CoreLogic Chief Economist Perspective- July 2015

A vibrant rental market has been an outgrowth of the Great Recession and housing market crash. Apartment vacancy rates are down to their lowest levels since the 1980’s, rental apartment construction is the most robust in more than 25 years, rents are up, and apartment building values are at or above their prior peaks. But the rental market is more than just apartments in high-rise buildings.

Apartments in buildings with five or more residences account for 42 percent of the U.S. rental stock. Additionally, two- to four-family housing units comprise an additional 18 percent of the rental stock, and one-family homes make up the remaining 40 percent.1

The foreclosure crisis resulted in a large number of homes being acquired by investors and turned into rentals. Between 2006 and 2013, three million single-family detached houses were added to the nation’s rental stock, an increase of 32 percent. The increase in the single-family rental stock has been geographically broad based, but has impacted some markets more than others.

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4 Tip for New Houston Texas Real Estate Investors

Houston Home For Rent

By Vestpro Residential Services

Are you thinking about investing in Houston Texas Real Estate?

Now is a great time to invest in Houston Real Estate thanks to high demand for homes and excellent mortgage interest rates.

Before you start searching for rental properties make sure you follow these 4 tips for new Houston Texas Real Estate investors because, these tips can save you the time, money and traditional learning curve which every investor has to go through when they are just getting started with buying Real Estate.

#1 – Write a Business Plan

As with any business you may have started in the past it’s important to remember that investing in Real Estate is a business and you must have a plan for the 1 to 5 years of your business.

#2 – Pull Your Credit Report

Before applying for a loan to buy your first rental property you should pull your credit report and make sure that you have credit score of 700 or higher because, a high credit score will enable you to get the best mortgage loan possible.

#3 – Pay down Your Debt-To-Income Ratio

One of the biggest things which will make your life easier when getting started with Houston Real Estate investing is paying down your debt-to-income ratio and you will be able to do this by paying off your credit cards, auto loan and other debts.

A lower debt-to-income ratio will not only mean you will have fewer debts to pay each month but this will also make it easier for you to qualify for a great mortgage loan as well.

#4 – Connect With a Great Mortgage Lender or Broker

Another important element to buying a great rental property is hiring the right mortgage lender or broker.

You want to get the best mortgage interest rate possible and connecting with multiple brokers or lenders is a great way to get an awesome mortgage interest rate.

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To get started with buying Houston Real Estate contact us today by calling (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

How to Find A-Rated Tenants for Your Houston Texas Rental Properties

Houston Texas Rental Properties

By Vetpro Residential Services

HOUSTON – One of the “secrets to success” with owning Houston Rental Properties is finding A-Rated tenants, or the perfect renter for your rental property.

In this article we will share with you simple tips you can use to easily find A-Rated tenants for your Houston Texas Rental Properties.

Go Through These Tenant Checks

When renting one of your Houston Texas Rental Properties to your tenants make sure you take the time to do the following checks with your prospective tenants:

  • Background check – Look deep into their background and confirm that the tenant doesn’t have any felonies.
  • Reference check – Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions about the prospective tenant’s behavior or habits including drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
  • Credit check – They should have a FICO score of at least 685 and or a credit score of 700.
  • Work reference check – Confirm that they really are working at the reference on their application.
  • Income qualification – Make sure they earn 2.5 times the rent.

Failing to do one or all of these checks can easily cost you money because it’s easy to “go with your gut feeling” about a prospective tenant when they might have something to hide and write wrong information on their rental application.

Market Your Property in the Right Venues

When marketing your Houston Texas Rental Properties make sure you market your properties online in the following venues which include:

Rentals.com

Zillow or Trulia

Realrentals.com

AHRN.com – Use for finding military families.

Har.com

Hotpads.com

Save Time and Money Marketing Your Houston Rental Properties

For more information on how to find A-Rated Tenants, or to market your Houston Rental Properties, contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling (832) 498-0016.

Should You Allow Smoking In Your Houston Texas Rental Properties?

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By VestPro Residential Services, LLC

You’ve worked hard to build your Portfolio of Houston Texas Rental Properties over the years but one of the biggest problems you could be facing in your rentals is smoking from tenants.

Why Smoking Will Be Bad For Your Rental Property

Although smoking is frowned on by the medical establishment, and the media, the reality is that smoking is still a problem, especially if tenants are smoking in your Houston Texas Rental Properties.

Smoking causes the following damage in a home:

Ventilation System – Since cigarette smoke also has moisture, cigarette smoke bonds itself to the air ducts and ventilation system in any home or space where someone is smoking.

Walls – Thanks to the tar and nicotine in cigarettes, smoke from cigarettes will also bond itself into flooring, walls and the furniture of your home.

