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Tips for Selecting Your First Rental Property

Tips for Selecting Your First Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

Are you planning on buying your first rental property? If so, you’re not alone. Now is a great time to buy a rental property because mortgage interest rates are still low and demand for rentals remains high especially in cities like Houston.

In this article, we will share with you several tips you can use to successfully purchase your first rental property.

Determine the Specifics of The Rental You Are Searching For

Before choosing a rental property it’s important to first determine the specific of what you’re searching for in a rental property including the location that you want to own a rental, because in most cities rental properties that are located close to downtown or close to colleges will rent for more money than rentals in suburban areas.

Set Your Budget

Since prices for Real Estate in many cities have reached all-time highs you should set your budget before you start searching for rentals because in this real estate climate it’s very easy for any buyer or first-time investor to overspend.

Create A List of Properties to View in Your Target Areas

Once you know the specifics of the property you’re searching for, and you’ve set your budget, you should next create a list of properties that match your criteria because this will help you to simplify your search especially when you use online tools to find suitable rental properties.

Some criteria that you should consider applying to your search for rental properties include:

  • Bedrooms – The single-family home, condo or duplex should have at least 3 bedrooms.
  • Bathrooms – 2 bathrooms are recommended.
  • Square Feet – Home should have no less than 1,200 square feet.
  • Age – The property shouldn’t be older than 60 years old since renovation or demo may be required due to removing things like radon and asbestos from the home
  • Rent – Property should rent for a minimum of $1,200 per month 
  • Garage – 1-car garage is preferred

Save Time and Money with Experienced Property Management

Once you find the right rental property don’t attempt to manage it yourself, save the time, money and hassle of managing rental properties by hiring our experienced and professional property management team.

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

 

 

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Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Property Management

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Property Management Tips – How to remove a stain from carpet

Property Management Tips – How to remove a stain from carpet

One of your rental properties just came up for rent and after inspecting it you’ve found that more than one room in the property has stains in the carpeting.

What do you do?

Hire a professional carpet cleaner to clean the carpet?

The good news is that you can easily remove stains from any carpet yourself simply by following the tips in this video.

Get Property Management Here

No time to manage your rental properties yourself? No problem! Get professional property management by calling Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Property Management Tips

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Best Tips For Newbie Landlords

Best Tips For Newbie Landlords

Just getting started with owning your first rental properties? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article we will share with you or best tips for newbie landlords who have just purchased their first rental properties and are now faced with the task of dealing with tenants.

1. Screen Tenants

Don’t rent to anyone before checking credit history, references, and background. Haphazard screening and tenant selection too often results in problems — a tenant who pays the rent late or not at all, trashes your place, or lets undesirable friends move in. Use a written rental application to properly screen your tenants. For more information, see How to Screen and Select Tenants FAQ.

2. Get it in writing.

Be sure to use a written lease or month-to-month rental agreement to document the important facts of your relationship with your tenants — including when and how you handle tenant complaints and repair problems, notice you must give to enter a tenant’s apartment, and the like. For what to include in a lease or rental agreement, see Ten Terms You Must Include in Your Lease or Rental Agreement. Not sure which to use? See Whether to Use a Lease or Rental Agreement.

3. Handle security deposits properly.

Establish a fair system of setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits. Inspect and document the condition of the rental unit before the tenant moves in, to avoid disputes over security deposits when the tenant moves out. For more information, see Leases and Rental Agreements FAQ.

4. Make repairs.

Stay on top of maintenance and repair needs and make repairs when requested. If the property is not kept in good repair, you’ll alienate good tenants, and tenants may gain the right to withhold rent, repair the problem and deduct the cost from the rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions, and/or move out without needing to give notice. For more information, see Repairs, Maintenance, and Entry to Rented Premises.

5. Provide secure premises.

Don’t let your tenants and property be easy marks for a criminal. Assess your property’s security and take reasonable steps to protect it. Often the best measures, such as proper lights and trimmed landscaping, are not that expensive. For more information, see Criminal Acts and Activities: Landlord Liability FAQ.

6. Provide notice before entering.

Learn about your tenants’ rights to privacy; see Repairs, Maintenance, and Entry to Rented Premises. Notify your tenants whenever you plan to enter their rental unit, and provide as much notice as possible, at least 24 hours or the minimum amount required by state law. For state-by-state information, see Chart: Notice Requirements to Enter Rental Property, State by State.

