Rental Property Move Out Checklist

Move-outs are typically one thing that many landlords handle poorly because most landlords are usually in a hurry to get their property listed online and rented to a new tenant as quickly as possible.

Sadly, during the process of moving from one tenant to another, it’s possible that some landlords may miss damage caused to their rental property from their previous tenant and the opportunity to repair that damage before the next tenant moves in.

Step 1 – Do A Walkthrough

After your last tenant has moved out you should do a complete walkthrough of your rental property documenting the condition of the rental and any damage.

Questions to ask

  • Are the walls damaged or is its normal wear and tear?
  • Is anything broken in the rental?
  • Has the carpet been cleaned or is it still dirty?
  • Are the appliances functioning or will they need to be repaired/replaced?

Step 2 – Change the locks

Don’t forget to change the locks! This step is easy for some landlords to forget but it’s vital because with other copies of the key to your rental property potentially floating around out there it’s important for you to protect the safety of your new tenant by ensuring that your old tenant is unable to re-enter the rental property after they’ve moved out.

Step 3 – Research comparable rentals in the area

After taking the time to clean your rental and ensure that it’s in the absolute best condition, you should next start researching other rentals in the area to find out what you should rent your property for.

Don’t be hasty with this step! Take the time to really analyze and research comparable rental properties to determine what is the best monthly rent you should ask for your rental property.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management in the Houston Texas area contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Traditional and Creative Ways You Can Finance Your First Houston Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

Are you planning on buying your first rental property in the Houston TX area? If so, as a first-time investor you’re probably wondering how you’re going to purchase that rental property especially if you already have a primary residence and other financial obligations.

Thankfully, you have options available that will help you get that rental property sooner than you think.

Get A Traditional Mortgage Loan

The first and obvious way you can finance the purchase of a rental property in the Houston TX area is to get a traditional mortgage loan and use the equity from your primary residence towards the purchase of that rental property.

Most new investors with good credit will go this route because it’s the obvious way of using the equity that you already have in your home and making it work for you.

Here are some more options to consider for buying a rental property:

Seller Financing

This involves getting a loan from the person you’re buying the property from. In some cases, if the seller is willing to lend you money, it’s easier (read: less paperwork) than getting a loan from a bank.

I’ve seen these deals work in a number of scenarios: The seller might finance either the down payment or the full purchase price. The seller might be another property investor — or they might be the property’s live-in owner.

The key to success is to ensure you agree on a fair interest rate for the loan. If you don’t have much experience in this area, it may be wise to work with your CPA and/or attorney. And regardless of how much experience you have, be sure to get the terms of the loan in writing, with signatures.

Partnerships

Another great financing option is to partner with someone who has enough money for a down payment. This is an effective strategy if you have a friend or family member who’s interested in getting involved in property investment, but maybe isn’t as interested in the day-to-day work of screening tenants and collecting rent payments.

In this scenario, what often happens is that one partner puts up money and the other handles all the actual work of being a landlord.

The key to success here is to agree on how to split proceeds. I recommend thinking about it in terms of aligning the risk and reward with costs and benefits. Your partner is taking on all the financial risk, but you’re putting in all the legwork of bringing in revenue via rent. Make sure the way you split proceeds reflects your contributions.

Whatever you decide makes sense, it’s best to have your terms in writing. Services like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer can help with drafting basic legal docs if you don’t have an attorney. (Full disclosure: Rocket Lawyer is a partner of ours.) Another strategy we find effective is to form an LLC, which requires you to put together an operating agreement. That document is a great place to lay out roles and responsibilities for all parties.

Government Programs

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was founded to encourage homeownership. One of the ways it does that is by offering homebuyers the chance to buy property with just 3.5% down.

While FHA loans are specifically designed to facilitate the purchase of owner-occupied homes, it’s completely allowable to buy a two-, three- or four-unit building, live in one unit, and earn rental income from the others. In fact, this can be an incredibly cost-effective way to finance a rental property, especially if it’s your first.

FHA loan limits are different in every county, so part of the art here is making sure the loan limit where you want to buy is high enough that you can purchase a multi-unit property.

Get Property Management in The Houston Area

Once you own your first rental property in the Houston area don’t waste time managing it yourself, let Vestpro Residential Services manage it for you. To learn more about our services contact us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

What Are the Perks That Come from Working with A Humble Texas Property Management Company?

By Vestpro Residential Services

Everyone invests in a rental property for the obvious perks like more cash flow that comes from this type of investment but what about the perks that come from working with a Humble Texas Property Management company?

In this article, we will list those perks so you can feel confident in your decision to hire a property manager to professionally manage your rental properties in Humble Texas, Kingwood, Atascocita or the surrounding area.

