Simple Curb Appeal Tips For Your Houston Rental Property

Struggling with adding Curb Appeal to your Houston Rental Property? One of the great things about flower pots is that this is a simple curb appeal improvement that anyone can add themselves and what’s even better is that they are super affordable so if you’re on a budget and just starting out with your first rental property you can stretch your budget further with this curb appeal “hack”.

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Houston Rental Property Trends 2016

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There’s no denying that the Houston Rental Property Market has enjoyed strong growth in recent years but with overbuilding and few energy jobs than last year where does the rental market stand right now?

In this article, we will break down the local rental market and provide you with insight about what to expect from Houston if you plan on buying rental property in the area or moving to Houston and renting here.

About The Houston Rental Property Market

Over the last two years Houston has been one of the top cities in the United States for job growth but with falling oil prices earlier this year and overbuilding we’ve seen a drop in the rental growth rate but, while hiring in the energy industry remains soft the city has predicted that we can expect to see over 20,000 jobs added this year.

In fact, the oversupply of luxury apartments may have contributed to the scarcity of affordable rentals. The Chronicle also mentioned that over 6,000 units have already been knocked down or are scheduled for demolition. These older and cheaper units were to be replaced by more expensive housing.

People with higher incomes may benefit from decreases in rent or other concessions that landlords might offer. Renters with more modest incomes still won’t find the rents affordable and may have trouble locating cheaper rentals in many parts of the city. While landlords may struggle with occupancy rates in neighborhoods that are typically considered the most desirable, middle-class renters may have to satisfy themselves with longer commutes.

The number of units downtown in Houston are expected to double by next year. The downtown market also has the highest average rental rates in the entire city. It doesn’t matter how much trendy and convenient urban apartments are if job growth doesn’t support the increase in inventory.

Source

Houston Rental Property

Opportunity For Growth In Urban Areas

With an oversupply of luxury apartments in Downtown Houston there definitely is an opportunity for investors to purchase older rental properties in urban areas like The Heights, especially if they fix up those rental properties and offer a more affordable rental property to tenants who don’t want to pay up to $1,800 per month for a luxury apartment with tons of amenities.

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For Rent in Houston TX – Small Renovations Will Boost the Value of Your Rental Property

Are you searching for ways to boost the value of your home For Rent in Houston TX? If so, you’ve come to the right place! At Vestpro Residential Services we manage a wide variety of rental properties in the Houston area and can tell you that small renovations will boost the value of a rental property every time.

In this article, we will share with you small renovations that you should make to your Houston Texas rental property.

Kitchen

Since we all spend the most time in kitchens and bathrooms one of the first places that you should invest some renovation money is in your kitchen. Some of the small renovations you should make in your kitchen include replacing flooring or lighting, purchasing matching appliances, repainting or refinishing cabinets and replacing door knobs and drawer pulls.

Bathroom

When it comes to the bathroom you should also focus on refinishing or repainting cabinetry, replacing drawer and door pulls, installing a new bathroom fan, removing carpeting if your bathroom still has it and of course painting the entire bathroom.

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Bedroom

In the bedroom of your Houston Texas Rental Property, you should focus on repainting the entire room, replacing flooring and replacing the light source in the bedroom with a ceiling fan.

General Improvements to Your Rental

Besides making improvements to the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom in your property For Rent in Houston TX you should also clean the HVAC / air conditioning system, replace old/outdated light fixtures throughout the rental property and improve curb appeal.

Market Your Home for Rent in Houston TX

If you’ve been thinking about renting out your home For Rent In Houston TX save the time, money and hassle of property management by contacting Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at 832-971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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Property Management Laws Texas – Learn More about the Texas Evictions Process

One of the keys to success with owning a portfolio of profitable Texas Rental Properties is understanding property management laws in Texas, especially the evictions process because, if you don’t understand the laws you could face penalties and a lawsuit.

In this article we will share with you more information about the Texas evictions process so you know what to expect if you face the prospect of having to evict a tenant.

