How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Houston Rental Property

Summer is almost here in Houston Texas and when you combine warmer weather with longer days this means that you have greater opportunity to improve the curb appeal of your Houston area rental property.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “curb appeal”, this just means the appearance of your rental property that people will see before they get out of their vehicle to take a tour of the property.

Studies show that many renters will avoid some rental properties if they look actually “scarier” than others that’s why if you want to attract the best tenants possible you should go out of your way to improve the curb appeal of your property before you list it for rent.

In this article, we will share with you several simple tips that you can use to improve the curb appeal of your property without having to invest a ton of money.

Tip #1 – Property Cleanup

If it’s been between three and four months since you last cleaned up the landscaping surrounding your Houston Texas rental property, you should hire a landscaping company or spend at least one Saturday cleaning up the landscaping. This should include mowing and trimming, bagging up any excess leaves, removing the trash from the property, and taking the time to improve the overall appearance of the landscaping.

Once the property has been effectively cleaned up, you should then turn your attention to adding new sod or re-seeding the yard (if it’s needed), planting new flowers, shrubs or trees, adding outdoor LED lighting, repainting the fencing / mailbox / front door and doing anything else that you can to improve the landscaping.

Tip #2 – Take Care Of The Driveway And Sidewalks

Last of all, but most important, once you take the time to clean up the property you should next take care of the driveway and sidewalks. This is done by renting a power washer that you will use to spray down the driveway and sidewalks to remove any dirt, grime or gunk that’s been accumulated over the years.

After spraying down the driveway and sidewalks, you should next turn your attention to the exterior of your Houston Texas rental property and gently spray the siding of your home because this will also help to improve that look up your home and make it appear to be brighter and more cheerful once potential renters arrive to tour the property.

Contact Vestpro Residential Services

For more tips that you can use to improve the curb appeal of your Houston Texas Home contact us today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Tips for getting your pool ready for summer

Even though summer 2019 is right around the corner, in Texas we can have summer like temperatures as early as April so it’s important for anyone who owns a rental property that has a pool to get it ready for summer by following these tips:

Before filling your pool you should also confirm that it’s clean and safe for use by both adults and children.

When inspecting your pool you should also review your pool equipment as well to make sure that the operating system for your swimming pool will provide proper flow and suction of water.

Verify Water Chemistry

Once you’ve inspected your swimming pool, and you’ve filled it with water, you should next check the chemistry of your pool water to insure that your pool has the proper P.H, chlorine, calcium and other levels which all swimming pools must have to offer a safe experience for their owners or guests.

Insure That Your Pool Is Safe Before Use

Besides making sure that your Houston Texas Rental Property has a swimming pool which is ready and safe for use, you should also make sure that the pool is also safe especially if there are small children living at the property.

To insure the safety of your pool you should have a fence built around it with a gate because, this will insure that little ones will not be able to find their way into the pool when adults are not looking.

Confirm Proper Signage Around Pool

Last of all, but most important, make sure that your swimming pool is safe for everyone by confirming that it has proper signage on the gate or fence which includes the following information: lifeguard status, rules for the pool, phone location and information on if diving will be allowed at the pool or not.

Get Houston Area Property Management

Are you tired of maintenance and doing all of the things that are needed to manage your rental property yourself? Contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

What’s Happening To The Multifamily Rentals In The United States?

There’s no doubt that construction in the Houston Texas area has been on the rise in recent years but one of the noticeable problems that we’ve seen occurring is that there have been fewer and fewer small, multi-family buildings constructed each year.

In 2017 for example, there were 358,000 multifamily buildings constructed in the United States but these units were all large multifamily properties of 50 or more units. When it comes to smaller multifamily buildings there were only 27,000 units constructed.

What’s Happened To Smaller Multifamily Rental Properties?

Why the big change in multifamily units constructed in the United States? The change in the construction of multifamily properties can be traced back to the demand for rentals nationwide and the fact that most renters want more in their rental properties than they did 30 years ago.

Much of the shift has to do with the rise of no-growth, not-in-my-backyard politics since the 1960s. This political movement has been strongest in homeowner-dominated suburbs, and as a result, as BuildZoom chief economist Issi Romem showed in a remarkable study earlier this year, almost all the housing construction in expensive, space-constrained coastal metropolitan areas such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle is now happening in and around established urban centers.