The Perks of Working with A Property Management Company

Perk 1 – You Will No Longer Have to Collect Rent

Let’s face it, even though you enjoy positive cash flow from your rental property, you don’t like collecting rent when tenants are late paying it. Right?

With a Humble Texas Property Management company like Vestpro Residential Services, you can count on us to collect the rent from your tenants, especially when they are late paying it so you no longer have to deal with their excuses for why they can’t pay their rent on time again.

Perk 2 – Customer Service

Another HUGE perk that comes from working with a property management company is customer service. You can count on us to provide your tenants with excellent service 24-7 so you will no longer have to concern yourself with taking calls from your tenants at all hours of the day or night again.

Perk 3 – Maintenance

From weed eating that field behind your rental, pulling toilets or doing small plumbing repairs, all of those things that time, right? Thankfully, one of the best perks that comes from working with our Humble Texas Property Management company is that you will never have to perform maintenance on your rental property again because we will handle it all for you.

Get Property Management Here

Started by Mike and Kim Buish, Vestpro Residential Services is a Humble Texas property management company specializing in residential property management for Humble, Kingwood, Atascocita and the surrounding area.

Whether you are a property owner or a prospective tenant, Vestpro has the expertise to handle your property management needs.

For professional Humble Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

How To Buy Rental Property In A New Market

Are you planning on buying rental property in the Houston Texas area for the first time but you’ve never purchased property or lived here before? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

The Houston TX area is a great place to buy rental properties because there’s been tremendous growth here over the last six months that’s why in this article we will share with you the things that you should be searching for in an investment property in a new market.

Here’s What You Should Look For

  1. Job Growth Compared To Vacancy

We look deeply at the job growth of an area and compare those figures to the local vacancy rates. When you can find an area that is growing without an oversupply of rental homes, it is in most cases a good indication of not only fewer days on market, but also potential rental rate escalators. – Mike Tamulevich, Marketplace Homes

  1. Standard Local Market Demographics

When we get an investment financing request in a new market, the three local market demographics we focus on are appreciating versus depreciating neighborhoods, school ratings and crime ratings. While we also look at household median income and access to jobs, those factors can be harder to compare from one market to another. School rankings and crime rates are easier to compare on a national basis. – Beth O’Brien, CoreVest Finance

  1. Economic And Population Growth

An area that is growing economically, in population or even just in demand as a destination will offer far better chances for appreciation. The fastest appreciating areas are those that have been recently “discovered,” that many people now desire and often where there is a backlash against further growth. “Nimbyism” has a lot of downsides, but price appreciation is not one of them. – Sean O’ToolePropertyRadar

  1. Major Retail Trends

A few of the indicators I look at are what retailers are existing and what new ones are coming to the market. If it’s a new development, I validate with the actual retailer to make sure they are coming. Do your homework. Another great resource is the local building department, where you can learn what stage a development is in and if they have actually submitted their plans. – Jill Szymanski, Bar Louie

  1. State Of Infrastructure

The infrastructure should be strong enough to support the market. For example, how’s the access in and out of the market, what kinds of schools are located nearby, is there additional transit, are there growing companies, are there amenities, etc. If these are all relatively strong, then this is a market that should continue to be attractive because it has good “bones.” – Vinny DiMeglio, colliers.com

  1. Metro Rail Development

Look for metro rail development in a given city to see what infrastructure commitments have been made. Find the stations/stops. Fan out and have fun. Look for properties where the density has been increased and which cleared the major regulatory requisites. Ride the rails — as long as they lead somewhere. – Michael J. Polk, Polk Properties

  1. Absorption Rate, DOM, Median Sales Price

On specific areas, I recommend my investors look at the absorption rate (the number of months of inventory) versus the days on market (DOM) versus the median sales price. These three factors are what I call “health of the market” indicators. If the number of months of inventory over the past couple of years appears to be changing and minimally impacting the other two, then the market is healthy. – Michelle Ames, HorsePower Team Texas/Independent Realty

  1. Rent Trends

In a new market, the investor should look at rent trends. The best check is a recently purchased property that is being renovated. Find out what the rents were at the time of sale (if the property was marketed, ask the broker for the offering memorandum — it will most likely have a rent roll). Then check to see what rents are being advertised now. 

Get Property Management In The Houston Texas Area

At Vestpro Residential Services we serve Houston and the surrounding areas including Liberty, Dayton, Humble and Atascocita. To learn more about our services contact us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Property Management News – Over 5 Million Have Lost Money Due to Rental Scams

By Vestpro Residential Services

If you’re searching for a rental property in the Houston TX area it’s likely that you may have seen at least one ad online that’s a rental scam.

The way these scams typically work is it all starts with an ad that was supposedly written by an owner who lives out of state.