Electronics – Cigarette smoke can also ruin electronic components over time, especially the systems which you may use to monitor the temperature or secure your home.

Habitability – Cigarette smokers will also affect the habitability of your rental properties, especially if you own multi-family units because, renters who don’t smoke cigarettes almost always do not want to live near other smokers.

Time for a No Smoking Policy

One of the best ways to insure that your Houston Texas Rental Properties stay smoke free is to create a no smoking policy for your properties.

Since the City of Houston already has a no smoking ordinance in place it pays to create a no smoking policy in place to protect the long term habitability of your rental properties.

Rent Your Houston Texas Rental Properties

For more information on how to efficiently manage your Houston Texas Rental Properties contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us through our website.

Houston Texas Rental Property – How to Know If Your Property Has A Mold Problem

Houston Texas Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

One of the biggest problems from the recent rainfall across Houston and subsequent flooding is that there will be an increase in the reports of mold growth.

If you think your Houston Texas Rental Property may have a problem with mold right now, or in the coming weeks, here’s how to spot the signs of mold growth and what you can do about it.

Mold Warning Signs

Mold does have a strange “pungent” smell especially when it’s confined to one or more areas of your home.

Mold typically lives inside walls of older properties or behind wallpaper but it can also grow within showers bathtubs or behind the toilet in the bathroom of your Houston Texas Rental Property.

A general “rule of thumb” is to search for mold in any area which might be prone to moisture in your Houston Texas Rental Property.

How to Clean Mold

If you have found mold in your Houston Texas Rental Property you can easily clean away surface mold yourself simply by using bleach to surface clean the area.

Make sure you let the bleach set for at least 15 minutes because this kill off any spores or fungicides yourself.

It’s also important to use a breathing mask and plus latex gloves when cleaning mold.

You should also use a dehumidifier to remove the humidity from the air as well but do not use a fan because fans will only spread mold spores.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

For more information on how to deal with mold, or to get Houston Texas Property Management, contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE.

Humble Texas Rental Property – Three Steps for Turning around a Problem Property

Humble Texas Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

You’ve owned Humble Texas Rental Property for a while and are building a nice portfolio of rental properties but there’s a problem, one of your properties is getting harder to rent than others and has a high vacancy rate.

Although it might seem like you have a “problem property” on your hands, the reality is that you can turn around any Humble Texas Rental Property by following these simple tips.

Tip 1 – Check the Property for Needed Repairs

Does the property need repairs inside or outside?

Start with improving the curb appeal of your Humble Texas Rental Property then move to the inside of the home and focus on improving areas of your rental property like: flooring, cabinetry and lighting.

It may be that your rental property needs a good renovation and can be improved in one weekend by painting, refinishing the cabinetry and replacing old tile or vinyl flooring to update its look.

Tip 2 – Review Your Reputation Online

Another effective solution for dealing with a problem property is to check your reputation online to see exactly what tenants may be saying about you or your rental property.

Tip 3 – Deal with Your Bug Problem NOW

Have your tenants complained about a bug problem at your Humble Texas Rental Property? If so, you should deal with this bug problem today because, bugs can pose a health risk to tenants and a bug problem could also cause a tenant to move because they classify your rental as not being habitable.

Tip 4 – Improve Your Tenant Screening

Last of all, but most important, you should improve your tenant screening process including reviewing a tenants: credit history, work history, background and personal references.

A recent study by TransUnion shows us that residential evictions have reached a 5 year low point and this is thanks in large part to tenants having better control over their finances compared to years ago so there’s no reason to not have financially stable tenants for your rental property.

Get Humble Texas Rental Property Management

For more information on how to turn around your problem property, or to speak with us about or property management services for your Humble Texas Rental Property, contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016.

Do You Respond Early To Your Houston Texas Rental Property Leads?

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By Vestpro Residential Services

HOUSTON – You’ve owned Houston Texas Rental Property for a while now but there’s a problem, with your job, family and other responsibilities it’s getting more difficult for you to rent your properties.

One of the biggest reasons why it could be getting harder for you to rent your Houston Texas Rental Property is because you are not responding to your leads early enough when they express an interest in your rental properties.

In this article we will share with you the reasons why you should be responding early to people who express an interest in your Houston Texas Rental Property and when are the best days / times to connect with leads if you are not able to call people back right away.

Why It Pays To Respond Early To Your Leads

Did you know that a recent Harvard Business Review study found that business owners who respond to their leads early are more likely to have a great conversation with those leads compared to other leads that they may not be able to connect with in 24 hours or longer?

The sooner you respond to interest or requests for information about your Houston Texas Rental Property the better because, you will be able to connect with renters who are interested in your rental before they move onto viewing another rental in Houston.