 The residential suburbs of these areas have effectively gone dormant, shunting new construction to the neighborhoods — mostly in or near old urban cores — where the neighbors either don’t object (because they’re in commercial buildings) or don’t have much political clout (because they’re low-income renters), and local elected officials see benefits in a growing population. In such places, big apartment buildings generally make more sense than duplexes. Also, as barriers to new construction — land costs, labor costs, permitting costs, zoning rules, Nimby opposition, etc. — have risen, the threshold project size needed to turn a profit has increased even in less expensive metro areas.

Another factor is that limited partnerships, limited liability companies, real estate investment trusts and the like have taken over from individuals as the dominant players in multifamily housing, and these institutional investors tend to be more interested in (and capable of) developing big projects than in building fourplexes here and there. Non-individuals owned 71 percent of all rental units in multifamily buildings and 94 percent of those in buildings with 50 or more units in 2015, when the Census Bureau last asked around, and those percentages have been rising since at least 2001. It’s apparent in the above charts (especially the third one) that the shift from small multi-unit buildings to big ones accelerated after the mid-1990s, which happens to be right after the Resolution Trust Corp., the government entity charged with cleaning up the aftermath of the savings and loan crisis, went to great lengths to create an institutional market for such properties.

There is surely also an element of changing consumer taste at work here, with more Americans wanting to live in tall buildings close to amenities, jobs and public transit than was the case 30 years ago. But I don’t think the drop from 498,000 apartments built in two-to-19-unit buildings in 1973 to just 59,000 in 2017 can be explained purely in demand terms. There is clearly a supply problem here.

Will we see any more small multifamily properties built in the coming years? They obviously will still continue to be built but not as much as in the 1970’s or 1980’s so if you have the opportunity to buy one, you shouldn’t hesitate to purchase it because they make great investment properties!

Get Houston Texas Property Management Here

Need Houston Texas Property Management? Contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Proof Of Income – Learn More About Why It’s Critical That You Require It

If you own rental properties, one of the most important things you can do is require proof of income from your tenants because, it’s what’s going to let you know if a tenant is really qualified to live in your rental property and will be able to pay their rent on time on a monthly basis or not.

Why You Need Proof of Income

Checking proof of income protects you from losing money and your tenant from eviction, if they suddenly can’t afford rent.

Let’s step back for a minute and acknowledge that most tenants don’t purposely fail to pay rent. Nor do they go into a rental agreement with the intent of living there for free.

But having proof of a steady income that is appropriate for the rent you charge can reduce risk to both you and your tenant. After all, evicting a tenant is not ideal and can cost you thousands.

Determine if the 3x Income Rule Is Met

When asking for proof of income for apartment rentals, you’re not just verifying a stable source of money. You’re also figuring out if your potential tenant can meet the 3x Income rule. Generally, you want to take tenants only if their gross yearly income is three times the rent you’re charging.

Of course, you can make exceptions to this rule, for example, if your potential renter has good credit, a steady work history, or if they have a cosigner.

For many potential renters you just need to look at a few pay stubs, but with retirees (who are renting more and more), students, and those without your typical salaried job, for instance, you may have to find other ways to verify their income.

The rise of the gig economy may also affect how you determine appropriate income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that about 10 percent of the U.S. population had “alternative work arrangements” in 2017. Still others supplement their traditional income with side gig companies like Uber or Upwork.

Verify Income for Potential Renters Without a Traditional Salary

You should verify income for all renters, but it’s especially important for potential renters who don’t have your typical 9-to-5. Let’s take a look at a few of those categories.

Self-Employed: Tenants who own their own business won’t have a pay stub or an employer to call. You’ll have to find other ways to verify their income and ensure that it’s steady.

Cash-Only Employees: Like the self-employed, there won’t be a paper trail for these renters. And a lot of them don’t know how to show proof of income, which makes it difficult for them to rent. This group includes waitstaff, landscaping employees, yoga instructors, artists and master crafts people as well as childcare workers. You will, however, most likely have an employer you can call or email.

Commission-Based Employees: Sales reps and retail employees may be working on commission or through incentive plans. While you probably ask to see two pay stubs for salaried renters, you may want to see a yearly statement of income to determine if a renter that works on commission is making enough.

Retirees: Retirees will have other types of income you can check: social security, retirement accounts, and pensions.

Students: Student renters will almost always need a cosigner. In that case, you’ll want to check proof of income for the cosigner, as well.