7. Disclose environmental hazards.

If there’s a hazard such as lead or mold on the property, tell your tenants. Landlords are increasingly being held liable for tenant health problems resulting from exposure to environmental toxins in the rental premises. For more information on lead, see Lead Disclosures for Rental Property FAQ. Check your state law for other landlord disclosures. – Learn more here!

Save Time And Money Here!

No time to manage your rental properties yourself? No problem! Get professional property management by calling Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

 

 

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Are you showing your appreciation to your loyal tenants?

Are you showing your appreciation to your loyal tenants?

During the process of owning rental properties in the Houston Texas area, or elsewhere in the United States, one of the very best things you can do is show your appreciation to your loyal tenants because, it’s easier to keep a long term tenant than it is to put your rental property back on the market and search for new renters that’s why in this article we will share with you our tips for showing your appreciation to your loyal tenants.

Host events

Hosting an event redefines your presence with your tenants. Beyond the person who collects their rent checks every month, you become a friendly and generous person. Bringing tenants together is both fun and fosters a sense of community, making them feel +more comfortable and connected to their residence. When people have personal ties, it makes leaving a less casual decision.

One great option is a summer barbecue. Even if you only have a few tenants, inviting them to a local park for a day of food and fun can adds the kind of personal touch to your business that will go a long way in bridging the gap between you and your tenants, and even between the tenants themselves. However, you should express caution where food is involved. Be aware of any food allergies or special diets among your guests. Have a black bean patty ready for your vegan tenant, or a lactose free cheese for your lactose-intolerant tenant. They will remember that extra kindness.

Create a beautiful environment

If your tenant feels good about where they live, they are far more likely to stay in place. Go above and beyond your state’s mandated . A clean and well-maintained community will help guide each tenant’s decision to remain with you, and a proactive approach to maintenance and repairs matters. Pay extra attention to entryways and porch spaces; peeling paint and cobwebs can make your property feel shabby. Stay on top of cleaning and repairs and you will not regret it.

Give personal gifts

A small token of appreciation on a tenant’s anniversary with the community or on their birthday, such as a gift basket or a gift card, are always good ideas. If you are in a position to be better acquainted with your tenant, a personal gift can mean even more.

If you know that a tenant enjoys classical music, a gift of tickets to a symphony or an outdoor concert builds a deep, personal connection that could they give staying with you extra consideration when it’s time to renew their lease.

Small tokens such as non-denominational holiday cards or birthday cards are a nice touch and another way to let them know you care.

Leverage referrals

Studies show that tenants who have friends nearby tend to stay longer. If you have several properties in the area, you could benefit not only in tenant retention, but also by asking your tenant to unofficially function as a marketer for you. If your tenant loves their home, they are more likely to refer a friend to you.

Get Property Management Here

For affordable and professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841, connect with us online, or find us on Facebook.

 

 

Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Property Management

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What are your rental property’s best features?

What are your rental property’s best features?

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve owned rental properties in Houston TX, or the surrounding area, you’re going to one day face the prospect of your rentals competing with other rentals in the area that may have better features and or amenities. The key to success when this happens is for you to highlight your rental properties best features by doing the following.

Photograph the right features
The first step in highlighting your property’s most sellable features is to share photos of the right features—a.k.a. the features your potential tenants will care most about. These features can be both design-focused and functional; a mix of the two may appeal to the widest audience. Focus on features like crown molding, new appliances, large outdoor or patio space, and newly renovated areas of the home.

To make sure tenants see the property from every angle, put the images into a collage: “This allows somebody glancing through listings to see interior and exterior shots all at once. Because our homes are so beautifully staged, the split photos get a lot of attention and sets it apart from every other listing,” says Paul Moore, of Smith Mountain Homes.

You can also add multiple images to Facebook Carousel ads or Instagram’s new multi-photo upload feature to create a well-rounded view of the property.

Do virtual home tours
What better way to highlight your property than with a virtual tour? You can do this by taking a phone video and uploading to YouTube, or take live video with your Facebook or Instagram business page. Either way, this is also a great opportunity to engage with potential renters, so while giving the tour, ask questions. You might say:

“We just finished this bathroom, and added the brand new clawfoot tub. Do you like that vintage style? Tell me in the comments!”

“Tenants love using the back yard for grilling and hanging out with friends—the grill over there comes with the property. How often would you use this area?”

If creating all videos on a social platform, be sure to download them and upload to your YouTube channel. You can begin creating different sections for each rental property, so anyone interested in your listings can get walking tours whenever they want.

