For Rent Houston – How To Modernize Your Landscape

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There’s no denying that renters are just as influenced by curb appeal as home buyers are and if your home or property for rent in Houston doesn’t have a modernized landscape this could be stopping more potential renters from viewing your property.

In this post we will share with you several tips you can use to modernize the landscape at your Houston Texas Rental property:

1. Eliminate structured hedge rows and reduce taller shrubs

Horsetail reeds that are planted in small groups offer a soft, flowing look. The reeds have jointed stems and are deep green, offering an interesting tropical look. They can be used in containers or contained in ponds, and stay green year-round. Also, shorten those six-foot-tall shrubs or remove them in favor of native plants. Get rid of trees that are confining and killing grass underneath.

2. Turn wear-and-tear areas into amenities

Straight concrete sidewalks or bare dirt paths and ugly drainage areas are an opportunity to create an eye-pleasing area in heavily traveled parts of the property. Create natural walking paths using crushed granite or flagstone, and add rock or design fake river beds around drainage areas that hold water.

3. Mulch with permanent materials

Mulching has changed, Lee says. Bark and brightly color mulches are out, and more permanent materials like gravel and crushed granite are favored. Also, dyed mulches that are dark brown or black give a more natural feel to beds and bordered areas. Using permanent materials reduces maintenance and does not require mulching as often.

4. Update types of plant material

Traditional hedge and plant materials should be replaced with native plants, grasses and ground covers to give a softer, calming look. Avoid planting in masses. Instead, space out plantings and create small groups of plant life. Also, leave the hedge clippers in the shed, and avoid making plants square or round. Introduce new plantings and use rock to reduce water requirements.

Lee says there are dozens of options with plants and materials to update landscapes even at the oldest of homes. A landscape consultant can help create a vision that, when implemented, will give the property a feel that it’s up with the times.

Source – Propertyware

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Houston Texas Property Management – Learn More About 2016 Property Management Laws

Houston Texas Property Management

 

2016 is definately proving to be a year of many changes and with the start of the New Year there are some new laws on the books that you should be aware about if you own rental property in the Houston area or elsewhere across Texas.

Senate Bill 1367, authored by State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) and co-sponsored in the House by Representatives Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) and Rene Oliveria (D-Brownsville), makes five key changes to “AN ACT relating to certain obligations of and limitations on landlords,” aka the state’s landlord-tenant law—in an effort to better protect tenants’ rights. Those changes include

The repair provision has been amended to expand the way notices can be delivered, thereby triggering a landlord’s duty to repair. Previously, tenants were required to send either one request for repair by certified mail or two requests by any other method. When the statute was first written, trackable delivery services such as UPS and FedEx didn’t exist as they do today. Now, any trackable form of delivery by the U.S. Postal Service or private delivery service qualifies for the single notification provision.

Advocates of SB 1367 argued that time is critical for tenants dealing with health and/or safety problems, and that the requirement to send two separate notices created an undue lapse of time for those with urgent repair needs.

Landlords must now refund and notify tenants of damages and charges within 30 days if they are going to make a claim against the tenant’s security deposit, even if there is not a refundable deposit. This provision is to protect tenants from landlords who make claims against a tenant, but the tenant never become aware of such claims until finding a claim on their credit report down the road.

Source – Buildium.com 

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For affordable and effective Houston Texas Property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

Simple Ways to Get Your Houston Tennant’s To Renew Their Leases

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By Vestpro Residential Services

Each year one of the most traditional things landlords face is lease renewals because many of their Houston Tenants have signed one year leases that are due for renewal in January or February.

For many landlords lease renewal time can be a headache but for others lease renewals is easy especially if they follow these simple tips.

Tip #1 – Start the Lease Renewal Process Now

If your tenants lease is up by January 29th don’t wait until the end of the month to see if they pan on renewing, start now by calling your tenant and scheduling a meeting with them at your office to renew their lease.

In the future your goal should be to contact your tenants at least 90 days in advance of their lease renewals so that you will have plenty of time to discuss this issue with them and plan for their departure if they don’t plan on continuing to rent from you.