FILING AN EVICTION IN TEXAS

Evictions in Texas MUST be filed in the county and precinct where the property is located. Complete the “Eviction form for Texas” and have it notarized or sign it in front of one of the Court Clerks. Bring a copy of your “Notice to Vacate” along with the eviction form and any copies that you would like to have for your own records.  You’ll be given a court date when you file your eviction with the Texas Court.

 Find an Eviction Lawyer in Texas

 Summary of Four Basic steps in the Texas Eviction process

  • The notice to vacate
  • Filing the Suit
  • Going to Court
  • Writ of Possession
  1. NOTICE TO VACATE

If a landlord alleges a tenant is not paying rent, the Landlord is required by law in Texas to give the tenant written notice to vacate the premises. This notice can be delivered to the tenant personally with a witness, by certified mail (return receipt requested) or by any other method allowed by law. Unless your lease specifically states otherwise, the law requires you to deliver the written notice, and then wait three days before filing your suit in Justice Court. This is a legal requirement which must be met and cannot be overlooked.

  1. FILING THE SUIT (EVICTION)

You must file an original petition with the Court and pay court costs of $72 (subject to change). These court costs pay for filing your suit, your court hearing, and for the Constable to serve the citation. The citation is the notice to the tenant that you are attempting to evict him.

  1. GO TO COURT (Both Landlord and Tenant)

LANDLORD: You must go to Court and prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. Simply filing a suit does not necessarily mean you will win your suit. You should bring all documents and other evidence with you to Court in a well-organized fashion. At the hearing, you will have to present evidence to show that you are entitled to possession of the premises.

TENANT: If you wish to defend your position and not be evicted, you must go to court. If you fail to appear, a default judgment will most likely be awarded to the Landlord. If you need a lawyer, contact a local Legal Aide Group in Texas. Check with your local court or on this web site.

  1. WRIT OF POSSESSION

If you have won your suit in Court, and the mandatory five day appeal period has passed, and the other party is still in the premises, you can file a Writ of Possession in Court. A Writ of Possession is a Court order to the Constable to place you in possession of the property. The Writ of Possession will cost you an additional $155 (subject to change), and may be requested at the JP office where the judgment is. The Constable of your particular Precinct can answer your questions about this Writ.

How long does it take to evict someone in Texas?

From start to finish approximately three weeks.

  • 3 days from notice to vacate to filing of suit
  • 8-10 days to serve the citation- The law requires the defendant have six days’ notice before the hearing.
  • 5 days to appeal the suit following the hearing required by law.
  • 2 days- The Constable is required by law to post a 24 hour vacate notice on the Writ of Possession
  • 20-23 days is the minimum amount of time to evict someone in any County in Texas. NOTE: that any eviction suit is subject to appeal to the County Courts-at-Law.

Is there a faster way to evict someone? There is a remedy that can shorten the time period from 23 days to ten days if you prevail in Court. This is known as a Bond for Immediate Possession and includes a Notice to Defendant of the Bond for Immediate Possession. By filing a bond for immediate possession, the eviction process could be shortened provided the defendant does not request a trial or post a counter bond.

Source

Learn More about the Texas Evictions Process

To learn more about the Texas Evictions Process, or to speak with us about our property management service, contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

8 Ways Real Estate Is Your Smartest Investment

 

Have you been thinking about investing in Real Estate but don’t know if it’s a smart investment to make for your portfolio? You’re not alone. 

Although Real Estate has been a strong place to invest for the last 4 years many people are still sitting on the fence deciding if they should but their first rental property when the right time has already arrived.

Stop what you’re doing, read this article and learn 8 reasons why you should get started with investing in Real Estate in Houston or elsewhere across the United States right now.

1. Positive cash flow.

One of the biggest benefits to income producing real estate investments is that leases generally secure the assets. This provides a regular income stream that is significantly higher than the typical stock dividend yields.

