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.

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

How Much Money Should You Charge For Rent?

By Vestpro Residential Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3 – What Do Comparable Properties Have To Offer?

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

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

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

Get Houston Texas Property Management

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

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

Houston Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

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

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

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

Benefits of Renting To College Students

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

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

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

Getting Started With Renting To College Students

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

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

Learn More

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

3 Tip for Getting Your Houston Rental Property Ready for fall

By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

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

Inspect Air Flow Sources 

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

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

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

Clean The Fireplace 

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

Check Insulation And Weatherstripping 

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

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

Houston Texas Rental Property Management Tips

 

By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

HOUSTON – Tenant retention is one of the keys to success when it comes to owning Houston Texas Rental Property because if you don’t build great relationships with your tenants they will look elsewhere for rental properties when their leases are up for renewal.

One of the best things you can do build great relationships with your renters is learn to not automatically say no to them anytime they come to you with a special request.

In today’s post we will offer you four solutions for dealing with tenant requests.

#1 – Offer Clear Solutions for Dealing with Conflict

Instead of just saying no to every tenant request its best to take the time to hear what the tenant has to say, ask for documentation supporting their request, then provide them with a timeframe for when they can expect an answer from you.

#2 – Don’t Over promise Then Under Deliver

Over the years one of the biggest problems we’ve seen people who own Houston Texas Rental Property make is over promising and under delivering on their responses.

For example: Let’s say that the roof needs to be replaced on your rental property and it was leaking during the last rain storm.

Instead of telling your tenant that you’re going to replace the roof fast you should give them a time frame for when they can expect it to be replaced so you can have more than enough time to contact roofing contractors and ask for bids.

#3 – Develop Standard Responses to Tenant Questions

As you purchase more Houston Texas Rental Property over the years it’s inevitable that you’re going to face the same questions from tenants on more than one occasion.

To save you the time and hassle of answering these questions you should develop standard responses then print a question and answer form for tenants when they move in or you should consider creating a website to point your tenants to for answers BEFORE they contact you.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

Save the time, money and hassle of managing your Houston Texas Rental Properties yourself, contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us through our website.

 

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4 Tip for New Houston Texas Real Estate Investors

Houston Home For Rent

By Vestpro Residential Services

Are you thinking about investing in Houston Texas Real Estate?

Now is a great time to invest in Houston Real Estate thanks to high demand for homes and excellent mortgage interest rates.

Before you start searching for rental properties make sure you follow these 4 tips for new Houston Texas Real Estate investors because, these tips can save you the time, money and traditional learning curve which every investor has to go through when they are just getting started with buying Real Estate.

#1 – Write a Business Plan

As with any business you may have started in the past it’s important to remember that investing in Real Estate is a business and you must have a plan for the 1 to 5 years of your business.

#2 – Pull Your Credit Report

Before applying for a loan to buy your first rental property you should pull your credit report and make sure that you have credit score of 700 or higher because, a high credit score will enable you to get the best mortgage loan possible.

#3 – Pay down Your Debt-To-Income Ratio

One of the biggest things which will make your life easier when getting started with Houston Real Estate investing is paying down your debt-to-income ratio and you will be able to do this by paying off your credit cards, auto loan and other debts.

A lower debt-to-income ratio will not only mean you will have fewer debts to pay each month but this will also make it easier for you to qualify for a great mortgage loan as well.

#4 – Connect With a Great Mortgage Lender or Broker

Another important element to buying a great rental property is hiring the right mortgage lender or broker.

You want to get the best mortgage interest rate possible and connecting with multiple brokers or lenders is a great way to get an awesome mortgage interest rate.

Get Started With Houston Real Estate

To get started with buying Houston Real Estate contact us today by calling (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

Houston Texas Rental Property – How to Know If Your Property Has A Mold Problem

Houston Texas Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

One of the biggest problems from the recent rainfall across Houston and subsequent flooding is that there will be an increase in the reports of mold growth.

If you think your Houston Texas Rental Property may have a problem with mold right now, or in the coming weeks, here’s how to spot the signs of mold growth and what you can do about it.

Mold Warning Signs

Mold does have a strange “pungent” smell especially when it’s confined to one or more areas of your home.

Mold typically lives inside walls of older properties or behind wallpaper but it can also grow within showers bathtubs or behind the toilet in the bathroom of your Houston Texas Rental Property.

A general “rule of thumb” is to search for mold in any area which might be prone to moisture in your Houston Texas Rental Property.

How to Clean Mold

If you have found mold in your Houston Texas Rental Property you can easily clean away surface mold yourself simply by using bleach to surface clean the area.

Make sure you let the bleach set for at least 15 minutes because this kill off any spores or fungicides yourself.

It’s also important to use a breathing mask and plus latex gloves when cleaning mold.