Tip #2 – Renew the Tenants Lease Immediately When They Say Yes

Let’s say that you’ve scheduled a meeting with your Houston Tenant to discuss their lease renewal and they said yes they do plan on renewing their lease with you. In this case you should have a copy of their new lease available so you can have them renew their lease with you at that very moment instead of waiting for them to renew and facing the possibility that they might change their minds.

Tip #3 – Keep Lease Signings EASY

Last of all, but most important, keep lease signings easy for your Houston Tenant by reading the terms and conditions of your lease and confirming that your entire lease is easy to understand because if it’s not easy to read this may delay the lease renewal since the tenant many need to read the terms and conditions then get back with you.

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Save time and money with managing your Houston Tenant’s by contacting Vestpro Residential Services today at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

Simple Tips For Improving Your Houston Texas Rental Property

Winter is a great time to do improve your Houston Texas Rental Property especially if you’re between renters now and want to rent your property for more money.

In this video you will learn simple DIY projects that you can do yourself without having to spend a lot of money.

About DIY Projects

Do it yourself, also known as DIY, is the method of building, modifying, or repairing something without the direct aid of experts or professionals. Academic research describes DIY as behaviors where “individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and component parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment (e.g. landscaping)”. DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations previously categorized as marketplace motivations (economic benefits, lack of product availability, lack of product quality, need for customization), and identity enhancement (craftsmanship, empowerment, community seeking, uniqueness).

Source – Wikipedia 

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For affordable and effective Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residetial Services today by connecting with us through our website or calling (832) 498-0016.

Should You Require Your Houston Renters To Have Renters Insurance?

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Houston Renters

By Vestpro Residential Services

One of the biggest questions that many property owners have is if they should require their Houston renters to have renters insurance. An answer to this question is yes.

In this post will break down exactly what renters insurance is and how it affects the lives of every renter by being a form of insurance protection that they can rely upon should their personal belongings be damaged or destroyed due to an act of God like a fire, flood or some other type of damage.

How Should Houston Renters Get Started With Renters Insurance?

 Thankfully it’s very easy to get started with renters insurance thanks to the Internet, any Houston renter can search online and get quotes for a renters 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 renters 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 renters 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 tenants rental property.

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

General Renters Insurance Requirements

Many large and medium-sized rental properties include a requirement in their lease that tenants hold renters’ insurance. If the tenant damages the premises, the landlord and other tenants can recover against the perpetrator’s insurance. Renters’ insurance also informs the tenant that the landlord is not responsible for their belongings and that the tenant has coverage for them. But it is important to know what type of damage your insurance covers. Basically, there are three types of coverage available: loss of use, personal property, and personal liability.

Source – Wikipedia

The Asset Your Tenants Need

Another benefit of a typical renter’s insurance policy is that the coverage will also provide financial assistance for the tenant if they are displaced in have to live in a hotel for a time following damage to their rental property.

Get Houston Property Management

To get started with Houston Texas property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

For Rent In Houston – What’s Different about This Housing Market?

For Rent In Houston
For Rent In Houston

By Mike Buish – Vestpro Residential Services

If you own one or more rental properties for Rent in Houston you have most likely noticed that this Real Estate market is different than other Real Estate markets in the past.

What’s different in the Real Estate market now compared to previous markets?

The main thing that’s different about this current Real Estate market compared to others is that that current housing boom is considered to be far less precarious than other markets and recoveries because, after the recent collapse of the housing market in 2006 many mortgage lenders have tightened up their lending requirements and standards so it’s more difficult for people to get a mortgage loan now than before especially if they can’t prove their income and that they have the ability to repay their mortgage loans.

Is Now A Great Time To Buy A Rental Property?

 Yes, now is a great time to buy a Rental Property and list it for Rent In Houston because we still are enjoying the lowest Mortgage Interest Rates that we’ve seen in years and the supply of rentals has still not been able to keep up with demand so now is a great time to buy rental properties and build rental income.

Save Time and Money with Property Management

Once you start adding more rental properties to your portfolio it’s time to save yourself time and money by investing in professional property management service before marketing your property for rent in Houston yourself.

Contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

5 interest rate basics to know in advance of the Fed’s big move

The Federal Reserve could boost interest rates as early as this month, as has been discussed in a gazillion news articles. That move, when it comes, will affect almost everyone, in some way.

