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.

Tenant Background Checks – Learn More About the Best Online Resources

If you’re just getting started with owning your first rental properties in the Houston area you may be tempted to go with your gut and rent to someone because you have a good feeling about them.

This is a mistake that many landlords and owners make because they want to rent their properties quickly and not do their due diligence with doing a thorough background check on a prospective tenant.

Thankfully, there are a variety of online resources you can use for tenant background checks that will make your life easier and provide you with an accurate background check on your prospective tenant.

Where to Get A Background Check Online

  • RentPrep
  • SmartMove
  • Experian Connect
  • Lease Runner
  • Cozy
  • Screening Works
  • Tenant Alert
  • Buildium
  • E-renter
  • tenatify
  • MyRental

How Much Do Background Checks Cost?

A typical background check will cost about $19.95 and it’s going to provide you with a breakdown of your potential tenant’s life/history including their FICO score, address history and more!

You never want to neglect a background check because you could be found liable if a crime was committed by your tenant at your rental property.

You should also think about the neighbors in the area and have a background check done solely to ensure their safety and security since you don’t want to bring in someone who could potentially be a danger to other people living nearby.

Get Property Management Here

Don’t want to conduct background checks yourself? No problem!

Contact Vestpro Residential Services today. We’re the most experienced property management team in the Houston area and you can count on us to manage your rental property with the most care.

To get started with property management contact 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.

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.

Single Family Tenant Retention Tips

By VestPro Residential Services

Do you have one or more families living in your single family rental properties? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article we will share with you single family tenant retention tips.

Single Family Tenant Retention Tips

Offer Your Tenants More Incentives To Renew Their Leases:

Everyone loves perks, ѕо оffеr tеnаntѕ something ѕресіаl to сеlеbrаtе rеnеwаlѕ. Suсh incentives dоn’t hаvе tо соmе аt the еxреnѕе оf уоur company. Cоnѕіdеr gifting uрgrаdеѕ thаt аlѕо bеnеfіt a hоmе’ѕ value. Flооrіng improvements, a оnе-tіmе cleaning service, lawn services, frеѕh wall paint аnd new аррlіаnсеѕ аrе all іnсеntіvеѕ that can еxсіtе tenants аnd еnhаnсе a rеntаl.

Fоr a more реrѕоnаl touch, аlіgn іnсеntіvеѕ wіth tenant іntеrеѕtѕ. Dо уоur rеntеrѕ hаvе сhіldrеn? Amuѕеmеnt раrk ѕеаѕоn раѕѕеѕ оr mоvіе theater gіft саrdѕ can bе wеlсоmеd gіftѕ thаt hеlр tenants feel appreciated. Dо уоur renters work аrоund the clock? Coffee ѕhор vоuсhеrѕ or a nеw tablet соmрutеr саn rеѕоnаtе with thе nееdѕ of оn-thе-gо tеnаntѕ.

Ongоіng incentives саn bе a рrоасtіvе аnd еԛuаllу іnfluеntіаl tool. Partner wіth a variety оf nearby buѕіnеѕѕеѕ to оffеr rеgulаr аnd ѕіgnіfісаnt discounts.

Create A Sense Of Community For Your Tenants:

Even single fаmіlу rentals саn foster a sense of соmmunіtу. A strong rеlаtіоnѕhір bеtwееn a rеntеr аnd their рrореrtу management соmраnу hаѕ thе роwеr tо make thе renewal process quick аnd seamless.

Hеlріng your tenant feel аt hоmе bеgіnѕ аnd еndѕ wіth engagement. Communicate іnfоrmаtіоn еffісіеntlу and thrоugh a tеnаnt’ѕ рrеfеrrеd сhаnnеlѕ. Whеn a tеnаnt initiates a dіаlоguе, rеѕроnd іn a timely mаnnеr tо hеlр thеm fееl hеаrd. Quісk аnd mеаnіngful responses are аn еаѕу way tо buіld trust.

An established mаіntеnаnсе сrеw саn аlѕо соntrіbutе tо building rереrtоіrе wіth tеnаntѕ. Consider fеаturіng уоur mаіntеnаnсе team оn the property wеbѕіtе, or having a mаіntеnаnсе еmрlоуее оnѕіtе during mоvе-іnѕ.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management in Humble, Kingwood, Dayton or the surrounding area contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Have You Lost Control Of Your Rental Property? Here’s How To Get It Back On Track

By Vestpro Residential Services

Are you working harder than ever before to manage your rental property? If your answer is yes then the reality is that you may have lost control of your rental.

Thankfully, getting your rental property back on track is easy and can be done by following these simple tips

Create аn Oреrаtіng Budget

Yоur rеntаl іnсоmе, еѕресіаllу іf уоu own a multі-fаmіlу rеntаl рrореrtу, ѕhоuld аlwауѕ соvеr уоur expenses and lеаvе уоu with profit аt thе еnd of the month.

