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.

77338 Property Management

Are you searching for 77338 property management? If that is so, contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

We offer professional property management service for Humble, Kingwood, Dayton, Atascocita and the surrounding area.

If you’re thinking about hiring a property management company in Humble Texas there’s nobody better to manage your rental properties for you than Vestpro, especially for these reasons.

#1 – Professional Property Marketing

Our team of experts will save you the time, money and hassle of marketing your rental property yourself. You can count on our 77338-property management company to market your rental everywhere online so that potential tenants who are interested in moving to the area will become aware of your rental property.

#2 – Tenant Selection & Placement

Once your rental property is listed online we will review applications and choose the most qualified tenant to live in your single-family home, condo, townhome or multi-family rental property.

#3 – Customer Service

Another HUGE benefit that will come from choosing our 77338-property management company is that our customer service will save you the time and hassle of answering the phone yourself and potentially having to deal with tenants at night or on weekends.

#4 – Rent Collection

Imagine never having to hear the excuse “the check is in the mail” from your tenants again. Thanks to our property management company rent collection will become a breeze and you will be able to have confidence that your rent payment will be deposited on time into your account each month without you having to collect the rent yourself.

Get 77338 Property Management Here

For professional 77338 Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841, connect with us through our website or through social media.

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.

Property Management Tips – April Is A Great Time For HVAC Maintenance

As the weather warms up in the Houston Texas area, spring is also a great time for HVAC maintenance because your tenants are going to be using their air conditioners heavily in the coming months so it’s best to make sure that they are functioning correctly by doing the following.

Step #1: Inspect

The first thing that you or your HVAC technician should do is to visually inspect your entire HVAC system, looking for things such as rust, corrosion from moisture, condensation, or leaking ductwork. This is a great example of an HVAC duct in disrepair–these leaky ducts can lower the efficiency of your air conditioner, making it eat up more power and do its job less effectively in the long run.

With an HVAC system, small problems can quickly become big ones that make your system less efficient or even cause it to fail entirely.

The units themselves will need to be inspected as well, particularly for damage and dirt build-up on the fins. Even a well-cared-for unit can be damaged inadvertently by a stray bird or stick tossed by a storm.

Step #2: Clean

It’s time to clean the equipment after the HVAC system has been thoroughly inspected. Your HVAC technician will clean the evaporator coil, the drains and lines, and the condensate pan to ensure that each part of the system is running at peak performance. A dirty evaporator coil can make it harder for your A/C to cool the house, and clogged water lines can cause floods inside your home.

Your technician will also inspect all of the connections to make sure that there are no potential leak points.

Step #3: Check

The next step in your spring HVAC inspection is something that will need to be done by your HVAC technician. They will need to inspect and test all the electrical components in the HVAC system.

Inspect wiring for frayed connections or damaged insulation. Tighten any loose connections, and replace any damaged wires before your unit goes into full service for the spring.

They will also test the circuit boards that run the system, and the capacitors to ensure that they’re doing their job.

Step #4: Test

The last step is to test your HVAC system as a whole. This will include checking the coolant levels during various cycles; making sure that the run controls function properly; and ensuring that the compressor is functioning at peak levels. Your technician will also test the safety switches to ensure that the system shuts off properly when there’s a power failure.

This might sound like a comprehensive inspection, but it can be completed in just a few hours by a well-trained technician.

Get Property Management Here

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

Did You Just Buy Your First Houston Texas Rental? Click Here For Property Management Tips

There’s no doubt that owning a Houston Texas Rental Property is a great investment, especially over the last four years as Houston has been one of the fastest growing cities for relocation in the United States.

If you own Houston Rentals, getting started as a landlord can be tough because there’s so much to learn. Thankfully, you can cut down on the learning curve by following these tips.

1. Screen Tenants

Don’t rent to anyone before checking credit history, references, and background. Haphazard screening and tenant selection too often results in problems — a tenant who pays the rent late or not at all, trashes your place, or lets undesirable friends move in. Use a written rental application to properly screen your tenants. For more information, see How to Screen and Select Tenants FAQ.

2. Get it in writing.

Be sure to use a written lease or month-to-month rental agreement to document the important facts of your relationship with your tenants — including when and how you handle tenant complaints and repair problems, notice you must give to enter a tenant’s apartment, and the like. For what to include in a lease or rental agreement, see Ten Terms You Must Include in Your Lease or Rental Agreement. Not sure which to use? See Whether to Use a Lease or Rental Agreement.

3. Handle security deposits properly.

Establish a fair system of setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits. Inspect and document the condition of the rental unit before the tenant moves in, to avoid disputes over security deposits when the tenant moves out. For more information, see Leases and Rental Agreements FAQ.