But a lot of the reporting and speculation about the Fed’s next move likely has gone over the heads of millions of Americans. If a sizable slice of the country has problems grasping the basics on interest rates — how compounding works, the link between rates and inflation, and so on — they might not understand what the next central bank action could mean.

Various surveys indicate that many Americans continue to struggle with financial literacy topics, including those related to interest rates. This hasn’t stopped millions of people from using credit cards, taking out student loans and buying homes and cars with borrowed money, though it does help to explain why some people face debt problems.

Source – Usatoday

Little movement in the bond market

Mortgage rates have tended to fade big moves in the bond market lately. When rates fall well below 1.9% on the ten-year bond, mortgage rates slightly fall. Similarly, when rates rise to 2.3%, mortgage rates tend to rise slightly.

Mortgage rates have largely ignored the moves in the bond markets lately. Last week, ended December 4, they fell by four basis points while the ten-year bond yield rose from 2.22% to 2.27%. Investors interested in making directional bets on interest rates can look at the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT).

Effect on mortgage REITs

Mortgage bankers such as Nationstar Mortgage (NSM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are looking forward to 2016 at this point. The Mortgage Bankers Association has put out initial estimates for 2016, and it’s predicting improvement in the purchase business, but a continuing fall in the refinance business, as rates rise.

The drop in prepayment speeds would be good news for mortgage REITs such as Annaly Capital Management (NLY) and American Capital Agency (AGNC) as they are highly-leveraged agency REITs with a lot of prepayment exposure. Non-agency REITs such as Redwood Trust (RWT) tend to swap interest rate risk for credit risk.

Investors interested in trading in the mortgage REIT sector through an ETF can look at the iShares Mortgage Real Estate Capped ETF (REM).

Source – marketrealist.com

 

About Vestpro

Started by Mike and Kim Buish, Vestpro Residential Services is a property management company specializing in residential property management in the Houston area and surrounding cities.

Whether you are a property owner or a prospective tenant, Vestpro has the expertise to handle your property management needs.

Call us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online

 

 

How To Get Started With Houston Rental Property

Houston Property Management
Houston Property Management 

Are you thinking about getting started with investing in Houston Rental Property? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post we will provide you with several tips for getting started with investing in rental property so you will start enjoying positive cash flow and enjoy all of the benefits of owning rental property. 

The media and real estate professionals continually report that 2012 is the year to buy real estate. Since home values have dropped considerably, the U.S. median list price has dropped considerably, too. Couple that with interest rates that are the lowest they’ve ever been and it’s a perfect storm of real estate buying opportunity, especially for starting out your career as a landlord.

Here are tips to get started. And, if you start a few years out of college, and amass several properties, you will probably be retiring early.

Go for the long haul — Rarely do people increase their wealth by owning property for short periods of time. Long-term investing in cash flow-producing assets like real estate is the way to go.

Don’t’ give up your day job! – You need a solid job to be able to save money for a down payment and be able to obtain financing to buy properties.

Buy cash flow-positive properties – If you don’t understand why to do this, you might want to skip real estate ownership. See “What is a Good Real Estate Investment” article.

Buy a property that you love! – The more you love the property for all the right investment reasons, the better chances you’ll own it long term.

Skip the prize properties – Prize properties have negative cash flows and are NO prize, it’s the moderately priced properties that are the real prizes.

Buy as a personal residence to change to rental – Buy properties in life that make good rental property investment sense and first live in them as a personal residence. When you buy as owner occupant, you get the best financing and can put down a smaller down payment if you so desire. Plus you learn the property characteristics, issues, and can fix issues so they won’t be issues once you make it a rental. Then, move out after one to three years and into your next personal residence that will become a rental property a few years later. This also ensures you will only buy properties in areas where you are willing to live, and that’s very important to do as a real estate investor.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is! – Real estate is high risk as there are many things that can go very wrong. If it sounds too good to be true, be very careful. Once you take ownership of the property, you have to correct the problems and issues,or live with them.

Fully educate yourself for 3-6 months – Talk to other people who own properties, read books, go to the local real estate investment clubs, etc. The better you educate yourself, the higher the chances you will take the proper steps to reduce your risks and make smart and safe decisions.