Ways to Determine Proof of Income

Whether they’re students, retirees, gig workers or have a salaried job, you still need to ask for documentation. Here are the best ways to do that.

  1. Pay Stub: Salaried and freelance workers who have filed W9s can provide pay stubs. For freelancers, however, a few pay stubs aren’t likely to give you the whole picture. You’ll need more verification.
  2. Employer Verification: A letter, email, or phone call from an employer can help you get a clear picture of finances. This is particularly helpful for potential renters who work on a cash-only basis.
  3. W2 or 1099: A W2 indicates exactly how much a salaried employee made over the past year. If they plan to keep that job, you’ll know whether or not they meet your requirements. A 1099 for a freelancer will give you the same information, but income for the coming years may vary.
  4. Offer Letter: If your potential tenant just changed jobs, ask for a copy of their offer letter. It should state their salary.
  5. Tax Return: Like W2s and 1099s, a tax return will tell you what someone made the previous year. It will be up to you to determine whether their job or other circumstances have changed since then.
  6. Retirement, Social Security or Pension Distribution Statement: For retirees, a distribution statement from social security, a retirement fund or a pension fund will verify income. You may need a combination or all three of these to get a clear picture of their finances.

Insufficient Funds Isn’t the End

If your potential tenant doesn’t meet your income criteria at first blush, don’t decline them right away. If everything else checks out and they seem like a good fit, there may be other ways to bring them on as tenants.

First of all, did you consider all of their means of income? For retirees, did you collect statements from all retirement accounts? For salaried employees, did you consider their side gigs?

Go back and ask them if they have any other sources that they didn’t consider including. If these are steady sources that they plan on keeping, you’re absolutely right to include them as part of their gross income.

And if their income still doesn’t add up, ask them if they would consider finding a cosigner. A lot of landlords require this for students, and it’s usually a parent or guardian. But other renters might be open to the idea, as well.

Proof of income is critical in protecting yourself and your renters. Still, you don’t have to keep to a hard-and-fast rule in determining who’s in and who’s out. Look at all the information in front of you, and use it to make a well-informed decision in the best interests of you and your tenants.

Get Property Management Here

Do you need full service property management for your Houston area rental properties? If so, contact Vestpro Residential services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Reasons To Choose Vestpro Residential Services In 2019 For Property Management

Are you planning on searching for a property manager in 2019 to manage your portfolio of rental properties? If so, here are the reasons to choose Vestpro Residential Services for all of your property management needs.

We Will Set the Right Correct Rates for Your Rentals

One of the biggest problems many property owners face is setting the incorrect rates for their Houston Income Properties.

We are your biggest asset in this area thanks to our market research, which will guarantee that we rent your properties for the right rates, insuring you have the right balance between stable monthly income and super low vacancy rate.

Your Rents Will Be Collected On Time

Another area where we will be an asset to your Houston Income Property portfolio is rent collection.

Over the years we’ve developed the right internal systems which will insure that your rent is collected on time every single month and deposited into your account or mailed to you.

The Most Effective Marketing For Your Rentals

As you grow your portfolio of properties you will find that one of the most time consuming duties is marketing a home, plex or property when you have a vacancy.

Vestpro has solved this problem for you. Effective property marketing is another of our biggest assets which will save you the time and hassle of property marketing yourself.

We Will Choose the Right Tenants for Your Properties

Last of all, but most important, at Vestpro we will choose the right tenants for your properties by performing the following tasks including: credit check, income verification and reference checks so you don’t have to.

Let Vestpro Manage Your Houston Rental Properties

For more information on the property management services we can offer you for your Houston Rental Properties contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us through our website.

Tips For Buying Rental Properties In Houston TX

Are you planning on buying rental properties in Houston TX? If so, you’ve come to the right place! The Houston Texas area is without a doubt one of the very best locations in the United States for buying investment properties. Why? The answer is simple. Demand for rentals has only continued to grow here in recent years and this continues to make the Houston area ideal for every real estate investor.

In this article, we will share with you several tips that will help you to choose the right investment property in Houston or elsewhere in the United States.

Tip #1 –  Where Is The Property Located?

Before purchasing an investment property in Houston, you should always find out exactly where the property is located. This step is vital because, knowing the location of the property may save you from buying a property that’s in a bad neighborhood or in a location that’s not close to restaurants, stores or the businesses that your renters may want to use on a regular basis.