Once you contact the owner, they will tell you to go check out the property for yourself and then contact them via email if you’re interested in renting it or not.

If you like the house, the owner will ask you to send them a payment online or a money order in exchange for keys but when most people send their payment the “owner” never sends the keys and the person who falls for the scam finds out that the rental is in fact earned by someone else.

Half of Young Renters Have Fallen for Rental Scams

The three-bedroom home on Lexington Court in Largo, Fla., 20 miles north of St. Petersburg, looked like the perfect family home, with a nice front yard, central cooling and laminate floors. For 18 families, it turned it was too good to be true — and at a serious cost.

A married couple, Nicole and David Johnson, allegedly posed as the owners of the rental property, giving tours and collecting more than $25,000 from those families, local television news station WFTS reported in late June.

The home, it turned out, belonged to Nicole Johnson’s parents and was not available for rent. The Johnsons targeted the families using social media and by posting to Craigslist. Local police have called it the largest rental scam they’ve ever seen. Many of the victims only realized that the listing was a fraud when they showed up to the property on the same day and notified police.

Some of those families were moving to Florida from out of state, and many have had to resort to GoFundMe campaigns in an effort to recoup their losses, according to WFTS. The scammers are believed to have fled the state.

Get Property Management in Houston Texas

For property management in the Houston Texas area contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Small Bathroom Remodel Start To Finish – Learn How To Do It Yourself

Does your Houston area rental property have a small bathroom that you would like to renovate? In this video you will learn how easy it is to renovate that bathroom yourself even on a budget.

Get Property Management Here

Want to save time and money managing your rental property yourself? Contact us today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

3 Things to Know About Investing in Houston Texas Single Family Homes

 

By VestPro Residential Services

Are you planning on investing in Houston Texas Single Family Homes? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Now is a great time to invest in rental properties in the Houston area because mortgage interest rates are still historically low while demand for rentals is high.

If you’re ready to make an investment in single family homes, this article will provide you with tips you can use to do it effectively.

Know your investing criteria first

With any investment, be it stocks, bonds or real estate, you need to know what your objectives are. If you’re focused on safety and security, consider exploring low-risk investment homes that generate steady, reliable yield. An example of this may be a more expensive investment property in a good school district. You’re going to get a lower yield, but you may see better downside protection and less volatility. If you have a longer-term horizon or you’re seeking higher returns, you may want to take on a little more risk. Often, lower-priced homes will be riskier, but you may get higher yields and potentially higher long-term returns.

Don’t limit your investment property search to where you live

Consider this: If you lived in Atlanta, you wouldn’t buy Coca-Cola stock simply because its headquarters are local. The same principle applies to real estate investing. If your primary residence, income property, and job are all located in the same area, you have a lot of concentrated risk and are more vulnerable to the swings of the local economy. At my company Roofstock, an online marketplace for buying and selling leased single-family rental homes, we encourage people to spread risk by investing in markets outside of where they live. (Hiring a local property manager is key here.)

Diversification is just one reason to expand your investment property search. Another is access: If you live in an expensive urban or coastal area with relatively high home prices — the San Francisco Bay Area, for instance — finding an income property that’s cash-flow positive is going to be challenging, to say the least. You won’t be able to find a great income property for $100,000 in Seattle, Denver, or Oakland, Calif., but you can if the focus on the Midwest, South, and Southeast.  

Separate investing from operations

One of the appeals of investing in single-family rental homes is you can hire strong local property management firms to handle day-to-day management tasks of rent collection, repairs and maintenance, and leasing. Over the past several years, property managers have adopted new technologies and business processes to manage homes more effectively for owners.

While some people do choose to self-manage, hiring a property manager can save you a lot of time and potentially money in the long run. While property management companies typically charge between 7% and 8% of the rent, they manage properties for a living and can work to ensure the property is leased, in good condition, and the tenants are happy. Additionally, using a local property manager effectively allows you to buy properties outside of where you live, as self-managing is difficult if the property is not nearby.

Get Property Management Here

For effective property management contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Has Your Rental Property become A 2nd Job? Hire A Property Manager Today

By VestPro Residential Services

Did you recently purchase a rental property but found that it’s turning into a 2nd or 3rd job? If so, instead of continuing to overwork yourself and staying frustrated with your rental property why not hire a property management company instead?

A Property Manager Will Save You Time and Money

Hiring a property management company will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental property yourself.

Our team of experts has skills in every major field including maintenance, rent collection, tenant placement and customer service to ensure that you and your tenants always receive the very best service on a monthly basis, for a great price!

When you hire us to be your Property Manager you can count on us to provide you with a full suite of property management services including:

Tenant Screening

Tenant Placement

Rent Collection

Customer Service

Maintenance

And More!

