Tips for making your rental energy efficient

One of the keys to success with owning rental properties in 2017 is offering a rental property that’s also energy efficient because, these types of rentals will be more attractive to millennials and other renters who want rental properties that won’t come with expensive energy costs each month, no matter if you’re using Prepaid Electric or direct debit.

In this article we’re going to provide you with easy tips you can use to create an energy efficient rental property.

How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient: Tip #1

Reduce Drafts

One of the easiest ways to make your property more energy-efficient is to reduce the amount of air that comes in or out of the home unintentionally. Drafts force tenants to turn up the heat; and at the end of the month, they’re the ones who pay for it.

Reduce drafts and energy bills with the following fixes:

  • Exterior doors: There are a number of ways to stop drafts from sneaking under the bottom of the door. We recommend sealing doorways with inexpensive solutions like draft stoppers, foam tape, or door sweeps. Also, when installing exterior door, be sure to have whoever fitted it to check thoroughly for any gaps that may not have been filled in.
  • Windows: Old windows are especially prone to letting drafts in. If you’re not ready to replace them just yet, check out this weather stripping tutorial for an affordable solution.
  • Fireplace door: If your unit has fireplaces, whether or not they’re actively used, fireplace doors block drafts from entering your home. Sam Wilhoit of Brick-Anew explains, “[Fireplace doors] were originally designed so that a person could let the fire die down and then close the doors before they went to bed. That way the room would not be freezing cold the next morning from the cold air that came into the room.”Choose clear or tinted glass to accent your space.

Another suggestion I will make is for both doors and windows, your best bet could be to look into replacement windows prices, as we suggested in last week’s post on energy-efficient updates. This reduces drafts while also boosting the property’s security and aesthetics. You can also mention that your unit has brand new doors and windows in your rental listings.

How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient: Tip #2

Install Energy-Efficient Bulbs

Lighting is an important area to focus your attention because “an average household dedicates about 5 percent of its energy budget to lighting,” according to Energy.gov. As a result, they explain, “Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills.”

Start by replacing bulbs in the 5 most frequently used light fixtures in your home. In doing so, Energy.gov says, you could save $75 each year. Consider which rooms are used most–likely the bathroom, kitchen, and living room are at the top of the list–so you can make the most of this investment. In addition to indoor lamps, consider replacing bulbs in outdoor lighting that might be left on for a long time.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are two of the most popular options, with LEDs using just 20-25% of the energy used by traditional incandescent lightbulbs. “For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR,” suggests Energy.gov. New bulbs will last longer and improve energy efficiency–a win-win.

How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient: Tip #3

Choose One Big Upgrade

Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances is expensive. It’s a hard investment to justify as a landlord who’s worried about how potential renters will treat these valuable items. Instead of investing in all new appliances at once, start with one big upgrade. Which one should you start with? According to Direct Energy, these 4 appliances pack the biggest savings punch:

  • Washer: $40/year and $415/lifespan
  • Air purifier: $27/year and $215/lifespan
  • Clothes dryer: $16/year and $160/lifespan
  • Air conditioners: $11/year and $99/lifespan

If you don’t have the extra cash to replace old appliances just yet, focus on downgrading wherever possible. “Make an effort to buy appliances that suit your needs–no bigger and no smaller. Oversized air conditioners, water heaters and refrigerators waste both energy and money,” explains Mary Boone on Zillow.

When all is said and done, don’t forget to update rental listings to feature any upgrades you’ve made. Use buzzwords like “eco-friendly,” “environmentally friendly,” “green,” “sustainable,” and “energy savings” to pique the interest of tenants that care most about these features–and highlight the money it’ll save.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management for your rental properties contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

Rental Property Maintenance – Why It Really Matters

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Maintenance is one of the biggest things that most owners don’t budget for over the course of one year and sadly many people find themselves scrambling for money when their tenant calls to tell them that the water heater has gone out.

One maintenance call after another: when does it end? When you’re a property manager, maintenance costs can eat up a significant portion of your budget. However, you don’t need to get to a crisis point. If you’re wondering how to reduce your maintenance and repair costs, being proactive rather than reactive can yield the savings you need.