Buy properties in good shape – Fixer-uppers are money pits and rarely sell at a large enough discount to compensate for all the work needed. Buy properties that are as close to rental ready as possible. A great move, if possible, is to buy a property with a good tenant already renting the property!

Be conservative on your expectations – Always overestimate the amount it will cost to renovate a property, underestimate the rental income you will earn, and overestimate the expenses you will have to pay. Then, when you blow it out of the water, you’ll have a big smile on your face and be able to gloat to all your friends!

Source – Zillow 

Contact Vestpro Residential Services 

For more information on the on how to get started with owning Houston Rental Property, or to learn more about the property management services we can offer you contact us today by calling (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online. 

3 Reasons to Consider Passive Houston Texas Real Estate Investing

So you’re thinking about getting involved in Houston Texas Real Estate Investing but will your Real Estate investment be a passive investment?

In this post we will share with you 3 tips you can use to insure that your Houston Texas Real Estate investment will be 100% passive so you can continue working in your current job while your rental property makes money for you, even while you sleep.

Passive Tip #1 – Purhase a Property with Existing Tenants

Instead of buying rental property that’s vacant or needs repairs you should search for rental properties with existing tenants because the cash flow for those properties is already established and your money can start working for you 24-7.

If you are short on funds to purcahse a propert consider crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is opening up investing to anyone with a little extra cash these days as regulations change and entrepreneurs take advantage of the expanding marketplace.

Source – abc15.com

Passive Tip #2 – Hire a The Right Property Management Company 

One of the big mistakes most investors make when they are just getting started with buying rental property is thinking they can do everything themselves.

Don’t make this mistake! Hire a property management company in Houston Texas immediately when you buy your first rental property because this will save you the time, money and hassle of having to manage your property yourself and you will have more time to actually grow your portfolio.

As an investor and entrepreneur, you should always be on the lookout for ways outside the obvious to improve your return. When using personal funds to invest, the best way to do it is through a self-directed IRA. A self-directed IRA is the same as the usual IRA, however, it allows alternative investments for your retirement savings. By investing through an IRA, you can avoid using your taxed income. Most banks have this option, so it’s best to speak with a financial advisor before diving in head first with this kind of investment — and remember to leave yourself with something for retirement.

Source – entrepreneur.com 

Passive Tip #3 – Use The Tax Advantages Uncle Sam Offers You

Last of all, but most important, as you are buying Houston Texas Real Estate you should keep in mind that there’s a lot that Uncle Sam can do for you especially if you have an investment that’s equity structured because will be able to keep most of your income and have cash returns which are tax deferred.

As a rental property owner, you are able to deduct nearly all the expenses you’ll pay to manage your property. Everything from the mortgage interest you pay on the loan all the way down to the paper you buy for your printer (if you are using that printer primarily for real estate investing purposes, that is).

Source – Biggerpockets.com 

Get Houston Texas Property Management

To get Houston Texas property management contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by clicking here to connect with us online or calling us at (832) 498-0016.

 

7 Things To Know Before Owning Houston Texas Income Property

HOUSTON – Your friends, family members and co-workers have all been suggesting that you invest in Houston Texas Income property because it’s a great way to build wealth especially in this day and age where there’s a HUGE demand for rental properties in Houston and across the United States.

Although you’re excited about the prospect of investing in Houston Texas Income Property there’s a problem, you don’t know what to expect with being a property owner.

In this post we will share with you 7 things to know before owning Houston Texas Income Property.

Tip #1 – Think About The Marketability Of The Rental Property

Before buying Houston Texas Income Property you should first think about the marketability of the rental property because even though the rental you’re interested is on sale for a great price, if that property is not in a prime location then it’s not going to be in demand.

Here are some questions to ask when buying a rental property:

  • Is it located near the highway?
  • Are there stores, shops and restaurants nearby?
  • How far is the rental from community colleges or major universities?
  • Is the location of the rental in a walkable neighborhood so that a renter can get to and from anywhere on foot if needed?
  • How many recreational amenities or attractions are nearby?