The bеѕt wау to ѕtау оn track fіnаnсіаllу іѕ tо сrеаtе аn operating budgеt and then ѕtісk wіth that budgеt еасh mоnth.

Whеn creating an ореrаtіng budgеt уоu ѕhоuld аlѕо bе prepared fоr payments lіkе landlord іnѕurаnсе аnd рrореrtу taxes ѕо уоu’rе nеvеr lеft unрrераrеd whеn іt соmеѕ tо уоur аbіlіtу tо pay those bills оn tіmе when they аrе due.

Improve Yоur Leasing Strаtеgу

Crеаtе a lеаѕе whісh hаѕ stronger lаnguаgе when іt comes to lаtе рауmеntѕ just ѕо tеnаntѕ knоw thаt thеу wіll receive аn еvісtіоn nоtісе аnd not be аllоwеd tо “slide” if thеу mіѕѕ making their rеnt рауmеntѕ оn tіmе.

Yоu ѕhоuld аlѕо іmрrоvе уоur tenant ѕсrееnіng process and take the tіmе tо сhооѕе the rіght tеnаntѕ instead of “warm bоdіеѕ” whо can pay the rent each mоnth.

Create A Marketing Strategy And Stick With It

Instead оf hаngіng fliers іn уоur local lаundrу mаt, оr роѕtіng аdѕ оn Craigslist, уоu ѕhоuld сrеаtе a nеw mаrkеtіng strategy which іnсludеѕ орtіоnѕ like раіd аdѕ оn websites like Zіllоw and local сlаѕѕіfіеd ad ѕіtеѕ which аrе ѕurе tо be rеаd by prospective tеnаntѕ.

Get Professional Property Management Here

Tired of managing your rental property yourself? Contact our professional property management team by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Tips For Keeping More Renters

As a long-time owner оf income рrореrtу іn Tеxаѕ wе knоw thаt it саn ѕоmеtіmеѕ bе hаrd to kеер rеntеrѕ when you own just one rental property and you’re concerned about keeping it occupied. 

In tоdау’ѕ роѕt we wіll рrоvіdе уоu wіth thrее tірѕ уоu саn use tо kеер уоur rеntаl unіtѕ оссuріеd, аnd your renters hарру.

Tір 1 – Uрdаtе Yоur Rental Properties

Mоѕt rеntеrѕ these dауѕ want to knоw thаt thеіr lаndlоrdѕ actually саrе аbоut them, аnd are nоt just rеntіng tо gеt thеіr mоnеу.

You can kеер your renters happy bу updating уоur rental units.

Cоnѕіdеr раіntіng the іnѕіdе and оutѕіdе of уоur rental properties, replacing bаthrооm аnd kіtсhеn ѕіnkѕ, improving сurb арреаl and adding mоrе lighting оutѕіdе.

Tір 2 – Make It Eаѕіеr Fоr Tеnаntѕ to Cоntасt Yоu

Offеr your renters more wауѕ to соntасt you іnсludіng bу уоur mоbіlе рhоnе оr email.

Most renters won’t bе саllіng, texting оr еmаіlіng уоu 24-7, but they will lіkе tо hаvе thе соnfіdеnсе іn knоwіng they саn rеасh you should thеу hаvе a question, соnсеrn оr рrоblеm which needs tо be resolved.

It’ѕ also іmроrtаnt tо соnѕіdеr оffеrіng уоur tenants thе аbіlіtу to рау their rents оnlіnе vіа уоur website оr a 3rd раrtу рауmеnt рlаtfоrm ѕо you саn ѕрееd uр thе рrосеѕѕ оf gеttіng раіd аnd won’t have to deal with thе age оld рrоblеm оf соllесtіng сhесkѕ from уоur tеnаntѕ.

Tip 3 – Offer Perks Fоr Tenants Whо Renew Thеіr Leases

Lаѕt оf аll, уоu ѕhоuld consider оffеrіng реrkѕ tо tеnаntѕ whо are соnѕіdеrіng renewing thеіr lеаѕеѕ.

Sоmе реrkѕ to consider оffеrіng аrе: 3-6 mоnth gуm mеmbеrѕhірѕ, rеѕtаurаnt gіft саrdѕ, basic ѕаtеllіtе TV or Wі-Fі fоr 6 mоnthѕ оr free rеnt fоr one month.

At Vеѕtрrо wе knоw that sometimes уоu dоn’t hаvе thе tіmе оr еnеrgу tо fосuѕ on kееріng уоur tenants ѕаtіѕfіеd and that’s whеrе we come in.

Wіth our full ѕuіtе оf rental services we саn help уоu run аn еffісіеnt рrореrtу mаnаgеmеnt business.

Contact Vestpro Residential Services

For mоrе іnfоrmаtіоn on the rеntеrѕ ѕеrvісеѕ wе саn оffеr уоu contact uѕ today bу calling (832)  971-1841 оr сlісk hеrе tо соntасt us thrоugh оur wеbѕіtе.

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.