Share high-quality images

Photographing the right features is important, and the next step is taking high-quality photos. Luckily, you don’t need an expensive camera or photography experience to do that. The new iPhone 7, for example, has made it even easier for you to get expert-quality photos all on your own, thanks to its new dual lens camera, which features a wide angle and telephoto lens, according to iPhone 7 Rumors Confirmed.

Other new phones like the HTC M8 also have this feature, making it possible for you to take photos with depth of field. This is a feature traditionally found only in expensive SLR and DSLR cameras, providing you with a great opportunity for you to get high-quality photos without spending a lot.

Get Property Management Here

For affordable and professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841, connect with us online, or find us on Facebook.

 

Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Property Management Tips

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7 Tips for Getting Your Humble Texas Rental Property Ready for Rent

7 Tips for Getting Your Humble Texas Rental Property Ready for Rent

By Vestpro Residential Services

Are you planning on getting your Humble Texas Rental Property ready for rent? If so, make sure that your rental is ready to be toured by prospective renters by following these 7 tips

Tip #1 – Re-Key Your Locks and Change Alarm Codes – This is by far one of them most important things to do before renting your Humble Texas Rental Property because, you want to make sure that your old tenants cannot have access to your rental property, including the gate or mailbox after they move out.

Tip #2 – Professionally Clean All Carpets and Floors – One of the top things prospective tenants do not like is dirty floors and dirty carpeting so you should have them both professionally cleaned before showing your rental property.

Tip #3 – Clean Up Your Yard Space – If your Humble Texas Rental property has a yard space, you should clean it up (regardless of the size) because, you want prospective tenants to see it as a usable space that they can be excited about instead of seeing dead flowers, dying shrubs or an overgrown yard that may turn them away.

Tip #4 – Change Air Filters – Does you’re the HVAC or air conditioner at your Humble Texas Rental Property have filters? If so, you should replace them because, this will help your tenants to breathe easier, especially if they have allergies.

Tip #5 – Clean Your Rental from Top-To-Bottom – Another important thing that you can do to get your Humble Texas Home ready for rent is to thoroughly clean it from top to bottom because a dusty or dirty rental property may lead some renters to wonder what else may be wrong with the rental property.

Tip #6 – Inspect / Clean Ceiling Fans – Although ceiling fans can help to cool a home or keep it warm, they can also accumulate dust during the year and spread that dust around the home when they are turned on, this is why you should have those ceiling cans cleaned and serviced before tenants move in so you can have confidence that they are working properly.

Tip #7 – Let in The Light – Last of all, but most important, you should get your Humble Texas Rental Property ready for rent by letting in the light. To do this you should clean all windows in the home and replace light bulbs because more light can create a positive mental picture in the minds of potential tenants so they can see themselves living in your rental property.

Get Property Management for Your Humble Texas Rental Property

For professional property management for your Humble Texas Rental Property contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

 

Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Property Management Tips

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Humble Texas Property Management – How to Avoid Losing Renters

Humble Texas Property Management – How to Avoid Losing Renters

By Vestpro Residential

Are you searching for Humble Texas Property Management information? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article we will share with you actionable tips you can use to avoid losing renters.

Avoid Constant Rent Increases

The first Humble Texas Property Management tips we can offer you is to not raise the rent with each lease renewal because, the reality is that it’s not always a wise decision to increase the rent especially if you have long term tenants since it does cost more money to find a reliable long term tenant than it does to keep a tenant.

Always Handle Noise Complaints

When it comes to your Humble Texas Rental Property you should always treat noise violations seriously because, just about every tenant has a very low tolerance for noise so you should address the noise problem if it’s coming from a neighbor on the street where your rental is located, or another tenant in your rental property.

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Follow The Law If you have to Enter Your Rental Property

As long time Humble Texas Property Management professionals we can tell you that unauthorized entry is illegal in Texas and you have to follow the law if you plan on entering your rental property to show your rental to a prospective renter or get work done.

Always give your renters at least 24 hour notice in writing before entering your rental property and if you need to enter your rental property due to an emergency you should ask your tenant to sign a notice allowing you to enter the rental on short notice.

Don’t Allow Poor Maintenance

Last of all, but most important, another Humble Texas Property Management tip we can offer you is to never allow inadequate maintenance at your rental property because you will only be able to keep your tenants for so long before they become tired of living in a rental property that’s not been properly maintained.

Get Humble Texas Property Management

For the best Humble Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us through our website.

 

Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Property Management Tips

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1031 Exchange Tax Free Real Estate Investing

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.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

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. 