You should also use a dehumidifier to remove the humidity from the air as well but do not use a fan because fans will only spread mold spores.

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For more information on how to deal with mold, or to get Houston Texas Property Management, contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE.

Do You Respond Early To Your Houston Texas Rental Property Leads?

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By Vestpro Residential Services

HOUSTON – You’ve owned Houston Texas Rental Property for a while now but there’s a problem, with your job, family and other responsibilities it’s getting more difficult for you to rent your properties.

One of the biggest reasons why it could be getting harder for you to rent your Houston Texas Rental Property is because you are not responding to your leads early enough when they express an interest in your rental properties.

In this article we will share with you the reasons why you should be responding early to people who express an interest in your Houston Texas Rental Property and when are the best days / times to connect with leads if you are not able to call people back right away.

Why It Pays To Respond Early To Your Leads

Did you know that a recent Harvard Business Review study found that business owners who respond to their leads early are more likely to have a great conversation with those leads compared to other leads that they may not be able to connect with in 24 hours or longer?

The sooner you respond to interest or requests for information about your Houston Texas Rental Property the better because, you will be able to connect with renters who are interested in your rental before they move onto viewing another rental in Houston.

Best Days and Times to Call You’re Leads

Let’s say that you are not able to call your leads back right away but you are interested in speaking with them about your Houston Rental Property.

You should try calling your leads back on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8:00 am and 9:00 am or between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm because these are traditionally the best days and times to reach people since this is when their schedules are generally beginning or ending for the day.

Save Time and Money with Property Management

To save time and money with renting your Houston Texas Rental Property, contact the property management professionals at Vestpro Residential Services today by CLICKING HERE to schedule a consultation through our website or by calling us at (832) 498-0016.

Learn More about How the Snowball Effect Can Help You Buy More Houston Texas Rental Property

Houston Texas Rental Property

By Vestrpro Residential Services, LLC

If you’re thinking about getting started with buying Houston Texas Rental Property one of the best things you can do is use the “snowball affect” to help you buy more real estate and build a successful portfolio of income producing rental property in the years to come.

Snowball Effect Explained

The “snowball” affect was coined by Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett in his 2008 book called The Snowball which is about his life and investments which enabled him to build a network of well over $72 billion dollars.

Snowball basically refers to the principal of buying and holding onto your investment over time and then using your return on investment to invest more money to build your portfolio.

Snowball Effect in Real Estate Investing

Let’s say that you’re able to buy two Houston Texas Rental Properties and after expenses both properties will net you about $500 each per month, or an additional $12,000 of cash flow per year.

Now instead of spending that cash flow from your investments like most people will do you should consider saving the cash flow from your rental properties and within two years you will have enough money saved to put down on another Houston Texas Rental Property.

How the Snowball Effect Benefits You

One of the great things about the snowball effect is that if you follow this approach you would be able to buy a new rental property once a year, instead every two years, grow your portfolio, and have significant amount of cash flow coming in by the time you approach retirement.

Buy Houston Texas Rental Property

For more tips on buying Houston Texas Rental Property, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by clicking here or calling us at (832) 498-0016.

Should Your Humble Texas Rental Property Offer Your Tenants A Backyard Experience?

Humble Texas Rental Property

By VestPro Residential Services

As someone who may own Humble Texas Rental Property you will be surprised to know that renters in 2015 are searching for homes with more than backyards, they want to rent homes which offer them the perfect backyard experience.

In today’s post we will break down what are the best backyard amenities for 2015 so you know exactly what amenities you should add to the backyard of your Humble Texas Rental Property.

Hot Backyard Amenities For 2015

Thanks to recent information from the American Society of Landscape Architects we know that renters in Humble Texas and across the United States are searching for the following:

  • Fire Pits
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Grills
  • Outdoor Seating Areas
  • Fireplaces
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More Than Green Space

One of the great things is that you can turn your backyard into more than just a green space.

You can turn it into a functional area for people to eat, cook, enjoy entertainment and life without having to get tens of thousands of dollars in debt since many the American Society of Landscape Architects study also confirmed that some home people regard an outdoor kitchen space as an entertainment area as well.

Many Budget Friendly Home Improvements Available

Let’s say that you want to renovate the backyard of your Humble Texas Rental Property but don’t have an extensive renovation budget to get started.

Here are five more renovation tips which will help you to get the most from your back yard

#1 – Create seating areas to establish multiple zones for entertainment, eating, sleeping and fun. During the process of creating seating areas don’t be afraid to use structures like gazebos to create the perfect back yard.

#2 – Use containers to integrate the garden into your backyard space.

#3 – Use a patio umbrella to create a shady area which can be used during the summer months.

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Get More Humble Texas Rental Property Tips

For more tips on how you can increase the value of your Humble Texas Rental Property, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact Vestpro Residential Services by clicking here to connect with us online or calling (832) 498-0016.