Tip #2 – Always Get Title Insurance

Title insurance is a form of indemnity insurance predominantly found in the United States which insures against financial loss from defects in title to real property and from the invalidity or unenforceability of mortgage loans. … Typically the real property interests insured are fee simple ownership or a mortgage. – Wikipedia

Even though the current owner may tell you that the property has a clean title, you always want to get title insurance because you don’t want to find out about those title issues after you’ve invested in the property.

Tip #3 – Get The Rental Inspected

A good inspection of the Houston TX rental property could save you thousands of dollars because, the owner may tell you that the property was recently renovated but you’re never going to really know what’s going on with the investment property until you have it inspected.

Tip #4 – Get Houston Texas Property Management

Last of all, but most important, you should always hire a property manager to professional manage your rental property after you invest in it because, a professional property management company will save you the time, money and hassle of managing that rental yourself so you can focus on growing your portfolio of rental properties.

To learn more about the property management services we can offer you contact us today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Property Management Tips – How To Regain Control Of An Out Of Control Rental Property

Hаvе уоu bееn working hаrdеr thаn еvеr bеfоrе to mаnаgе уоur Houston Tеxаѕ Rental Prореrtу аnd in spite оf thе demand for rеntаlѕ, уоu ѕtіll fіnd yourself bеhіnd fіnаnсіаllу еvеrу mоnth?

If so, thіѕ іѕ a ѕіgn thаt уоu may hаvе lоѕt соntrоl оf your Houston Tеxаѕ Rеntаl, but thе gооd nеwѕ іѕ that уоu can turn things around financially bу fоllоwіng thеѕе ѕіmрlе tірѕ.

Crеаtе аn Oреrаtіng Budgеt and Cоmmіt To It

Your rеntаl income, еѕресіаllу іf you оwn a multi-family rental property, ѕhоuld аlwауѕ cover уоur expenses аnd lеаvе you with profit аt thе end оf thе month.

The best wау tо ѕtау оn track fіnаnсіаllу is tо create an ореrаtіng budget and thеn stick wіth that budgеt еасh month.

Whеn сrеаtіng an operating budgеt уоu ѕhоuld аlѕо be рrераrеd for рауmеntѕ like lаndlоrd іnѕurаnсе аnd рrореrtу tаxеѕ ѕо уоu’rе nеvеr left unprepared when іt соmеѕ tо your ability tо рау those bіllѕ оn tіmе whеn thеу are due.

Work On Yоur Lеаѕіng Strategy

Crеаtе a lеаѕе which hаѕ ѕtrоngеr language whеn іt comes to late рауmеntѕ juѕt ѕо tеnаntѕ knоw that thеу will receive аn еvісtіоn nоtісе and nоt bе allowed to “ѕlіdе” if thеу mіѕѕ making thеіr rеnt payments оn tіmе.

Yоu should also improve уоur tenant ѕсrееnіng process аnd take thе tіmе tо сhооѕе the right tеnаntѕ іnѕtеаd оf “wаrm bоdіеѕ” who саn pay the rent each month.

Imрrоvе Yоur Mаrkеtіng Strategy

Inѕtеаd оf hаngіng flіеrѕ іn уоur local lаundrу mat, оr posting аdѕ оn Crаіgѕlіѕt, уоu should сrеаtе a new mаrkеtіng ѕtrаtеgу whісh includes орtіоnѕ like paid аdѕ on websites lіkе Zіllоw and local сlаѕѕіfіеd аd sites which аrе ѕurе to bе rеаd by рrоѕресtіvе tenants.

Let Uѕ Hеlр Yоu Get Yоur Houston Texas Rеntаl Prореrtу on Track

Tо ѕаvе tіmе, mоnеу and thе hаѕѕlе оf mаnаgіng your Hоuѕtоn Tеxаѕ Rеntаl Property yourself соntасt Vestpro Rеѕіdеntіаl Sеrvісеѕ tоdау bу саllіng uѕ аt (832) 498-0016 оr CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

How to Make the Carpet in Your Rental Home Last Longer

If you’ve owned rental properties in Houston Texas or anywhere else in the United States for any length of time you know that it can be difficult at best to keep the carpeting in your rental for as long as possible because it will wear out after a period of time due to foot traffic and normal wear and tear.