 

Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Property Management Tips

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What To Know When Searching For Houston Texas Property Management Companies

What To Know When Searching For Houston Texas Property Management Companies

Are you searching for Houston Texas Property Management Companies online? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you should know when searching for a property management company.

Choose An Experienced Property Manager

Although most Houston Texas Property Management Companies claim that they are experienced when it comes to customer service, tenant retention, rent collection, maintenance and all of the day-to-day responsibilities that come with property management, you should take the time to review a company online to verify their experience.

You can do this online by searching the Better Business Bureau’s website or on social media websites like Facebook and Google my Business.

About Houston Texas Property Management Companies

Once you find a property management company that you’re interested in working with you should verify that they have actually have a team that specializes in maintenance, book keeping, and customer service because hiring a team will give you confidence that all aspects of your rental properties are professionally managed by a caring team of professionals instead of just one person.

Confirm That Your Tenants Can Pay Their Rent Online

Last of all, but most important, before continuing your search for Houston Texas Property Management Companies you should also confirm that the property management company offers their tenants the ability to pay rent online because, most renters are accustomed to paying their bills online and this will also make it easier for you to get paid as well.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

For affordable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or connect with us online.

 

Posted by on June 7, 2016 in Property Management Tips

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HUD Anti-Discrimination Laws You Didn’t Know You Were Breaking

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2016 is officially here and the laws have changed once again including HUD Anti-Discrimination laws.

No ethical landlord wants to commit unlawful discrimination. But some honest employees or landlords run into trouble accidentally, despite the best of intentions, by making a mistake during the screening process, asking an innocent but misguided question or making an ill-considered remark that can form the basis of a discrimination complaint.

Let’s look at some of the mistakes made by landlords and property managers that led to discrimination charges.

Asking About Mental Health, Medical Status or Diagnoses

In one Minnesota case, a woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder attempted to rent a house with her partner. Shortly before move-in, the landlord’s agent became aware of the applicant’s history of mental health issues, and called the prospective tenant asking if there were any “issues” she wanted to disclose before moving in. The tenant disclosed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The agent asked for more information, but the renter told her it was “none of her business.” Subsequently, the landlord refused to rent the dwelling.

HUD Prosecutors deemed the mere inquiry into the mental health diagnosis to be a violation of 42 U.S.C. Section 361(g)(2)(A), and assessed a $16,000 civil penalty against the landlord, in addition to damages.

Discriminatory Advertising Language

In a Philadelphia case, HUD officials were alerted to a Craigslist rental advertisement containing these words: “Not good for young children.” HUD officials investigated and applied to rent the dwelling. Two HUD test coordinators called the lister, one claiming to have a 2-year old daughter, and the other posing as a single man.

The lister told the female caller that the dwelling was directly above a construction business with a lot of heavy truck traffic. The dwelling would be fine for adults, the lister explained, but dangerous to young children. The lister also told the male investigator that he wanted to rent to adults with no children because of the traffic.

HUD officials deemed the actions of the landlord’s representative to constitute illegal discrimination based on familial status. The advertisement was illegal under 42 U.S.C. Section 3604(c) and 24 C.F.R. Sections 100.75(a) and (c)1.

HUD Department officials asked courts to penalize the landlord for each violation, on top of compensatory damages.

Discrimination Based on Limited English Language Skills

An Asian-American man applied to rent a townhome in Champlin, Minn., together with his mother, who was from Thailand. They planned to reside on the property with two children. The property manager took their information and a credit background check. He also collected an application fee of $40 for each of the two adult applicants.

The son’s credit score came back at 725, and his mother’s was 761. Their income qualified the family to rent the apartment. But the manager sent the son an email stating that their rental application was declined. The reason: Both adults would have to sign the lease contract, but the mother had limited English skills. “As I’m told, legal precedent indicates the contract must be translated to her native language,” the manager wrote. “If not, she could easily break the lease.”

The manager also claimed that a certified translation would be required, costing about $500.

The son informed the manager that he had submitted an inquiry to the Department of Housing and Urban Development based on the manager’s statements about his mother’s English language skills.

HUD’s lawyers determined that denying a lease because of limited English skills, as well as the act of requiring a $500 translation fee, amounted to illegal discrimination under 42 U.S.C. Section 3604(a). The Department of Housing and Urban Development is pursuing the property manager for full compensatory damages, as well as a civil penalty of $16,000 per violation.

Source – All Property Management

Get Houston Property Management Here

Get property management for your Houston Rental Property by calling Vestpro Residential Services, LLC by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or contact us online by clicking here.

 

 

Posted by on March 2, 2016 in HUD, Property Management New

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