Imagine no longer having to take calls from tenants at night, or on weekends! When you hire us to be your Kingwood Property Manager you can count on us to provide you with reliable service at excellent prices every time!

Get Back to Enjoying the ROI from Your Rental

As a top property manager in the Houston Texas area, our primary goal is to get you back to enjoying the Return on Investment (ROI) from your rental property once again so you can relax and have the time to grow your portfolio of rental properties.

To learn more about the services we can offer you contact us at (831) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

What Is The Snowball Affect? How Can You Use It To Buy More Rentals?

Are you planing on buying your first rental in the Houston Texas area? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article we will explain the importance of the “snowball affect” and how you can use it to grow your portfolio of rental properties

What Is The Snowball Affect?

Metaphorically, a snowball effect[1] is a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger (graver, more serious), and also perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a vicious circle), though it might be beneficial instead (a virtuous circle). This is a cliché in cartoons and modern theatrics and it is also used in psychology. – Wikipedia

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.

How to Rent Your Property Fast

By Vestpro Residential Services

There’s no doubt that owning rental property is an excellent investment that can help you to build wealth while establishing long-term cash flow.

Sadly, owning rentals in the Houston area or elsewhere in the United States can become a burden when those properties are sitting vacant.

Thankfully, filling those vacancies is easier than you think especially if you follow these simple tips.

1. BE PROACTIVE WITH YOUR CURRENT TENANT

Ask your tenant 90 days ahead of the lease expiration whether they plan to stay another year. Consider offering them a small (or no) rent increase if they respond within 30 days of your notice. This gives you 60 days out from the end of the lease to search for a new tenant if your current tenant decides not to renew.

The benefits of this strategy are:

1) Gives your tenants an incentive to stay longer because of the lower rent increase (eliminating turnover costs altogether).

2) If your tenants decide to move out, you will have more advanced notice and be able to begin advertising your unit sooner. That way, you may even have a new tenant lined up as soon as your current tenant moves out, preventing you from losing rental income.

You’ll also want to routinely perform property inspections and stay on top of maintenance.  This is all part of being a great landlord for your renter, which can pay dividends in the long run.  By staying on top of maintenance and addressing issues quickly, you’ll spend less time on repairs while turning over the unit. This is especially true for cases like leaky faucets, which can escalate into much larger (and more expensive) water damage repairs. The last thing you want when trying to turn over property quickly is a major construction project or having to lower the rent because the property is in a state of disrepair.

2. OPTIMIZE YOUR ADVERTISING STRATEGY

You want to cast a wide net when advertising. This is because the greater the pool of prospective tenants, the better the chances you’ll have of finding a good tenant in a reasonable amount of time. Reach out to friends and family to let them know your property is coming up for rent and ask your existing tenants for recommendations. After all, good tenants are likely to know other good tenants. Publish your listing on multiple websites for maximum exposure.

Attractive advertisements go a long way to increase your chances of attracting a larger pool of renters, and therefore, renting an apartment quickly. When your property is empty, spend the time to take professional photos that can be re-used every time there is tenant turnover. Professional photos are much more appealing for renters and being prepared ahead of time prevents you from having to enter the unit when tenants are living there. After all, the unit might not be in the best condition and the current tenant’s belongings can be distracting.

Know what features tenants want in a property and be sure to advertise those features in your ads. Make sure to point out both the positive and less desirable aspects to the apartment, so you don’t waste your time or that of prospective tenants by showing them a property that isn’t right for their needs because, say, the closets are too small.

Disclose all necessary information about the unit in the advertisement and set expectations upfront about your income and credit requirements. Be sure to include your pet policy, and list other relevant deal breakers if you have them. Make sure details of the property and your rental criteria are clearly outlined in the advertisement. This will prevent you from wasting time on showing the property to applicants who are looking for more bedrooms, storage space, etc., or who don’t fit your rental criteria.

3. UNDERSTAND THE MARKET

The rent prices of comparable properties will give you a good idea of how much you will be able to charge your own tenants. It’s important to set the right rent price, one that is in line with the going rate in the neighborhood. If you’re asking for rent that is too high, you’ll soon find you don’t have many applicants, leading to longer vacancies and more money out the door.

The good news for landlords is that it currently appears to be a landlord’s market.  There is strong demand for rental homes, low vacancy rates, and an ability to increase rent pricesAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau Housing, vacancies are currently at the lowest levels since at least 2005 with a national average of 7.3%. However, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with vacancy rates at the local level, which may not be the same as the national average. For instance, the National Association of Realtors reports that in 2014, San Jose, CA had a low vacancy rate of 4.0%, while Ocean City, NJ had a high vacancy rate of 58.4%.

Get Property Management Here

At Vestpro Residential Services we offer professional property management in Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita and the surrounding area. To learn more about our services please call us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.