Thankfully, there are solutions that you can use to help your carpet last especially if you do the following:

Combine A Hard Surface with Carpet at Entry Points

One of the first things that you can do to help the carpet in your rental property last longer is combine a hard surface area with carpet at entry points to the property.

This means that instead of encountering carpet when people enter the rental property, they will encounter a hard surface area with a floor mat that will encourage them to wipe their feet before entering the home.

Doing this will eliminate the majority of stains and wear/tear that the carpeting in your rental property gets during the year because more people will be wiping their feet.

Clean Carpet At Least Once A Year

Another effective strategy that you should use to make the carpet in your rental property last longer is to clean it at least once a year regardless if you have long-term tenants or not. Professional carpet cleaning will increase the lifespan of the carpet, reduce breakdown, wear and tear, discoloration and helps you prolong the lifespan of your investment in the carpet

Provide Tenants Your Tenants with A Vacuum Cleaner

Last of all, another effective way to prolong the carpeting in a rental property is to provide your tenants with a vacuum cleaner.

This is an effective tip to follow because the average tenant will not have a vacuum cleaner especially if they are relocating to Houston from out of state and providing them with a vacuum cleaner will not only help them to keep the carpet in the rental property clean and show them that you actually want to help them get established renting.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

For property management in Houston Texas contact VestPro residential services today by calling a set or click here to connect with us online.

New Report Shows More People Think Renting Is More Affordable Than Buying A Home

Thanks to a recent study we know that more than 70% of Americans now consider renting a home to be more affordable than buying a home.

The recent data from Freddie Mac found that close to 80% of Americans would prefer to rent instead of buy, this is up sharply from close to 67% of Americans who felt that renting was more affordable than buying a home just a short six months ago.

What’s even more shocking is that close to 58% of Renters have said that they have no plans to buy a home within the near future. This is up from 54 percent of renters who are surveyed over the same period.

What’s Happening with The Real Estate Market?

Among the usual suspects: Mortgage rates are up to nearly 5 percent, the highest they’ve been in seven years. The new rate is one percentage point higher than the beginning of the year. Rates are being pushed up by recent hikes in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate.

But it doesn’t mean renting is necessarily affordable.

Freddie Mac’s survey found that two-thirds of renters say they have had trouble paying their monthly bill in the last two years. Almost 9 out of 10 renters with occupations in what Freddie Mac considers “essential” fields — including healthcare and education — say they have had trouble cutting their landlords checks.

 

More Opportunity for You

On an encouraging note, the obvious benefit that can be gleaned from this article is the fact that with more people viewing renting as being more affordable and favorable than buying, this means more opportunities for people who own rental property.

The key to success though with owning rental property in Houston or else was across the United States is not having to do all the work yourself. Once you own a property you should hire a property management company to manage that rental property for you.

This will save you the time and hassle of having to do things like rent collection, maintenance and communicating with tenants so that you could focus on growing your portfolio of rental properties while living your normal life.

To learn more about the Property Management contact us today (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Will More Stock Market Investors Put Their Money in The Real Estate Investment Market?

The stock market has been experiencing another correction in recent days and with a stock market correction, it’s not uncommon for investors to put their money into the bond market or real estate investment market like commercial or residential rental properties.

This has happened before in the past before the crash of 1987 and 2008 because smart investors like to get out of stocks before their investments lose a ton of value like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos who lost a record $9 billion in one day.

Let’s say that you have $1 million in stocks, should you invest some of your money into real estate? The answer to this question is yes.

A Very Stable Investment

Like Bonds, the Real Estate investment market is very stable and can offer you an excellent return on your investment.

Real Estate is different than bonds though because with real estate you can rent it out, generate income and ultimately raise the rent for inflation compared with bonds which depending on the bond will only pay you a small return on your investment.

How Long Will the Stock Market Correction Last?

If you’re wondering how long the stock market correction will last, the answer is it’s anyone’s guess. Many institutional traders have been predicting that the market may lose up to 30% of its value but since we haven’t seen a wild swing like that there’s a good chance that the market may not lose much more value from here.

Tired of the up and down of the stock market? If you’ve been investing since before 2008, you’ve been riding the “roller coaster” for a long time.

Thankfully, with rental properties, you can enjoy long-term stability and cash flow from your investment plus a wide variety of other tax advantages compared to stocks or bonds.

Learn More About Houston Texas Real Estate Investments

To learn more about real estate investments in the Houston Texas area contact us today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.