Should you buy rentals in Houston? Even if you’re out of the area?

Thanks to the booming real estate market in the last 12 months there are more condos, town homes and apartment buildings available for purchase and rent than ever before but the big question is should you buy rentals in Houston even if you’re out of the area? The answer to this question is yes!

Pros of Buying Long-Distance Real Estate

  • The ability to buy in more affordable markets. Property values in second- and third-tier markets don’t command the premium of real estate in primary markets and there’s lower competition. That said, depending on the market, rents can still be very strong. Buying in one of these markets is a way to get your foot in the door, realize positive cash flow and build equity.

  • Real estate as a long-term strategy. Some investors decide to buy real estate in an area that they don’t currently live in, but think they might want to someday. For instance, I’d consider buying a home closer to my parents if there’s a chance I’ll want to live closer to them someday. Many investors use a similar mindset when considering real estate in vacation and retirement markets, like the Carolinas and Florida. These houses can be rented now and held in case an investor wants to live there someday, too.

  • Tax benefits. Say what you want about Trump, but when the New York Times released a copy of his 1995 tax returns it shed light on a stark reality: real estate investors are able to use the tax code to their advantage. The ability to write off interest paid on a mortgage and depreciation makes buying investment property highly attractive. The provision Trump took advantage of is no different than the loopholes that everyday investors use, too.

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1031 Exchange Tax Free Real Estate Investing

Are you planning on investing in another Houston Texas Rental Property but have to sell one of your rentals first before you can purchase the new property? If so, you should consider a 1031 exchange.

In this video you will learn more about how the 1031 exchange works and how to apply this to your business.

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For affordable Houston Texas property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 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. 

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. 

 

 

Houston Texas Property Management Tips – Four Things To Consider Before Increasing Rent

Houson Texas Property Management

In this issue of Houston Texas Property Management Tips we will cover the sometimes complicated issue of rent increases and we will offer you several tips you should consider before raising the rent at your rental property.

Tip #1 – Think About The Economy

Even though you’re ready to increase the rent because it’s a new year it’s important to keep in mind what’s happening with the overall economy in Houston because thanks to the recent drop in oil prices you could see more vacancies if you decide to raise the rent now at one or mor eof your rental properties so it’s best to use caution before moving forward with a rent increase.

Tip #2 – Analyze What’s Happening In The Neighborhood

Take a moment to analyze what’s happening in the neighborhood including if any new shops, stores, restaurants or amenities were built nearby in the last 12 months because added amenities or attractions can help to increase the demand for rentals. 

Tip #3 – Determine The Correct Rent Increase

Although some owners might advice a blanket rent increase across the board the reality is that what’s working for one property owner might not work for you at your Houston Texas Rental Property so it’s best to calculate your rent increase carefully while taking into account your increased expenses for city water, sewer costs and property taxes.

Tip #4 – Give Your Renters Plenty Of Notice

For best results with rent increases consider giving your tenants at least 115 days before their leases are due to expire and in your notice to them you should also include a breakdown of the moving costs they can expect to pay if they decide to move elsewhere because some tenants might not really be aware about the cost of moving vs. renewing their leases until they see the cost breakdown in front of them.

Get More Houston Texas Property Management Tips

For more Houston Texas Property Management Tips, or to speak with us about managing your rental property, contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online. 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Rental Upgrades That Will Pay Off At Your Houston Texas Rental Property

Houston Texas Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

HOUSTON – As a property owner one of the most important things that you should be focused on is upgrading your Houston Texas Rental Property each year because investing money into your rental property will help you establish a relationship with long term tenants while improving the value of your rental property.

In this post we will share with you 8 rental upgrades you should consider making to your Houston Texas Rental Property.

Upgrade #1 – Improve Landscaping

It doesn’t matter if you own a big or small Houston Texas Rental Property you should improve the landscaping / curb appeal of your property because this will increase the value of your property and motivate your tenants to take care of the rental better.

Upgrade #2 – Replace the Front Door

There’s no denying that adding a new front door that’s aesthetically pleasing will help your rental to stand out from other properties in the area but it will also add another element of safety to your home since newer front doors are made from steel and harder to damage or force open than older front doors.

Upgrade #3 – Repaint Your Rental Property

Adding a fresh coat of paint to the interior and exterior of your rental property in Houston Texas will also help to increase the value and attractiveness of your rental because a coat of paint helps to freshen up a rental, makes the walls appear to be brighter and removes the signs of previous tenants like holes in the walls, scuff marks and damages that the walls may have sustained over the years.

Some of the other improvements that you should consider making to your rental property include:

4. Upgrade Your Appliances

After your old tenants move out, you’ll discover the quirks of the appliances in your rental property. You may discover that a tap has a slow leak or that a dishwasher only works when it’s on a particular setting. While regular maintenance programs can catch these issues before your tenants leave, you’ll need to make an extra effort to repair them before new tenants come into the property. New appliances, repaired appliances, or quality secondhand appliances give the impression that you’re willing to make an investment in your tenants’ comfort.

5. Add New Shutters or Curtains

Many homes have shutters and curtains that go with the house, and while it’s tempting to avoid changing these to save some money, older curtains or shutters can really date a property. Clean shutters or window blinds or replace them if they are broken and twisted. While new window coverings are not expensive, replacing windows can be pricey. However, if a window is aging and drafty, adding a storm window in its place can add value to the home.

6. Shed a Little Light

A well-lit room not only says that you have good lighting, it also sheds light on the beauty of the home that you’re renting. Choose lighting that’s bright but appropriate for the room: soft lighting in the bedrooms, bright lighting in the kitchen. Clean out lighting fixtures, change bulbs, and update the fixtures if they’re broken.

7. Restore Your Floors

A new floor is a large investment, but the payback can be worthwhile. It can transform the look of a home from dingy carpet to stellar hardwood. New flooring can make a room grow up, and it makes everything look cleaner as well. If you can’t afford to install new floors, restore old ones when you can. Old wooden floors can be refinished with a new shine. If you need to focus on a single room, the kitchen or bathroom is the place to start with flooring upgrades.

8. Keep it Clean

LegalZoom says that sometimes, the cheapest and most dramatic improvement you can make on a rental property is simply cleaning it up. When your old tenants move out, make sure that you welcome prospective tenants into a home that’s been thoroughly cleaned. Hire a cleaning company to go through the home and remove spider webs, wipe down walls, and deep clean the house entirely. This makes a home much more welcoming and adds to the price that tenants are willing to pay.

Source – Propertyware.com

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To rent your Houston Texas Rental Property 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

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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.

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 

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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.