Posted on 27. Feb, 2014 by Marc Courtenay.
As 2014 begins a bureau created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will set new rules concerning mortgages. Lenders will be required to verify and inspect borrowers’ financial records. The rules discourage lenders from allowing borrowers to carry total debt payments totaling more than 43 percent of the person’s annual income.
Posted on 19. Feb, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
First, let me confess that I love Excel. Having used Excel for years, I’m fully aware of its strengths, and will continue to use it to create spreadsheets, graphs, and tables. But for some unknown reason, there is a small group of property managers that continue to extol the benefits of using Excel as their primary accounting software.
Posted on 17. Jan, 2014 by Marc Courtenay.
The year 2013 will go down in the record books as a good year for both owners and managers of residential income properties. As I wrote recently in an article titled, It’s Tough to Afford to be a Renter These Days, “Housing affordability doesn’t look too promising as 2014 begins. If you listen to the National Association of Realtors the opportunity to be a homeowner hasn’t been this affordable in a long time.” If you’re looking to sell a home, 2014 may be a good year though probably not as good as 2013. But if you’re looking to buy, 2014 will likely be a better year than 2013.
Posted on 06. Jan, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Did you know that a recent industry survey determined that 1 in 4 renters do not receive their security deposit back after vacating a rental unit? Though reasons varied, one statistic in the survey clearly stood out – nearly 36 percent of renters claimed that they never received a reason why their deposit was withheld. Their deposit simply wasn’t returned – an act that is illegal in almost every state.
Posted on 20. Dec, 2013 by Jamie Sternberg.
The federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act applies to residential property built before 1978. It imposes the following duties on owners.
Posted on 02. Dec, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
With one winter storm already recorded in the books; there’s no doubt that it’s getting cold. Today in the desert southwest it’s a balmy 27 degrees. Even a sub-tropical paradise is no longer immune to the effects of a winter storm. In a typical season, winter storms can wreak havoc, causing billions of dollars in damages.
Posted on 21. Nov, 2013 by Leonard Baron.
When you own real estate – whether an investment or a personal residence – you should procure the proper type and dollar value of insurance needed for your property. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the basics of how insurance coverage works, and many individuals just want to spend “as little as possible” on insurance. The trouble comes about when there is an problem, like a fire, slip-n-fall, or lawsuit. If you don’t have the right type of insurance, nor enough coverage, it could end up costing you a lot of money. So let’s go over the basics herein, plus we’ll discuss renter’s insurance basics and tenant liability insurance basics too.
Posted on 18. Nov, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
If you’re a potential buyer or a former owner, you’re darned if you try to own and darned if you’re currently an owner. Unless you own a rental home or a multi-family residential income property, the days of buying a house and expecting the price to automatically rise with demand aren’t here yet.
Posted on 13. Nov, 2013 by Sara Thompson.
When experiencing an uptick in vacancies, most property managers ask themselves what could be causing their resident to leave. Without asking former tenants directly (or waiting for a bad review) how can you discover the reason for their discontent?
Posted on 07. Nov, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
One of the most frequent complaints I here from property owners who don’t live in the same area as their properties is how hard it is for them to find a trustworthy, dependable property manager. “Why is so difficult?” I usually reply. The owners often answer that it’s been there experience that when the property management firm knows you’re not local (and especially if they’re from out-of-state) they don’t give them the same level of service.
Posted on 06. Nov, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
While most of us enjoy our job, and wouldn’t dream of trading it for another; there are some things that most property managers absolutely hate to do. While we love meeting new people and enjoy helping them find their perfect home, there are some things that go along with the job many of us hate doing.
Posted on 21. Oct, 2013 by Leonard Baron.
In the real estate game, when we are talking rental properties, one of the most important things that will help you earn more money is long term tenants. The longer the tenant stays, the lower the number of unit turnovers you will have. Turnovers cost money! So as owners, we should do everything possible to keep our tenants – and yes, occasionally there is a bad one we might unfortunately have to “fire” and let vacate! So, let’s talk about a few ways to help the cause!