4. Make repairs.

Stay on top of maintenance and repair needs and make repairs when requested. If the property is not kept in good repair, you’ll alienate good tenants, and tenants may gain the right to withhold rent, repair the problem and deduct the cost from the rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions, and/or move out without needing to give notice. For more information, see Repairs, Maintenance, and Entry to Rented Premises.

5. Provide secure premises.

Don’t let your tenants and property be easy marks for a criminal. Assess your property’s security and take reasonable steps to protect it. Often the best measures, such as proper lights and trimmed landscaping, are not that expensive. For more information, see Criminal Acts and Activities: Landlord Liability FAQ.

6. Provide notice before entering.

Learn about your tenants’ rights to privacy; see Repairs, Maintenance, and Entry to Rented Premises. Notify your tenants whenever you plan to enter their rental unit, and provide as much notice as possible, at least 24 hours or the minimum amount required by state law. For state-by-state information, see Chart: Notice Requirements to Enter Rental Property, State by State.

7. Disclose environmental hazards.

If there’s a hazard such as lead or mold on the property, tell your tenants. Landlords are increasingly being held liable for tenant health problems resulting from exposure to environmental toxins in the rental premises. For more information on lead, see Lead Disclosures for Rental Property FAQ. Check your state law for other landlord disclosures. – Learn more here!

Most Important Tip For New Landlords

Besides the excellent tips mentioned in this article, the most important tip for new landlords is to invest in property management sooner, rather than later.

Hiring an experienced property manager will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental properties yourself.

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

How to reduce late payments at your Houston Texas rental property

By Vestpro Residential Services

There’s no doubt that late payments will hurt any owner regardless if they’re just getting started with owning rentals, or they’ve owned them for years.

The truth is that most owners rely on the rent that they receive from their tenants to pay their mortgages so when a tenant is late paying their rent this means that the owner will have to pay their mortgage out of pocket.

What’s the solution to the problem?

Owners must reduce their late payments and getting started with this is easy especially when the steps listed in this article are followed.

How To Reduce Late Payments

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 Here

For professional property management contact us today by calling 832-971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

late payments
Avoid late payments at your rental property when you work with Vestpro Residential services!

Arctic Storm – How To Deal With Frozen Pipes In Your Houston Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

HOUSTON, TX. – Over the last week we’ve been hit with one of the coldest storms to hit Texas in recent memory and you may have been woken up to frozen pipes in your Houston Rental Property.

Although frozen pipes are not uncommon, many people don’t know how to deal with them and if those frozen pipes are left frozen for too long they can cause a major problem for the home.

Thankfully, you can deal with frozen pipes yourself if you follow these simple tips:

How To Unfreeze Pipes At Your Houston Rental Property

Tip #1: Use a Hairdryer to Thaw Frozen Pipes

As soon as you suspect that a pipe has frozen, try to find the problem area. It might be in your basement. It might be under a sink. Pipes located along exterior walls are most susceptible to freezing, so that’s a good place to start. Run an electric hairdryer along your pipes to warm them up and get water flowing again.

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #2: Wrap Hot Towels Around Frozen Pipes

If you don’t have a hairdryer handy, try this technique. The hot towels may slowly thaw the blockage. This strategy is best used on copper or galvanized steel piping, as metal conducts heat. It will be less effective on PEX piping. As the towels gradually cool, you can place a bucket under the pipe and continually pour hot water over them. (It might be a bit messy, but if it works, it’s worth it!)

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #3: Wrap Frozen Pipes with Heating Cables or Heat Tape

Heating cables and heat tape can be a lifesaver when cold weather strikes.

Heating cables are self-regulating, automatically varying their heat output based upon the surrounding temperature. You wrap the cable around your pipes (ideally before they freeze–but you can do so afterwards to thaw them as well) and then plug the cable into a regular electrical socket. The cable can be overlapped to provide extra protection.

Heat tape is a flat tape coated in rubber. The heat tape must run flat along the pipe and cannot overlap itself. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. Some heat tapes cannot be used safely on plastic, such as PVC water lines.

If you plan to use either heating cables or heat tape, measure the length of your pipes before heading to the hardware store. This will help you to determine how much heating cable or tape you need. The cords come in various sizes, usually ranging from 30″ to 80″. Once applied, the cords will help to slowly thaw your frozen pipes; and if left plugged in, they can prevent your pipes from freezing again in the future.

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #4: Crank the Heat to Thaw Frozen Pipes Behind a Wall

The first three solutions won’t do much good if you can’t access the frozen pipe. If the frozen pipe is located behind a wall, one of your best (and only) options is to crank the thermostat. Sometime, heating the problem area is all you need to thaw the blockage. To speed the process along, consider using space heaters and/or infrared lamps against the wall where you suspect the frozen pipe is located.

