Should You Make Improvements To Your Houston Rental This Year?

Vestpro Residential - Houston Texas Property Management

Your tenant just moved out of your Houston Rental Property and after doing the usual painting, carpet cleaning and other duties that you would do after a tenant moves out you’re starting to wonder if now would be a good time to do some renovations to your rental property because you would like to rent your property for more money.

In this post we will share with you the top 5 renovations you should consider making to your Houston Rental that will not only increase the value of your property but also enable you to rent it for more money.

Renovation #1 – Improve The Bathrooms

Since we all spend more time in bathrooms then we do in kitchens you should first consider investing some renovation money into the bathrooms in your rental property.

Bathtub – If your Houston Rental Property has an old shower / tub combination consider having that removed and replaced with just a stand alone shower or a soaking “garden tub”.

Sink – Consider replacing the bathroom sink with either a Jack and Jill style sink (depending on bathroom size) or if it’s a smaller bathroom you should think about replacing the old sink with a pedestal sink since these sinks economize for space and look stylish.

Flooring – Remove carpeting from the bathrooms in your rental property and replace with vinyl or slate flooring.

Tile – Although the tile in your bathrooms may still look in good shape the reality is that tile grout does carry bacteria depending on the age of the tile. You should consider having the tile regrouted and repainted or replace with another surface.

Renovation #2 – Make Some Improvements In The Kitchen

Sadly, many people who own rental properties in Houston and across the United States make the mistake of going “overboard” with their kitchen renovations.

To save you money in the ktichen here are some renovations you should consider:

Cabinets – Instead of replacing the kitchen cabinets you should sand them down and resurface or repaint them.

Knobs and Handles – Replace hardware on kitchen drawers and cabinets with new hardware.

Flooring – Save money on the flooring in your kitchen by replacing it with vinyl, slate or bamboo flooring.

Renovation #3 – Improvements For The Bedrooms

Since the bedrooms in most rental properties are “dark and dingy” you should consider adding more lighting in each bedroom like ceiling fans or recessed lights. It’s also a good idea to consider increasing the closet space in bedrooms as since closet space is what most renters will be looking for when they are viewing a rental property.

Renovation #4 – Work On Curb Appeal

Last of all, but most important, another great renovation that you can make to your Houston Texas Rental Property is improving the curb appeal.

Curb appeal is important because it’s what motivates renters to get out of their vehicles to view the inside of your property so if your rental has curb appeal that’s somewhat lacking you should consider making some curb appeal improvements by doing the following:

  • Add sod or grass in the front yard.
  • Paint any fencing that you may have in front of your home.
  • Remove trash, debris or garbage.
  • Replace your old mailbox.
  • Paint your front door.

Get Property Management For Your Houston Rental

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

 

 

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

Got A Property For Rent In Houston? Get Property Management Here

For more tips you can use to market your property for rent in Houston, or to get a property management quote contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at 

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. 

What Is A Surety Bond? Should You Consider This Alternative To Security Deposits?

 

By Vestpro Residential Services

As a landlord one of the most common problems that you may face is the possibility of renting to someone who may have great references, a full-time job and seem like an awesome person but, they don’t have the money you require for a deposit.

Although you may have had to walk away from potential renters like this in the past who didn’t have the money that you required for deposit, there is a solution to this problem in the form of a surety bond.

What Are Surety Bonds?

Surety bonds are the least understood alternative to the deposit, but it’s also one of the most viable, because, a surety bond is actually a contractual promise to you that if your tenant fails to comply with the terms of your lease the bond company will be ready to compensate you up to the limits of the surety bond.

How Do Surety Bonds Work?

If you’re familiar with how the justice system works at all, when somebody gets arrested their bail can sometimes be set at anywhere from $1000 or more and, the person who is detained only has to put up about $100 or higher depending on the bail amount and if they are able to make bail at all.

The only catch with bail is that if the formerly detained person decides to skip town, or skip the hearing, they will have forfeited the bond and the bail company now has the legal right to go after them.

A surety bond functions exactly the same way. The tenant who is unable to pay the deposit but decides to go with the surety bond will be responsible for paying a deposit to the bond company of up to 20% of the total sum of the deposit.

