of both?

If prospective tenants and renters are finding your property online that’s awesome but are you getting the most ROI from your online advertising results? Before moving forward with advertising another property online take the time to review your online marketing plan and make sure you’re using the following websites and resources. 

Har.com

Over the last 5 years www.har.com has quickly developed into the best resource for renters to find great homes and properties for rent across the Houston area and it’s also a great website for property owners to get the most qualified rental leads as well.

Zillow

Although it’s a great resource for finding homes for sale in Houston, and across the United States, Zillow is also an excellent tool for searching for rental property as well since Zillow will save your search and email you new listings on a regular basis which will match your search criteria.

Local Connections

When people are not searching for homes, condos or townhomes online, they are searching for rental properties by asking their own personal connections if they know anyone who may know of rental properties available in their target areas.

This tip is also a good reminder of the reason why you should consider asking your current tenants if they know of anyone who may be searching for a rental property since you stand a good chance of renting to someone like your current tenants especially if they have a similar character and attitude.

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For professional property management contact RPM Central Valley today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us through our website.

 

Pool Safety Tips To Start Using Now

The “dog days” of summer are officially here and for the coming months we can expect temperatures in the Houston area to reach the triple digits.

If you own a rental property with a pool or spa area it’s more important than ever for you to be enforcing pool safety rules because not only will this protect your tenants, it will also protect your best interests as well and avoid any accidents, injuries or lawsuits at your swimming pool.

Pool Safety Tips You Should Start Using Now

  1. Install anti-entrapment drain covers. Make sure that your drain covers are compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act of 2007. Virginia was the 6-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker. She was killed in 2003 when the suction from a hot tub drain caused her to drown. The federal law was named in her memory. Between 2012 and 2016, 17 people were trapped by drains, 14 of whom were younger than 15 years old. 2 of those victims drowned, both in residential spas.

  2. Use safety vacuum release systems with pool pumps. If the pump detects a change in vacuum pressure that could be caused by a person’s body, the pump will either shut off, or the system will inject air into the pump. This will free the person from the suction, thereby preventing drowning.

  3. Educate parents on community pool safety tips, including keeping children away from pool drains.

  4. Train staff on first-aid and lifesaving techniques. Have a Red Cross employee train your staff and any interested residents on community pool safety.

  5. Child-proof pool enclosures. Fencing around your pool area should be at least 4 feet high. Check for areas where older children could sneak through. Make sure that gates are self-closing and self-latching, with latches out of reach of very small children.

  6. Post community pool safety rules in a prominent location. In writing these rules, residential managers must balance community pool safety with the danger of discriminatory language. A blanket rule such as “No children under age 13” may not pass legal muster. This is particularly true in California, where we have at least two precedents: Iniestra v. Cliff Warren Investments, Inc. and Llanos v. Estate of Coelho. Both cases found that rules restricting children from using pool facilities without an adult, or keeping them away from adult-only areas, were overly restrictive and constituted prima facie discrimination. For more on this topic, check out our post Watch Your Language: What Can We Learn from Recent HUD Enforcement Actions?

  7. Enforce no-alcohol rules in your pool area. Give your security guards the authority to remove residents or guests who are disregarding community pool safety or abusing pool privileges.

  8. Don’t allow plugged-in devices anywhere near the pool deck or hot tub. You can also disable electrical outlets that are in close proximity.

  9. Prohibit glass containers in the pool area. One shattered glass endangers a lot of bare feet.

  10. Get a staff member certified in pool maintenance. Even if you subcontract pool maintenance out, it’s a good idea to have someone on staff educated in chlorination, sanitation procedures, and what it takes to maintain a busy swimming pool. Here’s a list of certified pool operator training programs from the Center for Disease Control and the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

  11. Check chlorine and pH levels at least twice a day with pool test strips. The Center for Disease Control recommends that you check for free chlorine (2-4 ppm) and bromine (4-6 ppm). The pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.8. This will prevent outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease, which can be caused by pathogens that develop in insufficiently sanitized water, and can spread via water vapor or droplets.