Avoid Extra Fees: Get There Before the Crisis Hits

We’ve all been there: the water heater cracks or the furnace quits in the middle of a winter’s night. These emergency repairs can be expensive. While these types of situations happen, being proactive with your repair and maintenance schedule can help you get there before the crisis hits and avoid huge emergency call-out fees. If larger troubles do arise, keep your warranties handy. Net Integrity recommends spending the extra money on warranties when purchasing large appliances, such as refrigerators or water heaters. The cost of expensive repairs or replacements will far outweigh the small expense you’ll pay upfront.

Ongoing Care Can Reduce Rental Property Maintenance Costs

Regular property maintenance includes everything from annual checkups for ACs and furnaces, assessing decks, railings and steps for repairs, and inspecting roofs for loose shingles. All of these services and more are items that you probably outsource, and all of them are activities that each of your properties will need one or more times a year. Being consistent about your rental property maintenance not only keeps you from being surprised by larger fees, it also allows you to set up a consistent fee schedule with your vendors. Standardizing your costs for specific repair and maintenance activities helps you manage your budget.

Source – Property Ware

Get Houston Property Management Here

For professional Houston Texas Property Management contact RPM Central Valley today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

 

3 Reasons to Consider Passive Houston Texas Real Estate Investing

So you’re thinking about getting involved in Houston Texas Real Estate Investing but will your Real Estate investment be a passive investment?

In this post we will share with you 3 tips you can use to insure that your Houston Texas Real Estate investment will be 100% passive so you can continue working in your current job while your rental property makes money for you, even while you sleep.

Passive Tip #1 – Purhase a Property with Existing Tenants

Instead of buying rental property that’s vacant or needs repairs you should search for rental properties with existing tenants because the cash flow for those properties is already established and your money can start working for you 24-7.

If you are short on funds to purcahse a propert consider crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is opening up investing to anyone with a little extra cash these days as regulations change and entrepreneurs take advantage of the expanding marketplace.

Source – abc15.com

Passive Tip #2 – Hire a The Right Property Management Company 

One of the big mistakes most investors make when they are just getting started with buying rental property is thinking they can do everything themselves.

Don’t make this mistake! Hire a property management company in Houston Texas immediately when you buy your first rental property because this will save you the time, money and hassle of having to manage your property yourself and you will have more time to actually grow your portfolio.

As an investor and entrepreneur, you should always be on the lookout for ways outside the obvious to improve your return. When using personal funds to invest, the best way to do it is through a self-directed IRA. A self-directed IRA is the same as the usual IRA, however, it allows alternative investments for your retirement savings. By investing through an IRA, you can avoid using your taxed income. Most banks have this option, so it’s best to speak with a financial advisor before diving in head first with this kind of investment — and remember to leave yourself with something for retirement.

Source – entrepreneur.com 

Passive Tip #3 – Use The Tax Advantages Uncle Sam Offers You

Last of all, but most important, as you are buying Houston Texas Real Estate you should keep in mind that there’s a lot that Uncle Sam can do for you especially if you have an investment that’s equity structured because will be able to keep most of your income and have cash returns which are tax deferred.

As a rental property owner, you are able to deduct nearly all the expenses you’ll pay to manage your property. Everything from the mortgage interest you pay on the loan all the way down to the paper you buy for your printer (if you are using that printer primarily for real estate investing purposes, that is).

Source – Biggerpockets.com 

Get Houston Texas Property Management

To get Houston Texas property management contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by clicking here to connect with us online or calling us at (832) 498-0016.

 

4 Tips for Successful Houston Texas Real Estate Investing

Are you thinking about getting started with investing in Houston Texas Real Estate?

Now is the right time to start investing in rental properties thanks to high demand for rentals and low mortgage interest rates nationwide.

Everyone from Robert Kiyosaki to Warren Buffet are advocates for Real Estate investing thanks to the steady cash flow you receive from your rental properties each month and the wide variety of other benefits which come from owning rentals like tax deductions and equity.

To get you started with Real Estate investing right here are our 4 tips for successful Houston Texas Real Estate investing.

