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bedroom in your property For Rent in Houston TX you should also clean the HVAC / air conditioning system, replace old/outdated light fixtures throughout the rental property and improve curb appeal.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

Get Houston Texas Property Management 

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.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

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 

Get Houston Texas Property Management

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 

Get Houston Texas Property Management

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.

 

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.

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.