Let’s say that a tenant decides to break or violate some terms of their lease, the landlord has the legal right to file a claim against the tenant which the bond company will be responsible for paying for, and as with the example of somebody skipping bail, if the former tenant decides to skip town and not pay the percentage of the surety bond then the bond company will go after them as well.

Get Professional Property Management Here

For professional property management for your rental property contact Vestpro Residential Services today by clicking here to connect with us online or calling (832) 498-0016.

How Much Money Should You Charge For Rent?

By Vestpro Residential Services

HOUSTON – As longtime Houston Texas property managers, one of the most common questions that we’ve seen every single owner have after they’ve purchased a rental property in the Houston area, or elsewhere across the United States is: what should I rent my property for?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask but, thankfully determining the right amount to rent for your Houston Texas rental property is a lot easier than you think especially if you follow these simple steps.

#1 – What Does Your Houston Texas Rental Property Offer?

The first thing that you need to do when determining what to charge for rent is to think about all of the features and amenities that your Houston Texas rental property has to offer a typical renter.

Some of the features and amenities that your rental property might offer a typical renter could include:

  1. Your rental is located in a quiet neighborhood.
  2. It’s close to the University.
  3. Offers more storage space because it has a garage, attic or basement.
  4. It’s located near the best restaurants, bars, shops or stores.
  5. Your rental property is close to public transportation like: trains and buses.
  6. Your Houston Texas rental property is located in a walkable neighborhood, meaning that anything that a typical renter could want is within easy walking distance.

#2 – What Is The “Ballpark” Rent In Houston Right Now?

Depending on when you’re reading this article, that Houston Texas rental market could either have gone way up, or it’s gone down, depending upon economic conditions, job gains or losses and the state of the global economy.

This is why it’s important to establish a ballpark rent for the Houston Texas rental market right now that includes the average high rent, and average low rent for single-family homes, condos and townhomes in the Houston area.

Now you’re probably asking “how in the world am I going to determine the ballpark rents for an average Houston Texas rental right now?” I’m not a property manager. The answer to this question is a lot easier than you thought, to determine the average ballpark rent for a property in Houston right now just go online and visit websites like Zillow or rent jungle.

What’s great about websites like Zillow is that they offer you plenty of historical data and also accurate information regarding the rental market so you know what your property may have rented for in the past and what it should be renting for right now because the goal is to always rent your property for what it’s worth right now.

#3 – What Do Comparable Properties Have To Offer?

Last of all, but most important, think like a renter and take at least one day to visit comparable rental properties in the area and find out what those properties offer.

Do they offer the same bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage that your property offers? Do they have plenty of amenities like a hot tub, on-site fitness center, dog run or laundry area?

After taking the time to come up with a ballpark rent for Houston Texas rental properties, analyzing all the features and benefits that your rental property has to offer and visiting comparable properties in the area you should have more than enough information at your fingertips to come up with an accurate rent to charge for your Houston Texas rental property.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

To save time and money with renting your Houston Texans rental property yourself, contact the team of property management experts at Vestpro Residential Services today by clicking here to contact us online or by calling us at (832) 498-0016.

Should You Rent Your Houston Rental Property to a College Student?

Houston Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

As you move forward with the process of buying another Houston Texas Rental Property you will eventually have to ask yourself the question if you should rent your property to a college student or not.

Although some landlords may tell you that it’s not a good idea to rent to a college student the truth is that you can establish a consistent and profitable income stream when you choose to open your Houston Rental up to college students and not just traditional renters.

In this post we will share with you some of the benefits of renting to college students and what else you should know when you start renting to this segment of the rental market.

Benefits of Renting To College Students

Some of the benefits that come from renting to college students include:

Year-Round Occupancy – Since most college students go to school for 4 years they will also will many times want to stay in the same rental property during the time that they are going to college and this means year-round occupancy for the landlord and less turnover.

You Can Charge Premium Rent – Another great benefit of renting to college students is that you can charge premium rent especially the closer your Houston Texas Rental Property is to the university or college, and most tenants won’t have a problem paying premium rent especially if they live with roommates.

Getting Started With Renting To College Students

Before placing an ad online to rent to college students you should do the following:

  1. Create an airtight lease that protects your best interests.
  2. Create strict rules for your property including no fireworks, weapons or drugs in the house and no charcoal grills outside the house.
  3. Always do a complete background check before approving a new college student to rent from you including viewing their credit report because this will only protect your best interests.
  4. Require college students under the age of 21 to have co-signer on their lease just to make sure you will continue to get paid each month even if they don’t pay their rent.