Best Days and Times to Call You’re Leads

Let’s say that you are not able to call your leads back right away but you are interested in speaking with them about your Houston Rental Property.

You should try calling your leads back on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8:00 am and 9:00 am or between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm because these are traditionally the best days and times to reach people since this is when their schedules are generally beginning or ending for the day.

Save Time and Money with Property Management

To save time and money with renting your Houston Texas Rental Property, contact the property management professionals at Vestpro Residential Services today by CLICKING HERE to schedule a consultation through our website or by calling us at (832) 498-0016.

Have You Lost Control Of Your Houston Texas Rental Property?

Humble Texas Renter

By Vestpro Residential Services

Have you been working harder than ever before to manage your Houston Texas Rental Property and in spite of the demand for rentals, you still find yourself behind financially every month?

If so, this is a sign that you may have lost control of your Houston Texas Rental, but the good news is that you can turn things around financially by following these simple tips.

Create an Operating Budget and Commit To It

Your rental income, especially if you own a multi-family rental property, should always cover your expenses and leave you with profit at the end of the month.

The best way to stay on track financially is to create an operating budget and then stick with that budget each month.

When creating an operating budget you should also be prepared for payments like landlord insurance and property taxes so you’re never left unprepared when it comes to your ability to pay those bills on time when they are due.

Work On Your Leasing Strategy

Create a lease which has stronger language when it comes to late payments just so tenants know that they will receive an eviction notice and not be allowed to “slide” if they miss making their rent payments on time.

You should also improve your tenant screening process and take the time to choose the right tenants instead of “warm bodies” who can pay the rent each month.

Improve Your Marketing Strategy

Instead of hanging fliers in your local laundry mat, or posting ads on Craigslist, you should create a new marketing strategy which includes options like paid ads on websites like Zillow and local classified ad sites which are sure to be read by prospective tenants.

Let Us Help You Get Your Houston Texas Rental Property on Track

To save time, money and the hassle of managing your Houston Texas Rental Property yourself contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE.

Humble Texas Rental Property – 3 Reasons Why You Want To Have Landlord Insurance

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By Vestpro Residential Services

If you’re just getting started with owning your first Humble Texas Rental Property one of the most important things you should do to protect your best interests is have landlord insurance.

Also known as rental property insurance, landlord insurance will be your first line of defense should a disaster like a flood or tornado occur which severely damages your property.

Own Rental Property With Confidence

Besides protecting your rental property from the effects of disaster, you will also be able to own a Humble Texas Rental Property with confidence in knowing that should your HVAC, heating, air conditioning or ventilation system need to be replaced you may not have to cover that cost.

How Much Property Insurance Coverage Do You Need?

When calculating how much property insurance coverage you will need, your carrier will use the Marshall & Swift / Boeckh calculation to determine the right coverage for you since this calculation also takes into account the square footage, elevator, boiler and any unique features your rental property may have.

What Exactly Does Landlord Insurance Cover?

Landlord insurance covers the “brick and mortar” (building) and the internal systems like the HVAC, but what’s also not commonly known is that landlord insurance will also cover trees and some furnishings inside the property as well.

Get Professional Property Management Services

As with landlord insurance, it’s also important for you to have professional property management for your Humble Texas Rental Property since a property manager will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your property yourself.

To learn more about the experienced property management team we can offer you contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

Learn More about How the Snowball Effect Can Help You Buy More Houston Texas Rental Property

Houston Texas Rental Property

By Vestrpro Residential Services, LLC

If you’re thinking about getting started with buying Houston Texas Rental Property one of the best things you can do is use the “snowball affect” to help you buy more real estate and build a successful portfolio of income producing rental property in the years to come.

Snowball Effect Explained

The “snowball” affect was coined by Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett in his 2008 book called The Snowball which is about his life and investments which enabled him to build a network of well over $72 billion dollars.

Snowball basically refers to the principal of buying and holding onto your investment over time and then using your return on investment to invest more money to build your portfolio.

Snowball Effect in Real Estate Investing

Let’s say that you’re able to buy two Houston Texas Rental Properties and after expenses both properties will net you about $500 each per month, or an additional $12,000 of cash flow per year.

Now instead of spending that cash flow from your investments like most people will do you should consider saving the cash flow from your rental properties and within two years you will have enough money saved to put down on another Houston Texas Rental Property.

How the Snowball Effect Benefits You

One of the great things about the snowball effect is that if you follow this approach you would be able to buy a new rental property once a year, instead every two years, grow your portfolio, and have significant amount of cash flow coming in by the time you approach retirement.

Buy Houston Texas Rental Property

For more tips on buying Houston Texas Rental Property, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by clicking here or calling us at (832) 498-0016.