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.

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.

Are Owners Required to Disclose Lead Paint in Rentals in Texas? Yes!

Older rental properties in Texas still exist and as of 2019 there still are a fair amount of properties on the rental market today that contain lead-based paint although it’s been banned in the United States since the late 1970s.

Lead-based paint exposure can cause weakness, kidney damage, weakness, and so many other bad symptoms that it’s easy to see why it was banned but in old homes, the culprit is still there even if it’s been painted over a few times with other layers of paint.

Although most landlords don’t let the paint chip or flake off in their rental properties, if lead based paint is allowed to flake off it can be hazardous for small children and dangerous for the environment if the paint chips or flakes are left on the ground.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Requirements for Landlords

All sellers and landlords must disclose the presence of any known lead in a home or rental. Here are the steps, according to the EPA, landlords need to take to make sure they are following the letter of the law.

Landlords must:

  • Disclose any known information on the presence of lead-based paint in the building. That includes any common areas like laundry rooms or lounges.
  • Include a lead disclosure attachment to the lease or language in the lease that includes a Lead Warning Statement, and lets tenants know you’ve complied with all notification requirements.
  • Keep lead-based paint disclosure forms for at least three years after the lease of an apartment or other property.
  • Provide an EPA-approved pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards to tenants.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides the lead paint hazard pamphlet in several languages. They also provide the Lead Warning Statement in both Spanish and English.

To disclose the presence of lead, give prospective tenants any records about the inspection for or discovery of lead paint.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to provide this information every time a tenant renews, just when a new tenant is ready to sign a lease.

Lead Paint Disclosure Exemptions

Aside from renewals, there are other situations where you don’t have to provide a lead paint disclosure:

  • If your unit or property was built after Jan. 1, 1978
  • If your unit is a studio or loft with no bedrooms
  • If you’re renting for less than 100 days, like those on Airbnb
  • If your unit or building has passed a lead-free inspection by a state-certified inspector

Lead paint disclosure is an important part of the rental process, particularly if you rent to families with little children. Take steps to give your new tenants all the information they need and ensure they have peace of mind that makes a happy, healthy home.

Get Property Management in Houston Texas

Do you need property management for your Houston Texas rental property? Contact VestPro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

How To Know When It’s Time To Hire A Property Management Company

Are you managing your Houston area rental properties yourself? If so, you most likely don’t have a lot of time in your day to do the things that you want to do. In this case, you should consider hiring a property manager.

At Vestpro Residential Services, we will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental properties yourself. Some of the services that we can offer you include:

Rent collection
Maintenance
Property Marketing
And more!

Learn more about the services we can offer you by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

How to get your rental property ready for spring

Even though it’s still winter one thing we know in the Houston area is that warmer weather is right around the corner. This is why it’s important for every owner to start planning for spring now.

Here’s an action plan that you can use to get your rental property ready for spring.

February

February is a great time to finish general landscape cleanup and begin making plans for how the property should look during the growing season.

  1. Get a Plan. Assess the lawn, beds, trees and the general landscape and determine what needs to be cut back, removed, culled and reshaped. Plot a path and follow it.
  2. Apply pre-emergents. An effective pre-emergent will make the lawn more healthy and weed resistant. In most areas, a pre-emergent fertilizer with time-release action will provide the right amount of nutrients and weed preventatives at the right time.
  3. Prune and cull. It’s a great time to prune crape myrtles and ornamental trees, plus cull larger grasses.
  4. Plant spring color. At the end of the month in southern climates start planting colorful annuals in beds. Bright yellows, oranges and reds grab the most attention.

March

As temperatures warm, put your plan for cutbacks and pruning of flowering bushes into action.

  1. Cut back ground cover and monkey grass. Mow to two-inch height and remove all the brown and dead grass. Failing to cut these plants back will result in plants that don’t look healthy when they should be lush and green.
  2. Prune roses. Before it gets too hot, prune roses and other flowering bushes. Pruning in March will help these bushes reach their full potential at the height of spring.
  3. Reduce large shrubs that are overgrown. Make sure bigger shrubs are but back before they start to bud.
  4. Check the waterworks. Irrigation systems that have been drained should be filled and tested for leaks or problems. Also, check rain sensors.
  5. Fertilize the lawn. About three or four weeks before lawns typically start to green, apply a fertilizer with high nitrogen.

April

For the southern part of the country, April usually is the final chance to get the lawn in shape before the heat hits. “It’s the Last month you have before you start getting hammered by heat,” Lee said. “It’s then that you’re trying to get things accomplished before the plant goes into survival mode.”

  1. Plant shrubs, grasses and other new plant life. Do it early so that new plants have enough time to get established before summer arrives.
  2. Trim trees. Most trees will have leafed out by now and you should be able to tell which limbs may be overly weighted and in need of trimming or cutting.
  3. Apply pesticides. As temperatures warm, fire ants and aphids start to emerge and should be treated to avoid damage to new and existing growth.
  4. Mulch beds and other areas. About mid-month, mulching should be under way and even finished. However, make sure the rainy season is mostly finished to avoid washing out of fresh-mulched beds.

“Not all of these steps will be right for areas farther north,” Lee said. “That cycle will probably start in March and run through May, for example. Wherever the property is located, it’s important to take a progressive approach to the landscape so that everything has the greatest chance of flourishing.”

Get Property Management In Houston

Need property management in the Houston area? Contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here.