2. Using leverage to multiply asset value.

Another important characteristic of commercial real estate investing is the ability to place debt on the asset, which is several times the original equity. This allows you to buy more assets with less money and significantly multiply asset value and increase equity as the loans are paid down.

3. Low-cost debt leveraged to multiply cash flow.

Placing “positive leverage” on an asset allows for investors to effectively increase positive cash flow from operations by borrowing money at a lower cost than the property pays out. For example, if a property generating a 6 prcent cash-on-cash return were to have debt placed on it at 4 percent, the investors would be paid 6 percent on the equity portion and approximately 2 percent on the money borrowed, thereby leveraging debt.

4. Hedge on inflation.

For each dollar that is created, there is a corresponding liability. Real estate investments have historically shown the highest correlation to inflation when compared to other asset classes, such as the S&P 500, 10-year Treasury notes and corporate bonds.

As countries around the world continue to print money to spur economic growth, it is important to recognize the benefits of owning income producing real estate as a hedge against inflation. Generally speaking, when inflation occurs, the price of real estate, particularly multi-tenant assets that have a high ratio of labor and replacement costs, will also rise.

5. Capitalize on the physical assets.

Income-producing real estate is one of the few investment classes that, as a hard asset, has meaningful value. The property’s land has value, as does the structure itself, and the income it produces has value to future investors. Income producing real estate investments do not have red and green days, as does the stock market.

 6. Maximizing tax benefits.

The US Tax Code benefits real estate owners in a number of ways, including unlimited mortgage interest deductions and depreciation accelerations that can shield a portion of the positive cash flow generated and paid out to investors. At the time of sale, IRS allows investors a 1031 provision, allowing investors to exchange into a like-kind instrument and defer all taxable gains into the future. (See your tax advisor for full explanation.)

7. Asset value appreciation.

Over time, more and more inflation has made it into the economy, drastically reducing purchasing power. However, income producing real estate investments have historically provided excellent appreciation in value that meet and exceed other investment types. Properties historically increase in value as the net operating income of the property improves through rent increases and more effective management of the asset.

Click here to read reason #8!

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Once you buy your first rental properties you owe it to yourself to get started with Houston Texas Property Management because, property management will save you the time, money and hassle of having to manage your rental properties yourself and best of all you will be able to devote more time to growing your investment portfolio.

Learn more about the affordable property management services we can offer you by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online. 

 

 

 

How to Handle Emergencies and Keep More Tenants

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One of the biggest problems that can hurt any property owner is how they handle emergencies at their rental properties. Sadly, how any property owner handles emergencies should be one of the most important skills that they master because, it’s very easy to lose tenants if you don’t handle an emergency at your rental property quickly and efficiently.

In this post we will share with you several tips that you can use for handling emergencies at your Houston Texas Rental Properties so you can keep your tenants happy and not lose business.

Tip #1 – Make Contact with You Easy

Although you may not want to be available to your tenants 24/7, the reality is that swift communication with your tenants is the key to success with resolving problems and keeping them happy.

If you don’t have a team managing your rental properties you should consider signing up for a call center so that you can receive messages and be contacted after business hours should problems occur.

Tip #2 – Document Everything

Regardless if it’s a broken pipe or leaky toilet, you should document all problems that occur at your rental property and then document the solutions to those problems because, some tenants may use problems as excuses to not pay their rent, or to move to another rental property, and proper documentation is an important part or professionally managing a rental property and generating long term income from it.

Tip #3 – Keep a List of Contractors On Hand

Another important thing you can do to handle problems at your rental property quickly is to have a list of contractors on hand that you know offers fast, reliable service, especially after hours or on weekends, because, this will enable you have someone you can call to resolve problems quickly without further delaying getting the problem fixed.

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

 

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3 tips for getting your Houston Texas Rental Property Ready For Summer

 

Houston Texas Rental Properties

Summer is right around the corner and with the weather already in the 70’s and 80’s during the spring one can only imagine what the summer is going to be like that’s why it’s important for you to get your Houston Texas Rental Property ready for summer by following these simple tips.