Posted on 15. Oct, 2013 by Jennifer St. James.
All across the country, a disturbing trend for property management has emerged. What was once a perfectly safe method of rent payment has now become a target for criminals. Are you still asking tenants to deposit their rent checks into a dropbox? Are you thinking it’s a safe option, because you have security cameras?
Posted on 04. Oct, 2013 by Leonard Baron.
When one wants to value property, like an apartment building, to get a feel for what it is worth, there are two different commercially recognized valuation approaches that are used. The first one is the comparable market approach analysis (CMA), which is used both for single unit residences and multi-unit properties. The second valuation approach is called the Capitalization Rate Valuation, or “Cap Rate” and it is used primarily for income producing multi-unit and other commercial properties.
Posted on 30. Sep, 2013 by Sara Thompson.
You already know that you, as a landlord, have a legal obligation to provide your tenants with a safe and secure property. This can usually be accomplished by making sure that every door and window has a working lock, and there is adequate lighting around the exterior. However, even if your property is safe and secure if the neighborhood is sketchy potential tenants will continue to avoid it.
Posted on 25. Sep, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
The number one job of the property manager is to lease. Whether it’s a unit in a multi-family complex or a single family home; the success of the property manager lies in large part in how quickly and how effectively they lease empty space. Today, there are more leasing tools available to property managers than ever before.
Posted on 23. Sep, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Are you ready for a shocking statistic? The latest psychological data and anecdotal evidence is that a large percentage (some studies show it’s over 50%) of the general public in the U.S. is willing to tell lies. Sometimes people call them “white lies”, others rationalize them as “half truths”, but a lie is a lie. Depending on which organization or school of psychology I’ve contacted, I’ve learned that somewhere between 10 and 15% of the population in America are classified as sociopaths.
Posted on 16. Sep, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Yes, technically it’s still summer, but we all know that Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. While many regions of the U.S. will see warm temperatures well past Labor Day, it’s never too early to start preparing your properties for cooler temperatures. Getting a jump on seasonal preparations will also reduce the likelihood of being caught unprepared by an early winter storm.
Posted on 26. Aug, 2013 by Sara Hinds.
Have you noticed fewer tenants wanting to pay rent in ways other than good old checks or direct withdrawal? You’re not alone, and it’s not just a trend in your area. The fact is, adults in more than 24 million U.S. households — one in five — are “un-banked,” with no bank account, or “under-banked,” with adults conducting some or all of their financial transactions outside of the mainstream banking system.
Posted on 21. Aug, 2013 by Leonard Baron.
People frequently purchase investment real estate with the belief that they will save some money on their income taxes as a result of their property ownership. And this could be true, but in many cases real estate provides an owner with virtually no tax savings at all. In this article we’ll talk about rental properties and how you can figure out, with your tax advisor, if your real estate ownership will assist you to reduce your annual tax bill.
Posted on 19. Aug, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Completing a leasing agreement with your tenants is the single most important task that you will undertake. While completing a lease has likely become second nature to most property management professionals, you may want to take a little extra time and think about everything that needs to be in that lease; before it’s presented to your future tenants.
Posted on 13. Aug, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Your landscaping is immaculate on your property. Your office and your staff offices are clutter free and welcoming. The chairs and sofas in your clubhouse are comfortable and stain free. Perhaps a batch of fresh-baked cookies sits in the reception area. Everything is in its place – right?
Posted on 25. Jul, 2013 by Leonard Baron.
Commercial real estate financing for income producing properties is a little different from residential real estate financing. In residential financing, the bank looks toward the borrower’s income as the primary source of repayment on the loan. With commercial financing, the bank looks first at the property’s income as the primary source of repayment on the loan.
Posted on 23. Jul, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
First let me encourage you to listen to the free online webinar on a topic for property managers. Online rental expert Pierre Calzadilla (Manager of Trulia Rentals) provides practical tips about the effective approach to filling vacancies that you can apply to your business right away. Pierre covered the following: The top trends driving today’s […]