Learn More

To learn more about renting your Houston Texas Rental Property to college students contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

3 Tip for Getting Your Houston Rental Property Ready for fall

By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

Fall is right around the corner and if you own a Houston Rental Property there’s never been a better time than right now to get your rental property in Houston ready for fall and winter by following these simple tips.

Inspect Air Flow Sources 

Since your tenants will be using their HVAC systems during the fall and winter months now is the best time for you to confirm that your HVAC system is ready for use during cooler weather.

Hire an HVAC maintenance company to have your HVAC unit professionally inspected plus serviced and during this time you should also check other sources of air flow in your home like room fans, vents, dryer vents and baseboard heaters as well.

Another important thing to have done is to have the heat turned up in your rental property to confirm that the heater is working properly plus you should also hire a service technician to check any wall heaters so you can avoid calls from your tenants if heaters are not working after we have the first cold winter days in Houston. 

Clean The Fireplace 

If your rental property has a fireplace you should have it professionally cleaned and tested to insure that your it will function properly for your tenants as well since fireplaces are one of the most common sources for accidents and house fires during the winter.

Check Insulation And Weatherstripping 

Last of all, but most important, you should check the weather and insulation in your Houston Rental Property as well because a properly insulated and sealed home will keep your rental property warm and dry during the winter plus help your tenants to save money on their electrical and gas costs.

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Get Houston Property Management 

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

4 Tips for Dealing with Houston Texas Renters

 

By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

HOUSTON – You finally were able to purchase your first rental property and are getting ready to rent it out but the big question remains, are you ready to deal with Houston Texas Renters?

In this post we will share with you 4 tips you can use for dealing with Houston Texas Renters.

Tip 1 – Always Be Attentive

Anytime you speak with your tenants over the phone, email or in person, it’s always important to be attentive to what your tenants are really saying so you can do your part to resolve problems or provide them with assurance that you will deal with issues when they occur.

Tip 2 – Stay Positive

When you are in the presence of your tenants always stay positive and never let them know about other problems you may be dealing with in the moment because your attitude with them will also affect their desire to continue renting from you once their lease is due for renewal.

Tip 3 – Do Your Best to Be Personable

If your tenant calls you at 6:00 am in the morning or 6:00 pm at night it’s important for you to always be personable with them because one wrong word or action from you could motivate your tenant to move out and you could lose money because of your actions.

Tip 4 – Stay Calm

Regardless if you are dealing with problems big or small you should always stay calm when dealing with your tenants so they know that they can call you with any issue regarding your rental property rather than leave problems for months at a time or try to resolve issues themselves.

Contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

For more information on how to successfully deal with Houston Texas Renters, 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.

Is Buying Too Many Houston Texas Rental Properties A Bad Thing?

By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

Thanks to historically low mortgage interest rates you may be buying Houston Texas Rental Properties at a fast rate but, is it a bad thing to buy too many rental properties?

The answer to this question is yes, if you don’t have Houston Texas Property Management. Here’s why:

Rent Collection

One of the biggest problems most property owners who own homes or multi-family properties have is collecting rent from their tenants each month especially when their tenants fall behind on paying.

Thankfully when you hire Vestpro Residential Services to manage your Houston Texas Rental Properties you can have confidence that your rentals will be professionally managed and rent will be collected from your tenants on time each month eliminating the need for you to contact tenants or start collections against them if they don’t pay.

Maintenance

Another big problem for some owners has been the issue of maintenance because, it’s not always easy to handle maintenance issues if you own multiple properties.

With Vestpro on your side you will have peace of mind in knowing that your tenants will call us when they have maintenance issues and this will also help you keep tenants as well because, your tenants will know that the can depend on the property management company to solve problems when they occur instead of hearing making empty promises.

Customer Service

Last of all, but most important is customer service.

Many property owners offer customer service and poor support so that whenever there is an issue at one or more of their properties it will go unresolved for weeks or months.

At Vestpro we take pride in offering great customer service so that if your tenants call in with an issue they will be served by true customer service professionals every time.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

To learn more about how Houston Texas Property Management will make your life easier contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us online.

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.