Tip #2 – Make Sure The Rental Property Is Ready To Be Rented

Now that you’ve found a great rental property in Houston the next step is to make sure that it’s actually ready to be rented and won’t require thousands of dollars in maintenance or repairs before you can start advertising it.

Tip #3 – Be Ready For Paying Higher Property Taxes

When buying Houston Texas Rental Property it’s important to remember that you may be required to pay a much higher property tax bill that what you are currently paying right now because you may be benefiting from an exemption on your primary residence and could be in for a shock when you realize that the property tax cap in your rental property could be at least one percentage point higher than what you’re accoustomed to paying right now.

Before buying a rental property in Houston it’s best to consult with an accountant to verify the property tax rate you could expect to pay so you can budget for paying that tax bill and determine the rent you will have to charge so you can turn a profit.

Tip #4 – Yes, There Are Some Bad Tenants Out There

One of the biggest things you have to be ready for when buying Houston Texas Income Property is that there’s going to be a few “bad tenants” that you will encounter but the good news is that by hiring an experienced Houston Texas Property management company like Vestpro Residential Services can save you a lot of time and money of advertising, screening and choosing the most well qualified tenants for your rental properties.

With great property management on your side you can enjoy the benefits of owning rental property while ultimately deciding to grow your portfolio of income properties as you move forward.

Tip #5 – Excellent Tenants Are Literally Worth Their Weight In Gold

Over the years that you own rental property in Houston you’re going to have at least one tenant who will take such great care of your property that you will hate to see them go.

In this situation it’s best to consider offering that tenant incentives to stay like not increasing their rent next year or waving any pet deposit fees so they can have a dog or cat in the rental property.

Tip #6 – Repairs Will Come And It’s Best To Be Ready For Them Now

Another important thing to remember when owning Houston Texas Income Property is that repairs will come and when they do you’re going to be often shocked with the amount you will be required to spend to make those repairs so it’s best to start budgeting for them now so that when the time does come to make repairs on your rental property you will be ready.

Tip #7 – Don’t Be Afraid To Set Rules And Then Stick With Them

Last of all, but most important, don’t be afraid to set rules and then stick with them because you’re going to find that some tenants will not respect you or your rental property unless you lay out the rules and then let that tenant know what the penalties are for breaking them.

For example: some property owners in Houston may be okay with their tenants paying the rent “when they can” and even give their tenants a 10 day window until their rent is actually due. This is always a bad idea because most tenants won’t hesitate to pay their rent by the tenth day of the month, every month, so you should always be strict when it comes to when you want to be paid rent and let tenants know that they will have to pay a late fee if they fail to pay on time.

Get Property Management For Your Houston Texas Income Property

To get property management for your Houston Texas Income Property contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

Should You Accept Cash From Your Houston Texas Renter?

 

So you’re just getting started with owning your first rental property and your Houston Texas Renter wants to pay their rent in cash. This is one of the most common Houston Texas Property Management questions property owners have and for good reasons because although accepting payment in cash may seem easier than other forms of payment it’s not always the best option for the property owner especially for these reasons.

You Won’t Really Know Who You Are Renting To

Although not everyone who refuses to pay via check has something to hide, you will always know who you are renting to when you require your tenants to pay via check, money order or cashier’s check because each form of payment has an actual record associated with it and you can always go back to the institution that issued the check or money order if problems arise with tat payment.

You’re Not Safe Storing Or Carrying Cash Rent Payments 

Another reason to have a no cash policy is because you will ultimately have to take that cash to the bank, or store it in your office temporarily, and there’s always the potential risk of keeping large amounts of cash lying around until you’re able to deposit it.

Cash Isn’t The Easiest Optin For Your Houston Texas Renter 

Last of all, but most important, another reason to not accept cash from your tenants is that those payments will always have to be logged and the tenant who pays in cash will have to receive a receipt.

Accepting cash can open the door to problems for your company because the tenant can always say that they didn’t receive a receipt from you so it’s best to state your preference for checks, cashier checks or money orders in the very beginning rather than accepting cash or make it easier for your tenants to pay their rent by setting up an online payment system so they can pay rent via their smart phones or mobile devices.

Contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

To learn more tips on dealing with Houston Texas Renters or to get more information about the property management services we can offer you contact us today by calling (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.