Nеw Yеаr’ѕ Rеѕоlutіоnѕ – Hire A Property Manager In 2019

2019 іѕ оffісіаllу here аnd like mаnу реорlе, уоu mау bе wrіtіng down уоur Nеw Yеаr’ѕ Rеѕоlutіоnѕ аnd thіnkіng оf wауѕ that you can run уоur business mоrе efficiently.

If you оwn rеntаl рrореrtіеѕ in thе Houston, оnе оf thе bеѕt wауѕ thаt you саn manage your рrореrtіеѕ mоrе еffісіеntlу іn the New Yеаr is wіth thе help оf a рrореrtу mаnаgеmеnt соmраnу.

Wіth a рrореrtу manager ѕеrvіng уоu, you wіll nеvеr hаvе tо wоrrу аbоut еffісіеntlу managing уоur rеntаl рrореrtіеѕ again.

Sоmе оf thе many ѕеrvісеѕ thаt wе саn offer you іnсludе:

  • Rеnt collection – Collected on time еvеrу mоnth аnd dероѕіtеd іntо your account.
  • Mаіntеnаnсе – Performed bу оur еxреrt ѕtаff.
  • Customer ѕеrvісе – All соrrеѕроndеnсе will bе hаndlеd bу оur іn-hоuѕе сuѕtоmеr service tеаm.
  • Tenant ѕеlесtіоn and рlасеmеnt – We wіll оnlу find and рlасе the mоѕt ԛuаlіfіеd tenants іn your properties.
  • Aссоuntіng – Receive іtеmіzеd rероrtіng frоm your rental рrореrtіеѕ.
  • And more!

Save Tіmе and Money wіth Prореrtу Mаnаgеmеnt

Imаgіnе what hаvіng аn еxtrа hоur each dау саn dо fоr уоur schedule аnd thеn multірlу thаt оnе hоur реr dау bу 30 and thаt’ѕ a lot оf hоurѕ fоr thе mоnth. Wіth thіѕ еxtrа time, уоu can fіnаllу focus оn grоwіng уоur роrtfоlіо of rеntаl рrореrtіеѕ or juѕt have more tіmе wіth your family.

At Vestpro Residential Services we саn рrоmіѕе you rеlіаblе property mаnаgеmеnt that wіll bе аn аѕѕеt fоr your buѕіnеѕѕ аnd уоu саn аlѕо dереnd on uѕ for brоkеrаgе, асԛuіѕіtіоnѕ аnd ѕо muсh mоrе!

Dоn’t ѕреnd аnоthеr year ѕtrugglіng wіth mаnаgіng уоur rental рrореrtіеѕ уоurѕеlf! Lеt uѕ help уоu efficiently mаnаgе уоur рrореrtіеѕ аnd grоw your іnvеѕtmеnt portfolio.

Cоntасt Vestpro Residential Services

Mаkе 2019 уоur best уеаr ever! To lеаrn mоrе аbоut the services wе can offer уоu соntасt uѕ tоdау by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

What to Replace in Your Rental Property After You Purchase It

Are you planning on buying a new rental property in the Houston area?

Like many landlords, you’re excited about getting that property ready for rent but the reality is that there are a variety of things that you must replace in your property before renting it including the following:

Toilets

Although some landlords often replace the toilets in a rental property last, you should replace these first because a leaky toilet can cause thousands of dollars in water damages and higher than normal water bills for your tenant or you, if you’re paying the water bill for the property yourself.

Light Bulbs

Changing light bulbs is also a “must do” because this will eliminate your tenants calling you to come out to change the light bulbs and also ensure that they will not injure themselves when attempting to change the light bulbs in the rental property on their own.

Locks

Even though the locks in your new Houston TX rental property may look new, you should still replace them anyway because there’s no knowing who may have had access to that property in the past and you want to move forward with confidence in knowing that all keys are accounted for.

Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Alarms

Last of all, don’t forget to change the fire extinguishers and smoke alarms for the rental property especially since there’s no knowing how old those safety devices really are and you want to move forward as an owner with confidence in knowing that your tenants will be protected from fire should one break out at your property.

Contact VestPro Residential Services

Tired of managing your rental property yourself or are you not satisfied with the service that you’re receiving from your current manager? Contact us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us through our website.

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.

Late Payments – How to Avoid Them and Get Your Tenants to Pay on Time

Ask any owner and they will tell you that late payments are literally killing their cash flow because, when the mortgage payment on their rental property is due, they will have to cover that cost themselves until their tenant pays their rent.

Thankfully, avoid late payments is possible if you use the following strategy that will help you to get your tenants to pay their rents on time so you can start avoiding late payments all together.

Enable Electronic Payments

We’re a big fan of software that allows residents to make payments online, such as many property management software solutions. In this day and age, we’re all busy. Having to physically write a check, track down a stamp, and trek to the post office to mail a payment is a hassle. Some will certainly prefer to make payments that way; but if you want to collect payments on time, leveraging electronic payments will make it easier for you to do so.

Improve Your Resident Screening Process

There will always be one-off cases of residents paying late. However, if you find that multiple residents are making late payments more often than not, it could mean that your tenant screening process is in need of a few tweaks. Be sure that you’re calling landlord references, confirming proof of employment, setting guidelines for minimum income required to lease, etc. This should help to ensure that you’re choosing high-quality residents who can afford to make their payments each month.

Hire a Property Manager

If you’re struggling to collect rent payments and dues, or you simply don’t have the time or energy to track down late payments, consider hiring a property manager. Hiring an experienced property manager can help you to implement a stronger payment system to ensure consistent cash flow moving forward, and can provide valuable expertise on these kinds of situations in the future.

Get Property Management in The Houston TX Area

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