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #5: Find a Plumber with a Thaw Machine

When all else fails, it’s time to bring in the pros. Most plumbing companies will have at least one thaw machine on hand. A thaw machine is a small, portable unit that a plumber will connect between a working pipe and a frozen pipe. Once the connections have been made (which look similar to jumper cables), the machine will then shoot electricity from one end to another. This heat conduction process is usually enough to thaw even the most stubbornly frozen pipes.

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #6: Don’t Use a Blowtorch to Thaw Frozen Pipes

One thing that you should never do is use a blowtorch to thaw frozen pipes. It may seem like a logical solution, but the high-pressure heat could actually damage your pipes. You’re also creating a fire hazard if there are combustible materials nearby. Frozen pipes are bad enough–the last thing you want to do is burn the house down trying to fix the problem!

If frozen pipes continue to be an issue, considering hiring a property manager. An experienced property manager will be able to manage these stressful situations for you. They should also be able to give you sound advice on issues of all kinds, including preventing frozen pipes in the future.

Get Houston TX Property Management Here

For professional Houston TX property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (831) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Enjoy The Tax Benefits Of Renting Your Home During Special Events

 

Are you planning on going on vacation this year? If so, you might want to wait to go on vacation during an annual event in the Houston area.

You may be able to rent your home for more money while a special event is in progress like Comicpalooza because more people will be in town during the week of that event and willing to pay higher rental rates.

Could Be Tax Free Income

Homeowners go on vacation and make tax-free income while temporary tenants rent their home. Homeowners can benefit from a little known provision in the tax code that does not require taxpayers to recognize the income derived from renting their home for less than 15 days per year. See Plan Ahead for Tax Time When Renting Out Residential or Vacation Property- special rules.

This situation can particularly benefit homeowners where there are large sporting events nearby like golf and tennis tournaments, championship games or other high attendance venues. The demand for a private residence can be more attractive than staying in a hotel which makes the price go up.

Obviously, there are challenges with personal belongings and damage but getting a premium rental rate and not having to recognize the income could be worth it. You’ll certainly want to discuss this with your tax professional prior to making this decision. You’d probably also want to get some help from an experienced real estate professional.

Source – In Touch Weekly

Get Houston Texas Property Management

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

 

 

Will Your Rental Make More Money With A Laundry Room?

Thinking about building a laundry room at your rental property? Yes, it’s true that laundry rooms are a good investment to make but before you spend the money it’s important to ask yourself these questions.

Question #1 – Will My Tenants Actually Use This Laundry Facility?

The very first thing you should do before building a laundry room on site at your four-plex, or multi-family unit, is to speak with each of your tenants personally and find out if they would be open to using a laundry room if there was one on site.

You should also ask your tenants where they do their laundry now, and how much they are paying per load, so you have a better idea of what local laundromats are charging in the area.

Question #2 – How Many Washers and Dryers Will I Need?

To avoid overspending on washers, dryers, and other hardware, you should consider starting small and maybe buying two washers and dryers first.

Also another thing you can do to make adding more washers and dryers in the future easy is to add additional outlets and plumbing to your laundry room when it’s under construction.

Question #3 – What Will Your Laundry Room Hours Be?

As with any laundromat in Houston Texas Rental Property it’s important to have set hours for the laundry room in your Houston Texas Rental Property that way people know when they can use it. This will help to keep noise at a minimum in the evening and insure that all tenants respect the laundry facility.

Houston Texas Rental Property Management

For more tips on improvements you can make to your Houston Texas Rental Property, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact Vestpro Residential Services by clicking here, or calling us at (832) 971-1841

Is Your Rental Scaring Away Renters? Click Here!

Have you put a lot of time, money and energy into your rental property only to find that it’s still not renting and you can’t figure out why?

Your Curb Appeal Is Scary

Take a look at the curb appeal for your Rental and think like a potential renter.

Are there overgrown trees or bushes?

Does the grass look like it hasn’t been mowed since last year?

If you answered yes to either of these questions it’s time to do a property clean up and do your part to improve the curb appeal of your rental property.

The Inside of Your Rental Property Is Scary

When was the last time that you spent 10 minutes inside your rental?

Does it have plenty of light inside? If not, lack of light can be sending potential renters away since light always helps to make the inside of a rental look brighter and cheery.

Consider improving the lighting in each room and also painting the rooms of your rental bright colors like yellow or green since bright colors will bring light to any room regardless if the room gets a lot of natural light or not.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

 

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