  12. Inspect pool equipment annually, such as pumps, drains, and heaters. Keep a logbook to track inspections.

  13. Inventory lifesaving supplies. Check to make sure that no one has stolen, vandalized, or lost your pool rings and rescue poles.

  14. Consider hiring a lifeguard. Outsourcing this to a lifeguard service may make sense from a liability perspective. Ensure that your vendor is insured and bonded. If your budget is tight, you can potentially hire a pool attendant rather than a trained lifeguard. You can learn about the differences between pool attendants and lifeguards on Guard for Life.

  15. Hire a pool management company. Again, a properly licensed, bonded, and insured pool management company can take the day-to-day load of pool maintenance off of your staff. It also relieves you of the hassle of storing large amounts of HAZMAT materials on-site. Furthermore, since they carry their own errors and omissions insurance as well as general liability coverage, their insurers will absorb any liability that may arise from pool-related incidents. A professional pool maintenance firm will also keep up with community pool safety-related federal, state, and local laws—something that your staff may not have time to do.

  16. Consider installing CCTV cameras to surveil your pool area. These systems are much less expensive than they used to be even a few years ago. They can feed directly to your security shed at night and help you to prevent after-hours incidents and lawsuits.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Other People’s Money – Learn more about how this Real Estate investing principle works

Consider the goal of funding a child’s college education in the future. If “other people’s money” in the form of a scholarship is not a possibility, there still may be another way to use some “other people’s money.”

The Power Of Other People’s Money

A $25,000 investment into a mutual fund paying 5% would earn $1,250 in the first year. Alternatively, the $25,000 as a 20% down payment to purchase a $125,000 rental home appreciating 3% a year would have gone up by $3,750 or three times that of the mutual fund in the first year.

The mutual fund’s growth depends on the value of the money invested. Rental real estate benefits because a 20% down payment controls a much larger asset because you’re using “other people’s money.” Leverage allows the investor to profit not only from the amount of cash invested but from the value of the investment.

How Other People’s Money Pays Off 

With a 20% down payment and current interest rates, a typical rental would have a positive cash flow. In ten years, the equity could be $75,000. On the other hand, the $25,000 initial investment in a mutual fund earning 5% annually would only grow to about $40,000 in the same 10 years. It would require an additional $2,700 each year to reach the same $75,000 value.

Leverage is just one of the many benefits that make rental real estate the IDEAL investment. Whether you are saving for higher education, retirement or wealth accumulation, consider rental real estate. Using single-family homes as investments are attractive because homeowners have a better understanding than many other investments and self-management is a possibility.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

Property Management Tips – How To Keep More Tenants

Searching for property management tips? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article we will offer you several tips that you can use for keeping tenants happy because a happy tenant will be someone who wants to renew their lease each year instead of searching for another rental property.

 

Tip 1 – Update Your Rentals

Most renters these days want to know that their landlords actually care about them, and are not just renting to get their money.

You can keep your Humble Texas Renters happy by updating your rental units.

Consider painting the inside and outside of your Humble Texas Rental Properties, replacing bathroom and kitchen sinks, improving curb appeal and adding more lighting outside.

Tip 2 – Make It Easier For Tenants to Contact You

Offer your Humble Texas Renters more ways to contact you including by your mobile phone or email.

Most renters won’t be calling, texting or emailing you 24-7, but they will like to have the confidence in knowing they can reach you should they have a question, concern or problem which needs to be resolved.

It’s also important to consider offering your tenants the ability to pay their rents online via your website or a 3rd party payment platform so you can speed up the process of getting paid and won’t have to deal with the age old problem of collecting checks from your tenants.

Tip 3 – Offer Perks For Tenants Who Renew Their Leases

Last of all, you should consider offering perks to tenants who are considering renewing their leases.

Some perks to consider offering are: 3-6 month gym memberships, restaurant gift cards, basic satellite TV or Wi-Fi for 6 months or free rent for one month.

Property Management Tips

Get Property Management Tips Here

For more property management tips or for affordable property management for Houston Texas or the surrounding area contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us through our website.