Frequently Asked Questions
Ans : There are four main benefits you get from real estate as an investment: INCOME - when one thinks of rental property, he thinks of cash flow which is the difference between the rent and all the expenses for the property. EQUITY BUILD-UP - each month the tenant is paying rent, the principle on the mortgage is getting reduced and you build equity. TAX SAVINGS - Most of the expenses for the property are tax deductible. You can deduct the mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, maintenance and the management fees are all tax deductible. You even get to start depreciating the property, which is another write-off. We recommend speaking with your accountant to see what your tax implications will be. APPRECIATION - One of the best benefits of real estate is appreciation. Real estate is a long term investment. Although there will be ups and downs in the market, over time your property will appreciate in value. It's no wonder why the wealthy have real estate as investments. It truly is the key to riches.
Ans : First, the time of year. In our market, this will have an impact. If you are trying to rent your property during the winter months, it will typically take longer. The best time of the year is June to September. Now we do rent property every week of the year, so if you're renting outside the summer months, not to worry, we just recommend that you plan accordingly. On average it will take one to two months to rent out a property depending on the next factors. Location, condition, rental amount and time of year. These will have the biggest impact on how long it will take to rent your property and you control two of them. Understand a property that is clean, in good repair, updated and has rent which is in a range that the average person can afford, are going to rent up faster. The final factor is the lease term. The more open you are the better. If you are only looking to rent for 6 month or a year, this will reduce the number of prospective tenants. Many tenant's looking to rent a house will stay on average of three years. Therefore, they don't want to rent somewhere they have to move from in 6 months or a year. These factors along with number of bedrooms, baths, square footage of the house and features of the house and around the neighborhood will determine how much your property will actually rent for. It's not a cookie cutter so we would need to see the house and do a market analysis before we could quote you a rent range.
Ans : Once we start management, a rental file is made up. Your property is added to our list of available properties. Your property is also listed on the internet in over a dozen of the top home rental sites. We can also put up a rental sign, if desired. The time of the year and the condition of the property will determine how long it takes for your property to rent. Generally, it takes up to one month to lease up a property in good condition during the spring and summer months. In order to rent property faster, we needed to understand things from the tenant's perspective. They wanted to be able to see property fast and whenever they wanted. Therefore, we developed the "Easy Show Process" Here tenants can actually view a property any day they wish between 8am and 8pm. If you the owner are still living in the property while it's being marketed, we would arrange for you to show the property at your convenience and for a nice discount off our leasing fee, of course. Once someone is interested in your property, they fill out one of our rental applications , which they can do on-line. If a tenant is not qualified, we buffer you from the rejection process where many owners unknowingly violate fair housing laws and Fair Credit Reporting Act. Not knowing the laws and how this process needs to be handled get many landlords into trouble. We are professionals at renting homes, which minimizes vacancy time, minimizes repair and redecorating costs by getting better quality tenants to take care of your home, which produces higher rents and profit for you. And we have an outstanding record for doing so.
Ans : The tenants do have responsibility for some of the maintenance on your property. They have to replace burnt out light bulbs, change furnace filters, change batteries in the smoke detectors, and provide for exterminating if they are in a single family home or in a double bungalow where their unit is the only one affected. Tenants are usually responsible for the lawn care and snow removal, unless they are in a multi-unit property. When repairs need to be done outside the scope of the tenant's responsibility, we would have one of our in-house maintenance technicians or one of our sub-contractors handle the job. Anyone doing maintenance on your property is selectively screened and insured for liability and workers compensation to protect you from unnecessary exposure. Our workers are available for your property maintenance needs 24 hours a day and their work is guaranteed. We handle the nuisance calls at all hours of the day or night. So you don't have to deal with that call in the middle of the night. If we go out and find that the problem was tenant caused, the tenant will be billed and responsible for reimbursement of the charge. We look at your property as our own and are only doing necessary maintenance and repairs; however, if it exceeds our authorization limit as stated in our management agreement, you will be contacted. Because of the volume of work we do with them, we usually get lower rates than what you would get if you called a contractor directly. We are home maintenance experts; we know houses, the problems that occur, what repair costs are, and how to get good service and we minimize unnecessary repairs by trouble-shooting issues with the tenants.
Ans : The first step is our initial evaluation of your property. One of our managers will come out and go through the house and assess the condition and give recommendations and suggestions to maximize the rental value and minimize risk. They also do a benefit analysis and plot different rent scenarios against your expenses, so you can see what the cash flow would look like. This report notes the tax implications since you can deduct most of the expenses and start to depreciate the property. It looks at the equity build up generated by the tenant paying down your mortgage. And an estimate of appreciation for the house is calculated. There is a small evaluation fee for this, but if you use our services, this fee is credited towards the setup of the property. Prior to the tenant moving in we conduct a move-in evaluation. We do it again when they move out. If there is maintenance needed, our techs will fill out a property form which gives us more eyes looking at your property. Houses do wear out - everything from roofs to floor covering to appliances, therefore, the managers do annual evaluations noting how things are holding up.