Tip #1 – Inspect Your HVAC System

Since your tenants will be using their HVAC systems during the summer months you should get HVAC and air conditioning units inspected now to insure that they are all running smoothly during summer months once warmer weather arrives.

 

Tip #2 – Check Insulation and Weather Stripping

Last of all, but most important, you should check the weather and insulation in your Houston Texas Rental Properties because proper insulation and weather striping will help your tenants to lower their energy costs and insure that their homes stay cool during the summer months.

Tip #3 – Close Up Crawl Spaces Under Homes

If your Houston Rental has a crawl space underneath it you should close up that space or any access point to your basement or underneath your home immediately because snakes and critters will seek shelter in cool spaces during the warmer months in Houston.

Tip #4 – Clean Up Brush And Dead Vegetation Surrounding Your Property

Take the time to clean up brush and dead vegetation surrounding your property since this will also make your yard space less attractive to critters and also create a firebreak between your home and open spaces if a fire breaks out during the summer.

Tip #5 – Remove Wood From Your Home

Another fire hazard and inviting spot for critters like snakes are wood piles and if one of your Houston Rental Properties has a wood pile somewhere on the property you should move it immediately to insure that the best interests of your tenants are protected during the hot Houston summer.

Get Property Management For Your Houston Texas Rental Property 

To learn more about how you can get your Houston Texas Rental Property ready for summer, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

Houston Texas Rents to Flatten in 2016

Humble Texas Renter

HOUSTON, TX. – After months of rent increases thanks to the booming economy many experts are predicting that rents will start to flatten out in 2016 and the rapid increases that we’ve seen over the last 12 months will soon become a thing of the past.

This is good news for the Houston Rental Market since the area has certainly been hit hard since the drop in oil prices but the question is will slower rental appreciation actually help renters since rents have been increasing faster than incomes over the last 24 months?

National median rent at the end of 2015 was $1,381, and is expected to increase slightly to $1,396 over the next 12 months.

The slowdown in rents means that, by the end of the year, they will be rising at a slower pace than incomes in many markets.

In December, home values rose 4 percent to a Zillow Home Value Index of $183,500.

Rent appreciation will level off over the next 12 months, slowing to an annual rate of 1.1 percent by December 2016, according to the new Zillow® Rent Forecasti. The national Zillow Rent Indexii at the end of 2016 is projected to be $1,396 — compared to $1,381 in December 2015.

Zillow is forecasting a decrease in the rate of rental appreciation amid a rental affordability crisis that has renters in some markets spending almost half of their income on rent.  Some of the fastest growing metros had double-digit annual rental appreciation at the end of 2015.

Zillow expects rental appreciation to slow down most significantly in Nashville, Tenn., San Francisco, Portland, Ore. and Denver. Rents in San Francisco saw 12.5 percent appreciation in 2015. Zillow forecasts rent in San Francisco will grow half as fast in 2016 — 5.9 percent.

Even with the slowdown, rents will remain unaffordable in many of the major markets across the U.S., especially on the West Coast. Renters in San Francisco and Los Angeles can expect to spend 40 percent of their income on a rental paymentiii.

“Hot markets are still going to be hot in 2016, but rents won’t rise as quickly as they have been,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

“The slowdown in rental appreciation will provide some relief for renters who’ve been seeing their rents rise dramatically every single year for the past few years. However, the situation remains tough on the ground: rents are still rising and renters are struggling to keep up.”

The slowdown in rental appreciation indicates that supply of new multi-family homes is catching up to demand. Substantial new housing supply is becoming available in Atlanta, Denver, Portland, Seattle, and other markets.

The Zillow Home Value Index rose 4 percent year-over-year in December 2015, to $183,500, according to the Zillow® December Real Estate Market Reports.

Source – rentalhousingjournal.com 

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For more information about the Houston Texas rental market or for Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online. 

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.

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.