Houston Texas Property Management – Learn More About 2016 Property Management Laws

Houston Texas Property Management

 

2016 is definately proving to be a year of many changes and with the start of the New Year there are some new laws on the books that you should be aware about if you own rental property in the Houston area or elsewhere across Texas.

Senate Bill 1367, authored by State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) and co-sponsored in the House by Representatives Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) and Rene Oliveria (D-Brownsville), makes five key changes to “AN ACT relating to certain obligations of and limitations on landlords,” aka the state’s landlord-tenant law—in an effort to better protect tenants’ rights. Those changes include

The repair provision has been amended to expand the way notices can be delivered, thereby triggering a landlord’s duty to repair. Previously, tenants were required to send either one request for repair by certified mail or two requests by any other method. When the statute was first written, trackable delivery services such as UPS and FedEx didn’t exist as they do today. Now, any trackable form of delivery by the U.S. Postal Service or private delivery service qualifies for the single notification provision.

Advocates of SB 1367 argued that time is critical for tenants dealing with health and/or safety problems, and that the requirement to send two separate notices created an undue lapse of time for those with urgent repair needs.

Landlords must now refund and notify tenants of damages and charges within 30 days if they are going to make a claim against the tenant’s security deposit, even if there is not a refundable deposit. This provision is to protect tenants from landlords who make claims against a tenant, but the tenant never become aware of such claims until finding a claim on their credit report down the road.

Source – Buildium.com 

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For affordable and effective Houston Texas Property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

How To Get Started With Houston Rental Property

Houston Property Management
Houston Property Management 

Are you thinking about getting started with investing in Houston Rental Property? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post we will provide you with several tips for getting started with investing in rental property so you will start enjoying positive cash flow and enjoy all of the benefits of owning rental property. 

The media and real estate professionals continually report that 2012 is the year to buy real estate. Since home values have dropped considerably, the U.S. median list price has dropped considerably, too. Couple that with interest rates that are the lowest they’ve ever been and it’s a perfect storm of real estate buying opportunity, especially for starting out your career as a landlord.

Here are tips to get started. And, if you start a few years out of college, and amass several properties, you will probably be retiring early.

Go for the long haul — Rarely do people increase their wealth by owning property for short periods of time. Long-term investing in cash flow-producing assets like real estate is the way to go.

Don’t’ give up your day job! – You need a solid job to be able to save money for a down payment and be able to obtain financing to buy properties.

Buy cash flow-positive properties – If you don’t understand why to do this, you might want to skip real estate ownership. See “What is a Good Real Estate Investment” article.

Buy a property that you love! – The more you love the property for all the right investment reasons, the better chances you’ll own it long term.

Skip the prize properties – Prize properties have negative cash flows and are NO prize, it’s the moderately priced properties that are the real prizes.

Buy as a personal residence to change to rental – Buy properties in life that make good rental property investment sense and first live in them as a personal residence. When you buy as owner occupant, you get the best financing and can put down a smaller down payment if you so desire. Plus you learn the property characteristics, issues, and can fix issues so they won’t be issues once you make it a rental. Then, move out after one to three years and into your next personal residence that will become a rental property a few years later. This also ensures you will only buy properties in areas where you are willing to live, and that’s very important to do as a real estate investor.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is! – Real estate is high risk as there are many things that can go very wrong. If it sounds too good to be true, be very careful. Once you take ownership of the property, you have to correct the problems and issues,or live with them.

Fully educate yourself for 3-6 months – Talk to other people who own properties, read books, go to the local real estate investment clubs, etc. The better you educate yourself, the higher the chances you will take the proper steps to reduce your risks and make smart and safe decisions.

Buy properties in good shape – Fixer-uppers are money pits and rarely sell at a large enough discount to compensate for all the work needed. Buy properties that are as close to rental ready as possible. A great move, if possible, is to buy a property with a good tenant already renting the property!

Be conservative on your expectations – Always overestimate the amount it will cost to renovate a property, underestimate the rental income you will earn, and overestimate the expenses you will have to pay. Then, when you blow it out of the water, you’ll have a big smile on your face and be able to gloat to all your friends!

Source – Zillow 

Contact Vestpro Residential Services 

For more information on the on how to get started with owning Houston Rental Property, or to learn more about the property management services we can offer you contact us today by calling (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 

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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.

 

Should You Accept Cash From Your Houston Texas Renter?

 

So you’re just getting started with owning your first rental property and your Houston Texas Renter wants to pay their rent in cash. This is one of the most common Houston Texas Property Management questions property owners have and for good reasons because although accepting payment in cash may seem easier than other forms of payment it’s not always the best option for the property owner especially for these reasons.

You Won’t Really Know Who You Are Renting To

Although not everyone who refuses to pay via check has something to hide, you will always know who you are renting to when you require your tenants to pay via check, money order or cashier’s check because each form of payment has an actual record associated with it and you can always go back to the institution that issued the check or money order if problems arise with tat payment.

You’re Not Safe Storing Or Carrying Cash Rent Payments 

Another reason to have a no cash policy is because you will ultimately have to take that cash to the bank, or store it in your office temporarily, and there’s always the potential risk of keeping large amounts of cash lying around until you’re able to deposit it.

Cash Isn’t The Easiest Optin For Your Houston Texas Renter 

Last of all, but most important, another reason to not accept cash from your tenants is that those payments will always have to be logged and the tenant who pays in cash will have to receive a receipt.

Accepting cash can open the door to problems for your company because the tenant can always say that they didn’t receive a receipt from you so it’s best to state your preference for checks, cashier checks or money orders in the very beginning rather than accepting cash or make it easier for your tenants to pay their rent by setting up an online payment system so they can pay rent via their smart phones or mobile devices.

Contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

To learn more tips on dealing with Houston Texas Renters or to get more information about the property management services we can offer you contact us today by calling (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.

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.