Tip #1 – Continue Your Houston Texas Real Estate Education

This tip is vital to follow because once you stop learning about Real Estate investing you won’t continue to see the same success that you’re enjoying when you’re learning about Real Estate investing.

Establish a set daily time for studying and following what other Real Estate investors are doing so you can stay ahead of other investors and even find great deals no matter what shape the economy is in.

Tip #2 – Establish Goals For Acquiring Houston Texas Real Estate

Once you get started in Houston Texas Real Estate investing don’t get satisfied with just one property, set clear goals for yourself on how many properties you want to buy so your net worth will grow every year.

For example: one of your goals could be to save $20,000 and use that profit from your rental property to use as a down payment on one new Houston Texas Rental each year.

Tip #3 – Don’t Start Speculating

Although the market may be up, or down, NEVER speculate on where you think it’s going to go or speculate on what your short term gain will be if you purchase a new rental property in Houston Texas now.

Always use wisdom backed up by hard data when you’re investing because these are the two things which will ultimately contribute to your long term success as an investor.

Tip #4 – Make Cash Flow Your Primary Goal

When investing in a Houston Texas Rental property your primary question should be “what is the cash flow I will get from this property” because cash flow is king and also the key to your success if you’re trying to build cash flow for your retirement.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

For more information on how to get started with Houston Texas Real Estate Investing, or to get a property management quote, contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016.

Rental Market News – Rents Show No Sign of Letting Up

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By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

HOUSTON – Thanks to the recent rental market news from the U.S. Labor Department we know that rents continued to increase by 3.5% year-over-year in the month of May 2015.

Rent is without a doubt one of the biggest costs consumers nationwide have to pay while food prices have also risen by 1.6 percent as well during the same period of time but one interesting thing to report is that clothing costs have decreased by 1.5 percent.

What Does This Mean To You?

One of the good things about the current economy is that after the recent havoc the economy has seen in the China and United States most economists and investors are predicting we’re not going to see an increase in mortgage interest rates this year and what’s shocking is that we could even see them lowered to 0 percent.

These factors mean that NOW is a great time for you to buy a rental property in Houston or elsewhere across the United States if you’ve been thinking about adding property to your portfolio.

How to Get Started With Buying Rental Property

To get started with buying rental property in Houston Texas or elsewhere across the United States make sure you do the following:

  1. Know what type of rental property you are searching for (example – 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms or 1,200 square feet). This step is important because knowing your ideal rental property will keep you from buying a more expensive rental because it has better features.
  2. Establish your budget and know the costs – This step is vital because it’s easy to go over budget when buying rental property and you will quickly realize that you can’t charge enough rent to cover your costs.

Learn More

To learn more rental market news, or to speak with us about our property management services contact us today by calling (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us online.

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Should You Allow Smoking In Your Houston Texas Rental Properties?

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By VestPro Residential Services, LLC

You’ve worked hard to build your Portfolio of Houston Texas Rental Properties over the years but one of the biggest problems you could be facing in your rentals is smoking from tenants.

Why Smoking Will Be Bad For Your Rental Property

Although smoking is frowned on by the medical establishment, and the media, the reality is that smoking is still a problem, especially if tenants are smoking in your Houston Texas Rental Properties.

Smoking causes the following damage in a home:

Ventilation System – Since cigarette smoke also has moisture, cigarette smoke bonds itself to the air ducts and ventilation system in any home or space where someone is smoking.

Walls – Thanks to the tar and nicotine in cigarettes, smoke from cigarettes will also bond itself into flooring, walls and the furniture of your home.

Electronics – Cigarette smoke can also ruin electronic components over time, especially the systems which you may use to monitor the temperature or secure your home.

Habitability – Cigarette smokers will also affect the habitability of your rental properties, especially if you own multi-family units because, renters who don’t smoke cigarettes almost always do not want to live near other smokers.

Time for a No Smoking Policy

One of the best ways to insure that your Houston Texas Rental Properties stay smoke free is to create a no smoking policy for your properties.

Since the City of Houston already has a no smoking ordinance in place it pays to create a no smoking policy in place to protect the long term habitability of your rental properties.

Rent Your Houston Texas Rental Properties

For more information on how to efficiently manage your Houston Texas Rental Properties contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us through our website.